The Rosemary Rogers Reading Experience™ is a phenomena that can't be conveyed with words.
The euphoric reader's journey of Yours Truly
The opening scene...moreThe Rosemary Rogers Reading Experience™ is a phenomena that can't be conveyed with words.
The euphoric reader's journey of Yours Truly
The opening scene of Steve and Ginny in constant kissy-kissy morning-afterglow had me scratching my head. Huh? Does...not...compute...
Oh, I should never have doubted Rosemary! This is Steve and Ginny after all, and soon WE'RE OFF!!!!
Steve takes off yet again on another of those "secret missions" of his, leaving Ginny vulnerable to the oh-so-nefarious designs of one Prince Ivan Sahrkanov and his unwitting accomplice Dr. Count Chernikoff, who tempt her away from Mexico with the story that she's actually Tsar Alexander's long-lost illegitimate daughter (that little plot thread is never fully resolved, btw) and she needs to go to Russia pronto! and fulfill her obvious potential of being a Princess.
Poor Ginny. She pines for Steve, who is nowhere in sight and hasn't bothered to write. Well, she'll show him she won't just wait around for whenever he decides to come back! She'll prove she can take care of herself! So before she knows it she has become a docile apathetic little thing with the help of a constant supply of Chernikoff's magical headache powders. In a drugged haze she finds herself married to the Prince. You GO, girl!
Next stop: San Francisco. Prince Ivan immediately starts whoring out his wife for money and influence, and Ginny, in a constant fog of opiates, just shrugs her way through her miserable existence. At this point Steve! appears under another identity and of course the Love/Hate relationship starts all over again because:
Steve: I can't leave you alone for 5 minutes before you start spreading them for another man, you slut. Ginny: (thinking) Well if you told me you loved me, things would be totally different! Ginny: *shrug* Steve: I'll make you respond, you ice-cold bitch! Ginny: I hate you! Die in a fire! (Seconds later) Ginny: Curse my traitorous body!
It was here where Steve! let the Aura of AlphaBastard™ slip somewhat and he showed some real tenderness toward Ginny. He knows she's a raging opium addict and it's killing him to see his wildcat Ginny have all the emotion and energy of a year-old moldy dishrag. So he does what any Awesome Co-dependent Husband would do: "You're an addict! Here's some more headache powders, they're just not as strong."
Finally, in the first real WTF moment, the evil Prince is removed from the goings-on with a piratey duel mixed with kung fu and our Crazy Couple are reunited. But once again, it doesn't last long...
The next part opens with Steve shagging the Italian prima donna Francesca di Paoli while Ginny is traipsing around Europe and making tongues wag. This of course pisses Mr. Double-Standard AlphaRatBastard to no end. But these co-dependent drama queens were at each others' throats toot sweet and a separation was considered wise. Steve is now a millionaire, business deals are going on left and right and soon he must go on another one of those "secret missions" but he catches typhus and sets the stage for the Certifiably Batshit INSANE last half of the book. I shit you not.
Amnesiac Steve, now known as Manolo, ends up in Louisiana and hired by the crazed deviant giggly Trampslut Toni Lassiter, who has hooked her claws into a plantation and driven the previous family into a life in the swamps. The Rosemary Magic™ had been rolling along at a low boil but at this point it simply exploded and the shit hit the proverbial fan from all 360 degrees.
My quasi-spoilers stop here, but lemme give a visual approximation of my face for these last 220 pages:
Especially when 2 pages from the end of the book they're both on the run from the sheriff's posse and yet they still can't help bonking like bunnies while out in the Louisiana swamps.
Some choice quotes from our Loving Couple: "Did you stab him in the neck before or after you hit him with the bottle? It seems to have become quite a habit with you, hasn't it--stabbing the men who have ravished you, but only after they've had you over and over again! You tried that on me once, remember? Is that how you get rid of the lovers you've tired of?"
"I hate you! I'm sorry that Ivan didn't have you killed after all!"
Ginny--damn her slanty green eyes and her too-easily yielding body--she had always been the only woman capable of making him fly into a jealous rage that could blind him to everything else, even caution or reason. He should have done what he had threatened to do far too often and never carried out--beaten her a few times, to show her he meant business.
I enjoyed this book more than Sweet Savage Love, but only barely. Really, this one is off-the-charts Pure Crazy Fun. If you're an Old Skool Bodice Ripper Fan. Bring your Big Girl Panties for this one and just roll with it. You'll be glad you did.(less)
After nearly 25 years, it was time to pick this Bad Girl up again and see if it was as awesome as I remembered. The very first bodice ripper my tender...moreAfter nearly 25 years, it was time to pick this Bad Girl up again and see if it was as awesome as I remembered. The very first bodice ripper my tender eyes absorbed, it titillated this 12-year-old and burned into my memory, and I quickly re-read it in high school. But it's been a long road since 15 and I wondered, "Would it hold up?"
Well, yes and no.
First, Skye is the Biggest MarySue that ever MarySued. I didn't hate her, but she wasn't the awesome alpha wench character that I remembered. She's absolutely fucking perfect at absolutely everything she does, and the only men who aren't intimidated by a woman of such amazing superior intellect and learning are secure in their own masculinity. Her perfecty perfectiousness wasn't enough to induce rage, but only mild annoyance. The scenes of her tossing her midnight-blue tresses, flashing green eyes (and don't forget her fucking heart-shaped face), and so on only made me eyeroll with some lulzy chuckles. Because I'm ready to give this book plenty of latitude since...
...it's my "first" and you never forget your "first" - it warpsforms your future loves and expectations of the genre...
...and the batshittery is crazy as fuck. Bertrice threw everything into this book. Everything.
Forced marriage. Sodomy. Incest. Amnesia. Lecherous pervs. Epic feud with royalty. Attempted bestiality (some reviewers seem to think it actually happened - not so!)...
...And The Longest Separation EVER of a Hero and Heroine. (Almost the entire fucking book!) That's ballsy, Bertrice. I approve.
This was one of the funnest re-reads I've ever had - despite the 20 year gap, as stuff happened, I remembered it. Events. Singular quotes:
"I cannot help it, pet, you're the most damnably tempting piece, and I want to bury myself deep in you."
XD Oh Geoffrey, you sweet-talker.
The only thing that really got on my nerves was the constant costume porn, and now that I'm aware of the Huff-Wilde tendency, those obligatory and insanely boring passages caused some eye-glazing. Also the food porn. Every meal was described, every course. I find that I have no patience for such obvious filler, but when it's balanced with Spanish noblewoman nymphos working as prostitutes, assassination plots in harems, and Skye improbably rising to the surface of every catastrophe like an immaculately dressed turd, it's all worth it.
Wow, I don't know quite what to say about this book. As my rating shows, it's a damn good book and everything, even the characters with all their flaw...moreWow, I don't know quite what to say about this book. As my rating shows, it's a damn good book and everything, even the characters with all their flaws, worked. I was hesitant about the first person narration, but I don't know how this book could have worked any other way. Felicia, the illiterate and illegitimate tavern maid, became entirely dependent on Domenico and was in nearly all respects a fairly pitiful woman. She waited patiently for any crumbs of his love like a starving dog. This kind of doormat usually scores no points with me, but the way her character was set up, it made total sense, and her point of view made me more charitable.
Now... boy, is Domenico unlikeable! I hated his guts through the entire thing and even the final grovel didn't make him any better. Felicia by this time is realistic enough to realize that he hasn't changed all that much, either. The man is a spoiled, petulant, dangerous man who has never been denied anything his entire life. When he wants something, he takes it. If anybody stands in his way, or gives the slightest offense, the option of murder is totally on the table.
A casting review has already been done, but of course I also imagined the fabulous Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Domenico, because how could you not if you know of this guy? If Dmitri hadn't been in the mind's eye the entire time, I don't think I could have gotten past the absolute reprehensible creature of the Duke of Cabria. But since he was...
He's really a psycho, caressing Felicia one second, crushing her fingers or wrist the next. Felicia is totally in the grip of Stockholm Syndome and there ain't no comin' out of it...
Just one of Domenico's more tender PDA moments
Teresa Denys is an amazing writer. It took me about 50 pages to get into her particular style. It is very dense, ornately written, and yet feels very authentic. It suited the OTT characters and goings-on and even without the hunky Russian baritone filling my thoughts, the entire book felt like one of Verdi's early melodramatic operas like Ernani.
Final verdict is 4 1/2 stars, due to a downswing in the action near the end, but other than that - what a fantastic bodice ripper that wears the veneer of a little something more. I can't wait to read Denys' The Flesh and the Devil.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)