Strictly Taboo by Jaid Black

Jaid Black's Strictly Taboo has three short stories that happen in the past, present, and future. The last is a part of her Trek Mi Q'an series and had been released previously in Things that Go Bump in the Night 1 from Ellora's Cave, but that anthology is now out of print. It has been reworked for its reissue.

Imagine surrendering yourself to the last man you'd ever trust—but the only man who can satiate your desire. here are three beautiful, daring women who find themselves succumbing to the forbidden, overpowering passion ignited by their archenemies. Set in three different worlds—the past, the present, and the future—these stories will take you way beyond your wildest imagination and into your most sensuous fantasies...

"Take you way beyond your wildest imagination and into your most sensuous fantasies"? I think not. Ultimately, this book just took me into boredom and I'm not quite sure why I slogged through it. Maybe because although the first story is just plain bad, I didn't mind the second and the last is another Trek Mi Q'an story (complete with "man sac"). And well, I figured I'd blog about it. It was a library book and I'm quite pleased I didn't spend money on it.

The first story is Barbarian. It's supposed to be set in Chippenham, Wessex in 878 A.D. and has Vikings invading the stronghold and home of Lady Elen of Godeuart. Her brothers Lothar and Louis are defended their home and when Louis is mortally wounded and Lothar slightly less so, she rallies the slaves to fight back with burning pitch thrown on the invading Vikings. When the Vikings leave, she hopes it is for good. But of course it isn't.

Ivar Hrolf, one of the Vikings in the siege, is enraged that they were beaten by a woman and vows to take the woman as his slave and give Chippenham over to his leader. So he does. And takes Elen as his slave and shows her the pleasures of the Viking heathens. Blah blah blah. And falls in love with her. blah blah blah. She runs away. blah blah blah He thinks she's a conniving bitch. blah blah blah. They reunite, she realizes he loves her and she loves him. And they live happily ever after.

Really...there's not actually that much erotic romance here. Nor much romance, to be honest. Yes, they end up married in the end, but I didn't get how they were supposed to have fallen in love. Maybe lust. Blech, it was just a bad story. The characters had no real substance, even for a novella. Elen's the virgin who doesn't understand what the big bad barbarian is doing to her body, but man does it feel good, and Ivar is the heathen Viking who falls in love with his captive slave. And of course before he meets her he was getting sick of just having sex with a different woman each night. How...typical.

Nemesis is the second story and actually wasn't too bad. Diane Sullivan had left her Indiana small town to head to Hollywood to be an actress. All she got out of that was bit parts, a daughter, and loads of bills. So in order to get the money to move back home for a better life, she takes a job on the Carnal Voyage for a week. The ship is a luxury cruise for men to have a wild time and ogle the women (who are all naked, of course). Diane figures she can suck it up for the money since no one will ever know. Until Garek Ennis (Ennis the Menace to her back home) shows up.

Garek was a star football player who has recently been told his shattered knee has sidelined his career. His best friend has convinced him to take this cruise to get his mind off things. When he spies Diane, he remembers how much he lusted after her in high school, though he never let on to anyone. So he decides that she's going to be in no one's bed but his.'s not a bad contemporary romance. Again, it's erotic, but not over the top as I kinda was expecting. Perhaps it seems better than it really is just in comparison to the first story, but who knows.

The last story is Naughty Nancy. In it, Nancy Lombardo has shed forty pounds and is finally showing off her new figure in a Xena costume at a Halloween party a friend is giving. She's determined to get laid. She comes across a freaky witchy woman right before the party who says soemthing about hardship and love, but she brushes it off. Then later when Nancy takes a break for some air at the party, she finds herself meeting the witch again, who blows some stuff in her eyes and next thing Nancy knows, she's stuck in a silver nest in the middle of some icy mountains.

Naughty Nancy is....rather slapstick-y funny. Hopefully it was intended as so, because I'd be very afraid if it was meant to be serious. I mean, how serious can you get when the phrase "man sac" is used several times? And there's the mistaken identity by a hormonally horny young gargoyle/alien...

Again, it's a rather thin story that's more interesting for its weirdness than for its erotic romance. Frankly, it's not very romantic. Funny, and has sex, but not a lot of actual romance.

All in all, if I was grading this story, it would probably get a D+. It just fails to be either erotic or romantic. So save your money, or at the very least, get it from the library like I did.

And oh, I checked the reviews at Amazon for it. 5 stars from Harriet who actually gets much of the plot WRONG.


Jay said...

And oh, I checked the reviews at Amazon for it. 5 stars from Harriet who actually gets much of the plot WRONG.

Just reinforces my belief that she doesn't read half the stuff she reviews. She can't. There aren't enough hours in the day.

Nicole said...

Well..that bugged me, so I took the time to write my own Amazon review. *g* but it's not up.

sybil said...

LOL Harriet wrong? Say it ain't so ;). Well I have to say I am glad I didn't get this. It so doesn't sound like something I would like.

Thanks for the heads up.

Tara Marie said...

Hey, the first one sounded like a bad Johanna Lindsey.

I don't believe dear old Harriet exists, I think it's a group put together by different publishers to get good reviews out there for lousy books. How's that for a conspiracy theory??

The Library Diva said...

Crap. This one I bought when it first came out, and I immediately loaned it to a friend. I enjoyed her book One Dark Night, so I was hoping for more of the same. Oh well. I'll still give it a shot and hope for the best. If I absolutely hate it I'll take it back and exchange it for something else. There is no shortage of books I want. :-)