Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty **

I went back and forth in my head about the rating for this. I figure 3 stars is "eh, ok" but the more I thought about it, 3 stars is "I liked it" and I really didn't. I mean, I didn't hate it. I finished it. But I didn't really like it.

I got it on audio, and that may or may not have colored my rating. The narrator was ok - I'd give her 3 stars. She had a southern accent thing going on - I'm not sure I've listened to anything by her before, so I don't know if that's her normal speech pattern or something for the book. Everyone had a southern accent. That's ok, it was Texas (decades ago - not sure exactly of the era, but "long ago", 19th century. Even those of Indian blood had the southern accent. Go figure.

I knew McCarty's work is a little more raw and explicit than mainstream, although I wouldn't say it's "romantica" (romance + erotica) so much as just, well, more explicit. I was expecting that. Somehow, though, it became almost pedantic. Ok, we're gonna spread some lips here, and there's gonna be some juicy bits and "cream" and then he's gonna have to taste her and at this point, I'm thinking, get it over with and let's get back to the story. It wasn't really sexy - more like a primer in ways to describe foreplay and sex in books, with lots of words that quickly became icky triggers for me, even though in other books they don't bother me. OK, call it a pussy - a few times, maybe. But in every other sentence it started to give me an eye twitch.

The heroine Desi started out feisty and someone who could take care of herself, then when she got a little cleaned up, she was this weird prudish girl who had been raised rich with not a care in the world, and thought so many things were not proper. And here she'd been a captive of comancheros and then used as a whore for several months - talk about not proper. And then - spoiler alert - turns out she likes a little rough stuff after all, which seemed sort of weird since she'd been so abused for so long. I had a hard time keeping up.

Since it is the first book of the Hell's Eight, of course we had to meet the other 7 (Caine being #1) and their sweet feisty elderly female caretaker (yeah, she's younger than I am, so elderly, huh?) who keeps them all honest and cleaned up. And her man. And the dog. That all took a while.

I dunno, I listened to the whole thing, and decided the bad guys were really really evil and bad (boooo!! hisssss!) and the good guys were incredibly good (yay! whoo hoo!) in a sort of cartoony way. If you like erotic romance, fully described bodily fluids, butt seks and eye candy covers mixed with 19th century Texas Rangers, go git it. I'll save my credits, though, thank you very much.

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