Category Archives: erotic fiction

Flying

flyingFlying
by Megan Hart
Published by Harlequin MIRA
384 pages
Genre: erotica; romance 
3.5  / 5

 

When lives fall apart, each of us react in a different way. For some of us, we sink into addictions. Drugs, alcohol, shopping. Anything that dulls the pain. Others of us turn to religion, finding solace in God’s plan. Maybe we pull our family in closer, or maybe we become activists. Our responses are entirely individual.

Stella’s life has taken a bad turn. She has suffered some personal losses, and now, divorced and the mother of a teenager, she takes off every other weekend, flying to a different city. She does not go on tours or see the sights. She sits in an airport bar, meets a man – always a stranger, never someone known to her – and goes to spend some time with him.

In these anonymous hookups, she finds physical release and emotional escape. It’s a good plan for her, one that works fairly effortlessly.

Until, that is, she meets Matthew.

Their “relationship” begins on a different basis than Stella’s other interludes, and that immediately establishes this as something unique for her. She finds herself caring about him, and this scares her, for Matthew not only is unexpected, his presence is not entirely wanted or needed. And he has his own personal issues and crises.

I enjoy Megan Hart’s writing a great deal, especially the way she writes about the sexy times. Intimacy sometimes can be strictly physical, and Hart asks us to consider that and not judge a woman for needing an outlet. Stella can’t face the reality of her life without enjoying – even if temporarily – a connection with someone else. Preferably a physical connection. Preferably an anonymous physical connection.

As delicious as the headboard rockin’ is, there are some weaknesses to the story.

Stella stops her airport interludes, and the apparent permanence of that stoppage is unexplained; they were something Stella needed, and when circumstances arise that would make her need them again, we don’t have a satisfactory answer for why she doesn’t turn to the one thing she knows brings her comfort.

Her ex-husband is straight out of Central Casting for “embittered ex,” and nothing about him surprises or interests us. The redemptions for some of the characters seem easy and a bit too pat.

Still, though, this is an enjoyable book, and Hart’s writing will keep you turning the pages.

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Blog Tour: With My Body


With My BodyWith My Body
by Nikki Gemmell
Published by Harper Perennial
480 pages
Genre: erotic fiction
Thanks to the publisher for the preview

First, a word of caution: this book is not for the sexually faint at heart.

Not because it’s wildly explicit. This is no Bared to You or one of Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners. Yes, there is some hot headboard rockin’, and, yes, it is deliciously detailed, but the problem you might have is that the female member of the party is underage.

The thing is, though, if you let that stop you from reading With My Body, you will be missing out on one of the more original erotica entries to show up in years. It’s so well written that I hesitate to put it in the erotica category because to do so might diminish it to some degree. So let’s call this genre “erotic fiction,” shall we?

Part of the hypnotic mood of the novel is due to how Nikki Gemmell approaches it. She writes in second person, so rather than an “I” or a “she,” we get a “you.” We never know the name of our heroine, and when we meet her, we must face the full force of her dissatisfaction. She is forty, married, and with three young boys. She and husband Hugh love each other, but it’s the love borne of the exhaustion and chaos. She tells us that they haven’t had sex since the birth of their two-year-old, and neither seems terribly upset by this.

As we get to know her, we see the mundane routine of her life and her restlessness. Whether combative school moms or a son’s perception that she yells too much, her life is not where she thought it would be. We slowly come to understand what that life looked like to her, at one point: it was one of passion. She tells us, though, that the man who gave her passion also showed her not to make herself vulnerable to it ever again.

With this, we are propelled back to her girlhood in Australia. She lives alone with her widowed father until the day he remarries. Her new stepmother clearly does not embrace her new stepdaughter and ships her off to boarding school. After a rather awkward and suspenseful first sexual encounter (at age fourteen), she finds her curiosity piqued.

While we are never told the length of the time lapse between that encounter and when she meets the older, mysterious writer Tol, an interview with Gemmell at the back of the book informs us that she is 17 and he much older (I found that somewhat surprising – he does not come across as significantly older; in fact, I pictured him in his late twenties).

She and Tol begin with a friendship, and despite their clear sexual attraction to each other, nothing happens. Until it does.

Tol suffers from writer’s block, and when he meets her, she brings such upheaval to his life that she becomes his muse. In a sort of unspoken quid pro quo, he begins to teach her about sex and her sexuality. His constant refrain is that they will stop when she wants to stop, but her burning curiosity and overwhelming desire for him leads to to keep saying “yes.”

The sex scenes, while explicit, further pull you into their story. It is easy to see why she can’t stay away from him, just as we can see why Tol needs and wants her. She is open and vital, unlike him. He exhorts her to “live audaciously,” largely because he is incapable of doing so. He works in a nearly dilapidated country home and occasionally travels to Sydney, but yet he seems stymied and almost paralyzed when it comes to living audaciously himself.

The weaknesses of the book have nothing to do with underage sex. The story goes on too long. There are several stopping points that come up long before Gemmell brings this to its merciful conclusion. By the time it ends, I’ve stopped caring about the narrator. I just want it over.

I enjoyed this book tremendously (despite its drawn out conclusion). Gemmell is an evocative, nikki gemmellprovocative writer, and she crafts a mesmerizing story. What will happen to “her”? And Tol? And how does she go from the wanton passion she shares with Tol to the staid, dull life she shares with Hugh?

If nothing else, you will find yourself wondering if you are living audaciously.

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Hung Parliament

Hung Parliament
by S. A. Gordon
Published by Momentum
154 pages
Genre: erotic fiction (is there such a thing?)
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5

Something I learned from this book: Australian politicians like them some SEX. And lots of it. Preferably with someone other than their spouse or significant other.

Rock on, Australia. You folks take that whole “down under” thing pretty seriously, don’t you?

So we have two opposing party leaders having an affair, two high ranking government officials having an affair, a reporter who had an affair with at least two of the aforementioned individuals, and a whole lot of other sex. And, oh yeah, some political intrigue. Those two opposing party leaders are about to run against each other for Prime Minister of the country. Each has been up to some shady dealings, and neither, quite frankly, deserves to win.

So who will? And how?

Interspersed between all the sex is an actual plot entailing political corruption the likes of which we Americans thought we had exclusive rights to. It takes a while, but you do find two reasonably decent politicians; their outcome leads you to believe that true love and politics are not meant to go hand-in-hand. Or naughty bit in naughty bit.

The problem with this book is that its ending is akin to a case of blue balls. There is a frenzy and passion and dirtiness and near evil, and we want a payoff! We want the bad guys to suffer! I mean REALLY SUFFER. If they don’t deserve to win, then they shouldn’t win, right?

Ah, but then it wouldn’t be politics.

If you find yourself frustrated by the end of this salacious little nugget, you aren’t alone.

Strange bedfellows indeed.

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