REVIEW: The Bridal Hunt by Jeanette Lynn

Things aren’t going at all like Wilhelmina had planned. Showing up at her significant other’s office to surprise him with a romantic getaway for two, she finds herself on the receiving end of one, instead. Hurt, betrayed, pissed off and single Wilhelmina decides to take the trip alone, have her own holiday for one. Things go from bad to worse for Mina when her ex shows thinking to reconcile, but can’t take no for an answer.

In the midst of all this, something large, white, hairy and completely Abominable drops in uninvited. The beast had decided to settle their dispute itself. Noting something of worth in the feisty, hot-tempered woman, the creature steals off with her, heading deep into the woods with his prize. Wilhelmina soon finds herself in the middle of a primitive looking camp of snowy white creatures, on some kind of alternate plane, realizing quickly that she’s just unwillingly participated in some kind of bridal hunt. Is Wilhelmina fated to be an Abominable snow beastie’s bride? Or can she find her way back home before it’s too late?

Warnings: Captor/captive tropes, sexism, jealousy narratives, cheating, dubcon

Category: M/F

The Bridal Hunt is an erotic novel about the Abominable Snowman. Set around Christmas time, it’s the perfect treat to set you “in the mood” for the holiday season! Although the jokes about “decking the halls” and references to penises as “candy canes” are restricted to the first few chapters, it remains a very tongue in cheek comedic and silly melodrama throughout the entire story of Mina’s capture and subsequent marriage to not one, but three Abominable Snowmen.

WRITING
The writing is very, very silly. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting at first, so it took some getting used to to take in all of the Christmas puns and the extremely hammy dialogue. Mina is described as being “feisty” but in actuality she’s really more manic than anything. Her reactions to varying situations (such as being kidnapped by beast men that want to mate her) tend towards the cartoonish rather than the realistic, but then so does… every character in the entire book, from her cheating ex’s madman ravings to the other woman’s dumb bimbo routine. It’s either going to be your speed or it isn’t; for myself I found myself waffling between finding it endearing and amusing in it’s goofiness, and finding Mina obnoxiously shrill. The dialogue is also.. unfortunately the books biggest weakness. It’s pretty wooden and forced, and if it was so on purpose it didn’t always quite land as comedic.

The plot, such as there is of one, involves a budding reverse harem, as Mina comes to accept her new life with the snowbeasts. There’s some nonsense with her unhinged ex as well, as he tracks her down to win her back, and its all very over the top and not taking itself seriously in the slightest. That said, the lack of serious handling may be a turn off if you are unfamiliar with, or not a fan of, dubcon tropes as there is certainly a fair amount of ravishment “she says no but totally means yes” happening in this story that the text is not at all serious enough to handle with any amount of weight or sensitivity.

EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
I always find it a little difficult to be engaged with “feisty female” characters, as I feel like they end up being incredibly unlikable. Mina is no exception; except that perhaps its intentional in this case. This is certainly a comedic novel, and Mina’s over the top attitude was often so ridiculous I couldn’t help but laugh. Her developing relationship with each of the three beasts was interesting, though I can’t say I ever felt especially connected to any but the first one to mate her, Veck. Veck was a sweetheart and the text took a fair amount of time developing their connection, that in comparison the other two felt a little tacked on.

I will say that there was a certain interesting amount of narrative paralleling going on as Mina deals with three men fighting over her, which was what her crazy ex had wanted in the beginning (cheating on her only because he wanted to see her fight with another woman over him) though I’m not sure what we are meant as readers to take away from that parallel. (George wasn’t so bad after all? When men do it it’s bad but when women do it it’s fine actually? Unclear.) I also didn’t super love the slut-shaming surrounding the other woman George cheated with, as the text spends a good deal of time ripping her to shreds for dressing slutty, having fake tits, and being a stupid bimbo. A bit of “not like the other girls” syndrome going on here.

WORLDBUILDING
Some really interesting worldbuilding ideas going on in this one! The snowbeasts are more or less big hairy cavemen that come from another world, and there’s a portal that opens from time to time into ours through which they go in order to find mates to bring back home with them. It seems as though there are only male snowbeasts, which would explain why they need to seek out females from our world, but it doesn’t really address how or why that is. The author could have fleshed that out a little bit more, but as it stands the world is intriguing enough to make me want to know more about it.

As with many authors writing about alien/monster lovers, however, the author failed to commit enough to the monster premise. The beasts are pretty human-ish all around, with little to distinguish them from cave people. We don’t even get a description of their dicks which would have been the perfect opportunity to give them at least a little bit of flair.

STEAMINESS
Pretty hot smut if you are into a lot of very primal style fucking. It was a little one-note for me, as there wasn’t much to it other than “insert tab A into slot B a lot of times”, but the gangbang scene was quite good, as was the first smut scene which reads very dubcon. I enjoyed the character’s flirtatious relational developments more than their actual sex, as to be honest I probably would have found it a hotter book if the snowbeasts had actually sent her out to be chased down in a Bridal Hunt rather that bluffing about that in order to procure her cooperation. The scene where she is indeed on the run and being tracked down was full of a lot of tension that I found very enjoyable, but ultimately the sex itself, when it finally came, didn’t involve those tensions at all.

This was a ludicrously silly book from cover to cover and certainly did not take itself very seriously. It would have been perhaps a little more fun if it had involved the Christmas theme a bit more than just taking place around Christmas time at the beginning (especially considering how thick the first chapter layed on all the Christmas jokes) but for a silly little polygamous monsterfuck novel it was pretty fun, heavy with the melodrama and the snarky quips.

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