Pros: Incredibly imaginative tale about some very messed-up characters
Cons: Virtually none
Rating: 5 out of 5
Pick up Bettie Sharpe’s Like a Thief in the Night from Samhain, or visit her website for samples of her work.
I had planned to review a cookbook today, but after purchasing a copy of Bettie’s new ebook Like a Thief in the Night yesterday (as well as reviewing her tale of Ember) I just couldn’t help reading it last night. By the time I was done I was so wrapped up in the warped lives of its characters that I had to remind myself to breathe.
First, the warnings: this isn’t a cookie-cutter erotic romance. You won’t find the standard good-girl-redeems-bad-boy story in here. Instead Bettie prefers to work with plenty of confused, messed-up, and downright twisted characters, all of whom could probably use a whole lot of help. This means that her stories are not for the squeamish or prudish. However, because they’re so character-driven, you also won’t find kinks just for the sake of kinks, or violence for the sake of violence—it all makes perfect sense for the characters, and the characters change and grow throughout the stories. Still, if you prefer your erotica to be tame, this isn’t the book for you!
The place: a luxury penthouse suite from which there appears to be no escape. The time: two hundred years from tomorrow. Arden, a highly skilled assassin, has been sent to kill one handsome, mysterious thief named Sevastien Aniketos. There’s just one problem, and it isn’t the fact that he’s so darn attractive—she can get past that. No, the problem is that he just won’t die. No matter how many times she kills him, he keeps coming back. Worse, he wants information from her. Not just information she doesn’t want to give, but information she’s afraid to give. And almost nothing makes her afraid any more.
Can he convince her to give up the information he needs? Can she protect the protege who’s like a son to her? Can they each work through their controlling tendencies enough to be able to come to some sort of understanding?
I love Bettie’s tendency to mix genres. This is tough to do, because few publishers are willing to take a chance on a story that doesn’t fit neatly into one genre. Like a Thief in the Night is set in the future, has enough blood to qualify as horror for some folks, enough action to make it an adventure or thriller, enough magic to call it a fantasy or paranormal, and certainly enough explicit sex and tortured emotions to call it an erotic romance. In some authors’ hands this would result in confusion; in Bettie’s it just results in an incredibly fresh and original world and story. And because ultimately she’s writing about fascinating, three-dimensional people, all the rest is just a means to an end.
Ultimately, that’s why I know I’ll be buying every book Bettie puts out. Like a Thief is definitely not for everyone; I dare say it isn’t for most people due to the violence, vulgar language and explicit sex. But Bettie’s skill at portraying amazing, fascinating, strong characters and fresh, unique stories transcends genre considerations, and I can’t wait to see what she does next—in any genre!
Thanks for the review. 😀 Can I quote you?
P.S. I also meant to say above that I’m glad you liked it. I was worried people who’d really liked Ember might find it a bit shocking.
Of course you can quote me!
I can understand why you worried; I imagine some will. I used to write horror, so maybe that’s why I’m not so easily shocked.
So… you have more of these on the way, right? Right?