Flesh and Stone
by Emily Hemenway
Flesh and Stone is a gargoyle romance, by which I mean that it is a romance between a human man who is turned into a gargoyle by a wicked witch, and a human woman. Also there is time travel, sort of. I longed for something truly weird, and it was kind of weird…but it failed to either be the kind of super incredible that makes you go “Oh wow, this is good!” or the kind of bonkers that makes you go, “Oh wow, this is fun!” The style is awkward, the characters are barely there, and the plot is a thin thread of devices connecting sex scenes.
However, this novella does have a few things going for it. On the ‘This Passes the Time Pleasantly’ side, we have the following:
- The gargoyle, Thomas, is always a gargoyle. He’s bipedal, which is kind of a cheat, and he has a penis which is just enough to enhance the sex, but he also has wings and unusual horns, and a “gargoyle” face. He has a wide, long tongue. He stops being made of stone early on, but stays gray in color. Why? Because magic, duh. I respect a monster romance that commits and doesn’t turn the hero into a human prince named Chad at the last minute, so points to this book for keeping it weird.
- Most of the sex is pretty sexy. That oversized tongue gets plenty of exercise. Much attention is paid to the clitoris, so good job, there.
That’s it. That’s the good stuff. On the ‘Not so Great’ side:
- Thomas is described as having a face “like a gargoyle.” That’s some helpful description, right there. Gargoyles have different faces. Are we supposed to pick one off of Google images and apply it to our understanding? Is this a “Choose Your Own Gargoyle” story?
- Most of Hannah’s choices defy logic. For instance, when she meets Thomas, he snatches her up and flies off with her. She’s screaming with terror the entire time. Two minutes after he sets her down they are chatting like old friends and she invites him to stay at her apartment. She never says, “What the hell did you just kidnap me for?” He never says, “Sorry I flew off like that, it was the shock of awakening triggering my beastly instincts.” No, he just sets her down, says he won’t hurt her, and she invites him over. This seems both unlikely and unwise.
- By “most of the sex” being pretty sexy as I previously mentioned, I mean the sex that does not involve similies. The sex similis are truly astounding. Here’s the heroine, Hannah, describing the first time Thomas, gives her oral sex:
“His hot, damp breath came in great huffs, as he inhaled her from point-blank range. He reminded her of a hog searching for truffles beneath the soil.”
Here’s another WTF moment:
“She wiggled her ass in front of him and that was it. He was on her like a pack of wolves on a sickly antelope.”
I’m sorry. I just do not have a gif or an image or an emoji that can sufficiently capture my mingled horror, bafflement, and confusion. These were pretty much the wackiest moments in a book that was otherwise…OK. Not great, not terrible.
It passed the time, and sometimes that is all I’m looking for. That, and the delight of some truly bizarre similes.
– Carrie S
When Thomas travels to America to capture an evil witch, he quickly discovers that his training as a Supernatural Investigator has not prepared him for how powerful she is. Transformed into a gargoyle and cursed to spend eternity in a hellish alternate reality, he has little hope of ever returning to the real world or finding happiness again.
Hannah’s first week after moving to New York City is filled with sightseeing and tourist traps. After dragging her best friend all around the city, she finds herself drawn to an ornate local cathedral. When she touches an alluring stone gargoyle, however, her life is thrown into chaos when he suddenly comes alive.
Now he’s crashing at her new apartment and things are heating up. Not only does this monster have a charming British accent, but he’s also kind, considerate, and has one hell of a tongue. Can she help him adjust to the 21st century? Or, will his past bring even more trouble into her life?
Paranormal, Novella, Romance
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