Brazen
by Susan Johnson, historical (1995)
Bantam, $5.99, ISBN 0-553-57213-X


My favorite Susan Johnson? Hmm, it will be a tough decision between Outlaw, Pure Sin, and Brazen. But in the end I'll go with Brazen, if only for the unbelievably energetic sex and the fact that the heroine is a very fast woman. In other words, Countess Angela de Grae will be the mistress that romance heroes in other novels indulge in skanky sex with before being dumped for a pristine bluestocking.

Angel, called the Angel because she remains a hot piece of, er, you know even if she's in her mid-thirties already. She's married, but her marriage is an unhappy and even abusive one, and her string of lovers are legion, including a member of the British royalty (no, not the Queen, silly - do you want to read about that?) and too many handsome rich studs all over England. You go, girl.

Our hero is the gigolo Kit Braddock, who fans may recall played the stud in previous Braddock-Black books. This book opens with a threesome - no wait, let me count, one, two, three, yeah, threesome. For a while all those mouths and fingers and throbbing anatomies are confusing me a little. Anyway, Kit is a first class rich bum who sails as a hobby, and he has a harem on his yacht. You go, boy.

He meets the much older Angela during a party and is immediately charmed. What happens next? Sex. Sex. Sex. More sex. Mouth stuff, horsey stuff, doggy stuff, all positions included. Toy stuff too. Angela keeps an assortment of sex toys in her drawers, and Kit puts a pair of golden balls - not his, please, let's not go there - to good use. And there's safe sex too, so maybe we can ask high school kids to read this book. Or not.

Plot development? Let's see. Kit proposes. Angela refuses to leave her husband because she will never see her daughter again if she manages to divorce her husband. So Kit stomps off, and Angela visits a brothel catering to women. (I told you, she's gloriously fast, this Angela woman.) Kit storms the brothel in Angry Jealousy, and Angela ends up making a nice cream lollipop out of his you-know-what. In a fit of lust, she begs him to impregnate him - and I actually find this kinda sexy is a sad, twisted way - and he goes kaboom in all the right ways. Kit's superhuman sperm, of course, will do its duty.

And then, the nasty husband causes trouble, Kit kicks his sorry bum, and we have our two lovebirds happily married and no doubt have lots of fun with the sex toys and all.

Mind you, the author does try to cater to readers with genteel sensibilities by giving Angela a sad childhood and not going all the way with the brothel thing, although the author does stop short of making Angela apologize for her past. This downgrades my enjoyment a little. Let's face it, readers who read Susan Johnson are far from the type who will go all "Eeeuw! Sex!" so why even bother? Let that girl have fun, and do the pony thing with some paid stud. That will show Kit alright, that cheap sleazy ding dong.

Yeah, yeah, the plot is none-existent. The characterization too - Kit is the handsomest, most energetic, most well-endowed, richest, tallest, most fecund man in existence, while Angela is the sexiest, most beautiful, most fecund, most well-endowed, tightest (don't ask), most popular woman alive. They fall in love so soon too.

But still, the sex is really, really good, especially that Brothel Cream Cake Dessert and My Golden Balls scenes. And how many times do I read about a mid-thirties heroine who is actually fast and loose and loves her sex and studs unapologetically? Brazen is one sexy read that involves two players at equal grounds, with no teach-a-virgin/sex-for-rescue nonsense in sight. Ooh la la.

Rating: 90


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