Seducing the Saint (Melissa Schroeder in Charming the Snake) – Conclusion

One recurring theme in all the books I dissect here was maybe at its peak in Seducing the Saint: A character doesn’t become self-reliant, managing, independent, etc… just because you say it’s so.
“Look, that’s Libby. Libby is the epitome of independence, even if she spends the entire novel being nothing but dependent and following orders.”
You’ve got to back those claims with action and talk that prove them.

It’s okay that a character needs help, she doesn’t have to do everything on her own. But having nothing but damsels in distress all the time sucks.

Apart from that more general observation, the story is fucked up. Irish Royalty on a planet two weeks travel time from earth? Fathers, who only want to make their daughters happy by disappearing for almost a year so she can hook up with that unreliable ex-boyfriend of hers? Agencies, which are so secret you don’t even know their name, but their agents spend their time hunting embezzlers? A universe at your disposal and aliens are mentioned once (in the first chapter) and the rest of the time, it’s human actors, albeit on different planets?

The whole thing doesn’t make sense.

And don’t even get me started on the names! Nomen est omen? In this case it’s more “nomen est contraria”. [Okay, now I’ve used up pretty much everything that’s left of six years of studying latin in school and all I got was this stupid pretentiousness.]

Seems to me, Schroeder set out to write a different book, changed her course in the middle of it and then didn’t want to edit the rest so it all fit together. Or maybe she just glued two books together and made sure that the main character’s names stayed the same.

Open Questions

Why didn’t Robbie Masters or John Hunter warn Libby and BtA?
Where the fuck has Sterling *cringe* been all this time?
Why did Tony’s and Sterling *cringe*’s characters go from one end of the spectrum to the next without explanation?
How come Libby, who is so intelligent and well-studied, believed every little rumour about the Funkai until they held a gun to her head (figuratively), but then, it was no problem to just accept that it was not like that?
Why was the whole thing in space and on a different planet? To include the Funkai, which were ultimately inconsequential? To be able to have sex on a space ship?
Will there be a sequel, where we discover that the Legend of the Snake King is actually true and somebody – with royal Irish blood – finds the emerald and rules the universe until Libby Jr and BtA Jr stop them?

And finally, and probably most importantly (and I asked it before): Who saw this novella/short story fit for publishing?

Eternal Truths Learned

A flesh wound on the shoulder is life threatening, makes you incoherent and requires you to stay in bed for three days.
When somebody practices BDSM, they have to hide in the woods, or else society will be out to get them.
When somebody practices BDSM, they don’t see women as individuals and their society is inherently patriarchal.
A woman is independent, when she protests before she follows orders.
Fathers are stupid, but they mean well. [Hey, this could actually… no, no…]

As usual, you’re very welcome to add to this list in the comment section.

Seducing the Saint (Melissa Schroeder in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Twelve

Finally, the last chapter!

Libby is more or less conscious while Hunter takes care of her life-threatening shoulder flesh wound. BtA holds her down and she talks incoherently (what is Hunter treating her with?) about how much she loves him and that she is sorry for leaving him in the first place.

“(…) Well, to make it up to me, you have to marry me.”
“Sure, Brady, anything you say.” [Now that I can believe. I think it’s the perfect answer for Libby in this relationship.]

With that, Libby actually falls asleep/becomes unconscious/drifts off.

*****

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Seducing the Saint (Melissa Schroeder in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Eleven

Okay, when we left BtA and Libby, they were just being escorted out of Funkaiville and BtA had just heard for the first time that Tony Freemont was with Libby’s dad.

So, what can he do about that? That’s right, he can walk sulkingly through the jungle with Libby, refusing to talk to her. Hey, I hear it works with two year olds, so why souldn’t it work for BtA? [Oh wait… It doesn’t work with two year olds…]

He’s obviously forgotten that, when Libby tried to talk to him, he much rather had sex with her. Not that I can blame him for that. But if you chose sex over talk, don’t be offended, when you don’t have all the information. Sex might be the language of lovers, but it’s pretty hard to convey “My ex-husband is with my missing dad” through fucking.

Finally, Libby can’t stand the silent treatment anymore and starts to yell at BtA that she didn’t tell him about it because she forgot. And she forgot because she was so worried about what BtA might do to the Funkai or the Funkai to him. And that she loves him.

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Seducing the Saint (Melissa Schroeder in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Ten

So, Libby gets whisked away to be prepared for their love test, while BtA gets to drink elderberry wine with Funkai. Which is either also preparation, or an attempt to sabotage the whole thing by making BtA too drunk to perfom. Which seems to be rather easy as he already lost count of how much he had after the second glass. [Not kidding, no exaggeration.]

Funkai and BtA start to talk about Libby and how she’s a “managing woman”. I’m pretty sure they’re chuckling while they say that and shaking their head about her delusion. Their conversation quickly turns to bondage and BtA almost comes by just picturing Libby tied up while he spanks her. For some reason, this surprises him. It does not surprise me, though.

Anyway, BtA asks about what they’re hiding and Funkai admits that he’s one of the richest people in the whole universe, because of some special kind of steel that can only be found on Funkai land. He doesn’t want people to know, because then they would come and destroy the planet in search of Naper steel.

“How do you keep it secret if you tell everyone who comes through?” [That might be the first intelligent thing BtA ever said.]
“We don’t. I tell you because I’ve heard of your integrity. [You what? You’re basing the fate of your whole civilisation on some rumours you heard about some guy having integrity? I wouldn’t vote for you. Definitely not. Plus, BtA? Doesn’t seem to be so upright to me…] I was hoping I could convince you not to tell people you were here.”

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Seducing the Saint (Melissa Schroeder in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Nine

So, there they are, in the middle of the rainforest and are staring at three Funkais.

The tension between the group of men and Brady crackled. Libby wanted to step in and try to talk their way out of it. Brady would get pissed. [Yes, he would… you don’t take responsibility or try to help. Men can’t handle that at all. You’d just get hit again.]

Almost immediately, Libby goes from “Castrate those bastards, no questions asked” to “Let’s see, what we actually know about them…”
Turns out that they maybe don’t actually deserve all the bad press they’ve been getting. Admittedly, they wander barefoot in a rainforest and don’t wear shirts, but that’s no crime. Yet. And they can’t be that evil, because they’re strictly monogamous and respect it with others.

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Seducing the Saint (Melissa Schroeder in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Eight

So, Libby is taking a shower and BtA is coming in to join her.

Anticipation skated along his nerves [you never stop to learn… anticipation knows how to skate?] and sent another rush of blood to his cock. He glanced down, smiling wryly at his erection. [A question to the guys, if there’s any reading: Do you smile at your cocks?]

Well, Libby looks at him and he reacts to her gaze quite as much as she reacted to his – with an almost orgasm at the spot.

He gets into the shower and starts to rub himself against her, using the soap as an excuse. Her reaction is:

“I already finished washing, Brady.” [Oh, really? You don’t say… and he only touches you because you’re filthy…] Her voice was husky with a touch of humor. [Now, we’ve got voices that went deeper with desire and I don’t know what… but husky with humor?]

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Seducing the Saint (Melissa Schroeder in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Seven

When the bad guys are gone, BtA wonders about Libby’s reaction when they mentioned the Emerald Project. He decides to ask her about her sudden fear, when they get to the inn.

“Let’s get going.”
She nodded and fell in behind him. Not five minutes later, the smell of wood burning, signaling the outpost was near, allowed him to relax a bit more.
“Are we near?” [Du-uh… you can smell the fire, so either you’re near or there’s a forest fire.]

The outpost is an assembly of shacks, one of them the inn. BtA decides, it would be best to enter inconspicuously *ahem* through the back door. Really, the best way not to draw attention to yourself is by not entering through the entrance.

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