Emily May's Reviews > Monster in His Eyes

Monster in His Eyes by J.M. Darhower
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bookshelves: erotica, romance, 2014

I mentioned in my review of Raw that I'm going through some "dark" erotica books as part of a project with my college book club. I also said that I wouldn't be writing reviews for most of them because I already know they're not my thing and no one wants to read my constant negativity. But I have decided to comment on a couple that made a significant impression on me.

There's no rating from me for this book because my own tastes would skew it, but I will say: if "dark" erotica is your thing, then this is one of the better ones. It does carry the usual tropes, but in a subgenre that is essentially rape and abuse wrapped up in an "I-am-so-sexy-it's-okay" package, then this book stands out as being well-written, compelling and even romantic at times.

There is a rich man and a relatively inexperienced student. There is a quirky best friend. There is rough sex. As I said, no surprises there. But there is no abuse and any sexual "control" is completely consensual and respectful - to the point where the guy constantly checks to make sure Karissa is okay with everything. He loves and cares for her but, more than that, he respects her as an autonomous individual and frequently asks what she wants.

The "dark" side of this book actually didn't feel that dark to me, but maybe that just means I've seen way too many gangster movies. Usually with these kinds of books, the "dark" aspect is centred around the guy having kidnapped the woman and/or abusing her in some way. Until she inevitably falls in love with him - did you know that it's not really rape if the rapist has a pretty face? Neither did I. But the guy's (still refusing to call him Naz) dark secret in Monster in His Eyes is only indirectly linked to their relationship. It's more to do with his questionable "professional" antics on the side - which I was able to forgive. Unlike actions such as rape and abuse, which I view as unforgivable.

So, my mind hasn't changed about this subgenre, but if you were on the lookout for dark erotica books that don't actually make you want to cast yourself from the nearest tall building... here you go ;)
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 13, 2014 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by O.R. (last edited Sep 26, 2014 02:07PM) (new)

O.R. I only read (free) first few pages (because erotica is not really my thing usually but I loved Extinguish by this author) but I was impressed by the scene where he helps her after she gets wasted, he takes her home and leaves her in the bed. Does not touch her, does not lie down by her, nothing. Especially that after reading this scene I read someone's review of another erotica novel where a dude said that he has all the right to have sex with an unconscious girl because she was laying there. Ugh.


message 2: by Emily May (new) - added it

Emily May I know, this genre makes me feel sick 99% of the time :/ But I was pleasantly surprised by this one despite it still not really being my thing.


Monica **can't read fast enough** GREAT review Emily May!


message 4: by Emily May (new) - added it

Emily May Thank you!


message 5: by Jessy (new) - added it

Jessy Your review is compelling me to read this book, but I'm put off by books with such young hero(ine)s. You mention that there mostly bad books in this genre - any other exception to the rule?


message 6: by Tammy (new) - added it

Tammy thank you for your look out on rape and abused relationship. I hate those elements in dark romance.


message 7: by Renégade ♥ (last edited Dec 12, 2017 06:33PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Renégade ♥ But there is no abuse and any sexual "control" is completely consensual and respectful - to the point where the guy constantly checks to make sure Karissa is okay with everything. He loves and cares for her but, more than that, he respects her as an autonomous individual and frequently asks what she wants.

I really appreciate that you wrote an unrated review for this, Emily.

Without the above excerpt, I probably wouldn't have ever gotten around to reading it, despite my curiosity. I wanted to see how this dark, erotic tale was handled by the author and find out what the deal was.

Like you, I was pleasantly surprised.

This isn't my typical kind of read, but I do intend to read the next book in this series to see where it all goes...

Anyways, thanks again :)


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