12 September, 2011
Retro Review: Mastered By Love by Stephanie Laurens
Also, I think I was high. I believe I was doing a lot of Cytoxan in those days. (Kids, if it has the word Tox, like in Toxin, it's not going to be as much fun as you think.) Um, if you're Stephanie Laurens you might want to stop reading now. I stand behind really not liking the book, but I'm not wanting to pull the wings off butterflies or anything like that. Kthxbye. Oh no, wait, no Kthxbye yet. What is up with this cover? Is that the world's largest dental dam? She's naked and really happy - he's kind of on her hip bone - I dunno, it's confusing me. This color purple is the exact color of the book I once painted my nails to match so boys would notice me on the beach. Somehow I thought if my nail color and book jacket were in harmony, it would be hot. I wasn't the smartest kid. (I'm not sure this review is going to argue for my adulthood. Let's be real - I wrote part of it to the tune of Kidnap The Sandy Claws.)
Ironically (is it?) I get this reminder of why I stopped reading Laurens just as a Viscount Breckenridge arc showed up in my mail. Fingers crossed, kids. Fingers crossed.
Title: Mastered By Love
Author: Stephanie James
Genre/Historical Period: Regencyland
Grade/Rating: Is there a G?
Summary: An absolute chore
Part of a Series?: Bastion Club (Finale)
Would I recommend this book?: Oh hell no
Planning to read anything else by this author?: Not anymore.
OMGZ you guys I hated this book soooooooo much.
And if that was the entire content of my review, I'd have exceeded the quality of the book already.
I don't know - I think this book would be popular with a tween looking for a great deal of sexual description without having to be caught reading an erotic book. It has it all. Pages and pages of all. From 'she was sopping wet already' to crimson silk sheets and blindfolds, it's like a checklist of sexual cliche and excess description. She can summarize a major plot scene in two lines, decades of his life in three paragraphs, but its dozens of pages of sex, a few paragraphs to set up the next day, and then back in bed.
She forgot to include the romance. But it's not erotic either. It's just tiring. Like trying to be interested in a poorly shot porn video your friends made when you haven't slept in hours and don't really care. The prevailing feeling is how soon can I get away from these people? It leaves you emotionally fatigued and diminishes everyone involved.
There are GREAT building blocks here - a spinster running the dukedom, the sudden and unexpected death of the estranged father, an international plot centered on a master traitor and the cadre of spies who've been hunting him, (and honestly, by the time the spy is revealed you realize the only way he ever beat anyone was by their being bone stupid) and multiple base born adult children existing on their estranged brother's estate.
Why use ANY of that when you have crimson silk sheets? And you've decided to make your all powerful hero inept and bungling? His study of people, his abilities to guess what they will do before they know themselves, all out the window in favor of a generic Tru Hero Who Sux At Luv. And the mastermind behind all the traitorous acts of the entire series? A bumbling freak who talks to himself incessantly. Seriously, he CANNOT shut up. He spends a page and a half while he thinks the heroine is out cold deciding how to rape and kill her best - like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman as a deranged killer. THIS is the guy who outwitted everyone?? He leaves the most mindnumbingly obvious clue to their location, but it doesn't matter, because Our Hero And His Buddies are TSTL and with a force of at least - well - more than three - decide the answer is for most of them to hide outside and make no noise while the other approaches via Certain Death Trap alone. I can think of at least seven different ways to approach the situation that are less idiotic than the one they choose - but hey. That lets the heroine be drugged, assaulted, murder someone, and then go back to her party!!!! No harm, no foul!
Did I mention they were passing out TSTL candy like it was Halloween? Cause they were. Which made me think of Mr. Talky the Villain Of Self Soundtracking as the missing member of the Nightmare Before Christmas Trio -
Kidnap the Chatelaine
Take her to the mill
Throw her on the big stone slab
And monologue at will.
I'm breaking up with her. Meredith Duran and I have been flirting lately, I think it's time to offer her the spot on my auto-buy list. I hope Stephanie Laurens doesn't go all stalker on me, she needs to understand that when she does me like that I have to move on for my own self respect. I wish her luck, there's someone for everyone, right?