28 November, 2011

Review: A Midsummer Night's Sin by Kasey Michaels

Meet Puck. (He's not named after the really appalling MTV Real World character, but that guy pretty much ruined my ability to take anyone named Puck seriously as a romantic lead.) His mom has a Shakespeare jones and his parent's aren't married (allegedly, I have my doubts) because his aunt had Down's syndrome so his dad married her instead. So Puck has been running about being charming in Paris when he decides to return home and be charming in England. That was sort of interesting. Puck mixes blackmail into his charm under the they-deserve-it doctrine. Sadly, Puck is only charming for a few pages. His debut into London Society is also his swan song.

Puck converts from charmingly cold hearted party animal into caring righter of wrongs. at the party he meets first time bad girl Regina and discovers her cousin has been abducted. It's pretty obvious by who. And why. And, of course, it's one of those things that only really upsets our wealthy leads when it's happening to white folk. We're going to have to go with a spoiler here - the kidnapped cousin may or may not have fallen afoul of white slavers. It happens here! In London! To white people! Yes, everyone is most surprised. And it happens without care or notice to poor people! Who'da thunk? Of course the slaver is the baddest of the bad, the most ickiest dude, of course he's the slaver, how could they not have seen, etc? Here's the thing. While there is nothing good about slavery, being outraged over the white kind but not the black kind (our Puck nobly tries to rescue a white woman that completely forgets about the trade in general) doesn't read well. Let's give our characters that they only consider white slavery the really bad kind. Why is the slavery guy a horrible guy? Why wouldn't he just be a guy for profit who doesn't share their outrage at transferring slavery to white guys? (It's even pointed out that white slaves are less profitable than black ones unless they can be used for fresh virginal nookie). Look, Kasey Michaels does a decent job with it, I'm not faulting her for trying to tackle it in a realistic way or any of that. I'm just saying that omgz-he-is-so-bad slaver boy is an easy stereotype when her own characters tacitly condone non-caucausian slavery. Ugh. Let's move on from this comma overload.

So. Regina. Missing cousin, drunken mom, mixed family heritage (in the money sense not the color sense) meets Puck, party boy with a moody older brother and unmarried parents. They try to find her cousin, they have a fair amount of sex, they move on with their lives. All in all, it was better than Beau's story and I'm going to read Jack's but I wouldn't stay up late on the night I bought it. Or maybe I would. It's better than the review implies, I just can't get past the mixed slavery messages going on. If Michaels hadn't included the flashback to Puck's youth, I think I would have liked it much more than I did.

No comments:

Post a Comment