Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oh, Bastian, My Lord

Bastian: The Lords of Satyr
Surprise! I was tricked again – drawn to incredibly sensual covers – into reading a historical romance. Thank goodness because I am so enjoying this series and I may have let the h-word ruin it for me. So, I guess I should thank Jenn for turning me on to Dane and Bastian. Because I am already going back and reading about Elizabeth Amber’s other men. There’s nothing better than hot men twined into a fascinating plot. Love it.

Elizabeth Amber is a master storyteller of erotic paranormal romance. There’s just no other way to say it and I would even say there are few who write this genre at this caliber. Bastian went beyond erotic in a sensuous rhythm of love and yearning. The story was fluid with an intriguing plot, believable though set in this romanticized world of Satyrs, Vestal Virgins and Ephemerals during the 1880s in Rome.

Though the book is named for Bastian, it was really a story of a friendship that transcended time. Michaela and Silvia were the very best of friends for centuries until Michaela became mortal for the man she loves. That man happens to be Bastian who doesn’t return her feelings of love, simply affection.

Bastian is the oldest Satyr - mythical men with indescribable sexual allure - brother. He and his brothers guard a magical vineyard where others cross into the Earthworld from their homeland of Elseworld. Bastian is an archeologist excavating the ruins of the vestal virgins where he believes there are mystical stones that keep their world secret. What he doesn’t know is that he’s become involved with two ephemerals that once lived in the temple of Vesta.

Silvia is one of the vestal virgins while Michaela became a vestal companion, trained in the art of pleasuring. When the temple is attacked, both girls set out as ephemerals, immortal beings who can take over the body of a dying person for short periods of time or lose their immortality. While Silvia maintains her immortality, Michaela gives it up to be with Bastian. Despite their different choices, the two friends are still close in heart and Silvia watches over her friend and finds herself attracted to Bastian as well, an incredible occurrence since she has maintained her vow of chastity for centuries. But Silvia knows she must focus on getting possession of the mystical stones Bastian is excavating. If Silvia can deliver the stones to her corrupt Uncle Pontifex, he has promised to free the remaining vestal virgins from imprisonment.

Since she knows the exact location of the vestal virgin ruins, Silvia takes on human hosts to help him so that she can then steal them from Bastian. But as she works alongside him, she finds herself falling in love with him. And Bastian finds himself attracted to each host Silvia takes, sensing there is something unusual. He feels affection for each of her hosts but is confused as to why he’s attracted to so many different people. As Silvia and Bastian interact in so many forms, they develop a real connection aside from the physical which is something missing in many erotic stories.

Silvia fights her growing attraction for Bastian out of respect for Michaela. Her character is stellar. But when Michaela is murdered, Silvia takes her body as host and honors her friend’s last wish to lay with Bastian once more at Moonful, a magical night of fornication no Satyr can resist. There was no chance of Silvia coming away with her heart intact. As she continues to take different hosts, Bastian and Silvia join together – some readers might find the variety in sexual partners offensive – as if their love was greater than what could be contained in their own bodies. The development of their relationship was perfect; the teasing and fun dialogue between Bastian and Silvia was endearing. Then when Bastian realizes he loves her, she becomes the only woman he has ever pursued – the unattainable man finally succumbs. The theme of love, between friends and lovers, can be felt through the words and interactions. While the plot moves the reader along quickly, it’s the love stories that will stay with the reader forever.

I was enthralled in this sensual world. This book is the epitome of an indulgent read. There’s nothing more to say than… 5 Heavenly Chocolate-dipped Strawberries. Delicious.
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