us-merchant-marines

Book Review: Triple Princes by Cassandra Dee

Oh boy.

Here I go again.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I review erotica books on four criteria; spelling and grammar, character relatability, plot believability, and how hot the actual sexual act is.

The only one I gave this book a passing grade on was the first. The author’s spelling, grammar and punctuation are good to excellent.

The characters were frankly unbelievable. The female protagonist is supposedly a sheltered, aristocratic 18-year-old but acts much older and more sexually experienced. For example, she is out the back of a seedy club with two of the male leads getting double penetrated within the first 40 pages of the book. The three male leads were somewhat more believable personality-wise, but the incessant talking about their 15-inch dongs (yes, really) just made me want to tell them all to get their minds out of their pants. Literally.

Now, the author does say right there in the book summary that the storyline is fantastical and unbelievable, so I can’t be too harsh on that subject. However, I do think that she needed to do at least SOME research and TRY to be consistent.

Andorra is an actual real country, whereas the others she made up aren’t – and St. Venetia was referred to as St. Vincenzia a couple of times. Calling the citizens of that imaginary country Venetians only confuses them with citizens of Venice. And one more thing? The US does not have a Crown. Saying that two former US Navy merchant marine sailors were in the service of the Crown makes no sense whatsoever.

That dealt with, let’s move onto the actual erotica. And I just… can’t. I didn’t find ANY of it sexy. Repeatedly telling us about the three “15-inch donkey dongs” the heroine has to deal with was more alarming than hot. There is no way that anyone – not even a porn star or sex worker with a trained non-gagging reflex – is taking one of those all the way down her throat. Know why? Because she wouldn’t be able to breathe. She’d have blacked out long before the act was finished. Don’t try this at home, folks.

And ESPECIALLY don’t try the unlubricated anal sex. I winced the first time I realized what was going to happen, and every other time throughout the book. DO NOT DO THIS EVER. It’s hideously unsafe and likely to end with a trip to the emergency room and stitches in places where you really don’t want them.

Even if you aren’t dealing with “15-inch donkey dongs”.

I was originally going to give the book two stars, because the spelling and grammar were good and we were warned off the bat that the storyline was fantastical.

However, there’s one more seriously massive problem in this book. The heroine is trying to do good in volunteering with a microfinancing agency supporting the ethnic Roma (sic) people. And in the first half of the book, the Rroma are discussed in a respectful manner.

Then, things seem to change and they are repeatedly called ‘gypsies’.

‘Gypsy’ is an ethnic slur for people of Rroma heritage, Ms. Dee. The usage of it is considered as racist as using the ‘N’ word for Black people. Any reasonably socially aware person finding this term in your work is going to consider you to be AT BEST racially insensitive. I strongly suggest that you educate yourself on the matter at your earliest opportunity and remove all instances of it from your works. Or hire a competent editor who would pick up on such matters. One or the other.

For this disastrous cultural error, I cannot give the book more than one star. I couldn’t even if the rest of the work was excellent. You need to fix this and you need to do it now before someone calls you out for racism, because ignorance is no defense.

Lest we forget the black victims of Nazi racism:

Following World War I and the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the victorious Allies occupied the Rhineland in western Germany. The use of French colonial troops, some of whom were black, in these occupation forces exacerbated anti-black racism in Germany. Racist propaganda against black soldiers depicted them as rapists of German women and carriers of venereal and other diseases. The children of black soldiers and German women were called “Rhineland Bastards.” The Nazis, at the time a small political movement, viewed them as a threat to the purity of the Germanic race. In Mein Kampf (My Struggle), Hitler charged that “the Jews had brought the Negroes into the Rhineland with the clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily-resulting bastardization.”

African German mulatto children were marginalized in German society, isolated socially and economically, and not allowed to attend university. Racial discrimination prohibited them from seeking most jobs, including service in the military. With the Nazi rise to power they became a target of racial and population policy. By 1937, the Gestapo (German secret state police) had secretly rounded up and forcibly sterilized many of them. Some were subjected to medical experiments; others mysteriously “disappeared.”

The racist nature of Adolf Hitler’s regime was disguised briefly during the Olympic Games in Berlin in August 1936, when Hitler allowed 18 African American athletes to compete for the US team. However, permission to compete was granted by the International Olympic Committee and not by the host country.

Adult African Germans were also victims. Both before and after World War I, many Africans came to Germany as students, artisans, entertainers, former soldiers, or low-level colonial officials, such as tax collectors, who had worked for the imperial colonial government. Hilarius (Lari) Gilges, a dancer by profession, was murdered by the SS in 1933, probably because he was black. Gilges’ German wife later received restitution from a postwar German government for his murder by the Nazis.

Some African Americans, caught in German-occupied Europe during World War II, also became victims of the Nazi regime. Many, like female jazz artist Valaida Snow, were imprisoned in Axis internment camps for alien nationals. The artist Josef Nassy, living in Belgium, was arrested as an enemy alien and held for seven months in the Beverloo transit camp in German-occupied Belgium. He was later transferred to Germany, where he spent the rest of the war in the Laufen internment camp and its subcamp, Tittmoning, both in Upper Bavaria.

European and American blacks were also interned in the Nazi concentration camp system. Lionel Romney, a sailor in the US Merchant Marine, was imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp. Jean Marcel Nicolas, a Haitian national, was incarcerated in the Buchenwald and Dora-Mittelbau concentration camps in Germany. Jean Voste, an African Belgian, was incarcerated in the Dachau concentration camp. Bayume Mohamed Hussein from Tanganyika (today Tanzania) died in the Sachsenhausen camp, near Berlin.

Black prisoners of war faced illegal incarceration and mistreatment at the hands of the Nazis, who did not uphold the regulations imposed by the Geneva Convention (international agreement on the conduct of war and the treatment of wounded and captured soldiers). Lieutenant Darwin Nichols, an African American pilot, was incarcerated in a Gestapo prison in Butzbach. Black soldiers of the American, French, and British armies were worked to death on construction projects or died as a result of mistreatment in concentration or prisoner-of-war camps. Others were never even incarcerated, but were instead immediately killed by the SS or Gestapo.

Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant (sitting at table wearing a top hat) posing with officers on the deck of an unidentified ship, c. 1860’s. By the Littleton View Company. Animated stereoview.

submitted by Christian A R Tucker

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Credentials must be produced upon request in my industry. This bag, with custom paracord strap I made, has served me well for 12+ years. It carries all my essential gear and credentials while I transfer from tug to barge twice daily. Custom paracord lanyards on flashlight and mirror were handmade on tugboat craft day because boredom happens at sea. Additional small murse (man purse) fits inside mariner bag to conceal my metrosexualness. Stem the tide, brethren!

Lost Jack Kerouac Novel Found & Published

The 158-page novel The Sea is my Brother, a tale of two young men serving on a voyage from Boston to Greenland, was written by the beat poet Kerouac during his eight days on active service in the US merchant marines on board the SS Dorchester in 1942. The novel has been published by Da Capo Press and was described by Penguin as, “a unique insight into the young Kerouac and the formation of his genius.”