Maddie is one of my besties and while I will preface this review with one of those ridiculously trite, “I was given this book in exchange for a fair and truthful yadda yadda… cup of sugar, bowl of cherries and basket of kittens. I review books and I wouldn’t give anything other than my complete and honest opinion simply because I have an overinflated ego and enjoy hearing my own witty repartee. Kissing arse and dropping names only takes away from time I can be spending talking about how great the novel reflects on my personality, why would I do that?
So, please, allow me to drop the beat and mark the flow and I’ll catch this rhythm ’cause I’m a mistress of the words and measure, yo!
It’s midnight… I just totally busted a hip-hop line that MCA or Ad-rock would have wrote in the 80’s. I blame the fact that I’m on psych meds (which I messed with my own dosage tonight seeking a little body/mind detachment. I added an anti-inflammatory, Motrin and then an hour and half later Tylenol with Hydrocodone. I’m trying to not feel my fingers or back, it’s selectively working; I feel Jello-ey and mushy–but the hurty parts still hurt. Eff’in arthritis, I wish the person who thought this disease up gets a lifetime supply of stale bread.
Was there supposed to be a review here? I’ve forgotten, all I’ve seem to do is chat about inanities.
Claiming Ecstasy is steamy and sexy and it has a man who nibbles and thrusts. I love those thrusters. Sometimes I read something like this by one of my favorite authors or friends and I have a moment of supreme terror when I consider the question of whether the hero is attractive and a turn on to me, or if it is the author I am panting over and wanting to get my imaginary hotts-ies on with; the creator behind the words–the thruster behind the thruster. I hope for both Madeline’s sake and my own that Nicolas and Jolie are what was giving me the sun flare temperatures because if not things are about to get awkward.
If there is one thing that Maddie is accomplished at it is doing sex scenes, she can nail them. I mean, she is fantastic at writing them–I haven’t a clue if she is successful at nailing sex scenes in any other capacity. We are BFFs, please, no more questions or suppositions as to my knowledge about what or how she is at carpentry. I did not have sexual relations with that woman! –You never really know when a Bill Clinton quote is going to come in handy.
As I was saying Maddie is a kitty queen at developing the sultry, naughty stuff. I’m positive that when you grab any of the Dark Series books, her upcoming book Crimson Sins, or not yet released novella Wicked Magic–you can see that she has a certain style that marks her love scenes as her own and generally leaves you very satisfied. There are some people who can give you that sense of earthiness and natural carnality of the best type of down and dirty which makes you realize that love isn’t just luke-warm caresses and those awful cliched words so many other authors insert in at the worse times, “ravaging, ravishing, delight, enthrall and lovely”. If a guy gets you in bed and says something along the lines of, “Beautiful, your body is delightfully lovely. I have plans to ravish you all night long.” He had better have traveled from the Regency Era to eff you, or you need to GTFO–because, baby doll, that dude gets his lines from Broadway and he is living so deep in his closet he might as well be in Narnia. You will never see Madeline’s men say this banal bullcrap. Her beefcakes are 100% manly meat who say dirty things that you only hope would be whispered to you and your momma never overheard and you deeply wish everyone of which would be followed through on.
So, if what I’ve just said is the case why is it that I didn’t enjoy Claiming Ecstasy as much as I have most of Madeline’s other books? You might only see a couple available but I’ve beta read for her and had a chance to read her ARCs for upcoming novel, Crimson Sins and novella, Wicked Magic. She is a goddess at writing stories that are up my alley and a demon at writing heros that I want to drizzle in chocolate and have for dessert.
I don’t feel that Claiming Ecstasy is up to par with Madeline’s other works. The end portion of the book becomes very chaotic and difficult to digest. For me, the fact that the entire novella is centered around the mating of Nicolas and Jolie, the actual ballin’ began to be too long and it just started to drag. Don’t get me wrong, I love the nookie parts of all books, but this novella dealt with a great deal of internal dialogue which was often mental push and pull, emotional communication between partners as they challenged each other for domination and submission, and politics between the two characters social factions and rival families. It was crazy, monkey sex with the works; sometimes you need to just have a two topping, crazy, monkey sex, mindfornication.
Finally, Madeline sought to push her characters toward self discovery during the coupling. Too much was happening; the complexity of the climactic climaxing muddied the already deeply surreal mental landscape of the joining consciousness of Jolie and Nicolas. All of this left me in a sexual soup and had me re-reading some spots a few times and still with some real, WTF?’s. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Jolie Dupree’s Tootsie soul? Sometimes I wasn’t sure if he was licking her physically, mentally, existentially or if Schroedinger’s Cat was possibly out of the bag and she’d given birth to an orgasm that would end the world as Nicolas and Jolie knew it.
Claiming Ecstasy is an aberration from Madeline’s normal stories in that it is a vignette of a story that you tune into mid-scene and watch until the credits roll. It felt like an experiment and it was out of the box for what I know of her writing; with more time it may have been more successfully framed and staged. I’m making a face here as I write that because I feel that the concept and plot are inherently flawed for a short telling and that even with some dressing up, this novella still would not measure up to any of her other novels. It’s not physical interactions that was the issue for this, it’s the fact that there is just too much information, too much description, and too much action in too short a story. It’s one of these burgers.
This novella needed to be a novel, but not a novel long ‘do it like they do it on the Discovery Channel’ story.
Do I recommend this? You know… It’s cheap and you certainly aren’t going to die from an overabundance of hot sex. I really recommend you read Madeline’s Dark Series, her upcoming Crimson Sins and Wicked Magic for 5 star Maddie–but for a get you through the bus ride home or waiting room at the doctor’s office, this will do you.
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Dark Craving Synopsis:
Ella Grey’s life sucks. A half-breed vampire, she does her best to pass the time killing demons and secretly admiring her Shadow Hunter partner, Micah. He’s hot, dangerous and knows it. He’d be just Ella’s type if he weren’t likely to kill her the moment she put a toe out of line.
A chance encounter with a succubus changes everything. From the second the succubus’ spell washes over them, Ella and Micah are helpless to keep their hands off one another. The sex, when it’s not leaving them on the verge of death, is earth shattering and for the first time in ages Ella is connected with someone on a level she’d feared lost forever. But a dangerous prophecy has been set into motion, and if Ella’s not careful it’ll pull her straight from Micah’s arms and into the deepest bowels of the underworld.
A Romantica® Paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
Publisher’s Note: This book was previously published under the title Blood Lust Rising. It has been revised and expanded for EC.
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