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Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3

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Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 delivers the kind of sexy stories you want most: daring, bold, and surprising tales of women who pursue their boundless passions anywhere and everywhere. Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, winner of multiple Independent Publishing Book Awards, these scintillating scenarios turn the tables on how women are "supposed" to behave. Instead, these uninhibited vixens indulge in their favorite fetishes, do deliciously intimate "Body Shots," and get tied up with "Red Satin Ribbons." They pose nude, dress up, and roleplay, always obeying their most exhilarating impulses. These lusty ladies take your most cherished, private fantasies--from making a sex tape, to taking part in a thrilling threesome, to having a stud delivered to your door hot and ready--and make them come alive. Written by beloved authors Abigail Barnette, Annabel Joseph, and Charlotte Stein along with several genre newcomers, these are erotic encounters you'll want to savor again and again and again...

253 pages, Paperback

First published November 21, 2017

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About the author

Rachel Kramer Bussel

198 books1,127 followers
I'm the editor of the Best Women's Erotica of the Year series and over 70 anthologies including The Big Book of Orgasms and Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica. I've also written a wide range of erotica about everything from French fries to fishnets. I write about books, culture, sexuality and relationships, teach erotica writing workshops and consult with erotica authors and sex writers to help them advance their careers. I read a wide range of genres, from erotica to romance to mystery to memoir to graphic novels and anything that strikes my fancy. See my website for my newsletter with book giveaways and writing samples.

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5 stars
68 (38%)
4 stars
49 (27%)
3 stars
41 (23%)
2 stars
8 (4%)
1 star
10 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 51 reviews
Profile Image for Dar.
3,512 reviews64 followers
November 17, 2017
Each story takes about 10 minutes to read, and there is something there for everyone really. MF, FF, FFM, multi-partner, paranormal, young, old, multiple races, ages, sex, BDSM, vanilla, kinky, and not, really, a little bit of everything.

Most were good, some were awesome, and a couple I skimmed, but none I skipped. These were hot and spicy bites of stories that satisfied for the moment, and then you had another waiting for you!
Profile Image for Kevin. McKernan.
49 reviews134 followers
Want to read
January 14, 2018
Very good even from a male perspective. The stories on the whole were very well written and enjoyable lol
Profile Image for Oleander Plume.
Author 15 books58 followers
January 26, 2018

Another stellar anthology from Rachel Kramer Bussel!

When I see Rachel Kramer Bussel’s name on the cover of a book, I expect great things, and I was not disappointed with her latest offering.

This volume celebrates diversity in both character and content, but the most refreshing aspect for me was the way each female protagonist discovered something new about herself. Whether she found inner strength, a new appreciation for her body, or celebrated her desire without shame, reading about these characters’ emotional growth made me feel empowered.

This is exactly the type of erotica I would like to see more of: strong women unafraid to be themselves. No more shrinking submissives, billionaire worshippers, or ‘good girls’ who say yes but want to say no. Give me substantial chicks who know what they want and go after it, please.

Before I get to the stories I enjoyed most, I must admit that I’m picky about short-form erotic fiction. While I don’t expect the piece to start off with a ‘bang’, (pun intended), I don’t want a lot of backstory. In a novel, yes, but in a 9-pager? No. I would rather you drew me in with a good set-up that contains sexy details.

Speaking of sex, I adore writers who take care in describing physical sex acts. Who understand the human body and that limbs only bend in one direction. Who announce when people are getting naked because clothing does not magically dissolve. Who use snappy dialogue that tells me more about the character while moving the plot forward.

A few of the chapters failed the above parameters, but I refuse to mention which ones. Fiction is an art form, and art is subjective. What I love, you might abhor. Instead, I would like to highlight just a few (and I enjoyed a great majority of them) of the stories that stole my heart.

In order of appearance:

“The Birthday Gift” by Abigail Barnette
A perfect way to begin, this story knocked me out with its unique plot and likeable characters. Great flow, attention to detail, and just damn sexy!

“Watch Me Come Undone” by August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin did not waste a single word and captured more complex emotion in 8 pages than some writers do in 8 chapters. Simple. Elegant. Wow!

“A Stolen Story” by Leandra Vane
The first paragraph drew me in immediately, but it was the paranormal aspect that I loved most. A sexy ghost story? Yes!

“Guyliner and Garters” by B.B. Sanchez
Pure delight from start to finish. I love B.B.’s author voice and her effervescent characters. (I’m also a sucker for guyliner but that’s beside the point!)

“The Skin of Someone Else” by Charlotte Stein
Hands down, one of the best erotic shorts I’ve ever read, with an ending that brought tears to my eyes. Just beautiful!

“Infused Leather” by Dr. J.
A retired sex therapist, Dr. J. was the perfect person to conquer the subject of abuse and redemption, and she did it with great care and love. Uplifting. Joyous. Empowering!

I give Best Women’s Erotica of the Year Volume 3 a five-star rating and a very enthusiastic recommendation.
Profile Image for Rodin.
1,091 reviews
February 6, 2018
A brilliant collection of short stories.
A highlight package might include Body Shots
A Matter of Trust
The Skin of Someone Else
Whatever strikes your fancy is most probably in this Volume.
Great collection from great authors
Five stars
Profile Image for Jillyn.
732 reviews
February 14, 2018
I love Cleis Press anthologies. The main reason why is that they are so diverse, and this book is no exception. There are 21 short stories in this book, but other than being labeled erotic, they couldn't be more different. There are characters of color. There are characters in the LGBTQ category. There are women who are submissive, and women who dominate. There's monogamous couples and polyamorous ones. There are characters in their senior years and ones who are squeaky clean and new. There are ones with realistic body types and even disabilities. It's pretty all inclusive, character-wise.

That expands to kinks and fetishes too. There's a little something for everyone. BDSM play. Exhibition. Ropes. Professional dominants. Roleplay. Even a paranormal experience. I appreciate that they're not all the same bland "oh I have handcuffs" type of erotica, which I see a lot of.

As any anthology will be, it's a bit of a mixed bag. The stories I didn't care for so much, it was either because I didn't care for the writing style or that the kinks involved are not my own (and that's okay!).

Rather than give a mini-review for 21 stories, I'm just going to highlight my top three favorite stories.

The first story that made my list is "Bibliophile" by Dee Blake. It involves a woman with a passionate love for all things books and literature, a mysterious book author, and a shared book appreciation that goes far beyond your local Barnes and Noble employees. It's well written, and because I also have a bit of a book fetish, I really enjoyed the angle of the plot.

The second story is called "Overexposed" by Brandy Fox. This story includes a photographer back in her home state for work, a former lover in the unlikely guise of a street performer, and a luxury hotel. I felt that in the few pages of story, the author really managed to make these two characters connect and have feelings beyond a night at a hotel. It seems hard to do, so well done there.

The final story that rounds out my list is titled "Romance and Drag" by Lyla Sage. This short story is a bundle of queer/gender-bendy deliciousness and includes a drag king, a drag queen, and a lot of flaming hotness shared between them. My partner is gender fluid, and I am queer, and this just happened to hit all of the right buttons for me.

Of course there were other stories I liked too, and some honorable mentions include: "Demon Purse" by Sommer Marsden (paranormal cosplay), "A Love Affair All My Own" by RJ Richardson (ballet, f/f), and "Tanked" by Lynn Townsend (private aquarium).

If you love erotica in all shapes and colors, this is something that'll heat up your winter night. The stories are quick and can be read in any order since they're independent from one another.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Gea.
666 reviews
November 22, 2017
I’m lost for words, can’t think of any adjectives to describe this.
Believe me it’s good, really good, hot, whatever...
Profile Image for Tracey.
1,940 reviews71 followers
December 24, 2017
a free copy of the book was provided by Rachel Kramer Bussel for an honest review

It’s the end of 2017 and Rachel Kramer Bussel has released volume 3 of the Best Women’s Erotica. This a collection of short stories focusing on the pleasure of women and how they indulge in their most wanton fantasies. The themes vary from role-play to threesomes to BDSM. There’s a story here for everyone.

I absolutely loved this volume. It reminded me how amazing the first one was. The stories are all unique on their own but flow well together. Bussel does a great job of ordering the stories in a way that lets each stand on its own two feet but also support each other, leaving the reader with a complete and absorbing reading experience. It honestly felt like starting with a tease and ending with a climax. Bussel lets the authors shine, not including a short story of her own. I’m assuming it’s because she received quality work and didn’t have to pick up the slack in any way.

Though I loved them all, my favorite stories were:

The Birthday Gift by Abigail Barnette
Weightless by Rachel Woe
Demon Purse by Sommer Marsden
A Love Affair All My Own by R.J. Richardson
Falling by Charlie Powell
Bibliophile by Dee Blake
Guyliner and Garters by B.B. Sanchez
Red Satin Ribbons by Tamsin Flowers
Making It Feel Right by Annabel Joseph

I’m unclear on whether this will have another volume but I’m hoping it does. I say this each time but it’s still true; I’ll read anything Bussel puts her hands on. She is a great voice in the world of erotica.
4,039 reviews17 followers
November 5, 2017
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book
Bundle of erotica short stories of all kind. Each story can be read in 10mn, so it can be read anytime. They’re all well written and arousing. Some stories would had deserved more pages to know what happen after.
Profile Image for Pat .
18.3k reviews3 followers
November 21, 2017
This book contains a short story for everyone's taste! Good stories with great characters made this book a very enjoyable and entertaining read!

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Profile Image for BP34.
5,549 reviews27 followers
November 26, 2017
I received an advance copy and voluntarily chose to review. A variety of short erotic stories in a variety of themes. Something for everyone that will keep your kindle steaming and you page turning. Well written with captivating characters.
Profile Image for Christina.
766 reviews7 followers
November 26, 2017
This book has something for everyone from vanilla to kinky. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a fun and sexy read. It was a pleasure to read and get lost for a bit in these stories I voluntarily read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Susan Hokanson.
156 reviews
November 27, 2017
This is a series of very short stories with a little bit of everything - there is sure to be something you'll like. Even when the story wasn't quite my thing, it was interesting enough that I kept turning the pages until the end.
2,627 reviews14 followers
November 26, 2017
Received an arc in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book. Characters were well written and the plot was exciting. I definitely recommend this book.
Profile Image for Elaine A.
22 reviews
January 31, 2018
**I received an advance copy of this book from the editor. This is my honest, voluntary review.**

A well-curated collection of 21 erotic stories, with something for most anyone who is looking for erotic tales focused on the woman's experience. As with any anthology, stories will vary for each reader, both in execution and taste, but on the whole I found the writing to be highly skillful, the tales well-varied, and many of the scenarios original. These are short stories, but I found all of them deeper in theme and characterization than the word-count would imply.

Kudos to all the authors, and to the Rachel Kramer Bussel for putting it together.

There are too many to review each story individually so I'll just highlight some of my favorites (in order of appearance in the anthology):

WEIGHTLESS, by Rachel Woe is a lovely, slow-build exploration of loss and change, and of finding oneself in the aftermath (with the help of a very good friend).

THE FOLLOW-THROUGH, by Kris Adams stood out to me for taking on non-standard characters in a story of retirement-age lovers (with all their imperfections), written with both emotion and terrific humor. Janelle is not a lady to be trifled with.

OVEREXPOSED, by Brandy Fox is a poignant story of the effects of past trauma on the people left behind. A deeply emotional read.

THE SKIN OF SOMEONE ELSE, by Charlotte Stein is what I consider literary erotica, where the writing and almost haunting storytelling do as much to wrap the reader into the mind of the main character as deliver the tale. This story really stuck with me.

INFUSED LEATHER, by Dr. J. I was a bit hesitant at the beginning of this story, but the unique premise drew me in and it turned out to be unexpectedly romantic. A very pleasant surprise.

MAKING IT FEEL RIGHT, by Annabel Joseph was an interesting and lively exploration of finding your true self. A strong end to the anthology.

There were many more quality stories, and a few that weren't for me, but taken as a whole, this is a highly-recommended read.
5 reviews1 follower
December 30, 2017
Please note: I received an advance copy and voluntarily chose to review.

So I will say up front that I would have purchased this book had I not been given a copy. I may still need a Kindle copy so that I can carry it around with me. I’ve read the first two collections, and I was thrilled to know that this one was coming.

Rachel Kramer Bussel has a talent for finding fresh voices in erotica, and fresh takes on women’s pleasure. The stories in this collection are no exception! They take on gender roles, bondage, and poly-play, along with the things that many women struggle with, like body image and age. These stories are empowering, interesting, evocative, and most of all, so hot they might melt your Kindle. Every one hit me in a different way, even those that didn’t seem, on the surface, to be something I’d search out. I particularly adored Rachel Woe’s “Weightless”, about a woman who’s reinventing herself after a bad breakup, and B.B. Sanchez’s “Guyliner and Garters”, a story of a Halloween costume party that brings two people closer together than they’d expected. Your favorites might be different, but I’m certain you’ll find one you love.

Erotica, done well - as Ms Bussel’s collections always are - is one of my not-so-guilty pleasures, and I’ll continue to search them out. If you’re looking for a good, steamy read that won’t take too much time, I highly recommend this collection (and the first and second volumes as well). You won’t be disappointed!
Profile Image for Emmanuelle Maupassant.
Author 79 books1,186 followers
December 24, 2017
Huge applause to editor Rachel Kramer Bussel for collating another anthology of sensational stories.
Needless to say, there are plenty of ‘scorchers’ - my own ‘flaming chillies’ favourites include ‘Demon Purse‘ (I’ve just discovered an inner-demon-dominatrix fantasy – thank you Sommer Marsen!) and Annabel Joseph’s ‘Making It Feel Right‘ (I love stories which switch from where I first think they’re headed).

Several of the stories touched and inspired me, for their tenderness in delving our uncertainty, fears and vulnerability; Brandy Fox’s ‘Overexposed‘ and ‘Watch Me Come Undone‘, by August McLaughlin, I found especially moving.

I loved the originality of Dee Blake’s 'Bibliophile', whose protagonist is aroused not only by the reading of erotica, but by the physicality of the pages, and of the formation of the words. Her meeting with a writer of erotic fiction proves the perfect match for her own particular kink. Meanwhile, Lyla Sage’s 'Romance and Drag' gives an interesting take on gender fluidity and how it can play into our sexuality.

What I love about the Best Women’s Erotica series is that it encourages us to reassess our attitude towards sex, and to embrace our sexual fantasies. We see women navigating their way towards the sex they desire and emerging, as a result, with greater confidence.

Volume Three in the BWE series punches home this message more than ever before, showing us the many faces of desire, and emphasizing the validity of our choices. It encourages us to own our sexuality and to delight in it.

I’m raising my glass to that, every time!

(my own story in this collection is 'Through the Lens')
Profile Image for Alexleo.
564 reviews10 followers
January 8, 2018
If you need a break during the day, a fantasy to spice the evening, a dream to take to sleep, well this collection of very short stories (15 min max) might be the right book for you. There are so many genres, so many different scenes and possibilities, that you surely will find something that works for you. Vanilla, sweet, hot, MF, FF, XX, NA, over60, D/s, you name it, you find it.
Profile Image for Terri Oconnell.
287 reviews9 followers
December 30, 2017
This was a wonderful set of 21 short erotica stories from different authors. Al the stories could be read in under an hour. Some of the were very hot and care should be taken when reading in public. I personally enjoyed 'Through the lens' by Emmanuelle DeMaupassant with her character finally reclaiming her life.Another was 'Red satin Ribbons' by Tamsin Flowers. This story drew me in from the beginning with her description of being all tied up in a box. The last of my favorite is 'Demon Purse' by Sommer Marsden. I was impressed with her description of the body art the women was will t go through to please her man and then some. All of these stories were heavy in sex of the best kind and no story left you wanting more. This was a great set of stories and I can't wait for the next edition.
367 reviews1 follower
December 31, 2017
This is a good anthology of erotica to kick-start anyone's library of erotic titles. With 21 stories, you'll find something to tickle your kink bone. Well written and edited.

I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Dee.
328 reviews51 followers
December 4, 2017
Variety is the Spice of Life!

Longing for something different or yearning for something to arouse your senses? Look no further “Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 will fulfill all of your fantasies. Each story is professionally written by a premier collection of highly creative authors. There is something for everyone in this anthology including heterosexual trysts, lesbian and bisexual encounters as well as multiple partner scenarios. Women who enjoy reading an assortment of erotic proclivities will thoroughly enjoy this volume.

Children 18 and over only!

***I voluntarily received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. ***
Profile Image for Angela.
250 reviews1 follower
January 13, 2018
This is a very well put together selection of erotic short stories to escape into. Each has been carefully selected to give variety of the subject matter and quality of writing. There is something for every erotic taste, be it menage a trois, bondage, voyeurism or just about anything you can think of, there is a sensual and stimulating story to tickle your fancy. The length (a-hem) of each story is perfect for a quickie at bedtime or a couple on the commute to work!
Profile Image for Melissa.
141 reviews17 followers
December 8, 2017
Well written, keeps your attention and also wanting more. Have found a few more authors to follow and check out their work. Loved the variety as well. Enjoy!!

I received an advance copy and voluntarily chose to review
Profile Image for Melina Greenport.
Author 4 books3 followers
December 20, 2017
If there's anyone I trust to curate my erotica, it's Rachel Kramer Bussel. The characters in this collection are diverse, well-drawn and provide ample doses of thought-provoking drama and delicious arousal.

I received an advance copy and voluntarily chose to review.
Profile Image for LaGina.
1,919 reviews39 followers
December 31, 2017
Another great collection of steamy stories that has something for everyone to enjoy. You can never go wrong with one of Rachels anthology.
Profile Image for Susan Csoke.
506 reviews10 followers
December 14, 2017
SENSUOUS, SEXUAL Stories that will keep you reading!!!!! Thank you Goodreads for this free book!!!!!
Profile Image for Julie Parks.
230 reviews63 followers
April 26, 2018

This book is SUCH a relaxing read that is guaranteed to take your mind off whatever job-errand-child-bill-garbage-dinner-conversation-busride etc you're on.

There's enough of every kind of ***on*** and "+""on*"*" and everything in between. It's steamy and it's sexy and it's really imaginative and well-written. Every story is by a different author so they're also very different in style and context, you can read them in any order of arousal you please.

I've been reading so many thrillers that didn't thrill me one bit that I needed something to actually make my eyes open wide along and between the lines.

Thank you NetGalley for the pleasure to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Dawnny.
Author 1 book23 followers
September 19, 2019
A spicy tasteful collection of short stories. Something for everyone. Quick reads that burn. Better have a cool glass of wine while you read it. Hot!

Novels N Latte
Hudson Valley NY
Profile Image for T.C. Mill.
Author 60 books30 followers
February 14, 2018
(Note: I received a free ebook of Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Vol 3 for my honest review.)

The third volume of Best Women’s Erotica of the Year combines significant variety with several recurring themes that keep the book feeling cohesive. The ones that struck me included growing older, the use of paint (or body paint and makeup!) as well as photography and other art, negotiating desires, and storytelling–plus books as physical objects, stress on the physicality part. There was also a great diversity in characters, with a range of ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, jobs, body types, and sexualities, as well as a number of strong stories touching on trauma, gender identity and presentation, and/or kink. One thing I did notice in reading the author biographies is that every contributor had an impressive bio–which is not at all a complaint! But I had the feeling that this volume of Best Women’s Erotica didn’t introduce me to as many newcomers (though a number of writers were new to me) compared to more established or experienced writers. And on the third hand, it’s worth emphasizing the quality of writing in this anthology–there isn’t a single story that didn’t have some line or image that caught my attention, even when not all of them appealed to my kinks or taste in style. Plus there were several that opened my eyes and mind, and I’ll be looking up more of these writers’ work.

The stories I loved most:

Body Shots by Thien-Kim Lam
Bibliophile by Dee Blake.
Guyliner and Garters by B.B. Sanchez
Making It Feel Right by Annabel Joseph

I talk a bit more about them (and other stories I enjoyed) on my blog.
923 reviews3 followers
January 6, 2018
A sexy collection of short stories. While the stories were definitely enjoyable, there was really no depth to them. You couldn’t really get to know the characters and find what drives them and their intimate connections.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
Profile Image for Verity W.
3,170 reviews21 followers
April 23, 2018
****Copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review*****

An interesting mix of stories here. Some who I would happily have read more about, others which weren't for me. I thought this gave a good taste of what's available out there - and would be a good way to discover new authors or to work out what sort of tropes you want to read. There were a couple of authors here who I'd be interested in reading more from and particularly longer works from them as I find short stories quite unsatisfying at times - a little glimpse into a world and I'd often like to see more of that world that the short story provides.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 51 reviews

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