themuse-by-meghan-obrienThe Muse by Meghan O’Brien is a guest review by Lise MacTague – I keep trying to persuade her to give up her job and do reviews for me full time or at least when she isn’t writing her novels (because I do not want to lose those) but she says she needs the money that a job provides. So we will have to settle for occational reviews from her. Here is her review – Sheena

You may be tempted to ask yourself why, as a self-professed reader of nothing but sci-fi, I’m reviewing this book. Well, it just so happens that Meghan O’Brien is one of those authors who makes me jump up and down and squeee in undignified joy when I see she has a new book out. While Meghan writes some smokin’ hot erotica (and The Muse is no exception), she also writes stories with fantastical elements. Happily, The Muse falls into both categories.

At its heart, the story is a classic love triangle, rendered even more classical by the appearance of what can only be a Greek muse…or maybe a crazy woman. Writer of erotica, Kate McMannis, is struggling to meet her deadline when her very own erotic muse shows up at her front door. Despite her better judgment, Kate ends up working with the self-styled Erato who turns out to be the *perfect* muse for erotic fiction-writing, if you know what I mean.

But what happens when Olive Johnson, the baker with a shy exterior and a sex kitten interior offers the chance for something more than sex? Things become even more complicated when Erato makes clear that she disapproves of any distractions that will keep Kate from finishing her book on time.

The Characters

Kate McMannis is a successful author with serious doubts about her ability to hit her latest deadline. Like so many authors, she harbors doubts about her talents, especially when confronted with a vicious case of writer’s block. Also like many authors, she is stuck doing anything but writing when a sexy bundle of tall, dark, and magic knocks at her door.

Olive Johnson is a baker with a naughty streak. She is kind and generous, and more than a little shy. She hides a troubling event in her past, one that has made a definite impact on her life and put her where she is today. The event also keeps her from passing up what she wants, even when there’s an immovable object in her way. She might be quiet, but still waters run deep (and dirty) in this one.

Erato is either a psychotic con woman or an ancient Greek muse. She has a pathological obsession with the creative success of those who require her talents. She does whatever it takes to make sure they have what they need, and I’m certain you can guess what that entails for a writer of erotica.

The Writing Style

As with all Meghan’s books, the story moves along at a good clip, lingering deliciously over the best moments. And by that, I mean the sex is phenomenal. If you don’t like erotic content in your novels, you may as well turn back here, because you’re going to get it in spades! And in trowels. And by the steam shovel-ful.

This is not to say that she skimps on emotional content. One of the many things I enjoy so much about Meghan’s novels is that even though there’s often a very strong erotic component, there is no denying the emotional connections between characters. I’m enough of a mushball that I really appreciate the time to get to know the characters and their feelings. Straight erotica with no emotional content does very little for me, so her work is right up my alley.

The Pros

Entertaining characters, laugh-out-loud moments, plenty of hot sex, all wrapped up in a really fun story. What more could you ask for?

The Cons

I had to perform a little suspension of disbelief at the beginning. The idea that Kate would let someone, even a beautiful woman, into her apartment when she has serious doubts about her sanity stuck out a bit for me. That Erato is charming and gorgeous is obvious from the beginning, and this sticking point may say more about my own natural reticence than about the story. That being said, it certainly wasn’t enough to stop me from continuing with the story, and I’m very glad I did.

The Conclusion

You should read this book! Read it now! If you haven’t read any of Meghan’s previous works, this is a great place to start. The book is a quick read (at least for me, I devoured it in one sitting), it’s accessible, and most of all it’s fun. You’ll need a cold shower afterward, but it’s totally worth it. If you’ve read other works and think this one looks a little weird, don’t let that dissuade you. Meghan’s work gets better and better and this one won’t disappoint.

Excerpt from The Muse by Meghan O’Brien

“I am harmless,” Erato said smoothly, once again seeming to pick up on her thoughts with ease. “Promise.”

Kate tried to quiet her internal narrative, just in case. But Erato couldn’t read her mind—could she? Covering, she ate a couple of bites of pita and hummus while she searched for what to say next. “I just don’t understand where you came from.”

“Greece, originally.”

She fought the urge to roll her eyes. “Yes, I get it. Muse. Erato. From Greece.” Whoever this woman was, she was clearly stuck deep in her delusion. Kate took another bite of hummus anyway, because damn, it was delicious. “So why visit me?”

“Why not you?” Erato scooped some hummus onto a piece of pita and took a bite. Her moan of pleasure sent the most obscene fantasies racing through Kate’s mind, which she tried desperately to quiet on the off chance her visitor really could read her thoughts. Erato smiled broadly. “Listen, I’ll leave if you want me to. Just ask. I’ll walk out that door and never bother you again. But if you let me stay, I’ll do my best to…inspire you.”

Though this was absolutely insane, Kate was unable to eject Erato from her life. She seemed harmless enough, after all. And hot. Very hot. No risk in at least sharing a snack with her, right?

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781626392236
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Meghan O’Brien Online


About the author

Website | + posts

Lise MacTague writes in all areas of speculative fiction, from space operas to high fantasy to urban fantasy and everything in between. She writes for a lesbian audience and suggests that those who might be offended by such works of fiction might be better served in finding their reading materials elsewhere.

Her debut novel, Depths of Blue, was published by Bella Books in April 2015. The sequels, Heights of Green and A Vortex of Crimson, will be released afterward to round out the On Deception’s Edge trilogy.

Lise lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When she isn’t working as a librarian or writing, she may be found on the ice (playing hockey, definitely not figure-skating). She dabbles in painting and sculpting, and entertains her two cats on cold Wisconsin evenings.