This book was....lacking.
In character development, in plot, in storyline. I just kept reading felling like more could have been done to make this a more rounded story. It seems like all of the energy was put into the smut. Which is fine for those who like just that. but for people looking for at least good character development so that you feel connected to the people you're reading about, you won't find that here. It really just felt like the story line was an after thought.
The smut in it was really well written though.
I liked the story - there was a good deal of spicy spookiness, but I felt like it could go a little more in-depth in the form of a full novel. I wanted to know more about the characters.
It all takes place in the Victorian era. Cecile is a dancer who is a desperate social climber. She has made influential friends and is invited to an after-party after one of her shows where she is to be the main attraction but told no details. Once onstage, the action becomes spicy, and the host hypnotizes her and her costar. He tells the audience that he has learned to channel the spirit world and invites a spirit named Sophia to enter Cecile. Sophia is a vengeful ghost who is determined to take over the body and return to her previous life.
George, who is new in town, sees Cece's first show and falls in love with her immediately. He and a friend are determined to solve the mystery of Sophia and save the dancer from the wrath of the wronged spirit.
Quick story about women empowering women, definitely look up trigger warnings because oof-
It was short and little spicy, it definitely wasn’t perfect but it was indeed short and I wished I knew more about the love interest.
We have insta love which isn’t my favorite but it went well with this short little book, and lastly we even have a paranormal element thrown into this book which was nice spin on things!
Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This did not hit the mark for me and as much as I love the book's cover, this is something I would forget in the long run. I was neutral about what happened throughout the story because of the fast pacing with the character's lack of personality.
The plot is very bland and I suppose it was for the reason that this is a novella making the story rushed and unconvincing with the character's actions and their agenda. The instalove is another reason why I didn't like it, the characters barely knew each other and were already in love which made the execution disappointing, to say the least.
Special thank you to NetGalley, Brigids Gate Press, LLC., and Antonia Rachel Ward for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. *
This novella is a perfect Halloween read! This horror story had great gothic imagery and lyrical writing. However, the characters were underdeveloped, aside from the exciting villain. I did not find myself caring about the characters, as they were not sympathetic and vaguely written. Please read trigger warnings for this book. I did not enjoy the hypocritical and negative talk about sex work - but it was appropriate for the time period.
This is an exciting and fun read. A tale with horror, erotic elements, and mystery.
An exotic dancer is asked to be the vessel during a seance, during which a spirit would possess her body and do what it wants with her, for one night only, supposedly. That spirit does not leave her body the next day, and has a more elaborate and sinister plan of its own.
The mystery is satisfying, the horror parts are enjoyable, but the erotic scenes are quite disappointing. With the background of the main character, Cece, and the premise of the depraved underworld of Paris as backdrop, the sex is very vanilla, and always very quickly over. To market this book as erotica would be disappointing to fans of the genre.
I loved the premise of this novella. Horror, Queer aspects, Paranormal Romance and not to mention - THAT COVER.
The best thing about this book was the characters, with it being a novella we were never going to get loads of backstory but I didn’t mind that. The main characters were endearing enough. The plot became a bit predictable however there were enough creepy scenes and black sheep to keep you guessing who was ‘pulling the strings’ for the majority of the book.
A definite recommend however it just fell flat for me in a couple of areas. Overall a good, quick read for any horror fan.
TW: References to suicide, violence, mutilation, dubcon sex scenes
The story was in fact just meh. This needed to be much longer to have a better execution of the story. The horror elements were rushed especially the end and erotic bits were mechanical, super medical, & down right uncomfortable even when it tries to sexy. The sapphic moment between Rosie and Cecile was just uncomfortable to male gaze being a part of it.
Even the romance with George and Cecile was entirely rushed. They met in a matter of days and the fact that they just suddenly have undying love for one another is just unreal
In Marionette, we are following Cecile Dulac, a prostitute/exotic dancer who agrees to be apart of a seance where she becomes possessed by a malevolent spirit. I liked the story a lot, but wanted more out of it than it gave. With this being pitched as an erotic horror, I was expecting more horror. I also felt like with this being a novella, the story could have packed a bigger punch than it did. I wanted more description of the sex scenes, and more description of the little gore that was provided. All in all, great story, but lacked substance. I would recommend to people who are looking for a cozy book with light erotic horror.
P.S. the cover it STUNNING!
I didn't like this book. The sex scenes were not tasteful and the story lacked so many things. Honestly I don't even want to rate it because I dnf'd it at 34%.
The premise showed some promise, but the execution left a lot to be desired. It seemed the “plot” only existed to justify some violence and sex that was supposed to be erotic, but wasn’t. The best things about this book: the cover art is lovely and the book is mercifully short.
I loved the atmosphere and setting. However, I expected the erotica to be different and more balanced, but I still enjoyed the story.
The writing of this book is quite immaculate and it is quite visible that the writer has done their research when writing this historical fiction. I absolutely loved the plot of the story and reveled in the intensity of it. The plot twists were amazing as well. The book had kept me on my toes the entire time and I was able to complete it in no time.
Cecile (Cece) Dulac left her past behind and quickly rose as the most sought-after dancer in Paris. When given the opportunity to perform at one of the most famous parties in town, she took it, not knowing how it’d affect her life.
I was attracted to this book by the erotic horror genre. While I like the premise, the execution could be better.
The horror aspect worked, but the erotic parts were too brief and mechanical. The characters needed better development, and the romantic connection was nonexistent. I liked the villain. Unfortunately, the ending undermined the character.
Marionette is a tale of testing boundaries and vengeance. It might appeal to readers looking for a quick horror read exploring the occult.
This one felt a little rushed and like the author couldn’t decide if it was horror or erotica, both were incorporated but didn’t seem enough detail in either the horror or sex parts and for me the story didn’t just flow. That being said it wasn’t a bad story I just feel in this case of should have been one or the other as for me the horror erotica didn’t seem to gel well.
I love the cover, and I was intrigued by the summary, but I felt like this was miscategorized as erotica.. Just because a book has sex and taboo concepts doesn't make it erotica. That being said, I liked the descriptions- very Moulin Rouge! feel to it- and I liked George and CeCe. Overall, though, I felt like this was a bit of a let down. I feel like Ward could have done more character development, and the romance felt one-sided. The ending felt a little sudden and jarring, and we never really got the interaction between George and CeCe that I was expecting. All in all, I felt like this was underdeveloped, but it has potential, which is why I give a 3-star rating rather than 2.
Cecile “Cece” Dulac made it to Paris as a star on stage, but when she participates in a séance, it isn’t just the audience who is fooled into certain manipulations. George Dashwood is entranced by Cece’s beauty and is willing to be her patron, but he doesn’t expect to be hypnotized by the truth.
“The moment of weakness and openness is when it is easiest for the spirit to fully possess someone.”
In starting this book, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but the premise was intriguing and I wanted to see how the horror and folklore elements would develop. Ultimately, I would have liked delve a bit more into Cece’s life and also see a stronger bond between her and George. The erotic component could have also been turned up a notch or two as well.
Marionette is a short horror story about vengeance.
I found the story to be interesting though it could have been longer. It would have allowed more details within the story line. This also would have allowed more time for the characters to develop.
A dark tale about obsession, this has a nice twist at the end that makes this novella a worthy read.
Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this.
Okay this is my honest review. I only read like 2 pages of the book then got really bored and annoyed afterwards. This book isn’t for me, thought it would pull me into something that I would enjoy but it didn’t.
I’m thinking of giving this a second chance maybe down the line but for now not my cup of tea.