KarenH's Reviews > Taboo

Taboo by Jess Michaels
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Mar 12, 10

bookshelves: definitely-worth-your-while, sexy-with-a-capital-s-hero, keepers, light-erotica, paperback-5-stars-plus
Read from March 02 to 09, 2010

Finally! Erotic historical romance is starting to make a strong bid for recognition as an established sub-genre of Erotica and/or Historical Romance novels. Jess Michaels is one of a handful of authors making a significant contribution to this category... writing quality mainstream HR romances injected with a liberal amount of explicit, graphic, not-so-mainstream sex.

Taboo is a perfect example of erotic HR at its best. Those of us familiar with Regency England are well aware of the numerous "rules of polite society" that members of the ton were forced to adhere to. Those that were found acting outside of these rules/restrictions were immediately ostracized from polite society...sometimes for life. Such is the basis for the premise of Taboo...class difference. Although the heroine, Cassandra Willows, has a profitable business creating designer gowns for the elite members of the ton, and is accepted "per se" by polite society, she is still a member of the working class. She also maintains a lucrative side job creating sex toys for a discreet group of peers. The hero, Nathan Manning, Earl of Blackheath, once had his heart broken by the heroine. After a 4-yr trip to India, he is back and he is bitter. His sole purpose in life is to exact revenge on the woman who stood him up the night they were to elope to Gretna Green. He does so by blackmailing her with sex. She must be available at his whim or he will expose her sex toy secret to the proper ladies of the ton...causing a sure scandal & probable downfall of Cassandra's business and social acceptance.

Nathan's blackmailing scheme starts off with a bang (literally) as he is determined to hurt & degrade Cass. (He doesn't want to get personal with her so he takes her from behind or he won't remove his clothes so
she can touch him intimately.) However, the blackmail aspect soon looses steam and their relationship, once again, evolves into one of mutual desire and eventually love. But things aren't any different now than they were 4 years ago...Cass & Nathan are still from two classes that are not socially acceptable together. To make matters worse, Nathan must find a wife.

I loved this book! The story pretty much centered around Nathan & Cassandra's relationship, and what few secondary characters were involved were all crucial to the story. The sex was HOT...definitely not your mother's gothic romance novel's standard-3-times sex from back in the day. The sexual encounters were frequent (but not to the extent they overrule the story, fresh (never repetitive) and fun (creative use of Cass's designer toys). Also, the sex was between the hero & heroine exclusively..my personal preference provided it doesn't get repetitive (as well as my "personal" personal preference provided it doesn't get repetitive with the same person LMAO);D

I'd recommend this book to all my friends here at GRs because you all enjoy the same kind of books I do 51% awesome story 49% awesome sex!

[image error]
Nathan Manning, Earl of Blackheath ~ arriving at the dressmakers for his unscheduled "appointment"
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Reading Progress

03/05/2010 page 125
47.71% "Nathan is...whew! *fans self*"

Comments (showing 1-36 of 36) (36 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I just ordered this .. how is it:)


KarenH Rachael wrote: "I just ordered this .. how is it:)"

Well *wipes sweat off brow* it's umm...


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

That good hey????
i dont no how much more errotica i can take .. after reading wicked ties .. 300 pages of non stop hot amazingly climatic sex .. Who is this author ...(FAINT))


message 4: by Miss Kim (new) - added it

Miss Kim Excellent review, Karen! I've been wanting to get my hands on this series for awhile.I've yet to read erotic historical.


message 5: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Featherstone I really like Jess' work! I first discovered her writing when we were both writing for Red Sage. She writes really good emotion along with the naughty parts! I haven't read this one, though. I think I'll pick it up as part of a challenge!


message 6: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Featherstone great review, btw!


message 7: by Rane (new) - added it

Rane Wonderful Review Karen!
I really enjoy Jess's works, but sad to hear she won't be working on her Erotic historical romance for awhile T_T


message 8: by Dina (new) - added it

Dina Great review, K2! I've never read anything by this author, but now I have to check her out. Thanks (LOL) for helping the neverending growth of my TBR.

P.S.: You're killing me with the eye candy. ;)


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Fantastic review, Karen! I definitely think Taboo, along with Everything Forbidden, are JM's best books to date. Great characters that are so naughty! :)


KarenH Thank you, ladies! I'm a little leery of the reviews I do in the wee morning hours. They tend to be as disoriented as my brain is at that time.

Kim - Taboo is a light read and therefore a good book to "get your feet wet" with in Erotic HR.

Charlotte - Obviously you are one of the handful of significant contributors as well, since you wrote my favorite book in this genre!

Rane - Is it because she finished the Albright Sisters' series or what? (Please don't tell me she got bit by the paranormal bug.)

Dina - So glad you're back, sista! *kiss kiss*


message 11: by Ally72 (new)

Ally72 Super review Karen!!! I am glad you liked this one. I really love this author too.
Ally


message 12: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee Great review--love the pic in the review too!:)


message 13: by Rane (new) - added it

Rane KarenH wrote: "Rane - Is it because she finished the Albright Sisters' series or what? (Please don't tell me she got bit by the paranormal bug.)"

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but yup she got bit by the paranormal bug and is writing under her real name about Zombies (think shau of the dead, zombieland)


message 14: by Rane (last edited Mar 12, 2010 09:57AM) (new) - added it

Rane Rane wrote: "KarenH wrote: "Rane - Is it because she finished the Albright Sisters' series or what? (Please don't tell me she got bit by the paranormal bug.)"

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but yup she ..."


This is from her March newslettter:
Thanks so much to all of you who have picked up the book and sent me emails about it if you've read it already. I hope you enjoy this final chapter of the Albright series, as well as what will probably be my final Jess Michaels book, as well.

While all the release month craziness was going on, my new publisher of my zombie comedies (zomedies, someone called them, which I think is hilarious) has already put up a really cute website and posted the first chapter of Married With Zombies which is coming out September 1.
...
Nothing Denied is my final Jess Michaels release (at least at this point). My Jenna books are getting sexier and the erotic market is changing, so I decided not to pursue more Jess books. I hope if you've liked them that you'll give my Jenna Petersen books a try and enjoy them as much.






message 15: by Ally72 (new)

Ally72 I know everyone has different tastes, but zombie books don't do anything for me. I love paranormal romances, but I think I will pass on these. It is disappointing that she is not going to be writing as Jess Michaels anymore...I still like the books she writes as Jenna Petersen though.


message 16: by new_user (new)

new_user I don't care for them either, but apparently there's plenty that do, LOL.


message 17: by Dina (new) - added it

Dina KarenH wrote: "Thank you, ladies! I'm a little leery of the reviews I do in the wee morning hours. They tend to be as disoriented as my brain is at that time."

Those are the best, when your brain isn't awake yet and you just write what you feel without any sense of censorship. ;)


Eastofoz She's one of the few good erotic historical authors out there so it certainly does suck that she's not continuing and moving into PNR that's just packed as it is.

Does anyone know if the Avon Red line still exists? It's usually the good erotic historical line but I haven't seen anything coming from them in a bit.


message 19: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee I tried to check their website and it seems to be down. I'm wondering if they discontinued the line?


Eastofoz Auntee wrote: "I tried to check their website and it seems to be down. I'm wondering if they discontinued the line?"

That would really suck if they did :( I've been looking at the previews in RT for the past few issues but I never see anything from them anymore. They didn't put out a lot of books but what I picked up were quality reads.


message 21: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee I just checked, Lisa Marie Rice's upcoming book (Into the Crossfire) is being published by Avon Red, so I guess they're still in business.


Eastofoz Is there an Avon Red site Auntee?


message 23: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee Well, I googled "avon red" and it directs you to Harper Collins (the parent company).


Eastofoz Thanks!


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

About to read this .. loved your review:)


message 27: by Fani (new) - added it

Fani Loved your review Karen and your fantastic pic! I think he will star in many of my books from now on:)

Gladly I already have Taboo in my TBR.
However that news about her giving up her Jess Michaels' career is so distressing:( I loved every book I've read of hers so far, except Penelope's story, and the only JP book I've read, Scandalous, was too average to make me buy more of hers. Anyway, thanks for your review!


KarenH Thanks guys, and thanks for the disappointing news Rane. lol Well, so much for that handful of significant contributors. Hey Rane, do you know what she means about the erotic market changing? It must not be changing in a good way if she's discontinuing her Jess books. That would suck.

Thanks Fani. I try to stick him in wherever I can (his picture, that is) ;D


message 29: by Char (new) - rated it 5 stars

Char Yeah, I'm so glad you loved this book & a great review you wrote. I loved it, too. Infact, I just realized I didn't mark it for my favourite shelf--need to do that now!


message 30: by Rane (new) - added it

Rane KarenH wrote: "Thanks guys, and thanks for the disappointing news Rane. lol Well, so much for that handful of significant contributors. Hey Rane, do you know what she means about the erotic market changing? It ..."

I think she feels the erotic market is changing due to it becoming more mainstream and not classifed as erotic, some books I've read in the past few years were pretty darn hot and graphic but were not marked as erotic.
Another idea is maybe some of erotic publishers want more hardcore sex and less plot, and Jess doesn't want to write that, she may want to write her stories with sex,romance and plot going hand and hand....who knows.


message 31: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl Great review! I own this series but haven't started it yet. Reading your review makes me want to jump on it!!


message 32: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Great review Karen! I liked the first book a lot but wasn't interested in getting Penelope's story cuz I didn't like her. I'll look for this one, thanks!


message 33: by AgentScully (last edited Mar 13, 2010 01:23PM) (new)

AgentScully I also wonder what the author means by "the erotic market is changing."? Is she getting pressured to put in stuff she doesn't want, threesomes or something?


Eastofoz AgentScully I was leery about Penelope's story but I liked it the best out of the whole series in the end :)


message 35: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Petersen Hey guys, I'm so glad so many of you have enjoyed my Jess Michaels books. I do want to clear up some confusion. First, I had decided not to write more Jess Michaels books about a year ago. I didn't write my zombie book until last fall. So the two are in no way related.

And second, my zombie book actually isn't a romance. It's a mainstream comedy in the vein of Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland and will be published by Orbit, which is not a romance publisher. So it's not really anything related to romance in any way. Hope that helps clear up any confusion.

I do have my next Jenna Petersen book coming out in Septmeber 2010, THE UNCLAIMED DUCHESS. And the last book in the BIllingham series is right now planned for next year. I wish it was sooner, but that is unfortunately totally out of my hands. I have every intention of writing more historical romances and the book I just finished in January is actually very spicy and I hope will appeal to my Jess fans.

Jenna/Jess


message 36: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl Ooooh, thanks Jenna! Sounds like you have some good books coming, thanks for the heads up and clearing up any confusion! :)


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