passion rating: hot
Dear Ms. Callaway:
I was bemused and not particularly enchanted by your gothic paranormal novel Abigail Jones. Everything about it, from the demented sex-starved demonesses to the enormity of your hero’s penis, was over the top. Very little about the heroine, her plight, the hero, his predicament, or the eye-popping plot called to me to. Ultimately, I found the story silly and, despite the many erotic scenes, unsexy and unromantic.
You open the book with a poem by the famous Pre-Raphaelite painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Of Adam’s first wife, Lilith, it is told(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)That, ere the snake’s, her sweet tongue could deceive,And her enchanted hair was the first gold.And still she sits, young while the earth is old,And, subtly of herself contemplative,Draws men to watch the bright web she can weave,Till heart and body and life are in its hold.The rose and poppy are her flower; for whereIs he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scentAnd soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare?Lo! as that youth’s eyes burned at thine, so wentThy spell through him, and left his straight neck bentAnd round his heart one strangling golden hair.Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The poem has a literal significance to your tale: the villain of this gothic romance is the Lilith, first wife of Adam, Mother of the Demons, and Queen of the Night. As the hero, Hux, explains:
According to ancient Semitic scriptures, she was created by God as the first wife for Adam. Though her beauty was unparalleled, she was querulous and headstrong. When she refused to take a subservient role, Adam complained to God. God gave him another wife, Eve, and Adam cast Lilith aside. Enraged, Lilith set the earth aflame and fled amidst the smoke of burning poppies. She has ruled the darkness ever since.
She’s done nothing but become more evil over the centuries and now, at the height of Victoria’s rule, Hux says, the Mother of Demons has a horrific goal.
Lilith is building an army, and when her power is great enough, she plans to overtake our world. To create her own empire of everlasting hell.
Our hero, Lord Lucien Langsford, Earl Huxton (Hux to his—none of which exist in this book—friends), has been tasked with defeating Lilith. He has this burden because when Hux was young, he was blamelessly responsible for a horrible injury to his brother John who subsequently took his own life. Years later, while living in Italy, Hux met a woman. He describes the encounter to Abigail:
“Her name was Isabella Del Blanco. We met at a masquerade in Florence. She was the young widow of a wealthy merchant and the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I still remember the dress she wore that night: layers of white and gold that floated around her. I thought her an angel descended into our midst.”He was looking at me, but his eyes had that distant focus again. I knew he was seeing his wife as he had that first time. Reliving that moment forever imprinted upon his memory.“I had to know her. But she was surrounded by admirers, and I—so used to the attention of the fair sex—I could not get her to notice me. So I bided my time. I waited until I saw her slip out to a balcony, and I followed her there. I pressed for an introduction. But it turned out she knew me already—she had heard of my exploits from her friends, she said, and she wanted to know if the rumors were true.”“Rumors?” I could not help but ask.A dull flush spread over his cheekbones. “About my … stamina. ‘Twas a trifling matter grossly exaggerated.” He cleared his throat. “At any rate, she seduced me that night. Then and there, on the balcony overlooking a piazza brimming with revelers, she took me as no woman ever had. I had thought myself experienced in carnal arts, but she overwhelmed me completely—with her beauty, her lack of restraint. I had never felt this way with another woman. The next morning, I asked her to marry me. Within a week, we were wed by special license.”
Isabella turned out to actually be Lilith and, after making Hux’s life a torment and murdering their son, she abandoned him. Hux, unable to overcome his grief over his son’s death, was about to hurl himself out the nursery window when he was visited by another paranormal creature, this one on the side of good, Michael, Captain of the Army of Light. Michael told Hux that if Hux could defeat Lilith and her slutty offspring, the Lilin,
God would pardon my brother’s sin and let John be at rest at last. Michael gave me a blessed sword and knowledge of the words and ritual to cast a demonic force from its humanly shell.
This back-story is too bent for me. First of all, the idea that Hux is so good in bed—it’s already been established he’s hung like an elephant—that the Queen of the Night finds him just to try out his goodies, sticks around to make him miserable, gets pregnant with his son, and then suffering a post-partum depression caused by the fact she really wanted a girl, kills the kid and dumps Hux all seems beyond far-fetched to me. Add to that, a mystical messenger from a mean God—Hux, who is completely innocent in his brother’s suicide, has to take on the Biggest Bad because God is keeping John is some sort of nasty purgatory and he won’t let him out unless Hux rids the world of Evil—and a bunch of hell-bitch women who are horrifically horny and trying to destroy the world one cock at a time and you have a story so lacking in credibility, it’s ridiculous.
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