by M. Saalih
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Harem Girl / 0-595-31300-0
There's nothing wrong with erotica. But erotica shouldn't be labeled and marketed as straight-up literature or real-life memoirs. The book description and author present this as a realistic memoir and some buyers will deeply upset to find that, no, this is just an erotic fantasy novel.
Mariyah El-Abiad is a bored housewife. She's educated, respected, beautiful, and barren. Despite her barrenness, her husband loves her, respects her, caters to her whims as much as possible, but she wants some excitement in her life. She contrives a complicated and incredibly implausible plan to smuggle herself into a harem so that she can enjoy the wonders of being a slave to a potentially cruel and capricious master whom she has never met. After four months of this, she will be smuggled back out, and her husband will never be the wiser - unless he thinks to ask why she ground her teeth smooth, waxed her bikini area, and sustained whip marks on her back for a simple job tutoring a young girl in French (her cover story).
Mariyah El-Abiad is supremely confident that life in the harem will go swimmingly, and she fantasizes about crawling on her hands and knees and pleasuring her master. Fortunately for Mariyah, harem life is exactly like she suspects - the slaves girls all love their master and love to please him and be pleased by him. There is an exotic torture room for disgusting slaves who accidentally pass wind in front of the master or burp at the dinner table, with the added erotic enticement that a slave can be sent there for almost any reason, but Mariyah is safe and confident in the belief that all punishment is gently and lovingly administered. Mariyah, you see, loves her master immediately because he dominates her in a way that her boring husband would not, and he is driven insanely mad with desire for her and her fellow love slaves (but mostly her, because she oh-so-special!) and she loves what he does to her - everything she experiences in her new life is instantly easy, pleasurable, and satisfying.
This novel is nothing other than escapist erotica. Again, there's nothing wrong with that, but this is marketed as a straight-up "historical" memoir as far as I can see, and it simply is not. Everyone lazes around happily all day, waiting for the night entertainment. The master has no interest in fathering children, which is highly unusual for his culture and his age. The women are vapid - droolingly happy to be slaves, always "reaching their pleasure" and never in pain (even the virgin bum girls!) because this is a fantasy, and not a reality. If you want a harem-themed erotica novel, this has length and stamina, with an interlude almost every page, but if you want something with plot and realism, look elsewhere.
~ Ana Mardoll
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