Monica Bentley, $2.99
Historical Erotica, 2017
He was surprised to feel a pang of loneliness. This harvest would be the third he had ridden with the Commander. That was a lot of moons. A lot of changes. A lot of nightly campfires and sleeping under the stars in his bedroll on fair nights, sharing a tent with Gaspard and his incessant farting on stormy ones. A lot of companionship. Their stories. Some so wild they beggared belief, like Victor claiming to have survived a jump out of a three story window to escape a husband in Paris. As if he had even been to Paris, Tristen had thought quietly. But, he had laughed along with all the others. Why not? It was fun. And it didn’t mean anything, anyway.
The toughest thing to swallow when it comes to Monica Bentley’s Chateau of Desire is her prose. The author is trying so hard to sound all twee and fae, maybe to give this story the “atmosphere” it deserves, that the end result is like trying to have sex with a hot guy who is wearing a powdered wig and a corset. Sure, such clothes may be in line with the theme of medieval buggery or something but I just want the clothes to be ripped off and all the passion and what not to be feral and hot. I did not sign up for a story in which everyone is trying so hard to act like they want badly to be in a William Shakespeare play but are just putting on an accent that they think is the right one.
Louis is a virgin who is very dedicated to training with his rapier. Sadly, that is not a dirty euphemism, much to Phoebe’s dismay as she really wants him to give it to her good. He just acts so… protective towards her. Actually, he thinks that she’s weird, but let’s not tell her that. They are all at Chateau Brionde, where people are always horny and one of the items on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is apparently oral sex. Other characters show up and shag, and I have no idea whom these people are or why I should make the effort to care.
And, oh, how they fucked. On and on. For how many glasses only angels could say. There wasn’t an hourglass in the room to mark the time. Just a long drawn out fuck session beginning with sunbeams streaming into the window. His tonguing her, her tonguing him which, he learned how to enjoy with patience. Long bouts of being inside her, between her thighs on top of her as she stroked his ass with long caresses that made him shiver with delight in spite of himself. Cumming so many times, first her, always her first, then him, then sometimes both together. All of it finally coming to an end with darkness outside the window, his last thought as he passed out.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find scenes like the one above more tortuous to read than erotic. “Sunbeams streaming into the window”… oh god, are the Care Bears spying outside the window?
The author also has this habit of setting up a scene which seems to leading to some naughty situation, only to often abruptly end the scene with no nookie. Maybe she thinks that she is just building up my anticipation, but after a few rounds of being jerked around only to realize that she is just being a big tease, I only roll up my eyes at her subsequent trolling. It’s not like the payoff is great when she finally decides to “put out” anyway, since it’s all about purple prose or twee phrases that are more distracting than flavorful.
Ultimately, Chateau of Desire is a complete headscratcher. The fourteenth-century France setting is vague, and there are so many characters introduced in a manner that suggests that I should already be familiar with them, and it’s like I get hot, hot scenes to make up for these issues. But the biggest problem here is the author’s voice being completely wrong for a “sexy historical” story. Her aggravating “twee”-ness is better suited for a parody or a madcap comedy. Erotica should be down and dirty, not whatever this thing is trying to be.