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REVIEW: Heat by R. Lee Smith

Dear Ms. Smith,

This book was not what I expected when I picked it up. In fact, I’d even venture so far as to offer a caption.

Heat is probably the best independently published book I have read, and one of the best books I have read in a long while. It is also one of the most graphic, and most disturbing books I have read in a long while. When I finished this book, I told a friend about it and she said it sounded awful. On paper, it does sound awful, but it was a truly compelling read and I could not put it down. I mainlined this book as if I were a junkie and this was my fix. I debated about reviewing it, since it is not the standard Dear Author sort of book. But the bottom line is that I want to talk about this book with other people, so here’s the review.

Warning – if you are easily triggered, this is most definitely not the book for you. Move along.

Heat Lee SmithI stumbled upon this book on Amazon, but I’m not sure how. Perhaps someone mentioned it on a villainous hero thread. Someone said it was the most unique and different romance they had read in a very long time, and that was all it took for me to purchase despite the hefty cover price. This review will probably end up rather long, so fair warning.

Heat does not fall into my regular reading category. It’s about two sets of alien men. One is an escaped drug dealer and criminal who is hiding out on earth. The other is the stiff and proper interplanetary cop who is chasing him. They are both the heroes, and over the course of this very long book, they both fall in love with their respective females. This is definitely a romance. A bizarre one, but ultimately with a happy ending for both parties.

The book starts out with Kanetus, aka Kane. Kane is a Jotan interplanetary pirate who has been sentenced to life in prison for any number of crimes. He escapes and heads to earth. Earth is full of humans, and the Jotan treat them like pets, sex toys, and slaves. Sometimes all of the above. Another interesting thing about humans is that they produce a chemical called dopamine that can be harvested from their brains. From this chemical, an illegal drug called Vahst can be made. Vahst is in high demand and Kane is broke, so he has a plan. Go to earth, harvest humans to make Vahst, and return to his life of space piracy a rich man. When Kane gets to earth, his plans are quickly turned upside down. It is summer on earth, and heat makes Jotans go into heat – they must have sex on a regular basis or else they are in intense pain and become ill. Kane doesn’t have time for this, so he decides he will steal himself a human. After grabbing and raping the first woman he runs across, he is perplexed when she runs away and kills herself. So he gets another human, and this time reminds himself to be more careful.

The new human female is named Raven, and she’s an eighteen year old street prostitute who loves drugs and living wild. She’s terrified of Kane and how brutally he treats her, as any woman in her right mind would be. What Raven wants isn’t a factor in the first half of the story. She is Kane’s to use as he wishes, and gradually she begins to help him with his harvesting of other humans for the Vahst, which is just as graphic and awful as it sounds.

Tagen is the interplanetary cop who has come to earth to find Kane and bring him back to justice. He’s afflicted by the same situation as Kane – the heat of summer makes him need sex intensely, but he refuses to give in to it. Tagen accidentally kills a human with his blaster and he is horrified that he is so careless with human life. Suffering from the elements, Tagen collapses on the doorstep of Daria, a human woman who is a recluse. Daria takes him in despite his fearsome appearance and his strangeness, and she helps him recover and later assists him in his hunt for Kane.

The story is a very interesting dichotomy about two men who could not be more different, but are both influenced by their late fathers, and you layer this in beautifully. Kane remembers his dead father with fondness, for all that his father was a murderer and pirate who taught Kane to be just like him. Tagen was adopted by a man that served as his father, but he never felt affection or love, merely duty, and this influences the man he has become. It’s a very interesting nuance to a story that on the surface sounds coarse, violent, and a little weird.

Though we are given dueling storylines, the ‘romance’ between Kane and Raven is the more compelling of the two storylines. It’s interesting to note that Kane is a villain, but over the course of the story, he is not reformed from his wicked ways in the slightest. He remains a rebellious killer on the first page and the last. Nor does Raven, his love interest, change from her hedonist ways. Rather, the characters change by being together, and change in how they perceive each other. Raven begins to assist Kane with his Vahst collecting, and Kane begins to appreciate how smart and clever and cautious she is. Raven, for her part, begins to understand Kane’s cues and how he functions, and learns how to show him that she is a worthwhile partner. While their story starts out with a very Stockholm-Syndrome vibe to it, it progresses to something else, and by the end of the book, Raven is very much an equal partner to Kane, and the last scene of the book had me thrilled to my bones at how far Raven had come.

Tagen and Daria have a much sweeter, more traditional romance. Tagen is worried about hurting Daria, who has clearly been damaged in the past. In addition, Jotan women are the ones that are aggressors in the relationship, and since Daria does not make a move on him, he simply waits for her to indicate that she wants him. This takes a very, very long time since Daria has been hurt in the past. Tagen is obsessed with his police-work, and he appreciates Daria’s clever mind as she begins to help him track down Kane. In turn, Daria is attracted to Tagen, but she is afraid of letting someone into her safe, protected life and being hurt all over again. Their relationship is much slower to develop, but is a nice counterpoint to the violence of Kane and Raven’s relationship, and when they finally get together, the reader knows it is because they have come to a genuine understanding and mutual desire.

This is dubbed as ‘erotic horror’ by the author, and while I don’t think it’s really a horror novel, the erotic tag is very key. Kane rapes multiple people throughout the book, including the heroine. Raven herself is passed around and forced to service other men and sometimes other women, all upon Kane’s whim. There is lots of extreme violence and Raven is manhandled for the first section of the book to the point that I was very uncomfortable with some of the scenarios. I’m not a fan of rape in novels. Usually that is the first thing that will make a book hit the wall. Yet I kept reading this, and I found myself still hoping that Kane and Raven would have a happy ending by the end of the book. I’m not sure what that says about me.

Despite the violent storyline, there are some genuinely touching moments between each couple, and some very funny ones. The conclusions that Tagen comes to as he tries to figure out earth culture by watching TV are quite funny, as well as the scene in the sex shop.

I would be remiss without pointing out that this book is very long.  The page count is not listed on the Amazon page, but clicking over to the paper copy shows that it’s over 600 pages long, which sounds about right. Yet the book does not feel dragged out or change plots halfway through (unlike your other book, Olivia, which I bailed out on at 40%) and the story never loses its momentum. I was actually sad to see the book end and immediately looked for other reads similar to Heat, because I wanted to return to that enjoyable intensity your writing brings.

Overall, Heat was an uncomfortable read at times but a riveting one the entire story. I am struggling with the grade to give this book. The writing and intensity that I felt while reading it mark this into A+ territory, and I am stingy with my grades. I haven’t felt quite so caught up in a book in a very long time. Yet if I were taking off marks for awful things depicted in the story, I’d have to mark it right back down to an F grade, because there are a lot of reprehensible things done and committed by one of the heroes. Kane is not nice. He does not become nice. He is not reformed into a kinder, gentler Kane by the end of the story. If you are interested in villain heroes, this is definitely a book to get. If not, you should pass this one on by because you will regret every dollar you spend.

I do feel as if this sort of book was the reason I read indie books. I’m constantly hoping for that one read that will probably never be published by a mainstream publisher, yet is intense and consuming and surpasses all my skeptical misgivings. The happy ending for both couples cinched this for me, since I was worried that it could not possibly end well. And yet, you pulled it off.  I have to give this a very enthusiastic B+/A- and hope that others pick it up so they can tell me if I have lost my mind with my affection for this book.

All best,

January

PS – Your website is awful and your book covers almost as bad.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | All Romance eBooks

January Janes

January likes a little bit of everything. She's partial to unique paranormals, erotic romances, contemporary, and YA. She has a fondness for novellas and trying self-published works, though more of those are misses than hits. She still refuses to read anything that smells like literary fiction. January also changes this bio on a regular basis depending on her reading mood.

65 Comments

  1. Moriah Jovan
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:11:56

    Must. Get.

  2. Gwen Hayes
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:34:29

    Wow. Count me among the people who really wants to find books in the self-pubbed slush that wouldn’t normally be published because of ground breaking content. Part of the frustration of book shopping has always been that it’s so hard to find anything not done to death. I’m not sure this is the one for me, though. Maybe I’ll sample it.

  3. Charlotte Stein
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:35:45

    This sounds very much like a little known movie called The Hidden. Which makes me want to read it…but…I dunno. Rape always puts me off.

  4. KB/KT Grant
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:36:06

    Ah I read it wrong. On another review it said it was 10k words.

  5. Gwen Hayes
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:38:24

    @KB/KT Grant: I think she said it was about 600 pages.

  6. DA_January
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:39:11

    @Moriah Jovan: I would love to know what you thought after you read it.

  7. Carolyn Crane
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:40:18

    I’m so intrigued by this review. I was just saying somewhere that I can go pretty dark with my heroes, but this dark? I have no idea, but I’ll definitely be checking this one out! I can’t imagine how it possibly can work!

    I really appreciate your casting around for non-mainstream books like this.

  8. LG
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:40:27

    @KB/KT Grant: I don’t think it’s 10,000 words. ARe has it at 285,862 words, and January said it was very long, 600 pages.

  9. DA_January
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:40:39

    @Gwen Hayes: I agree. I was skeptical about this but it hooked me. I think it went to places that a lot of authors are afraid to go, which I appreciated even as I was turned off.

  10. KB/KT Grant
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:41:50

    I was looking at another review and I must have misread the word length. Thanks for the clarification.

  11. Moriah Jovan
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:42:44

    @DA_January: Really? Well, okay. :)

  12. DA_January
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:43:23

    @Carolyn Crane: I have not seen any author go this dark with her heroes. It doesn’t truly ‘work’ for the first 60% of the book, I believe, and then there is a turnaround.

  13. DA_January
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:44:36

    @KB/KT Grant: I believe there are 10,000 places in the kindle ebook. Most average novels are around 4500 places I think, so this is as long as 2.5 books. It is not everyones cuppa, however, so I suggest the sample first. It is rather long as samples go.

  14. KB/KT Grant
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:45:45

    @DA_January: Ah I see now. I just started using my Kindle app on my iPhone and I’m still trying to get used to it.

    Have you read Olivia by chance yet? http://www.amazon.com/Olivia-ebook/dp/B004LZ557I/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328899493&sr=1-3 This one look freaky also.

  15. DA_January
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:50:32

    @KB/KT Grant: After I read Heat I tried to read Olivia. It is extremely long (1008 pages according to Amazon). The monster men are described as rather revolting, the sex is equally revolting, but the writing voice is incredibly intriguing. Olivia herself is a Ayla-type character and I found a lot of parallels to Clan of the Cave Bear.

    It’s an extremely long book, though, and I felt like I was reading it forever when I was actually only at 40%. It became extremely weird so I skipped to the end. The ending seems to be even more bizarre so I put it aside. I might finish but I am going to try the Taryn McTavish and Scholomance books instead.

  16. Janine
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 13:17:44

    This was one of the most entertaining reviews I’ve ever read. I’m not sure whether or not I could handle this book, but you’ve certainly intrigued me. I downloaded the sample.

    I’m curious January, how did you find this book? How do you find most of the self-published books you decide to try? Do you just stumble across them on Amazon or is there some word of mouth that guides you there?

  17. Jessica D
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 13:22:37

    Good heavens. That summary reads like a season arc of Torchwood.

  18. DA_January
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 13:35:46

    @Janine: I read a lot of threads on Amazon to see what people are recommending and flip through what other people have purchased. I also look for books with very high review ratings and then run through what else people bought. I also have a few reviewers that I ‘follow’ on Amazon and notice when they like a book and when they do not.

    I also download a lot of samples. I would guess that I read only one book out of every twenty samples I download. I am intrigued by a lot of self published books because a lot of them are very different than what one might find in the bookstore, but I have also noticed a lot of porn.

  19. CourtneyLee
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 14:39:07

    Color me intrigued. I don’t know if I could handle a villain hero who doesn’t get reformed at all, but I’d be willing to try. I do hate rape in romance, though. I’ll have to give it a shot anyway.

  20. MarnieColette
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 14:53:35

    Now I am intrigued. I may have to get this.

  21. Jane
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 15:19:14

    @CourtneyLee I read this on the recommendation of DA January. I read her review and asked her to lend me the book. She did and I went out and bought it and lent it to another reader. It’s a book that is hard to recommend, though, because there are so many places in the first half of the book that could really turn someone away. I emailed January and asked if I could suffer stockholm syndrome just by reading the book.

    I think that Smith did a good job of writing the rape scenes as rape and not for titillation. They weren’t pleasurable, not really for Kane and obviously not for the victims. This is not to say that the scenes weren’t disturbing because they are.

  22. Jane
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 15:24:44

    I didn’t even realize this was for sale at All Romance. The author has her name as R. L. Smith at ARE and R. Lee Smith at Amazon. Ugh.

  23. Tasha
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 15:25:20

    Sounds like someone was heavily influenced by Liquid Sky.

  24. Joely
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 15:32:23

    I picked this book up after I saw Jane mention it on Twitter and I read it straight through. So good. Disturbing and graphic, yes, but so compelling I could not turn away. And the ending! I’m a terrible person because I was totally cheering (don’t want to spoil it but wow, loved the ending). I kind of compared it to romance for Riddick of Pitch Black, only Kane is worse in many ways because all his crimes are right there on page for you to read and experience.

    I totally agree about Olivia too (I’m about half way through or so). It’s very much like Ayla and the Clan. Interesting but not THAT interesting. It feels like it’s a first book or at least much earlier in Smith’s career but there are some intriguing ideas. The characters aren’t nearly as compelling though. I will finish it but it won’t be the wild rush that Heat was.

  25. DA_January
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 16:09:25

    @Joely: Oh good. I’m glad I’m not strange for enjoying it. I felt the same way about the ending, and Olivia. Interesting but some strange moments and it starts to drag.

  26. Jia
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 17:00:19

    Hmm, this sounds interesting! I’ll put on my list of books to check out when I have time. (Time, ha! What’s that?)

  27. Liza Lester
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 19:43:52

    Seems like it would be easier and less evil to buy synthetic dopamine. It costs about $5 a gram. Or just make it–why couldn’t Kane make dopamine on any old planet?

  28. Carolyn Jewel
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 22:34:48

    I am reading this book now. I haven’t gotten very far, but I’m liking it. The author is taking some BIG chances and succeeding, I think. So far this is a win for me.

  29. DA_January
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 22:50:17

    @Carolyn Jewel: Glad you are enjoying it.

  30. DA_January
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 22:51:02

    @Tasha: I read the description for Liquid Sky and it doesn’t sound like this book, actually. Very different.

  31. Stacia
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 01:02:59

    @DA_January: A huge plot point in Liquid Sky is aliens harvesting dopamine from human brains.

  32. Jill Sorenson
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 08:44:52

    I’ve always wanted to read one of those John Ringo books, which feature a rapey antihero. Ghost? But I thought I might be a disgrace to womanhood if I enjoyed it, so I stayed away. This one piques my curiousity as well. My question is about the heat level. Glancing at the Amazon reviews, most say this book is HOT and EROTIC. I’m wondering if these readers are talking about the rape scenes (not judging them) or something else.

  33. Jane
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 08:49:21

    @Jill Sorenson There are definitely hot sex scenes in the book that are not rapes, imo.

  34. Cherrie Lynn
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 09:07:58

    I downloaded the sample and was so engrossed I forgot it was only a sample until I hit the end and was like “Oh, HELL no.” I couldn’t hit “buy” fast enough! Wow.

  35. Jill Sorenson
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 09:14:52

    @Jane: Okay, thanks. Bought it. ;)

  36. DA_January
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 10:08:42

    @Stacia: Ah. I stand corrected.

  37. DA_January
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 10:09:28

    @Jill Sorenson: There are quite a few scenes that are not rape. If it was all rape I do not think I could have gotten through it, compelling voice or not.

  38. R. Lee Smith
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 11:26:33

    Thank you for reading my book. It was quite a kick to see this review and all the subsequent comments. I have never seen or heard of Liquid Sky before now. However, I did watch I Come In Peace when I was a kid. Sorry you don’t like my covers. Also, the website isn’t my creation. I wasn’t aware that I had one.

  39. DA_January
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 11:41:36

    @R. Lee Smith: Ms. Smith, I am not a fan of the covers, no, because they look very self-published to me. I think you could sell more books with better ones, but I am also a cover cynic. I’m confused about the website, however. Did someone set it up for you?

    For those of us that enjoyed Heat, which of your books would you recommend to try next?

  40. Annette
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 12:42:18

    Had to read the sample after reading this review. TOTALLY not what I’d normally read. Yup, the sample is eminently readable. And yes, I was cringing with some of the content (not the writing). But I wasn’t revolted (at least too much) by Kane, and I understand how he can end up being a character to root for. He’s an alien. He has a different moral compass than a human, and this is the key, IMO. Even in the harsh beginnings, the reader is shown glimpses of kindness and humor in him, and that also helps. So DA_January, I don’t think the fact that you greatly enjoyed this book is worrisome. :)

    I am tempted to read the entire thing, but I share my laptop with my daughters (14 and 9) and the only Kindle in the house belongs to the 9 year old. So not yet, I’m afraid.

  41. Vanessa Jaye
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 12:48:41

    I think we lurk on the same threads over on Amazon because that’s where I got the heads up on this on too. It’s been sitting in my tbr pile since then, though. After this review I’ll have to move it to the top of the list.,

  42. R. Lee Smith
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 17:05:04

    @DA_January: I believe I would recommend Scholomance next. It’s dark, but not as much as Heat. If you found Olivia too weird, then you might find The Lords of Arcadia series too weird also. As for the website, someone started to set it up over a year ago, found themselves in over their head with the html and never went back. I had no idea it ever went live. I have very little computer know-how beyond what I need to write my books, so I don’t see myself trying to fix the site any time soon. I’d just as soon let it expire and disappear.

  43. Kate Pearce
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 18:41:44

    I read the sample and as I am still thinking about the characters a day later, I think I’ll probably have to buy it. :)

  44. Passionate Reading Update | Something More
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    [...] reviewed a book outside Dear Author‘s soft limits; both she and Jane liked it despite disturbing elements, [...]

  45. Raine
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 20:48:29

    Hello from melbourne… Serial lurker here but just had to comment.
    I read the sample as soon as I read this review and hit the 1 click buy button regardless of the graphic content. It was imminently readable. Didnt sleep all night till I finished the whole book :) great review and awesome book! All the risks paid off!

  46. Nicolette
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 13:06:57

    I admit the entire premise of the story (it’s summer on earth and therefore the aliens go into heat), just destroyed its credibility. As I sit here in the southern hemisphere and read my Facebook feed going nuts about whatever snowstorm is whipping its way across the US and Canada, I just don’t buy that the entire possible prey population for Kane is stuck in bikini wearing weather.

    It’s difficult enough dealing with the “it’s raining on Mongo” syndrome in SF/fantasy, but to go and apply it to good ol’ Earth??? *sigh*

  47. Babsi
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 02:11:57

    I also first read the excerpt and had to buy the full book afterwards. I am halfway through, but I had to stop because it is really dark and graphic. The characters and the story are fascinating and I think I will finish it someday. At the moment it is just too much for me.

    I started to read “Smooth talking stranger” directly afterwards to clear my head ;-).

  48. Bianca
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 09:57:52

    I stayed up until 5AM this morning, forgoing doing of one my grad school midterm papers, to read this. Super dark and disturbing, but the writing voice was strangely compelling. Really amazing. So glad that you reviewed, January, or not as many of us would have had a chance to read this!

  49. R. Lee Smith
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 11:03:15

    @Nicolette:
    I never said the entire Earth was hot. Only Kane’s familiar hunting ground. Your ‘it’s raining on Mongo’ analogy does not apply to my book.

  50. Quynh
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 12:03:11

    I passed on Heat because of content, but bought Scholomance based on all the praises DA readers have been giving Smith. Loved it! Less sex scenes, and none that was done gratuitously.

  51. Ann F.
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 17:40:23

    Bought this after reading your review last week and hardly left the house all weekend because I couldn’t put it down. Loved it! Thanks for the review.

  52. silvia
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 22:05:06

    Sound really interesting. Thanks for sharing this detailed review.

    Usually I steer clear of rape in books, but I really love sci-fi with alien protagonists who have alien moralities and don’t idolize humanity (I always find it strange in sci-fi when the alien’s like, “oh humans are so special and great! their lives are so much more valuable than my own!” Because it’s not like the typical human treats other species as true equals). Plus, I think it’s really fresh and interesting when someone writes a villain protagonist who doesn’t need to be reformed into a totally different character in order to get their version of a happy ending. I would love to see more of both those things (written competently), so that makes me want to give this novel a try despite my other misgivings.

  53. What January is Reading – 2/11/2012 | Dear Author
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  54. Dabney
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 19:53:25

    I just finished it. I have to think about the ending. It was one of the most consuming books I’ve read in a long time–and I do think it was, overall, brilliant. I think, for me, it could have ended without the epilogue. I’ll have to think some more about it, but somehow, the same thing that makes the arguments Tagan makes for how differently humans should be treated are perhaps undermined by the ending. I think Raven’s and Kane’s HEA was too easy in some ways. It made the book more of a traditional romance and I think it’s brilliant enough that the epilogue almost lessens the power of the story.

  55. Book Review: Heat « Writer's Diary
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  56. DA_January
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 14:42:44

    @Dabney: Consuming is a brilliant word for it. I did like the traditional romance ending, though. I didn’t think it needed it either, but I loved that it was there.

  57. Dabney
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 20:53:04

    @DA_January: I have an distaste for epilogues which I’m sure colors my view. I tend to see them as literarily lazy.

  58. Annie V
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 11:30:30

    This is the first review I’ve read on DA, and the first book I’ve bought from a review in a long long time. It was excellent. Easily the best independently published book I’ve read. Consuming is the best word for it – I stayed up way after my (disgracefully early) bed time finishing it. I liked the HEA for Kane and Raven. It wasn’t necessary, but I was glad it was there and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the wafer-thin mint epilogue that is so common and so irksome.

    It is really hard to find new books, let alone new authors whose work I want to read more of, and just yay.

  59. Jane
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 16:11:45

    @Annie V Thanks for stopping by and letting us know how the book worked out for you.

  60. Dabney Grinnan
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 19:35:08

    @Quynh: Am interested to know about this book. What’s it about?

  61. Heat (R. Lee Smith) 3.5* | Living by Fiction
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 22:15:55

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  62. Heather
    Jul 20, 2012 @ 11:37:06

    I downloaded Heat onto my Kindle after hearing Jane talk about it on an old DBSA podcast and was quickly blown away into a million miniscule pieces. I loved it! It made me squirm, it made me question my humanity, and it made me want to lock myself in a dark room so I could gobble up every single word without stopping. This book is, without a doubt, the most unique thing I have ever read and I doubt I’ll ever meet its equal. Thank you for brining this book to my attention, I would never have found it otherwise.

  63. mari
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 08:17:30

    I came at this book a different way. I think the question the author, either inadvertantly, or deliberatly answered was: What would a romantic HEA look like for a slave owner who fell in love with a slave?

    Apropo of nothing really, I once was on a tare about Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson, goinng on and on about rape and slavery and blah, blah. My friend looked at me and asked me: “How the hell do you know they DIDN’T love each other?” I was flabbergasted by the question and it succeeded in shutting me up.The idea of love in such a situation is disturbing, to say the least. The rape is almost easy to accept, I expect the rape.But love? Now that is uncomfortable

    Now Kane is no Thomas Jefferson (Kane has no redeeming qualities) and the love has nothing uplifting about it. The fact these characters love each other is BAD because it totally validates the system of slavery. But it is still love. GAH. My head spins.

    What a hypnotic read

  64. Dicey Grenor
    Jun 04, 2013 @ 18:24:39

    LOVED it! It was everything I look for to read, and everything I strive to achieve when I write.

  65. a review: The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith | the passionate reader
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