Monday, September 29, 2008

Review- A Whole New World by Anna Fallon

A Whole New World
by Anna Fallon
Jan 2007
Erotic Fantasy
Novella- 44 pages.

Elisia Moore is opposed to her controlling husband dabbling in the darkarts. Although ready to take her life back into her own hands, Elisia cannot believe the adventure she is about to be thrown into.
Taken to the realm of the warrior where her every sexual fantasy can be catered for, Elisia ponders over her happiness and if there is indeed any life left for her in the earth realm.

Faced with the choice of sexual bliss with warrior Ramala and Mistress Deelilah will Elisia return home or stay to enjoy this whole new world

More often than not, the offering of f/f content in e-book stories is totally lacking for me, in content and or writing, and I have to abandon a story. What doesn’t happen very often is starting a book and thinking, “Oh no, here we go again, a lame, poorly written story with nothing but sex” but then unexpectedly finding a sweet little gem. A Whole New World is just one of those diamonds in the rough, which totally surprised me, turned me on, and restored my faith that a nice story with f/f can be written.

Elisia, the heroine, is saved from her husband who turned himself into a monster, by Ramala, a warrior from the Inner Realm where souls go after earth and whose job is to save the Earth Realm from evil. Not only does he save her, he takes care of her afterwards by giving her the most intense sexual experience of her life. And because she survives it, she is considered to be "The One," his life mate and the person who will reign with him as leaders in the Inner Realm.

She wakes up from this sexual experience in the Inner Realm and meets Deelilah, a domme who is Ramala’s master and sexual teacher. Deelilah is also under the thumb of Marin, a nasty ass dude who roughly abuses her sexually, promising to let her go back to the Earth Realm to see her babies if she does his nasty bidding.

Marin needs Elisia's husband's potion book from the Earth Realm in order to control both the Inner and Earth Realms. So Deelilah has to convince Elisia to choose coming back to the Inner Realm with the book. The question is, can Ramala and Deelilah convince Elisia to choose the Inner Realm with their sexual prowess and love for her?

A Whole New World is a very short and sweet story even though the ending was very abrupt, leaving things open ended. Still, Anna Fallon managed to create and explain, without info dumping, an interesting fantasy world, as well as writing some interesting and complex characters.

Elisia, was a domme who tried to be a sub with her husband but was fed up with being his slave. She’s a very independent and open woman who really feels for Ramala and is very attracted to Deelilah, but also wants to find herself after a bad marriage.

Ramala is a very interesting combo. He’s definitely an alpha warrior, but he’s been trained by Mistress Deelilah to sexually please a woman and likes being her sub and obeying her. I mean really, who cannot fall in love with a strong dude whose priority is serving and pleasuring his woman sexually and with love. On top of that, he's philosophical. My inner new age hippy chick lit up like a Christmas tree as he ponders that there must be some cosmic meaning to his meeting "The One." He’s totally in love with Elisia and is ready to be her mate. He’s the perfect man.

Then there is Deelilah. Oooh… she’s a domme always dressed in leather, and is very caring and conscientious. She sacrifices never seeing her babies again by playing the evil Marin by allowing him to abuse her so she can destroy him in the end. She’s another interesting combo. While she’s a strong domme who orders Ramala around, when she seduces Elisia, who is totally open and attracted to Deelilah, she’s very gentle but firm with her, understanding that she’s a newbie who has never been with a woman before.

My only issue with this story, other than the abrupt ending, is that some of the euphemisms for genitals and the descriptive language for bodily fluids were a bit off-putting and odd sometimes. Words like tunnel for vagina, globes for ass cheeks, knob for cock and dripping pussy and so on, are just a wee bit too much for me and took me from the story sometimes.

Other than that, I loved the characters, fantasy world and general story telling, which left me with a nice warm feeling. I wish there were more stories like it out there. Even more so, I wished this was a longer story and that it was more developed as it had a lot of potential to be a good novel.

Sex rating: Orgasmic. m/f, BDSM tone, one very sweet, hot, juicy f/f first time deflowering scene.

Grade: B

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Review: Servicing Lady Tremayne by Emma Wildes

Servicing Lady Tremayne
by Emma Wildes
Erotic Historical
Novella- 30 pages

Buy it Phaze

Trying to maintain a pristine reputation isn't easy, especially when Lady Daphne Tremayne has a lustful secret longing for her doctor. Seducing a respectable physician is not something a lady would normally do but then again, desperate times make for inventive measures.

Being summoned to the home of his alluring patient, Thomas Blake cannot quite believe what it is exactly she wishes him to cure. Since he has always been deeply attracted to the beauteous Daphne, he has no objections to ministering to her desires but the lady in question only wants his sexual services nothing more. Or so she says but just maybe he can change her mind.

Forbidden passion and an ugly obsession make two lovers tear the down the barriers of social status and find that physical love just might not be enough after all.

This is a very short story really and I’m going to say not really worth the money or the time to read it. I really liked Emma Wildes’ The Arrangement and was hoping this story would be something of the same quality, but it was rather disappointing.

On story telling only, it was OK, but not great. It starts out nicely with the widow Lady Tremayne feigning malaise to get the good looking Dr. Thomas Blake to her bedside in order to proposition him into discreetly servicing her sexually. A commitment free arrangement as she has no intentions of marrying again. Of course, since he’s been secretly lusting after her and the lady is the most beautiful woman desired by all, he has no problem agreeing. This part of the story was fine, written very nicely and it did hook me in.

Where it starts to go a bit off for me is when Thomas decides that impregnating her would be a good way to “get” her. Now, it’s clear that she’s got the hots for him and she’s falling in love with him. And she’s not adverse to the idea of marrying him even though she’s of a much higher station then he in society. He is, in general, an upstanding kind of guy. But what is that, really? Even he thinks he’s an ass. “I might impregnate her, he thought traitorously.”

Next, he takes her to a brothel without letting her know what kind of place she’s in to be serviced, for his convenience and turn-on mainly, by several of the prostitutes there who have told him that they all get each other off when it’s slow. This, even though he has broached the idea of some kinky stuff with the Lady and she pretty much says she’s not interested.

While it’s clear that these two have the hots for each other and they are falling in love, what’s with all the trickery on his part? It was unnecessary as it’s clear these two are meant to be together and have a HEA. It was off-putting.

The writing itself was a bit lazy to me as well with much of the dialogue feeling stilted and unnatural with more telling and less showing of what the characters are feeling. But this is a really short story, so I don’t expect too much on that front and am willing to forgive a lot if the story itself is appealing.

Since this is a blog for the purpose of promoting quality f/f, f/f/m content in books, I will say that the f/f content in this story was solely for the male POV. While the prostitutes do enjoy women, and the Lady responds physically getting off of course, she feels no emotional involvement as she states later on and it’s clear she could have skipped that experience altogether. If the Lady would have said that she had such fantasies when Thomas asked, it would have had a whole different feel to me. As it was, it felt that that scene was thrown in there just to add some kink to the story. So this isn’t a story I can recommend for readers who would buy this book for the f/f, f/f/m content.

Sex content: Damp panties. m/f, f/f/f/f- male watching.

Grade: D+

My review of The Arrangement

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weiners for Monday!

Oh, wait, I meant winners. Silly me.

So I have applied the extremely unbiased science of names in a hat and come up with some lucky weiners. I mean, winners. They are as follows:

lauren murphy (I listed her first because she said she loved me. Sure, she said it in a comment on Leah's post, but I know she meant me.)




You all can email me at kirstensaell (at) yahoo (dot) com and let me know which of my ebooks you would prefer (Crossing Swords and Healer's Touch are available now, Bound by Steel is out on October 14th if you're willing to wait), and what format you'd like them in.

Of course, once you've read them, if you all get the sudden urge to talk me up to all your friends and expound upon my brilliance, well, that's entirely your call... :D

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Review: Love Me by Kelly Jamieson

This review thing, how hard can it be?

Well, it ain't that much easier than writing a book, to tell you the truth. But I'm giving it a shot. Be gentle, it's my first time.

Love Me by Kelly Jamieson
Available now from Samhain
Short Story-$2.50

How far does she have to go to get his attention? Another girl’s arms?

Melina Wenham is worried and frustrated. Lately, her boyfriend of six months seems to have lost interest in her. Yes, she knows he’s stressed about his big project at work, but jeez, it seems like he’d rather go solo than have sex with her. Sexy lingerie, a Brazilian…nothing seems to get his attention.

Gavin’s frustrated too. He’s under enough pressure at work, without feeling more from Melina every time he gets home.

Another night, another party, and Gavin is off talking to the boys. Feeling ignored yet again, Melina confides her troubles to an acquaintance, Abby, who suggests shaking him up by flirting with another guy. Hmm. Not a bad idea, except there are no flirt-worthy guys at this party.

Then Abby suggests a different tack—flirt with her.

Could a little girl-on-girl tango be the match that reignites romance with Gavin? There’s only one way to find out…

Warning: Hot girl on girl scene!

It will likely come as no surprise to you all that I bought this book strictly for the girl-on-girl action. And because this is a Samhain book, I was fairly confident the story wouldn't devolve into some stupid, porny, f/m/f, male fantasy (which, on examination of the blurb was a definite possibility), and figured it would at the very least be good for some one-handed reading. I'm glad to say, for a debut effort--and a short story at that--it surpassed my expectations.

The fact that this is the author's first release did temper my reaction to those little nitpicks that usually bother me--the odd redundancy, repetitive words, and the occasional feeling that what the author could have achieved with a deft brushstroke was instead applied with a sledgehammer. Most of those issues are editorial ones, however, and thus not to be laid solely on the doorstep of the author.

The heroine, Melina, was alternately sympathetic and annoying. Okay, mostly annoying. She knows her boyfriend Gavin is working on a stressful project at work, one that could make or break his career, but she frequently obsesses on how neglected she's feeling. Granted, when your man comes home late every night, leaves early every morning and acts like he'd rather jack off than take what you're throwing at him, that can't help but hurt a girl's self esteem. Luckily, we're in Gavin's head enough to know he's not a total ass, just your typical guy who does his best at work, beats himself up over his few failings, and maybe isn't the best communicator in the universe.

Things come to a head at a housewarming party for Kylie and Duncan, Gavin and Melina's BCFs (best couple friends). Kylie's cousin Abby is there--a player, if ever there was one--and she suggests Melina flirt with her to pique Gavin's jealousy and get him interested again. As she and Abby put on a subtle display on the sofa, Melina doesn't expect to be so turned on by flirting with another woman. And when Gavin fails to fall for the ploy and Abby wants to take things further, Melina is so aroused she succumbs to her urge to explore this new experience.

This is where things could have gone sour for me. It could have so easily become yet another "two hot chicks seein' to mah manly needs!" kind of story, and I have to say the author came through beautifully for me. The girl on girl is exactly that. It's all about Melina and her willingness to explore her desires. And even though Gavin is there for much of it, he's believably conflicted--yeah, sure, he's got a hard-on like a steel girder, but he's also kinda freaking that maybe his girlfriend secretly wants to bat for the home team.

And if this story isn't simply a male-centric, two-chick fantasy, it isn't the tale of a lesbian in straight girl's clothing, either. Melina embarks on this adventure as a straight woman, and that's what she is when it comes to a close. And the fact that the adventure fails to magically cure all that ails her and Gavin is refreshingly unexpected. No, it's gonna take more than a three-way to fix their relationship--she needs to grow up and stop acting like a spoiled princess, and he needs to start talking about the shit that's bugging him.

All in all, this was a very nice story, one that hits on many straight women's fantasies of making love with another woman. It doesn't get political or preachy or have a sexual orientation agenda. It's unapologetically sexy, and the f/f scenes--both the flirtation and the actual sex--were wonderfully nuanced and moving. I believed that Gavin and Melina really love each other, but at the same time, I never felt that Abby was being callously used. The scenes between Melina and Gavin afterward were equally intense--I was emotionally invested in their romance by then, and the payoff was pretty damn hot.

The sex, both f/f and m/f, was mostly vanilla, but no less scorching for that. A solid B for an author I'll definitely try again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Finding f/f in the general Gay/Lesbian haystack- e-Pub reviews

One of the things that Kirsten and I have bitched lamented about is the way the Gay/Lesbian sections are organized on most ePublishers' websites. Because the books are shelved together, you have to scan through tons of m/m books to find the few (or no) f/f, f/f/m titles those publishers offer.

This has frustrated me to no end because, really, who has time to slog through all of that? Why is it that epubs can’t have separate sections--one for Gay and one for Lesbian and a third for ménage? And why do some ePubs even have a Gay/Lesbian section if they have no GLBT books to offer?

The fact is, f/f/, f/f/m is so hard to find that even if there were a larger audience for that type of content, those readers can't determine which authors and publishers are willing to put out this kind of material.

It’s true that currently m/m is much more appreciated or sought after in erotic romance by straight women. And I’d like to make it clear that I’m not knocking m/m in any way, shape or form, because I like reading it myself. However, the fact that f/f, f/f/m is very difficult to find could be one reason for the common opinion by authors and publishers that straight erotic romance readers don’t want f/f, f/f/m. Maybe it's not that they don't want to read it. Maybe it's just that they don't know this type of content is even out there.

We aren’t buying it because even when available, it’s often like pulling teeth just to find it.

The following is a list of some of the more well known and popular ePub sites and some of my impressions from my search for f/f, f/f/m.

I’ve also rated them according to the following criteria.

My criteria for ratings include:

  1. Ease of finding f/f, f/f/m content on the site.

  2. Amount of available content.

  3. Search option available. And if so, does the desired content show up. The search terms I used were: lesbian, bisexual, f/f, f/f/m, m/f/f.

  4. The site offers excerpts or not.
I’m NOT rating the quality of the stories available. Some sites offer better quality than others, but that’s not what I’m judging here. And I’m not grading on ease of purchase, which is a whole other issue.

1 lip - Needs work. Either has no f/f or it's very difficult to find.

3 lips- Has f/f or f/f/m and fairly easy to find.

5 lips- Great web site. Content is clearly labeled, easy to find and has a good selection.

All Romance e-Books- this site sells books from many ePubs, so there is a huge selection. Has Gay/Lesbian and ménage sections. Apparently there are at least 1048 books in this section but the first 3 pages yielded only m/m. This site does have a search option, but when typing in my search criteria, only a few m/m, m/f/m books come up. Plus, this site’s pages load up way too slowly for me. Excerpts- yes. So moving on to the next ePub.

Amber Allure –is the GLBT section of Amber Quill Press. What I like about this ePub site is that since it’s all GLBT, you can further choose a sub genre and know it too will be GLBT. While the lesbian section only had three books, the ménage section has many and the content is clearly labeled. So for those of us looking for the f/f/m, it’s easy to spot. They also have an excellent search option, which brings up every blurb on their site that includes that word. They have a very easy to understand set-up that gets you quickly to the content you want to read. Excerpts- yes. Kudos to these guys.

Aspen Mountain Press- Has no f/f, f/f/m that I could find. Has no lesbian section, just m/m. Aspen does have a search option but my search words yielded nothing. To be truthful, I didn’t really feel like spending a whole lot of time looking because that’s my point, content should be easy to find. Excerpts- no.

Changeling Press- Has Gay/Lesbian section, which yielded 9 pages. I went through all nine and there was one bisexual/lesbian book. It also has a bisexual section with 119 books, but the first few pages yielded all m/m/f. The Ménage section was the same, pages of m/m/f, or m/f/m. Changeling does have a search option, but only for authors or titles of books. So, I can’t be bothered to look further. Excerpts- yes.

Cobblestone Press- has Gay section link on the left, but when open it says Gay/Lesbian. However, there are no f/f books. It has Ménage section as well, but the same story, no f/f/m. Cobblestone has no search option that I could see. Excerpts- yes.

Ellora’s Cave- One of the biggest and most well known ePubs. Has Gay/Lesbian section but yields almost all m/m or m/m/f, with one or two f/f, f/f/m. And they aren’t labeled, so you really have to click on each book to find out what’s in them unless the cover shows what’s going on. The Ménage section is the same, almost all m/m/f, or m/f/m. EC also has no search option. Excerpts- yes.

*Personal note- while I have no first hand knowledge of this, I’ve heard/read that EC is not particularly open to f/f, f/f/m sexual situations so I don’t have hope that their f/f, f/f/m selection will improve much in the future.

eXtasy Books- One of my favorite sites. Has a Gay/Lesbian section and although they are not separated or labeled, the covers give a pretty clear idea of content. So it’s easy to scan through fairly quickly for that f/f book. They also have a pretty good selection as well, many more than the usual one or two books on most sites. Their ménage section doesn’t yield much though in f/f/m. But once again, the covers help a lot so you don’t have to click on each book.

eXtasy does have a search option, which is completely useless as far as I could tell. You can search an author after you enter the site, but “content” search yields nothing. The downside to this site is that pages load up very slow for me. Excerpts-yes.

Fictionwise- is another seller that offers books from many publishers- Has no Gay/Lesbian or Ménage section, but has an excellent search option. You still have to slog through the books if your search word is bisexual, or ménage and just at a glance, it’s mostly m/m or m/f/m. Excerpts- yes.

Forbidden Publications- Has Gay/Lesbian section. It’s very small, but almost half are f/f. They don’t have a Ménage section. Has no search option. Excerpts-yes.

Liquid Silver books- Has no Gay/Lesbian section or Ménage. You’d have to click through all the books to find one f/f if it’s even in there. No search option. Excerpts-yes.

Literotica- this is a free site in which anyone can post what ever they want. It’s subdivided by content, so it’s easy to find what you want. There is a lesbian section, but no specific bi-sexual section. This site is a wild, wild, west free-for-all and you might have to skim through many stories to get something of any kind of quality. However, I’ve discovered some really well written stories on this site. Also, some major crap--okay, mostly major crap. But it’s free!

Loose Id- edited- Loose Id has changed their search system recently and if you type in f/f, or Lesbian quite a few books show up. When I first did this post they only had one or two f/f books, but now have quite a few. Kudos to them.

Lulu Is a self publishing site- Has a Gay/Lesbian section. Has a good search engine, but you have to slog through tons of crap to find f/f. And many of the books are way overpriced. If you click on Lesbian under the general Gay/Lesbian link, all m/m shows up. Excerpts- no.

Lyrical Press- Has Gay/Lesbian section. There were exactly 6 books in it but two were f/f, so I’ll give them that. No Ménage section. Has no search option. Excerpts- yes.

Phaze- Has a Gay/Lesbian section, which has further options that delineate between f/f, m/m or bisexual, which is very nice. There is quite a good selection of f/f of both lesbian and bisexual nature and they also have a good Ménage section. What I really like about Phaze is that all books are clearly labeled with content (m/f, f/f, m/m, f/f/m, m/fm…etc.) so you don’t even have to click on them. Has no search option. Excerpts-yes, but not on all books. They do have a link “excerpts,”on the side bar, which gets you to all the books with excerpts.

Red Rose- First you have to click on “Erotic Romance” then there is the option for GBLT. There are 9 books and all m/m. Has a Ménage section, with 7 books, no f/f/m. Has a search option, which yielded nothing from my search words. Excerpts- yes.

Red Sage- No Gay/Lesbian section. Has a Ménage section, with 5 books, most anthologies and no f/f/m. Has a search option. Excerpts- yes.

Samhain Publishing- One of the biggest and most well known ePubs out there and which has quality standards in writing. Has a Gay/Lesbian section, all m/m. Has no Ménage section. And they obviously don’t cross reference because none of Kirsten’s books show up in the Gay/Lesbian section. Nor does Michele de Lully’s La Bonne either. Samhain does have and excellent search engine though and it was easy to find those books through that. I'm hoping since they recently renovated their MBaM bookstore, their main website is next in line for a facelift. Excerpts- yes.

Torquere Press- Is a GLBT ePub. Has a separate section for Lesbian with a large selection of books. Has ménage section but no f/f/m offerings. What’s nice about an all GLGT press is that you can then choose the sub genre as well. Has a search option. Excerpts- yes.

Total E-Bound- Has Gay/Lesbian section, almost all m/m with a smattering of f/f. Has a Ménage section, also- only one f/f/m title. Has a good search engine. Excerpts- yes.

And for those who wish to know, many Black Lace Books that I’ve read have had some pretty hot, if minor non-lesbian scenes with f/f in them. If you’re curious you can look here.