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REVIEW: The Gripping Beast by Charlene Teglia

Dear Ms. Teglia,

The Gripping BeastWow you sure got a mantitty cover, didn’t you? But why isn’t the hero pictured with a beard? I was thrilled when you made sure the Norsemen in your story had beards but bummed that we don’t get to see it on the cover. Oh well. And about the title, The Gripping Beast, well, to be honest I have to say it makes me think of a really awful stomach bug. The kind that you need a bottle of Imodium AD and a day off from work to get over.

I can tell you now that you’re not going to be thrilled with me about this review. Lorelei is unfortunately the type of heroine who annoys me. Overly feisty, she draws verbal lines in the sand with the hero then leaps over them 5 minutes later after he’s felt her up a bit. No, no, she’s never going to give in to him, ooooh my that feels good. No, wait I’m not going to let you make love to me, oh God that orgasm was great! She’s initially confused about time traveling back to 10th century but after a while when she’d accepted it, I would think that she’d either stop using modern slang and making references to 21st century items/people or stop getting frustrated when Erik and the other Vikings don’t understand her and have to take her literally. I liked her in chapters 4 and 6 when she uses her intelligence to try and think through her situation and make plans but then she returns to simply reacting to events and shooting her mouth off. At one point you have her think to herself that it’s a good thing she’s read so much about Norse myths and legends because it allows her to understand Erik better. If she’s read so much about these things, why doesn’t she act like she has? For a seemingly smart woman, it takes her way too long to figure out she needs to adapt to the manners and mores of the time she’s in, rather than babbling about 21st century rights and laws that obviously don’t apply here .

As to Erik. I like him. He kept me reading the story. He’s a man of his times and I appreciate that you make him act like a 10th century man. He thinks Lorelei is his slave and never acts all PC about it. I like his clever way of dealing with her at the end of chapter 6. You describe him as a man of intelligence who reasons things out more than his hotheaded brother and you have him act that way. Thank you. If I were him, Lorelei would probably have driven me crazy and he’s got far more patience with her than she sometimes deserves. One thing did confuse me though. After the first time they make love, it’s orgasm city then suddenly after he’s barely pulled out of her, he’s got his hand around her throat and a sword pressed to her heart. WTF?

So, as much as I didn’t care for the heroine, the story did arouse emotions in me, even if maybe they’re not the ones you were looking for. But is that a bad thing for an author to do? I dunno. I’m sure that other readers who like a feistier heroine would probably enjoy this story but from me you get a C.

~Jayne

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.

3 Comments

  1. Charlene
    Jun 14, 2006 @ 06:50:14

    I actually requested a fantasy-style cover that wiser heads probably agreed looked too much like Lord of the Rings and wouldn’t sell to romance readers. I do love his smile, though.

    I’m glad Erik worked for you. One of my biggest concerns with this story was that a hero who was true to his times would not work for a modern reader, but the appeal of the story to me was the inherent conflict in the values and perspectives of people from two different times.

    ReplyReply

  2. Jayne
    Jun 14, 2006 @ 14:52:02

    He does have a nice smile. Thank heavens he doesn’t have one of those romance hero smirks. Ugh, hate those!

    I was thrilled that Erik was a man of his times. He’s in charge but he’s not a a psychotic alpha. He’s a thinking alpha.

    ReplyReply

  3. Jorrie Spencer » All About Samhain
    Jun 19, 2006 @ 19:11:44

    [...] Jayne reviews The Gripping Beast by Charlene Teglia. As to Erik. I like him. He kept me reading the story. He’s a man of his times and I appreciate that you make him act like a 10th century man. He thinks Lorelei is his slave and never acts all PC about it. [...]

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