Tempt Me With Darkness – Shayla Black

Tempt Me With Darkness
Shayla Black
New York: Pocket Books
384 pages

Some authors are really good at working sex into a plot; while romance novels are supposed to be steamy, I tend to prefer the ones where there’s a story besides the flesh and fantasies. Unfortunately, this book didn’t quite make the blend as smooth as some.

The premise is that Marrok, a fictional knight of King Arthur’s court, has been cursed with immortality after sleeping with (and subsequently pissing off) Morganna le Fey. A descendant of Morganna, Olivia, happens into his life seemingly by chance, and Marrok instantly assumes Olivia is Morganna in disguise (again). Cue much confused feelings of lust on both their parts. Unfortunately, this is where it gets bad. Their first coupling leads to an incomplete life-bond which reveals Olivia as a newbie witch in her own right–the kicker is that the bond was done incorrectly (because Marrok didn’t spill his seed) and in order to keep a now highly-randy Olivia alive, Marrok has to sleep with her numerous times each day. To top it off, there’s an enchanted spell book that holds part of the key to breaking Marrok’s curse floating about, an evil magician who leads an army called Anarki, and…well..I won’t ruin the ending for you.

The characters aren’t particularly memorable, and the plotline could use more originality. The best parts were probably the sex scenes, though phrases like “his thick staff” were rather melodramatic. Granted, these are rather par for the course for the genre, but there wasn’t much that made this book stand out from the crowd.

It’s not an unreadable book, but I have read better from Pocket Books. If you want something for an easy afternoon’s read (whether with licentious intentions or not), it’s worth taking a look, but it’s not something that really jumps out at me for a re-read.

Two pawprints out of five.

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2 Comments

  1. Phil said,

    August 12, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    This is interesting, because Marrok comes up as the name of a knight who is a (big surprise!) werewolf, in Malory originally, and I think it has been taken up subsequently by a few modern (i.e. 19th and 20th c.) Arthurian writers as well.

  2. lupabitch said,

    August 12, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Phil–*nods* The author took enough liberties with the character that there’s really no resemblance beyond name. No werewolfery, no Bisclavret-style betrayal by the wife. Hence the “fictional” appelation.


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