Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cheryl Holt becomes Vanessa Marlow

I am not sure if you are all aware, but Cheryl Holt will stop writing historical romance and go in a different direction all together. She will write under a new pen name- Vanessa Marlow and write more darker and erotic fiction. Now we all know the type of romance Cheryl writes. I for one am not a fan of the bawdy over the top historicals where the heroine has no clue what a penis is and the hero is worse than a rake. Is there a term for the bottom sexual feeders like her heroes? They seem to be the Wilt Chamberland of the regency world. Some of you may have enjoyed these books and will be saddened by her departure. Well, I can tell you this is probably the best thing for her because I was lucky enough to read her last historical romance and her first book under her new name of Vanessa Marlow.

Double Fantasy is a March release and all the trademark Holt drama and those unbelievable characters of hers are there. Remember that book I mentioned with the incestuous brother and sister relationship? It is in here. There is so much going on from a secret love child, to a deranged parent and a hero who loves to ravish the heroine, but GASP, to love is something that is not meant to be in the cards. But I must admit I have always liked Holt’s secondary romances more so than the primary one. Here the secondary one outshines the main one. But if Holt was thinking to go out with a bang, well she sure did!

Sleeping with the Devil by Vanessa Marlow comes out in mid-April and if I didn’t have this knowledge of Marlow being Holt, I would have never known! Sleeping with the Devil is a very different book, especially from Holt, and very different from erotic books I have been reading lately. This is no romance. It is dark, disturbing and reminds me a bit of the movie Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock. There is obsession, sexual deviance and it is told in the first person by the heroine. Basically this woman meets the man of her dreams, which slowly becomes a nightmare. The sex is raw, and sadomasochistic. There is no hero, but a truly disturbed man who takes over the heroine’s life. The ending will shock and leave you cold. I was on the fence about this book. Meg, our narrator has those TSTL moments and some of things that happen to her are beyond cruel and unusual. But finally I came to the conclusion that Sleeping with the Devil is a very “out of the box” that may make some readers uneasy because of the drama and of Meg who I wanted to smack upside the head. But I did have a reaction to the book and for that I give Marlow props.

I guess we shall see if others will be open to the writings of Vanessa Marlow. Cheryl Holt’s books will surely live on. As for her new endeavors, I say, Welcome!



Carolyn Jean said...

You description of sleeping with the devil reminds me a little of the plot of that movie, 9 1/2 weeks. Maybe a little darker.

Kwana said...

I agree that Sleeping with the Devil sounds very much like 9 1/2 weeks. I may pick it up. Hmmm.

Brie said...

They both sound interesting. I may just give them a try.

Laurie Likes Books said...

Your comments about both books intrigued me...but not in a good way. I've never read Holt, and can't imagine any reason to try Marlow. Erotic romance is one thing, straight erotica or disturbing erotica is another. Makes me want to pick up and read a kisses-only Trad just thinking about it.

TTFN, Laurie Likes Books

lisabea said...

9 1/2 weeks exactly my thoughts. Can I admit to not having read Holt? Damn.

Kristie (J) said...

This doesn't really sound like one I'd be interested in :-(

I NEED a HEA too much.

Katie(babs) said...

CJ, Kwana and Lisabea: The first part of the book reminds me very much of 9 1/2 weeks but then slowly turns into a dark and madness. You would have never thought Holt wrote this book. A big departure from her usual historicals.

Brie: Beware the Holt heroine who has no clue what sex is.

Laurie: Marlow is definitely disturbing erotica and Holt, well I laugh while I read her historicals because they are so loopy.

Kristie: This is not a book for you. NO HEA. Finished reading Bliss and Dance. I so miss Ivory. *sob*