When the TBR is not your friend


Sometimes, the TBR yields treasures. Other times, not so much.

Midnight (Dark Promises, Book One), by Elisa Adams (Elloras Cave, 2003).

This one was free, but not worth what I paid.

Amara is a B-movie actress playing a bimbo vampire. She loses her job when she refuses to wear skimpier outfits.

A vampire, Marco, has been stalking her. Why? Because he objects to her portrayal of vampires. This is one of the more unusual stalking motives I’m come across in PNR. When Marco asked Amara (as he is kidnapping her, which, naturally, turns her on) “Do you really think your actions in those movies don’t have consequences?” I wondered breathlessly whether the central conflict in this erotic romance would be over artistic freedom and censorship. Alas, before you can say “First Amendment,” Marco impulsively kidnaps Amara, they have sex, he accidentally and unknowingly turns her into a vampire, they fall in love, and I’m seeing an ad for the next book in the series.

The writing was, erm, not to my taste. The following conversation takes place over two pages. Yes, there are more words, but this is what it felt like to read:

“Maybe you should see a doctor.”

“No, Marco, I don’t want to leave. Not to see a doctor, not for anything.”

“I want you to see a doctor. … You can see a doctor I know.”

“What’s the big push with the doctor?”

“Just see a doctor, okay?”

“I don’t want to see a doctor.”

Just when I began to worry that this battle of wits was going to go over my head:

He looked ready to protest, but a knock on the door stopped him.

Guess who it is? No, seriously. Guess. Yep, the doctor. Isn’t that amazing? What do you call that? Foreshadowing? No? Well, anyway.

I really liked the doctor, mainly for his eloquent defense of freedom of expression:

“Who cares?”

It turns out, to everyone’s shock and awe, that Amara is turning vamp. Now, I ask you, where does Marco get off lecturing Amara on vampire culture when he is apparently ignorant of the basic facts of vampire reproduction?

But my main problem, honestly, was that Marco gave up his crusade to end demeaning portrayals of his minority group because Amara “looked hot in black vinyl.”

Anyway, if your idea of a good erotic short is totally predictable vampire sex with all of the intensity and emotion of one of those XtraNormal videos, pick this one up.

6 responses

  1. It is always the pits when the TBR pile yeilds a dud. I actually just DNF’ed something out of the pile – not so much because it was “bad,” but because I couldn’t be bothered.

    The author’s name jogged my memory – I’ve actually read a Spice Briefs by her (For Your Pleasure) that I remember enjoying. Voyueristic tale that sort of straddled the line between erotica and erotic romance (not quite romance, but close enough to satisfy the romance reader in me….) This vampire thing though? Definitely doesn’t sound like my cuppa…..


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