Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: The Novice (Sexy as Hell # 1) by Harlem Dae

The Novice (Sexy as Hell Trilogy, #1)The Novice by Harlem Dae
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sultry Scale: 5 of 5 flames

London – one meeting, one month of lessons and a landslide of new desires.

My journey to hell started with a decaff coffee. Nothing more than a grey mug full of dull-brown liquid devoid of its most useful ingredient.

One sip, one smile, one touch of her hand and it was soon clear my life wasn’t destined to stay dull. Oh, no, suddenly I had a month of bedroom education planned by a sultry vixen who intended to broaden my horizons beyond my usual peach-pink palette.

She wanted to take me to deep purples and navy blues and the pitch blackness that was pure sin. And on the other side of that blackness was a place that might look like Hell, with debauchery and wantonness, people playing devil’s advocate, luring innocents into the hotter, steamier corners of the world.

Her world.

Oh, yes, she promised each night to take me there and paint me an orange-and-red picture that would come alive, flickering like flames, enticing me, holding me spellbound and eager to learn more. To touch, explore, drown in coming.

And drown I would. I was no match for her tricks and taunts. My only chance of survival was to show her that I wasn't vanilla. I had a rainbow of mastery up my sleeve, too, and if she just opened her eyes, she might be dazzled enough to stay—stay and take ‘my’ lessons. If she didn’t kill me first, that was, with pleasure.

Let me start off my saying that this book was very well-written. It was wonderfully British, and definitely gave me some new one liners for the next time I fancy a bit of rumpy-pumpy. And yes, I found myself reading this in my head with my hilariously fake British accent. You haven't heard funny until you hear a Tennessee twang attempting some posh dialect.

I have had trouble reading British authors in the past... mainly when the book is set somewhere like Texas, but the author is using British English instead of American English. In that context, if the main character says: "I am sat here on a bar stool..." you are going to see some bitchy status update rant from me about the proper use of present participles. (It has happened, more than once.) However, when you have a well-written book like this, or even a nice little Ed Sheeran song, I feel like I've taken a hop across the pond and can sit back to enjoy the tea and strumpets. (I apologize for the bit of a mind wander I took there.)

That being said, a majority of this book was about femdom, and that is just not my kink. So I was thinking most of the way through: "how on earth am I going to rate this?" I didn't really care for Zara's personality. I felt sorry for Victor, and then I viewed him as a bit of a namby pamby. So I was stressing because I didn't think it would be fair to lower a book's rating just because the subject matter wasn't to my taste. Well, lucky for me, the script gets flipped around 80% and Victor is redeemed for me. I realized that I was getting into the relationship between Zara and Victor... even if I didn't dig the lifestyle. But then, THAT ENDING! It was one of those endings that made me yell "No! You can't end it there!" So you sneaky sneaky authors, you have guaranteed that I will continue reading the series. Hats off to you.

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