March 20, 2011

Review: His Elle by Jemima Valentino

His Elle
Author: Jemima Valentino
Purchase Information:
Amazon | Smashwords

*Novel provided by the author via Book Lovin' Bitches eBook Tours.

For more information please visit Jemima Valentino's website.

A creature of beauty and intelligence is a rare breed, especially one who so wantonly offers the submission of her soul to another.

Through a chance meeting at an urgent care clinic, Elle and her Master soon fall unintentionally and desperately in love, embarking on a deeply intense BDSM relationship. Knowing they must soon part, Elle is pushed further than ever before. Through one final limitless display of submission, expertly guided by her Master, can Elle truly release her fears and give him all of her heart?

His Elle by Jemima Valentino is definitely a different type of romance then those that I have become accustomed to reading. You would think that it was simply because of the BDSM theme, but no. The end result was that this turned out to be an intense and dramatic read that is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Valentino’s writing style is certainly one of the elements that I enjoyed about this story. With unflinching detail paid to the characters and their proclivities, there is little question about the feelings, emotions or desires of those involved. The simple settings of the story play a large part in creating the down home domestic quality of the atmosphere. Truly, this brings the BDSM lifestyle from the less glamorous clubs to a more accessible setting as the two characters explore the boundary of their soon to be dissolved union.

However, while the creation of the settings was largely successful, I felt that the character development was severely lacking. In large part this was due to the fact that I simply couldn’t connect to them and the more direct explanation is that I really just didn’t much care for them as a whole. Dr. originally comes off likable, or at least until you discover that he has a wedding ring and still pursues Elle to be his sub. Not that infidelity was the true turn off, but it’s definitely one of those niggling details that eats away at me. Add to that the verbal degradation, which yes, I do get people like that sort of thing, but it just made me see him as a complete and utter jerk. And as if those strikes against him weren’t enough, the fact that after this final rendezvous he is to return home to his wife and child leaving Elle high and dry. Of course, she knew it was coming, but it didn’t detract from the selfishness of her master. Elle herself, however, didn’t fair much better in my eyes as all I saw was weakness. What more can I say other then that? I just saw too little there to detract from either participants decisions to carry on an extramarital affair, or from what I would consider an abusive relationship given the brief context of their affiliation.

The romance itself, as can be surmised, was a little lacking in my eyes. With the addition of knife play, something that really, really didn’t appeal to me, I was pretty much just gritting my teeth waiting for their connection to become more emotionally grounded. That’s not to say that there weren’t a lot of emotions flying because I will concede that Valentino captured the fear and arousal of her characters perfectly. In fact, this was about all that saved the novella in my eyes, because without the highly in depth appeal of this emotional insight, I would have probably ended up not finishing this story.

So what could have changed for this novel to appeal more to me? Honestly, it wasn’t that there was anything lacking. Characterization was good; I just didn’t particularly care for the characters. World building was nicely done as well, as was the emotional build up of the novel. Some of the scenes played out within the novel weren’t to my tastes, but again, this wasn’t done poorly, it was just something that personally didn’t appeal to me. The same can be said of the situation that the characters found themselves in. Again, something that bothers me deeply is the lack of trust within a relationship, especially when one member is a Dom. Seriously, trust is suppose to be number one there and I really think instead of philandering with his patients he should have simply discussed what he needed with his wife. Maybe they could have tried to work it into their relationship, or he should have simply allowed her the right to leave.

Overall, while this novel may not have appeal to my sense of romance nor my sense of moral behavior, I can’t argue the fact that this was a well written story. Valentino proves herself to be a wonderful writer and though this may not have been my cup of tea, I would certainly be interested in reading more of her work in the future.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Scars

Advisory: Strong sexual content, graphic BDSM themes including Knife Play

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of the Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and a copy was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely mine and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for reading my novella and offering up a review. This novella has had many, many different viewpoints offered by some fab reviewers, yourself included, and oddly enough the reviews are so very different. If nothing else it's been a great ride of controversy!


J x