by DL Snow, fantasy (2010)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60928-164-9
DL Snow's Slayer is one of the quartet of stories in the Enchanted series. This series is all about erotic romantic fairy tales with heavy paranormal elements, so this one has evil stepmothers, spoiled princes, and such. But because we live in modern post-Ever After times, the heroine is given a feminist slant.
Queen Eleanor watches over her stepson Prince Cahill's marriage prospects closely, because she does not her position to be threatened in any way. Therefore, she sabotages each one of her stepson's prospects. When Cahill's latest suitor, Abelinda or Zaina or whatever she is called (the name actually changes midway), doesn't turn out to be so well, Cahill wonders whether the next woman who shows up on his doorstep, Breanna, will be the one.
It is bad enough that this story has some serious technical issues, such as confusing narration - who is Zaina and what happened to Abelinda? - but this is also a story where the prince is shown to demonstrate an ardent randy horndog attitude to any of his prospective bride. Therefore, it is hard to imagine that his feelings for Breanna are exclusive - I get the impression that as long as the woman passes the Test, she'd do once she spreads her legs for him.
Oh yes, the Test. It involves the heroine having sleepless nights due to a pea under the mattress, some physical contests, and a tangle with the hero's stepmother from hell. The hero frets in the background, wondering when he'd get to shag the heroine. Don't ask me why the heroine will bother with a sniveling waste of everything like Cahill, much less go through all the trouble for his juvenile version of "love".
Slayer is not romantic, it is not endearing, and it is not funny either. It seems to be the author's completely misfired idea of a joke.
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