Author : L.S. Hilton
Publisher : Zaffre (Bloomsbury India)
Genre : Crime, Erotica (No, this is not a proper thriller like they say)
Source : Publisher
Rating : 1/5 Stars
I am not sure why I never picked up Maestra earlier, I suppose the cover wasn’t very appealing but I just never grabbed it. But recently I’ve been seeing Domina everywhere and I thought the names sounded a bit odd for a thriller, I never paid any attention to it even though I was a little curious. Then, I got an email from the publisher offering me the two for review since I had never read the first. So, I thought, great opportunity to check these out and see if I made a mistake avoiding them. I accepted and rush read the first one before my trip so I could get this review out on time.
The story follows Judith Rashleigh, an intern at one of the top two auction houses in London who is trying to make a mark in the art scene but seems to be hitting roadblock after roadblock. She soon uncovers a fraud that may be underway and is trying to prove it when her boss catches her snooping and immediately fires her. So she now tries to prove what has happened while getting a little bit of revenge herself. It also says it has graphic sex which I thought would be okay since I enjoyed A.R. Torre’s The Girl In 6E so much. Also Clare Mackintosh has given a quote for the cover and that would only encourage people to read it. Unfortunately what I expected and what I got were very different things and I’m here to tell you why I didn’t enjoy this as much as I hoped.
WHAT I LIKED : The portions describing the art and the locales were rather beautiful. The author painted a picture of these places as well as any travel writer would and you felt like you were in the places. There are also certain portions where the action overtakes the erotica and that is excitingly done. Those portions are fast paced and sudden, shocking you out of your sense of….whatever you feel during the rest of the portions. I got to discover a few famous paintings and got to learn a bit about that world too.
WHAT I DISLIKED : Well, it isn’t marketed properly. It isn’t a thriller, it is erotica. As one reviewer mentions, it is 50 shades of grey meets The Goldfinch and not in a classy way. If I had known that I would never have wanted to read it, I usually avoid reading reviews of thrillers before picking it up and so I wasn’t aware of why this book had such low ratings on goodreads.
Don’t get me wrong, if it was marketed as erotica I am sure it would have done well. But people who like thrillers aren’t the same as people who read erotica, I stay away from the latter vehemently because it just isn’t my genre. I don’t mind it when the main genre is different but to market something as a thriller when it isn’t just won’t end well and that it how it was for me. This book was mainly sex- designer labels- travel- painting name- orgy- awful boss- designer labels- sex. The thriller portion is negligible and for that, I rated it 1 star.
If you read erotica and want something more to be added to the plot then this is the one for you. I don’t think there was much by way of character development either but that, I am sure, is not a problem when it comes to this genre.
Judith Rashleigh works as an assistant in a prestigious London auction house, but her dreams of breaking into the art world have been gradually dulled by the blunt forces of snobbery and corruption. To make ends meet she moonlights as a hostess in one of the West End’s less salubrious bars – although her work there pales against her activities on nights off.
When Judith stumbles across a conspiracy at her auction house, she is fired before she can expose the fraud. In desperation, she accepts an offer from one of the bar’s clients to accompany him to the French Riviera. But when an ill-advised attempt to slip him sedatives has momentous consequences, Judith finds herself fleeing for her life.
Now alone and in danger, all Judith has to rely on is her consummate ability to fake it amongst the rich and famous – and the inside track on the hugely lucrative art fraud that triggered her dismissal.
*Many thanks to the publisher for generously providing me a copy, opinions expressed are my own.
P.S. I’ve added it under thriller because I don’t have an erotica category.