E-Book Review 13: Siren Allen – Lovers Unchained: Curse of the Dark Witch, Book 1

E-Book Review 13: Siren Allen – Lovers Unchained: Curse of the Dark Witch, Book 1

Sum it up, Sexy Legs: Jude the Demon is kept as a sex slave by a sexy, blood-and-cum thirsty vampire called Lana. Can he escape and fulfil his mission?

Review it, Peaches: First of all, I must offer a disclaimer. I am not into fantasy or paranormal books, TV series or movies. I don’t have anything against this kind of genre, I don’t look down on it, I think it’s totally valid and I understand its popularity. But it just doesn’t do anything for me. For example, after an initial fun start I found True Blood to be infuriating and dull, while I only sat through one interminable slice of Lord of the Rings because I was promised sexual favours if I did so.siren

It’s not that I don’t have the vampire fetish that many of us have these days. I think vampires can be extremely hot, and there is something inescapably sexual about blood-sucking. And yet… I can’t quite remember ever really loving a vampire movie (apart from The Lost Boys, obvs) and, until now, I have never read a vampire book.

However, one of the reasons for starting this blog was to explore new things – to open my mind and really delve into the vast array of erotica out there. Recently I decided it was time to dip into a bit of supernatural erotica, and that’s how I ended up reading this wonderfully fun and sexy story by the excellent Siren Allen.

In truth, Lovers Unchained is a tantalising introduction to what I expect to be a vast, roaming series through various fantasy realms, involving plenty of beguiling inter-creature sex. Our star is Jude, a powerful demon who has been laid low by a curse and is now entrapped by a beautiful, powerful vampire called Lana, who uses him every day for sex… except she never gets any actual penetration because he goes limp every time she tries to mount him. This drives Lana wild, and while she is intent on killing him eventually, she becomes obsessed with discovering why her charms will not work when it comes to a proper fuck. You can’t blame her – anyone would get bored of giving a demon head every day and not getting anything back in return.

Into the mix are several more intriguing characters – Bruce, Lana’s apparently faithful servant; Carissa, a beautiful being who has an immediate connection with Jude; and Cole, a vampire who swings both ways. The action is mainly confined to Lana’s lair, with helpful bits of history thrown in as the story develops and as we get get to know the characters more fully. This creates an enjoyably claustrophobic atmosphere throughout the book – the reader knows that there are huge, exciting realms out there to find out about, yet Siren keeps us, and Jude, locked in this tiny area, offering only tiny glimpses of the outside worlds.

Siren also does a fantastic job at introducing the different creatures – vampires, demons, ghouls (who seem particularly rancid and evil) and others, so that even a relative novice in the genre like me can understand their powers, thoughts and actions without any trouble.

And overall, it’s a lot of fun. What I particularly enjoyed was that we are given these well-drawn characters – the wicked Lana, the sumptuous Jude, the sensual Carissa – all of whom have huge pressures and important quests that need to be dealt with, and yet they are all obsessed, hamstrung and all-consumed by sex. They can’t help themselves. They regularly get busy with creatures they despise and even when locked in solitary cells they engage in noisy mutual masturbation. It all makes me wonder how things will go in future books: can they get their hands out of each other’s pants for long enough to achieve their important non-sexual goals? Just how many hours a day can Jude sustain his mammoth erection? Is Carissa’s essence sweet enough to sweeten your morning coffee?

I don’t normally comment on my star marks, but I will here. This is a well-written book, I like the characters and the sex is great. But despite all that, I’m not a paranormal convert. It’s just not ‘for’ me. And for that reason, I’ve knocked one star off – but this is based purely on personal preference. If you like a bit of supernatural in your erotica, or a bit of erotica in your supernatural, I guarantee you’ll love this and will be begging Siren to hurry up with Book 2.

Rate it, Hottie: Four out of Five Stars.

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The Inappropriately Personal Author Interview: No.3 – Aoife Brennan

I loved Aoife Brennan’s debut novel. Often, erotic writing involves a lot of wonderful yet implausible characters and sex. I enjoy that as much as the next horny human, but with The Cougar Diaries, Aoife has written something that feels real, something that feels like a genuine, contemporary novel, but with some fantastic, explicit fucking thrown in. You can read my 5 Star review of her book here, but here’s her enjoyably honest interview.

CD: What first made you want to write an erotic novel?
Aoife: A long time ago I corresponded with Rowan Pelling of the Erotic Review. I loved her editorship of the magazine and hoped to contribute at some stage. Well, I was married then so say no more! (joke) but I just didn’t have the courage to put pen to paper. Fast forward through divorce and my world fell away. It was both traumatic and liberating. I wrote my first serious novel with a lot of sex but not erotica, although there were 499 instances of the word fuck in the prose. I was also planning my next non-fiction book about divorce, although for planning read talking in the pub about the gestation of the idea.cougar

Then when I became seriously broke and was receiving visits from bailiffs (not a joke) I decided I’d better write a fast, racy novel to turn a penny. Hey presto from my non-fiction gestation The Cougar Diaries was born.

CD: Why did you decide to use a pseudonym and what was behind your decision to give that same name to your main character?
Aoife: Actually, it was my agent’s idea. I wrote the book in the third person initially. And the character was Aoife Brennan. Then at the very last moment I decided against using my own name as the author because, well for a number of reasons. At the same time, my agent advised me to change the novel from the third person into the first person narrative.

So, the novel was presented like a diary in the first person narrative and it works really well I think. Especially in book two when I really get into my stride. I am not ignoring your question by the way about the decision to use a pseudonym. Aside from my teenage children begging me not to go public with this book, the decision was based on uncertainty. What if I wrote my novel and no one liked it? How embarrassing would that be? In a word: awful.

CD: How closely does Aoife’s life resemble your own?
Aoife: If I step back and describe the plot arc of the novel then you might say it was very similar, but when you get closer and look at the detail it is very different. I describe the novel as if I was in a bonk buster, or my life squeezed through the fiction mill. They say that life is stranger than fiction. I totally agree and so was happy to borrow great chunks of my life to convert into fiction.

CD: This is a very realistic tale – how important was it for you to write something that felt true to life as opposed to something more escapist?
Aoife: OK, confession time. I don’t like to read escapism. My preferred reading is something by Cormac McCarthy, Colum McCann, Carol Shields, or Ian McEwan. So when it came to writing it was important I could write something that I also wanted to read.

Some of the realism was also actually, factually real. My youngest child felt I had stolen some of her dialogue. For example I quote the younger teenager saying that when he was with me, he didn’t like his father very much, and when he was with his father, he didn’t like me very much. And my youngest is correct – I stole that line verbatim from her mouth. I also stole it as it really described in a sentence how kids feel about their parents post-divorce. In Book One there was so much I wanted to say about the divorcing state; my non-fiction book exploded into the fiction, or was that vomited all over it! Not sure, but the net cumulative effect was a lot of women say I have stolen their lives. And that makes me very happy.

CD: Did you get turned on while writing this book?
Aoife: Absolutely. When I write I have to be there at the centre of the action. I am watching or being or seeing; it can be a bit jumbled up emotionally, but I feel as though I am writing from the inside out. So, for the sex scenes I am totally turned on. However, being in that zone does not just relate to the sex scenes, it stands true for all my writing. For example, in Book Two there is a funeral of a minor character. I cried real tears as I wrote those scenes, Then when I went back and edited them, I cried again.

And it is even more intertwined than that. I get turned on by the simple act of writing. If I write a good sentence or paragraph, I go back and consume it like a starving hobo, again and again. Writing turns me on full stop!

Aoife's ideal man

Aoife’s ideal man

CD: Do you always prefer to date younger men these days – are you a cougar?
Aoife: Life is funny. After my divorce I felt I was on the scrapheap of life. I felt as though my life was over, and certainly with regard to my sexual life. Then I discovered to my surprise that I was actually attractive to younger men and was shocked and delighted and chuffed to be honest. Since my divorce I have only dated younger men, I am not sure that is what I sought or if the universe sent the young men to me. Technically I guess I am a cougar, but the fat lady has not sung yet. My next life partner may even be age appropriate (as my children try and encourage me).

CD: Give us a celebrity name who would be closest to being your ideal man for a one night stand, and another for something more meaningful.
Aoife: Hmmm that is an interesting question. I fancy the pants off Michael Fassbender – I even met him briefly – and he would be my choice for both. He is age appropriate too. I would also love to have a meaningful friendship with Stephen Fry – is that allowed?

CD: Tell us about the second part of The Cougar Diaries – what can we expect?
Aoife: Draws deep breath. Ok, Book One is all about sex and divorce. Book Two, just finished last week, is all about sex and austerity. It is an unlikely combination but it works really well. Ireland is going through a very tough time now but it is not generally recognised outside the country. The main reason for the smoke screen is twofold: a rapid polarisation of society in Ireland with the ruling elite gathering the remaining wealth and power to themselves and secondly the finance moguls in Europe don’t want to let on that austerity is not working.

So, Aoife Brennan, ordinary women with kids and struggling with the vicissitudes of everyday life, is living in post Celtic Tiger Ireland and is a witness to the terrible struggle the Irish people are facing, with growing evictions, suicides and poverty. Add into that mix love, sex, swinging, dishonest lawyers, retribution and yet more love and you have an idea of the potent result. Oh, and there is Fenton, the Richmond park legend. What more could you ask for? Ah yes, Book Three which will be coming along shortly.

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E-Book Review 12: Aoife Brennan – The Cougar Diaries: Part I

E-Book Review 12: Aoife Brennan – The Cougar Diaries: Part I

Sum it up, Precious: Forty-something Aoife Brennan rediscovers dating and enjoys some hot, messy sex, while juggling kids, work and a soon-to-be ex-husband.

Review it, Baby Doll: I loved this book from start to finish – professionally written, compelling throughout and a lot of fun. The author, a well-known face in Ireland, has taken the interesting decision to use a pseudonym and give her main character the same name. It lends the story an enticing scent of realism – not surprising, really, because the author told me that the story is based on her life, only ‘squeezed through a fiction mill’.cougar

This is a funny, yet often gritty novel with a strong, realistic, likeable central character – with, naturally, some hot, messy sex chucked in. Perhaps it’s something we could collectively opt to call ‘authentic erotica’; there are no billionaires, no dreamy Adonises, no vampires and no 20-page sex scenes where everyone screams to a gushing orgasm 14 times each. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that, but it’s refreshing to read something with genuine wit, that has a character you genuinely care about – even identify with – and sex that we can all recognise.

Aoife’s life is really pretty ordinary. In the face of the economic disaster in Ireland, she’s a working mother bringing up two sons without much in the way of help from her husband, from whom she has separated. Encouraged by best friend Trisha, she begins to think about dating again. It’s a big decision – she has enough on her plate without adding a complicated love life, but it’s clear she has been alone too long and deserves something better than Paul, her good-for-nothing spouse.

However, the first sex scene (featuring a lustful, handsome young DJ) does not occur until well into the book and thereafter the sex, while not sparse, is certainly less regular than in most erotica. In fact, I’d even describe this as a novel with some erotic parts in it rather than an erotic novel. This isn’t a criticism, mind. While I think most of us who read erotica do it because we like reading good, hot writing – and we demand a lot of sex in our erotic reading – Aoife also understands that many of us also care about things like plot and, perhaps more importantly, character. Some erotica eschews character to concentrate on the fucking – and there’s certainly a place for that kind of hard, direct style. But there’s also a place for this kind of prose, where we feel we really get to know the protagonist – her wants, her needs, her complexities – and in fact the sex scenes are all the more gratifying for that, because we become more involved, less detached.

Perhaps some erotic stories are like one night stands – hard, fast, filthy, exciting, fantasy-fulfillers, while Aoife’s novel is more like a lasting relationship – the sex may not be quite as desperately steamy, but it can mean more and be just as hot, albeit in a different way. By the time Aoife does finally have a fantastic orgasm, for example, you almost want to cheer. Even when she gets a bit of good news at work I did a little fist pump because I had so bought into her story.

I found myself constantly willing good things to happen to Aoife – and not just the sexy good things. I worried about her when she meets a slightly unhinged dom; I wanted to warn her off a possible office romance; I was desperate for her to stick it to her ex; and I loved reading about how her reintroduction to the world of dating and fucking heightened her sexuality and caused her to reach for an almost forgotten rabbit in her bedside table drawer.

But what I most liked was the authenticity; of feeling that I was reading about a real life and real sex. I wouldn’t want all erotica to be like that, of course – we all want escapism now and again, but this book is raw and honest and erotic in equal measures – quite a feat to pull off.

Perhaps my only real concern is the title. Maybe we need to think about definitions. I see a ‘cougar’ as an older woman that prowls about town, that preys on young, unsuspecting men who she takes back to her lair to teach a thing or two and then devour. Aoife isn’t really like that – she may very well be a MILF, but she’s not really a cougar – more a sexy pussycat. Perhaps that feline, predatory nature will come to the fore in the next part of the story, which apparently is not too far away…

Rate it, Honey Bunch: Five out of Five Stars.

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The Inappropriately Personal Author Interview: No.2 – Emma Styles

Emma Styles is an intriguing person. She has spent much of the last 20 years raising a family, managing a business, being happily married and, well, exploring every single sexual desire or fantasy you could possibly imagine. The woman is some kind of untouchable Goddess (at least to us mere mortals), but luckily she has decided to give us all a gushing taste of this life in her memoir, First Tango in Paris.

It’s an intriguing book, jam-packed with sex (and food), that will leave you fascinated, horny and, let’s face it, envious. You can read my four star review of First Tango in Paris here, but first, let’s take a graceful dive into Emma’s scintillatingly sexy mind…


Emma’s favourite tipple

CD: What made you want to write a memoir about your sexual awakening?
Emma: Two reasons. Firstly I’d had bought a new Macbook Pro and while showing it off during a dinner party to a few close friends they ganged up on me and, knowing I keep comprehensive diaries of my exploits, challenged me to commit my story to paper – as it were. “Go for it!” they said. “How hard can it be?” Of course, none of us quite knew what writing a book of nearly 100,000 words entails!

Secondly, the 50 Shades phenomenon was upon the world, so out of interest I read the trilogy to see what all the fuss was about. To be honest, I found it all rather tedious and I didn’ty engage with the characters – it was all a bit Mills and Boon with the odd anal probe thrown in to the mix. I wanted to present a truthful, factual account, where the people exist, the places exist and it’s happening right now. Never once have I encountered people with fairytale names like Gideon/Ayden/Anastasia etc, so I set out to let my readers experience real people in the real world.

CD: How have friends reacted to your story?
Emma: Everyone has been very supportive and many helped fill in a few bits that I’d either not been present at or had had one too many J.D’s to recall the following day – although thankfully that was rare. A 74-year-old aunt of a friend of ours read it and it put a healthy glow into her cheeks!

CD: You write a lot about your experiences in the sex clubs in Paris. Can you remember how you felt the first time you visited one of these clubs?
Emma: Excited, nervous, inquisitive and very, very horny.

CD: The book is crammed with incredible sexual encounters – groups, BDSM, sex with strangers – but come on, be brave, if you had to pick one to keep forever, which one would it be?
Emma: My pick would actually be in my next book and involves a cast of thousands on my 40th birthday. It was awesome beyond belief. But from the current book, if I had to pick one memorable night, it would be with the French Firefighters of the River Seine.

CD: Are you writing under your real name? If so, did you ever think about using a pseudonym?
Emma: No, it’s my real name. I wanted a fully accurate account and to use a pen name would have been hypocritical.

CD: You and your husband obviously have an open, relaxed marriage that clearly involves incredible trust and an enduring love… but given all your adventures both together and alone, do you still enjoy a quickie on the sofa at home, or a late night fumble in bed?
Emma: God yes, but it’s usually a bit more adventurous than the sofa. In fact, we did have a great little ‘quickie’, as you put it,  in a changing room in Harvey Nichols recently – we were even seen by a young female shop assistant!

CD: You’re wonderfully open to new experiences, but have you ever had to draw the line with a sexual partner?
TangoMaskCoverPUB#1Emma: Yes, but luckily only once and that was at a party Berlin. A midget wanted me to back to his hotel and pee on him and kick him around his room. Not my thing – but amusing looking back. He even offered me money, but again that’s not my thing. But hey – each to their own.

CD: Based on looks, which celebrity would be your perfect male sexual partner? How about your perfect female partner?
Emma: Any good looking man who is funny, charming, elegant, cultured.. and isn’t called Christian/Tarquin etc. The female celebrity actually happened in 2009 in London, but no names – you’ll have to guess when you read the second part of my memoirs. The only clue is that she’s from the land down under and has an amazing figure…

CD: Tell us about the follow-up to First Tango in Paris.
Emma: Having had a quick look at my diaries, there’s a lot to write. But as with the first part, it will be crammed with explicit, sexual shenanigans that are, of course, 100% true. Oh, and there will be an interesting chapter concerning a long haul flight with the world’s favourite airline… You gotta love the new Airbus A380 and its crew!

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E-Book Review 11: Emma Styles – First Tango in Paris

E-Book Review 11: Emma Styles – First Tango in Paris

Sum it up, Sex Junkie: A sex memoir. Husband and wife have their eyes opened by Paris sex clubs. A decade of delicious debauchery ensues.

Review it, Hot Stuff: This is the second sex memoir I’ve read after the fabulous effort by Girl on the Net, and while it doesn’t quite reach the bar set by that book of banging, there’s plenty to enjoy here.TangoMaskCoverPUB#1

It’s the story of a decade of sexual discovery by the author, Emma Styles. At the very start of the book she is a fairly innocent wife and mother, but very quickly she and her husband find their lives transformed by a trip to the sex shops and elegant sex clubs of Paris. Emma quickly morphs into a kind of hedonistic sex goddess, willing to try anything once – usually more than once. Her marriage opens right up as she and Paul allow each other to explore anything and anyone that takes their fancy.

It seems like a perfect arrangement and the reader gets to soak up the juicy details of Emma’s many adventures in different, fascinating clubs, mostly in Paris. She fraternises with the great and the good of France – TV stars, sports people and even a retired diplomat, who she develops a particularly close relationship with. Under his sponsorship, for want of a better word, several of her most deeply held desires are satisfied – including one memorable session with a group of heroic firefighters. She becomes a kind of teacher to a French diplomat’s hot, willing young son; she experiments with women; she attends masked balls and slave auctions (sex slave auctions, obviously, not actual slaves – that would be horrific) and has an enjoyably rough session with someone known as Henrique Le Cock. Apart from anything else, you have to admire Emma’s stamina – and her power of recall. There must be at least 30 separate stories in here and Emma remembers them all with admirable accuracy.

So, everything moves along very quickly, with plenty of scalding, unusual and frank fucking tales to keep the reader more than interested. But of course, we can’t be totally gushing in our praise. I’ve said before that I’m not a reviewer that makes a big deal out of spelling and grammar, especially when it comes to indie books. I’m much more interested in content. But the fact is that there are quite a few simple errors here – spelling mistakes, the wrong use of words – that could easily have been eliminated by an editor.

To me, any author should use exclamation marks sparingly, but far too many paragraphs in this memoir end with one – sometimes even three – of them, which unfortunately lend a slightly amateurish air to the writing. Along similar lines, Emma constantly uses needless quote marks – I noticed a similar tick with another erotic writer, Samantha Davies. Here’s a quick example from the end of the book: ‘There is certainly a lot more to divulge in my forthcoming “further exploits.” Coming Soon!’ It may seem a small point, but when it happens so often – dozens of times – it becomes distracting. Again, this is something a good editor would immediately clear out.

We do get to learn a bit about Emma’s life away from the group sex sessions – an illness in the family, her work on a fledgling internet site dealing in erotica accessories and surprisingly detailed accounts of food and meals out. Clearly, this is a woman who loves her grub as much as sex (and Jack Daniels on the rocks).

But the principle interest here is Emma’s remarkable sex life and she certainly has an enjoyably dirty, direct approach to describing these scenes. The problem with a memoir, of course, is that you are limited to the truth, and the fact is that in Emma’s world everyone is relaxed, experienced and expert, so there’s very little light and shade: apart from very early on, there’s no suspense, jeopardy or hint of danger. There’s never even any slight sense of envy between her and her husband, which might have provided some kind of intrigue.

There’s little Emma can do about that, however. She’s reporting what happened and while we might want something deeper at times, what we do have is a lot of eye-opening sex and an extraordinary woman who does, without doubt, become sexily more confident in her own prowess over the course of the book, which does make her an intoxicating presence. It’s very easy to be taken along for her filthy ride. And, of course, there’s the inevitable fantasy of attending one of these fascinating, debauched clubs under the wing of the experienced Emma herself – a night I’m sure no one would ever forget. Any chance, Emma?

Rate it, Big Boy: Four out of Five Stars.

Read my Inappropriately Personal Interview with Emma here
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E-Book Review 10: Lora Leigh – Forbidden

E-Book Review 10: Lora Leigh – Forbidden

Sum it up, Sweetheart: Intense former FBI agent retreats to quiet married life, then invites intense FBI agent best friend to share his wife. In between intense sex sessions, a stalker is on the loose.book

Review it, Pudding: Mac is tightly-wound, powerful and brooding. Keiley, his young wife, is a stunning sylph with a firm mind and a talent for IT. Jethro, Mac’s former partner in the FBI, is hard-bitten and a little more… rough than Mac, but just as sexy and handsome and powerful. Mac, Jethro and Keiley were all damaged as children in one way or another – their fierce exteriors are like callouses covering their obvious need to be loved.

Back before Mac had opted to retreat to a more simple family life, running some kind of ranch, he and Jethro were members of a club where men shared their women in menages. Mac and Jethro complemented each other perfectly and together formed a fine-tuned, two-pistoned, dreamy sex machine.

As my summing up suggests, this is an intense read. Keiley’s ruminations on her married life, on Mac’s shady past, are pretty intense. Mac’s own worries about his deeper feelings, about what he really wants (he wants to share Keiley with Jethro – although he doesn’t want Jethro, so get that out of your head right now. There is absolutely no man-love here. Well, none that Jethro and Mac would admit to, anyway) are intense and brooding. Jethro’s panting presence, his obvious need to have Keiley – with or without Mac, it seems, at times – is incredibly intense (actually, almost creepy at some points). And, of course, the stalker that Jethro seeks Mac’s help to nail (in a law-enforcement way) is like an intense spectre, haunting each page of the story.

Lora Leigh winds this yarn so tight you almost want to burst. Luckily, the three lovers inevitably get their release (plenty of times), which is always to be welcomed by the reader – particularly as Leigh’s sex scenes are of an extremely high and rare quality: naughty, filthy, real, exciting and genuinely erotic (and intense). Not only does she convey beautifully the incredible pleasure experienced by Keiley, but she refuses to neglect the men. We come to understand Mac and Jethro’s urgent need to operate as a threesome and what they get both sexually and emotionally from sharing one unique woman.

Occasionally this need comes close to straying into difficult areas. Mac’s response to any fire from Keiley, particularly later on, is to smile and patronisingly offer a spanking. Jethro continually watches her and takes any opportunity to touch her. At times, this can feel like a strange kind of abuse – two burly, physical men on the prowl, unable to restrain their lust, regardless of Keiley’s desires. Luckily, she discovers that she loves DP, so we don’t worry about her too much.

The story is compelling too. Even while Leigh bravely confines most of the action to one house (and the occasional area just outside the house, up against a tractor), there’s more than enough action and intrigue to keep the reader guessing throughout. If the eventual fate of the threesome is pleasingly obvious, the MacGuffin of a plotline involving the evil stalker invites the reader to indulge in a bit of fun, amateur sleuthing.

However, sometimes I found myself begging for some light, for some humour, for some comic relief. This does arrive belatedly in the form of Victoria Staten, a stern but enjoyably dry matriarchal presence in the town where gossip threatens to engulf Keiley. But too often you can’t help thinking that these characters could do with lightening up a bit. Yes, they all had difficult childhoods and yes, the emotional scars carried around by Mac and Jethro give them a vulnerability that only makes them more desirable/adorable, but can they, at least once, relax? Poor old Mac spends the vast majority of his life tightening his jaw, narrowing his eyes or trying desperately to contain an erection that’s usually stiff enough to hammer nails. You’d say he needs to get laid, except he’s always getting laid.

If you’re a Brit of a certain age, you might recognise some of Mac and Jethro’s conversations (particularly in chapter one) as being amusingly reminiscent of those Fry & Laurie characters, Peter and John. On occasion too, I felt Leigh seemed to need to tell me everything, and that was too much.I didn’t always need to be told the exact emotion exuding from Mac’s dark, brooding eyes because I already knew – partly because Leigh had already done a good job presenting his character.

But to criticise this book too much on these grounds would be churlish, because this is a terrific erotic thriller with regular, brilliantly-realised sex scenes. If you’re a particular fan of MMF menages, you won’t find much better anywhere else.

Rate it, Hot Lips: Four out of Five Stars.

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Forbidden was published on 5th July – Buy it NOW//

E-Book Review 9: George Pappas – Monogamy Sucks

E-Book Review 9: George Pappas – Monogamy Sucks

Sum it up, Kitten: Man hates monogamy, goes on long sex quest to sleep with as many women as possible.Monogamy-Sucksfinalcover

Review it, Pumpkin: Jake is a man in his early 30s who has become bored with relationships and being tied down. He’s horny, he’s desperate for a fuck, he wants as many women as possible. He’s like a teenager in an older man’s body. Disillusioned with the bar scene, he follows different routes to try and satisfy his desires: placing ads in magazines and on phone lines, and writing online dating profiles. He attends swing parties and fuck clubs. This is a kind of diary of his experiences over two or three years.

It’s a premise that opens up pretty much any possibility you would want from an erotic novel and in this respect Pappas does not disappoint. We meet all kinds of men and women, there’s all kinds of sex, there’s realism, there are twists and turns and there’s humour and suspense.

But, for me, this isn’t what I would call an ‘erotic’ book. I think there is a definite line between a book with lots of sex and a book that is erotic. This has probably been written predominantly for men – it certainly plays to traditionally male desires (there’s lots of sleeping around with different people and it’s crammed with women who love to suck cock and swallow jizz) so perhaps some men would get off on reading this. But while there are moments of titillation, overall I wouldn’t class this as erotica.

A lot of this is down to the character of Jake. I would call him a misogynist if he didn’t seem to dislike men as much as women. About 80%, perhaps more, of the myriad women he fucks in this story are described by Jake with disgust – as being old, dry, fat, ugly or smelly. Sometimes all of those adjectives are used to describe one vagina. I realise that Pappas wanted to inject some realism, but it’s very difficult for a book to be erotic when it feels like Jake is holding his nose every time he has sex. The men, meanwhile, are boorish, untrustworthy, brash or are out to touch him (which, Jake is at pains to tell us, is not something he’s into, despite the number of times he’s part of male-heavy group sex).

Even when Jake does begin to have sex, he regularly fails to deliver. He often can’t get hard despite his desperation to meet ‘sluts’, and if he can get hard he either comes too quickly or can’t come at all. In the end, he relies on Viagra. He complains about feeling used afterwards. When you have one partner who can’t get hard and the other constantly being described as being ugly or smelly, it’s hard to get too worked up about the sex they eventually struggle to have.

Jake does compliment almost all the women he meets, no matter how disgusting he privately thinks they are, but when they compliment him there’s never any sense they might be lying. Jake, it appears, is hot. It’s almost everyone else who is not. Jake is, frankly, an extremely arrogant man with deep insecurities.

But don’t get me wrong: this is still something of a page-turner. It offers an honest, interesting insight into the world of swinging. It’s an intriguing study of a man who is lost in his private world of lust – I’d almost compare him to Patrick Bateman or Travis Bickle in the way he thinks, the way he speaks, in his barely-disguised self-loathing, were it not for the saving grace that Jake is not, or does not appear to be, a violent man. In fact, there’s a feeling that underneath all the bravado, Jake just wants to be loved.

A tale worth reading, a tale full of graphic sex, a tale that is frequently very funny (Jake’s ‘Cumming Attractions’ advert is particularly, clunkily hilarious), but a tale that is not, at least for me, erotic.

Rate it, Sweet Thang: Three out of Five Stars.

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