Friday, December 5, 2008

Uncovering Egypt by Ann Cory

TITLE: Uncovering Egypt
AUTHOR: Ann Cory
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 13k)
GENRE: Time travel erotic romance
COST: $2.50

Egyptologist Jasmine Devi is on the dig of a lifetime, unearthing historical treasures in the great pyramid of Giza. When she stumbles upon a beautiful bracelet, she is startled to discover it has called forth King Okpara from the past, intent on protecting his dead queen’s sacred jewel. One look at Jasmine and he is convinced she is destined to be his new queen. All he has to do is convince her of that…

The beautiful cover of this short story convinced me to look at the excerpt, and then to buy it, so it’s really too bad that it’s about the only good thing this particular e-book has going for it. The story is labeled as a red hot, which in Samhain speak is hot erotic romance, but there really isn’t that much that’s sexy about this. When the bracelet affixes itself to Jasmine’s wrist, she is immediately confronted by four men who claim to be the king’s guards. They demand she come with them, and she follows them to a room in the pyramid that has what’s called a body chamber in it. Basically, it’s a mesh cage in the form of a body, with openings for the occupant’s face, chest, and groin. The guards force her to strip and get into it, at which point Okpara shows up. He is convinced she is his new queen, and sets out to seduce her. Except…guess who does the foreplay? Two of the guards start out while the king stands back. He eventually kneels for oral sex, but when it comes time for the actual act, he has them remove her from the cage and form a human cradle for her, and that’s how they have sex. He is incredibly dissociated from the act. It’s not even his touch that finally sets her off. I’m supposed to find this sexy? I don’t think so.

It doesn’t help that Jasmine is an idiot. There’s a fellow Egyptologist named Mason who is introduced in the beginning as having a thing for her. So desperate to get away from him, she sneaks off to the room which has the bracelet, which is outside of the grid they’re expected to be in. She tells nobody where she is going, and yet, when Mason shows up looking for her, she goes off on him for being stalker-y. Because he was worried and couldn’t find her? She’s supposed to be a professional, but I just can’t believe that any professional would be so irresponsible, even if she was trying to avoid someone she didn’t like.

I have problems even believing this as a romance. Okpara never feels authentic, saying things like, “Everything about you turns me on.” The explanation for why he so blithely accepts coming to the future? Oh, yeah, he’d been summoned to the future before. I guess that’s where he learned English, too. He also decides within minutes of seeing Jasmine that he loves her, and then, when some artificial danger is introduced to separate the two, instead of finally getting some real story, there’s a jump cut to, “Oh, look, they live happily ever after.” It’s a completely copout and cheats the reader, but then again, the whole story did that so I guess it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.


5/10 – Clean, but poorly constructed story structure


3/10 – Everything about him was told not shown


3/10 – Annoying and dumb

Entertainment value

2/10 – This doesn’t work on any level

World building

4/10 – It starts out well, but any semblance of place/time in dialogue or setting after she finds the bracelet is gone



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