4.5 dark, twisted, stunning stars to Josie Litton’s His Lordship’s Downfall: Part One.
I’m a newly acquired fan of Josie Litton’s, but now that I’ve found her, I want to devour all her books in one sitting. As always, Litton has a way of weaving beautiful words with a compelling, edgy story that isn’t for everyone. She mentions that this is her darkest story yet, and I truly think she shines brightest when she’s delving into this world. Such stunning writing style paired with such rich, developed characters — her work is an absolute delight.
I found the main character, our fiendish Lord, to be appropriately terrible, but in a way you can connect with him. Given his social standing, the laws of the time (set in the (not so?) distant future where Britain and Japan control the whole world), the status of his “pet”, and his innate interest in bondage, humiliation, and sadism, you can really see why he acts and thinks as he does. Every delightfully wicked thought made perfect sense to me, no matter how twisted or disgusted I felt regarding said thought personally.
What I also loved was that the heroine, his pet, barely said more than fifty words in this whole piece, but she was, to me, a wonderfully developed and interesting character in her own right. I look forward to seeing her role expanded upon in the follow-up book.
Speaking of which… Although the book is very sexual, there is an underlying plot that, once it gets going, you can’t turn away from. For a while, I found things a bit repetitive: go to London, intense sex scene, go to London, another intense sex scene. But when the subplot started to surface, when the politics between the Lord and his wife arose, well… I couldn’t read it fast enough. Never mind that the sex scenes, while explicit and frequent, were varied enough to keep my attention, but the rest of the story… Well, that made my heart race too.
Some warnings. This is extremely explicit. There is dubious consent in play. Detailed bondage scenes. I don’t think this is for the faint of heart, and readers unfamiliar with darker works should heed the warning and go in with their eyes open. There is also a major, major cliffhanger. That being said, I am pleased that this story will (hopefully) be told in two parts. Yes, it can be frustrating to have a book broken up into smaller pieces, BUT I think Litton has provided enough of a read here that the novella is satisfying in its length.
Defintely a recommended read for those who can stomach the darker side of things. For me, this stands as erotica, not necessarily a romance, but things might change in Part Two. Can’t wait!
I voluntarily (and happily) reviewed this work after receiving an ARC.