You guys, I made it through five chapters before I had the overwhelming urge to make everyone feel my pain. I'm pretty proud of myself.
The VERY FIRST page is an excerpt from what I'm assuming is just one of the many horribly written sex scenes awaiting within. We have "lust, desire, tenderness, a fierce masculine need to possess." Also involved are expectant shivering and wanting and leg wrapping and tongue plunging and purring and hip grabbing. What else? Oh yes, falling to the sheets in a tangle of limbs. I think we have it all covered now.
And then I turn the page, and, to my horror, the dedication reads,
To my wonderful parents. . . . And to my grandmother, Phyllis Jean, because I made you a promise.I don't want to think about parents and grandmothers directly after reading your horrid sex scene, Jenna! And Grandma Phyllis, WHAT did you make her promise to do?!
So there's that . . . already. And then the protagonist introduces herself.
My name is Cin. It's an unusual nickname, one that always incites speculation about how I received it. Some say it's because of the color of my hair, blood red and sinful. Others, the ones who whisper behind their hands, or cross the street rather than pass me on the sidewalk, say that it's because of who I am, of what I am. Ah, what is that, you ask? I am a witch . . . among other things. . . . Once I was young and sweet and innocent, just a girl with her whole life ahead of her.So she's basically Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Then we're in Surrey, England, in 1815. And you can be certain it's 1815 England because 22-year-old Cin (whom I'm picturing as Willow in period costume using a terrible English accent) is saying "posh," and her dear Papa is wearing a cravat, and her loving Mama is flouncing. And they all love each other and everything is perfect, and all I can think is, "Jenna is going to KILL these people."
Then, while her parents are out at a party, Cin wakes up from a nightmare that has caused sweat to drip seductively between her breasts (as it does). And she has a terrible feeling something terrible has happened . . . and that's because something terrible has happened. Her parents have died on their way home in a chance carriage accident that is no one's fault (boring). And even though they literally fell off a cliff, their lifeless bodies are found tightly embracing at the bottom. Because that's true love.
Then Cin has to be a grown-up and find SOME way to carry on with the obscene amount of money she's inherited . . . and her servants . . . and her personal chef. And when her mom dies, she absorbs her magic. So she's a really powerful witch who doesn't know how to control her witch skills. [Insert more Willow comparisons here.]
And just as I'm thinking, "SO MANY cliches; so few pages," I get to this sentence:
When I was sixteen I had fancied myself in love with one of the footmen, a horrible cliche, I know.DO you know?! Don't you mess with me, Jenna Maclaine. If you wrote this book to be ironic, I demand you tell me now.
Then Cin's childhood friend, who wants to marry her but whom she doesn't really like that way, returns from a long trip. And he can't wait to show her his new hobby . . . BLOOD SUCKING. (Cue the ominous music.) Then he tries to kill (?) Cin . . . or make her a vampire because she refused to marry him? I'm not at all sure. In any event, she gets away from him, but now he has her blood coursing through him and can somehow get in her head and make her crazy.
She locks herself in the house so she can study up on her vampire lore and figure out how to kill this dude before he kills her. And this is where I stop picturing Willow, because SHE would already know how to kill a vampire.
Then Cin gives up, because books are hard, and decides to go see an herbalist in London who knows things about things. The herbalist says he used to know a vampire slayer, but he got killed recently, but oh look he left his diary and here's an entry about good vampires who kill bad vampires so why don't you see if they'll help you. And she says, oh posh, I'll never welcome strange vampires into my home. Never. Never. I shan't ever do such a silly thing. So of course that's exactly what she's going to do.