Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After I set up my Kobo Mini e-reader, I was surprised to see this title among the books synced from my desktop app. I didn't recall having purchased it. A title like that? Surely not! But it had been some time since I'd used the app. Maybe I'd just forgotten. Maybe it wasn't what it sounded like.
So I opened the book and started reading. I hadn't read it before (I definitely would have remembered) and it was not something I would have chosen to buy if I'd known what it was. It was an erotic novel. I now know (from the Kobo catalogue) that this is the correct term; at the time I was thinking "soft porn" or maybe just straight-out porn.
It's not that I'm a prude. It's that I would have expected pornography to be a boring read. I saw some excerpts from "Fifty Shades of Grey" online and thought they were incredibly boring, largely because they were so badly written.
This one isn't.
The plot is fairly unbelievable, but there is a plot. I have since learned from friends that erotic novels can be very lacking in story line. This one not only has quite a complex story, but it is also an historical novel set in an aristocratic milieu far removed from our present experience — which makes it easier to suspend disbelief in the improbabilities.
And the writing is good! The sex scenes are explicit without being crude or sleazy. Nor are they embarrassingly silly. In fact they're gorgeous, and very exciting. Not kinky like "Fifty Shades", though the hero does have one (fairly harmless) idiosyncrasy. For the most part the descriptions are of normal sex at its wonderful best. I admire and envy anyone who can write sex scenes well. I can only manage it in metaphor. Luckily I'm a poet, not a novelist, so that works for me. Erotic novels, however, need to be a lot more realistic.
"Seven Nights" was convincing enough to get me hot and steamy — and to remind me that I haven't missed out on much in that department, over the course of my life. It's good to realise that descriptions of superlative sex could be accounts of one's own unforgettable experiences! I'm grateful all over again to my excellent lovers.
I have since realised that Kobo gives you a free book these days when you set up a new e-reader, so that's how it came to be in my library. I have also discovered that they are now offering a lot of free books in any case — always the first of a series, in the hope that if you like that you'll buy the rest.
Yes, I do intend to buy the rest of this series! And soon.
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* The title of this post is a reference to a poem by Barbara Giles, with the same title.