A guest review by Leslie
In a nutshell: Plantation smut!
For two generations of men, the Summerhill Reach rubber plantation in Malaya is a place of unbridled lust and the source of power. Finally, four men are locked in a struggle for control of each other and the wealth and power the plantation offers. As they seduce, mesmerize, and take their conquests, they are seduced in turn, against the background of the steamy Malayan jungle and the strange ceremonial rites of the full moon practiced by the dangerous Farhan. Will the one man among them who has sought love more than power finally triumph in this four-way struggle?
It’s tough to give a rating to a book like this. People are either going to get a kick out of it—like I did—or be totally turned off. If you are in the mood for steamy jungles, beating drums, and throbbing manhoods, then this might be the book for you. On the other hand, if you want serious historical fiction that is realistic and true to time and place, then you should probably pass this one by.
Still with me? Okay, then, a review.
The story opens with the eponymous David, his sister Edith and future brother-in-law Bill all meeting in the Headmaster’s office of David’s prep school. Apparently David, who has just turned 18 (very clearly stated on the first page of the book) is sensitive, delicate, and beautiful and the Headmaster is worried what might happen if the other boys get their hands on him (so far, all the other boys have done is write suggestive poetry to him). Bill understands because guess what? He has the hots for David, too. Everyone has the hots for him, it seems, and David is fine with this because he is figuring out that his “peter” is for more than peeing.
Given this, the family decides that school is not the right place for him—David needs to go someplace safe where he can grow up a bit and learn a few life lessons. And what place could be safer than the family rubber plantation in the middle of the steamy Malayan jungle? The family rubber plantation that has a reputation—and a history. Sounds safe to me!
Off they go. Enroute to Malaya, David almost gets it on with a sailor, Mario, until Bill barges in and breaks them up. But now that David has gotten a little taste of big boy fun, he’s as hot and horny as the rest of them: Bill; the plantation overseer Thomas; and the mysterious and dangerous Farhan. Everybody’s lusting after everybody else and when the drums start beating in the night…you can imagine what happens next.
The story is told in alternating points of view in each chapter: Bill, David, and Thomas. It’s written in a serious tone, that is, trying to sound appropriately historical, but you can tell the authors (habu and Sabb, writing as Shabbu) were just having a whole lot of fun as they weaved together this steamy, sizzling, jungle melodrama.
I should point out that there is a level of inter-familial familiarity that might be a turn-off for some readers. Does having sex with your brother-in-law count as incest? What about with your father’s former lover? In another story this would have been a definite squick factor but since this was such sex-capade fantasy, it didn’t bother me. It was more like Bill, Tom, Farhan, and yes, even David (a quick study if there ever was one), were keeping alive the time honored traditions of Summerfield Reach. It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it, right? LOL.
I suppose it is a sign of my moral decrepitude that I like stories like this. Yes, it is a guilty pleasure and at 80 pages, it was a quick diversion during my lunch break. (If only the others around me knew what I was reading!) In many ways, this reminded me of a Sean Michael story—lots and lots of sex (but no fisting in this one), paper-thin plot, and a HEA ending. In fact, the HEA came out of nowhere but worked well and was a pleasant surprise, earning the story an extra half-star.
Recommended with a caveat: you’ve got to like this sort of thing, but if you do, this was a fun read.