Reviewette: Rubies and Black Velvet by Denise Rossetti

Reviewette: UNLACED Anthology, "Rubies and Black Velvet" by Denise Rossetti
Exquisite. Deadly. A hellish corset trimmed with heartsblood rubies, fashioned by the vengeful spirit of a dark sorceress. Once the laces tighten, Meggie is trapped in an evil, erotic dance of domination and submission, of cruel mistress and helpless slave. If she can't resist the corset's power, she'll destroy the only man she's ever loved.

Summary from Denise Rossetti's Website

Genre: Erotic/Fantasy Romance

Cover Thoughts: This cover, while beautiful on the computer, is absolutely stunning in person.

Single Title/Series: This novella is set in the Four-Sided Pentacle series but can be read as a stand alone and in no way does the reader need to read this novella to understand the over-reaching plots in the series.

Why I read it: I originally bought UNLACED because of my fan girl devotion to Joey W. Hill but in classic VFG style, this beauty sat in my TBR pile collecting dust. Since I've recently fallen in love with Rossetti's Four-Sided Pentacle series, I decided I needed another fix of my new obsession, brushed off the dust and dove in.

My Review:

When a dark sorceress is scorned by her dragon lover, she retaliates by murdering him. In a final fit of rage, the dragon punctures the sorceress through her back, his razor sharp talons pushing out through her heart and chest causing five spouts of blood to drip from the erotic corset he'd fashioned her with earlier. Dark with anger, the sorceress infuses her dying and corrupt soul into the punctured corset causing the pearle velvet to turn a luxurious black and the five points of blood to shine as rubies.

John Lammas knew the moment her saw his Steady Meggie, that she was the one for him. Growing up in a large and loud household made the peace of Meggie's arms all the more sweeter for their solace. Knowing they would get married, the two spent the summer in erotic exploration and the night that Meggie says she's finally ready to consummate their love, John nearly falls to his feet with overwhelming devotion for the woman who would give him such a gift as her body and her love.

But their dreams of Happily Ever After are crushed when John leaves to accompany his brother to Caracole and to see to it that he makes it safely to Torza's Band, a recruiting military faction. John promises Meg that he'll return in ten days time to her and their future. But John never does return leaving ten days to turn into two months and two months into six years.

Meg has done well for herself in the six years since she left her father's farm for Caracole. She's now the Housekeeper at the Garden of Nocturnal Delights with friends and a purpose but thoughts of John and his betrayal are never far from her heart. She'll never forget that he chose to join Torza's Band instead of coming home to her like he promised. Obviously he no longer desired a country bumpkin and life on a farm. Meg always knew that John, with his beauty, could have had his pick of any. Why would he choose down-to-earth Meg when he could travel and have any woman he desired. But despite his obvious change of heart, John never did get to do any of those things for his death is held in record. But even knowing that he's gone, Meg still has vivid dreams of him each night and her hatred of his choice in life still haunts her.

All John wants to do since finally escaping his captors and the vicious slavery he's endured, is to find his Steady Meggie. For six yeas He's dreamed of her comforting arms and generous heart. Her memory was the only thing that has kept him sane. Now, a shade of the man he once was, John finally tracks Meg down. Scared of what she'll think when she views his battered body and darkened soul, John is fully prepared to beg.

Once Meg overcomes her shock at John having come back from the dead, she's beyond happy to see him. She's also wary, not knowing whether to trust his story of how he ended up in Torza's Band or how he truly was intent on returning to her as originally promised. The hatred of herself and John are still burning subtly in her heart and when she puts on the luxurious black velvet and Rubie studded corset for John's pleasure, her slowly dimming hatred flares bright with twisted cruelty. A sinister voice rings in her head, pushing her to do terrible and hurtful things to her lost love, the man that she desperately wants try and start a new life with. But when her true thoughts of love surface through the clouded mist of hate, the corset turns on her, squeezing the life from her. If John and Meg don't find a way to destroy the corset, their second chance at Happily Ever After will soon be destroyed by a sorceress intent of claiming another life.

This novella was brimming not only with burning eroticism, but also with an emotional intensity that had me clinging desperately to the book to discover what was to happen next.

The scene were John and Meg both loose their virginity was poignantly sweet and believable while also being highly erotic. There aren't many stories that start out with the hero and heroine already in love and happy. As a reader, you know immediately that something bad will occur to drive the lovers apart but to feel their love head on is still lovely as it is bittersweet. I was devastated at John's supposed betrayal but when I learned of what truly transpired, my heart wept at his struggle. He proved to be a very good man right down to his soul.

So I know some of you might be scratching your head over the dragon lover. In my mind's eye, he's a dragon-man. Rossetti doesn't describe him to great detail, leaving much to your imagination but nevertheless, the impression that he's shaped like a man is very prominent and the scenes with him and the sorceress are incredibly intense and erotic. They're like two dangerous predators coming together with raw passion but also with wariness. The darkness surrounding their double murders is palpable but in the end it's the sorceress that proves to be the most deadly.

The deadliness of corset, while kind of silly in a straight forward statement, was actually incredibly fascinating and lent a magical and sinister air to the novella. Its danger to Meg and John is believable as well as their struggle to defeat it. And once again an author has shown that love can conquer all, even a demon corset.

Hussy Approved Reading Material!



Barbara said...

Ooooh, I like the sound of this story. Plus, I totally LOVE this cover...sigh...

Great review!!!

Barbara said...

Oops, still signed in with my other account, lol.

VampFanGirl said...

I'm telling you, the cover is even more gorgeous in person. I think I started petting it when I pulled from the mountains of my TBR pile.

I loved this novella. Its absolutely gripping. While there's this sinister undertone, the romance positively shines.

Hugs, VFG

P.S. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I still can't stop staring at this blog design!!!!!!!!!!!!! You rock!

Blodeuedd said...

Sounds good, and love that cover.
Hm I wonder what kind of power that corset has.

Patti said...

This does sound good - and the hero/heroine lose their virginity together? That does sound sweet.

Like the new look!!!

Erotic Horizon said...

I am loving your take on this VFG... and both of them are virgin.. WOW..

I like also the fact that they were together - it take some of the stress of the getting together angst...

Cool reviewette...


VampFanGirl said...

Hey Blodeuedd,

I love, LOVE this cover. You gotta see it in person. Gorgeous.

;) VFG

Thanks Patti!

I love hero virgins and in this case both the hero and heroine are virgins and their coming together was erotic as it was sweet. Loved it.

;) VFG

Thanks E.H.!

Well there's still plenty of getting together angst when John suddenly comes back from the dead. Meg definitely had some issues to work through within herself before she could fully accept him. I on the other hand, forgave him the moment he came back on the page. ;) But I'm easy like that. lol!

;) VFG

Erotic Horizon said...

....on the other hand, forgave him the moment he came back on the page. ;) But I'm easy like that....

Call it what you will - I know it's the hussy in you.... LOL


VampFanGirl said...

LMAO!!!! You know me so well, E.H.!

Blanche said...

Hi VFG!!

I've had this one in my TBR forever!! Great review.......I need to go digging and get my copy out so I can read it! :)

Cecile said...

You ladies so freaking rock, it isn't even funny!!! OMG.. You new place is freaking hot. I love your other home as well... Girl, Barbara ~ kudos to you honey!!! You are awesome!!!!

Love the post Vamp!! I do love that cover... "Petting it"... I would too!!! Great book... will be writing this one down to get soon!
Have a great day tomorrow!

Sophie Renwick said...

Like you, I had this in my TBR since its release last year (how embarassing!) so I'm diving in tonight. Looking forward to it.

And you know a follow up book is planned,right? I think it release this winter

VampFanGirl said...

Thanks Blanche! Prepare yourself for some steamy reading!!

;) VFG

Hey Cecile! Thanks for likin' the new diggs. ;) I swear, there's no limit to Barbara's creativity. She's amazing.

I think you'd really enjoy this author, Cecile. Denise Rossetti will definitely get your inner hussy purring. ;)

Hugs, VFG

Hey Sophie! What's up, girl!?

You're really going to enjoy Denise Rossetti's novella, especially since you liked THE FAME AND THE SHADOW. This novella really struck home for me.

Hugs, VFG

VampFanGirl said...

Oh, and yeah, I've seen the cover for the follow up to UNLACED. Denise will be doing another novella set in her Four-Sided Pentacle universe. The anthology is called LACED WITH DESIRE and it release Feb 2nd, 2010.

Denise Rossetti said...

Woohoo, VFG, I'm totally stoked you enjoyed Meg and John's story. *beams* Thanks so much.

They're very special to me, those two. I usually avoid virgins like the plague, but in this one I somehow got stuck with two of them. *grin* I'm not a great fan of those 'transcendentally blissful' first time scenes, so I tried to make it real as well as tender and erotic. The sorceress and the dragon djinn are a real contrast. heh heh

As for the cover, it is absolutely beautiful. Sexy, but so classy and feminine. The cover for Laced with Desire (Feb 2010) is lovely too, but a bit more conventional.

Actually, I've just done my final page proofs for my story in that one and I'm pretty pleased with it - which is not usual for me. It's called Rhio's Dancer. And we catch up with Meg and John, just briefly.

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