Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
I found this book on the freebie shelves in my library’s lobby. They offer their discards and unwanted donations to the public, with a donations box that you can slip a few $$ into if you find a book you like. I was immediately drawn to the juicy 1970’s cover and decided to bring it home, thinking that vintage horror would be fun. Now I feel betrayed, tricked, lied to, taken in. Despite the crazy cover featuring a horrified woman and all her past horrified lives and the back cover blurb promising an Audrey Rose ripoff horror story of curses from past lives bringing death and destruction, what I got was a badly written paranormal romance with a happily-ever-after ending.
At first, I was able to have fun with the 1970’s era themes, attitudes, and slang. Then the bratty MC delves into her past life as a – what else? – bratty daughter of a Saxon noble at the time of William the Conqueror, and I’m treated to 150 pages of historical romance in faux 2nd century English. “Thus it was with these two. Wherefore could children have found a happier home in which to grow? And who could have been more beloved than I, the only daughter, and their youngest child by a matter of minutes, for my brother Kenelm – blessed and beloved be his name – he and I were the two seeds of one planting.” Ugh.
I feel not only cheated, but kind of foolish, too. I should have known better. When I saw that the publisher was Playboy Press, I thought, “Oh, who would have thought that Playboy would publish horror fiction?” In a way, I cheated myself by letting myself be fooled by the packaging and ignoring the clues about the reality of the contents. Sort of like my very short-lived marriage.