Title – The Obsession (Princess Shanyin #1)
Author – Liliana Lee
Source – Net Galley (I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for a honest review)
“…History will not remember me kindly, nor do I want it to. The book of our dynasty will say many things about me: that I was cruel, that I was decadent and depraved. They will claim that my pleasures were perverse in nature. Let me tell you that these things are all true…and not true…”
Princess Shanyin, elder sister to the Emperor Ziye has dealt with the palace intrigues and scandals. She has enjoyed her position immensely as her younger, seventeen year old, brother sat upon the throne. Over thirty men made up her harem of lovers. Their names fitted onto tiles she would turn over to summon them to her bed. Her bed spacious enough for ten, though she preferred two or three at a time.
“…People like to tell a story about me and my imperial brother, and how I came to possess a harem. I lamented to Ziye once, after her took the throne, about the hardships of being a woman.
“Though our genders are different, we have the same father,” I pointed out. “Yet you have more than ten thousand women in your palace for your pleasure, while I am only allowed one husband. That is hardly fair.”
Amused by my audacity, the Emporer gifted me with thirty male concubines, my cherished and skilled harem of lovers.
Oh, what a wicked, immoral woman I am. And how perverse my brother was for indulging me…”
Lovers she commanded. From the acts they would perform to their own pleasure, all was in her control.
All but one.
Lord Chu Yuan. A newcomer to the palace. Young and strong. Much younger than the bureaucrats and retainers he served the Emperor with. Shanyin is at once curious and desiring of Yuan. But is it body she wants or his aloofness. For no one had dared before to deny himself to the Princess.
To indulge his sister’s lust, Emperor Ziye sends Yuan to Shanyin’s palace for ten days. Ten days for her to seduce him. Ten days for the Princess to take from Yuan an unbroken promise made to another.
But Yuan is far from unskilled and soon it is Shanyin who is on unsteady ground. Her desire for the young Lord overpowering her until she is no longer sure who is in command.
Ten days, ten days for Princess Shanyin to seduce her Obsession.
Wow. Seriously wow. The Obsession starts off at a furious pace and doesn’t let up. Not just the sex, which there is plenty of and it is very intense. But the palace intrigue and the politics as Shanyin begins to realize that her position and power lay within the rule of her brother. Her brother whose own excesses are endangering them.
Sex for Shanyin is not just the pleasure, but the power. The control she has over her men and how ruthlessly she uses it. It is in the bedroom where she is catered to and can be her own empress. It is also a tool for revenge over men, a brief hint at pain she suffered at the hands of others as her brother came into power.
Shanyin desires to feel all men will be weaker than her and that is what drives her to break Yuan. That he rejects her though she can tell how much he wants her. Evident in his body as she continually strips him bare.
As a novel of erotica this is a very good read. Quick paced and laced with characters that are well rounded and well developed.
A very good read.