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REVIEW: The Viscount’s Addiction by Scottie Barrett

Dear Ms Barrett,

499.jpgAs I turned my ebook reader off after finishing this book, I was debating with myself over the grade. I finally opted for a D grade just because you did have the guts to give us a hero who really was bad. While many authors try to make the hero a dark, tortured soul whose past has brought him to the brink of physical or emotional ruin, few actually end up pulling it off. Usually said hero turns out to be merely misunderstood or a fake rake. Ryder really is bad. And he’s an opium addict. Too bad that he, IMO, is not redeemed, except in the opinion of the heroine, until almost the last page and even then I still wouldn’t want to be married to the asshole.

At first I was interested in the book because of the very title. This Viscount really is addicted. After being set up on a murder charge, Ryder, Lord Blackwood is hauled off to Newgate, tossed in the depths of hell for five years, becomes addicted, hard and bitter. After new witnesses come forward, he’s released and returns to his ruined home to find his wicked cousin still addicted to gambling and in the process of fleecing the estate for anything to sell, his wicked uncle who alternates between coming off as barmy and spitting with rage. And a wife. A wife? Where’d she come from?, he wonders. Ah, his wicked relatives somehow got a proxy marriage thing done. So, his [hawt] little [hawt] pert [did I mention hawt?] young wife must be an evil, trampy tart because she’s in with his wicked relatives. But man does he want to screw her. Because she’s hawt. And wears clingy clothes and bends over a lot.

But she must be a slut! Because she’s hawt and in league with those bastards who’ve tried to bleed his estate dry for five years. But man does he want to do her. So after insulting her all day, he does. And she loves it because she’s a slut! A virgin, yeah he has to admit that once the evidence is clear but she still wanted it! And is a first time oral expert. So she must be a slut! But man did he enjoy humping her. And he plans to do it again because she’s his wife and she’s hawt. Basically this is the hero from page one through the end. Ryder never improves, never is less an asshole, shows no reason why any sane woman would want to fall in love with him or stay with him. The frequent mentions of divorce or ending this marriage are laughable given the laws of the day and the fact that the marriage is consummated. Because man she’s a slut and wants it bad.

What woman could refuse propositions in this vein? Not Jessie. Here’s another ‘innocent’ who at heart is a sex tart. I was confused over exactly how much she knew about sex. During the early teasing scene when she lied to Ryder about how she got her horse, she says that she’s only seen a few sexual things during all her wide/wild wandering travels yet during her defloration scene, she recalls all kinds of stuff. WTF? And man does she have a flair for sex. She’s a virgin but more like a Catholic schoolgirl one. She’s ready to be on her hands and knees, takes to oral sex like a pro then goes on to experience an orgasm that rocks the stars. Yeah, she’s a slut who wants it bad. Later daydreaming about Ryder is enough to almost bring her to climax again but she doesn’t have to daydream much as these two are ready anytime and anywhere.

And oh yeah Jessie is one of these feisty heroines. She’s a bold, fearless woman who is willing to stand up to brutish and bullying men however….for the past 3-5 years, she’s lived near and interacted with men who don’t seem to hesitate to use fists, belts or feet to beat the shit out of women and yet she can’t keep her trap shut for anything. She can’t keep from taunting and teasing Ryder and she doesn’t know anything about him. Is this smart? Is this intelligent? In my book — no. Plus she’s fricken’ married to him. He can do anything to her and no one will stop him! Again, is it smart to poke a bear that could turn and rip your head off?

All other characters are two dimensional and basically of no use beyond being cardboard stereotypes. You almost threw in some kind of lesbian faux titillation thing but must have decided to tone the book down and just have hawt hero/heroine sex. The hero and heroine are given all kinds of reasons to mis and distrust each other and unhappily they take full advantage of any opportunity to use them.

“The Viscount’s Addiction” is a reissue, which is mentioned at Samhain site, but honestly I can’t think what could be new or improved in it. More misunderstandings? More sex scenes between people who hate each other yet still want to get nekkid and do naughty things? I’m just glad I didn’t pay to try and find out. D for the truly bad hero alone.

~Jayne

This book can be purchased in ebook format.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

11 Comments

  1. Teddypig
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 09:25:54

    Well thank god it was opium. The idea of having to keep track if the hero having a heroin or heroine addiction gives me nightmares. So, do I use the e now or not, now? Oh dang I think I missed that one. Damn it! Where’s my thesaurus?

  2. DS
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 09:38:03

    I can’t help myself. I know I shouldn’t ask this– but why did he spend 5 years in prison? I assume this was set in England and the speedy trial was an English idea. Even noblemen stood their trial and were either released or speedily executed when the charge was a capital crime. Please tell me so I can sleep at night.

  3. Jayne
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 09:38:13

    No worries in this book about the ‘e.’ He just wants nice little nuggets of opium.

  4. Jayne
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 09:46:55

    Oh Lord God let me see if I can remember. Screw trying to remember, let me just check the text. Okay, here we go…

    Ryder believed he had his viscountcy to thank for having been tried on a lesser charge than murder and thus spared a capital sentence. He'd been relieved at the time because it meant he would not forfeit his lands. He'd avoided the noose but not punishment. Deeming him too dangerous to walk the streets, they'd caged him. However, he had come to learn that death certainly trumped time spent on the agonizing treadwheel
    or working the water engine crank or days of mind-twisting isolation.”

    The original charge would have been murder but people come forward after he’s been in prison for 5 years and testify on his behalf. That’s when he gets out and the whoopee begins.

  5. Jane
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 10:12:37

    Hee – “more misunderstandings”. You’ve taken the bullet for us on a couple ones.

  6. Jayne
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 10:51:15

    Well, the bullet was mine to take as I had requested to review it when it was offered.

    I really like the male cover model though. Shallow of me, I know…

  7. Morgan R.
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 14:56:18

    I read this book and really enjoyed it. I guess different strokes for different folks, but I thought it was a pretty exciting book, maybe not perfect, but I sure wouldn’t give it such a bad grade. I thought the opium addiction was a strong part of the story and the writing was good, better than most “hawt” stories I’ve read.

  8. DS
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 19:27:54

    Thank you, Jayne. I see now. “Then something happened, we don’t know what.”

    May I recommend as a source of information for anyone who wants to write stories involving English criminals during the late 16th to (soon) the early 20th centuries, the following web site: http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/

    The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London 1674 to 1834

    A fully searchable online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing accounts of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court.

  9. K. Z. Snow
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 20:19:54

    Hey thanks, Jayne, for the chuckles. A good (because revealing) review that still managed to tickle me no end.

    Why is there so much fodder for humor in bad books? We should be weeping! (BWAAAHAHAHA…)

  10. Jayne
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 08:02:16

    What I hated others may love. What didn’t work for me could make a book somebody’s best of the year. Perhaps readers will see this review and say, “but I love that so I’m gonna get it!” If so, then I hope they enjoy it as much as Morgan did.

  11. Jeaniene Frost
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 12:30:34

    Just wanted to second DS’s recommendation of the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London 1674 to 1834. It’s fascinating – and disturbing – reading. I used those old trial texts while researching crimes punishable by deportation in the late 1700′s.

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