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Is another chunk of erratica from, yes, Jamaica Layne and her reputable imprint obvious vanity publishing house Ravenous Romance. If that seems familiar it's because it's also the provenance of the laughable Knight Moves. If all this is blurring together, then that was the one with the ladyfingers and the time-portal in the heroine's clacker. I shit you not. Needless to say, this doesn't bode well for this number, does it?

But then, nothing could surely fail as hard as a novel in which the hero refers to the heroine's genitals as her "lady-softness," surely? Not even another literary coprolite that fell out the imagination of the very same author? Well, that's what I thought, so I took it upon myself to investigate.

Executive Summary

An attempt at a political thriller that ends up being more about pubic, as opposed to public, relations.

A bit more detail, if you wouldn't mind?

The bumf on the back cover describes it as "a tasty red hot look inside the sexual underworld of our nation's politics." For a start, this is unoriginal to begin with, because real life political shagging is far more interesting - viz. the Profumo affair, Back to Basics, Monica Lewinsky and her presidentially spunked dress, and suchlike. Also I must admit that this time last year I began writing some Obama/Romney slash fiction but that never did, and never will, see the light of day. Mainly because it involved lots of guffawing about Mitt's Mormon underpants and speculation as to why our colonial cousins have such a downer on the homosex. And, in retrospect, it wasn't that funny. But I'm getting tangential again. Right. A Capitol Affair. Our protagonist is a certain Jasmine Rand, a Congressional press secretary who is apparently one of the most sought-after spin doctors in Washington, and she's assigned to liaise with a press magnate called Rodney Doyle, who is the proprietor of a number of scandalmongering shit-sheets across the world on behalf of her extremely socially conservative senatorial boss. Shagging ensues.

I got quite a way in to this before the penny dropped and I realised just who Rodney Doyle was based on. Yes. That's right. This is Rupert Murdoch pr0n. And having realised that I wanted to claw out my own eyes. The fact that the protagonist's immediate reaction to being assigned to dealing with the Dirty Digger expy was to dash off and wank herself insensible didn't help either. In fact, she seems to wank an awful lot in general in this novel, both in anticipation and on reflection of many things. Crikey Oh Blimey. I bet she's got wrist muscles like Andy Murray. And Rupert, sorry, Rodney, isn't much more characterised either. Upon their first meeting, where he buys her a large dinner, he goes around saying how he's under the impression that they'd "already agreed to engage in a little amorous favour-exchange this afternoon." To which he's told that she's not that kind of girl, but even so, "Rodney's gaze alone was enough to get my crotch buzzing."

Next thing you know, they're shagging each other like they'd only just worked out how 'twas done.

Here, the suffering truly begins.

Thankfully, Ms Layne has realised that ladyfingers and volcanic crotches are a bad idea. Unthankfully, she's fallen head over heels in love with one adjective which she uses over, and over, and over. That adjective is "melty." As in, "A wonderful melty feeling headed straight for my pussy." Or, later on, "my belly went soft and melty." I'm sorry, but that's not sex. That's diarrhoea. Last time my belly went soft and melty, I pebble-dashed half the bathroom. Red-hot knee-tremblers with a sexy press magnate whose organ is several standard deviations above the mean were the furthest thing from my mind right then. And it gets worse. The prose swings wildly (much like the protagonist) between attempts at purple and horrible beige. This means we endure lines like, "It started deep inside my sheath and radiated out from my pussy and up my torso and down my legs until my feet, arms and head convulsed in wrenching explosions," within spitting distance of, "Rodney disengaged himself from my left nipple."

There are other people she has trysts with as well, all of whom cause her to be melty. Including the senator she works for, who is, of course, into BDSM and other stuff that his Religious Right voter base would disapprove of. And a hotel porter in St Lucia who, among other things, steals her dildo because a woman of her massive pulchritude deserves to have a real knob to get on the outside of, and this little impropriety results in more interminable bonking. And it was at this point that I started to get a bit narked about the horrible double standard extant in most erotica right now. I shall explain.

See, if I wrote an erotic novel where a fairly unprepossessing male protagonist, who's rather fat, who has a big potato nose, who is underpaid, and has more back hair than your average yeti manages to swive thousands of supermodels who fling themselves at him willy nilly, it would sink like a brick in shit. It would be derided as typical sexist manospherical wish fulfilment. But if you get a female protagonist who by her own admission is unprepossessing and has a size 14 body which she reckons is too big and keeps being "revealed in all its fleshly glory," much to her chagrin, but then swives thousands of male model himbo types, this derision fails to manifest itself.

Also, the constant reliance on the "beauty equals goodness" trope really annoys the fuck out of me. A lot of erotica relies on it, by showing the heroine fleeing an abusive or unfulfilling relationship and the person she is leaving being portrayed as nasty, brutish, and short. And conversely, excusing genuine unpleasantness on the part of the male lust interest by crowing about how hot he is and how he makes her belly go soft and melty. Like the dildo-removing stunt referred to above. If a hotel porter stole from MY luggage, how hot and good in bed he was wouldn't make it all better, because how do I know he hasn't also lifted the thousands of pounds of travellers' cheques that were cached therein. Maybe I'm just sour and bitter because I'm not exactly nice looking and am well aware of this, but "beauty equals goodness" is not only astoundingly offensive and shallow, but worse, a sign of lazy writing - as is its opposite, for that matter, but that's beside the point.

Plot? There is no plot. But there is a progressive transformation of Jasmine into a dominatrix as the novel goes on. And the novel ends with no real resolution, and with no job, but this is somehow soluble by the heroine getting Rodney's cock into her. "And in the grand scheme of things, what could be better than that?" To which the answer is, of course, nothing, because that means THIS HOPELESS NOVEL IS FINALLY OVER.

(IN132)

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