by Jennifer Colgan, contemporary (2010, reissue)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60928-214-1
The Concubine's Tale was previously published by New Concepts Publishing, and I'm not sure whether this reissue has been revised or changed in any other manner.
Cait Lang, the head curator of the Madison-Greer Gallery, finds her employer's favorite client Grant Pierson gorgeous but insufferable to deal with. He calls her a personal assistant and acts like an entitled maharajah. Narturally, she's attracted to him big time. Is there any doubt? In this story, she is told to let Grant view and perhaps purchase the Gallery's newest acquisition - a 19th century Egyptian scroll.
So, at seven in the evening, Grant and Cait get some cozy time together where they discover that the scroll is actually the rambling of Nayari, some Egyptian concubine, who was angst-ridden about not giving her master a brat. So basically we have two stories here, one about Nayari who keeps babbling "My master!" even as she falls for some guy as she stumbles her way cluelessly into a plot, and another about how Grant finally gets to score with Cait.
The Concubine's Tale could have been an interesting story, but it is too short. The story ends without making any impact on me. The characters are underdeveloped and their story is flat and dully narrated. Then again, I guess the story could be fun should you opt to take a sip from the beer mug every time Nayari babbles her master's name - you'd be completely smashed midway through this short story. Other than that, this story is not bad, but it's not good either - it's just there.
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