Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Title: Maiden and the Monster
Author: Michelle M. Pillow
Publishing Date: 2005
Genre: Medieval (Erotic)
Lady Eden unconscious after being severely beaten and smelling of pig manure is left to die just outside the Duke of Lakeshire's castle. He mistakenly believes the bundle of fowl smelling furs is just that, but his servant discovers that the pile is actually a woman who is barely alive. Vladamir against his will at the insistence of his servant and friend Ulric, places the woman in Ulric's care to recover. However, after Eden is cleaned up and the swelling in her face lessons he realizes how attractive Eden is and wonders where she came from and how she came to be found in her condition on his doorstep, so to speak.
I was pleasantly surprised by Maiden and the Monster. It is published by Ellora's Cave, which is known for their erotic romance, but also the stories are generally shorter. Maiden in the Monster is 355 pages and wasn't quite as erotic as other Ellora's Cave books I have read in the past, but this is actually one of the reasons the story worked as well as it did for me. I thought the history of the time period was well researched and the characters true to the time period. I was expecting one thing and got something else and it was a pleasant surprise.
Vladamir is a bit of a beast. He was jilted by his first wife of whom he adored and loved. She in turn was a selfish, horrid woman who scarred Vladamir deeply. He has built up walls to keep people out and he puts on a mask of indifference and cruelty when in reality his is a very sensitive, affectionate man. Eden discovers that his bark is worse than his bite and believes that he is a good man. His actions have spoken louder than words in the way he cares for her. She has been around other men who have treated her cruelly and Vladamir is not one of them.
My one little complaint about the book is that there is a very passionate love scene towards the latter half of the book in a very beautiful outdoor setting. This scene took me by surprise and this time, not in a good way. The scene went in a direction that seemed out of character for Vladamir and Eden. It seemed as if it was to be more sexually explicit for the reader as a way to titillate, instead of being the true motivations of the characters. Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be reading to much into how a publisher might influence the outcome of a book and that one scene did not overly influence my experience when reading this book. I just felt like mentioning it. Anyone who wants more details feel free to email or comment.
This book can be purchased in print from Amazon.