Erotic books can really make your fantasies come to life. But I recently wrote a blog post for my web site The Advice Sisters about some of my personal issues concerning erotica, and how many of these books blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Also, Tony and I have also written about this issue here on Leather and Lace Spice (read: Is Fantasy Good or Bad for Your Sex Life? About 50 Shades of Gray, and More about 50 Shades of Gray).
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve become a real fan of erotic books. They’re fun to read, as long as you remember that they are fantasy, not reality. But it’s one thing to enjoy the fantasy of an erotic book at the beach or on the subway, and another to then look at your husband/boyfriend/significant partner slumped on the couch watching football in yesterday’s tee shirt, and wonder why your special man isn’t anything like Christian Gray, or one of the other hunky, horny, millionaire dreamboats in these books, always up for 24/7 sex, totally romantic, and never focused on anything but the woman they love. The characters in these books do not do laundry. They don’t cook dinner. They aren’t fighting over child care. They aren’t tired. I don’t think they even sleep! Obviously not real life.
But back to the genre of erotica and romance. Many of the books I have recently been sent for review have a BDSM theme, probably because they follow the huge success of “50 Shades of Gray. Couples may not really be practicing so much kink in their own homes (although some do), but women love to read about commanding doms, and their besotted subs. ” Some of these books are skillfully written and what all erotic literature has in common is that it transports the reader to another place, or time, or situation that is probably nothing like their own. With a romantic or erotic novel, you get the chance to peek inside someone else’s life where there may be more excitement, romance, intrigue, danger, love, and of course sex of every type imaginable.
That said, here are some of the latest romantic and erotic books that I enjoyed. Pick them up in hard copy or download on your E-reader. I’m including links on Amazon.com to make it easy, although you can get most of these, elsewhere if you choose.
About a year ago, The Sinclair Institute and BetterSex.com announced an amateur erotic fiction writers. The result was a compilation of very short winning stories based on top female fantasies. The book, “Female Fantasies” by S. Sinclair published by BetterSex.com® is their first Erotica eBook. So what are those female fantasies? You can download the book for Kindle, Nook or or most other E-readers on Amazon.com for a mere $2.99. The winning stories include a wide variety of things, including sex with a stranger, dominance/submission, role play, voyeurism and more. As with most short story collections, some are more artfully crafted than others, and some will appeal to you more than others, but all were well done and kept my attention. What’s nice about the stories is that for the most part, the characters are real-life, relate-able men and women, not warrior princesses. Even though there isn’t as much room for character development as you’d find in a full length erotica book, I still found it refreshing to read about “moms” and “career women” instead of the more fanciful characters. Female Fantasies is 86 pages long, and a fun read. I recommend it for a weekend diversion or a plane ride, or any other time when you want to keep your mind off your immediate surroundings. “Female Fantasies” will remind you that there are lots of things to explore, especially when it comes to sex. Since 1991, Sinclair Institute® has developed an extensive library of videos and products covering everything from advanced sexual positions to erectile dysfunction solutions. The best selling Better Sex Video Series®, has sold more than four million videos in over 30 countries. I am also proud to tell you that I and my Leather and Lace co-author Tony, are Relationship experts to theSinclair Institute Advisory Council Panel of Experts .
S.E.C.R.E.T Shared, a novel by L. Marie Adeline Random House LLC October 2103 is the sequel to the novel S.E.C.R.E.T. , where women’s sexual fantasies become reality. I didn’t read the first book, so I guess I was at a bit of a disadvantage not knowing the history or personality of the characters. But a competent author knows how to write a sequel that doesn’t require the reader to know everything about the preceding books to enjoy the book in her hand. And I admit enjoyed S.E.C.R.E,T. Shared. According to the plot, Cassie Robichaud, heartbroken by her boss and lover (“Will”), has thrown herself into “work” with a mysterious organization (called “S.E.C.R.E.T”) that helps women bring their deepest sexual fantasies to life, one step at a time. Since Cassie had her turn, now she’s guiding the group’s newest candidate, Dauphine Mason, recruiting men to execute a new set of fantasies. This already has the makings an improbable plot. I realized this the minute I started reading the book. You have to completely suspend reason and want to believe that there is such an amazing organization with fabulous, caring women, not to mention gorgeous, sexy, willing men, who will help these fantasies come to reality. But that’s ok..suspend, and read on…and learn how Cassie helps Dauphine and herself. The sex was erotic but not terribly “hot” or graphic compared to some of the other books being released on the market. The sex was tame. But still fun. Yes, it was all pretty silly but I didn’t stop reading it until the last page was turned…and for me, that’s the mark of a good romantic/erotic story. Even with its weak points, I liked it. I’m guessing there will be more S.E.C.R.E.Ts to be revealed in future books. Get the novel for $12.34 or download the E-version for $7.99 ,
Lost in Hotels – a Love Affaire in the Most Extraordinary Places by M. Martin is an erotic romance, but also a travel-loque. I can’t tell if this is truly and autobiography about the author, who founded the luxury travel website jetSetReport, or a truly fictional account of a sad love affair between a bored female travel writer trapped with husband and child in a less-than-exciting life in Williamsburg, Brooklyn or about someone the author knows, or actual about the author (simpy known as “M”). But the story focuses on the love affair between two people (Catherine from the United State, and David, a businessman/playboy from London)who meet by chance in Rio, and have one moment together that becomes much more. With David, she sees the chance to have the life she’s always wanted, full of excitement and passion, with the man of her dreams, even though he is not available in a traditional manner. As their love affair intensifies, both their lives are altered considerably by the connection, which continues in a dance of truth and lies and dares for months. Catherine never divulges to David that she is married with a child, and as the meet up in luxurious and exotic locations around the world, Catherine finds it increasingly difficult to tell David the truth. Meanwhile, unaware that she is taken, David falls deeps for Catherine, in the closest thing he’s ever had to a real relationship. You want the lovers to succeed, but reality bites . You can’t live a lie forever, and when you are found out, the consequences can ruin your life. The ending was bittersweet. The book was beautiful to read, and nicely written. You can get the novel for $11.69 or download the E-version for $3.99.
A few months ago the Advice Sisters wrote a review of Olivia Rigal’s charming book, Learning Curves 1, French Cooking 101 by Olivia Rigal (Lady O Publishing 2013). The voluptuous “Ariane,” owner of a cooking school in France, has has organized an intensive weekend workshop that brings together a like-able cast of characters including an author, a newlywed couple, a cute actor, and a middle aged woman and her younger brother. A sexy relationship begins between Ariane and Peter, the “student” with whom she shared an attraction from book one. But Peter goes home to America, promising to return. Meanwhile, Ariane, continues her life (under the gentle bit watchful eye of her elderly. wealthy landlady, Madame Caroline). Book One and book Two will leave you eager for Book Three, Learning Curves Detention (Lady O Publishing LLC, 2013). Without saying too much (because I don’t want to give it away, and there is a “book 4” coming), Peter does come back to Paris, but Ariane finds that sometimes the reality is not as delicious as the fantasy. What is so lovely about the Learning Curves series as I see it, is that Ariane might live in Paris, but she’s “every woman, everywhere” in many ways. She is on a journey of discovery and we, the readers, get to follow it. In most women’s lives, the path of love, romance, career, friends, and so forth isn’t always a perfectly smooth path. Every decision Ariane has to make, every obstacle thrown in her way, every choice, will change her life. And isn’t that what makes life and romance, so exciting? Olivia Rigal makes the dialogue and the plot lines realistic and fun to follow, and the romance elements are just steamy enough to keep your interest without the author resorting to graphic sex. Masterfully done. I can’t wait for book four (and neither will you). These books are all short (and the downloads are inexpensive). I wouldn’t be surprised if the author eventually puts them all into one larger novel, as Red Phoenix did with the “Brie” series (read the review of Brie Embraces the Heart of Submission, below). Download Learning Curves Book Three, Detention for just $1.29
One of my favorite books in this feature was first published as an eight-part eBook serial. Now it is available as a full length novel Brie Embraces the Heart of Submission: After Graduation. by Red Phoenix, Amy Parker Editor. Red Phoenix Entertainment, LLC (October 26, 2013). It might have been helpful to read the first book, Brie Learns the Art of Submission before reading this book, but Red Phoenix makes it easy to understand what is going on in this, the sequel to Brie’s training as a submissive, and her eventual choice of a master. Apparently submissive Brie Bennett has finished her 6-week training at “the Center” and offered her collar to the man she fell in love with. He agreed to be her Dom, and now she is living with her “Sir.” He is a man she is deeply devoted to and very much in love with and one gets the sense that he loves her too, but something is holding him back. If the first book (which I went back and read after this one) was steamy, this one is absolutely one of the hottest novels I have ever read on the topic of BDSM. But what is so lovely about Brie Embraces the Heart of Submission is that while most of the book is graphic and steamy sex, the book also details some of her daily routine with her master, her friends, and associates, and also with her film career. It is the day to day, routine interactions such as Brie trying to cook for her master that I found so delightful and real. The author of the Brie series, Red Phoenix, has ben married to her husband for 21 years but according to her former publicist, only started getting into BDSM a few years ago and stays that she and her husband have never had a better relationship. I’m not sure when she wrote the Brie books, but her interest in BSDM shows in the plot and in the quality of the characters and the writing. And there actually is a plot and sub plots to this book. Brie’s Master has a tragic past and Brie has troubles of her own, including an obsessive Dom who won’t let her go, parents who refuse to accept her new lifestyle, and a film that is struggling to see the light of day. What would it really like to be a submissive in a 24/7 total control relationship? This is as close to reading about that aspect of the lifestyle as I’ve been able to get so far. The author takes the unconventional aspects of BDSM sex may be unconventional, it still requires the same amount of maturity, intelligence, communication, trust, and sacrifice of any other relationship. Through this book, Phoenix gives readers reassurance that there doesn’t have to be any shame in BDSM, and there are innumerable ways to explore it on your own! You can download this to you E-reader for $4.99 or buy the size-able paperback novel for $15.71
Stilettos in Vegas by Don McGann and Valerie L. Diamond claimed in the press notes to offer “everything about strip clubs you are afraid to ask.” Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but clearly, Ns, Diamond, was apparently left a job in the banking industry to become an exotic dancer in Las Vegas (to pay back family debts after the death of her mother, you see), knows a thing or two about “the biz.” The picture she paints (after retiring from this career at age 45), is not a pretty one. But then again, I didn’t expect that her “tell all” would be. Dr. Don McGann, her co-author, is a retired dentist and educator, and this is his first book. It is not fair of me to just judge the quality of the writing, because clearly, the reason these authors wrote the book was to expose some of the misconceptions of what it is like to be a stripper in Las Vegas. This, they do, through the experience of the stripper Sapphire, a 23-year-old African American from New York. You can assume that Sapphire is going to risk a lot, have plenty of challenges and misery, and hopefully in the end, triumph. But she’s not going to get there easily……Looks like there could be more, coming. This isn’t an erotic book, but it is sexy. I can’t really say that I enjoyed it tremendously, due to the awkward writing, but then again, I’m an editor, and the average reader isn’t going to care so much about the art of the writing. The story, is definitely, captivating. I can’t say how much is fiction and how much is really taken fron Ms. Dianond’s real-life experiences, but I’ll wager,there is plenty of reality in the pages — enough to make you cringe at times. The Kindle Edition is just $3.99 (there’s a hardcover version $28.04 and paperback version $17.99) .
Tie Me Down by writing teacher Tracy Wolff (Loveswept /Random House LLC, 2013) is another book with a take on the BDSM theme, this time set in sexy New Orleans. The plot is a bit improbable, but you won’t care as the steamy sex scene unfold. Cole Adams wants to find the person who murdered his younger sisters, and Genevieve Delacroix is a “blonde bombshell” and also a detective who is the right one for the job. But there’s a serial killer on the loose who has other plans for Ms. Delacroix. There is a plot, and there is mystery, but really, it’s the steamy sex scenes that are the page turning features of the book. For those seeking BDSM it’s not terribly “hot” but the detailed descriptions of the couplings of Genevieve and Cole and their sexual hunger are going to make you fan yourself, or reach for a glass of water. The characters are well developed, the dialogue, well done. I didn’t much care for the ending, but..oh well…the book still rates a solid 8 as a fast-paced, erotic read. You can get Tie Me Down for a mere $2.99 and it’s well worth it.
Club Sin Bared by Stacey Kennedy (Loveswept Random House LLC 2014) is newly published this February. Well, I admit, it’s another “BDSM club” themed book, but it’s a hot one. As you can tell from the books I’ve reviewed in this feature, BDSM is one of those erotic themes that is still very popular with erotica readers, who may be practicing “vanilla” sex in their own bedrooms, but love to read about kink, at the local Starbucks, in the subway, and while waiting at the doctor’s office. Apparently I missed Club Sin #1, but I didn’t have to try hard to figure out that submissive Cora Adams is in love with Dom Aidan Knight at Club Sin (in Las Vegas). Cora has a heartbreaking secret and Aiden knows it’s there. He is determined to reveal it through the fantasies he can produce. Of course, as he continues to bring Cora closer to the edge, and the truth, he will uncover the truth in himself, as well. I liked the club scenes and of course, the erotic sex, but there was a lot of what I thought was “filler” that didn’t need to be there. The characters were well defined, and although I didn’t much relate or care for them as people, I give the author high marks for skillfully bringing all the elements of this erotic book together. For lovers of this genre, Club Sin Bared will be a very satisfying read. Get it on your E-reader for just $3.64.
The Advice Sisters recently reviewed Summer Sins by romance/erotica author Kathy Kulig. Since the review went up just a short time ago, I’m not re-writing it, but you’ll want to read it, so I am linking to it. That feature review also includes as Q&A interview with the author! You can also read a interview that erotica author Kathy did with Tony and Alison here
*this book review was written by Alison Blackman aka “Lace”