This post may contain affiliate links or I may be reviewing a book that I have received for free as part of a review program or as an advanced reader copy. That being said, all opinions are my own. The book cover and plot summary for Silken Bonds are courtesy of goodreads.com.
Whew! I’m finally back home after a whirlwind of travel for the past two weeks. While I definitely had some adventures during that time, I’m quite happy to be sitting in my old bedroom back in the States. Part of that travel extravaganza was spent camping for two weeks in Scotland. Pretty picturesque, right? Right. We didn’t have any electricity, which was fine by me; it just meant that my Kindle and my phone (with a Kindle app on it) were dead for two weeks. That left me with pretty limited reading options. Luckily for me, people before us had left a few books in the camping caravan, one of which was Silken Bonds by Zara Devereux. My friends all started reading it and laughing at its eroticism, but they all admitted they hated the likes of Fifty Shades. I thought I should give it a whirl, and what do you know – I got an interesting review to write about it, too.
Silken Bonds in 85 Characters or Less
Journalist explores her sexuality at an upscale and kinky health club at Christmastime
Full Plot Summary
Christmas is never a good time to break up with someone but Tamzin has had enough of Tim; he isn’t man enough for her. Bored and frustrated, Tamzin agrees to attend a Christmas party hosted by a colleague, unaware of how out of hand things will get. Tamzin discovers startling things about her desires – and she wants to learn more. When she hears about a very special hotel that caters for all tastes, Tamzin knows she must stay there. It is at Cheveral Court that Tamzin encounters Guy, a man like no other she’s ever met before. Will he be the one to take her to the edge?
Unnecessarily Illustrious Vocabulary
Riiiiiight-o. So, this isn’t really a vocabulary comment, but it seems to fit best here than anywhere else. Silken Bonds was written in third-person, which, as some of you know from my other reviews, I’m not a fan of. I find it hard to connect with the main character and get inside his or her head, and I often get confused as the perspective switches between people within a scene. This was definitely the case with Tamzin. I couldn’t feel what she was feeling, thus I couldn’t get engaged, thus I mostly finished the book to say that I made it further than my other camping buddies. Sad, but true.
As far as the actual vocabulary, I think I read more ways to say “sex” than I ever had in any other book. It seemed that for each new mention of an object or concept, Devereux used a new way to say it. Some of the words I didn’t even know, and this is an erotica novel from 1997. There is no need for an Oxford-level English vocabulary, and more times than not, it just gave the scene an almost ethereal and lofty air that a dirty bedroom moment has no right to have. I found this very distracting and quite honestly amusing, but not in a good way.
No Content Beyond Sex
Silken Bonds totaled to 244 pages, which is a perfectly acceptable length for an erotica novel. Out of those 244 pages, there were probably four of them that didn’t cover a sexual act. That’s to say that the vast majority of this book was only sex, leaving no room for any character development or, really, any plot. The plot synopsis for this book discusses a bit about personal development and sexual exploration, so I came to expect that from the novel. I understand that it’s an erotica novel, and generally, they have a bit less development than, say, your average Molly McAdams novel, but I still expected some! This really made for quite a dry, boring, and repetitive novel; it truly was pages upon pages of the same.
As I’ve probably said a hundred times before in this review, I understand that Silken Bonds is an erotica novel, so my standards for realism and literary accuracy are a bit lower. That being said, I think that Silken Bonds was pretty far off. I don’t know anything personally about Tamzin’s newfound lifestyle, nor do I know anyone who lives like her, but it seems a bit impossible to be that…successful…sexually.
All that taken into consideration, Devereux had a good idea when writing Silken Bonds and, presumably, all her other novels. I do believe it’s important for authors of the romance and erotica genres to acknowledge that there are other sexual lifestyles than the relatively vanilla one we see most often and that it’s okay to move from one lifestyle to another. Tamzin’s major point of development was her newfound interest in a kinkier way of life, and hey – if that works for her, or you, or your sister, then all the more power to them.