Something Unexpected
by Miranda Heart, historical (2006)
Freya's Bower, $4.75, ISBN 1-4934069-41-8


In Something Unexpected, our French heroine Beatrice seems on the surface a typical belle of the ball. However, her fiancé Renald doesn't excite her passions. It's a Donatien Alphonse François who has captured her darkest fancy. You may have heard of Donatien. He's more popularly known as Marquis de Sade. Beatrice has everything planned: she intends to have an affair with Donatien and take Renald as her husband. The marriage, after all, is going to be oh-so-proper and boring with the search of a mistress no doubt the first thing on his to-do list once they are married, so Beatrice has no qualms about seeking out Donatien.

Miranda Heart has set a stage for a truly wicked and delicious BDSM tale. I am filled with eager anticipation as I turn the pages after reading about Beatrice's delicious rendezvous with Donatien as the author promises me that Beatrice's going to get whipped and all. Now, I'm not a BDSM person but the set-up has a delicious tinge of taboo to it, from infidelity to real BDSM (whippings, chains, and true pain/pleasure blurring instead of the watered down "tie-me-up" stuff typical of erotic romances), that I feel myself intrigued.

Then it turns out that Beatrice doesn't really know Renald because he is on speaking terms with Donathien. Not only that, he's a Dom who has kept slaves before and he knows of Beatrice's rendezvous with Donathien. Realizing that his wife is exactly just his type, he's now looking forward to his upcoming nuptial. When he makes Beatrice wear a choker that brands her as his possession, I'm sure things are really going to get good. After some build-up where she's kneeling before him, afraid and remorseful and all, and he's telling that he's taking her to the next stage, I find myself hoping that a riding crop or two will be involved. That will be fun, don't you think?

I turn the page. After some pumpies, the story ends.

Excuse me? Where is the payoff? Why am I getting the exit instead of the next stage? Where are the scenes of Beatrice's punishment? Hello? Anybody home? No?

The author really shouldn't tease me like that. It's rude to build up the story and then end it just as the true fun (Beatrice's submission) is about to begin, leaving me wondering when the party is going to start. I don't know what to say because this book feels like a story abruptly cut short. Something Unexpected is exactly just that, unfortunately. Ms Heart, please be a dear and finish this story. I assure you all will be forgiven when you do.

Rating: 63


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