Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review - Taboo by Jess Michaels (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Historical Erotica
Size: 272 pages
Publisher: Avon Red
Release Date: April 21, 2009
ISBN: 978-0061657719
Stand Alone or Series: Stand ALone
Source: Swapped
Rating: 4/5 stars

I’ve had this book on my bookshelf to read for a long time. A while back I was interested in reading some erotica that actually had a storyline and this looked like it would fit the bill. Then I got distracted by other review books and this sat on my shelf for years. I picked it up to read something fluffy, sexy, and short. It was a very well done book; had a good story line, great characters, and very well done sex scenes.

Cassandra Willows is a self-made woman in an era when that is unheard of; she’s made a name for herself as one of the most sought after Seamstresses in London. She has a secret though, she has side business making sensual toys for the aristocracy. Nathan Manning is the Earl Blackhearth and is still devastated over how Cassandra betrayed him when they were younger. She promised to run away with him and then never showed. Now he is determined to make her pay and has decided to blackmail her; she will be his mistress or Nathan will expose her secret side business.

This was a fun and quick historical erotica read. Additionally there is an excellent back story and a bit of a mystery to be solved as well. The mystery involves Cassandra and Nathan’s history and what really happened on the night Cassandra didn’t show up. The mystery is slowly and expertly revealed a piece at a time.

I enjoyed the characters and like that there was a decent story to support the relationship the two main characters developed. These two characters have a lot of history to support the relationship they end up in. They have excellent chemistry together and it was fun to read about them.

Cassandra is a wonderful heroine. She is strong, confident, and not afraid to pursue her own interests and pleasures. Still at points in the story she is tired and confused and was a wonderful combination. Nathan was a wonderful male lead; right from the beginning you can see he loves Cassandra but is confused, hurt and angry at her for what he sees as her betrayal of him.

Despite the whole blackmail thing going on the sex scenes are all consensual. There are lots and lots of sex scenes in this book. I expected this to be a bit of a drag and slow the story down but it didn’t. The sex scenes were very creative and very well done. There is actual character development going on during the sex scenes, which kind of surprised me. There is a wide breadth of types of sex in here; all of it is male/female and monogamous. It spans bondage, toy usage, food usage, you name it. They were all tastefully done though and very sensual.

Overall this was an excellent historical erotica. I liked that there was a plot that drove the story and it was an integral part of the book (not just an excuse for more sex scenes). The characters were interesting and very well done; they had great chemistry. The sex scenes were creative and well done, they didn’t come off as repetitive or boring. I haven’t read a lot of erotica, but I would definitely recommend this for some interested in the genre.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Reading Challenge
- TBR Pile Reading Challenge

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