Review: Fascinated by Marissa Day

Tuesday, June 5

Title:  Fascinated*
Author:  Marissa Day 
Series: Connected to Seduction of Miranda Prosper, Surrender of Lady Jane
Genre: Erotic Historical Romance with Paranormal elements
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Format: Trade paperback & E-book
Date/Year:  June 5, 2012
Reviewed by: E.L.F.

*This book was provided to the reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

Pleasure was an elusive dream…

Alicia Hartwell has never experienced the pleasure of passion. Despite all her efforts to comprehend the notion of romantic love, it has remained an utterly foreign concept to her. Resigned to the life of a spinster, Alicia is therefore stunned when she receives a marriage proposal from the highly eligible bachelor, Lord Carstairs.

Until she met him…

But Lord Edward Carstairs is not a normal nobleman. He’s a Catalyst—able to draw magical power from the natural world to use in spells by human Sorcerers. He senses that Alicia is a victim of an evil enchantment that has suppressed her heart, and her desire. Powerfully attracted to her, Edward is certain that he’s the one to help her discover and understand her pleasure and her heart for the first time. But as Edward and Alicia’s mutual passion burns hot, their fragile love and trust could be threatened by family secrets, and a new magical intrigue neither imagined.

My Musings:

“Fascinated” by Marissa Day continues her tale of a Regency England that is populated by Sorcerors and Catalysts as well as non-magical humans. Edward Randall, Baron Carstairs, is part of a club of magic users who work for the Crown to help protect England against the depredations of the Fae.  He has resigned himself to a practical loveless marriage with the unremarkable Alicia Hartwell and is startled to realize that his complacent bride-to-be has a decided interest in certain lascivious activities but doesn’t seem to be consistent about her reactions.  

Alicia has always felt rather removed from her emotions and is unable to explain why she feels so little comfort in her family other than her cousin Verity.  The shockingly carnal pictures that Edward helps her experience aid him in reaching through the mists that muffle Alicia’s emotions but also make her more susceptible to attacks.  Together they must find an answer to the puzzle behind Alicia’s affliction even as they search for a way to protect themselves and their country from the most powerful Fae they have ever opposed.

Ms Day is very adept at combining the rigid codes of behavior that are characteristic of Regency novels and turning expectations on their heads by exploring the sexuality of her characters in sometimes unexpected settings.  This heroine’s apathy is breached by encouraging her voyeurism and giving her the courage to grasp her own passion.  Exposure (figuratively and literally) to multiple carnal encounters including M/M and a menage a trois allow Alicia to become a sensual being despite efforts to keep her oppressed.  

The intensity of Edward’s care for the fragile woman that he is to marry is heartwarming but I tend to like my heroines with a bit more backbone.  Some of the heroine’s reactions to events seemed a little illogical even though one could try to explain them away as a result to her lifelong apathy but it is my impression that certain rules are firmly entrenched into the mind of any maiden of this era and there should have been a stronger reaction to her situation than was displayed.   Nonetheless, this is an intriguingly spicy read that combines three of my favorite genres: historical romance, erotica and fantasy, and I look forward to more titles in this very enjoyable series.


Overall: 4 stars
Sensuality level: 5

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Lexi H June 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM  

Sounds hot, and I like the combination you listed. Historical, erotica and fantasy.

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