Book Review (Excerpt): Sodomite by Arden Aoide

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Title: Sodomite (Lethe. Æther. Chaos. #1)
Author: Arden Aoide @ardenaoide
Genre: Dark Romance
Length: 160 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis

My name is Ezra Vasher.
And I’m the worst kind of sinner.
Pray for me.

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Sodomite is a standalone novella that takes place in the same world as the Sins of Lethe series. Like Sins of Lethe, it’s set some time in the future. Texas has seceded from the United States, and it has set up its own laws, its own system of governing, its own constitution, its own leadership. It is a place ruled by religious oppression in which women are treated like property and homosexuality as a perversion that must be wiped out. And at the heart of this novella is 18 year old Ezra Vasher.

Like every other male his age in Texas, Ezra is arranged to marry a female. When he begins taking classes with a pastor to prepare him for this marriage, he knows that he is different from the other boys his age. He desires the pastor and craves even the slightest touch from him all the while knowing it’s forbidden. When desire for another man turns to love in a world that not only condemns homosexuality but punishes it the most monstrous ways possible, Ezra tries to understand how something as beautiful as loving another human being could ever be considered sinful and ugly.

I love Arden Aoide’s writing. I will forever be grateful to my fellow blogger Yaya who told me to read Sins of Lethe in the first place. It was one of those series that left me speechless because the writing was so good and it was so unlike anything I’d ever read. Like Sins of Lethe, Sodomite is set in the same sort of dystopian Texas. It’s a world populated with the most interesting, heartbreaking, and sometimes the most vile human beings and I can add Ezra to the list of people I loved and who broke my heart in this series. He was a kind, loving, good hearted person who was made to feel like an abomination. Part of what makes a good dystopian story is that even though they’re fantastical and you tell yourself that could NEVER happen, there are elements, certain aspects that we may not like, in the story that the reader can recognize in their own society that are then exaggerated for the purposes of the story. While it’s unthinkable that Texas would ever secede from the United States, there are politicians who’ve brought it up in order to garner support, and it is a sad fact that homosexuality is still demonized not only by some people in America but in many other countries around the world. Yes, there are a lot of hot erotic moments, which Arden writes extremely well, but this is also a thought provoking novella as well. And that ending! Lord that ending. It is one that will stick with you even after you’ve read it and will have you thinking about the role of religion in society. I’m not sure if fans of the more traditional romance would enjoy this series but the books are short enough that I would encourage everyone to at least give it a chance. It’s truly unlike anything out there, and I want to tip my hat to Arden Aoide for having the guts to write something so unique in a genre that can start to feel a little too repetitive.

“…I’m a child of God, same as all of you. And yes, I’m a sinner. I’m a sinner the same as all of you. But, I’m also a lover, and have been loved, and unfortunately, I can’t say that for all of you. And that’s the real tragedy.”

– Rachel

*An ARC was received from the publisher for an honest review.

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“What if women can’t arouse me?”

“We find ways for you to adapt, so you can have children.”

“How can I stifle desires I might have otherwise?” It wasn’t a sincere question. I was stalling. For what reason, I didn’t know. My would-be bride was the last thing I wanted to discuss, though. I knew that was the purpose of these meetings. But I thought it had evolved.

“There are ways. Various therapies. I know a little, but never cultivated an interest for further study. I can if you request it.”

I wasn’t remotely interested in any sort of therapy that was meant to alter the way God made me. Sorcery was a sin, last I checked. “Then what do you plan to do?”

He smiled. “Are you aroused right now?”

I watched his eyes move down to my trousers. I made a point to adjust. “Yes.”

“When you take your wife for the first time, do you know what to do to make her ready, so it doesn’t hurt?”

I shook my head. I really didn’t know much at all. “I don’t want to hurt her.”

“I know you don’t. Unbutton your trousers, Ezra.”

Well, this little experiment wasn’t going to be accurate now. Certainly he knew that. I unbuttoned, but I didn’t mess with the zipper. He would need to be explicit. Though I couldn’t stop my thumb tracing my length as it pressed against my hand, patient, but needy.

“I’m going to blindfold you, Ezra. It will heighten your other senses.”

Oh. Well. Interesting. I closed my eyes as he stood, and a minute had passed when I felt cool silk cover my eyes and tied behind my head.

I heard a chair being moved behind me, and felt the inside of his left thigh press up against mine. I felt his breath on my neck and I bared my throat. Neither of us had expected that, but I didn’t move.

A moment later, his wet lip touched my neck, and he spoke. With every word and every exhalation, his lip pressed, pushed, and slid without apology. I couldn’t concentrate, but I resolved myself to try.

“There’s actually not much you can do to make it hurt less that first time.”

I wanted to express how unfair that was and how I would likely be incapable of hurting Naomi on purpose, but that would be stupid. I might tell him later, when his lips weren’t on me.

“God puts a small layer of skin there, and when you enter her, it painfully rips the skin away. Even if you go slow. The blood on your cock tells you she’s a virgin. In His design, He meant for it to hurt.” I felt his tongue as he licked his lips.

And it completely distracted me from my horror and disgust.

“It likely won’t hurt again, but she’ll remember. Are you still aroused Ezra?”

I was, but how silly that he thought I might not be. Unless he just wanted to hear it from my lips. “Yes.”

“Mmm,” he said, both lips touching me for a split second. “When I was in seminary, it was argued that if she enjoyed it, she was possessed by Satan.”


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Arden Aoide lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and three cats. Turn ons include men who cry during sex, long walks on the beach, and talking about herself in the third person. Turn offs include mean people and trying to figure out how to write an interesting author bio.

She doesn’t write about the typical men you normally read about in erotic romance novels. She likes her men brainy and just this side of manic.

She’s an introvert, she loves coffee, Internet, British television, and pot stickers. And pie. She loves pie.

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