Friday, September 26, 2014

Icebound by Corinna Rogers

The Basics:
Icebound by Corinna Rogers
Book One in the Mortals & Myths trilogy
Erotica, Urban Fantasy
Published September 25, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo

Why I picked up this book:

I was looking for something different in the erotica genre. (Spoiler: I found it!)


The first book in an intense, thrilling and erotic, m/m urban fantasy series from an exciting new author in the genre!
It’s been ten years since Shane Conell sold his soul to the Ice King in order to save the life of the man he loves. Correction, loved.
After ten years, it’s growing difficult to remember love, and hate, and laughter – until a chance appears to get back the only thing his frozen heart still wants…
Drake Young is doing fine. Really. He’s got a good job, nice benefits, and the soulless husk of his old lover only comes by to torment him every so often. However, it only takes the appearance of a creature from the Etherworld wreaking havoc on the decidedly nonmagical city streets to drag him out of retirement, forcing him to team up with the one person he can’t bear even to look at!
Now, Drake and Shane must race against the clock to keep their city from being destroyed, even if it means working together. And no matter how difficult it is to catch the creature, it’s a hell of a lot more difficult to resist the urges that ten years haven’t managed to kill.
My thoughts:

I don't often read gay erotica, because there's so much erotica out there in niches that appeal to me more. However, gay urban fantasy erotica? I was intrigued.

Icebound quickly establishes the urban fantasy component - we've got magic, we've got paranormal creatures running about threatening the normal people. Swords, guns, martial arts - check, check, check. I was very happy with the urban fantasy material. There's a great story hook around Shane having sold his soul to the Ice King to save the man he loves. I like that on the one hand, he's now doing the Ice King's bidding, killing supernatural creatures and so on, and that on the other hand, it also impacts his personality as his emotions freeze out and he becomes less and less concerned with things like, say, morality and social niceties. 

It wasn't entirely clear to me what level of comprehension mortals have regarding the supernatural world. It's obvious that there's some degree of interaction, but more details on this front would not have gone amiss.   

Icebound  also quickly established the erotica component with an oral sex scene that also tells us all is not right in Shane's world. It quickly established that despite becoming a cold-hearted jerk, Shane still desires Drake. 

Unfortunately, Icebound was a bit of a letdown as erotica. Some of it was pretty hot, but a lot of it was off-putting because of the violence involved. I'm not talking about the Top/bottom relationship that Shane and Drake had (though there's some violence in the name of sex there too), rather I'm referring to a pair of group rape scenes. The first was less concerning for me as I read, possibly because though a spell prevents legitimate consent being given, there's a certain degree of voluntary participation. However, the second scene was... well, in a word, awful. Violent. Painful - physically and emotionally. This material has *no place* in erotica, in my opinion. It was particularly off-putting when placed alongside the difficult relationship that Shane and Drake shared. Their complicated, kinky sexual preferences were tainted for me because of this second rape scene. If the scene was necessary (and I don't think it was), a fade-to-black and then catalog of injuries post-scene would have sufficed. 

The other issue I had was that I didn't feel that we got enough of a taste of just how awful Shane was to Drake while under the Ice King's influence. I wish that there'd been a flashback or two to give us a real sense of it.

Bottom line:

Icebound was a solid urban fantasy entry with some erotic scenes that were hit-or-miss for me. I'm not sure if I'll be back for the second in this trilogy or not, but I did appreciate the opportunity to read a book in a sub-genre of erotica that I don't normally pick up. I did really like the basic ways in which the urban fantasy and erotic genres were meshed here - I'll be on the look-out for more in this vein!

3 stars
For fans of gay erotica, violent erotica, sex with their urban fantasy.

No comments:

Post a Comment