Wednesday, July 25, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥: Sweet Confessions edited by Violet Blue

Release Date: July 1st, 2011
Publisher: Cleis Press
Page Count: 188
Source: Complimentary copy provided by Naked Reader Book Club in exchange for an honest an unbiased review

speak your secret desire

In Sweet Confessions, Violet Blue showcases inspirational "you can do it, too" tales that are perfect bedtime reading for lovers. These outrageously sexy stories break the mold in literary excellence. The lust-inciting fantasies include spanking, exhibitionism, role-playing, three-ways and sensual adventures that will embolden real couples to reach new heights of passion. "Waisted," by Angela Caperton, is a Cinderella story of corset fetish sex, while Liv Olson's couple in "All Shaved Up" take turns daring each other to smooth down and go further. "The Female Gaze" by Rachel Kramer Bussel is a showstopper of sexual confession and romantic lust and risk, and Alison Tyler's nooner in "Counterpane" proves just how exciting the familiar can be when you fully unleash your fantasies. In Violet Blue's own words, "The stories I've chosen are explicit, well thought-out, cleverly crafted and arousing as hell. Trust me. I tried it all at home."
What Stephanie Thinks: Overall this was just an eh anthology for me. There are lots of fetishes I'm not fond of, and thus couldn't find myself enjoying. My 6 heart rating doesn't reflect my disfavor for the fetishes, but rather, my inability to really get into the stories because of this distaste. This isn't just about the topics either. I feel Violet Blue wasn't as careful in selecting stories for this one, because some of them were just boring. There are a few fantastic mind-blowing stories, yes, but also many mediocre, unmemorable ones too.

Because it has been highly requested when I've reviewed erotica anthologies in the past, I'll do brief summaries for each individual story and my takes on them as well:

'Smell As Sweet' by Heidi Champa — a kinky coworker sends the eager Liz demands for used panties right at the workplace. What he does with them, she doesn't want to know... or does she? Pretty amusing story. Well-written, hot in all the right places. Used-panty fetishists will enjoy this one more.

'Bad Influences' by Devyn Christopher — nnamed narrator takes advantage of her birthday festivities by claiming her man, Jason. Explicit story, more intense than sensual; features a conceptual gender shift, a sinfully-sodomized fantasy, as well as the dynamics of a stable, but still-flourishing relationship. Aggressive voice, what I call erotica for men. Not the best of this collection, but still good.

'Internet Café au Lay' by Kayar Silkenvoice — Kurt's horny lover seduces him at Seabiscuits, a very chique and very crowded internet café. I absolutely adored this story. The public sex setting is thrilling, and the straight couple realistic. Silkenvoice's voice is strong: flows smoothly and packs a punch.

'Silver Screen' by Portia Da Costa — Harry sends his cautious lover to a sleazy adult cinema to encounter him as a stranger. The two will not know each other, but they will have a rocking time in the seats of this porn theater while more action takes place onscreen. The thing is, in the dark, Harry just as might be an actual stranger to his girl... This was a hot read! If you like role-playing and the sex with strangers motif, you'll drool over this one.

'The Contender' by Jacqueline Applebee — a girl decides to trace her uncle's boxing roots to a boxing ring where sweaty, muscular boxers thrive. They sneer at her, but it's about time she show them her own fight... which just might turn into a private show. Typical porn storyline, but still liked it.

'Sacred Places' by Sophie Mouette — a couple embarks on a getaway, only to come across a monastery that they're so tempted to experiment in. The concept is fantastically holy and fantastically wrong, which is why I found this one exciting. Not my favorite of the book, though.

'Counterpane' by Alison Tyler — Lia and her sinfully British lover, Ry, make love in synch with an adult performance on television. Hot! Short and sweet, I love Tyler's voice, and her ability to bring characters to life.

'Waisted' by Angela Caperton — Kate and Graham explore their bedroom desires with the assistance of a tightly-wound corset. The eroticism of this discomfort, this pain, makes this story explosive.

'Underpants' by K. D. Grace — Dan and his lover explore the naughtiness and arousal of, no, not the sexy black thong, but the white cotton knickers. Fetish story for lingerie targeted toward innocent youngsters, or perhaps more mature women (dare we call them granny panties?).

'Red' by Piper Morgan — Bode and Amelia run away to the wilderness for the weekend to play out Bode's most precious fantasy: the wolf scene of Little Red Riding Hood. This was an erotic twist to the folk tale, really smooth and a good parallel.

'The Hotel' by Anika Ray — Adam and his lover pose as 'Jared' and 'Arianna' to fulfill their mutual fantasy: the meeting at a bar as strangers scene. The F Bar, in the hotel they 'meet for the first time' at, is the perfect bar setting, and the room above, an even better encounter. This one's pretty short but still sexy regardless!

'Underwear' by Kay Jaybee — Leah, a door-to-door lingerie saleswoman encounters a fierce and eager couple. She models for them, and even, uh... does a little more for them, and in the end, realizes she's met two extraordinary people that aren't just another hookup. Ménage (f/f/m) story that was on the longish side. Dragged on a bit. Still pretty clever in concept though, I love the underwear saleswoman role!

'All Shaved Up' by Liv Olson — Brad shows Millie the world of pubic shaving and trimming. Shaving fetishists? Anyone? I'll admit the image of a lover shaving your privates is kind of hot... but for an erotica story, it the hair and the shaving cream—it isn't attractive. Don't get me wrong, Olson writes with a fresh, contemporary style and offers an explosive sex scene, but this fetish isn't for me.

'New Day, New Life' by Andrea Dale — cute ménage story (f/f/m) involving Rachelle, her husband Mike, and an attractive, intelligent tour guide, Eliska. I liked the vacation scene (gorgeous Prague!).

'An Age Play' by Regina Kammer — hands down, my favorite story in this anthology! Jean's a renown romance author, and she and her husband, Mark often play out the fantasies (swash-buckling pirates and ripe virgin maidens galore!) in her novels. Lately, however, the two have been eyeing the younger generation—I mean, fresh-faced, naïve, and enthusiastic — what's not to love? When Jean goes to England on a research trip, she runs into a college student she knows from dance class, Eric, someone she's irrevocably been attracted to for years. With Mark's permission, she seduces him—he is legal now, after all!—and even teaches him a few lessons along the way. I love cougar stories, especially forbidden extramarital ones ;) Kammer has a brilliant style and her characters are really well-fleshed-out.

'Are You Sure?' by Alexander Liboiron — a couple tests the comfort zones of their sexual relationship via toys and ties. I liked the light BDSM and toys in this story, but it wasn't that great. Kind of bored me overall.

'Jenna's Gambit' by Jeremy Edwards — Eric and Jenna have an after-clubbing romp that's heavy on D/s. They're both urolagniacs. Can't say I've ever read erotica with golden showers before. Gross, but I'm open-minded to reading. It was a pretty good story aside from this fetish I just could never get into.

'The Female Gaze' by Rachel Kramer Bussel — Alex and Rory, who've been steady for a long time now, take risks in the bedroom by actualizing a long-desired yet oppressed fantasy of bringing another man into the bedroom. Great m/m/f ménage story, with Bussel's lyrical style and feisty characters.


Stephanie Loves: "He could've put on lipstick and a dress and panties, but she didn't want him as a girlie girl, but a girl like her: a tough girl turned liquid at the helm of a big strong man. She wanted him to know what it was like to submit so fully, so wondrously, that everything else disappeared." —from 'The Female Gaze'

Radical Rating: 6 hearts — Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back. ♥♥♥♥♥♥