Deirdreís Tale by Jennifer Campbell


Historical, BDSM, HFN

Reviewed by Patrice F.




Deirdre McGregor is orphaned when her entire family is killed by vengeful native chief, Chocorua.  Ill prepared to survive on her own, she leaves the destroyed remains of her home to seek help and becomes lost.  When she nearly drowns by crossing a lake, she is rescued by a fur trapper.  In exchange for saving her life, Deirdre becomes his woman.  He introduces her to pleasure and passion.  When the pair arrives at a local tavern, a pirate captain notices the lovely young woman and schemes to have her in his power. 

Deirdreís Tale is a solidly researched historical with crisp (and often introspective) writing and dark, brutal themes.  It is also in keeping with the true mission of the erotica genre, and is in no way romantic, nor does it pretend to be.  Whenever romance rears its pink fluffy head, it is quickly decapitated by the author with forceful realism.

Although I felt sympathy for the protagonist, Deirdre, even admiring her courage for all she endures, while being aware that in the 1720ís, there were few options for women outside marriage-where in both cases you became a manís property-I grew resentful.  Yes, she made her choice and accepted the ramifications of that choice.  It did not matter; I resented how her will and sexuality was used to recreate her.  In this, there was no hope, no salvation, and no justice for her plight.  I needed more from the author and the character. 

It took a great deal of effort for me to understand and respect the fact this novella was directed at an entirely different audience-one I did not belong to.  With that understanding, I could appreciate Ms. Campbellís realistic approach to the story, and the way she understood her character and the supporting characters.  The pirate, Alberto Garcia, responsible for Deirdreís hardship would have broken a lesser woman.  Still, I always find it difficult to read a story in which an irredeemable antagonist reigns supreme in the plotline by taking conflict to new heights with the heroine at the center.  It does not sit well with me when the underdog is totally overtaken this way without recourse.

To this end, Iím not certain if the authorís intention was to expand Deirdreís Tale into a sequel.  If so, I must confess that this type of story is not for me.  I overstepped myself in reading it without doing a bit more investigation.  Itís a lesson that I will take to heart in sticking with my literary preferences or stepping outside them.  I was way out of my league on this one, and have no problem admitting it.  Sometimes a reviewer will bite off more than she can chew.  For erotica fans who can appreciate this work, Ms. Campbell delivers all around.


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