Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Digital Review: Bettie Page Presents The Librarian

Disclaimer: I am mentioned in the author's opening acknowledgments (by name and everything!).  I was one of her librarian contacts for researching this book.

I knew a couple of things going into Bettie Page Presents: The Librarian.  One, Logan Belle worked with the Page estate while researching this book and two, I was going to have to slog through some BDSM.  Yes, even though I've publicly declared that I am beyond "over" BDSM.  So color me surprised that, for the most part, the BDSM elements didn't annoy me too much.  Well, that is until the ending.  But more on that in a moment.

Regina Finch is fresh out of library school and starting her dream job at the main branch of the New York Public Library (you know, the one with the lions in the front).  While Regina has gone through college, she's lived a very sheltered life.  She's fairly prudish, having zero experience with men, and is wound so tight it's amazing she doesn't crap out diamonds.  Normally I loathe the shorthand of librarian = repressed heroine, but Belle at least lays groundwork for why Regina is the way she is.  She's not this way because she's a librarian.  She could easily be a bus driver, waitress or lawyer and be wound this tight.

Anyhoodle, while at work one day she enters a special collection room to discover Sebastian Barnes getting his groove thang on with a willing blonde.  Regina is one part shocked (Seriously, in a library?!?!  How DARE they!), while the other part of her starts feeling all tingly for Sebastian.  Turns out the feeling is mutual.  Sebastian is a major library benefactor and soon ropes in Regina to help him with a project.  And that's not all he ropes her into.  Naturally he's a Dom and naturally he thinks Regina will be the perfect sub.  BDSM ahoy!

If you've read even one BDSM erotica novel you pretty much know where this is going.  I will say that while Sebastian is a bit of a condescending jackass - he's not quite as annoying as other heroes of this ilk I've slogged through over the years.  I also really appreciated that Regina doesn't turn into Super Sub over night.  She pushes back a bit.  She doesn't jump whole hog into the scene.  Sebastian has to coax her along, and even if she whimpers and simpers when something makes her uncomfortable, he at least goes through the motions of listening to her.

So yeah, even though I'm over BDSM, I can recognize that others who aren't over it may enjoy this book - so I was ready to slap this one with my patented "It's OK" rating until I got to the ending.

Yeah, the ending.

I'm going to try to be vague, but there's really no way for me to foam at the mouth without giving away some spoilers.  Let's just say my feminist underpants got in a serious wad.  There isn't enough fabric softener on the planet to make me overlook this ending.

Apparently "dream jobs" start to be incidental after you meet a hunky studly man to teach you the ways of being a sub.  Because, you know, "dream jobs" pale in comparison to a hunky studly man who tells you what to do, when to do it, what to wear, buys you whatever his heart desires, and takes care of you like a pampered pet.  Don't worry your pretty little head over anything Regina, Daddy's here to take care of everything for you.  You just stand there looking pretty while wearing that designer dress I bought you, oh and you need to bend over now because it's time for your 3PM spanking.


As for the librarian stuff?  It's mostly good.  Regina is fairly ignorant on social media, which for someone her age coming out of library science school?  Just wouldn't happen.  Also, given the turn of events regarding Regina's job at the end?  Yeah, it wouldn't happen that easily.  At least not in a library world with the amount of bureaucracy that NYPL most likely has (I don't know for sure, I'm just going on my personal experience with other large library systems).  There is a lovely older librarian as a secondary character (I mentally started calling her The Battle Ax) who is very spot-on.  Belle also weaves some current-day issues facing libraries into the story, which was very nice.

So where does that leave us?  I really tend to enjoy Logan Belle's writing, and this book continues with that.  I wasn't overly annoyed by the BDSM elements, which is a tall order these days considering my current prejudice for the trend.  But that ending?  I just.....can't get past the ending.  It reinforces a lot of elements that I tend to hate in BDSM fiction and it also reinforces elements that I've slogged through over the years while reading really bad romance novels.  May be worth a look for you if you're not "over" BDSM, just don't say I didn't warn you about that ending.....

Final Grade = D


*Goddess* said...

Have ya ever reviewed that old Nympho Librarian book? Cuz that looks fairly!

Jamie Brenner (aka Logan Belle) said...

Omg Wendy, you kill me! And I love your reviews!

nath said...

Awww, that's too bad you couldn't get past the ending :( It sucks when the ending is what ruins your reading experience. Sigh.

Wendy said...

Goddess: I would love to - if I thought it were possible to get my hands on a copy :)

Jamie: I didn't mention it in the review - but I loved Carly too! I'm pretty sure I might have gone to college with that girl.....

Nath: I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I read this book. The BDSM angle did have me worried, since I'm really burnt out on that theme - but it was a very quick read that.....just fell apart for me at the end. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

I love how honest you are in your reviews when someone of weaker character would be all sweetness and light because you were mentioned in the Acknowledgements. Good work!

Wendy said...

Alie: It's one opinion, mine, so it's easy to be honest. I learned, and accepted!, a long time ago that I am but one voice in the wilderness and when it comes to books my word is not gospel. It didn't work for me, but that doesn't mean it can't, or shouldn't, work for someone else :)

And, you know, vice versa. The trick is writing informative reviews. I want the reader to have enough information to go on so they can make up their own minds.....