Wanna know what makes me cry? The old Hallmark commercials for sure. But I received something last night that hit me right at my core. I’m a storyteller. It’s what I do, but it’s also what I am. I work damn hard. Sure, I get to wear jammies and sweats and my office is just feet away from where I sleep. That doesn’t sound so tough, right? Well, sometimes it really is. When I wrote Ravished by a Viking, there were so many factors I didn’t have control over. The cover—I mean, what’s with the kilt? The print run. It’s not nearly large enough to impress. My publisher’s support. Well, since I’m new to Berkley, I’m kinda on my own. What I did have control over was the story. And it came straight from my heart. Back to what I received last night…
I opened my email to my first review. What touched me was that the reviewer knew what I accomplished was damn hard. And she got it. All of it. I’m including the whole review here, but it’s posted on her website too, Alien Places.
Ravished by a Viking
a novel by Delilah Devlin
Reviewed by Masha Holl
Clash of cultures, clash of myths, clash of powerful personalities: it should be easy to review Ravished by a Viking, a novel of erotic science fiction by Delilah Devlin. After all, how many authors can bring out on paper the excitement and more-than-willing suspension of disbelief that old fashioned adventure stories once brought us?
A kidnapped brother. A battle of wills between a ship’s captain and a planetary warlord. On one side, human colonists toughened by the harsh environment they’ve mastered, and who still praise and reward sheer physical strength. On the other, a galactic empire used to relying on the power of energy weapons and science.
And in the middle, our heroes. Men, women, wills and desires. Dagr, Clan-leader of the Wolfskins, who only looks like an unpolished barbarian. And Honora Turgay, who loses her ship to the Viking leader, but never surrenders her determination.
Ravished by a Viking is a myth come to life, but it’s also the story of two people: adventure, passion, discovery, transformation. All of Delilah’s scenes burn with energy, whether she writes believable, exciting, and heart-pounding action scenes, or scorching, breath-stealing, and enviable sexual encounters.
Yes, it should be easy to review one of Delilah Devlin’s stories, because each one of them delivers the promise of a great read, abundant humor, and larger-than-life characters. Delilah is a born storyteller, and knows how to build the tension on all levels, entwining sensual conquest with a growing friendship between the main characters, slowly turning what could become redundant sniping into clever flirting. And most importantly, she always surprises the reader – and sometimes the characters themselves.
But a reviewer should also announce to the reader what to expect beyond the open cover. Is it a romance? Of course, and I’ll say no more. But that would leave out the cleverly built and logical world of space-travel and alien societies her characters inhabit.
Is is science fiction? Of course. We have space-travel and ancient civilizations and the kind of questions science-fiction authors like to ask. But that would leave out the intense relationships between the characters.
Is it erotica? Oh yes, with scenes as hot and intense as Delilah can write, as charged emotionally as they are physically, it has to be. But that would leave out the character development and the world building and the tight plotting.
Yes, it was hard to write a review of Ravished by a Viking when the story speaks for itself you’re ready to re-read rather than write about it. But if I didn’t, you wouldn’t hear about it, and you’d miss a wonderful, action-packed, emotional roller-coaster of a read.