I just finished this book and found it magnificent. It really exceeded my expectations with its stories encompassing tremendous variety, thoughtfulnes...moreI just finished this book and found it magnificent. It really exceeded my expectations with its stories encompassing tremendous variety, thoughtfulness, honesty, and complexity. My personal favorites included Gwen Masters's beautifully hot "Confession" and Shanna Germain's incredible "The Sun Is an Ordinary Star" as well as Donna George Storey's "Yes." All of the stories, whether they personally did it for me or not, impressed me with their not at all superficial (or superficially stereotypical) account of and insight into the Dom/sub relationship; in this way, besides being hot and erotic, I found it also simply interesting to read! In her introduction editor Rachel Kramer Bussel states that she aimed with He's on Top to go "into a place where the interaction between top and bottom could be treated with all the reverence and complexity it deserved." I can hardly imagine how she could have more exquisitely done so. (less)
The overall magnificence of Amorous Woman is so seamless that it feels almost hard to step back to distinguish and articulate the incredible aspects o...moreThe overall magnificence of Amorous Woman is so seamless that it feels almost hard to step back to distinguish and articulate the incredible aspects of it as a creative work. But the simple beauty of the writing, the strikingness of the imagery and opportunity to experience another culture so extraordinarily intimately, and the incredible expression and examination of the characters through their virtually flawless presentation are all abundant characteristics of this novel -- together, they form a work of art truly greater than the sum of its parts. Amorous Woman's erotic emphasis is remarkable in its dual effectiveness of being both erotically scintillating and deeply explorative and illuminative of the story's characters. And these characters are positively entrancing, displayed in a stunningly mesmerizing story with beautiful, exquisite prose. It was a reading experience that left me reeling, and I could not recommend it more highly. (less)
The debut novel from acclaimed erotica author Jeremy Edwards is a pristine addition to his considerable and well-loved repertoire of erotic fiction. P...moreThe debut novel from acclaimed erotica author Jeremy Edwards is a pristine addition to his considerable and well-loved repertoire of erotic fiction. Packed with libido, humor, and lovable, memorable characters, Rock My Socks Off is a sparkling narrative that cheerfully displays the respect, intimacy, and pleasure its characters glean from their enthusiastic embrace of joviality, love—and a considerable sex drive.
I experienced numerous laugh-out-loud moments as well as delighted giggles and smiles of amusement as I made my way through RMSO. And from page one, I was as in love with this novel's characters as they are with each other, as well as riveted by the lively adventures in which they, in various configurations, consistently find themselves.
Brilliantly delightful and unwaveringly uplifting, Rock My Socks Off offers nonstop entertainment and dazzling prose in a tale of sexual openness, enthusiasm, and love. I recommend it without reservation. (less)
I feel unsure how to do justice here to how impressed I was by The Things That Make Me Give In. That said, I would certainly like to do my best.
This s...moreI feel unsure how to do justice here to how impressed I was by The Things That Make Me Give In. That said, I would certainly like to do my best.
This short story collection by Charlotte Stein seems to me the epitome of beautiful, literary writing that happens to encompass sex and sexuality (making it simply reflective of life/reality—not that all literary writing has to have sex in it, but an ardent attempt to avoid such subject matter because of externally postulated standards about "literary" writing to me seems less realistic and respectful of authentic artistic endeavor). There is really a story in each of these stories, a journey with a character or characters that leaves someone changed or shows a connection or demonstrates an internal exploration brought out or at least demonstrated by the sexual endeavor, connection, or behavior of a character or characters. It is simply a breathtaking work.
There were some stories I loved especially for the heat/arousal factor, that turned me on the most, and there were some I loved for the connection or beauty of relationship or character(s). In the former category my favorites included "Because I Made You So," "Her Father Disapproves," "Sometime Soon," and "Different on the Inside." In the latter category they included "For You" (which I found so moving that after reading it I felt compelled to put the book down for a while to let the story soak in), "Dirty Disgusting You," and "All Ways."
There was, of course, overlap between these two elements (indeed, in most of the stories I experienced both of them; the list above simply encompasses those I found to be my particular favorites), and the story that was possibly my overall favorite in the collection was the one in which for me, both of these modes of appeal were at their climax: the utterly sexually arousing as well as intensely moving "Just Be Good."
Shortly into reading The Things That Make Me Give In, I found myself thinking upon finishing a story, "That one was one of my favorites," only to find that I loved the next story as much or even more. I truly, highly recommend this book, and I commend the author on a beautifully executed erotic work of art. (less)
I found working my way through Fast Girls a delectable experience for more reasons than one. Sure, I had my personal favorite stories. It is not unusu...moreI found working my way through Fast Girls a delectable experience for more reasons than one. Sure, I had my personal favorite stories. It is not unusual for a story by Donna George Storey to be one of my favorites in any given anthology, and "Waxing Eloquent," with its nuanced subtlety intertwined with an almost surreal-seeming fantasy—pulled off, to me, with unquestionable aplomb—was no exception. I found "Winter, Summer," by Tristan Taormino truly mesmerizing. Since I have historically felt no sexual interest in women, a story with F/F sex in it that I find the slightest bit hot (certainly I can and have appreciated such stories in a literary sense, just not usually felt turned on by them) is one I find extraordinarily impressive--and "Winter, Summer" was one. I laughed out loud several times as I read "Married Life," experiencing it as shining with what I've found to be author Charlotte Stein's trademark charm and subtle humor. "Playing the Market," "Flash!," "Communal," and "Princess" all had me panting.
But it wasn't just the heat of the stories, which I did experience consistently, that I appreciated about this book. It seems to me that regardless of how one personally experiences each story in this anthology, the genuine encompassing of heart, body, and mind is evident in all of them. This is erotica exemplary of what it has the potential to be: conveying sex as transcendence, sex as understanding, sex as connection, sex as art. Even if a story doesn't happen to reflect one's particular erotic sensibilities, arousal is just one of the ingredients these works have to offer. Some of the stories that didn't so much press my erotic buttons, if you will, stayed with me in other ways, impressing upon me something else or something bigger the way writing has the potential to do. If I didn't find it arousing, I still found it extraordinary.
I highly recommend Fast Girls as an anthology that showcases the quality and creativity that may currently be found in erotica. (less)
This tightly themed short story collection captivated me immediately. The basic premise of the book is one of the sexiest things I can imagine: a woma...moreThis tightly themed short story collection captivated me immediately. The basic premise of the book is one of the sexiest things I can imagine: a woman who likes to hang out at the bar of a posh hotel and pick up men gets hired to work at the hotel's reception desk, offering the opportunity to continue her extracurricular exploits after hours! This setup, introduced in the first story, could hardly have been more appealing to me. I was hooked—and the rest of the book certainly lived up to its promise.
The aforementioned hotel receptionist, Sophie, is the main narrator throughout the collection. I much enjoyed the aspect of having a common narrator throughout the book, which, though each story is self-contained, I experienced as giving it a novel-like feeling. As a reader, I liked the familiarity this continuity prompted me to develop in relation to Sophie, many of the other characters, and even the setting (the posh hotel) throughout the work.
In addition to this book's considerable entertainment capacity, I found not only the sex but also the tension and context surrounding it (or even, in some cases, surrounding the lack thereof) intriguing, compelling, and unquestionably hot. Overall I found On Demand a bundle of fun packed full of entertaining sexiness, and I highly recommend it as a deeply engaging, personable, entertaining, and very hot read. (less)
For those drawn to the popular and expansive world of office fantasy, Open for Business is tailored just for you! The irresistible combination of conv...moreFor those drawn to the popular and expansive world of office fantasy, Open for Business is tailored just for you! The irresistible combination of conventional professionalism and raw lust fills page after page, but rest assured, there's plenty of variety. I had numerous favorites in this anthology, a few of them being N.T. Morley's fabulous "Memorandum" with its clever mix of humor and BDSM-themed naughtiness, the sexy encounter that builds with terrific tension to relieve office boredom in Saskia Walker's "TGIF," and Jeremy Edwards's endearing tale of lustful craving in "One Cubicle Over." The incredible imagery from Tulsa Brown's gorgeous "On the 37th Floor" stayed with me for days. And "Lonely at the Top" by Savannah Stephens Smith is a hot, striking, poignant piece that, as far as I'm concerned, is simply not to be missed. Kudos to Ms. Tyler for putting together a fantastic anthology of office-themed sexual escapades that cut straight through the professional veneer to the (often forbidden) primal core. If you're a fan of sex-at-work fantasies or just hot erotica, I highly recommend picking it up—and taking the day off! (less)
In turns intimate, entertaining, poignant, and passionate—sometimes within the same story—this collection offers a plethora of engaging, stimulating e...moreIn turns intimate, entertaining, poignant, and passionate—sometimes within the same story—this collection offers a plethora of engaging, stimulating erotic fiction centered around a Christmas theme. The characters in these stories relate to the holiday season from a variety of perspectives—anticipation, obligation, antagonism, excitement—but regardless of how they start off viewing it, the sizzling sexual encounters that await them transform their experiences of the holiday, their relationships, or even themselves. From season-changing encounters with strangers ("Rapt" by Saskia Walker, "Last-Minute Shopping" by Rachel Kramer Bussel, "Holly" by JT Langdon) to unanticipated twists between acquaintances or friends ("O Naughty Night" by Simone Harlow, "Christmas Past" by Alison Tyler) to Christmas surprises within established romantic relationships ("The Naughtiest Christmas" by Xavier Acton), I was repeatedly impressed by the creativity and originality the stories in this anthology encompass.
While the specific stories I've referenced above happen to be some of my favorites in this anthology, they are only a few examples of the many provocative, compelling, and heartfelt tales found within it. With a variety of sexual orientations, interactions (several of the stories involve varying degrees of BDSM), and configurations reminiscent of an overall celebration of sex in its numerous forms, The Merry XXXmas Book of Erotica is an enchanting collection of Christmas-themed, and invariably hot, sexual escapades. I highly recommend doing what I plan to and making its perusal an annual holiday tradition. (less)