Dear Ms. Stanley:
The only other book I’ve reviewed from Siren Publishing is the infamous Trinity Blacio story The Claiming. I do know that Siren is well known for its menage line called Menage Amour. This is one of the stories from the menage amour line.
I’m not opposed to the menage line and neither am I opposed to brothers as part of the menage scenario probably because, for me, a committed menage exists only in some fantasy scenario although clearly with shows like Sister Love, committed multiple partner relationships are a reality for some.
As with all negative reviews, I feel like the book should do the talking. The story opens with readers being introduced to Jude, a rancher in the Pennsylvania Wilds. He is hunting a wolf and sprays “eau de deer piss” on him in preparation for the hunt. He hates wolves as his parents died defending him and his siblings from a wolf attack. Instead of finding a wolf as he expects, he stumbles upon a gorgeous woman bathing nude in a river. To Jude, a woman nude in the woods is begging to be pleasured by his “womb tickler”.
His own personal sex goddess just waiting for him to make a move. If he didn’t, it would be his loss, and she’d haunt his dreams tonight.
All thoughts of the wolf fled. How often did a man get a chance to score a fine piece of ass like this one?
Already unzipping his jeans, he took a step forward. One look at the womb tickler between his legs and a dose of the old Outlaw family charm and the little seductress would be putty in his hands. He hadn’t had any complaints yet.
Thoughts of seducing the naked woman enjoying a private moment in the stream flee when Jude sees his target change from nude woman to feral wolf. Fortunately, Jude is adaptable and he goes from wanting to copulate to wanting to exploit the wolf.
When the idea hit, it slammed him hard. This kind of discovery could make him a very rich man.
Jude goes to recruit his twin brother Jonas and they go off to hunt the wolf, again adorned in deer urine. Nothing says romance like a spray of deer piss. “He sprayed Jude with concentrated deer urine then shoved the bottle at him.” Jonas is the brains of the duo and Jude is relying on Jonas to turn the she-wolf or “bitch” as Jude likes to think of her, into untold riches.
But Jonas and Jude are aroused at the sight of the she-wolf’s human form and pretty soon they are fucking her, and I do mean fucking. There isn’t anything romantic or loving about their intercourse particularly because when they aren’t fucking her, they are making her pee in front of them, taking blood samples, drugging her, and placing shock collars on her to prevent her from escaping.
They take her out of the collar when they want to have sex with her but when she goes outside, she has to wear a leash. Sable, the Lycan, is helpless to resist the twins’ lusty advances in part because she is in heat. Despite the humiliation of being captured and treated like a dog, being forced to be some sort of experiment for them, Sable loves having sex with twins.
I’m not sure what I am supposed to read into this. The twins treat Sable like an animal yet have no problem screwing her. Sable supposedly hates her captors but has no problem screwing them. To me, it really doesn’t matter that Sable is written as having enjoyed the sex. Raping Sable would have been more merciful than taking her when she was in heat, captured, drugged, with a shock collar, and for the purposes of insemination so that the two can make money off her young.
What makes this even more romantic (and by more I mean way, way less) is that Jonas, the brains of the operation, has a girlfriend who he plans to marry–someday. In the meantime, he’ll continue to have sex with and impregnate this she wolf he captured. And he encourages his brother to commit his sperm to the biology project that will hopefully make the twins rich beyond their dreams:
“Both of us?” Jude thought for a moment. “I might consider it with two of us in the room. It wouldn’t be the first time we shared a woman.”
“That was a long time ago. I wasn’t thinking of a threesome.”
“If you want my sperm, then that’s how it’s going down.”
The lack of thought portrayed by any of the characters makes this story almost comical. Jude, particularly switches between lust and hunter in a matter of seconds. In one scene, Sable has escaped and Jude is hunting her down. He comes upon her and slides his hand under shorts and begins fingering her. Sable is wet, of course, but gives token struggle. Jude responds by grabbing the dart gun in his other hand. Sable fights him in earnest and tries to get away. Jude grabs a branch and whacks in her the back of her knees.
If I was reading a horror novel, a campy horror novel, maybe this would all make sense. But a romance where I am supposed to believe that in the end the three of them create a committed and meaningful triad?
Oh, I know I am supposed to buy into the whole “I really fell in love with you while I was drugging you and making you piss in a cup so I could study your biology” thing but it simply didn’t work. The story had a plot arc but no character arc. Jude and Jonas’ hatred of wolves seemed to melt away under the white hot heat of their orgasms. Their initial agnst transforms from this non existent hatred to a love triangle which also seems easily resolved.
I also found it odd that in the latter half of the book the characters start making religious references. Jude sees something as a sign from God and Jonas asks whether a marriage with a she-wolf could be valid “in the eyes of God.” When Sable exclaims “Gods” on multiple ocassions. These conflicting deity references are never addressed.
At times it was if the circumstances under which Sable came to be under the control of the twins was nonexistent as was the world building for Sable’s Lycan nature, as if it was just a set up or excuse to frame the multitude of sex scenes. While the sex scenes were plentiful, they actually made me grimace given the situation under which the individuals were copulating. In the end, the setup was distasteful; the characters unlikeable; and the worldbuilding shallow. D
You could buy this book at Bookstrand, which is the retail location of Siren Publishing, but a book priced 4.99 or under can only be purchased using a StrandBucks voucher which can be purchased in $5.00 and more increments. Plus, it’s far cheaper at Amazon.