Monday, March 3, 2008

Satyr's Myst by Marie Harte

TITLE: Satyr’s Myst
AUTHOR: Marie Harte
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 33k)
GENRE: Contemporary ménage erotic romance
COST: $4.99

When the owner of the private resort Satyr’s Myst is threatened, security experts are assigned to keep him safe while the search goes on for his enemies. Trevor Reaper and Lilah Tanner don’t want Rick Hastings to know they’ve been brought in by his ex-lover, but once they come into the man’s orbit, it’s impossible to think of anything but their physical desires…

Somewhere in all the myriad sex scenes in this book, there’s a plot. Unfortunately, I never got to really experience it. See, that whole reason for Rick needing to be protected? The reader learns about all of it secondhand. In conversations, in a little bit of backstory. That’s it. It’s really just an excuse to put two gorgeous men and one plain jane with a Barbie doll body together so that they can have sex. It even gets resolved halfway through the story, and Rick opts not to tell his two bodyguards in favor of getting more time with them.

Maybe if there was some genuine characterization going on in the story, I wouldn’t have minded so much. Trevor fares the best in this, with his tough-as-nails exterior, but his continued protestations about not wanting to have sex with men feels like lipservice all the way from the beginning. When he had sex with Lilah, it felt way too much like he needed to prove his heterosexuality to himself and to Rick, which weakened both his character and any sense of romance the story might have instilled. Lilah’s characterization suffers from indecision. She’s introduced as a free spirit of sorts, and while she is quick to respond to sexual advances, she’s just as quick to run off and insist that she’s not there except to keep Rick company. Again, lipservice. Because Lilah keeps insisting all the way throughout that she’s never done much, it’s hard to resolve that against the wild child introduction she got.

Then there’s Rick. Rick is the one character that comes from the second book, so if you’ve read the others in this series, you’ve been introduced to him already. This story is said to be a standalone, but honestly, I think a new reader coming into this series would be hard-pressed to find any real depth to Rick. He’s portrayed as a sex god/fiend in this, with no long-lasting relationships except for the woman who got away because she couldn’t accept his alternative lifestyle. Even having read the previous book, I absolutely did not believe for a second that he was going to settle down with Lilah and Trevor. There was never any real reason for these three to fall in love at all. Rick pretty much decides that first night Lilah shows up that there’s something different there – without even really having a conversation with her yet – and all they do for the rest of the book is have sex. But because they kept saying they were in love – without having the reasons I could buy into – I ended up disconnected from all the sex scenes. Without having emotion I believed in to enrich those scenes, then, it just felt like one big long sex romp. And I got bored.

While I’m incredibly disappointed by this, I think I’ve figured out why it didn’t work for me like the previous two books. All three of these people are strangers at the top of the story, with no opportunity to do much of anything but have sex. Ethan and Jewel in the previous book had a lot more story to build their romance and make it believable, and the sex in the first story was enhanced by the animosity between the two principles. The trio in this never got any of that, which is a real shame. Maybe if the plot hadn’t happened offscreen, they would have had reason to have their romance be based on something more real than physical attraction. As it stands, it’s just sex in an erotic romance wrapper.


7/10 – The prose is fluid enough, but without characters to care about or scenes to suck me in, I ended up skimming.


3/10 – Boring and unbelievable


4/10 – Sex is a shorthand for character development in this.

Entertainment value

3/10 – Surprisingly bored by the entire thing.

World building

5/10 – The author relies too heavily on readers knowing the previous books to build on the world of the resort and island.



No comments: