Lust and Lies by E.C. Jarvis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book ticks so many boxes, that I don't know which one to choose. F|F (view spoiler)[♥Lenora & Beth♥ (hide spoiler)] <3, abuse, taboo, BdSM (oh yes!), but basically it's erotica/ erotic romance. And why is that? Because this book revolves around the sex scenes. This time, however, it's not only to produce an heir, it's also about having fun.
I must admit that I had regular troubles with this book. It didn't keep my attention, and I was reluctant to pick it up again. To me, it felt as if the author had the exact same troubles as I had, but that's just a subjective assumption.
Let's start with the highlights: the sex scenes.
There are several absolutely different scenes ticking all the different boxes.
Most of them were sexy; some were awkward, yet realistic; some were sweet. It's these scenes that carry the book, as the are the scenes that are fun to read, believable, interesting and therefore the core of the story.
The problem is that the contrast between those highlights and the rest of the book appears so extreme, that I personally had problems to connect to the book.
Leonora becomes a bit more self-confident, but not because of her own doing, but because her main antagonist is gone, it stays like that after his return, only to end in her being more threatened. And it is revealed the positive progress with her husband is not her doing either, which is disappointing. Also, I had a hart time believing her infatuation with the father of her child turning into love, albeit having a child together often deepens a connection, but I would have loved to get a more detailes explanation in the book.
And there is a major plot hole that this picky person here cannot ignore: (view spoiler)[Avery entrusts young Lenora with royal duties, and elevates her to an equal position of responsibility without any explanation why the girl should seem fit - she's 18 after all, without any briefing or instruction. She basically would rule the empire after his demise without any experience or council to advise her.
I'm sorry, but that's just unrealistic and makes no sense. (hide spoiler)]
And now, I am at a dilemma about how to rate this book. Does it live up to the first book? I must say no. It felt many times rushed, not explaining some things, ignoring others.
I guess it's the sudden end of the book, that disappointed me most. It's obvious that it would happen, but the way it does is a bit over the top for me. Although the brutality of it is explained at the very end, it is this explanation ruins pretty much everything what made me believe to be Lenora's work, and also I have troubles buying it. (view spoiler)[The drug makes Avery aggressive after just one or two days, when his body had six months to reduce it? After he and Lenora came along to perfectly? Someone who is so careful to hide his transgressions has no self-reflection at all (hide spoiler)]
Maybe it's because it took me so long to finish it that I mostly remember the downsides, which is why I am rounding up my rating. I think in the end this book lacked the soul the first one had.
I wish I could a different rating, because this author is such a sweet person, but I have to stay true to myself
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