Lady Seductress's Ball - Eliza Knight My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

This must be my unlucky month. I’ve read a few novellas this month from some new authors; most of them came off as either really bad or just frustrating. Lady Seductress's Ball was plain bad. I didn’t enjoy it at all, mostly because I despised the main characters, especially the heroine Olivia. And Tristan, as a hero, was just dull. Even though it’s an erotic novella, I can’t but help thinking, couldn’t the author do better than this?

The novella starts with such a silly invitation poem that I kept rolling my eyes at the cheesiness of the words. eyeroll I should’ve known better than to proceed. But I did, and ended up with the following:

Olivia was forced to marry a man much much older than her soon after her coming out. I could see that she was unhappy in her marriage, due to the fact that her husband was cold towards her. They didn’t have love, nor did they have passion. So, at first, I sympathized with her and understood her needs to become sexually fulfilled, which Lord March couldn’t do. She has been pining away for a rake, Tristan, the Earl of Newcastle ever since she saw him. She knows of Tristan’s conquests from the retiring room gossips, from his ex-lovers no less, who love to brag about him. Olivia has been fantasizing about having a ‘thorough plundering’ with him ever since. Then, she invites him in a dinner party to flirt with him and letting him know she’s available.

The first thing I disliked about Olivia was that she wasn’t bothered by Tristan’s lovers and the presence of one of them in her dinner party. Apparently she knew that woman and her relationship with Tristan. I don’t like to read about the hero’s OWs and when the heroines aren’t bothered by them, I feel like slapping them hard. But after I got into a few more pages, I knew why she wasn’t bothered. But first, more about Olivia...

rant

Olivia doesn’t love her husband and it’s told in different guises in every few lines, in every FREAKIN’ page. I mean you could just listen to her whine about it! She doesn’t care for him, she pities him and his sickly state, she wished she was never married to him in the first place. She gets mad sometimes that her parents (whose deathbed wish was that she marry the man) ‘forced’ her into this. It gets worse when Lord March is on deathbed himself and she begins planning a tryst with Tristan in a ball called Lady Seductress’s Ball (duh!), where the debauched of the Ton go to have one night of unbridled sex; with whomever you please, however you please, with as many people as you like, private or in front of the others, doesn’t matter. Apparently, Tristan is a regular there and knows the ‘culture’ well. It was his idea to send Olivia an invitation after one of their flirting went a bit too intimate at that dinner party.

Now, as Lord March lay dying, Olivia’s fantasizing away about what she’d wear and how she’d prepare herself for her night of debauchery with Tristan, or, would she even dare to participate or not. She was sitting BESIDE her husband’s DEATHBED FGS. The doctor had to jolt her back from her daydreaming, and she’s annoyed by it... According to her (if I might be plain here in language): Who the f*ck cares if the old man dies? I need to get laid, I need that ASAP and Tristan the stud is waiting for me. DIE OLD MAN AND LET ME GET SOME SHAGGING OF MY LIFE!!!

(Excuse me! By that I mean ‘thorough plundering’... no, no ‘love making’... Oops, how silly of me!)

Umm, but no, Lord March might take some times to die and Olivia can’t wait that long because the ball is like in a day or two. So she confirms her attendance to Tristan and goes to ‘prepare’ herself for that ball.

I was mad, MAD... Incensed by such a callous, self-centered and HORRIBLE heroine. I wanted to slap her every time I read one of her musings and HOW she was the wronged party here, to have been married to an old man. B*TCH! So, was he abusive? Did he beat you up? Gimme ONE good reason!!

Olivia attends the party only in a thin knee length robe, as was asked in the invitation letter, to wear nothing inside. *blinks* Inside she finds all the naked people, shagging left and right. So she waits for Tristan and tries to find him out in that gigantic mass of idiocy... NO, you’re SO WRONG!! She lets another man fondle, pet and rub her and was almost about to sleep with him ‘to gain some experience to please Tristan’, when the man in question tracks her down and grabs her for himself. I don’t think I have to elaborate what they proceeded to do. They sought out a private place to shag themselves to oblivion........ OH NO, NO! Wrong again! They shag in front of the others. Of course, you can’t be ‘prude and proper’ in a place like that, huh? You need to f*ck in front of everyone to ‘prove’ that you’re ballsy!! Oh, did I mention it was a masquerade ball? I don’t know what the point is since everyone here knows everyone else anyway, in the biblical way no less. Wearing mask is just uber-silly and utterly immature.

grrr

BUT WHO THE F*CK CARES? I skimmed through the rest (because I’m still holding onto the oath that I won’t DNF a book as long as I can) from the moment they started lathering each-other up in food and cream and honey from the host’s table....... of course, publicly. No private nooks and alcoves for these two!

Then, afterwards, they don’t see each-other for a while. Lord March finally (FINALLY!) dies and Olivia is like, Good Riddance! She’s actually happy that she’s free, doesn’t even feel guilty for cheating and wishing her husband’s death all along, so that she can ‘love and live happily ever after’ with Tristan, as he told her in that public sex-a-thon that he’s always been pining away for her as well. MY ARSE!

I mean, I’m speechless by this sh*t! And the author thinks Olivia’s mean thoughts and self-centered-I’m-the-wronged-party-here whining is justified just because Lord March was old and not so good in bed? SERIOUSLY???? I’m ashamed of myself for reading this! I don’t even know why Lord March was saddled with a wife like Olivia. The man never had the chance of defending himself about anything that Olivia inwardly accused him of. In the end, I think he saved himself by dying because Olivia and Tristan deserved each-other!!!

So, what did I learn from this novella?

1. Apparently it’s OK to wish your elderly husband’s death, just because he’s old and not-so-good a lover. Don’t forget to cheat on him beforehand, just remember that YOU’RE the wronged party here.
2. Apparently, wearing dresses in front of the others make you a ‘prude’, which is worse than being called ‘prim and proper’. So, go about in public as the day you were born to PROVE yourself. Better if you can shag in public as well. The more the merrier!!
3. Apparently, ‘washboard ab’ concept was there in the Regency England.
4. Apparently, I have to do a lot of thinking before picking up novels/novellas from unknown/little known writers.

Can’t help giving you this ‘sexy’ bit of dialogue between our two young ‘star-crossed’ lovers:

“We mustn’t see each other for a while,” she said breathlessly. She tugged her skirts into place, haphazardly pinning up her hair. She looked thoroughly ravished, and he only wanted to do it again and again, making the sting of her words, that much more potent.
“Why is that?” He came up behind her, helping her to adjust her gown.
“People will…notice.” She turned toward him, placing her hands on his chest.
“What will they notice?” He was confused. People interacted together many times in Society, and never had they worried about anyone noticing anything—he never suggested they make love on the ballroom floor.
“I cannot look at you without my cheeks flaming, my mouth watering, my nipples aching, my thighs clenching. Someone is bound to take notice that I’m like a bitch in heat when you walk into the room.”
Tristan laughed, gripping her face as he kissed her on the nose.
“They are bound to notice I strut like a prized stallion waiting to mount his mare then. For when you walk into the room, my lids lower, my cock rises, my brow beads and I snap at anyone who distracts me from my vision of you.”
“You see, we must remain apart then, until we have subsided somewhat in our desire for each other.”


*gag*

My verdict: Horrible characters and dialogue + unwanted porny stuff = TRASH.

2 stars.

I still think I’ll read the author’s newly released Highlander HR. I just hope that one’s better than this.