Jane Stewart's Reviews > Agony/Ecstasy: 21 Stories of Agonizing Pleasure

Agony/Ecstasy by Jane Litte
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's review
Dec 13, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: erotica
Read in December, 2011

There were some good stories started, but they needed more development. More frustrating than entertaining.

I rarely buy anthologies because most are not as satisfying as full size novels. I took a chance on this one. Sadly I was disappointed. There are 21 stories by 20 different authors. Each story is about 20 pages long. Because they were so short, something was missing from all of them. The least satisfying were those with unfinished endings, not knowing what would happen with the couples. Some had potential but I wanted more background, character development, or relationship development. The genre is probably erotica, but some stories have the feel of erotic romance. There is at least one intense sex scene per story. A majority of the stories have pain with sex. Most of the sex scenes are one man and one woman, but one story has two women, two stories have two men. Expect rear door activity and sex toys. Most of the stories are contemporary, but others include historical, futuristic, paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi.

11 Agony Stories:
These had a pain theme. This meant one of the characters was being physically hurt, whipped, pinched, bit, cut. The characters enjoyed feeling pain, but it didn’t do anything for me. I couldn’t identify with them, and there wasn’t enough else to draw me in. I have liked a number of BDSM stories, so it wasn’t that. It was just this didn’t work for me.

The best of the Agony stories was Wicked Wedding Night by Margaret Rowe. It was similar to the Kate Pearce books about a guy who was tortured in prison and now must cause pain to his female partner in order to have sex. It had a happy ending which I liked. But the pain to his partner didn’t do anything for me.

Caged by JK Coi had potential. A werewolf was imprisoned. The hanging, unfinished ending was the problem. I wanted a lot more on this.

10 Ecstasy Stories:
I was surprised that some of these also had pain. A few of these could have been good. But because they were so short, things were missing. My favorites were the following.

Into the Red by Cameron Belle. Very intriguing about two men. Tom is a gladiator type warrior who fights in a televised arena. Brendan is a doctor who examines Tom.

On My Skin by DL Galace. Girl is depressed and down on her luck. She gets a tattoo. Good. Had potential, but I wanted more background about her, and more about him as well. The ending was too abrupt.

Rescue Me by Meljean Brook. Bad guy Shaw kidnapped and tied up girl. I wanted to know what happened to Shaw. This was good, but too many unanswered questions.

Just Say Yes by Helenkay Dimon. Female boss and male assistant have hot sex. It has potential.

It’s possible to have entertaining short stories with happy endings. There were five short stories in “Sauce for the Goose” which I thought were very good to excellent. So it can be done. But it wasn’t done here. The average number of pages in SFTG was 12 pages per story.

Story length: 426 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: strong/erotic. Number of sex scenes: each story has at least one. Settings: various times and places. Copyright: 2011. Genre: erotica.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Kit (new) - rated it 1 star

Kit Tunstall I agree with you. So many of the stories had potential. I think it was a case of bad editing as much as shortfalls by the authors. Perhaps the publisher and editor should have cut it from 21 to 10 stories, thus allowing enough room to flesh them out (forgive the erotica/BDSM pun).

Jane Stewart Glad you agree.

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