Monday, August 18, 2008

Review - Sleeping with the Devil

Title: Sleeping with the Devil
Author: Vanessa Marlow
Publishing Date: April 2008
Genre: General Fiction
Rating: C
Sensuality: Burning

First off, let me make sure that I state up front that this book is NOT a romance. I am sure some of you are scratching your head, asking yourselves why I am reviewing this book then, since this is a romance book review blog. Well, you see, the author Vanessa Marlow is actually a pseudonym for the well known romance author Cheryl Holt. Wendy the Super Librarian had reviewed this book and it intrigued me so that is why read the book and since I try to review every book I read I went ahead and reviewed this one too.

Naive, young Meg White meets Jordan Blair, a sexy, wealthy man and is unable to resist his charms. She dumps her current boyfriend Sandy, leaves her meager possessions and what few friends she had behind to go live with Jordan. What ensues is the story of Meg’s complete, painful degradation at the hands of Jordan, told in first person from her point of view.

This is a very dark story. Holt leaves nothing to the imagination. She slowly, in painstaking detail shows the downward spiral of Meg’s relationship with Jordan, from the blissful newfound love and attraction to mental and physical abuse; to the point that Meg thinks she is loosing her mind.

Cheryl Holt does a really good job of setting the mood for this story. Right from the beginning, the book has sinister overtones and it is no surprise to the reader that Jordan is not a normal, sane man. This was one of the issues that I had with Meg. Several times at the beginning of the story when she first meets Jordan, several red flags go up. Does she ever heed her gut instinct and listen to what her heart is telling her? No, she ignores it and this is why she ends up in the situation she is in. I had a hard time feeling sympathetic to her. Actually, that is not true, what Meg endured at the hands of Jordan was just horrible. I can't even fathom it.

Jordan was just creepy. Oh my goodness. I was definitely terrified of the man. For those of you who want to know, yes, there is a positive solution to Meg’s problem. Would I call it a happy ending? No, I would not. That is another thing I had an issue with, was the lack of closure at the end of the story. I needed more. I guess I will have to leave it at that without heading into spoiler territory.

Here is what others had to say:

The Misadventures of Super Librarian
Ramblings on Romance


Kris said...

Wow, I had heard that she was writing under a pseudonym and was interested in reading it. But did not know that it was not a romance or that dark. I am not sure if I want to read it now. Great review, thanks for sharing.

Are you ready for TS Fay? Sucky way to start the school year. I hope that you fare well through the storm :)

Tracy said...

Dear Lord how could you read it. I just read your review and was shivering at the remarks you made about her mental and physical abuse. How horrible. Good review but I think I'll be passing on this one! :)

How was your daughters first day at school?

Jace said...

Jill, I tagged you for this meme. I hope you'll join in the fun. *grin*

Wendy said...

I'm glad my review intrigued you, but sorry it only ended up being a C read for you.

I think a big reason why I graded this book higher (a B for me) was I was blown away by the idea that Holt wrote this book. It is so different from her romances (which haven't worked for me at all), and I was strangely compelled by it. The mystery/suspense/thriller lover in me I suppose.

Totally agree with you on the ending. I thought it was "happy" (but I'm warped!), but there really did need to be more closure after what Meg endures for the previous 300 pages!

FYI - I saw Holt at RWA, and from the sounds of it we probably shouldn't expect more Marlow books anytime in the near future. This one didn't sell so well, and she's switching publishers from St. I can't remember who now. Ballantine? Or was it Bantam? Anyway - she's moving.

Jill D. said...

Wendy, I actually had a hard time grading it. The book was very well written and it was a griping story that I read very quickly because I couldn't put it down. On the other hand, it was a very disturbing and dark book. The end was so abrupt. I could have used another chapter or two at the end.

I have read only one other of Holt's books and it didn't really work for me as well. I think she is too kinky for my tastes :)

Tracy, I sometimes enjoy a dark book and was in the mood for something different. After reading it though, I had to cleanse the palate with light and fluffy :)

My daughter said she had a good first day. She told me they worked her really hard at P.E. I had to laugh at that. She didn't go to school today because of the tropical storm Fay. Luckily it wasn't a bad storm and she will be back in school tomorrow.

Kris, Turns out Fay wasn't so big of a threat, thank goodness! I didn't work today, but I will go back tomorrow. The kids included. It didn't affect you to badly did it?

Kris said...

I am glad that it went well for you. So far so good here. :) We go back tomorrow as well.