IT WAS HEAVEN SCENTED HELLthis pink stone villa on the lip of the Pacific, this silken trap set by her sadistic ex husbandAnd like a damned fool mindless fly, Sidney Stevens had walked right into itIn her blind flight from Harlan she d rented this lonely little palace to dream a little in the sun only to find herself in a state of siegeHarlan had set her up, of course, and he was quite mad nowAnd on the blue and gold morning she awoke and saw him through her bedroom window the black clad rider on a black stallion, a preying hawk on his wrist Sidney knew he was there to strike her down, to kill


10 thoughts on “The Curse of Casa del Monte

  1. Sarah Mac Sarah Mac says:

    A strange little gothic, this one Imagine if Shirley Jackson wrote a Harlequin Presents with some 70s Big Brother suspense thrown in Not a common mix, you ll agree The hammy siege set up had its WTFLOLz moments, which rarely fail to amuse me but what was it that made me genuinely ENJOY this tome I can point to 3 specifics 1 The setting It could have been a disastrous choice, but the author s twisting of a sunny Cali house the relentless isolation of Sidney s retreat are both well A strange little gothic, this one Imagine if Shirley Jackson wrote a Harlequin Presents with some 70s Big Brother suspense thrown in Not a common mix, you ll agree The hammy siege set up had its WTFLOLz moments, which rarely fail to amuse me but what was it that made me genuinely ENJOY this tome I can point to 3 specifics 1 The setting It could have been a disastrous choice, but the author s twisting of a sunny Cali house the relentless isolation of Sidney s retreat are both well done As someone who hates hot weather, the oppressiveness of the surroundings a climate many would indeed term paradise immediately drew me into the story 2 The writing style The author uses a lot of refs to epic poetry, Shakespeare, myth, all of which is unusual for a pulp She also does a lot of dialogue, some of which I had to reread because I d missed something in the reparteealso rather unusual in a fairly straightforward format 3 The bizarre Harlequin esque melodrama of an abusive caveman in the modern age he ll do ANYTHING to force this woman to bear his sons start a dynasty Sidney s emotional rollercoaster in response It s rare to have a sexually experienced heroine in pulps, but even so an abused divorcee who lost a baby may never have another due to the husband s violence or rape Unspoken gothic rules encourage virginal heroines, or at least girls with deceased but loved young husbands or an elderly father figure type that, if intimate, would have treated the heroine gently So I have to give kudos to Ms Cameron for doing something different Harlan was dangerously close to a Charlotte Lamb hero, aside from the Tom Cruise elevator shoes actual murder of a secondary character PSo there you go Probably not a pulp that would appeal to everyone, but I was quite entertained Solid 4 stars


  2. Karla Karla says:

    Mehhhhhh..Sidney Stevens femme is escaping from a messy divorce from a severely insane individual Her ex hubby, Harlan, suffers from Chronic Short Man s Disease and thinks he can boss everyone around just because he s rich and wears elevator shoes There s no mention of a rug, but he would SO wear one Male Pattern Baldness is not to be accepted gracefully, but an enemy to be nuked into extinction That s how he rolls.Sidney escapes to a leased out hilltop manor on the California coast, wh Mehhhhhh..Sidney Stevens femme is escaping from a messy divorce from a severely insane individual Her ex hubby, Harlan, suffers from Chronic Short Man s Disease and thinks he can boss everyone around just because he s rich and wears elevator shoes There s no mention of a rug, but he would SO wear one Male Pattern Baldness is not to be accepted gracefully, but an enemy to be nuked into extinction That s how he rolls.Sidney escapes to a leased out hilltop manor on the California coast, where she finds a pantry stocked with her favorite foods Hmmmm, WHO COULD HAVE DONE THAT It s a gothic with no mystery It s obvious very early on who set her up and not only because the back cover spoils it Sidney is a very dull little crayon, and even though she knows Harlan is a total whackanoodle she tells herself Oh no, he wouldn t be so demented and controlling to follow me here Then the phone is cut, the gates slam closed, and she finds hidden mikes all over the place.Eventually the hero shows up, the landlord of the place who has a little love mystery in his past Sidney is already half in love with him even before he shows up with his bricktop and freckles because of the objets d art in his house and the rumors of his getting dumped by an ungrateful slut Sidney goes into full Jellus Cow mode based on suspicions and heresay The story is mainly the siege trope, as two people are forced into close quarters with the enemy lurking outside, hearing and seeing everything.When it s revealed that Big Brother Harlan IS WATCHING YOU his voice suddenly blasts from a hidden speaker, commenting on Ginger Sidney s conversations it reminded me so much of cow moose on wall in Murder By Death.Unfortunately it was that moment when all tension and suspense died what little there was , and the lolz began.The ending dragged and Sidney and Sanford Rusty have their HEA with some of the most dubious comforting lines of all timeI love you I love you with all my heart But if I am not to shout, he said softly as his lips came down to mine, you must be silent I guess in a marriage of two redheads with clich d tempers, it s the chick s duty to not do any provokin