July 4, 2014 by thebookslayer
Corroded by Karina Cooper
My rival, a collector of bounties like myself, has murdered one of my own. In consequence, I have been removed from my house, my staff, and all who would support me. I have nowhere else to turn, so I beg asylum within the Midnight Menagerie, London’s decadent pleasure garden.
Micajah Hawke’s dominance there will not tolerate my presence for long. I am fixated on revenge, but I walk a razor’s edge under his scrutiny His wicked power is not easily ignored, and I must not allow myself to submit—no matter how sweet the sacrifice.
Challenging my rival to a race is the only way to end this, no small task when the quarry is the murderous Jack the Ripper. As my enemies close in, I fear the consequences of this hunt. I am trapped between two killers, and what doesn’t kill me may leave its scars forever.
It’s been awhile since I have reviewed a book. And I seem to be a bit rusty. So it’s only fitting that Corroded is the book I chose to jump back into the book blogging world with. So here it goes.
Weep for the widowed bride!
My name is Cherry St. Croix and I am a collector. I hunt men for bounties-for coin delivered upon successful conveyance of vagrants, degenerates and those too far in debt to allow to roam free. Were I anywhere else but in a Limehouse opium den buried beneath the choking fog of London low, I would be Lady Compton, grieving widow to the late Cornelius Kerrigan Compton, Earl Compton. . .
Revenge is the name of the game. The man who murdered her husband must pay. And so this book begins with Cherry desperately trying to find the Sweet Tooth, her rival collector and husband slayer(yay, I could not stand Lord Boring Butt) and Jack the Ripper, who has been terrorizing the streets of London.
Where better to place this part of Cherry’s story than in The Menagerie with all its dark temptations and twisted justice.
I had been here, making my way among the staff of these grounds, for near a fortnight, and almost all had come to know me by face. Them what didn’t learned of my free passage-often attached to Hawke’s permission, which still rankled.
Let me tell you, her debts just keep piling up. And it seems like Cherry is losing her touch, her mind, or quite possibly both.
But there is a new player in this game and they have seemed to tip the odds in Cherry’s favor. (I foresee many good things to come of this in future books.)
Of course, Hawke is ever present.
As any good ringmaster must, he would control every detail until the crowd roared with delight, gasped with fear and wonder. . .[I] turned my back on the memory of the dangerously seductive ringmaster with his exquisitely tailored evening clothes and wicked whip.
(Whip, whip, the man wields a whip! This makes the masochist in me giggle like a little girl. Yay!)
Whatever characteristics my disorderly imagination had given Hawke’s stare, it paled beside the truth of it. Sharp as the knives I carried in my corset, wicked as the Devil with a bargain in mind, that gaze pinned on me.
So it began.
I whirled on Hawke. “How dare you?” “Go make yourself useful.” He did not address my futile temper. “Do not make me regret this moment.” ” I regret this moment,” I snapped.
I was not much of an exception; I would not be the rule.
Plague. I would claim illness until the moon fell from the sky.
“I am no man’s,” I said fiercely. My grip tightened. “I am untouchable.”
And then Karina Cooper heard my pleas.
And lo and behold Cherry was not to die a virgin nor was I going to have to read the words. . .”I will be gentle, I promise.”(shudders)
Much rejoicing was had because not only was Hawke a whip wielding badass, he was a kinky fucker and thank the gods for that.
It was hot! (So many of my favorite kinks were used I lost count halfway through.)
Cherry begged and not one fuck was given but many were taken. May there be more of this in future books.
So it is written and so it shall be, I hope.
But I cannot give the whole book away.
And so the book comes down to this:
There is justice to be severed. Debts must be repaid. Desires will not be denied. And not all is what it seems.