Title: The Seduction of Phaeton Black
Author: Jillian Stone
Series: Paranormal Investigator #1
The Verdict: ★★
For: Lovers of Victorian London, paranormal beasties and a magically inclined Scotland Yard detective – sort of.
Genres: Paranormal Romance, historical romance, Steampunk
Publication details: March 27th, 2012 by Kensington
Format: Kindle, 353 pages
Book Synopsis: In the gaslit streets of Victorian London, phantoms rule the night, demons dance till dawn, and one supernatural detective dares to be seduced by the greatest power of all. . .
He’s The Man With The Magic Touch
A master of deduction, seduction and other midnight maneuvers, Phaeton Black is Scotland Yard’s secret weapon against things that go bump in the night. His prodigious gifts as a paranormal investigator are as legendary as his skills as a lover, his weakness for wicked women as notorious as his affection for absinthe. But when he’s asked to hunt down a fanged femme fatale who drains her victims of blood, he walks right into the arms of the most dangerous woman he’s ever known…
She’s The Devilish Miss Jones
Pressing a knife to his throat–and demanding he make love to her–Miss America Jones uses Phaeton as a willing shield against the gang of pirates chasing her. As deadly as she is, with a derringer tucked in her garter, Miss Jones is not the vampiric killer he’s been staking out–but she may be just what Phaeton needs to crack the case. As the daughter of a Cajun witch, she possesses uncanny powers. As a fearless fighter, she can handle anything from Egyptian mummies to Jack the Ripper. But when an ancient evil is unleashed on the world, she could be his only salvation. . .or ultimate sacrifice.
My review: The Seduction of Phaeton Black is one of those books where I struggled to finish it. It’s set in Victorian London shortly after the Jack the Ripper Murders but with a Steampunk-esque twist to it; the storyline itself opens with Phaeton Black, ex-Detective for Scotland Yard perusing the concubines that inhabit the top floors of his particular domicile.
The man lives in the basement of a brothel. That set the first red flag a-waving for me, the second red flag was the fact that the man thinks with his privates. Sure, statistically speaking, so do the majority of the male population – its human nature – but I don’t particularly want to read about a man-whore if I can help it.
So Phaeton is sitting there all jolly-like watching the owner of the brothel convince a girl to have sex with him because apparently he has a monster penis (I am not kidding you when I say it is referred to as a monster several times throughout this book. Also referred to as The Duke, prick, beast and a number of other adjectives that should NOT be equated to the male form, at least not if you don’t want your readers to roll their eyes). My eyes nearly detached themselves for all the eye-rolling I did during this book.
A short way into the book and suddenly there is an introduction to Miss America Sine Jones and this introduction between herself and Phaeton consists of her holding a knife to his throat and demanding he act like he’s having relations with a doxy which subsequently turns into actual relations. Red flag number 3! She requested he act like it – he actually did it, that folks is tantamount to rape in my mind.
It only got worse from then on. It seemed like every second sentence was some sort of sexual comment so blatant I half expected him to be having sex on every page – not how I like my books.
The story line though consists of an Egyptian god and goddess and revolves around the goddess murdering people in order to regain her strength and surprise, surprise she takes a turn with Phaeton as well – before she nearly bites his bits clean off. Nearly every character in this is magically inclined in some way, shape or form and has something to do with something else. Doctor Exeter’s father was the reason behind Jack the Ripper, Doctor Exeter is a whole bag of spooky tricks and America Jones is a Vauda witch on her mother’s side.
There were multiple plots all working alongside the main plotline but I felt like every time I read one page I was five steps behind it; the writing was jumbled up and jumped from one instance to the next without much a line break to differentiate the two or three. I also felt on occasion that it was written by a five year old in terms of the actual writing style and how everything jumped back and forth and was jumbled.
The humour wasn’t funny, the drama was a bit dramatic and for the smut level – on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being none whatsoever and 10 being lock up your doors and change your panties – I felt it fell to about -4. There was smut but it was so bad it wasn’t worth putting it on the smut scale; each ‘session’ was about four paragraphs long and had some manner of adjective attached to his penis, my personal favourites that made me roll my eyes many times over was The Duke, Bonaparte and beast.
The only thing I liked about this book was the Egyptian angle. I’m a huge HUGE Ancient Egypt buff and will devour any and everything about that era. This was researched well but also had a pretty messed up twist to it, the god Anubis is reawakened from the dead and goes in search of his goddess – the one murdering everyone – and promptly proceeds to have sex with her in front of everyone and their mother.
America managed to get her ships back from the pirates at least.
The entire book was sex and it’s not even classed as erotica on the majority of websites. It wasn’t overly seductive or romantic and I just got a nasty vibe from the book and with descriptions like this: “The beastly ebony sword bobbed in anticipation.” (In reference to the God Anubis’ penis) Can you blame me?
Let’s not forget “I hold you impaled on the ducal sword.” Swiftly followed by: “With each withdrawal, he pulled out enough to rub her with the tip of the royal weapon.” Gag me with a spoon.
The most romantic bit in this entire book is the last line: “I’d forgotten those who claim they don’t believe in love fall the hardest.” I can well believe it is true.
It wasn’t the greatest book and got the second star due to the Egyptian side of things, it isn’t likely I’ll be reading the next in the series anytime soon if at all.