Star Crossed Seduction by Jenny Brown {Amanda’s DNF Review}

Posted 14 November, 2014 by Amanda / 4 Comments

Star Crossed Seduction by Jenny Brown {Amanda’s DNF Review}Star Crossed Seduction by Jenny Brown
Series: Astrology #2
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

A beautiful thief has stolen the heart of the one man in London whose secrets are as dangerous as her own . . .

Shrewd and wily, pickpocket Temperance Smithneeds no man’s favor to survive on London’sunforgiving streets—even when she’s caught red-handedby an officer of the hated dragoons.

On leave from India to find a proper bridein London, Captain Miles Trevelyan is easy prey for aseasoned pickpocket like Temperance. But whenthe dazzling thief steals first his wallet, then his heart,his pursuit throws them into a deadly world oftreason and betrayal that will force them to questioneverything they know about love, loyalty,and desire. For there can be no middle ground for these two stormy-tempered Scorpios entangled in the star-crossed romance that threatens to destroy them both . . .

Eyebrow-raising quotes are just the beginning.

Thoughts on Star Crossed Seduction

“Making love with him would be like embracing an otter.”

That was the point I started tweeting eyebrow-raising quotes on Twitter, not when I stopped reading. That didn’t come until page 276. It was a decision I made not based on anything that had happened in the book, but because at 10:30pm, I had two choices: stay up to finish the book or put it down and go to bed, knowing I’d not pick it up again.

I chose sleep. I’d already begun to skim, and that was a pretty good deciding factor. It’s always a bad sign when I forget I’m in the middle of reading a sex scene because tweeting random quotes is more entertaining.

“…bringing his lips down on hers and sucking hungrily at them, as if he could suck the truth from her.”

Am I the only one who cringed at this? I imagine him trying to inhale her face. Isn’t there a Doctor Who episode like that? But that quote (among others, which I’m sure I’ll share) is representative of the issues I had with this book.

Star Crossed Seduction abounds with euphemisms, from “her most secret place” to “his jutting organ of pleasure” to — and this is a new one for me — “her hungry notch.” It got to the point where I had to check the copyright date in the front of the book because the phrases sounded like my naughty magnetic poetry pack, based on romance books of old. I raised a brow when I saw “2011” staring back at me.

And then there’s the dialogue. It felt inauthentic to me, as though it was used to show character thoughts or further the plot rather than a seamless part of the story. I could point at sentences and think, “The character is saying this to show us X.” Which, honestly, is what you do with dialogue and everything else in the book, but I don’t want to know that as a reader, nor do I want it so obvious that it feels unreal.

The dialogue certainly made me want to skim. The narrative was somewhat repetitious as well, especially when transitioning from one POV to another. The new POV would recap, from the new person’s perspective, what had just happened. As if we didn’t know. (I made a mental note of this, though, because I’m quite sure I’ve done something similar, and it was an important observation to me as a reader/writer.)

The first sex scene, while both partners were willing, made me scrunch my nose. It comes from an emotionally mercenary position, almost forcing-without-physical-force and it was negative. Icky negative, with both characters filled with regret afterward. And not normal romance novel regret that’s integral to the plot, but gross regret that teetered precariously close to rape in an emotional sense. I felt like I was supposed to be okay with it because the characters were so drawn to each other and they both physically wanted it, but the emotions they brought to it (and what Temperance did after it) made the entire experience feel… wrong.

Especially when you added phrases like “Her nipple was so hard it gouged his palm” because I imagine this super pointy nipple that draws blood or, at the very least, breaks skin. If nipples can do that, well, it’s beyond my experience.

I also didn’t realize there was such a heavy emphasis on astrology. Obvious now that I’m on Goodreads, so this is completely my fault in how I browse books at the library. It’s odd considering the last book I read had such an emphasis on religion (which, as I said, I’m not normally a fan of), but I actually found myself more put off by the astrology than I was by the religion when I’d expect the opposite.

Star Crossed Seduction didn’t work for me, but that’s the danger — and fun, too, if I’m honest — in picking random books off the library shelf.


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4 Responses to “Star Crossed Seduction by Jenny Brown {Amanda’s DNF Review}”

  1. Oh wow, this sounds pretty unpleasant. Those quotes had me giggling because they were so silly. You know, I recently read a contemporary romance that had a sex scene feel sort of rapey too and it made me really dislike the book. I don’t know why I kept reading it because the whole time I was thinking “yeah right!” I don’t even think I’m going to review the book. I’m not sure, I haven’t decided yet. Maybe I will.

    Anyway, sorry this was a let down.

    • Oh yeah, part of the reason I reviewed this book was so I could use the quotes. They ARE hilarious.

      I actually have written a few DNF reviews lately, and it’s been super helpful for me as a writer, to study what did and didn’t work… I’ve been tossing around the idea of writing a discussion post about it, since I’m not really writing those reviews for anyone other than me. And DNF reviews are always a good discussion topic. :)

  2. Sex scenes are supposed to turn you on, or at the very least create chemistry between the characters, not make you want to live tweet while reading because of the sheer ridiculousness of the author’s writing. Ooh well, at least it was good for a laugh, and you can return it to your library guilt-free.

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