Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Review: Capriole

Book Review: Capriole
Evey Brett
© 2012
Loose ID LLC

What happens when an Austrian, bisexual demon-keeper meets a bisexual Spaniard recovering from a demon attack? Make no mistake. This is an erotic, dark fantasy for grownups who adore Male/Male Romance and pretty horses. Be aware, several nonconsensual encounters populate the pages. For those who like their tops blond and their dark-haired bottoms equally sensitive, Capriole hits the sweet spot. The author sets the two lovers upon plot cliff and starts tossing complications at them. Her Tangh-i-ness had no questions regarding would the lovers get together. Her preoccupation pretty much revolved about exactly when it would happen and how would they stay together given all the obstacles?

The novel opens with a death and a telegram and establishes the young Spaniard as one of the main protagonists. Felipe Camarena has been using a false name Ramon Esquivel. The first few scenes set up his challenge: how to stay sane after having multiple horrific experiences and doubting the very existence of the incubus pursuing him? Imagine being ravished by a shape-shifting, sexually ravenous being whose touch felt like being scalded?

About twelve pages into Capriole, the first sex scene occurs between a female cambion (a half-demon) and her warden the above-mentioned, bi demon-keeper Lukas von Rainer. Her Tangh-i-ness appreciated observing a female aggressor with a male object of her desire. Lukas is trapped in a twisted relationship fueled by his need to help the cambion who continues to leech off him sexually, psychically, and emotionally. By the time, Felipe enters the picture, Lukas decides Felipe’s plight gives him the impetus to pursue what Lukas has wanted all along: a balanced relationship with an equal who gives as well as takes. Can you blame him?

Her Tangh-i-ness has some quibbles with Capriole. The POV wobbles a bit. It’s not always clear whose head the reader is supposed to stay in. The horses don’t appear until halfway through the book. Yeah, Her Tangh-i-ness admits it. She’s been into Lipizzans since her reading Marguerite Henry days. However, there’s a whole other sequel to Capriole called Levade that will hopefully indulge her horse fetish.

What Her-Tangh-i-ness also valued about Capriole was a convincing exploration of the confusion between psychic awareness with the symptoms of mental illness. Most people won’t admit to having conversations with horses nevermind hearing from demons. The psychic storms Felipe and Lukas weather close the gap between “real-world” trauma and the physical, mental, and social manifestations of that trauma. It is their very “woundedness” that makes Felipe and Lukas compelling characters worthy of resolution. Only a read-through of Capriole will prove if their outcomes satisfied.

Note: This copy of Capriole was an electronic edition acquired from an author upon the reviewer's request. Her Tangh-i-ness usually reviews on a for-the-love basis. No lucre has been involved.

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