Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: The Story of X by A.J. Malloy

Title: The Story of X
Author: A.J. Malloy
Publish Date: December 11, 2012
Review Source: Paperback provided by Publisher for review to Once Upon a Twilight (while I was till reviewing)

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A darkly seductive and passionate tale of secret societies, elaborate rites and sexual experimentation, in the tradition of the captivating classic Story of O and Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut.

Shy American student Alexandra Beckmann—‘X’ to her friends—arrives in Naples desperate for adventures beyond the sheltered life she has led. She is there to study the Camorra, an infamous Italian crime organization. But in the sun-soaked, ancient city streets, her research leads her to a man like no one else she has ever met.

Irresistibly handsome, Lord Marcus Roscarrick is an Italian aristocrat with a mysterious past. Yet, underneath his refined exterior, X senses a man who is well-acquainted with danger.

Soon they begin a passionate affair, and X is drawn into Roscarrick’s world—a world she never dreamed existed. But as she falls ever more deeply under Roscarrick’s spell, X must decide whether she dares to submit entirely to this shadowy realm of dark desire.


If I could only give you three reasons to read The Story of X they would be as follows: Italy, sacred erotic mysteries and Lord Marcus Roscarrick. I could give you a million more reasons but those sum it up nicely. 

The Story of X is set in Naples, Italy which we learn isn't as beautiful as tourists believe it to be. Yes, everyone appears to be wearing the latest in designer couture but once you get past the clothes and the beauty that is Italy you see the real Naples that is filled to bursting with trash in the streets and a region run by the mob. It is this place that Alexandra Beckman (X as her friends refer to her) has decided to relocate to for the summer to visit her long time friend and write her thesis on the Camorra, the mob organization that has such a tight hold on this region of Italy.

Upon her first nights in Naples, X and her best friend visit the Café Gambrinus where she has her first encounter with the delicious and irresistible beauty of Lord Marcus Roscarrick. Something about this man instantly draws X in and she wants to know more. X being fearless seeks out the handsome Lord at The Pallazzo Roscarrick, because where else would a deliciously attractive Lord live in Naples! She seeks information on the Camorra for her thesis and figures he is just as good a place to start as any. He plays hard to get like most otherworldly handsome Italian Billionaire Lords do but he has a hard time getting the beautiful and brave Alexandra out of his head. Once he gives in and begins to explore a very heated sexual relationship with Alex he finds that he has to expose her to a world that is more than just filled with Italian wines, great food and wealth. A world that Alex never could have imagined she could be a part of.

Marc belongs to a very exclusive and very secret erotic world. He can't explore long term relationships with women who do not belong to this world. When Marc exposes X to the mystery religions and begins to explain that she will have to complete the five rituals if she wants to explore a longterm relationship with him, she thinks they are just talking about a kinky world of BDSM. But it's so much more than the traditional concepts of BDSM and much more erotic. He can't prepare her for the rituals since you are forbidden from discussing them once you've seen them and been initiated into their society. But X has to take a leap of faith and choose to trust her Celenza (a really hot Italian word for her Master) to take care of her and know that he will protect her. But how far is X willing to push herself erotically, voyeuristically and sexually in order to be able to call this Lord Marcus Rosscarick, hers, for the rest of her life?

I loved this story. A.J. Malloy has created a very mysterious, beautiful, and often dangerous side of Italy for her readers to sink their teeth into. I loved the characters and the story unfolds like a mystery and keeps you on your toes wondering what is going to happen next. The characters get themselves into tight spots and often find themselves pushed to limits not just sexually but both physically and emotionally as well. The story is entertaining, comical at the right moments and heart string pulling at others. Tears were shed and my heart may have stopped toward the end but every second was action packed and wonderful. I could read stories that take are set in Italy all day long and I will definitely be a follower of future stories written by A.J. Malloy.  

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