The Croft - Elliot Mabeuse My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

Well Dr. Mabeuse, another weird book but strangely I ended up liking this one despite of the eww-stuffs that had me agape for some pages. Maybe you’ve done quite a good job working with my mind lolz. This book, I knew, was about a vampire. Even though I don’t like vampire novels, this one about a vampire that feeds on human erotic energy caught my attentions. For a long time in the book, I had no idea what Angus was, thinking he was a vampire just as he told Anne; even a different type mind you! But, holy holy crap! The revelation in the end, I was caught, struck, slapped, jolted (whatever you feel like using here) by that! Umm, now I think I have to do a good review of this one, so will try to be focused. And yes, I did find myself laughing more than once in various parts too.

Anne is a graduate student, who’s working on some kind of 18th century poet and poetry (something to with erotic stuff) so she’s in Scotland and doing her research living with that poet’s descendent, the Laird of the Croft, Angus. The Croft is the castle, a worn down one and Angus is the current owner. He’s working on its restoration. Not much of who, why and how is given in the beginning to their relationship. We don’t really know much about Anne or Angus’s family or anything throughout the book; never mentioned or seen. Anne never tried to contact with anyone she knows, except Angus. I wasn’t even sure if Angus was restoring this huge castle all by himself, since no mention of workers or anything was there. I mean considering their relationship, I thought workers would be a great problem. Oh, I don’t know, it was confusing. But, that didn’t really matter much after I really got into the book. So, Anne and Angus have already formed quite the liking for each-other which bordered on love in those first pages. Pretty unbelievable! Anne is simply crazy for the gorgeous hunk of a Laird, with Angus reciprocating. Oneday they decided to take it to the next level. They visit a dance club and Anne expresses her wish to have sex. Angus takes her out of the club and talks in the road, which seemed like full of shadows and mists. Angus tells her he’s a vampire. Anne of course, laughs it away but still something niggles at her mind. Angus then asks her if she loves him and wants to be his. She says yes. Angus makes her say this 3 times. Then they go back to the club and ermm, fondles each-other in the shadowy area and … well, I think you get the picture what they did. Anne is over the top with this experience thinking, wow, if this is any indication, sex would be mind blowing! I’m not sure if it was the same night but Anne is outside the castle. I got confused because the narrative was going back and forth. In the beginning, Anne and Angus had already become lovers. But then the flashback starts so... Sorry about it. Anyway, she wishes and Angus is there, he wanted to prove that he’s really a vampire so he makes wind stir and so on, but Anne still doesn’t believe him. Then he takes his real form, which looks like Angus but this thing is huge in height and breadth with yellowish glowing eyes. Anne gets scared but not too scared when Angus comes back to his human form and starts kissing her. I thought Angus’s feelings were genuine; I loved the way he would call her endearments so often. Anyway, 1st love scene happens in a stone bench where Angus carries her and orders the ivy around them to bind her. Boy but that was HOT! I mean, ivies moving as the man orders. Now Anne has to believe it, or at least something close to it.

After that, life is quite good for them, with lots of sex. Anne is very happy. It seems like Angus is teaching her to be a vampire too as he calls her ‘his bride’. Anne feels things now inside her. Angus tells her how this thing work, how you feed on sexual energy from humans. He also tells her that there are others like him though not all feeds on sexual energy. Angus informs her he is a mortal like any other as he doesn’t drink blood. His whole family was like this, I mean his father and his father and his father; it probably started with the poet Anne came here to research about. Whatever he is, Anne loves to let her man ‘feed’ on her. After sometimes, Angus tells her to get ready to make her own seduction and feeding. Ermm, what? Yah, that’s right. She has to seduce some human, have sex and then feed on the energy. Anne is very disgusted by the thought (so was I) and tells Angus is so many words and ways that she won’t do it. Angus is angry with her, starts ignoring... Oh boy, no sex too! Now, that can’t go on! So, Anne then shops for foods and materials for the house (did I mention that Angus is filthy rich?). She gets help from the little village that is under Angus’s rule (ermm, not exactly but was when Angus’s ancestors were ruling); women came to cook and clean. Anne sensed that Angus was watching everything. When everyone is gone, Angus is there. They attempt at a dinner which turned to heated talks (from Anne mostly since Angus was fainting indifference and eating ... not that he needs to eat unless he wishes it but I felt to irritate Anne), which turned into food fight, which turned into ... ermm, many other things including sex. Now, that was gross, with food (gravy, pies, fruits, sauces etc)! I mean c’mon! Though I found the sex very hot (Angus being freaken umm, machine) but all those foods, a big NO NO! In between, Anne already felt this urge working inside her, sometimes she just wants sex or anything related to sex … just like that! One scene was Angus and she was driving in Dumfries when suddenly she felt this urge to ... ermm, have Angus in her mouth. Well, she was pretty ‘thorough’, all in the name of love. Twisted but I liked it, too. *scratches head as she has no idea why!*

Anyway, so Anne finally makes a decision that she’ll work on her seduction. Angus takes her to Dumfries and books a hotel room. She tries but fails on her first attempt. Then Angus tells her to practice with him. Oh boy, that practice turned out to be... ermm practice in new stuff (read: backdoor lovin’, boy I felt ... I have no idea how to phrase it since I DO NOT like such stuff). It was so ‘in your face’ without a warning that I was taken aback. Dr. Mabeuse, you killed me there! Or so I thought. Afterwards, Anne asks Angus she won’t do this ‘seducing thing’ anymore. Angus doesn’t want that anymore either but tells her someday she’ll hunger for it. And she does, very soon. She was so restless that Anne knew what it was. Suddenly she felt very confident to act as a whore, even Angus is concerned. She goes to the same hotel, zooms on a target, a middle aged man and goes to his room. She feels she has no mental tie with this at all, that she can go through this. The man is totally interested to get on with it and so they do. Anne was enjoying this too though she felt many emotions in that man, mostly unpleasant ones. Ok, I was supposed to find it horrible but hello, I found it absolutely hilarious! Some of Anne’s thoughts, holy moly! Don’t even ask! But soon, she begins to feed on the energy and became hungry to hungrier. At one point, the man grew weaker so she jumps on top of him and starts sucking the hell out of him... ermm, I mean the energy damn you! It was going bad as the man was going into a coma. Suddenly Angus is there to drag her off the man. He takes his vampire shape again and slaps her to bring her back to reality. Anne can’t believe anything that’s been happening to her. Angus bathes her and then tries to remove her presence from the room. They’re back to the Croft but both are shaken by this experience. Angus tells Anne that for now it’s over but soon, the hunger would rear it’s head and she has to go through it again. But Angus is more concerned because it’s apparent that Anne’s powers are very very stong.

One day, Angus decides that he’d like to invite some friends over. So Ian and his girlfriend Amy come to visit them. Angus tells Anne that Ian has been his school mate. Though Angus is very tall and muscular, Ian is short and wiry. Anne herself is quite tall but Amy is taller than her, almost like Angus. Anyway, they have a nice chat, Anne likes those from the beginning. Ian and Amy cook for them. While having dinner, Anne feels something strange. Ian and Amy were doing something to her. Suddenly, she feels pretty empty in head. I mean, she was there yet not there kind of way. When Anne’s in that trance, Angus now talks freely with Ian and Amy. Now, hold onto you seats! Ian is a satyr and Amy or Amaryllis is a nature sprite. Oh hell! But, I did like their banters. Ian is quite funny and makes jokes at Angus. But they all know the importance of the situation. Then Ian reveals what Angus actually is... Well, are you still holding onto you seats? He’s an Incubus! *ok I kinda fainted there* Never mind that. But Angus doesn’t like the word and the reminder but it did explain a lot. He was slowly turning Anne into a Succubus. He knows where it’ll lead as Amy reminds him. People who are born into it are more in control of themselves than people who are turned into it. Succubae turn more promiscuous and evil as time passes by. Ian asks Angus why he is so concerned, as he never was about his other partners. Angus tells them this is real; he loves her and wants to keep her. Amy tells Ian that Anne is very pure in mind, and has the ability to love. So, whatever it is, it’s bound to be true between them. They decide something to resolve this situation; I don’t know why they decided what they did. But, let me tell you what it was. Amy tells them she’s sensed some sprites in this castle and it’s surroundings. There are gnomes in the basement, some wood sprites too but the stronger one was the water sprite in the nearby pond. Ummm, sounds very appealing to me. Amy tells them that she can, umm, create an erotic dream, which is almost as good as the real thing to allay Anne’s needs. I think her intention was to do this, it’ll work but in reality, she won’t have to have sex with other people or something like that. The water sprite might want her but if she doesn’t want to stay, he can’t do anything. They all agree but make a minor mistake in judging Mr. Watersprite. Muahahaha!

But I digress... Amy takes Anne to her room and does it. Omigawd, but it was some weird sex. Anne feels it all. It’s so very different than the raw stuff, she’s marveled by it. Mr. Watersprite is verra handsome, tall and muscular with glowing greenish eyes (hope I got it right, he had some odd eyes I’m sure of that) with soft, silvery skin. And he is ‘ever ready’ to have his way. Och but he has nice voice and speaks oh so gently! Good lord, now I want Mr. Watersprite for myself. *waves her fan girl banner* Yes, I wanted him. I liked him even though he was made to be the villain, but a gentle one. I’ll try to explain. So after that, when Anne is awake she’s very eager to run to the stream to meet Mr. Watersprite but Amy holds her back. She explains a few things about this ‘dream’ and some others about her, Ian and Angus. Still, she doesn’t tell Anne that Angus is an Incubus. Amy goes downstairs warning Anne not to go to the stream. Amy informs the men (men? Not sure how to define :p) that Mr. Watersprite now wants Anne in reality (ok, what was the reality again?). They argue, Ian now reveals that he knows this sprite and that he’s quite powerful. Umm, so where was this little piece of insight before Ian? I know, you were too busy with your fiddles and merry making, randy goat... man... grrr!

Ok, end of my ‘drama queen’ part. So, now they have a bigger problem in hand but I was still waving my fan girl banner for Mr. Watersprite because he was actually very nice. Ian informs Angus that Mr. Watersprite has been without any worship in his name for a long time and how he’d have Anne. The last parts of the book was him coming to claim Anne, which I thought was a very regal way (not telling you how muahaha but impressed me nonetheless) and Angus fighting him off. Then he actually claimed Anne, almost, with his body but gave up when he understood Angus’s threats. Oh but those were HILARIOUS. Don’t look at me, I found them funny. Poor Angus was pretty desperate, it doesn’t help that Mr. Watersprite wants to make Anne his queen. *Knock Knock, Mr. Watersprite... hello, I’m a fully functioned pure human... er, I’d like to apply for the post of your queen!* Ah, Angus tells him he loves Anne and she’s his wife. Umm, as far as I knew they didn’t get married the human way but who am I to understand all the paranormal claptraps? Mr. Watersprite’s so nice, not only he gives Anne back (I don’t think it was entirely because of Angus’s threats) but he sweetly kisses Anne goodbye and asks to be Angus’s friend. *Oh, Mr. Watersprite... woooohooo! Over here!*

So Dr. Mabeuse, please give Mr. Watersprite his own book. I mean it’s sad that I was rather taken with him (duh!) and now I wanna read his book. Lord but he was sexy! Oh well, 3.75 stars.

Warning: Might not be for people who aren’t comfortable with some actions i.e. H/h sleeping with other people or... er, ‘things’, with another’s consent and ‘backdoor loving/playing’!

OMFG but he might be the one I’d think of as Mr. Watersprite! Swamp Dweller by Jade Bengco...

swamp dweller by JB