Reviewed by Elise Logan
Title: Lessons Learned: Book Two of the Eldritch Legacy
Author: Katrina Strauss
Publisher: Aphrodite’s Apples
Genre: BDSM erotic fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
This is the second installment of Katrina Strauss’s Eldritch Legacy. The story takes place in a fictional kingdom which seems like an amalgamation of Regency England and the French monarchy during the French Revolution. There is a lot of background politics to keep things interesting.
In this story, Camille has published under her own name rather than using a male pseudonym. Her friend Nicolette takes her to meet Stefan Eldritch, a notorious rake of a poet. Camille and Stefan are immediately drawn to each other, and their developing relationship is fascinating to watch. While Camille is attracted to Stefan, she doesn’t trust him – his well-deserved reputation as a dilettante certainly doesn’t help.
The characterization in this story is wonderful. The characters of Camille and Stefan are beautifully drawn by the author, and their relationship seems to grow naturally from their interactions with each other. Secondary characters are also well executed, so that you feel as if you know something about them, something that makes them more than cardboard place holders. One of my favorite characters is Curtis, who the reader doesn’t meet until late in the story, but who is interesting, engaging, and truly sweet.
Stefan’s need to dominate Camille sexually drives the couple through several scenes which culminate in an intense (and extremely hot) cropping scene. For the most part, the need to dominate manifests in bondage and in other areas, but there are a few scenes with pain play, and they are well-done. The sexual encounters in this book are scorching, but they also contribute to the overall arc of the story.
Strauss does a masterful job weaving together background information to bring the story to a head, creating a suspenseful and exciting crisis. The characters are true to their natures, and the ending is not a clean and perfect “happily ever after” for everyone involved. This story is a bit more realistic than the prototypical romance, which is a breath of fresh air.
This story exhibited the characteristics I look for in a good story. The plot was interesting and engaging. The characters were well-drawn and developed naturally through the book. The sex scenes were blazing hot. And the whole of it was presented in a unique and different framework. I am eagerly looking forward to the next offering in this series.