Fangirl_15: So This Is What MetaFiction Looks Like

(ARC copy given by NetGalley)
Author: Aimee Roseland
Publication:  8th July 2014
Review by Lady Entropy

Chloe is in love with Lucien.

He’s enigmatic, compassionate, generous and intelligent. Likes classical music just as much as kicking ass and knows his way around a kitchen, though he’d never admit it. He’s gorgeous yet humble and can’t see past his own scars.

The only problem is that Lucien is a character in a novel.

The Dark Riders is one of the best selling paranormal romance series of all time, and it was destined to have eight installments, one for each of the brothers-in-arms. Except the writer died. Worse yet, book seven was finished by some poser that thought killing off one of the main characters would bring a more modern twist to the finale.

Chloe is absolutely devastated by the news that one of her “friends” is dead and that the series is canceled. A midnight escape from the locked office lands her in a deserted parking lot after hours where an unseen force has been waiting.  This supernatural assault strands her in an alternate reality where the Dark Riders are real and the horrible ending created by the publisher hasn’t happened yet.

The greatest strength of this book is how meta it is: an almost obsessive fangirl of a famous romantic urban fantasy series (coughBrotherhoodoftheBlackDaggercough) lives a boring life, wishing she lived in the books she so much loves. Her favourite author dies, leaving another author nobody likes, to complete the series and ruining it forever. And, then, she wakes up inside her beloved series, and proceeds to impress everyone with her secret knowledge of the world, gets adopted into the family and a life of luxury, and ends up finding her amazing powers (and romance with her favourite male character (coughZsadistcough) and never being the victim ever again.

As far as wish-fulfillment fantasies go this is the typical one (a better life + superpowers + wealth + a clique + hooking up with favourite character + being seen as beautiful), but I actually found myself liking how it was pulled off. Now, I know a lot of readers will be turned off by what amounts to Brotherhood of the Black Dagger self-insertion fanfiction (let us not kid ourselves, it is what this is, to the point where I was already addressing the book characters by their BoTBD counterpart’s names in my head — despite the nod to the Dark Hunter series). However, it is still written in a way that I could not fault the writer for, and I still empathized with the main character – certain parts were heartwrenching (I can totally relate to seeing someone taking a favourite book series of yours, and handing it to someone who basically ruins it while desperately trying to get more money out of it – the Chronicles of Amber comes to mind.)

I think the author tapped into a very specific aspect of being a fan of a series of books and managed to put into words things that we all felt before, and that is, I feel, the strong suit of the book.

Ultimately, I think I would recommend this to BotBD fans, because if you take away that particular aspect of the novel, it ends up losing most of its entertaining value, and you miss most of the nods to the main series.


The Silver chain

The Silver Chain
Primula Bond
Editora: AVON
400 páginas
Publicação: 15 de Agosto 2013


Bound by passion, she was powerless to resist.
One dark evening in London, photographer Serena Folkes is indulging her impulsive side with a night-time shoot. But someone is watching her – mysterious entrepreneur Gustav Levi. Serena doesn’t know it yet, but this handsome stranger will change her life forever…
Serena is fascinated by Gustav, the enigmatic owner of the Levi Gallery, and she soon feels an irresistible pull of attraction. The interest is mutual, and Gustav promises to launch Serena’s photographic career at his gallery, but only if Serena agrees to become his exclusive companion.
To mark their agreement, Gustav gives Serena a bracelet to wear at all times. Attached to it is a silver chain of which he is the keeper. With the chain Gustav controls Serena physically and symbolically – a sign that she is under his power.
As their passionate relationship intensifies, Gustav’s hold on the silver chain grows stronger. But will Gustav’s dark past tear them apart?
A seductive and beautifully written novel for erotic romance fans. The Silver Chain is the first in the sexy, passionate and addictive Unbreakable Trilogy by Primula Bond.

Os livros de erótica sempre representaram um nicho de mercado bastante pequeno, até que a editora Quinta Essência decidiu apostar no romance feminino, alguns com incidência neste tema. Talvez seja por isso que as cinquentas sombras de Grey se tornaram tão popular num mercado português completamente seco de livros sado-masoquistas e neste momento a invasão de livros com a mesma temática esteja a fartar os consumidores que querem eróticos mas diferentes. Para quem acompanhava o mercado estrangeiro não sofria dessa sede de livros eróticos masoquistas, visto que o mercado anglo-americano sempre deu lugar para a erótica se mostrar. Assim, “The Silver chain” vem misturar certos temas que se tornaram clichés com algo de novo e no fim o cliffhanger deixa-nos à espera de algo mais. Sendo uma trilogia, o momento final do livro não deixa ver como será o próximo volume da série, no entanto como leitores deste primeiro livro só podemos esperar que não siga a mesma estrutura que o 50 shades ou a série Crossfire.
“The silver chain” tem um ponto extra que os livros da moda não têm, uma espécie de trunfo que algumas reviewers estrangeiras decidiram ignorar – a escrita britânica e descritiva da autora, que está longe de ser aborrecida. Na verdade é algo que funciona muito bem neste livro, é um dos poucos elementos novos numa moda saturada. Primula Bond vive em Winchester, UK e faz das suas frases elementos emotivos para capturar o leitor. 
As personagens ainda que sigam o cliché mudam e evoluem: Gustav, ao contrário de Grey, quer mudar e não quer continuar viciado na vida masoquista. Ele vê em Selena, uma aliada que o pode ajudar a concentrar-se no amor e numa relação saudável ao invés de uma relação baseada apenas em sexo, desejo e poder. Ele quer ser “curado” deste meio tóxico de exagero, mesmo que isso leve algum tempo e possa perder Selena de seguida. Selena é uma mulher com alguma experiência sexual mas que deseja algo mais e Gustav vê nela uma fotógrafa excelente e uma mulher que não o irá abandonar. Os diálogos entre os dois são muitas vezes estranhos, o que pode provocar alguma confusão nos leitores habituados a livros românticos, mas que no fundo caracterizam bem o estado de Gustav. 

I’m not your anything.’
‘You are. You nearly were just then. You got me worked up like some kind of horny teenager! Perhaps it’s a good thing that we didn’t – that wasn’t exactly the setting I had in mind when I drew up that contract. But we’re off-piste now. I’m trying to tell you how captivating you are. You always have been, you little sprite. Your photographs are magical enough, but it’s you that grabs me.’ He takes the silver chain out of his pocket and clears his throat. ‘It’s you.’
I take a sip of chocolate. The sugar hits me immediately and decisively. ‘I thought I was just another scared, pained, angry woman. You prefer us vulnerable, don’t you?’
‘Yet again I’ve expressed myself clumsily.’ He frowns down at the silver thread. ‘Because that sounds as if I revel in causing you pain. (190)

A comunicação entre o casal é um factor importante. Muitas vezes Gustav mostra a sua dificuldade em expressar-se por palavras, que leva Selena a interpretá-las de outra forma. O casal apenas pode ser feliz quando ambos estão em sintonia e se sintam confiantes um no outro de forma a expressarem-se sem medos ou limites.

Ainda que seja um romance BDSM, o sexo não ocupa um espaço muito importante. Durante a narrativa, Selena questiona-se porque é que Gustav não a beija e o beijo representa um acto intimo, apaixonado que sela a relação ao invés do sexo.

“The Silve chain” tem um início bastante promissor, especialmente para quem está farto da mesma estrutura e quer algo mais profundo com uma escrita mais elaborada. Provavelmente nunca venderá o suficiente para chegar a Portugal, mas muitos livros internacionais não chegam às nossas prateleiras.