Title & Author: Covenant, by Michelle St. James

Type:  Alpha male erotica, m/f, straightforward missionary sex

Summary: Refined, cultured, wealthy, somber aesthete Christophe Marchand runs the mob in the beautiful city of Paris, but don’t let that fool you. He has plenty of time to wait around to personally receive delivery of an antique desk, a flimsy literary pretext so that he can meet…Charlotte. Charlotte, who can barely deliver a piece of furniture without nearly going into an orgasm all over it at the sight of her handsome customer. When Charlotte discovers a valuable ring and is threatened at knife point, her mind wanders back to that hottie client who happened to have men with guns in his foyer. The ring provides an excuse for Charlotte and Christophe to be together, blah blah, here we go.

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Steam Factors

Cover & Title: 2-volcanoes

The title Covenant added to a hot guy in shades against a Liberace-gold background –I thought this book was going to be about vampires. I was not far wrong, but not in the way I expected. The story itself sucked two hours out of my life, and I’m feeling drained and like a lesser being for time poorly spent.

Grammar/Mechanics: 2-volcanoes

Only three actual grammar/typo/word issues! However…

When it comes to the mechanics of describing a sex scene, why do all three use the word “snaking” in different contexts? Stop with the snaking. I’m not sure I want to think of snakes in my panties.

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Also, if the writer can use (repeatedly) the word cock and refer to a clit by name, why oh why are Charlotte’s delicate lady bits frequently referred to as “her sex”? It’s as if the female author doesn’t know the language for her own body parts.

Finally, the author time and again employs the metaphor of “leaping off a cliff into a blue lagoon” to describe an orgasm. It truly makes me wonder if the author has actually ever had an orgasm. Perhaps she is just generally sure that orgasms are a very wet, ergo the reader is treated to a lagoon of wetness. In short, it’s very weird.

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Content/Reality Check:  2-volcanoes

When will writers quit raping Twilight and spawning clones of Bella Swan and Edward?

I was perfectly willing to accept the alpha male of Christophe Marchand, in all his broody perfection with his infinite amounts of money and limitless free time and exquisite taste in art.

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And then there was…Charlotte.

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Oh, formulas. Cool controlled alpha male falls for an idiot woman whom the author tries to assure the reader is actually, well, not an idiot.

And that is a problem: the author wants to tell the reader flatly, that Charlotte Duval is “an intelligent woman” and “too smart for that”. But then Charlotte does things like saying, “Hey! I just met you, and this is crazy, but I have a ring which might have your dead  father’s blood on it!”

That’s a paraphrase and yet not far off from what’s actually in the novel.

Very smooth, Charlotte–not at all gauche or moronic or insensitive. No wonder Christophe is so smitten with you and your hot “sex” and your “blue lagoon” orgasms.

Plus, a woman who restores antiques for a living didn’t replace the gaudy imitation “art” in her rental because “it didn’t seem worth it”? That would be like me renting an apartment filled with the memoirs of Miley Cyrus and thinking, “Eh, I can live with that and nothing else to read.” As if!

Finally, Charlotte goes into physical shock because people were shooting at her, after insisting on being included in the action. Charlotte, who the author boasts regularly rides the LA subway just like she did in New York, two cities known for their extremely high crime rates.

Please.

Charlotte, you are killing me.

Best of the Rest:  2-volcanoes

The writing style overall is of fairly good quality. I like the setting and the small details which are included seamlessly, for the most part. Still, Christophe’s place in St. Germain, as well as the ensuing descriptions of Vienna and Boston and even Los Angeles, are sketchy at best. Each location could be any house, any hotel, any city, anywhere. The semi-mystery of the ring as a plot device to develop the main characters and throw in some sex is well done, which is why it is so aggravating to be burdened with a twit like Charlotte.

Honestly, you could have removed Charlotte altogether and focused on the character of Christophe, including him masturbating to the memory of a past girlfriend, and the story would have not only lost nothing but been improved by her absence.

Total Steam Factor:  2-volcanoes

Give me back my two hours. I could have been watching Netflix.