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Velvet Night*

Oh, Ick… on So Many Levels!

Oh, mercy, where do I start with what’s wrong with this book? I’ll start with a few simple things. There were issues with language. I thought all the characters sounded the same. Unfortunately, everyone’s language was incredibly stilted and somewhat pompous (not sounding like real speech or even the elevated type we like to see in historicals), and this bled into the narrative, non-dialogue portions of the book as well. The author misused several words, including the era-specific word of “nuncheon,” which is another way of saying the mid-day meal. In this book, she had the heroine call herself that as if it were a term meaning a silly person.

The book has an extended prologue that takes up nearly 10% of the book and details the time around the murder of the heroine’s father. Chapter one picks up ten years later, and the heroine still isn’t past all that transpired at that time. To bring us forward in time, the author does a lot of telling about what the previous ten years had been like. There had to have been a better way to accomplish this.

I didn’t like the hero—a requirement for me to like a romance—and I couldn’t understand why the heroine liked him either. He treated her terribly throughout the book. The author definitely should have mentioned in the blurb of the book that it contains elements of  what is politely termed in romance fiction as “domestic discipline” or “power exchange.” I never read books that have any aspect of that as I have zero interest in reading about any form of physical abuse (even adult spanking), sadism, or masochism. While some people like that in a book, a lot of us don’t, and it is considerate for an author to let us know so we can bypass books that won’t interest us.

I also thought that the book was a bit outlandish in its plotline. The book was far too melodramatic at times. The title of the book states that it is the author’s cut, and the blurb further states that the author has edited the book with modern sensibilities in mind. I find myself wondering what she adjusted to what she believes modern readers like (as if we were an amorphous mass that all liked or disliked the same thing). This book rubbed me wrong in so many ways; I cannot recommend it.