by Raquel Taylor, fantasy (2007)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.75, ISBN 978-1-59578-399-8
The Cambion's Kiss was previously published by Venus Press just back in 2006, I believe, and this is merely a re-release without any changes made to this current edition.
I don't know what to think of the names of the characters, heh. We have a succubus called Lady Exotica getting into trouble with Prince Kaliban of Oea. You see, Exotica - I want to laugh each time I type her name down, I tell you - is besotted with the Prince but he's determined to erase her "wild streak". When that fails, he throws her out of Oea down to Earth. Never fear, there she will encounter Cambion, Kaliban's brother, who will help her get back to the top where she belongs. Exotica is a submissive to Kaliban but she will have to learn how to dominate Cambion so that she will have him under her control.
I don't know how authentic the psychology and transition from sub to Dom here is - I'll let the experts figure that out - but I must say, I really like reading the naughty scenes in this book. Oh, stop snickering, people. You read these books too, don't deny it. Initially, this book is really hard to get into because the author drops me right into the story without any preliminaries. After laughing in disbelief that the heroine's name is actually Exotica, I'm left to figure out the relationship between Kaliban and Exotica. I'm still not sure how these two get to where they are, to be honest, because this story can be frustratingly vague in details sometimes. But once the fun gets going, I'm having a blast.
Ms Taylor's prose often teeters between clumsy purple prose and poetic sensuality, but the occasional unintentionally funny purple prose is fine with me in this instance since this story is set in a lush and opulent fantasy world. I really enjoy the dynamics between Cambion and Exotica, although Exotica's insistence that Cambion will ditch her once he has displaced Kaliban wears thin after a while. She isn't really good at being a Mistress and he's actually a very disrespectful slave, but these two nonetheless like their roles in their relationship and I find that intriguing. I also enjoy the plot developments towards the end of the story.
In a way, I wish the world building is stronger. That or the author has spent some pages introducing the setting and the cast of characters without shoving me right into the heat of the story. The greatest flaw of this story is its underdeveloped feel. Still, I can't deny that I find this a most interesting and entertaining naughty story despite its frustrating superficial nature.
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