Book Review

Bound to Please by Hope Tarr - Test Driver Review

D+

Title: Bound to Please
Author: Hope Tarr
Publication Info: Harlequin July 2008
ISBN: 0373794118
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Bound to Please CoverTest Driver Hapax purchased this book from the Harlequin bookstore as “part of a historical bundle that I wanted to read for the other authors.” Hapax asks that I let y’all know the review is spoilerific, so proceed with caution.


This was my first experiencing in actually sitting down and trying to READ an e-book.

Dear Saint-Jerome-and-his-slavering-lions, just drool me to death Right Now.  The pain…

And I can’t blame the Sony for this one.  I’m fairly certain, in fact, that the e-reader is the only reason I kept paging through, because I wanted to read the next book in this Blazing Bundle, and Sony, in its generosity, didn’t provide me the option of jumping around the table of contents.  So flick through I did, 700 pages of engorged print for my aged and increasingly baffled eyeballs.

The opening had some promise, actually. Our barely pubescent Heroine, Brianna MacLeod, the feisty tomboy with the obligatory untamed red hair and flashing green eyes, has a veritably unique Meet Cute with an even younger hero, lanky dark-haired grey-eyed Ewan Fraser, who admired the vigorous manner in which she relieved her bladder in the stable.

Naturally this led to a First Kiss and a blood-oath to wed.

Flash-forward ten years.  Generic Disneyland Scots (TM) of poorly-researched medieval provenance prance about in plaid, dropping burr-burdened bon mots about the “braw bonny bairns”  whilst our heroine struggles to maintain control over her clan as newly designated Laird (yeah, I know, just work with me, here) while secretly yearning for a lusty lover and lots of babies.

In pursuit thereof, and also to settle a pesky escalation of a long-standing feud with the Fraser clan, which involved the recent murder of her husband and her subsequent miscarriage (no biggie,  she’s SO over that), she decides to kidnap the twin brother of The Fraser, who just happens to be her childhood love, and chain him to her bed until he impregnates her.  No.  Really.  Send this lady to the U.N., she’s a bloody diplomatic genius.

 

Anyhoo-hah, let’s ignore the preposterous plot and Central Casting characters, we’re obviously here for the sex.  And the set-up does sound intriguing—alpha hero in chains, torn between his pride and his lust, while the heroine simultaneously milks him for his seed and struggles not to enjoy herself too obviously.

And this lasts for one scene.  After that, his inner Dom re-asserts himself, and he manhandles her ladyhandles, to her damp and squishy satisfaction, and it’s page after page of thrusting and plunging with fingers and tongues and shafts, into assorted holes and clefts and slits, all accompanied by squirts of cream and hot excited drippings, and really, it’s all about as erotic as playing with an Erector Set amidst the wreckage of Thanksgiving dinner.

Here and there amidst the splashings in this gravy boat of Hawt Bondage Action, there are occasional splorts of plot.  The hero WhatzHisMac’s twin brother is a Tool—no, wait, he’s a Misunderstood Sensitive Hurtfella who luurves his brother—anyways, he decides to declare war upon the MacLeods.  Except Brianna says “whoops, sorry!” and lets her studmudffin go, after one last leaking gush, and retires to pine (and, we hope, to wash the sheets.)  So no harm, no foul, right?

Except that the villain turns out to be—‘WARE THE SPOILERS!!!—

 

 

her own trusted advisor!  (Nobody could have seen that coming, right?) And it turns out Brianna’s murdered husband was So Totally Gay, so it’s a-okay that he’s dead and stuff.  And Brianna’s BFF, the ex-Ho with the Heart o’ Gold, is just the domestic submissive mouse that The Hero’s brother has been secretly longing for, and the ancient crone herbalist nanny totally prophesied it all, so cue the yays.

And all the rest of the Bad Guys run away in the night, and Brianna’s clan is convinced that all of this somehow proves that Women Really Are Just As Good As Men and they’re all “Female Lairdz Rockz!”  and I think there was a subplot with the clan ring and another one with a frickin’ flute or a cat or something and they were just completely dropped, but whatever.

So I’ll say this for e-reading.  At least the thought of expensive mangled electronics kept me from possibly damaging the plaster by throwing this against the wall.

My grade: D +  I still like the pisser of an opening scene enough to save this from an F, though it should have warned me that copious bodily fluids were going to be a recurring theme.  And the “plus” goes for the unusual pleasure of chaining up the hero, for a change.

 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Babs says:

    OMG! “Generic Disneyland Scots (TM) of poorly-researched medieval provenance prance about in plaid, dropping burr-burdened bon mots” HEE HEE HEE!

    At least I’ve learned NOT to drink and read reviews on this site at the same time! I actually read this title…and this review is spot on.

  2. 2
    Ailsa says:

    Guess I won’t be reading this any time soon, then!
    Very entertaining review. *g*

  3. 3
    Tina C. says:

    this gravy boat of Hawt Bondage Action

    This is the second time I’ve read this and it still makes me snort!  I hope you liked the other stories in this bundle better, but your outrage at this one sure makes for an entertaining review!

  4. 4
    Sandia says:

    that was most definitely an A+ review!

  5. 5
    Randi says:

    *sigh* I wish I had the snark gene.

    Very funny!!

  6. 6
    Lisa says:

    Oh. My. God. GET THIS WOMAN A REGULAR REVIEW COLUMN.

  7. 7
    ferridder says:

    Beutiful review; I won’t be needing to read that one.

    I’ve also had this issue with non-existing index in a multi-story eBook; You can jump straight to a page by entering it with the number keys and then pressing enter (the round button in the middle of the four arrows), but it can be hard to find the start/end of stories, especially if they use the same character names…

  8. 8

    This definitely sounds like a book that would end up against the wall.  Sounds like it’s missing quite a bit, like a plot.  Loved the review though. :D

  9. 9
    Cat Marsters says:

    Oooh that regional dialect, I do wish nobody would ever try to write it.  Like, ever.

    Oh, and this is listed as a contemporary—is that right?  From the cover I thought Historical…?

  10. 10
    Chicklet says:

    Oh, and this is listed as a contemporary—is that right?  From the cover I thought Historical…?

    On the image of the cover, I can make out that it’s a Blaze Historical, a subseries I didn’t know even existed! (Are we going to get Future Inspirationals, too?)

    Aaaaanyway, to get back on track, I loved this review like Rose Nyland loves cheesecake.

  11. 11
    Rachel Aaron says:

    “After that, his inner Dom re-asserts himself, and he manhandles her ladyhandles, to her damp and squishy satisfaction”

    This is my gchat status FOREVER.

    This review almost made me piss myself laughing, which, given your review, sounds like it would have been appropriate!

  12. 12
    Mama Nice says:

    When I first read this review, I told you I loved the: it’s all about as erotic as playing with an Erector Set amidst the wreckage of Thanksgiving dinner. line best, and it’s still my favorite.

    The reason you read this title (it was in that bundle with the other 2) was the same for me…and my reaction to all the trickling and gushing of Laird McSquishyPanties was also the same.

    Another thing that bothered me about this book was the generic nature of the names she chose…other “Scottish” names exist outside the world of a few certain novels and movies…ahem. With all the Frasers and MacCleods (and Brianna and Ewan) I was shocked to see no Sean Wallace or William Connery thrown into the mix.

  13. 13
    Kalen Hughes says:

    and really, it’s all about as erotic as playing with an Erector Set amidst the wreckage of Thanksgiving dinner.

    Tea, meet screen (and nasal passage).

  14. 14
    Sarah W says:

    Wild appause, standing ovation!

    For the review, not the book, in case anyone could possibly be wondering . . .

  15. 15
    Jessica G. says:

    That’s strange about the TOC, I’ve always been able to jump to individual titles. Usually on the list of titles one is highlighted in black. Scroll down to get to each book and hit the circle button.

    Also, now I have to pee after reading this review. Not sure why.

  16. 16
    Ailsa says:

    @MamaNice-
    “With all the Frasers and MacCleods (and Brianna and Ewan)”
    MacCleods – ouch. Please tell me that was just you, and not something in the book? MacLeods or McLeods, fine. But not MacCleods.
    (What gives me the position to say this is that I am actually from Scotland, and have lived here all my life. Sometimes it’s quite amusing seeing how authors write about Scotland, other times it’s just bad.)

  17. 17
    Kalen Hughes says:

    MacCleods – ouch. Please tell me that was just you, and not something in the book? MacLeods or McLeods, fine. But not MacCleods.

    It’s a typo in the review.

    The cover is KILLING me. She’s in Victorian underwear and he’s in a kilt (and has a tribal armband tattoo), and they’re on a bed set right of Ross (complete with little bolster and a sea of matching pillows, LOL!). When is this supposed to be set?

  18. 18
    Lana says:

    I have the same e-book bundle, though I haven’t started it yet…
    I’m a little frightened now :)

  19. 19
    Kalen Hughes says:

    Answered my own question. It’s set in 15th century Scotland. PLEASE tell me they aren’t wearing kilts. Pretty, pretty please?

  20. 20
    rebyj says:

    “Engorged print”

    I may have to steal that phrase LMAO!

  21. 21

    I bought this book in hardcopy when it was first released because I was curious to see what a Blaze Historical would be like (and whether I could write one). I concluded if this was what the editor of that line wanted, I couldn’t do it. It was a wallbanger for me from the moment the author announced that the heroine was going to ensure the lairdship of her clan by conceiving a bairn.

    Um, no.

    Hilarious review, and I’m glad to know I was right to introduce it to the wall rather than waste my time on trying to read the whole thing.

    Haha, my verification word is could67. I could 68 or 69, too…if I wanted to.

  22. 22
    Kalen Hughes says:

    I bought this book in hardcopy when it was first released because I was curious to see what a Blaze Historical would be like (and whether I could write one). I concluded if this was what the editor of that line wanted, I couldn’t do it.

    I recently read Jade Lee’s The Concubine (Blaze Historical set in China) and it was at least a B (too short and a little too much info dump; though I think the length combined with the unusual setting sort of necessitated the dumping, so I got past it).

    Totally worth checking out, esp if want to get a better idea of what’s being published in the line.

  23. 23
    West says:

    Have you ever snorted Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper through your nose? No? Be grateful. I can now assure you, because of this review, that it kinda burns.

    Just a note, in order to help spare you future pain (although why I would, if you’re going to give us snarktastic reviews like this, I’m not quite sure)- there is a way to jump pages with the Sony. Just use the number buttons along the side to enter the page number, and then the enter button. It helps to know the exact page number the next story starts on, but I’ve found it to be highly entertaining just guessing.

  24. 24
    Shiny says:

    @Kalen Hughes:

    It reminds me of the museum/ theme park in Futurama where Einstein disco dances with Hammurabi.

    “Time for the Mammoth hunt dudes!”

  25. 25
    MamaNice says:

    Ooops, the extra C was my mistake…but still – my point is I’m really wondering if there is a Book of Names You Must Use When Writing A Scottish Romance Novel only it’s not really a book, but more like a pamphlet.
    You know that bit in Airplane?
    Like that

  26. 26
    DS says:

    I remember when I first read about it on a blog (maybe this one?) when I rather rudely, but quite honestly said it sounded horrid.  In fact it sounded like a bazillion other romances set in Scotland, I didn’t even know about the squishy bits.

    Your review though was not horrid, but greatly appreciated.

  27. 27
    Ann Bruce says:

    I’m so confused.  It’s a historical, yet the cover and info say otherwise:

    Title: Bound to Please
    Author: Hope Tarr
    Publication Info: Harlequin July 2008, ISBN: 0373794118
    Genre: Contemporary Romance

  28. 28
    Ann Bruce says:

    Okay, my bad.  I see a tartan on the cover, but maybe the genre should be updated.

  29. 29
    Kaetrin says:

    Great Review!  Snarktastic and funny – thanks for the laughs!!

  30. 30

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