E-Book Review 17: Sylvia Lowry – April in Paris: The Erotic Adventures of April Jones, Volume 1
Sum it up, Hot Lips: Aspiring young author of erotica gets fucked – and fucked over – in France’s lust-filled capital.
Review it, you horny fox: An enjoyable romp of a novelette, set in 1950s Paris and groaning under the weight of several vividly described hot and wet encounters involving our titular, and most welcoming, heroine, April Jones.
Ms Jones is a young American writer hoping to get her filthy stories published. The idea of an erotic writer writing an erotic story about her own erotic adventures as she tries to get her erotic writings out to the erotica-thirsty public is a clever device that immediately and economically establishes April as a wonderfully carnal creature with a rampant sexuality.
The first chapter jumps in quickly after some perhaps slightly verbose descriptions of Paris, as April seduces a male publisher who needs little encouragement in showing this uninhibited American how the French make love. However, he is also so impressed with her literary efforts that he makes off with them while April is still enjoying her post-coital glow.
The rest of the story involves April putting together the pieces of why he would do such a thing, and discovering who is involved in what turns out to be something of a conspiracy. She mainly does this by, well, fucking people. It’s an unorthodox way to play detective, but also, it turns out, pretty effective. Perhaps Columbo should try it some time. I won’t reveal exactly what she discovers so as not to spoil the story, but this never less than diverting tale certainly left me wanting to know what Ms Jones might get up to, and with whom, in Rio, which appears to be the destination for Volume 2.
And so to the important bit: the sex. Is it hot? I mean, we all love a good yarn to accompany our literary porn, but the important thing is that these things do the job they are supposed to do and give us that special hard or wet feeling. The short answer is yes, it is hot. Sylvia doesn’t hold back and I particularly enjoyed the scene of April becoming a voyeur as Romanian Goddess Adrianna has some fun with her Albanian stallion, Dmitri.
Sylvia’s mixing of a lofty, refined style (complete with a vocabulary that I twice needed the Kindle dictionary to help me out with) with flamboyant dirtiness makes for an extremely pleasing juxtaposition. She might use some flowery language to describe a work of art or a Paris street, but in the next paragraph there’ll be a wonderfully earthy, sexy turn of phrase that forces you to start rabidly fantasising about the person sitting opposite you on the train.
Here’s a good example of that classical style mixed with some lovely, filthy language:
‘Having anointed me in its delicious essence, his spunk cascaded down towards my snatch, descending victoriously onto the chaise below as I idly fingered the viscous flow.’
Or this, which is almost bizarre in its imagery, but similarly delightful:
‘… his colossal load erupted first briefly on my thighs and then on the face of an innocent stone carving of an angel. The descending, sticky white cascade looked exquisitely like marble tears.’
As much as I love those descriptions, they do highlight a small point that bothered me a little about Sylvia’s writing. It is extremely difficult, I think, to continually come up with new ways to describe a sex scene, to find new and interesting adjectives and verbs and adverbs for similar acts. And we all have our favourite words that we use, unconsciously, more than we should when writing erotica. There are forgivable similarities in those two quotes, but Sylvia does have a few words that appear so often that they begin to jar: the word ‘capricious’, or derivations of it, is there far too regularly; and April frequently flashes an ‘impish smile’ – not as frequently as she has spunk on her face, to be fair, but a bit too frequently nonetheless.
These are perhaps dull things to critique, but the fact that these technical points are my biggest criticisms of this story should indicate how much I enjoyed it overall. I’ll be reading April’s next adventure – and hoping that Sylvia allows her to be suitably emboldened by her Paris experiences to push a few boundaries once she gets to south America. As Darren Aronofsky said of Natalie Portman in Black Swan – I want to see her scandalise April…