cover image Legendary Lover

Legendary Lover

Susan Johnson. Bantam Books, $7.99 (293pp) ISBN 978-0-553-57867-6

Johnson (To Please a Lady) is at it again: turn the air conditioner on high and take out the fireproof oven mitts before opening the pages of this erotic Victorian romance. Jack Fitz-James, a dissolute young marquis renowned for his bedroom skills, meets Venus, an independent-minded Frenchwoman whose carnal appetites surpass even his own. Johnson fans know her plots are pretexts for one sexual encounter after another. (Every so often a historical ""fact"" is thrown into the brew, but it hardly makes a splash.) How long will it take Jack to give up his dedicated-to-pleasure life and admit he's fallen in love with the delectable Venus? Almost 300 pages, several dozen positions and variations of the same. Not satisfied with the now-standard dildo scene, Johnson adds a cognac bottle, too. Is this pornography? It depends on one's definition, but Johnson's romances are not for the demure. (To quote the amazing Jack: ""He didn't know it was possible to fuck oneself to death... but he was willing to try."") Here, as usual, readers get their money's worth from Johnson's erotic-escapade novels. (May)