REVIEW: Bride to the Beast by Samantha Madisen

Thanred knows well that there is only one way to keep the lust-driven madness which afflicts every male of his kind from consuming him, and when he catches the scent of a human female who has been chosen as a bride for his tribe he wastes no time in ravaging her, wringing more intense, helpless pleasure from her quivering virgin body than she would have thought possible. His plans for Royla include much more than merely using her to keep his lust at bay, however. She will be his mate and bear his children. But to end his exile and take back his place among his people he will need to master his little human completely, claiming her publicly in even the most shameful of ways and leaving every potential rival in no doubt that she is his and his alone.

Warnings: Noncon/dubcon

Category: M/F

Bride To The Beast is a noncon-to-dubcon ravishment novella about a girl offered as a sacrificial bride to a monstrous creature of the forest. It’s fairly short, and reads quite fast, jumping between the POVs of Royla and Thanred, as they make their way through the woods together in exile after Thanred claims her as his bride. It’s a silly little pulp sex book, featuring plenty of spanking and fucking, though perhaps not as much monster content as advertised.

WRITING
This really isn’t a big sweeping plot, it doesn’t have much holding it together, and it’s not really intended to from what I can gather. It’s really just a little porny romp through the woods, and as it’s probably not really aiming to be much more I don’t think it would really be fair to hold that against it. The writing is fine, it’s serviceable, and it conveys it’s scenes well enough and with enough flare that it was at the very least an enjoyable book to devour over the course of a single afternoon.

EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
There’s really no emotional connection to the characters at all unfortunately, which is in my opinion a bigger problem than a lack of plot for a book like this. It’s one thing to barely have a story beyond “these characters fuck a lot” but it’s quite another to not really be sure why you’re supposed to care about the characters doing the fucking. Thanred is a bit more interesting than Royla, who is pretty one-note for most of the book; naive and impressionable seem to be the only character traits she really has, while Thanred has a few more dimensions to his personality.

I think that the book could have benefited from being an A/B/O novel, actually, as Royla’s near immediate sexual desire for her captor, and Thanred’s bodies inability to go long without fucking, would have made for perfect A/B/O fare while providing an explanation for their physical attractions to each other beyond just “because it’s a porno”. Them being bonded to each other would perhaps have also given it a bit more emotional weight.

WORLDBUILDING
The author tries to develop some amount of worldbuilding, what with the large Dranark race, the war with the humans, and the tentative peace brokered on the sacrifice of a virgin every year. Unfortunately the author doesn’t really commit enough to the premise; we never get any real description of the Dranark and what they look like except that they are very large; Thanred comes off like less of an orc/ogre/troll creature and more of a… really tall, well endowed human man, which doesn’t really do much to spark the imagination. Also, apparently Dranarks don’t have buttholes, which makes Thanred obsessed with Roylas, which instead of making me hot and bothered about anal sex scenes, only served to make me scratch my head and wonder how the hell do Dranarks shit?

STEAMINESS
The sex scenes are quite hot if you’re into enthusiastic dubcon and spanking scenes. Royla is captured and forced by a great big beast of a man, but instead of frightening her it arouses her and makes her horny and long for him. It’s, of course, unbelievable that a kidnapped virgin would have a pleasurable first time experience with a giant beast forcing himself on her, but in the realms of sex fantasy it’s not exactly an uncommon one. Thanred leashes her, drags her around through the woods, makes her call him ‘Master’, there’s some spanking when shes disobedient, some blowjobs where Royla suddenly turns into an accomplished sex kitten, etc.etc. It’s hot enough if that’s the sort of content you’re looking for; personally it wasn’t really as creative as I enjoy my smut but I certainly appreciated the effort.

It’s certainly not a big sweeping fantasy epic but it’s a short and sweet little piece of erotic storytelling that does a good job at being titillating and entertaining. A bit imemorable, perhaps, but fun to read.

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