Review of Sharon Page’s Erotic Vampire Novel, Blood Red

Blood RedI grabbed a practically new (maybe even new) paperback copy of this book at the secondhand shop.

Description from Goodreads:
Take a bite of desire…

Althea Yates is a vampire hunter, skilled with the crossbow and the stake. But she knows nothing of a man’s touch—or how to control the unladylike dreams that haunt her sleep. That is when they come, two men of unearthly beauty who ravish her in sweet carnal games, taking her to the precipice of exquisite desire and unimaginable erotic pleasure. It is scandalous. Forbidden. Unholy. For her lovers are not men, but vampires—the very beasts she and her father have sworn to destroy.

It is only a dream…until the elegant carriage arrives at the inn, drawn by four black horses. Until Yannick de Wynter, Earl of Brookshire, alights, silver-eyed, determined, and hungry for something she cannot name. And suddenly, Althea is no longer certain whether she has had a dream… or a dangerously erotic premonition…

I’m gonna use a star rating here and go with three stars for this book. But that needs to be understood as three stars on the erotica rating scale. I’m not really suggesting there is a whole different grading system for erotica, but we all know to expect less plotting, character development and world-building from an erotica than from, say, literary fiction. So a three star erotica is still going to have less of all of the above and readers accept that as par for the course.

I can sum this book up in seven short words: sex, sex, sex,sex, and more sex. Yep, that’s about it. I realise I can’t reasonable complain about too much sex in an erotica and I’m not. But even by erotic standards the plot was pretty flimsy for a full length book. A lot was left unexplained, such as exactly what special skills Bastien had that was supposed to help him battle Zayan or what exactly vampire were. Somehow demons and Lucifer came into play and I never really figured out how.

So, you’re doing the math in your head, aren’t you? There wasn’t a lot of plot, but the book is 300 pages long. Wow, there really must have been a lot of sex, you think. Yep, and surprisingly the author manages to put enough variety in to keep it from getting too stale. (I admit that by the end I was ready to finish, but I never quite reached the ‘Oh, bloody hell, not another one’ stage.) There is M/F sex, M/M sex, F/F sex, M/F/M sex, a M/M/F/M/M/M orgy, and even a little light bondage, S&M and breeding thrown it. Having said that, some of it just felt a little ridiculous–as if Ms. Page was trying desperately to create situations to add something more. The orgy especially felt this way. You see it coming a mile away, and then just watch it unfold with a mental eye roll and move on.

For all the forced variety there was also a certain innocence to the book. Maybe it’s because it is a couple years old and the current publishing rage is questionable consensuality, forced seduction, heavy BDSM, dominate men and simpering submissive women. I really appreciated that every sex scene in this book is clearly consensual. Althea (what the hell kind of name is that BTW) may be a virgin when she meets Yannick, but she takes to sex with enthusiasm. I did begin to wonder just how much she could experience before she lost that same innocence that the twins love so much, but it’s hardly a point worth thinking too deeply about.

I could have done without the sappy, happy ending. But, all-in-all for a full length erotic novel it wasn’t too darned bad.

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