Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Sapphire Blue

Sapphire Blue

Title: Sapphire Blue
Author: G. Doucette
Publication Date: February 27 2014
Source: NetGalley

Has Mara lost control, or has it been taken from her?

Mara Cantor’s life is boring and uncomplicated, and she likes it that way. She has her internship at the museum—a job she shares with her roommate, Davis—and while it is low-paying and occasionally mind-numbing, it gives her all the free time she needs to finish her thesis. And that is just fine.

But when Argent Leeds, the internationally famous playboy and raconteur, visits Mara’s museum, he brings with him the most exciting archeological discovery in decades: the Pazuzu gemstones. Long assumed to be nothing more than a myth by most scholars, the gemstones are rumored to possess mystical powers.

Between Argent, his gemstones, and Davis, Mara’s boring life has suddenly gotten very complicated. Now she is caught up in a sexual adventure that is either the most exciting time of her life . . . or the most terrifying.

I just have to start by saying I love Gene Doucette. I read and reviewed his three previous books so when this one came around I knew I had to get it as well. And the fact that it was erotica? Well that just intrigued me more since it was something new from him.

I admit though that part of the reason why I wanted to read this one so badly was because of the reviews. It seemed as a reader you either loved it or hated it. Okay, there were a few in the middle reviewers but mostly it’s black or white.  Words like “uncomfortable” and “dark” were thrown around a lot and that just made me want it even more.

Was it uncomfortable? I was pretty cozy for the most part but I can definitely see how it would unsettle some readers. Was it dark? Um, yeah. But it was also Doucette that was writing it and his awesome style of storytelling flowed through the pages making it a fantastic read. Have I mentioned how much I love him?

I’m not going to recap the summary on this one or get into character detail. You want to know about the characters personality or what they do career wise pick up the book. I’m just going to get right into it. 

There is a lot, and I mean a lot of talk about Argent being creepy. I didn’t find Argent creepy at first. He was written like any other wealthy male character: arrogant, cocky and a bit of a jackass. But that was my first impression, and like most when it comes to men I was wrong. Very wrong. He is creepy, but I think he needs to be in order for this to work. Let’s face it, a normal happy go lucky guy couldn’t pull this shit off. He needs to have the “ick” factor to him.

Some of the power he has over Mara is disturbing, and probably not the parts most have found odd. For example when they’re having dinner (and um lion steak??) and he asks if she’s warm, she says no, he comments on her blouse being all the way buttoned up and it being warm and suddenly she is and her blouse is off.  And then the bra was off and she’s just sitting there like it’s completely normal to be talking business with this guy half nude. Maybe I’m a little odd, but just sitting there with her tits hanging out having dinner was one of the oddest things he had her do. The rest was dirty and gritty for sure, but that was just plain weird.

I always wonder just how much research authors do for their books—especially books like this one. Does one sit and Google “sex toys”? (Which I may or may not have done after reading the description of “the buzz saw”.) Or is it something a little more involved than just a web search? “Hey, honey, I’m writing some new erotic adventure. Wanna go toy shopping with me.” Hell yeah! “Maybe on the way home we can stop by Madame’s House of Pain for a little further research.” Ummm…let me think about that one, babe. C’mon, I really wanna know!

Mara’s reaction to finding out Argent had basically prostituted her out to find out if some myth was actually real was way milder than I would have expected. “You intentionally had me wear something that you knew was going to turn me into a whore and pimped me out to a houseful of people? Oh, all right. Should we have breakfast now?” What?! No! The appropriate response would have been to castrate the sick bastard and let him bleed out on the floor.

But with all the heat on Argent for being this wack job, Mara is no better. She’s just as insane. For example when she’s talking with Susan and is told about what Argent did to her, her response was, “I think I need to break up with him.” Dude! You were just told he held someone captive and you think you need to break up with him. I think you need mental help. You need to get the fuck outta there or else the next think he serves won’t be lion but Mara.
And all these people making excuses for him, even Susan. “He deserves to be happy.” “He’s not a bad person.” Yes, because all decent, normal people hold others against their will. Argh! I gotta say though, the ending was so worth it. Mara definitely got her dark and disturbed on with payback and it was brilliant.

For someone just dipping his toes in the erotic pool, this book is fantastic. I love the controversy that surrounds it. How some people see what Argent did as no better than rape, while others (like me) see the more bewitching side to it. Was it wrong? Fuck yes. Was it disturbed? You bet. Was it good? Oh so good.

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