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Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Pleasure Hound: Part One (The Pleasure Hound #1)

The Pleasure Hound is the first of three books in the Pleasure Hound Series. It is a relatively quick read based in a dystopian future in which female births are rare and, as a result, women are the ruling class. Men are considered second class citizens and their main purpose in life is to serve and pleasure women. Only first and second sons are allowed to marry and most marriages include two husbands. Male/male relationships in this world are not unusual or controversial in any way. They are in fact the normal way of things and are to be expected.
Chanyn is a woman who has lived separate from the rest of society for the majority of her life. Her mother, a member of the female elite, moved herself and her daughter to the remains of what was once Detroit. Chanyn (pronounced Shannon) grew up reading books about the world when men and women were born at a more even rate, where women did not rule over men and, more importantly she enjoyed reading about romance and falling in love. When we meet her in the story she is alone since her mother's death. Two men enter her home but hiding isn't an option as they soon need her help. Dain and Khial are lovers, but are not married. The lovers take her back to a civilization and a life that is foreign to her. The reader ultimately learns why the two men have "rescued" her from her life in the ruins, and also about the life that she was taken from as a child and her place in society. We also get to meet Jian, the Pleasure Hound, whose purpose is to determine what arouses a woman and brings her to orgasm, and to share that knowledge with her husbands.

There are things that I really like about the Pleasure Hound, starting with how truly multi-ethnic it is. This isn't just a black and white book as only Khial and Chanyn are the same ethnicity. Another thing that I appreciate about is that the author makes a genuine and, for the most part, successful attempt to draw the reader into the world that she has created. This isn't easy and I respect her creativity here. She managed to create something different and I think fairly unique. The problem that I had with the book had more to do with the characters than anything else. I didn't feel as connected to them as I think I should have, although there was interest. There was something missing that held me back from truly caring or sympathizing with them completely. I have to make one exception to this, and it was the character named Khial and his moments of awakening attraction for a woman. Here is a man who has been hesitant around women and distrusting of them his whole life. His love is and has always been for a man (Dain).Yet Chanyn makes him feel things against his will and he isn't liking it. His scenes and the inner conflict that he felt were very well done and I can't wait to see what happens with him.
I think the problem that I'm having with the characters is that this is an introduction. Everything that happens does so with the intent of introducing the reader to the world and setting the stage for what is about to happen. Characters needed more time together to explore newly revealed emotions and feelings for one another. Everything with Chanyn feels like infatuation over a new experience. A character like her needs to grow a bit before there can be believable feelings.  

My final thoughts are for readers to go into the book thinking of it as a beginning. It is in three parts so I am hopeful that my character complaints will smooth out in book 2. All in all, this is a good start, but would have had more of an impact for me as a reader if all of the parts were in one book, and if certain characters (Chanyn in particular) didn't feel so immature to me. The book ends rather abruptly and I imagine will pick right up where it left off when reading the second book. Because it is a quick read, the writers overall writing style is promising, and the price is relatively low, I would say give it a shot. At this point I would have to give this book a rating of 2.5 out of 5.

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Pages 97
Published: December 9, 2014
Price: $0.99

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