by Raquel Taylor, fantasy (2007)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-387-5
This story is actually very interesting. It is set in a magical - some may even say haunted - mansion called Rosseau Manor. This Manor was the site of not just debauched orgies but also gruesome violence. Still, it has plenty of erotic artwork to keep our artist heroine Saphira Morgan fascinated and intrigued with the Manor. At the very least, it is a way for her to escape from having to deal with the anonymously delivered photos of her husband Ransom in various acts of sexual congress with his secretary/mistress Kara. Ransom had told her that he had ended the affair, but the photos prove otherwise.
However, when the lines between fantasy/dreams and reality begin to blur for Saphira and she is drawn into the dark, sensual, and sometimes terrifying world of the faerie folks of Rosseau Manor and the humans these fae punish by mutating them into gruesome bestial forms, things are going to get very interesting indeed for both her and Ransom. The Manor had all kinds of dark magic left by its original owner Vincent Rosseau that draws the unwary into the hellish world of the fae. Here, sex and pain is not mutually exclusive. The fae here are not happy little folks but cruel tormentors. Ransom turns out to have some ties to Vincent while the Manor itself is the site of a brewing war between Vincent the dark sorcerer and Demi, the Queen of the Mandrake Clan.
Seduction Of The Fae isn't exactly a romance story. There is romance, but it's not what I'd call an orthodox one. Instead, this one is more of a tale of dark fantasy with shades of horror. Think, oh, Karen Marie Moning's depiction of the fae folks and multiply the fae's careless sadism by tenfold and you have an idea of what to expect here. This story has its greatest strength in the author's vivid way with words that seem to bring to life the many erotic/skin-crawling scenes in this story. She has a way of blending sensuality with horror that the two sometimes seem indistinguishable, the way good erotic horror should be. I have a great time reading this one because of the way the author writes - it is as if she's painting pictures that are simultaneously erotic and sacrilegious with her words.
The only complain I have is the way the story abruptly plunges the characters into the terrifying dark world that Rosseau Manor is harboring. There is no build-up of atmosphere. As a result, early in the story I find myself feeling somewhat disoriented, as if perhaps this book is a sequel with much of the build-up having taken in a previous book.
Having said that, I think Seduction Of The Fae is a most interesting and entertaining trip down the dark side. If the author has included some build-up so that the story feels less rushed at places, this one will be a clear winner.
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