by Shelby Morgen, fantasy (2001)
Ellora's Cave, $4.30, ISBN 0-9712177-2-6
Anyone up for a prime slice of cheesy hardcore XXX/NC-17 goodness? If you ever wonder what an X-rated episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is like, or what is under He-Man's skimpy brown loincloth (confess, confess - I have surfed through the Internet long enough to know that there are quite a number of you), wonder no longer.
Seriously (haw haw), A Slave's Price, a fantasy erotica, is Grade A Cheese. T&A stuff at its finest, way better than those boring sexploitation Conan the Barbarian novels out there, because in this one, aiyaiyai, the woman rules, baby. As our slave boy Lord MÔkakao soon finds out. He is enslaved by nasty dwarves but our heroine Cassadara, on the orders of her mother, buys him from them. Cassadara is one of the Wolf Women, and she can turn into a wolf (duh). And these women ain't no shy coquettes when it comes to doing the beastie.
When Cass looks at MÔk at first, she's not that impressed. Sure, he's big in every way that counts, but she's a Wolf Woman, you know, and her attentions are strictly exclusive only to the proud and mighty. Then MÔk shows her exactly how proud and mighty he can be (and he even offers to cook) and Cass reaches for the money pouch faster than you can say "Sold!"
Lots of hot sex ensue. Interesting sex, interesting positions, and lots of mighty outpouring of passion (did I say that?) and heavy breathing. Yummy. And best of all, no purple prose - if you get wet, you get wet, damn the umbrellas, baby.
Of course, there's also some subplot involving Overthrowing the Slavers and Free the People, et cetera, and the non-sexual stuff are actually pretty good. These scenes actually blend in well with the sex, not just in a "tacked on for plot's sake" manner, and it gives A Slave's Price a semblance of substance beyond the usual joystick marathon fun.
Sure, A Slave's Price wouldn't satisfy those seeking spiritual enlightenment via teacups and tea in their romances. Spiritual enlightenment here starts from the groin and shoots upwards from there. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. This is a cheesy T&A fantasy, make no mistake, with lots of gratuitous sex (alas, no senseless violence), but it's a relationship between two mates who are equals when it comes to the holding their own.
My complain (yes, I have some, sorry) is that the annoying attempt at using what seemed like a bizarre Scots accent ("ken" and "ye" interspersed with modern English), which is jarring, could be done without. More boinking, less "ken"ing please.
A Slave's Price is all cheese, beefcake, and brawn, but it has enough substance to make it a meaty bite. And of course, all those happy procreation business can never be bad for business. Wonder what He-Man has under his loincloth? Forget He-Man - MÔk rules. Phwoar, baby, take it off!
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