Review Details

Concubine

Concubine

Product Review (submitted on March 15, 2016):

Note: Very slight spoilers but in the vaguest of tones to keep from ruining it for new readers.

I like books with the forced-relationship-out-of-duty trope and all the emotional turmoil, hurt/comfort and getting to know each other that comes with it. I also like cultural differences, characters with scholarly interests, characters with insecurities. As such the summary and the first chapter(s) seemingly hit all my spots. Unfortunately, for me the story really didn't hold up.

The sex is hot at first, but after the Nth time of Taren doing Kael several times a night it gets tedious pretty fast. To the author's credit she does try to introduce new things every time, but for me the scenes all have the same mood and feeling to it, so after a while they became only another part to quickly skim over.

Maybe it would have been different if the characters themselves felt more real, but to me the characters feel flat and lifeless. I couldn't get around to empathize with Kael because of this lack and *he* is the actual narrator.

That Kael can't even properly bring across his own feelings should make it obvious how badly the other MC and the unfortunate secondary characters fare. The author does try to give Kael some individual traits but they all seem to be a means to the end rather than a genuine attempt to flesh out the character. For example, Kael being a scholar and very curious only seems important until a scene needing him to be alone in the library has played out. His book knowledge also never seems to be of any use to him nor is he ever overly curious except for the one time the author needs him to be to blurt out a question. Even when something bad happens to Kael and the opportunity arises for an angsty scene and an emotional Taren, the author instead lets Kael be unconscious for all of it and then uses the excuse for yet another sex scene.

The plot itself does nothing to improve the story. The villains and their motivation are absurd and when the mastermind behind the conspiracy was revealed I had to think hard before I even remembered who they were.

Conclusion: My review so far is probably painting a worse picture than is actually the case. The book is not horrible, I even enjoyed parts of it, it just fell flat in too many places and left me with a feeling of wasted potential.

If you enjoy lots of mild dom/sub porn with a bit of plot sprinkled in between to tie them together then you will probably like this book a lot. The author has nice descriptions and good, imaginative sex scenes. There is no distracting weird grammar nor cringe inducing cheesy phrases/dialogue. It is a nice read to while away some hours if that's your thing.
But if you are like me and enjoy the emotional connection to the characters and story the most, then I really wouldn't recommend it.