HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

Karen Does Sensation, By Thea Devine…

Thursday, November 24, 2005
Posted in: Uncategorized

So, I finally got round to reading Thea Devine’s Sensation.

Have you ever read a book that when you got to the end, you were no wiser as to what the book had actually been about? No? Well, let me introduce you to Sensation.

Without further ado, here’s the blurb, done in my lazy-assed KarenS stylie way.

Girl Annoying F*cking Whore (an American Debutante) is desperate to lose her virginity because she doesn’t want to marry the English viscount that her Daddy has chosen for her. She’s hoping that he will not make her marry Viscount Pigman once he finds out that her cherry has been popped.

So, like any other self-respecting slut-ho virgin, Girl Annoying F*cking Whore goes to a bordello in London, looking for a man to pierce her plums.

It is here that she meets our hero, Boy Nutty-As-A-Fruitcake.

Boy Nutty-As-A-Fruitcake has just spent the past twenty-four hours having sex with the employees of the illustrious Bullhead Manor whorehouse, in an effort to rid himself of the pain of losing the love of his life to his brother. Somehow he manages to secrete shitloads of semen without gaining full satisfaction.

That is, until Girl Annoying F*cking Whore, enters the sex-submerged room, and orders him to deflower her posthaste. For some reason, Boy Nutty-As-A-Fruitcake decides to become a gentleman, and refuses to take her virginity, telling her, that her maidenhead is her most precious commodity, and how dare she willfully throw it away on a stranger. (WTF?)

At this point, I admit to wondering why he gave a shit. He’d just spent the last few hours poking various pussies and erupting like a volcano in several orifices. What difference would one more have made?

Anyway, Girl Annoying F*cking Whore eventually persuades him to thrust into her throbbing womanhood, and just like that, she gets rid of her precious maidenhead.

After the dirty deed is done, (and I mean dirty. Hairy thick bush included and everything) the pair go their separate ways.

Girl Annoying F*cking Whore returns home to find her father gleefully making plans for her imminent betrothal to Viscount Pigman, and she smugly informs him that she can’t possibly marry Pigman, because she is no longer a virgin.

As you would imagine, Adoring Papa, goes ballistic and demands to know who it was who “pierced, pricked and pummelled” her.

She of course refuses to enlighten him, so Adoring Papa almost has an apopolectic fit, and instead of telling her that the wedding is off, he promises that she will marry Pigman, the only difference being that she would no longer receive any money from him, and she was to remain chained up in her room until the wedding.

Girl Annoying F*cking Whore can’t believe the turn of events, so she decides to turn psycho, and lashes out at her Adoring Papa.

Her fury makes no difference to him, he still ends up chaining her to the bed. Fatherly love at it’s best.

Meanwhile, Boy Nutty-As-A-Fruitcake is tasked with investigating the murder of an up and coming politician, who although is dead, seems to wield more power and influence than when he was alive.

To the locals Young But Dead Politician was a demagogue, and wherever Boy Nutty-As-A-Fruitcake goes, he seems to hear the same reverential tones accorded to this inexplicably iconic figure.

The whole city is in deep mourning over the loss of Young But Dead Politician, and Boy Nutty-As-A-Fruitcake can’t fathom out why.

There has been talk of a secret society, and Boy Nutty-As-A-Fruitcake knows that in order to unlock the circumstances of Young But Dead Politician’s death, he must infiltrate this society somehow. Yawn.

Shortly after the death of Young But Dead, his followers decide to go on a pilgrimage to his apartment (don’t ask, cuz I have no idea why) and Boy Nutty-As-A-Fruitcake decides to go along in the hopes of finding out more about Young But Dead Politician.

Whilst he is there, he spots a familiar face. Girl Annoying F*cking Whore. She is with Adoring Papa, and Viscount Pigman, and Boy notices that she is closely guarded by the two gentleman with her.

Girl manages to mouth the words, ‘help’, to him, which obviously leaves him puzzled (because he’s too stupid to come to the right conclusions on his own), but he decides that investigating Young But Dead is far more worthwhile a project, than getting involved in Girl’s domestic affairs, and leaves her to her fate for the time being.

It is whilst he is searching for clues that a stranger comes up to him and in hushed tones tells him to look out for sevens. (I didn’t get it either) and that the Bullhead Manor was the key. (Don’t strain yourself trying to figure that out.)

Anyway to cut this short, cuz I’m getting annoyed, Boy Nutty-As-A-Fruitcake and Girl Annoying F*cking Whore eventually get together when Girl escapes from Adoring Papa and Pigman.

Boy Nutty-As-A-Fruitcake decides that the only way to keep Adoring Papa and Pigman off Girl Annoying F*cking Whore’s back, is to marry her himself, which he does (at least I think he did anyway, because by this time, my brain had turned to mush.)

Oh shit, I forgot to mention the whole mystery angle. Erm…, it was solved eventually, with the villain of the piece being the last person you’d have suspected (OK that’s not exactly true, but wtf do you expect?)

My Verdict

Jesus. Effing. Christ.

What the fuck was this story about? WHAT?

This book was a f*cking mess from start to finish, and quite frankly, I’d lost the will to live by the time I’d finished reading it.

What was it about this book that I hated?

Erm… how long have you got?

OK, first the heroine. Throughout the book, I kept hoping she would meet with a nasty end, but alas, it wasn’t to be. If I knew her in real life, I would have to constantly fight the urge to stab her in the eye with a fork. Yes dammit, she was that annoying.

She was whiny, and she was stupid. In fact, she embodied every pet peeve I have about heroines.

The hero: How f*cking weird was he? He came across as a manic depressive, and one got the feeling that he was a man on the brink of either killing himself, or having a complete nervous shortage. I like darkly brooding heroes, but Kyger wasn’t brooding. He was just plain messed up. I guess being in love with your brother’s wife will do that to ya.

The secondary characters? They needed shooting too. The only interesting secondary character was Viscount Pigman, but I suspect this was because I liked the fact that he was a mean sonofabitch when it came to Angilee, and at one point he whipped her to within an inch of her life, which I was very grateful to him for. Unfortunately, she was ok. (Ok I could have completely made that part up, but I’m not going back to check.)

Everything in this story, was exaggerated to the nth degree with no real rhyme or reason for it being so. It was so melodramatic, that the entire book became a caricature of itself.

The use of the word ‘seven’ (even though it was supposed to be integral to the plot) really got on my tits. When the mystery was solved, I still didn’t get why it had been so important in the first place. I guess it was symbolistic and lent itself to the smokes and mirrors effect that Ms Devine was obviously aiming for. Here’s an example of some of the paragraphs that I had to live through:

“Sevens everywhere. Maybe that was important. Maybe he was missing something. How many sevens. The whore, tracing circles and lines on his chest, whispering seven. The Sacred Seven. Venable’s address – Seven Park Lane; the number of letters in his name and in Angilee’s – seven; the Seven Cups Tavern; the park of the Seven Sisters…”

Devine also seemed to be fond of disjointed sentences, the book was full of them. One word sentences that made no sense, incomplete sentences that were probably meant to add to the overall feel of the book, but somehow left the reader feeling even more confused.

Here’s an example:

“Nothing was too extreme to be considered.
… a number, a slash, a fishhook…
Wait – where had he heard those words…?
-mark that down-
No, death mark-
I live
Right – check-upside down-seven
Where? Where? He grasped for the memory – checks…
No checks, only sevens
He was right at the edge, teetering with the certain knowledge that-
The Sevens were playing with him…
And then he fell- deep asleep…”

I read the above sentences in context, and I still didn’t understand what the hell was going on. Sigh.

Something else that annoyed me no end, was the cat. The cat was called Emily and belonged to Kyger’s (the hero) brother’s wife (who he coveted) and lived with them. For some reason, everytime the cat meowed, Devine saw the need to give an interpretation in italics (and, don’t get me started on Devine’s over-use of italics and full caps.)

See for yourself:

Mrrrrrww. Emily again, pacing into the dining room. I will take care of her.
Rrrrroww. Emily, emphatically. I’ll watch over her.

See? I just didn’t get it. At one point, I felt as if I was reading Dr f*cking Dolittle for Oprah’s sake. Sigh.

And talk about purple prose. This book was one big FAT purple prose. Here’s yet another delightful example:

“And then he lusted to come, to pour his cream all over her luscious body. He wanted to rub it into her skin, her breasts, her slit: he wanted to taste her and lick her, and burrow his tongue into the chocolate between her legs”


Anyway, I simply can’t go on reviewing this book, I’ve given myself a bloody headache.

All in all, in my opinion, it was crap, you never really got to know the characters, I was never convinced by Angilee and Kyger’s relationship, they spent half the book away from each other for no good reason, and the plot was so thin, it was fucking anorexic.

Would I recommend it? Whatever.


  • Desiree Erotique
    November 25
    6:08 am

    Hmm. Doesn’t sound like my type of reading. But I imagine David Lynch fans would love a film version!


  • Sam
    November 25
    7:14 am

    Um, sounds horrible.
    I read a book something like that once (can’t remember the title) about a girl who was a thief because poor daddy drank himself into a stupor so she sleeps with the first titled man she meets in order to…To what? I can’t remember that either. I just recall some very purple prose (her ‘dewey jewel’ his ‘scarlet tipped staff’)
    But there must be people out there who find this delightful.
    To each his own!


  • Sheryl
    November 25
    7:44 am

    Roflmao! Oh Karen, I’m so sorry you had to read this book! Thea Devine’s stuff is pretty much all the same, and I agree, very purple in parts, but like Desiree says, there are readers who think she’s great. Not my thing at all.

    I believe that a lot of her fans gave her hell about who the villain was though.


  • Beverly
    November 25
    3:34 pm

    Sounds exhausting to even try to figure out. But then most of her stuff is like that. Confusing. I read one book of hers that I tried to understand. Really, I did! And I went over it again and again, until I just…stopped. *g* I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. I feel your pain! LOL.


  • Anne
    November 25
    4:03 pm

    Storylines like this are why I avoid most historicals/regencys. The only ones I’ve read that I absolutely enjoyed so far are Sarah McCarty and I have yet to venture off to read others. Why? Because I hate to waste my time on a book that is going to make me want to gag. So, I may try a few Julie Garwood and maybe even a Catherine Anderson because they were highly recommended, but that’s as far as I venture into the genre. : ) Am I being single-minded? Absolutely, and with good reason. Just look at that book!!


  • Jennifer B.
    November 28
    7:59 pm

    THIS is why I love your book reviews:

    My Verdict Jesus. Effing. Christ. What the fuck was this story about? WHAT? This book was a f*cking mess from start to finish, and quite frankly, I’d lost the will to live by the time I’d finished reading it.

    I can barely stop laughing long enough to make the appropriate mental note (Do Not Read This Book or others by this author).


  • Wendy
    November 29
    3:50 am

    OK, I’ll admit it. I like Thea Devine – but (and this is a big but), I completely admit that her “plots” are total train wrecks and her writing style is um….rather unique.

    I’m not sure why the heck I read her books, because intellectually I know they’re a mess. I just can’t seem to help myself. I think it’s the whole over-the-top, overblown soap opera quality her books have.

    Or maybe I just need therapy. Either way, great book review. I was ROTFLOL over here……


  • Karen Scott
    November 29
    8:16 am

    Jen, I think I’m more mad because I paid $14 for the damn book. And no, don’t bother reading any of her stuff, cuz you’ll be very sorry you did.

    Wendy wrote:
    “OK, I’ll admit it. I like Thea Devine”

    Honey, therapy is the only answer for your condition.

    Here’s me thinking that loving Shannon Mckenna’s stuff was particularly bad form. Loving Thea Devine is much worse. I’ll stick to Mckenna.

    I guess people do love Devine’s books, but I’m thinking that like you, the pleasure is enshrouded with lots of guilt. *g*


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment