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Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast (Light Novel)

A Full Review


(WARNING: book is rated 17+; NSFW 🔞 review; review is intended for a mature audience.)


Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast light novel book posed with sword letter openers

Spanning 248 pages, Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast is a steamy romance light novel about how an "unremarkable girl with little confidence" and a "soldier with a tough past and no sense of self" meet, change, and fall in love. Written by Sumire Saiga and illustrated by Saya Shirosaki, Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast is the first light novel in Seven Seas' Steamship imprint. Steamship is the premiere imprint for smut romance targeted at women. The imprint made its debut in June 2022 with Outbride: Beauty and the Beasts, and I am a fan of the imprint. I have reviewed many steamship titles, including Outbride, and Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast is just another homerun for the catalog. But hey, I'm getting ahead of myself.


Seven Seas describes the story:

Noblewoman Giselle’s world is turned upside down when she’s summoned to serve as the king’s prized concubine. Her heart already belongs to her manservant, Wallace, a soldier who worships the ground she walks on. Just as Giselle accepts that their blissful days are numbered, Wallace steals into her room in the palace with a desperate, hungry gaze. Spending the night with him is tantamount to treason…but their love is not one so easily denied.

Yeah, as far as descriptions go, this is just the tip of the iceberg. A lot happens in the story. Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast is a lot of things, but at its core the story reads like a classic historical romance novel set in the antebellum south or shortly thereafter. Oh yeah, we're going there. Historical romance with social gap themes set in or around slave times, even as a backdrop much like this book, isn't my favorite cup of romance tea. (I was sad to quickly discover that Wallace isn't a swashbuckling pirate or merely a soldier, lol.) However, the steam, European-esque setting, and fantasy elements helped a ton. In fact, the smut, writing, and smooth translation (shout out to the translator M. Jean) are the standouts of this otherwise tame tale. Look, I'm just gonna come out and say it with a graphic--BookTok style.



Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast "Booktok" graphic. Tropes and other book descriptors encircle the cover. 4 big and curved arrows point to it at each corner. The background is deep purple. The arrows are a light mauve/lilac color. The text is white. All complements the cover which shows Giselle embracing Wallace on a bed. It's a tastefully suggestive cover.
Nailed it.

I don't know if that will help or hurt, but hey, at least you know what you're getting into. Anyway, the book has a prologue, 6 long chapters, an epilogue, and an author's note. Each chapter has at least one illustration, and the illustrations are nice, really nice. The entire story is told in this single volume, and the story ends on a good note. No sequel necessary. Writing- wise, the steam doesn't kick in until around page 60, but it's worth the wait. The story is told in third person point-of-view centering Giselle's thoughts, feelings, and actions with a few paragraphs or pages in each chapter devoted to Wallace's goings-on. I highlighted quotes and passages while reading.


Here are some of my favorites:

"My body is yours. My life is yours. If you die, I will die too. There is no replacement for you." The sincerity in his gaze pierced her heart. (p. 51)

"I beg of you, my lady-- allow me to worship you." (p. 61)

"My, Lady Giselle..." He bowed his head in satisfaction over her panting, disheveled form. "Thank you for allowing me to worship you." (p. 65)

"Then... defile me," she said. "That way, the king's touch won't make me feel unclean. I want you to ravage me as much as possible. It has to be you." (p. 97)

Alright, now the elephant in the room. The age gap. Yes, Giselle is 16-18 in the book, and Wallace is about 25-27. Deal with it. Or not. Up to you. Per the parental warning label and rating on the back of the book, Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast is intended for people aged 17, and up, and in my esteemed opinion, this is an excellent "baby's first" smut book. The sex is not extreme or intense. It's simply vanilla. The rest of the plot is tame too. Besides the age gap, the only other big hang-up in this book would be Wallace's lowborn status and treatment.


Walace is a former slave from the fictional country Holathan. At the book's start, he is free, and he joins the army in Giselle's home country Rowady. Throughout the book, Wallace spends time unlearning his slave habits and mannerisms to come into his own personality. There's some mention of Wallace's past ill treatment. Lastly, Giselle gets in trouble a few times (including almost being sexually assaulted), but Wallace saves the day.


Conclusion

If you're looking for a European-esque fantasy romance light novel featuring a self-insert female lead and a lovestruck male lead, then read Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast. If you're craving for a steamy romance light novel, read this book. Lastly, if you're a fan of historical romance a la Harlequin Romance books, then I urge you to read this book too. You'll probably have a good time, especially if you're a young lady and/or a budding smut romance reader around late high school to college age (i.e. 17-23, give or take). If you're older, you'll probably have a decent time. I certainly did. (Don't mind the age and social gaps.)


As a romance novel, the book isn't anything to write home about. However, as the first light novel in Seven Seas' smut imprint Steamship, Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast is a good choice. It's an interesting choice. Much like the first manga series for the Steamship brand Outbride: Beauty and the Beasts, Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast is not a safe choice or a crowd pleaser. This title will either be for you or not, and I'm sure you know who you are and where you stand already.


In closing, Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast just whets my appetite for more, hopefully smuttier and even better, light novels, and I can't wait to see what Seven Seas will release next. I wish other publishers will take a few risks in the name of shoujo and josei smut manga and light novels. Finally, if you're interested in reading (or re-reading) Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast, you may want to hold off just for a little while longer because Seven Seas is releasing an audiobook version soon! Per its site, Seven Seas will release the audiobook version on July 4, 2024, and the audiobook will be available on a variety of digital platforms such as Spotify, Overdrive, Audible, and Bookwalker. Stella Dorro will narrate it. Full information here. As an avid smut audiobook connoisseur, I cannot wait to hear it!


So, that's it. What do you think? Let me know below or on X/Twitter!


Loyal Soldier, Lustful Beast was released digitally and in paperback on December 26, 2023. Check it out via Seven Seas' website here.


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