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REVIEW: Knight of My Dreams by Delilah Devlin

Dear Ms. Devlin:

Cover image for Knight of My DreamsAfter reading this book, I am vowing not to read another book with “Knight” in the title. Knight of My Dreams was suggested to me by a friend and I had heard that you appeared on several ebook bestseller lists. From the opening chapter, I knew I had found a book that might rival my other favorite Knight story.

Quentin Albermarle’s wife is in a coma. If she ever awakens, she will turn into a werewolf and may die because of it. The only person who might save her is an old witch who had seduced Quentin as a human and turned him into a vampire. Quentin travels to the Cayman Islands where Kamaria, the witch, lives to beg for help. Kamaria requires that Quentin have sex with her multiple times before she will attempt to save Quentin’s wife, Darcy. Who lays in a coma. I just need to emphasize this. While the wife of the purported hero of the romance novel is in a COMA, he is off shagging some witch in the Caymans.

Of course, Quentin is reluctant. He recognizes in some part of his brain that having sex with Kamaria might really hurt Darcy but this is his only option. Why this is the only option, I’m not sure. Is Kamaria the only witch in the entire paranormal world? How did all the other werewolves in this world survive the turning? Who cares, right? It’s conflict! It’s sex + conflict. It’s sexflict!

Quentin’s reluctance doesn’t stop him from having non stop erections around Kamaria. In fact, the second sentence of the book is this:

Quentin Albermarle steeled himself against the sudden thrill that quickened his heartbeat and heated his sex.

Quentin is forced to pleasure Kamaria and in doing so becomes aroused to the point of pain. Over the course of the first twenty pages or so we see Quentin in a nearly nonstop state of arousal from being near Kamaria, remembering his time with her, but agonizing over his in-a-coma wife.

Quentin wished like hell he and his cock shared the same heart. The same mind. He hated how his body betrayed him, again, in her presence. Just a whiff of her unique scent wafting in the air was enough to tug his arousal into full bloom. Like Pavlov’s stupid dog, his cock filled, poking at the sheet.

Quentin tries to retaliate against Kamaria by refusing to bring her to completion. Quentin’s punishment for failing to pleasure Kamaria completely is to get magically induced blue balls when Kamaria’s snake bites him in the sac.

Later, Quentin is in a dreamspace and having sex with Kamaria and she transforms into a winged creature with a tail. In this story, no appendage or orifice goes unused.

But he didn’t know how to manipulate this realm, couldn’t fight the beast sitting on his body, raping his ass while she used his cock to milk him of seed.

While Quentin was sporting the non stop woody, I was in a constant state of confusion about who he was actually in love with:

A part of him, the dark beast he kept leashed deep inside, howled for her. She’d given him his first bite, his first taste of blood. She’d introduced him to endless carnal delights. When he made love to any other woman, even Darcy, he recalled her tutelage to bring the fire to the surface.

As a reader, we have the choice to view the sex scenes with Kamaria (and they are numerous) as rapes because Quentin is unwilling at heart, although not in body, or we view them as advancing his relationship with the villainness while his wife is in a coma – either way, the sex scenes are a grotesquery.

Outside of the insane storyline that is completely unromantic (in fact, this is what I call #romfail), is the writing.

Kamaria is apparently snakelike so she always refers to Quentin as “husss-band”. And she talks like Yoda:

“All alone, we are,” she said, lifting her hand to trail a long finger along the crest of his shoulder. “Aren’t you going to ask me, husss-band?”

“Husband,” she enunciated slowly, closer this time. “Husss-band,” she whispered into his ear.

Her gaze swept sideways and her lips curved in a close-lipped, feline smile. “You know what I will demand, husss-band.”

“I see you are awake, husss-band.” Damn, or was she a goddamn snake?

“This is to clear your mind and waken your body. Then you may begin to please me, husss-band.”

These references all occur within the first 20 pages. It got to be so ridiculous that I started laughing with each consecutive mention. Maybe it was an intentional comic relief to serve as a palliative for the sex scenes that included phrases like this:

“Good.” He rooted with his cock, still pressing down his chest to keep hers deflated, and then curled his belly to stroke inside her.

He rooted with his cock? I don’t even know. Or what about this imagery:

He didn’t relent, even after she’d collapsed against the mattress, moaning, her head thrashing because it was too much. He’d kill her with this one. Suck the life force out of her like a giant alien leech attached to her cunt.

and

and her womb clenched, cramping hard, almost painfully, and she couldn’t do anything, just lie like a suffocating fish on the banks for a roaring river while he continued to plow her depths.

and

His cock spent, but still turgid, returned to a meaty human size, filling, but not too many calories.

I could quote this book non stop. But wait, there’s more. While a disjointed, nonsensical storyline, no consistent worldbuilding, stomach churning sex scenes, cringe inducing descriptions of coitus (alien leech attached to cunts? a cock that is measured by caloric intake?) might be enough for most authors, this one had to have all the dark skinned people all being evil.

Fierce. Fucking like animals. Once, long ago, he’d thought he found his soul mate in a dark-skinned woman. Instead he’d surrendered his soul to a demon.

and

“Quentin’s memories, huh?” Joe said softly. “Damn, I knew he gave me more than just fangs. He had a hard-on for a witch–”a dark-skinned woman”–a long time ago. I’ve been dreaming of her too.” He shot a glare at Dylan. “Don’t mention it to Lily. She’d skin me.”

Yes, how horrible that Quentin had a hard on for a dark -skinned woman.   Why is mentioning her skin color relevant or important? When I was hoping for more people of color to appear in romance novels, this wasn’t quite what I anticipated.   Do I have to put a grade on this? F.

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased at Ellora’s Cave.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

45 Comments

  1. Lori
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 12:08:53

    My writing partner and I love to joke about writing a novel full of ridiculous sex imagery but we mean it in jest.

    And in all our howling laughter never did we come up with alien cocks. Although we have played with fish references.

    ReplyReply

  2. Kat
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 12:13:13

    So…does he end up with the wife or the witch?

    ReplyReply

  3. Jane
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 12:18:23

    @Kat The wife, of course!

    ReplyReply

  4. joanne
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 12:19:51

    Just a whiff of her unique scent wafting in the air was enough to tug his arousal into full bloom.

    What scent is the witch using?
    I mean, is it available retail?

    ReplyReply

  5. Cathy in AK
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 12:49:59

    Wait, this is a contemporary paranormal. Where does the “Knight” part come in?

    ReplyReply

  6. Karen Wester Newton
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 12:57:36

    Thanks so much for this review! I really need a good laugh and you gave me several.

    ReplyReply

  7. Anion
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 12:57:56

    What’s wrong with measuring a cock by caloric intake?

    Less filling, tastes great.

    *runs away*

    ReplyReply

  8. Tweets that mention REVIEW: Knight of My Dreams by Delilah Devlin | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary -- Topsy.com
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 13:14:55

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erotic Romance, dearauthor and Brooke, Crista McHugh. Crista McHugh said: RT @dearauthor: New post: REVIEW: Knight of My Dreams by Delilah Devlin http://bit.ly/7EnBCG <– I snorted coffee into my nose! [...]

  9. chum
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 13:37:46

    Quentin wished like hell he and his cock shared the same heart. The same mind.

    I have this picture of a cock with a tiny little liver and a little spleen and . . .

    ReplyReply

  10. katiebabs
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 14:07:04

    Yoda like heroine?! LOL

    I’ve always wondered what does being aroused to the point of pain really feel like and why is that line used way too much in erotic romance?

    ReplyReply

  11. Jane
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 14:23:22

    @Cathy in AK: Cathy, you are right. There are no actual Knight references in the book at all. I think the title is such because it is part of an overall series using the word “Knight” but yeah, #titlefail.

    ReplyReply

  12. Chicklet
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 14:38:10

    With every quote from the book, I stared at the screen, thinking, Wait. WHAT? That prose text is mind-bogglingly awful. Are you sure Jamaica Layne didn’t write this?

    ReplyReply

  13. Sandy James
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 14:40:32

    Like Pavlov's stupid dog, his cock filled, poking at the sheet.

    How odd. When I teach Ivan Pavlov in psychology, I don’t talk about his dogs getting aroused. Silly me! I thought they only salivated! I guess you learn something new every day! (Off to rewrite lecture notes…)

    ReplyReply

  14. Jane
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 14:43:09

    @Sandy James: The placement of the cock reference is very awkward. Is it Pavlov’s cock to which the narrator is referring or his own.

    ReplyReply

  15. Sandy James
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 14:46:34

    @Jane:

    The placement of the cock reference is very awkward.

    Very awkward indeed. The psych teacher in me couldn’t let that slip by without a comment. :-)

    ReplyReply

  16. Ellie
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 15:15:52

    @katiebabs:

    I’ve asked this! My dh (and a couple lovers before him) said it’s like a cross between a pulled muscle and really good foreplay. The whole pain part, according to these fellas, has a lot to do with their circumcisions. Without that extra skin stuff, there’s only so much blood the penis can fill with and once it comes close to reaching the ‘full point’, the circumcised skin becomes very taut, which is quite painful from what I understand. Kind of like the way one’s skin feels after a bad sunburn – dry and overstretched and extremely sensitive to any touch.

    Anyway, the thing is, this fully engorged state also enhances his arousal, makes every sensation more potent, from what I’ve been told, and as long as this part doesn’t last for a really long time, the guy is okay with the pain part, cause the not-pain part is great, I guess.

    Although, gotta say, the fellas I asked were more inclined to say ‘my dick’s gonna explode’ than anything more prose-y, LOL! They certainly never said they were hard to the point of pain or painfully hard.

    ReplyReply

  17. Anion
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 15:32:20

    @jane @Sandy James

    Actually, further review of that sentence seems to imply that his cock filled (with blood, one assumes) the way Pavlov’s dog had. So it seems less to imply that the dog grew aroused, and more to imply that the entire dog swelled up with something.

    Or perhaps that the dog’s belly filled with food, the way his cock now filled with blood?

    Either way, while I don’t disagree that from the excerpts this is clearly not a good book, I think it’s still better, on a purely technical level, than Jamaica Layne’s prose.

    ReplyReply

  18. Sandy James
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 15:38:44

    @Anion:

    You almost made me spew my raspberry tea at my new laptop. Truly enjoyed your take on the Pavlov matter. :-)

    ReplyReply

  19. Cally
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 15:43:53

    @chum:

    May I recommend checking out Ursula Vernon’s phalloi? They’re adorable and hilarious.

    ReplyReply

  20. Polly
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 15:46:53

    I’m all agog–how do they save the wife? This book sounds so appalling and just utterly tasteless, I’m kind of fascinated.

    ReplyReply

  21. Anion
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 16:02:11

    @Sandy James

    *bows* I aims to please! :-)

    ReplyReply

  22. Melinda
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 16:18:35

    I’ll pass on this one, thanks. In general, I find Ms. Devlin’s contemporary romances more readable (not to mention more believable) than her paranormals, and this added twist of the hero having sex with a woman other than his wife isn’t likely to improve that perception.

    So does the “hero” ever have sex with his wife in this story? Am I seeing the start of a distressing trend at EC? I recently read another book from them, a full-length novel where the heroine shags one guy all the way through — loses her virginity to him, falls in love with him, and has all her adventurous sexual firsts with him during the course of the book — and then winds up with the guy’s brother, with whom she has unremarkable sex once at the end. GAH! I’ve never felt so betrayed by a favorite author.

    Am I just hopelessly old-fashioned to want the story to focus on the relationship between the h/h (or h/h/h, as the case may be) rather than their relationships with secondary characters?

    ReplyReply

  23. Suze
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 16:41:30

    Am I just hopelessly old-fashioned to want the story to focus on the relationship between the h/h (or h/h/h, as the case may be) rather than their relationships with secondary characters?

    No, I’m right with you. The h/h can have sex with other people if the author handles it well, but in a Romance, there has to be a primary sexual/romantic relationship, and it has to end up in a good, happy place. Otherwise it’s not a Romance. Consarn it.

    ReplyReply

  24. Nadia Lee
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 20:07:28

    Suck the life force out of her like a giant alien leech attached to her cunt.

    This is just beyond disturbing. Are you sure you read an erotic romance novel? It’s more like…horror…

    < — gulps down more coffee to clear her mind

    ReplyReply

  25. Michelle
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 20:11:40

    I hope you didn’t suffer any permanent damage after reading the book. My question is how can a snake have a feline smile?

    ReplyReply

  26. Jane
    Jan 16, 2010 @ 20:34:50

    @Melinda Was it Doing the Right Thing by Barbara Elsborg?

    ReplyReply

  27. Marsha
    Jan 17, 2010 @ 06:48:09

    Giant alien leech? Suffocating fish? I’m not sure I can finish my coffee now that I’ve read this review. Sounds like someone needs assistance from the Control Authority for Repulsive Descriptions (CARD).

    Jane ought to receive some kind of badge or medal or something for even getting to the point of assigning an F when, and I think I speak for most of us, this would be a DNF at about the tenth page or so.

    ReplyReply

  28. Melinda
    Jan 17, 2010 @ 11:27:48

    @Jane: Yup. I’ve adored most of her other books, but that one… (sigh)

    ReplyReply

  29. stevie
    Jan 17, 2010 @ 11:34:16

    I think I’ve found a possible explanation for the superfluous knighthood:

    http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/control-tower/Content?oid=20818

    It’s almost as funny as Jane’s review…

    ReplyReply

  30. Kathy
    Jan 17, 2010 @ 13:55:36

    @Melissa I’m compelled to add my remarks because you raised issues with a different book in your comments, a book I recently read and absolutely loved, and since that book has now been named in the comments above. So here’s another opinion.

    Melissa wrote: “Am I seeing the start of a distressing trend at EC? I recently read another book from them, a full-length novel where the heroine shags one guy all the way through -’ loses her virginity to him, falls in love with him, and has all her adventurous sexual firsts with him during the course of the book -’ and then winds up with the guy's brother, with whom she has unremarkable sex once at the end. GAH! I've never felt so betrayed by a favorite author.”

    Betrayed? OMG. I think you missed the whole point of the story which was that hero #1 screwed up the releationship by trying to please too many people and ended up emotionally betraying the heroine (who was not in a coma, BTW, but awake and trying to trust and believe in him). Hero #2 was there to catch her every time hero #1 let her down, and ended up being the more deserving suitor, IMHO. Of course, you’re entitled to yours.

    She also does not “shag him all the way through the book.” I think there were maybe two or three love scenes–though admittedly lengthy ones–between hero #1 and the heroine. He was too busy trying to please everyone else in his life to devote his full attention to the relationship.

    Melissa wrote: “Am I just hopelessly old-fashioned to want the story to focus on the relationship between the h/h (or h/h/h, as the case may be) rather than their relationships with secondary characters?”

    So what you’re saying is you prefer formula romance/erotica that always follows the same standard pattern? Obviously, I don’t agree. To be honest, I find reading the same pattern with different names over and over to be beyond boring. Personally, I love this author’s work because she does take chances with her characters and sends the reader on a romantic journey that is never predictable or formulaic.

    I also don’t see how you can call hero #2 a secondary character, since he’s there from the beginning and very prevalent throughout the story. He is, indeed, hero #2 and the better hero for the heroine in the end. Yes, hero #1 starts out being worthy, but the choices he makes are damaging and hurtful to the heroine, and he loses her because of it.

    With no disrespect intended to Melissa’s opinion, I just had to jump in here to defend this great read that didn’t follow the herd and delivered a really memorable, worth-thinking-about story that makes sense for the characters.

    ReplyReply

  31. Sandy James
    Jan 17, 2010 @ 14:14:39

    @Kathy:

    So what you're saying is you prefer formula romance/erotica that always follows the same standard pattern? Obviously, I don't agree. To be honest, I find reading the same pattern with different names over and over to be beyond boring.”

    I haven’t read the book you’re discussing, but this comment did catch my attention. Just because a book focuses on h/h doesn’t mean it’s formulaic. I certainly write romance that is h/h, but I don’t feel mine follow a boring or predictable pattern.

    I will have to check that book out to see what you enjoy in it. :-)

    ReplyReply

  32. Kathy
    Jan 17, 2010 @ 15:01:45

    @Sandy Good point. Yes, not every book that focuses on h/h is necessarily what I’d call a formula romance/erotica. What I meant was I really admire authors who aren’t afraid to take chances and break out of the mold with their characters and plotlines when the choices they make are right for the character, even if unconventional, which I believe the author did in the book that was raised in a negative light in comments because of the non-traditional ending (Doing the Right Thing).

    I’ll be sure to look up your books.

    ReplyReply

  33. Sandy James
    Jan 17, 2010 @ 15:27:35

    @Kathy:

    I'll be sure to look up your books.”

    You’re too kind. I do concede that authors in many different genres love formulas. Heroine A, B, C. Hero A, B, C. Conflict A, B, C. Mix and match. ;-) One of the reasons I never read “how to write” books. They recommend patterns. Heck with that!! I let my characters take me wherever they’d like to wander. :-)

    ReplyReply

  34. Melinda
    Jan 17, 2010 @ 19:27:11

    @Kathy:
    That’s why I asked if I was hopelessly old-fashioned, Kathy. Readers are allowed to have expectations of the genres they read — I expect futuristics to take place in the future, I expect historicals to take place in the past, I expect paranormal elements to play a major part in paranormals, and I expect erotic romance (and all romance) to focus on the relationship between the hero and heroine, NOT the coulda-been hero and his failed relationships with his wife and the heroine.

    This book was about overwhelmingly about Will and his mistakes, and frankly, it felt more like a prequel to his book (which might very well be next). In my mind, this is erotica rather than erotic romance. I felt extremely short-changed on the romance aspect and dissatisfied with the way things turned out. I had the feeling that Addie settled for Ed when the real spark was between her and Will.

    I have no objection to erotica and books that focus on a character’s emotional journey rather than the romance as long as I KNOW that’s what I’m reading. It’s this rude surprise of rooting for characters to work out their HEA and then they DON’T that gets my goat.

    So call me old-fashioned, but this was not my idea of romance.

    ReplyReply

  35. Kaetrin
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 01:11:56

    “…still pressing down his chest to keep hers deflated, and then curled his belly to stroke inside her.”

    um, she has an inflatable chest? hur??

    ReplyReply

  36. DS
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 09:13:14

    @Kaetrin: Maybe she found one of the sets of inflatable breasts that went missing last year on the way to Australia:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/3541806/Mens-magazine-loses-130000-inflatable-breasts.html

    ReplyReply

  37. DS
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 09:19:18

    Oops, my comment just got sent to moderation. I think it was the Url I used. Mistaken for spam yet again.

    ReplyReply

  38. FD
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 10:45:12

    His cock spent, but still turgid, returned to a meaty human size, filling, but not too many calories.

    I have nothing concrete to add, but I SWEAR I’ve read that phrase before in a different book. Is Delilah Devlin a nom-de-plume for someone else?

    ReplyReply

  39. Dawn
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 11:16:07

    I agree 100% with Kathy. What makes Barbara’s books so wonderful is that she doesn’t follow a formula. You never know what to expect. She takes you on an emotional coaster and gets you inside the characters heads better than a lot of authors I’ve read. Women make mistakes, men make mistakes. It’s good writing to show they aren’t perfect as she did just that in DTRT. I love that in the end, Addie, the heroine realizes who really loves her and has loved her through the whole ordeal. How many women do you know who fall for the wrong guy and throw the right one away???
    I can’t think of a book Barbara has written that I don’t love. Strangers is my favorite, because the hero is far from perfect and the story will take you up and down. At one point I was in tears. Doing the Right thing is a close second. And just for the record, yes, Doing the Right thing does have longer sex scenes but they are tastefully written. I’ve never had a problem reading her sex scenes. Always well done. Did you know it was originally released as a romance with Cerridywn Press early last year and re-written to sell as an erotic novel because that’s what she is known for. I love both versions.
    But enough about Barbara. As for Knight of My Dreams, I never make comments about a novel unless I’ve read it and then I prefer not to bash the writer or their work. I often find some reviews to be jaded in opinion and prefer to form my own opinion after reading it. Since I am an author, I will give this author her due. It takes a lot of work to get a novel published. Good or bad, she earns a thumbs up for that acomplishment and I’ll give her her due.

    ReplyReply

  40. Jane
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 13:01:48

    @Melinda: I thought that book read like a women’s fiction story gone wrong and not a romance. I’ve not read Elsborg before, but this one certainly wouldn’t induce me to buy another one. I must be old fashioned like you.

    ReplyReply

  41. Liz
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 13:29:19

    @FD:

    His cock spent, but still turgid, returned to a meaty human size, filling, but not too many calories.

    FD wrote> I have nothing concrete to add, but I SWEAR I’ve read that phrase before in a different book.

    Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it in a diet cookbook.

    ReplyReply

  42. QUizzabella
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 14:13:31

    Given the wtfery of this book based on the review I’m completely confused as to when it’s set. The Pavlov’s dogs reference makes it seem somewhat contempary, but all the rest of the quotes make the book sound really old fashioned in its setting, calorific cock and all.

    ReplyReply

  43. FD
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 14:31:48

    @Liz:

    The image certainly works as an appetite suppressant for me!

    ReplyReply

  44. KristieJ
    Jan 18, 2010 @ 18:53:40

    “Quentin Albermarle steeled himself against the sudden thrill that quickened his heartbeat and heated his sex.”

    For some reason that line made me think of roasted wennies

    ReplyReply

  45. Jade
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 15:54:36

    You do realize this is book 7 of a series right? Quetin & Darcy’s story starts and is book 2.

    ReplyReply

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