by Thea Devine, historical (2004)
Brava, $14.00, ISBN 0-7582-0401-9

I have high hopes for Satisfaction, which is classic Thea Devine Skank-o-Rama: the heroine Jancie Renbrook arrives at Waybury House in Behramstead, England to be a companion to the dying Olivia Gaillaird. She has plans, however, to avenge her father by destroying the Gaillairds by any way necessary. This is because previously in South Africa, Hugo Gaillaird backstabbed her father in a diamond mine deal, leaving the Renbrooks to live under very stringent circumstances while the Gaillairds live like royalty. What better way to destroy the family than to drive a permanent wedge between father Hugo and the estranged son Lujan by flirting with both father and son? Alas, with Lujan, Jancie realizes that she's playing with fire. Hugo, however, is a skanky villain not to be underestimated. Let the skankfest begin!

For me though, it is excruciating to read this book because the author's style, never that coherent in the first place, has atrophied into near-indecipherable psychobabbles here. Where at least in the past I know who is doing what to whom, here the author lapses into fragmented sentences that are often left dangling, as if I'm some sort of mind reader that is supposed to connect all the dots that are the characters' lust-addled train of thought. A truly painful example is the following paragraph:

She clawed at the skirt of the nightgown, she felt him ease back to give her purchase to spread her legs so that he could poke his iron hot penis between them, so she could just - shimmy - down onto his hard shaft - and position herself just so - God, he was so hot, thick, rigid - just right, between her legs -

There is very little else to say about this book. Jancie is as usual a dumb bunny. Lujan and Jancie hate each other even as they rip at each other's clothes. The other family members of the Gaillaird clan are one-dimensionally nasty and skanky. Satisfaction is a formulaic skanky melodrama from Thea Devine. But because the writing has taken the turn for the worse and the story has a derivative, perfunctory "yet another Thea Devine Skanky Family Saga" feel to it, I find Satisfaction a watered-down, inferior rehash of the formula in the author's much better books in the past such as Desired. Compared to those books, Satisfaction is more difficult to read but never nearly as campy or luridly enjoyable. I can only hope that the author can find some new ideas and new storylines, because the formula is starting to show its age as well as wear and tear.

Rating: 67

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