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Monday, June 21, 2010

Dane: Lords of Satyr by Elizabeth Amber

Dane: Lords of Satyr by Elizabeth Amber
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (255 pgs)
Other: Light Bondage, M/F, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Voyeurism, Rape
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Viscaria

The dark sensuality of the Lords of Satyr returns to 1880s Italy, where these powerful men indulge in their lust without inhibition…

An Appetite For Pleasure

When Dane Satyr approaches Eva for her services as a matchmaker, she offers him more than just introductions. Dane has discovered that Eva is a Satyr like himelf, full of insatiable dark desires. Their attraction combusts instantaneously, unlocking pleasures that neither can resist repeating… even as Eva seeks out a mortal bride for Dane…

A Demand That Can’t Be Denied

Dane knows that the anonymous enemies of his past are now smiling in his face, but unmasking them is no easy task. A ring of sex slavers is at work amidst the high society he courts, and revealing his sensual powers could expose his greatest vulnerability. But having sampled the delights of a satyr mistress, Dane finds his own desires rising against him as well…

The last time I visited the world of the Satyrs in Italy, I thought it would be exactly that: the last time. Imagine my delight to learn that Elizabeth Amber had started another set of Satyr books set several years after the first books, but in a different part of Italy. Again, I was pulled into one of Ms. Amber’s books until the last page was turned and I kept tapping the next button on my e-reader hoping for just a few more words and a few more hints as to what would happen next.

Dane Satyr and Eva Delacorte were absolutely wonderful to get to know. Ms. Amber has a way of painting a picture of her characters that brings them to vivid life. So much so that you feel you are standing next to them speaking to them and learning all about them. Furthermore, the two characters are rather mysterious. At first I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on, but as usual with Elizabeth Amber I couldn’t put the book down and had to see what all would be revealed.

Dane was definitely a tortured hero, not unusual for Ms. Amber, but I wasn’t sure at first why he was so tortured. As more was discovered it made more sense. Heck, I felt tortured for him. And yet, all the way through I felt he was incredibly strong of will and mind to have made it through what he did. I seriously wanted him to find who he was looking for and to realize how much he needed a certain woman in his life, not just any woman to appease the ElseWorld Council. I was rooting for him, hoping for him and wishing I could reach into the book and poke him in the right direction. I loved how he made his stand and let the woman who owned his heart help to heal him.

Eva was an interesting, and incredibly complex heroine with her own secrets. One of them I knew almost from the start, but there were more to be uncovered that just added layer upon layer to this multifaceted woman. She had great reason for turmoil, but also realized that she has great reason for joy. That was something I adored about her; her capacity to find the joy in those in her life. I did get upset with her a few times. I wanted her to stand up for herself and find her own happiness, not the happiness others felt she needed to seek out. At the same time I realized that you can’t just throw years of teachings and indoctrinations out the window, especially if promises were made. When she did step out of her comfort zone to find the one man who could give her everything her heart desired, I cheered and hunkered down for the fireworks.

I did have one issue with the book, but it was only one of personal curiosity. Nothing that pulled me from the book, just something that lingered in the back of my mind anytime I had to put the story down to attend to everyday matters. To this moment I’m still unsure who exactly the brothers are. I kept hoping that more light would be shed on their lineage – if they were from parents that we met in previous books or if they were simply a different set of Satyrs. I understood to a point that this book was apparently set fifty years after the first four books, but I wanted to know how they were related or unrelated to the first books. It didn’t diminish my enjoyment at all, and doesn’t even warrant a deduction in rating, it was simply my insane curiosity rearing its devious head.

As was typical of a tale by Ms. Amber, the secondary characters brought a multitude of emotions to the mix. From the requisite evil-doers to the girls Eva has saved, we run the gamut from an oily feeling of evil to the sweet adoration a mother had for her children. I loved Mimi and Lena, and could imagine their mischievous spirits as they bounced through the house, and wanted to protect them when evil came calling. Certain secondary characters upset me more than others. In some the evil and sociopathic behavior was expected, even if it is unfortunate. In others I was given certain hints, yet I still felt surprise when they were unmasked as someone not entirely out for the good of those they professed to love. These characters I almost felt sorry for, but then they would suggest or do something unforgiveable and my sympathy flew out the window. Another example of how this author has mastered the art of storytelling.

Ms. Amber is just what I said above – a consummate storyteller. She never shies away from the more difficult subject matter that makes her stories so very unique. She brings forth into the light such things as disassociation, split personalities and sexual slavery of the non-consensual type without alienating the reader. It’s not done for titillation, but instead to bring to light things that her characters have to deal with and overcome. The mystery plots were entertaining and intertwined as the reader has more information than the characters, but still didn’t know what would happen.

And let’s not forget the heat and flash of arousal we find in her highly erotic love scenes. The language of the sexual acts is reminiscent of a time long past without seeming like that annoying purple prose sometimes evident in stories set in those time periods. Instead, it drew me in and kept me breathless from one moment to the next. It is obvious Ms. Amber wants to invoke a certain feel of a more romantic time period while still appealing to more modern readers. And she pulls it off beautifully.

All told, Dane: Lords of Satyr was another wonderful, fabulous and gorgeous offering by Elizabeth Amber that will go on my keeper shelf. Once again, Elizabeth Amber has left me with a smile on my face as the last page was turned, and I highly anticipate the next two books in the series. I especially can’t wait to see how some of my favorite characters are doing.

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