Book reviews by D.G. Kaye
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Sunday Book Review – The Sleeping Serpent – Luna Saint Claire

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

Today’s book review is on Luna Saint Claire’s book – The Sleeping Serpent. This book was far from the genres I usually read in but I was curious to read it from the description depicting the main character who was a narcissistic sociopath who grabbed my attention.

The book is categorized as a psychological thriller with erotica.  I’m really not a reader of erotica and I’m not sure I would call it a thriller, more of a psychological drama, a compelling, although a disturbing read. I say disturbing because it’s difficult for me to listen to stories about women who relinquish their power to those who bully them with psychological threats and treating them like shit, but offering them enough sugar to obtain whatever it is wanted from them to keep them coming back for more.

 

The Sleeping Serpent

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Blurb:

 

Whether by free will or fate, Luna’s encounter with Nico provokes a storm that shatters her perceptions of identity, duty, morality, and self-worth. The storm didn’t blow in from the outside. She was the storm. Its turbulence within her, forcing her to confront the darkness, uncovers her secrets and her pain.

Luna Saint Claire has a loving husband and an enviable career as a Hollywood costume designer. Still, something is gnawing at her. Bored with her conventional and circumscribed existence, she feels herself becoming invisible. When she meets Nico Romero, a charismatic yoga guru, his attentions awaken her passions and desires. Dangerous, but not in a way that scares her, he makes her feel as if anything is possible. Infatuated, she becomes entangled in Nico’s life as he uses his mesmerizing sexuality to manipulate everyone around him in his pursuit of women, wealth, and celebrity.

Immensely erotic and psychologically captivating, The Sleeping Serpent is the compelling story of a woman’s obsession with a spellbinding guru and the struggle to reclaim her life. At its heart, it is a painfully beautiful exposition of unconditional love that makes us question what we truly want.

 

“She realized in an instant that being around him awakened her, stirring the sediment that had long ago settled at the bottom of her well. He made her feel a part of him–of something larger, and somehow more alive.”

 

My 4 Star Review:

 

The Sleeping Serpent is aptly titled to fit the main character, Nico, a slithering snake whose mission is to lure women into his power with his charismatic charm and sexy, Adonis-like appearance.

Nico is a yoga master who uses his talents to draw women into his lair once they become intoxicated by his charms and surrender themselves to his sexual prowess and then ultimately, to his abuse. Nico will demean, domineer, use emotional blackmail, and extort whatever he can get from these women without them realizing that they’ve submitted to his power with barely an ounce left of their self-esteem. Nico is a narcissistic, sociopathic, soul-sucking vampire who will resort to whatever it takes to keep all of his lovers at his beck and call.

Throughout the many relationships Nico cultivates, his friend Luna, who has also been taken  under Nico’s spell is a constant in his life except for the rare times she denies a request from him, where he’ll banish her from his life as punishment. The power he holds over these women is uncanny.

Luna is a Hollywood costume designer whom he uses to advance his career but insists she’s his best friend, as he builds her ego and then constantly threatens to dismiss her from his life if she doesn’t comply with his every whim. Luna is so magnetized by this vulture that she puts his whims and many demands ahead of those of her own husband.

 

I didn’t find this book to be a thriller as much as I found it a psychologically disturbing tale because I found it mind-boggling to watch just how far Nico’s harem of women would allow themselves to be used and abused and stripped of their self-esteem just to have the honor of being in his presence, and for the opportunity to have stimulating sexual encounters with him. Having first-hand experience of recognizing the sickness in a narcissistic sociopath and knowing how easily they can snare us into their power, this book was a difficult read for me. I personally can’t comprehend how naive these women were to sacrifice their own self-worth to please a man who they thought boosts their self-esteem when in fact, he shreds them of their own dignity. But as disturbing as I found it, the storyline was intriguing. Saint Claire’s writing was beautifully descriptive and as disturbed as I felt by the subject matter, she did a wonderful job with her story, enough to stimulate my emotions. If you don’t mind reading EXPLICIT erotica (and plenty of it) and can tolerate the subject matter then this book may be for you.

 

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

25 Comments

  • Luna Saint Claire (@Compelled_Books)

    Debby, Thank you for reading and writing this excellent review. It is a disturbing read for most everyone, and I attribute the emotional unrest to its authenticity. The women’s obsessive attachment to Nico after he begins to abuse them leave many who aren’t familiar with narcissistic abuse incredulous. My hope in writing this partially autobiographical novel is to provide elucidation on the psychology of both the sociopath and the vulnerability of the women to his compulsion. You are correct in saying it is not really a thriller (fast paced plot driven) but rather a psychological drama. Thank you for a well described review!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for dropping by Luna. As I wrote in my review (in other words), your writing was effective enough to bring the reader into story causing us to taken in the disturbance of it all. Yes, that is authentic, good writing. It truly was an eye-opening and fascinating (although disturbing) read. 🙂

  • Tina Frisco

    Terrific review, Deb. Luna’s book is on my TBR. Like you, erotica is not a genre I gravitate toward; but the psychological nuances of this story are intriguing, and I look forward to reading it ♥

  • Sarah Brentyn

    Great, in-depth review, Debby. Gives a feel for the story and what lies beneath, so to speak. Sounds like it’s very well-written, too. The premise and subject matter is something that I wouldn’t deal with very well. I can “hint” at darkness, as you know, but this would be a difficult read for me. This caught my attention: “The storm didn’t blow in from the outside. She was the storm.”

  • olganm

    Thanks, Debby. I can imagine how difficult it must have been to read. I get easily bored with explicit erotica (the more, the faster) so I don’t think this is the book for me.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Olga. if that’s the case then no it’s not. But not every book is going to appeal to every reader. That’s the beauty of the many book genres. 🙂

  • D. Wallace Peach

    Good for you for taking on a subject matter and genre that your wouldn’t normally read. This would be hard for me to pick up, I’ll admit. I did read Luna’s comment, and her attempt at authenticity is commendable. Thanks for the review, Debby.

  • Luna Saint Claire (@Compelled_Books)

    Thank you all for stopping by and reading Debby’s review. It was challenging for me to write Nico’s character since he is an abusive narcissist. The women who are all nurturing, compassionate, steadfast, and codependent feel compelled to fix him — But there is no fixing him. As Debby described so aptly in her review, he is an emotional vampire in need of narcissistic supply. Until I personally experienced this, I had no idea these creatures existed and how prevalent they are preying on the unsuspecting victims who may easily succumb to their charms.

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Luna. I know how easy it can be to be caught in the storm of these captors. I think for those who have been under these types of people’s control, like myself, have the most difficult time digesting the subject matter when it is so personally reminds us of our own experience. But I hope anyone who reads the book can learn something about that power. 🙂

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