Berkley Heat, $15.00, ISBN 978-0-451-22911-3
Romantic Suspense Erotica, 2010
I Spy a Wicked Sin is billed as a “novel of erotic suspense”, and in a way, there is truth in advertising because I sure was kept in suspense while turning the pages – the suspense of wondering what planet this story takes place in. It sure looks like it is set on Earth, but any resemblance to reality is coincidental.
Jude St Laurent is a secret agent who at the same time manages to have enough free time to create erotic paintings that are much sought after. An accident leaves him with no memories of his secret agent life, so he spends his time brooding that he’s clinically blind when he’s not boinking and wallowing in filthy amounts of money. My heart breaks for this guy. SHADO, the covert homeland security agency that seems to hire only assassins that, for some reason, don’t seem to do any assassinating at all, thinks that Jude is a traitor, so they send Lily Vale, the cold-blooded “black widow” assassin, to discover Jude’s secrets and then kill him. Alas, Lily catches him having sex with his model – apparently he has sex with all his models – and the next thing I know, she is all wobbled with guilt about having to kill him when she’s not hobbling from all the pleasure he is giving her.
Let’s talk about the erotic components of this book. We have the usual sorts of sex scenes, of course, but because this is supposed to be a special hot book, we also have gay sex, sex toys, and plenty of usual sex stuff joylessly detailed with mechanical precision. It’s like watching an adult film where all the bored actors and actresses are completely high. Poor Jude is such an exaggerated studmuffin that he comes off like a walking, throbbing, leaking erection determined to penetrate every living thing that can’t run away from him fast enough. He has his occasional moments of angst, but without any believable context, those moments feel like filler moments for the next anatomical drilling. Besides, it’s hard to sympathize with a hero who is so miserable that he has to live a life of constant shagging, idle brooding, and perpetual wealth.
So the erotic components are a flop. Well, the bad news is that the suspense elements are a total flop too. Here, the words “assassins” and “spies” have no meaning, as the assassins here don’t assassinate and they don’t seem to be any good at spying either. Lily, as a character, is an utter fail in motion. She is supposed to be this deadly cold-blooded killer, but it takes only four pages before she starts feeling guilty about having to deceive and later murder our walking golden dildo hero. By the end of this book, she is gushing about how ecstatic she is that she is finally his and he is going to shag her forever and ever. This is a hardened killer? Lily seems more like a horny dim-witted nitwit who is in the throes of her first infatuation. If she is really what the author says she is, then I am the next President of the RWA.
And you know who’s the biggest fool of all? Me. I paid $15.00 for this book.