Review: The Concubine's Gift, by K. Ford K.

A guest review by Jessica Pruett-Barnett
The Concubine's Gift
by K. Ford K.
Creative Space Independent Publishing
January 2011
230 pgs

I am, perhaps, overly harsh when it comes to entertainment. If I don't like a movie within 5 minutes, I turn it off. This obviously doesn't occur when I am in the movie theatre (if I am paying $13 for a movie, I will finish it and LIKE IT), but I often send back my Netflix movies unfinished. "Cashback"? Sent back. "Debating Robert Lee"? Shoot me. The same goes for theatre. I don't leave at intermission much (Crimes of the Heart, South Pacific, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore and that awful college production of Exit The King all deserved it, I swear), but when I do it was out of boredom or my hatred of Tennessee Williams. 

Books, however, I finish, even Sophie in the Haunted Brothel in New York City (although a bottle of wine was needed for that...also, the Amazon link for that isn't working, so I give you this gem: an excerpt from Sophie in the Haunted Brothel in New York City). There is always something the pulls me towards the end, whether it be an unsolved crime or the need to know if Sophie manages to run away from her murderous pimp who killed her best friend and makes her live and work in Greenwich Village in a time period unknown (I don't think they have punctuation in that time period judging the author's inability to use a period).

I couldn't finish The Concubine's Gift, by K. Ford K. I only wish it was bad. Unfortunately, it was worse: it was boring. I know the story takes place near a bordello because the back of the book told me so. It also told me that Bernice, the main character, is sexually inhibited; but, really, with a name like Bernice she wasn't going to be a wild and crazy hooker. Fifty pages in and the most I get out of the story is that Bernice is ashamed to have sexy dreams and a silly, stereotypical (borderline racist really and inappropriate as today isn't Racist Tuesday) story about a girl who was sold into sexual slavery and became a prostitute in China.

Romance novels are supposed to be fun and provide an escape into a fun scenario. I don't want to imagine being a hopelessly sexually oppressed woman who equates sex with shame, and whose sexuality is awakened by magical powder from an old Chinese prostitute. I want to be a strong woman who has awesome sex with a firefighter, or an FBI agent, or with a bartender in Manhattan's newest sex hotel. I think K. Ford K. needs to read some modern romances to see what a modern woman wants out of a romance novel: shame need not apply.


  1. How about a bartender who tells you he is an FBI agent (wink>wink) and sets fires instead of putting them out?


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