The Yearning

The YearningBy Tina Donahue

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: December 14, 2010
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased

To break this curse, they’ll have to turn the heat up. Way up.

Jasmine Dante prowls Key West’s nightlife, fighting a losing battle against a jealous rival’s curse that forces her to seek carnal pleasure, no matter the danger. Weakened from lack of sleep, driven by insatiable lust, she spots a man who stirs her desperate craving, and begins yet another dance of seduction. Except the dark stranger who returns her direct stare is no ordinary lover. Inside his powerful body lies a raw sexuality that just might be enough to break her curse. There’s only one way to find out: imprison him in her bed and feed on his passion.

Former U.S. Marshal Mike Stearn is many things, but he’s no woman’s sex slave. The deadly telekinetic power he ruthlessly suppresses comes alive again at Jasmine’s touch. Beneath her bold, potent sensuality he senses vulnerability and desperation. He may be in handcuffs, but she’s the one who’s enslaved. As Mike resurrects his power to free himself so he can find the curse’s source and defeat it, Jasmine revels in his masterful rule. Her ravenous yearning evolves into rapture as she surrenders to his hunger, her darkest needs—and the emotional connection that lies beyond. Unless the curse takes her life first…

Warning: Tons of steamy sex, smoldering passion and a to-die-for love story with a hot Alpha hero who finds himself imprisoned by one sultry and desperate babe.

Goodreads Summary

I periodically take stock of what’s in my TBR pile and when the compulsion hits to add to it, start getting obsessive-compulsive and think about what’s missing to make it balanced in case I get into a funk and want to read something different.  In the case of my last shopping trip to Samhain, I realized I was out of the super hot stuff.  This has “carnal” and “lust” all in the first paragraph, there’s a cop with telekinesis and voodoo tossed in there too – lots of ingredients for sexy right?  It just never really gelled though.  In a strange way, this story managed to be less than the sum of its many, many parts – it wasn’t a bad book, it just left me feeling like it should have been so much better.

Jasmine Dante’s singular mistake was in accepting a date from a man who was the object of a gypsy Wanderer’s unrequited obsession.  The gypsy cursed her to always want men who wouldn’t want her and to waste away for sexual need of them.  Now Jasmine trolls bars and other places trying to find men to lure to her bed to stay alive long enough to find the gypsy and get her to remove the curse.  When she zeroes in on Mike, she’s upset because she likes him – something beyond just wanting sex from him, something that hasn’t happened before.  She can’t afford not to take him home though, and she thinks that one night with him will be enough, but for some reason the curse hits her harder and she’s forced to keep Mike against his will, handcuffed to her bed with the help of her two sisters and a guy that lives with the three of them.  Mike wants to help Jasmine break the curse, not just to free himself, but because he sees something vulnerable about her that calls to him, but he has to try to call up his dormant telekinetic abilities to get himself loose to do it.

There were things here that I liked, but so much that was confusing and left unexplained.  Jasmine and Mike had great chemistry, even when she apparently wasn’t under the demands of the curse.  I was astounded by his endless stamina, but suspension of anatomical belief is required for most erotica and I could do that since their scenes were hot and still actually tasteful.  There was a single very brief m/f/m menage scene while Jasmine was heavily under the influence of the curse and ill – it was with Mike’s consent (no homosexual contact) and there was no romantic connection between Jasmine and the other party, although they were friends.

Mike was the single best part of the story and much of it was told from his perspective.  Even though this all took part in just a handful of days, he came to care about Jasmine a lot and felt a lot of tenderness toward her, even after she locked him to her bed and her family pretty much told him he wasn’t leaving the house, period.  However unrealistic it might have been to have developed feelings for her so quickly, his affection and concern for her were sweet and balanced nicely with the super hot erotic scenes.

There were simply too many other bits and pieces dropped into the story that were either left incomplete, not clearly described or just didn’t make a lot of sense for me to fully enjoy this.  To go into too many of them would give away a lot of spoilers, but for one example of the plot clutter, Mike notices there are pictures on the wall that don’t match the faded frame shapes on the wallpaper.  Jasmine gets sad about it and it turns out the sisters removed all family pictures so no one they brought to the house would be able to identify them.  But, you’re having monkey sex with them for hours.  I think they can remember you from that.  The sisters also operate a dress-making business out of the house and at one point the two sisters have to deal with a client coming by for a fitting.  Why on earth is either thing relevant?  Normally those things would give the story some depth and character, but there’s so much else going on, the pretty large amount of space devoted to this kind of stuff should have been used for other things, in my opinion.

Jasmine alluded to a man or men that she’d brought back to the house that didn’t leave alive, I think.  I say I think because I really don’t know – she pleaded with her sisters to let Mike go in the morning because he wasn’t like the others, he could be trusted, which implies that there were others who couldn’t be and weren’t let go.  The gypsy is part of the Wanderers, a pretty fascinating group, if you’ve heard of them, but nothing at all is done with them.  Zero.  I don’t even know why they were brought up.  I don’t know why Mike’s telekinesis was brought up either, but too much of that’s a spoiler.

My Summary: Like I said, this isn’t really a bad book.  I didn’t hate it, but it was just middling for me.  The erotica was well done which is in and of itself a win, but the promising plot failed under the mountain of incomplete, inexplicable details.

My Rating: C-



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