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Stilettos and Steel

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  109 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Stilettos and Steel by Jeri Estes is based on a true story.

San Francisco, 1969. The counter culture revolution front lines have overrun the city. Golden Gate Park littered with nude, flower crowned hippies burning draft cards in a psychedelic haze. North Beach rocks with the San Francisco sound of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix while Otis Redding bemoans Sitting on the Dock
Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 3rd 2010 by Wordsmith Productions, Incorporated
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Community Reviews

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Denise DeSio
Mar 23, 2012 Denise DeSio rated it it was amazing
Jeri Estes has made it no secret that Jesse, the protagonist, in her novel, Stilettos and Steel, is closely modeled after her own life. So let's hope that all of Estes' former Catholic school teachers are dead or demented, lest they run across her book. Not that a Catholic school girl turned lesbian runaway is a shock anymore, even to a nun, but a lesbian runaway turned butch whore gangster professional pimp would surely make Sister Marie Ella Phant blanch and lock herself in the confessional bo ...more
Jan 26, 2011 Bobby rated it it was amazing
Fabulous read. On the edge of my seat the whole book. Arresting characters. Real emotions.
Ms Estes penned her characters with the boldness of a Samurai solider, slashing through political correctness, wielding a sword of honesty. Lisbeth finally has company in contemporary literature with a protagonist whom you've never seen before. I was a research librarian during the sixties with a propensity towards adopting hippies. Considering myself an intellect, who was very broad based, I thought I had
Mar 01, 2012 Ronel rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arnold Snyder
Oct 28, 2010 Arnold Snyder rated it it was amazing
"Stilettos and Steel" is a look at the sixties like you've never seen them-a world of renegade lesbian
teenagers who turn to prostitution, drugs and turf wars for protection, in a society where they were
considered outlaws. Forget peace and love-this is life on the edge. Jessica was a Valley girl with a
future of proms and football games, when she fell in love with her best friend. Predictably, a familial crisis
ensured. Unable to continue her"normal" teenage life, Jess ran to San Francisco's rough
Dec 26, 2010 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Being a reader, I am always looking for a book I can relate to. With the broad variety of characters, in the novel Stilettos and Steel, Jeri Estes makes it very easy to connect. I always hear the same old reviews about different books, “I couldn’t put it down”. For this book, it’s not that I COULDN’T put it down it’s that I DIDN’T WANT to put it down. As you read line for line you meet all types of gays, straights, druggies, alcoholics, hippies, gangsters and pimps of all races. Each character g ...more
Norma Kotva
I am a 43 year old married woman and when I first heard about this book I purchased it out of mere curiosity of the story line, and it has been a captivating book, I have been able to get to know each character every step of the way I feel that I am a part of this story. My husband and I have used this book as a way to spend time together and we both have enjoyed every page. It is filled with love, drama and an in depth look at the TL. I would recommend this amazing book to absolutely anyone who ...more
Dec 10, 2011 Monica rated it it was amazing
"Pimping was the ultimate power play. My most powerful tools of persuasion however, were charm and sex."~Jesse This is the kind of book that draws you in, especially because while reading this, for me anyways, makes me feel like I'm there with the characters. Everything was described in such detail it brought my imagination to life in fantasizing about each events that took place. To me, that's an amazing author. I absolutely enjoy this book and wanted more...referring to finishing the book, I w ...more
Karen Martinez
Feb 04, 2012 Karen Martinez rated it it was amazing
"Come on in," I said to the tits n' pearl girl. Bunny looked up at me sweetly and I instantly felt that strange masculine power well up inside me. The alluring femme sauntered into the room. Her tight ass under the pink capris made me want to bend her over the side of the sofa and fuck her from behind.
This thought startled me, because I hadn't made love with anyone since Carmen. Sex was just a job for me. To desire this pretty young woman caught me off-gaurd....

Very well written Estes!
Feb 12, 2014 Probles45 rated it it was amazing
From the onset Stilettos and Steel had me engulfed. While the book is of the "noir" variety, it is so much more than that! From the intricate character development to the skillfully paradoxical all-encompassing yet precise plot, Stilettos and Steel has a way of reeling the reader in. From an English major who specializes and now teaches the classics, this book is amazing. Jeri has a unique quality of giving life to all of her characters, protaganist (anti-hero) and antagonists alike.

This novel i
Gabriella Gabriel
Mar 03, 2012 Gabriella Gabriel rated it it was amazing
This book was great! The dialogue, the characters, the visual description, all honest and totally riveting. Once you start reading, you won't want to stop! Can't wait for the movie!!!
Aug 28, 2013 Coleen rated it it was amazing
Well I am quite pleased to finally have the privilege of posting a review for the riveting book..."Stilettos and Steel"....What a delight for the daring....I couldn't put the book down, anticipating Jesse or Bunny's next move....I even put my daily soaps on hold....knowing that I'd get a real thrill.....a real saga that would quench my thirst...a close to true story to boot. Basically, this is novel based on a true to life story of Jeri Estes in the 60's in the Tenderloin of San Francisco. I rec ...more
Jun 16, 2013 Barbara rated it it was amazing
The best shadow comes to light book about lesbians, transgender, prostitutes/pimps and the public they swerve through I've ever read. Mostly a true life historic hurdling at a dizzying rate about the area in San Francisco know as "TL" or the Tenderloin in the 60's. The main person "Jesse" is a baby butch, who started out in the TL as a young prostitute and becomes a pimp. She is person with the stamina to survive street walking. She had to sublimate her native boyish traits to appeal to the tric ...more
Nov 07, 2013 Yvensong rated it really liked it
Recommended to Yvensong by: Darlene
Generally, I would not have picked up this book to read. It's not my normal taste in reading, but a friend of mine encouraged me to give it a try. I am so glad I did!

The author states that this is based on a true story, which I'm sure has a lot to do with the well-detailed descriptions and well-developed characters. Yet, more than that, the author has written an engaging story with compelling situations, interesting dialogue, and of historical importance.

This could easily have been written as a
Jan 26, 2012 Sierra rated it it was amazing
When I first sat down to read Stilettos and Steel, I never thought that I would fall so completely in love with its characters. I have truly never read an autobiography quite like this. It combines two of my favorite stiles of horror and mystery an extra added a splash of sexuality that makes this novel outstandingly original. Needless to say I was hooked from the first chapter and as the story continued it seemed I could not flip the pages fast enough. The story takes place in the 1960's in San ...more
Jun 16, 2010 Bookwarrior rated it it was amazing
As a college student it's hard to find a book that's a real rush. With so many lectures, parties, let alone Greek Mythology I've read it all! That's why I call myself h book-warrior! The only thing I like more than a good book is a cute girl. I saw a cute girl reading STILETTOS AND STEEL. I asked her if that was her on the cover, she blushed and I started reading the book.

Now the book is unbelievable. Waves of interesting characters guided me to a whole new world. Imagine traveling to the 60's
Wendy Harrison
Jan 15, 2012 Wendy Harrison marked it as to-read
A must read for any opened minded lover of books.
if you read this book is a must.!
as i began to read i got chills up my spine,
as i grew up right where it began for ms estes.
the book kept me up till i finished.
i laughed, i cryed,felt for each person
that came along.
with an ache for wanting to know each person more.
it was gritty! the book has teeth and humor,
in a col world. the slapstick was great,the love
was with great feeling and passion.
it'sguts and heart left me wanting more.

didnt want it to
Nov 10, 2013 Alicia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Suspense, love, thrills, and humor- Stilettos and Steel have it all. From the first page of Jeri Estates novel, I was enthralled into the captivating and dark streets of the Tenderloin.
Fast paced and with a series of twists and turns, this book left me wanting more with each page turned. I could not possibly put it down.

I fell head first into the city of queens and pimps with so much fast talk, romance, money, and love- one of the most intriguing books I've read in such a long time.

This boo
Jun 16, 2011 Dorris rated it it was amazing
The story is absolutely fabulous! It takes you into a whole different world. Not only have I read Stilettos and Steel, I had the honor of assisting the author in the very beginning of writing her book, as a typist and cheerleader. Through the good times and bad, I watched Jeri push forward, writing her book. At times, I felt I was there in the Tenderloin, in San Francisco, while she was dictating the book and I typed. As you read the book, Jeri describes things in such vivid detail, like the fog ...more
Jeri A Estes
Nov 19, 2014 Jeri A Estes rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Bookshelf: Turning LGBT History into Literature
Turning our past into novels can be quite intriguing!
Stilettos and Steel by Jeri Estes : In a novel based on her true story, Jeri Estes takes us to the 1960s in San Francisco's red-light Tenderloin district, the original gay ghetto before the Castro. Estes's ingénue, Jesse, leaves her suburban town to make a name for herself, only to fall into prostitution in the gritty Tenderloin. With over-the-top charact
Jan 15, 2011 Aukai rated it it was amazing
WoW! I thoroughly enjoyed this Novel. I wasn't expecting to be drawn in to a story like this because i generally read fantasy and sci/fi but from the recommendation of a friend I decided to give it a chance. I'm glad i did. It drew me in immediately, within the first 10 pages, I was hooked.
This is a sexy, fast paced, well told gangster novel with a lot of "eye opening" details into the lives of the people of the Tender Loin in San Francisco circa 1960's. You may also find yourself routing for a
Crystal Anaya
Jun 30, 2012 Crystal Anaya rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading Stilettos and Steel and I was blown away by the insight and passion that flowed from it. It really spoke volumes to me as I was welcomed by hand into the Tenderloin. I read this book in a few hours, once I started I couldn't put it down!! It let me see life outside of my own sheltered world. I found it deliciously exciting and sexy ;you can't help but fall in love with the characters as you step into a world of gangsters and lesbians. This book is fast and has you stoppin ...more
Oct 13, 2010 Ken rated it it was amazing
A really great read!

I'm not going to offer any "spoilers" but suffice it to say it's a very different take on life, from a point of view most of us have not shared.

I always considered myself open minded, but I now have a new appreciation for people who would at first seem quite different from me. Once I immersed myself in their lifestyle, it was amazing how I was able to relate to the characters in their most basic drives, loves, hates, desires, and goals.

The excitement and tension builds in the
Mar 21, 2011 paula rated it it was amazing
i could not put this book down! never have i been more intrigued with gangsters, pimps and the life as i was with this book! i've read it twice and have passed it on to another to read! i recommend this book to anyone who loves sex, drugs and the night....amazing

jeri and her crew paved the way for women like me and so many others when she took this journey into the tenderloin during such a controversial time....thank you for your bravery and your story

....the ending made my cry so hard, i couldn
The Bookkeeper
Sep 26, 2011 The Bookkeeper rated it it was amazing
I just finished Stilettos and Steel. I'm a straight guy who cannot recall the last time I cried reading a love story. A kleenex box later, I found myself realizing how unworldly I really was. The characters pulled me into their world without my consent. This novel is filled with intrigue, violence, sex, and wisdom that breaks the mold in originality. I cannot compare this book to any other because there aren't any. The most amazing thing about Ms. Estes writing it's that it's slow and seductive ...more
Stacie Bass
Jan 02, 2012 Stacie Bass rated it it was amazing
I loved Stilettos and Steel because it actually has a plot! It is so original, not a typical gay storyline. How refreshing to read something other than a coming out story. Stilettos and Steel reveals a footnote in history never told before about a sub-culture of lesbian prostitutes and pimps who survive a notorious gay ghetto. Filled with action, romance, violence, and history that is so interesting because it's based on a true story. Estes creates erotic scenes that are so vivid, you swear you' ...more
Apr 09, 2013 Joscelyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbian, owned-books
Where do I begin? It was a brilliant read. I couldn't put it down! From page 1, I was drawn into the world of Jesse and the TL. The depth of details and plots was amazing. It surely keeps you on your toes. The characters were enticing and sassy. Everything about them oozed sex. They are definitely one of a kind. I loved the relationship between Carmen and Jesse, how nothing could separate them. One only dreams of having a love like theirs. I really loved "Jesse's Love Formula." Classic! I highly ...more
A Chandler
Oct 16, 2015 A Chandler rated it it was amazing
I have recently read a book by Jeri Estes which is based on her life story, or at least a part of it. The book is filled with fascinating characters from the lesbian underground of the Tenderloin in San Francisco in the late nineteen-sixties. It is filled with intrigue, danger, sex, laughter and love and is written with such style, grit and emotion that it’s impossible to put down.
The lead character, Jessica, is at first down and out having come to San Francisco from a small town where she felt
Ivory Cunanan
Jul 24, 2010 Ivory Cunanan rated it it was amazing
OH MY GOD I LOOOOVEEEEED THIS NOVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....I was completely hooked from start to finish and I couldn't put it down. I could totally relate to Carmen, because like her, I have my own soul mate..her Jessie :)....There was something so human, real and deeply moving about this novel that it made me laugh, cry, sit up straight in suspense and feel like I was right there with the characters...especially Carmen and Jessie. This was ammaaazzing and I would recommend this to everyone I know!!!!
Kathy Guillory
Jun 14, 2011 Kathy Guillory rated it it was amazing
Reading Stilettos and Steel, made me want to be a part of that life. Jeri writing made the street life, clear and concise, for those who could only ever read about it. I found myself reading late into the night. Living in the Bay Area for over 15 years, this read made me belive I was in San Francisco, as the events took place. I say, "Go Jeri" and please hurry and contine with book two. This book will make a must see movie, which I will tell everyone I know, to go and see it.
Nov 26, 2013 Megank rated it it was amazing
Wow!! I was blown away by this book! Such a fascinating story. Author Jeri Estes does such an amazing job of drawing you into these characters lives and keeps you there. With such attention to detail she really paints a picture of the 1960's Tenderloin District and gives you a real sense of what it was like. You feel as if you are walking side by side right there in the action with these powerful characters. This book has so much heart it definitely left me wanting to read more!
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What star do you see playing Jesse in Stilettos and Steel in the movie.? 5 22 Jan 31, 2014 02:44PM  
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