The Grotto
by Evelyn Rogers, historical (2002)
LoveSpell (Candleglow), $5.99, ISBN 0-505-52479-1


No, people, don't get your hopes too high. The Grotto is not an obscene story, more's the pity. Ain't no fooling around in the heroine's much misused grotto in this story, unless we count that meagre and pathetic sexual-healing thing that will drive Marvin Gaye into tears of bitterness.

How do you define a Gothic romance? Here's Evelyn Rogers' recipe.

Ingredients:

  • American heroine who has been abused by late husband, abandoned by Daddy, and now, a widow left to her own devices
  • A curse, la maledetta - "the curse of the falcon" (or something)
  • Lots of horny, unerotic "erotic" dreams (relationship development is sold out at K-Mart today)
  • A scary house by the sea, imaginatively titled Villa Falcone, built in Italy
  • A hero who appears to mutter cryptic nonsense and disappears, but with a sturdy penis to give the heroine lots of pathetic pity sex
  • An assortment of ugly, dirty peasants whose function are to stare at the heroine in vaguely menacing air, mumble cryptic nonsense, and then disappear never to be seen again

Instructions:

  • Heroine, free from evil husband, decides to dig up the ground with her bare hands to prove that she can make the estate grow (don't ask, it's an "independent romance novel woman" thing).
  • Hero shows up to harass/talk nonsense. Heroine is intrigued but he's gone before she can do anything more.
  • Dreams. Heroine thrashing around in some fake I'm-masturbating nonsense. Only, of course, no one's masturbating here. Heroines don't masturbate. They get violated by evil men and then wait for jerk heroes to administer the pity sex thing.
  • Gratuitous flashbacks to evil hubby's sexual abuse. Character development is still out of stock at K-Mart.
  • Hero appears, talks nonsense, and disappears.
  • Heroine digs some more.
  • Hero appears, and since the story is close to ending, PG rated sex please.
  • Heroine's in trouble! Help!
  • Hero saves her.
  • Curse is broken by true pure love, et cetera, the end.
  • Character development is still out of stock.

The Grotto: instant Gothic crapfest, just add water.

Rating: 56


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