Author: Vina Jackson
Eighty Days Yellow is another new book with a big red ‘If you liked Fifty Shades, you’ll love…’ sticker on the front of it. Now, I haven’t read Fifty Shades so I can’t compare the two but it does seem that opinions on Eighty Days are just as split and it depends on what you loved about the Fifty Shades trilogy.
I am not quite sure how I feel about Eighty Days Yellow. It was a relatively quick read, the writing wasn’t terrible, there didn’t seem to be very many editing issues but.. and I’m not quite sure how to describe the but.
BDSM is very much the order of the day with this novel, with a few fetish club visits, so I would have expected there to be more of that involved in the action. There was not a lot of bondage beyond a bit of spanking and what was seen in the clubs. The bulk of this novel explored the roles of dominant and submissive. It was about seeing how far you could make someone go, about the public humiliation and exhibitionism.
Anyone that knows me knows that I have quite a foul mouth, and I have been known to use pretty much any word you can think of, so I don’t offend easily. Having said that, there are words that I use as obscenities, though try not to, which relate to anatomy but I don’t actually think of them as related to the anatomy which made it very jarring to read of female genitals referred to as the C word. I found it to be quite a mood killer, and the action was always described with the F word. I found it came across as vulgar. Granted, most of the action was far from romantic so you wouldn’t expect it to be described as making love; I just found it came across as contrived vulgar, like it was trying to shock.
Vina Jackson is the pseudonym for two established authors writing together which at times is quite apparent but for the most part the two blend relatively well. The story is written from two perspectives, in the first person by Summer and in the 3rd person following Dominik which gets a little tangled at times and I had to take a minute to try to work out where we were at.
The story revolves around Summer Zahova, a classical violinist with a high libido who is aroused easily – much to her embarrassment at times. The story opens with her involved in a relationship with a man very different to her, very strait-laced and ordinary but with a strong personality. Very early on the relationship ends and so begins Summer’s journey into new experiences, new lifestyles and new sides of herself that she never would have guessed existed.
Summer busks on the Underground and one day she is caught in a scuffle that sees her beloved violin destroyed, and with it her livelihood. Soon after she receives an enigmatic Facebook message offering to replace her violin. And so begins the dance between Dominik and Summer.
Dominik likes to dominate and bend his partners to his will, to test the limits of what they will and won’t do, but he has never been interested in the whole BDSM ‘scene’. He likes to play his games his way with his carefully chosen partners, far from the often anonymous fetish clubs. He needs to feel a more personal connection with his partners, a connection that is often missing from encounters within the BDSM scene.
There is an intense affair between Dominik and Summer but whether or not it could be called a romance is up for debate. It begins with no strings and no promises but the two find themselves more invested than they had anticipated so though I’m still not sure how I feel about this one I would probably continue with the next two novels to see how things play out between Dominik and Summer.
Eighty Days Yellow does contain a story and I think there’s more story than there is action but it’s the story of discovering your true nature through new experiences, ones not everyone will understand or agree with and of discovering whether or not there is a line you won’t cross. There was less action than I was expecting and it was almost clinical in its description, it wasn’t passionate or inviting.
I think the stickers on these books are a huge marketing ploy to sell books, and I have no problem with that at all. It is a way to glance at the cover and know that it shares a genre, though in this case I think the cover art and name would have told you that. What that sticker doesn’t take into account is the nuances of the stories and the broad scope of the genre. If you loved Fifty Shades you may love this book, but you may hate it depending on what you loved about Fifty Shades. If you hated Fifty Shades you may love this because it is very different. It will all depend on what you are looking for in a book.
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years, I have broadened my horizons considerably. In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews. Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS!