Sunday, July 4, 2010

Review- Lessons Learned: Eldritch Legacy II by Katrina Strauss

Lessons Learned: Eldritch Legacy 2
by Katrina Strauss
Sept. 2009
Historical/ Fantasy/ Paranormal/ BDSM/ erotica/m/f, f/f, m/f/f/m
Ebook- Loose Id

Buy it Loose-Id, Fictionwise, ARe, Amazon (Kindle)

An enlightened woman of her times, Camille Rocheford stirs up controversy with a novel published under her true name rather than a male pseudonym. Yet despite her modern views, Camille is at odds with the carefree morals of her more open peers. Lured into summering at the home of an undisclosed host, she is shocked to meet the infamous Stefan Eldritch, the greatest scandal being her instant attraction to him.

Stefan Eldritch is known for his provocative verse, more so for his wild soirees. Born into wealth, the poet enjoys a life of excess even as he holds the aristocracy in contempt. But one luxury eludes him—the woman who can match him in both wits and in bed. Until he meets Camille.

An unlikely pair, Stefan and Camille fall into creative collaboration—and unbridled romance. When the lovers stumble upon the lost path of the Magi, the power they unleash plunges them deeper into a world of reckless abandon. Yet sinister forces lurk in wait, putting the power of the pen and a pledge of love to the ultimate test.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, BDSM theme and content, ménage and moresome (m/f/m, m/f/f/m, partner swapping), same-sex interaction (f/f), voyeurism.

First, it’s hard for me not to compare this story to the first Eldritch Legacy book of the series, which I found to be exceptionally good. Secrets Revealed rocked as far as I’m concerned and even now the two main characters sit in my head as characters to set the bar by in their depth, intensity and overall characterization.

Lessons Learned carries on with the colorful and creative mix of having the feel of an historical with a bit of the paranormal and fantasy elements intertwined that Secrets Revealed had. It takes place few centuries later with Stefan Eldritch being a direct descendant of Lord Eldritch and Inga. Unlike Lord Eldritch though Stefan doesn’t quite have the intensity, purpose and darkness about him. He’s a lot more pampered and although he does have that dominant vibe about him, I felt overall he was a bit too soft and placating. This is one part where I think had I not read the first book, I might feel differently. The bar was set rather high already.

Stefan is basically living off of his family’s money in their ancestral home. He’s known to be a playboy and partier, the black sheep of his family and not really caring much about anything except is life of debauchery. When he meets Camille, it’s instant love and attraction. He introduces her into the world of BDSM, which she readily goes along with even though she initially comes across as spinsterish and shy. However, when Camille takes off, leaving him, he turns into a mush ball. Or if she decides to not be submissive, he doesn’t push it. I personally felt that he would be the type to be p-whipped in the long run. So while I rather liked Stefan as a character in general, he didn’t quite jump out at me like Lord Eldritch did as someone memorable.

Camille starts out rather innocent and prudish. I liked this. I love a female character who’s a bit uptight and cool and all proper at first and on the surface. So I got off on Camille in the beginning. She quickly though, and I mean almost right from the beginning, finds herself attracted to Stefan being dominant and being OK with him treating her submissively. I felt that happened a bit too quickly and easily. It’s not that I felt a disconnect in her personality, it’s just she went from 0-60 within a short period of time. I guess I would have, or I actually did wish there was more seduction involved that would have been drawn her out to show that she really wasn’t such a wanton woman in heat without needing more coaxing. But that’s strictly my preference.

As female characters go, I love me female who is or can be submissive and yet dominant and strong in other ways and Camille shows that she can be. She literally walks away from Stefan and she literally saves his life. On this level I quite enjoyed Camille. However, again, she was not as crisp and intense a character for me like Inga was. Maybe it was that Stefan being a bit washed out didn’t give enough contrast to make Camille really shine for me.

Even with my criticisms, I’m certainly not saying this is not a worthy book, it is. I loved the continuation of the generations theme. Camille finds Lord Eldritch’s mask in the river and it becomes an important magical item that connects the generations. The use of paranormal concepts as a connection to the characters in the former book, and which I think will be in the next book set in current times, is very nicely and uniquely done. Camille in particular finds her psychic abilities, which she never acknowledged and which has made her fearful at times, connects her and Stefan to the past.

The secondary characters Nicolette and Klauss, to be honest, felt placed in there specifically to turn this into a foursome. Their characterizations stayed mostly on the surface giving Camille and Stefan others to interact with and have contrast with.

On the level of how hot this book was, well, Katrina Strauss certainly delivered on that account. Maybe for me there was a bit too much sex in the beginning, but it’s very well written and erotically charged. And for the purposes of LVLM blog interest, there was quite a bit f/f mixed with m/f in it. Some of the best scenes are with all four and although the men are never with each other. All four do have strong feelings for each other and the f/f was written very honestly, Nicolette being Camille’s best friend. It came off as loving and natural and no big deal that they took it a step further.

This is exactly the type of book I love to read. As far as the BDSM aspect, I felt it a bit more subdued than in Secrets Revealed. Although all the elements are there and Stefan is very commanding at times, maybe again it was due to my feeling that Stefan didn’t quite step up to the plate or that he wasn’t as dramatic in his characterization. Or maybe I’m so used to well written BDSM now from Katrina Strauss that I don’t bat an eye at it. Heh.

The story on the whole, is rather fast paced and full of adventure and crisis, especially mid way on. Stefan and Camille have collaborated on some salacious and politically charged pamphlets that they’ve had published anonymously. His family, who feel he is a traitor anyway, cause a lot of trouble for him and this part of the story, along with the erotic adventures, are what made this book a good book for me ultimately.

I definitely recommend it for those who enjoy the particular elements to this book. Well written BDSM, historical fantasy, and most importantly for this blog, the f/f or m/f/f/m interactions. I look forward to reading the next installment of this series if only to see where Katrina Strauss takes it.

Heat level: 5 – BDSM, Anal, F/F, M/F/FM, D/s dynamics. Frequent, graphically written sexual scenarios.

Grade- B+


M. A. said...


All right. you sold me. I have to try this. Maybe I can squeeze it in before the end of the month.

LVLM said...

Heh, time to read? What is that? snort

This one is a bit longer than the usual, but nicely written.