Review: Keeping Her (Keeping Her #1) by Kelly Lucille

February 17, 2015 "Steamy" Romance, 1 Star, 2014 Read & Review, 2014 Reading Challenge - Review, alpha male overload, book rage, Book Review, damsel in distress, ebook, erotica, Fated Mates, Insta-love, insta-lust, Mary Sue Alert, Meh, Paranormal Romance, Purchases, Romance, self published, series, weres 0 ★½

Review: Keeping Her (Keeping Her #1) by Kelly Lucille one-half-stars
Keeping Her by Kelly Lucille
Series: Keeping Her #1
Published by Smashwords on July 11, 2013
Genres: Erotic, PNR, Romance
Pages: 132
Format: eBook
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A Contemporary Erotic Romance with a shape shifting Alpha Male trained as a Navy SEAL and the short curvaceous artist who drives him crazy.

At 28, Clytie Persephone Jones has reinvented herself into exactly what she wants to be. She changed her name, put herself through school, and is taking chances on a risky art career. She’s not looking for marriage; she doesn’t need anyone to run her life for her. What she yearns for is passion. She wants to burn under a man’s touch. A lukewarm simmer won’t cut it. She’s holding out for the real thing.

Demon is a Wolf Shifter. A seven-foot tall x-Navy SEAL, with no name but his call sign. Banding together with other outcast shifters and rogues for safety and the first real brotherhood he has known, he asks for nothing in life but the protection and solvency of his self-made “pack.”

Neither of them expects the connection that flares so fast between them. Clytie wants time to get to know him. Demon figures he’ll just bring her right home into his bed and keep her there.
Can she deal with both the reality of an Alpha shape-shifter and the danger presented by Demons past?
This title contains explicit sex.

**WARNING** This review will be long, ranty and filled with possibly eye-bleeding quotes. Read at your own risk.

NOTE: A lot of other people really enjoyed this book. Please take that into consideration while reading my – admittedly ranting – review.

Keeping Her is author Kelly Lucille’s debut novel and it shows. There were a lot of issues that I ran across that can be attributed to a debut novel.

One of my biggest issues with Keeping Her was the heroine, Clytie (BTW, that name is atrocious). Clytie was the quintessential Mary Sue: she is beautiful, she has red hair, she has green eyes, she is virgin, and she is sweet as apple pie. She sorta made me want to throw up in my mouth. Clytie is so perfect as to be impossible.

After Clytie, I really had a lot of issues with the entire opening section. Keeping Her was brought to my attention by a friend who’s taste I quite trust – and that was the only reason I did not DNF this book in the first few pages. Keeping Her starts with the hero, Demon, and his friends sitting at a bar. Clytie comes over and hits on Demon…which is in itself highly unusual because Demon is very large, imposing and scarred – giving him an unfriendly appearance. But Mary SueClytie is immediately attracted. Later, after Demon and Clytie have a brief conversation, Demon says “I like you. Let’s fuck.” *blink blink* Clytie gets mad and storms off…but Demon chases after her, grabs her and starts kissing her in the bar’s (hallway?). As she is totally ok with this. O_o

Now – at this point I was ready to toss in the proverbial towel but I kept going.

Demon – overwhelmed by his extreme desire for Clytie – turns into a caveman with lots of grunts and monosyllabic comments. But they still leave the bar together with the intention of having sex. ???! During their drive to Demon’s house (followed by his two friends in separate cars), Clytie tells Demon she’s a virgin. *sigh* At which point this scene takes place. I had to break this absurdly long quote into sections – for everyone’s mental health.

WTF Part 1: In which we will discuss about the ridiculousness of 1) the whole conversation; 2) where it took place; 3) the absurd reaction which caused Demon to block traffic to not only come to terms with this catastrophic revelation that a person may have restrained the urge to let a man stick a part of himself inside of a part of herself, but to announce it to their convoy of traveling companions.

“WHAT?!” He slammed on the brakes so hard her seat belt locked. She turned to glance behind her at the honks. Mac following behind in the jeep stopped so close she could read the cuss words on his lips. Luckily, everyone was able to avoid a rear collision.
“Jeez Demon, be careful. You almost caused an accident.”
“I almost caused an accident? I?” He glared at her with murder in his eyes. “You’re a virgin?!” His bellowing hurt the ears.
“Yes,” she said scathingly. “I thought you could tell such things by my freckles.”
He studied her as the few cars flew by around them. Yelling and obscene gestures were ignored until Mac walked up beside the passenger window and knocked. His Jeep sat on the shoulder of the road, out of traffic. Clytie rolled down her window, seeing Ben pull up behind Macs jeep and struggle out the small opening. Demon hit the automatic window for the passenger side for Mac.
“What the fuck are you trying to do? Haul ass off this road.”
As soon as he [Demon] hit the side of the road, he yanked the gear into park and turned off the engine, spinning partway in his seat to glare at her. Both Mac and Ben together now filled the passenger window beside her. She sank down, her fingers tapping an angry rhythm on her lap.
“Now you want to explain why you almost caused an accident?” Mac asked, his voice cold as ice.
“She,” Demon said, punctuating his hot growl with a finger jabbing the air toward Clytie. “Is a virgin.”

So, Clytie apparently has decided to hand off her virginity to a random stranger she met at a bar and that she’s had one (very lame) conversation with. In the car. On her way to lose said virginity with Random Stranger. Also, it appears that said random stranger is so flipping shocked by her virgin status that he has to stop his car in the middle of the road? And tell his buddies at full volume?? Not buying that one.

WTF Part 2: In which we discuss 1) the insane shift from talking about her virtuousness and hermetically sealed hymen, to practically stripping in the car to hand it off to the highest (or most amazingly endowed) bidder, especially after carefully and elaborately stating the opposite; 2) WHY it seems like some sort of national emergency or a practical joke, rather than a personal choice; 3) it’s former Navy SEAL. For fuck’s sake. x-Navy SEAL??? *headdesk* Once a SEAL, always a SEAL. There are no “ex-SEALs.”

With the complete and utter silence, Clytie sank down even deeper in her seat, her eyes narrowing to little slits.
“She can’t be,” Ben finally filled the silence.
Demon stared at him incredulous. “Do you think I’d make something like that up?”
Ben looked at Clytie a little desperately. “You’re not a virgin. Right honey? You were pulling Demon’s leg. Right?”
“You can be sure,” Clytie stated, voice so low and furious both of the x-Navy SEALS outside the truck took a careful step back. “There will be no pulling of legs, touching, or sex of any kind.” She whipped off her seatbelt and reached for the door. She snapped it open and Ben and Mac had to jump back farther to keep from being pummeled. She jumped out and turned to glare at Demon. “You can all go to hell as far as I’m concerned.” Her eyes teared up right before she slammed the door in his face.
“Fuck!” He was out the door and rounding the truck before she could wrestle her keys away from Ben.
Demon picked her up from behind with an arm around her waist. She kicked out and caught Ben in the thigh. He cursed stumbling back, and Demon grabbed her legs and pulled her into his chest as if he was cradling a baby.
“Children,” Mac said, clapping his hands to get their attention. When he was ignored, he put two fingers to his lips and whistled, high and loud, everyone froze.
“Good,” Mac said. “How about we wait and discuss this at home.”
“Our drive. Home.” Clytie hit her forehead with the heel of her hand. “You all live together don’t you?”
“We do,” Mac said.
“Then why follow? Why even leave the bar when we did?” She swallowed. “You aren’t thinking of some kind of kinky foursome are you? Because if you are I have to tell you …”
Demon growled and Ben laughed. It was Mac who relieved her mind.
“Demon doesn’t share,” he said succinctly. Clytie couldn’t help noticing the careful way he phrased his answer.
“Demon doesn’t share,” she repeated, gazing from Mac to Ben. “Demon doesn’t, but you two do?”
Ben gave her a wicked grin and Mac raised an eyebrow.
“Ooo-Kaay.” Wow. Clearly, they did share. Clytie waved a hand before her hot face. She cleared her throat and looked up at Demon, who appeared none too happy with her at the moment.
“So, if you weren’t thinking some kind of kinky foursome, why is me being a virgin such a big deal?” She gave him back glare for glare.
It was Ben who finally had to answer. Demon seemed to be getting a little red in the neck. “Clytie, maybe you noticed how tall and wide Demon is?”
Clytie looked over at Ben from high up in Demon’s arms. “Hard to miss,” she said with an edge of sarcasm.
“Yeah well, he’s like that everywhere,” he finished awkwardly, his hands going up and down and his eyes bulging wide. Clytie waited for the punch line.
Mac made an exasperated sound. “He’s got a big dick,” he stated flatly.
Clytie opened her mouth, closed it again. She turned back to Demon, careful to keep her eyes on his neck. She cleared her throat, bracing herself by placing one arm around his neck and folding the other against his chest. She made little nervous twirls under his collar. “So you’re worried about me, being a virgin and all, maybe we won’t fit?” Her face flamed so bright her freckles disappeared, and she kept swirling her fingers on his neck beneath his collar.
“We’ll fit.”
At his sure words, she met his eyes, which had lost none of their heat.
“Then why the big scene?”
“Because,” Demon growled, pulling her up and bending his neck until they were nose to nose. “My balls have been turning blue since I met you and I can’t very well ram myself down your sweet cunt until I have you ready for me. You being a virgin, it could take hours.”
“Hours?” Her breath left her on the word.
“Hours.” He kissed her once hard on the mouth, shifted her higher into his arms, and headed back for the truck. She wrapped both arms tight around his neck and sighed against his chest.

WHAT in the FUCK did I just read???? *wails* Did she just get back in the flipping car with this idiot???! At a lost for words here. I mean, did his friend just announce his penis size?? in a way that was meant to intimidate?? *facepalm* But no worries. Demon is the king of sensitivity and gentleness. It’s all right there in black and white as he tells her his balls are blue and that it will take hours to divest Clytie of her virginity. Oh, yay.

I was sooooo done at this point…but (again) I kept going.

Demon’s friends performed a complete security check on Clytie in less than 48 hours. A info-dump security check so thorough that they learned she changed her name and the entire family situation that caused this change. This section also pissed me off while cementing Clytie’s Mary Sue status: there was never a reason given as to why Demon, Mac and Ben needed to do this kind of background check and the information was never used (outside of the info-dump). Clytie never learns that they pulled her background AND a part of this scene has Ben hitting on Clytie (while being watched by Demon and Mac via security feed) but her showing her loyalty to Demon by telling Ben to get lost (in a super sweet way, of course). So what was the purpose of the freaking security check??

The sex scenes were run of the mill but ok. Nothing too fancy or that exceedingly hot. Ms Lucille’s voice was much more compelling than the writing itself – it feels rather unpolished – but I did become more interested. The thing that peaked my interest the most was the scene where Demon learns his mother died. The imagery – of Clytie, Ben and Mac all cuddled and piled around Demon on the floor as they grieved with him and tried to give him [emotional] strength – really touched me and I hoped the rest of the story would follow suit. Sadly, it felt like the story disintegrated even more from there. Demon has to deal with View Spoiler » The end.

blech!

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