So I am unabashedly stealing this idea from Caitlin from Caitlin Liveblogs (who also happens to be a Tumblr buddy of mine regardless of our hockey team preferences haha). Don’t click that link if you passionately love 50 Shades of Gray. You have been warned.
Today I’m going to be live-reviewing Rapunzel by Lisa Valdez.
Steam: (Yes, that’s an 8. I thought it was necessary to up the rating for this particular case lol.)
Trapped in a tower by a witch who claims to be her mother, Rapunzel has led a lonely life. Now, grown into a young woman, she is plagued by desires she has no idea how to fulfill. But everything changes when a handsome prince climbs through her tower window and feeds the hunger she had thought insatiable.
On a quest for a Golden Chalice, Prince Rodrigo is convinced Rapunzel is there to distract him from finding the Chalice. He thinks to use her for his pleasure, take what he has come for, and be on his way. But when Rapunzel proves to be more than an erotic diversion, Rodrigo must face the realities of her captivity by a witch who is definitely not her mother.
I really didn’t know what to expect from this since there haven’t been many reviews so far. I’ve seen mixed reviews on Goodreads and with Liza Valdez books, people either like it or they don’t. She usually writes very sensually and all of the more intimate scenes have some purpose towards the plot.
There’s nothing wrong with smut, but you know, a plot is also nice with said smut.
Alright, let’s do this liveblog/live-review thing!
So is this like an adult version of Tangled? Minus the singing, Zachary Levi and Maximus? That’s a little bit disappointing, but it’s okay. And sorry if I forever ruined Tangled for you.
Okay hello prologue filled with innuendo. Yes, “with Silver lance the Golden Chalice” uh-huh okay very suggestive. Thank god I haven’t seen a lot of writers use “lance” in their descriptions for sex. That sounds painful. I mean, “impaling” already sounds kind of painful, but you know, it doesn’t give the effect that you’re skewered onto a stick like a kebab.
This liveblogging business might be more difficult than I was expecting. Why? Well, Lisa Valdez’s writing is very compelling and seriously, she just draws you in. And when you emerge later on, you’re not only hot and bothered, but you might also be grinning because in Passion and Patience so much has happened that you can’t help but smile when the H/h get their Happily Ever After.
The first chapter starts off with poor Rapunzel being seriously horny.
WHOA PLOT TWIST ALREADY. I don’t think I’ve ever read the actual story of Rapunzel and I’m working off Tangled so you know, plot twist. But I think I already know what’s going on. So Prince Rodrigo made an appearance, since he’s been on a stake out by the tower, watching the comings and goings of the tower inhabitants. He’s looking for the Golden Chalice. It’s nowhere in sight.
But my spidey senses are tingling.
I bet you a silver lance that it’s within kissing distance away from Prince Rodrigo.
So there’s a war. Prince Rodrigo is looking for the Golden Chalice to help save his kingdom. It’s like the prologue already told me what’s going to happen. It’s okay though, because SEXUAL. TENSION. EVERYWHERE. And it’s always hilarious when a man’s charm fails to impress the ladies, kind of lie Flynn Rider and his smolder.
Only you know, instead of a charming thief, we have a very alpha Prince Rodrigo who is very attracted to this Rapunzel and has a raging boner. He also isn’t tied to a chair and instead of a frying pan and a feisty Punzie, we have a terrified Rapunzel with a dagger, trying to get the f*** away from this man.
Like, she’s legit terrified:
“Because you’re a prince,” she shuddered against him, “the monster of men.”
“The monster of men?”
“Yes,” she breathed. “You tear the hearts from the breasts of women, whilst impaling them upon a pike that splits their bodies and steals their souls.”
Valdez, Lisa (2013-07-30). Rapunzel ~ An Erotic Bedtime Story (Erotic Bedtime Stories) (Kindle Locations 148-150). . Kindle Edition.
Yeah okay, I see where this is going. But let’s see what’s going to happen —
36 Minutes Later
Well, true to its subtitle as to being an erotic bedtime story, it was very erotic. And as per usual Liza Valdez style, there’s a lot of mention of “tears” and “weeping”. I kind of got bored halfway through all the sex though since it was kind of repetitive. (All of the described sex scenes were all hard and rough. I’m not sure if erotica only has to have those types of sex scenes, but even the BDSM stuff I’ve read have varied sex scenes so idk.) That’s not to say it was a terrible ordeal to read on my part because I actually enjoyed those 36 minutes. I just wished there was variety.
“Tell me what you need, Rapunzel, and I will give it to you.” Need? Her heart clenched in her breast. Knowledge, experience, life— love! This… …with you.
Valdez, Lisa (2013-07-30). Rapunzel ~ An Erotic Bedtime Story (Erotic Bedtime Stories) (Kindle Locations 318-321). . Kindle Edition.
I think this is what I love the best about Liza Valdez though. Sure her books can be smut-tastic but she doesn’t forget about the emotional part of sex. That, I think, in the heyday of many books talking about people wanting sex without the strings, is refreshing. Also, Rodrigo likes to tug on Rapunzel’s hair to bring her closer. This is weird, but I thought that was kind of cute. I only think it’s cute because her hair is super long and is quite far from her scalp. Don’t try in real life with random strangers.
Oh hahaha Rodrigo and Rapunzel are having the “where do babies come from” talk oh my god. And Rodrigo apparently is cursed so he can’t get anyone pregnant even if he doesn’t pull out. Huh okay. I guess this is a fairytale so we can let that one pass? While I am enjoying this book, I’m not pleased that I totally figured it all out in the first couple of pages.
Alright, so amidst all the sex scenes, we do see Rodrigo and Rapunzel slowly developing feelings for each other. Rodrigo wants to take her away from the evil witch but Rapunzel is apparently cursed and cannot. Not really angsty, it’s just sad that Rapunzel is so quick to accept the fact that she’ll never experience this kind of happiness again.
Okay that’s freaky. The witch aka evil stepmother can smell that Rapunzel has lost her virginity. Man. That’s so awkward. “Where is your virgin scent?” I mean, this is supposed to be like confrontational but I ended up laughing sorry hahaha. Oh, and the grand reveal is happening:
Time to see how this is going to end, then.
Oh, the evil witch is a woman scorned. And boy is she angry. She’s a very talky angry person, at least, so we get an explanation about the Golden Chalice and Rodrigo’s curse. We also learn that the witch has had horrible sex ed lessons. I feel for her though, yes she’s bitter, but she’s also (seemingly) very ignorant about the basic things about procreation. That can be utterly terrifying. Oh and oh god, that is disgusting. She did not have good plans for Rapunzel at all.
Okay Rodrigo has now realized his feelings for Rapunzel. Alright mad dash to go back to the tower. Why was it that Rapunzel never realized that her mother’s voice was different the first time Rodrigo came around? Maybe Rodrigo’s just really good at imitating voices?
DON’T TELL ME YOU’RE FALLING FOR THAT THOUGH RODRIGO?!?!
Witch’s name is Mordigaria. Good to know.
OH SHIT NO RODRIGO!!! O: -GASP-
Ehrmehrgehd when and how are these two going to get reunited? I was getting bored for a moment there but this is good.
Huh. I wonder if this is what Ron Weasley experienced when he was finding his way back to Harry and Hermione. He was saying something about following Hermione’s voice calling him or something right? Very similar to what’s happening here. Minus the dangerous horcrux and powerful wizards and witches though.
Awwwww. The ending is kind of cute, a lot of cheesy and very predictable. I’m not sure I like the message of Rapunzel’s womb being the Golden Chalice and through her womb being filled to make babies as a way to broker piece amongst the nine kingdoms, though. I guess this is the thing with old fairytales? In Charles Perrault’s The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, there’s a huge thing of rape and like the king’s mother wants to eat her grandchildren.
There’s not really a moral here though.
Or am I taking the ‘fairytale’ part a little too seriously?
Rapunzel, An Erotic Bedtime Story is a new novella from Liza Valdez and it is very much a smuttified version of Rapunzel. It’s not a historical romance inspired by the fairytale but an actual retelling of it. While a historical romance inspired by the tale would’ve been more interesting, Lisa Valdez’s Rapunzel is definitely very entertaining and fun to read.
Her writing is still as strong as ever; however, she still uses ‘tears’ and ‘weeping’ for bodily functions. It’s not really off-putting, but it’s something that I’ve noticed a lot from her past two books. And yes, I know Matthew had a thing for tears, but it was mentioned a lot of times then. It got kind of weird, honestly. There is also a lot of sex happening here, since this is an erotica, and while they were all well-written I just thought there was too much happening right after the other. There wasn’t enough time to digest one scene and then bam, they’re doing it again. It got a bit repetitive since most of the detailed scenes were all similar.
But don’t fret. This isn’t just all smut. The reason I like Lisa Valdez books is because amidst all the sex, she doesn’t forget to show us what it is about the characters like so much about each other. The scenes when these two weren’t busy having sex with each other were also really adorable. You really get the sense of how both Rodrigo and Rapunzel start falling for each other. Their conversations were also pretty funny. So while the sex got a little repetitive, we’re still able to explore and see Rodrigo and Rapunzel slowly develop feelings for each other. And while I thought the evil witch could’ve been characterized more, it’s nice to see how anger can delude someone completely that they affect those around them.
As much as I really liked this one because I thought it was an entertaining read that had a good dose of sex, action, and romance, I am a bit underwhelmed. Maybe I was expecting too much but I just felt like there was so much potential here that wasn’t explored. Like the ending. The ending was sweet but it bothered me a bit. And while I know fairytales aren’t all supposed to have a moral, the fact that Rapunzel’s womb was the answer for peace across the nine kingdoms was kind of weird? I’m going to have to stew a bit longer about that one, but yeah. One more thing I didn’t like was how I figured out the story right after I finished reading the prologue. Lisa Valdez’s writing style, thankfully, is compelling enough to still lure you in to finish reading the book regardless.
Did I like this book? Yes, I know my review doesn’t sound too excited about the book, I did like her version of Rapunzel a lot. I’ve read it three times to write the review and the liveblog and I’d probably reread it again. Would I recommend this book? Hard to say, but I definitely don’t regret purchasing this.