Saturday, May 3, 2014

Seductive Shadows (Shadows #1) by Marni Mann

Charlie is a passionate, sensually-inspired art student, desperately seeking an escape from the abusive past that haunts her and a tragic accident that emptied her heart. Scarred and unable to love, her yearning for physical pleasure leads her into a tantalizing, dangerous world of power and seduction. The anonymity of the deal offers security; the money brings financial freedom and the madam is the mother figure she longs for.

But the thrill of the mansion and its arousing dominance quickly fades when she meets renowned-yet-mysterious Cameron Hardy, whose intense baby blue eyes send a nervous flutter through her core. Cameron is sexy, and not in a subtle way. He stimulates Charlie’s art, her intellect and her desires. Just as he begins to break through her emotional boundaries, she discovers a devastating connection between her past and her scandalous work at the mansion, shattering everything she thought to be true.

Type: Dark Romance? Going for ertoica?
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Amazon | All Romance | Goodreads

Hrm. So I'm mixed on Seductive Shadows. It was one I liked but didn't love. Enjoyed parts and was left going what the ever living fuck? over others. Loved the premise but not all the carry through and in the end was just left feeling kinda torn as a single choice late one night changes everything for Charlie and puts her life at risk.

Okay. So there's a lot going on in Seductive Shadows. Charlie--that's the heroine-- had a horrid childhood and is dealing with being the sole provider for her abusive mother as she's dying from cancer and is barely making ends meat at a night job. Then one night she's offered a chance to basically become a prostitute at a secretive mansion and be paid through the roof to be the play thing for men with dark tastes. And the girl jumps on it. Like...that! She loves sex. It's her escape. So why not be paid for what she craves.

::slow blink:: Well, okay then!

I was actually totally on board for the most part at this point. I was liking the set up, the taboo feel, the potential for some scorching and edgy sex, the struggle as Charlie straddled the line between being an art student, falling for her partner and caring for her mother and with her secret life and the warped views of sex and love she carries around that stem from her childhood.

And I was loving the men involved. Those in her secret life--a couple of the John's were rather interesting--and in her regular life. Charlie's art school partner Cameron...who is a wildly successful artist and encourages her. Treats her with respect and is just good for her and that she can't help but start falling for. And her friend Dallas who is there for her no matter what. Even when she really doesn't treat him with the same respect and uses him for an outlet for her sexual needs. I really liked both men and would love to see more of them and their lives. Not just Charlie's and how they intersect with it.

But in the end, while I liked some parts, things didn't really pull together quite right. I had a hard time really connecting with Charlie overall and while all the bits for the storyline were there it just felt too...loose? Like it needed another go though to tighten up the storyline and make things mesh better and make the writing a bit cleaner.

And while it's deemed erotica it wasn't really all that steamy. Lots of lead up and glimpses but most of the action was off page. Which was kind of disappointing. Just too much of a tease I guess. I want my erotica steamy and on the damn page so I can enjoy it too. lol

Then to cap it all off there was the twist. What was really behind this BDSM mansion and her job as a prostitute there. I'm all for a twisty storyline but this was so far out there it had me rolling my eyes and going oh whatever. It brought danger into the mix but just wasn't believable. So that lost me quite a bit and left me rather mixed with it all especially when I realized the story continues in Seductive Secrecy. Hurmf. Yes. We have a cliffy. So. Over. Those. While I'd like to see how it ends and enjoyed parts it's not one I'm jumping at the bits to pick up either. 

Have you read Marni Mann? What did you think?
Do you like edgy reads that test society's limits morally?

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