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It Stings So Sweet

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  275 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon.The Twenties were roaring and the women—young, open, rebellious, and willing—set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met…

In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires.

Society girl, Nora Richardson
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Berkley
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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldSpeak Easy, Anne by Brandy D. AndersonBitter Spirits by Jenn BennettRomancing the Rumrunner by Michelle McLeanGrim Shadows by Jenn Bennett
1920s Romance
112 books — 39 voters
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Historical Erotica
223 books — 180 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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What looks to be separate stories about three women during the Roaring 20’s era slowly begins to intersect around the middle of the second one.

Nora Richardson, Clara Cartwright and Sophie O'Brien led different and completely separate lives. They couldn't be more different and their paths never would have crossed if not for certain men who altered their life courses. What they do share is an unusual perspective about sex and romance, at least it's considered to be "abnormal" in the Prohibition a
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
3.5 stars

Posted on Under the Covers

The book first caught my eye because of its amazing cover. Iconic and representative of the era in which Draven is exploring, the 1920s vibe definitely intrigued me enough to try the book out. Since there are so many aspects to this book, I’m going to break it down into categories for easier reading…

The Format:
What’s most interesting about this book is the way it is written. There are three stories, each with its own HEA. However, they intertwine and bleed into
Tina "IRead2Escape"
Holy Hot Heroes, this book is amazing! It Stings So Sweet by Stephanie Draven is actually made up of 3 different stories each one linked to the other in an odd way or another. Each story has its own unique tale to tell and its own erotic way of telling it. I was squirming in my seat the whole time I read it.

Love Me or Leave Me is the first story of the book. It tells the story of Nora Richardson and her husband Jonathan. Their tale has such a sad start, but works it out in the most erotic fashio
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read a lot of romance novels, but I haven’t read too many of the more explicit erotic type novels and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. Not all of the sexual situations were my cup of tea, but they all were hot. I found the book to be well written and I cared about the characters and wanted them to all have their happy endings. The book is divided into 3 parts & the middle story (which happens to be the longest) was my favorite. This hasn’t happened to me in a while ...more
Fangirl Musings

(Wanna WATCH this review, instead of reading it? Yes? Clicky McClick the link. No? Keep reading, you cool human, you.)

Dude. HOT!

Everybody and their dead fourth cousin knows two things; I lack a filter and am always thirsty for the bowchickawowwow in my romances. So, knowing that, know this; Stings So Sweet is at level 112 on the Sex Fun scale and is SO so SOOO not PG-13. If you don’t like intense smexy times getting eroti
Amanda (Hootie) Clark
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am not a really big fan of historical romance but when I got the request for this book I couldn't turn it down. I have always been fascinated by this particular time period after watching black and white shows growing up and seeing how couples slept in separate beds and didn't even kiss in public. I was curious to see a different side of this era and Stephanie Draven didn't disappoint. There are three stories each unique to their own characters filled with lots of steamy scenes and surprisingl ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Three raunchy novellas. Very well written and the context is interesting and new. I prefered the second and longest novella but all of them presetn interesting character with a plot integrated i this périod.

Avis de Callixta

La romance historique a aussi ses auteures érotiques mais elles sont plus rares, surtout lorsqu’on sort des époques classiques. Cela rend le livre de Stephanie Draven d’autant plus intéressant puisqu’il se déroule entre 1928 et 1929 à Ho
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am giving it 4.5 stars. It would get 5 stars if it lasted longer.

It Stings So Sweet is far from “sweet”. It is sexy as all get out and I loved every second of every story.

It Stings So Sweet has 3 stories all in one. Each story blends with each other with familiar characters from each story.
The setting is supposed to be set in the roaring twenties and the three women we read about are far from “sweet”. They are sexy and they don’t play by the rules.

The first story is titled, Love Me or Leave Me
Romancing the Book
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: erotica, m-m, bdsm, f-f, m-f-m-f, m-m-f
Posted on Romancing the Books blog
Reviewed by Crystal
Review copy provided by Netgalley

This book was so exciting. This was the first time that I read a book like this. It was like reading an anthology, but not quite. The three stories each have something different and yet every one is connected in it’s own little way. You might know from the beginning or it might take you til the end to figure it out.

There are six main characters. In the first story, we have Nora and her husband Jonathan. He find
Josh Giovelli
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well, where do I begin?

I'm not normally very good at writing reviews as I always tend to take a scholarly approach to them, so I'll just give this a blow for blow. I'm familiar with Stephanie Draven's work, and I have yet to find a book of hers that I don't adore! Her historical fiction is enthralling, and her romance is enticing. It Stings So Sweet is all of that... and she manages to capture an essence of sensuality that many writers seem to fail to grasp. Where others come across as clumsy an
Kate Quinn
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I got an early peek at this book because the author is a friend and I begged shamelessly for one of her early-author copies. Her alter-ego novels about Cleopatra's daughter Selene are great faves of mine, but I didn't know what to expect here because this was my first real dip into reading erotica. And with "It Stings So Sweet" I got the point of the genre: it's not just cover-to-cover bonking (or it shouldn't be). Yes, there is plenty of sex (and the sex here is both explicit and daring, so be ...more
Heather Book Savvy Babe
*This review was first published at Book Savvy Babes Blog*

3.5 of 5 Stars

The “Roaring” twenties. Such an intriguing time period, and one I don’t often have the opportunity to read about. When the opportunity to read and review “It Stings So Sweet” came up, I was very curious and excited to read about the romance in this new-to-me setting. The book blurb doesn’t really do this book justice. I was pleasantly surprised to find It Stings So Sweet much more erotic than I had anticipated, and the chara
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
4.5 Stars

Review originally posted at Hesperia Loves Books

Historical Romance and I, usually don’t get along very well. Even though I know it’s an accurate portrayal of history, I don’t like the world and the roles that women were forced to take. After reading the blurb for It Stings So Sweet, I was very intrigued and excited to read a historical set in the 1920’s. Ms. Draven does a fantastic job in bringing this era to life and accurately depicting the plight of women’s independence in the roarin
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
First, love the cover. Second, I think Draven has some writing chops. The intertwining of the three stories was well done, and exceedingly clever.

As for the stories.....One and three were okay. I wasn't disturbed by the material on Love me or Leave Me, as it was consensual.

HOWEVER: When I'm Bad I'm Better was masterful. Draven clearly did her research on Clara Bow, and probably read the fantastic biography of Bow, IT. And in creating the homage character of Clara Cartwright, she did something v
Vivi Dumas
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Draven emerges you into a world of high emotions, erotic liberation, and characters you will never forget. It's Stings so Sweet unique journey of several lives intertwine with one another, while she highlights the magnetism and need drawing each couple together in each of the individual stories.

I love the balance between strength and vulnerability of her characters. The heroines learn to give themselves to their men, understanding their hunger to please them doesn't diminish the strength th
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"It Stings So Sweet" is a historical fiction erotica set during the Roaring 20s (was there really a hotter decade???). The book is broken up into three related stories of three women from very different places who all end up having amazing (and incredibly hot) love affairs. Oh my gosh, this book will definitely get your heart racing.

The book is really well written. There is a great storyline present, which was a bonus for me. A lot of times I feel like the focus in erotic novels is really on th
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I felt like reading this book was a bonus three stories in one. The first story of Mr & Mrs. Richardson seems to be cut a bit short and I really didn't think I was going to like the way the book was going and thought to myself I'm not going to like it keep reading it and enjoyed it. All the characters in the stories came full circle. The ending what can I say totally Loved it the story takes place back in the twenties when their were Flappers and women had little say and birth control was se ...more
Cecilia London
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly written. I probably should read more historicals than I do, simply because of my educational background. But this book blends some of my favorite topics: well-written erotica, romance, love, passion, and 20th Century history. I loved the first story and thought it couldn't get better...until the second...and the third...and now I honestly can't decide which one I liked best.

Sharp and hot as hell. A must read. Worth every penny you pay for it.
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I started this immediately following RWA and had to take a break after 2nd story because I think I went into a too-hot-to-think-clearly coma. I'm not kidding. Not only is it VERY well written, but it "Stings So Sweet." This is extremely erotic, and set in a time I've always been drawn to. Pair all that together and... Wow. Ladies, get your fans out.
Kaaren Spanski-dreffin
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh so bad, but oh so good!
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for Confessions From Romaholics

To see review at Confessions
Stephanie Draven has made me fall in love all over again with her writing, with this, her first novel release in the historical genre, It Stings So Sweet.

It Stings So Sweet is about three woman told in three tales as they explore their sexuality with willing partners and this book is smoking hot. The first story is Love Me and Leave Me. Love Me and Leave Me: the title tells it all. Jonathan and Nora were forced to marry after sh
The Romance Evangelist
This book was provided to me by the publisher for an honest review at

Stephanie Draven is a new author for me, but after reading It Stings So Sweet, I know I’ll be seeking out more books by her. She writes so beautifully and sets the scene so precisely that I was captivated by the opening pages before anything had actually happened. What did happen after those opening pages was told so well that I actually went back and read the whole book through again the next day
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: erotica
Reading a new author can often be a challenge as you try to understand their writing style as well as the story they are telling. This can mean you may not enjoy the book at first, but I had no such difficulty with my first read of this author, her style was so like my own. Some readers may find the fact that this book is actually three novellas off-putting as just as you get caught up with one set of characters, their story ends and the next begins, but all save one of the main characters do ha ...more
Book Reading Gals
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historicak


Genre: 1920's Historical

They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon.

The Twenties were roaring and the women—young, open, rebellious, and willing—set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met… In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires.

Society girl, Nora Richardson's passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wa
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I was given the opportunity to read this book, I was very eager because I love stories with historical settings and I've really only read one other book from this period so I was more than curious. It was the Roaring Twenties and a decadent age following the first WWI when people and ideas were rather free- free in several meanings of the word.

The book is broken into three interconnected novella length stories that all have their start from a party given in Hollywood for one of its silent
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review also posted on Book Lovin' Mamas

I first noticed this book on Amazon one day underneath my recommendations and decided to place it on my Wish List. I have always loved the 1920s and the description of this book, as well as the cover, had me already ready to buy it when it released. I was contacted by Stephanie's assistant inJanuary to read the book early and review it. I definitely could not pass it up since the book was on the top of my Wish List so I did not miss out on buying it.

It Stings So Sweet contains three short stories that centers around loosely connected characters. What interested me the most about this book is the fact that it takes place during the 1920s. The roaring 20s is known as a time of frivolity, economic prosperity and cultural change. I don't think I've ever read a romance novel set during this time.

Love Me or Leave Me is about Nora Richardson, a society girl who married a man beneath her station. After suffering a miscarriage, her husband has not t
Erzabet Bishop

Story Rating: (paddles) 5/5
Sting Factor: (kink) 4.5/5
If you are looking for a book that is going to take you right out of your comfort zone, then It Stings So Sweet is the book for you.
This book is a period piece set in the roaring 20’s and is divided into three parts. Each story stems from a party and how some of the guests interact. I have read a whole lot of books on BDSM, and after awhile, some of them begin to have the same feel. Whip me, beat me and make me scream. This one was rea
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Nora Richardson’s husband is going to leave her.
After a wicked night of pleasure a year ago, an unexpected pregnancy sealed the deal for Nora and Jonathan. Jonathan, a paid driver for Nora’s wealthy father, marries Nora and quickly moves up within Nora’s father’s business. Tragically, Nora miscarries the child, and ever since that time, much to her dismay, Nora’s husband has not laid a hand on her. Desperate for attention and affection, Nora finds herself in the arms of her former lover, Robert
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
It Stings So Sweet by Stephanie Draven is an anthology involving three steamy stories that is the perfect gift to spice up any Valentine’s Day.

Love Me or Leave Me

Nora and Jonathan are married but not for long. Nora cheated on Jonathan with another guy. Jonathan is ready to leave Nora. Nora has just tonight to try and convince Jonathan to stay. It would seem that Jonathan has other plans in mind for Nora. One that will have her knees trembling with passion.

I thought that Jonathan was right in t
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