Sunday, October 28, 2012

Novel Review: Enslave: the Taming of the Beast by Cathy Yardley

Genre: Erotica Contemporary Romance
Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: HarperCollins (Red Avon)
Spoilers?: No/Minor.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A desperate beauty enslaved . . .
Nadia Bessonova's career-criminal father has deadly enemies--and to save him, his devoted daughter is willing to make a bargain with the devil himself. She will surrender completely, body and spirit, to the dangerous Dominic Luder, and submit to his every whim.

A tormented beast enthralled . . .
Haunted by inner demons and hiding away in his dark, secluded manor, Dominic is mesmerized by his sensuous prisoner who inflames his bestial lust. But Nadia is no mere plaything. At once fearful, willing, and wildly passionate, she brings his most breathtaking erotic fantasies to life--and thaws his cold, wounded heart.

A perilous path to a happy ending . . .
But Nadia never dreamed she'd become slave to her own desires in a savage game of seduction and revenge. And now that he has tasted ecstasy, will a jealous, magnificent beast be able to relinquish his prize?


I’m a little embarrassed to admit how much I liked this book. I try not to hold erotic or adult romance books on too high a level, mainly because I’m usually not very impressed with them. They usually have the characters jumping into things too quickly, or not very enticing characters, or not enough chemistry. They’re not usually very amazingly written stories. But sometimes I get surprised, and this book surprised me.
Now, I’m not saying that this book was amazingly written, with great characters or any of that stuff. And I’m sure that there are going to be several people that look at this book, and that read this book, and do not like what happened. But, for some reason, I did.
I found this book by chance, and thought it sounded good. And it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which I didn’t know until I’d already started it. Finding this out made me pay more attention to certain things, and yet still didn’t make me dislike the book any more than I already did, which was not much at all.
Enslave’s main character is Nadia, one of three sisters, whose father deals with crime. And when her father goes a bit too far and ends up in Dominic’s debt, Nadia gives herself to Dominic so he won’t kill her family. And so Nadia ends up as a slave to Dominic, while her sister Jelena is trying to find a way to get her back.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the relationship between Nadia and Dominic. I probably shouldn’t, but I rather liked Dominic. He’s rough around the edges, but he actually does care for Nadia, and I liked the ending. And I liked Nadia, as well. She wasn’t too selfless, and she stood up to Dominic when it needed to be done. They had some problems with the whole, being-locked-up thing, but that worked itself out.
I was definitely surprised by what happened with Jelena. That was not a plot-line that I saw coming, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d have liked. She’s really quite the bitch, and goes overboard even if she thinks what she’s doing is right. I’m not going to say too much more on this, though, because that could be major spoilers.
I did not like Nadia and Jelena’s father. He’s, just, pathetic. And despicable. I didn’t like him, and felt the sisters should have stuck up to him way before they did.
One problem that I did have with the story, is that I wasn’t quite sure what time it was set in. Nadia’s family is from Russia, and one of them was sold as a mail-order-bride, and where they live and how they live hints at an older time, but they have very new cars and cellphones… This very well could be set in modern times, but it felt like it should have been in the past.
Oh, also: sex. There is a lot of sex in this book. Not only between Nadia and Dominic, either. And there’s some kinky stuff happening, and a threesome, and some lesbian stuff. There’s sex in almost every chapter, too, but mixed in with actual plot movement.
And even with all the sex and Jelena, I read this book really fast. It was a while ago, but it was in less than two days, I know. I was surprised with how quickly the book went by, how easy it was to get through.
So, yea, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. And if I ever stumble upon another of Yardley’s books, I will be getting it.

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