Monday, December 7, 2009

Longfellow Seduced by Violet Summers

TITLE: Longfellow Seduced
AUTHOR: Violet Summers
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 42k)
GENRE: Paranormal erotic romance
COST: $5.99

When it looks like millions are disappearing from the books of their club, vampires Silas and Magnus call in an expert to help track down the missing money. Prudence Longfellow comes from a long line of warrior women, each possessed of a certain talent. Hers is to see how random puzzle pieces can be solved, but her presence at the Dungeon throws Magnus off-guard. As the lead singer of his band, he’s used to having any woman he wants, and taking what he desires. Pru is the antithesis of all of that, but just because she’s tiny, doesn’t mean she’s a mouse…

If there’s one thing this author team delivers, it’s heat. It was obvious in the story of theirs in Liquid Silver’s Hearts Afire series, too. When it comes to combustible sex scenes, they write them with gusto, without fear, and in great abundance. In the case of this particular short novel, perhaps too great an abundance.

The book starts out in the Dungeon, the club/bar Silas and Magnus own. Silas has discovered a discrepancy of millions in their books, but can’t pinpoint it, so he’s called in a specialist to track it down. Magnus doesn’t seem to really care too much about the business. For much of the first part of the book, he seems to be driven by his id, focusing on pleasure and satiation than anything else. When Pru arrives, she immediately gets in his face, furious that he isn’t giving her the respect she thinks she deserves, and when she calls him on his boorish behavior, there’s a split second where it seems like he’s going to actually let her get away with it. The animosity between them is sharp and caustic, setting a very interesting dynamic.

But then it all turns on a dime. Out of nowhere, it flipflops to sex. I guess I’m supposed to believe that the dislike that was so palpable when they met – and I mean excruciatingly palpable, I believed every second of it – was just misguided lust. I didn’t. It felt completely out of the blue and especially not in character for Pru. It jarred me enough out of the story to distance me completely from the first scene, and even through parts of the second. It wasn’t until several chapters later, once the heat of their connection became the only thing on the page and I was thrust into it headfirst, that I was able to abandon my misgivings from the start.

This focus on sex derails further development for both the characters and the story. Because so much of their time together is spent in one sexual position or another, I’m never really given much of a chance to see how these two connect outside of it. Then, there’s no chance at all because they’re already making declarations. The erotic attention also diverts any kind of depth from the plot about Silas and Magnus’ creator, Allessandra. Every time we start getting any kind of real plot information, it gets truncated for more sex with Pru and Magnus. Add in the fact that the exposition about what really the Longfellow women are and their relationship to anything supernatural doesn’t come until nearly the end of the story, and I’m left with a million questions and very few answers.

That doesn’t mean this wasn’t a good story. I like this author’s voice, and like I said at the top of the review, they write erotic scenes that sizzle without even trying too hard. I only wish the rest of the story was as fully fleshed. The characters are rich and inviting. I just wanted to love them more than I did.


8/10 – While hot, the preponderance of erotic scenes when exposition was necessary slowed this down


7/10 – Sexy and gruff


7/10 – Intelligent without losing femininity

Entertainment value

7/10 – The switch in the beginning was too abrupt, and the lack of necessary exposition made it hard to stay focused on the plot, but sheer hotness and characters I didn’t hate helped

World building

6/10 – I needed more information about the Longfellows and general world than I got to make this fully rich



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