Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blogger discussions about F/F love and sex in romance

In the last few weeks there's been a sudden jump in discussions about the popularity, or shall I say, unpopularity of romance stories with f/f love and sex in them.

It started off with Katiebabs, who blogged about writing an f/f story and what that meant to her. Just after that, Karen, of Karen Knows Best wrote a post asking if it's really viable/profitable for authors to write and publishers to publish stories with f/f as the main love story in them and a very interesting discussion ensued from this. Then just after that, Jayne, a reviewer for a major and very popular review blog Dear Author, favorably reviewed a f/f romance ebook, Jessie's Girl, and another discussion was started about this.

I've said before on this blog that I'm a straight woman who likes to read stories with two women who love each other and are sexual with each other. I started this blog with Kirsten Saell--who writes this type of material and who also wants to read these kinds of books--for the purpose of discussing and reviewing books with f/f love and sex no matter what the orientation of the characters: bi, lesbian or curious, for other readers out there who like reading this material.

Unfortunately, girl/girl subject matter in romance is not that popular and Kirsten and I have had many an email conversation about why straight, and even lesbian, women aren't attracted to read and or write f/f oriented stories. There seems to be no common answer really.

Even amongst those of us who do like to read it and actively seek it out, there's a vast difference in our preferences. So even within the genre some of us have an even more specific idea of what we prefer to read, making it even harder for writers and publishers to offer that.

At any rate, for those who stumble across this blog, or who are interested in the many discussions around f/f in romance, I've decided to post all the links to all the posts that I know of from industry bloggers so that you can read for yourself the varied opinions out there. I'll also come back and add posts as they happen and link this post to the side bar so readers can find this one easily.

Bloggers' posts:

Edited--Ones with red date were added after the original post--

April 2014- Author Olivia Waite writes an interesting piece on m/m and f/f. 

February 2014 - Author E.E. Ottoman  writes a compelling post asking why f/f is unpopular compared to m/m, m/f.

February 2014- Not a discussion, but a commentary on f/f within the romance community by Sarah Frantz - editor

May 2012- Too Much of the Same: Why M/M (and F/F) Romance Doesn’t Float My Boat

Dec 2011- Jessica of Read React Review ponders if f/f the lack of discussion about f/f. 

July 11, 2009- Teddy Pig's blog- He brings up Bold Strokes Books as a book seller of lesbian books. A discussion ensues over the differences between lesbian and f/f, bi oriented stories--- further discussed by Kirsten Saell here on LVLM

May 5, 2009- Smart Bitches introduces the Rainbow Chapter of RWA- and discussion ensues about lack of f/f representation.

May 1, 2009- Mrs. Giggles posts about the new "Rainbow" Chapter of Romance Writers of America, which recognizes GLBT as a genre now-- and if it's a good idea to give it the same name as the real GLBT movement since m/m romance is not truly representative of the actual movement. The discussion then morphs into why m/m always co-opts the GLBT label when currently there are no f/f offered on RRWA website.

April 22, 2009- Jayne a reviewer at Dear Author blog, reviews Jessie's Girl a book with f/f love and sex in it and an interesting discussion about f/f in books happens.

April 20, 2009- Karen of Karen Knows Best blog posed a question of whether or not romance readers are ready for lesbian romance and sex in mainstream romance. It's a very interesting post as well as comment discussion.

April 18, 2009- Katiebabs writes about her feelings on writing a f/f story on her blog.

April 6, 2009- Author of lesbian books, Moondancer Drake, rants about authors of LGBT sci-fi and fantasy not getting equal recognition from the Science Fiction Writer's Association. Especially for female writers. It's a very interesting post and the comments do morph into discussing the viablity of getting a f/f book sold or published. It's a long comments section though and it's a PITA with comments collapsed, but well worth it to read.

March 27, 2009- Auther of hawt m/f books, Shelli Stevens, writes a blog post on Aphrodisia blog about watching a show on Oprah about women leaving their men for other women, a new fad it seems, and she wonders if it's a turn on for women to read f/f in romance.

January 13, 2009- Emily Veinglory of Erecsite blog- wonders... "I sometimes wonder about F/F, which is to say lesbian erotic romance equivalent to M/M (which is written mainly by and for women."

Nov. 20, 2008- Jayne of Dear Author reviews a f/f book, Apache Eyes and there's a short discussion in the comments section about f/f in books.

Oct. 9, 2008- Author Lissa Mathews wonders about girl on girl turning on het women in her blog post on Kiss and Tell blog.

July 2, 2008- Author Lauren Dane writes a blog post for the currently defunct Lust Bites blog about menage in books. A small discussion happens about the m/m/f vs. m/f/m vs. f/f/m in current stories.

May 8, 2008- Jane of Dear Author blog writes a very interesting post on the state of GLBT publishing and how it's still marginalized. Lots of discussion about m/m in the comments, but many also about f/f.

Feb. 26, 2007- Smart Bitches' Sarah discusses lesbian romance- there's a nice long discussion about it in the comments section, also with lots of recommends!

Aug. 16, 2006- Smart Bitches' Candy writes a post on bisexuality. It's a very interesting post and the comments are 266, most of them very long. It's a fascinating discussion that doesn't focus really on f/f but bisexuality in general.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Review- Gold Fever by Missy Lyons

Gold Fever
by Missy Lyons
May, 2008
Western/ erotica
Category- 32K --$5

Buy it Phaze, Fictionwise

Taming the Wild West, or taming wild men? Neither should be left to young virgins. After Barbara Lane inherits a gold mine, she travels to California, only to find she has an unwanted partner waiting for her. Vincent is the kind of bad boy she knew to stay away from. Instinctively, Barbara knows if she stays, she won't be innocent for long.

Vincent is no gentleman, and he has no intention of changing for any woman, let alone the spitfire who moves in and makes herself at home. He isn't about to give up his whoring, or his gambling, and definitely not his bed. If Barbara wants to stay, she will have to learn to share.

What will Barbara do to win his heart? Or perhaps the question should be, what wouldn't she do...

Barbara is proper woman from the East Coast in the late 1800’s when she finds out that her father, who abandoned her and her mom when she was a baby, has left her a gold mine in California. Totally miffed that she’s saddled with this thing she knows nothing about but not having any more resources to take care of herself, she heads out there to see if she can sell it. What she hasn’t been told is that her father had a partner who still lives on the property.

Having nowhere to go, she and Vincent, her father’s partner, decide to work and live together with an uneasy set up of them both sharing a bed and the house. Both, of course, have the hots for each other and they slowly start a sexual relationship. But Vince won’t marry her so she leaves Vince and goes to the local brothel to work as she has nowhere else to go or any other way to make money. One patron wants her all to himself and asks her to marry him, which she agrees to until Vince shows up.

Ok, there were just so many things about this book that pissed me off that I really don’t know where to begin.

First, I bought this book for the potential f/f in it. There were some minor scenes that were OK, but totally written as two women getting it on for the guy’s pleasure. The only thing that saved that part for me was that the women liked it themselves as well. So, OK.

That in itself would have been the only thing that bothered me if the m/f story in this was appealing, but the m/f part of this story irked me way more on so many levels. Even the HEA ending wasn’t enough for me to get over what an ass Vincent is and what a doormat Barbara is. Both were characters that I just didn’t like really.

The good: Yes, there was some. While overall I disliked this book, the first half of it was very nice. I did really like it and it did intrigue me enough to keep reading. Barbara has some spunk and acts indignant at Vince’s advances, which I liked. After all, she considers herself a lady and knows what’s proper and what’s not. She’s sexually innocent and although she finds herself very attracted to Vince she keeps it on a respectable level as she wants to stay a “lady.”

And Vince, although the typical bachelor type man who drinks and whores around, manages to keep his hands off of Barbara and respect her space and being. So I liked him in the beginning as well. The sexual tension was nicely done for that part of the book and I thought there’s going to be a snappy, fun dance between these two. But then about half way through this book descends into “you can’t be serious” territory and I started getting agitated.

The bad and ridiculous:

Barbara wants desperately to stay respectable. She’s affronted when a local shop owner takes her for a whore and tries to sell her clothing she would need to work at Annie’s brothel. This because she has huge, gorgeous breasts. We the reader know that because her huge, large, humongous, perfect breasts are mentioned over and over throughout the book. But I digress… the breast thing will come up again when I talk about Vince.

Although Barbara wants to stay a lady and worries often about her reputation living together with a man, she decides one day that she wants to finally know what sex is and gives into Vince.

Vince, who is a breast man, stating over and over how the first thing he notices about a woman is her breasts and talks about other women's breast often comparing sizes, can’t wait to get his hands on hers. Although she’s tentative as she has no experience, he can feel that she’s about to give and he convinces her to go for it by telling her there are ways to have sex and stay a virgin. And he’s so altruistic in his motives.

He didn't want another man teaching her about love. He couldn't stand the thought of some other lucky bastard taking her virginity.

"There are ways a man can love a woman without taking her virginity. Would you let me love you like that?"

How he goes about this is by making her first time experience be an anal one. What got me here is that suddenly it’s her virginity and keeping it that makes her respectable. And not the fact that she’s having all kinds of sex, doing every nasty little thing except for vaginal sex with a man she’s not married to. As if the local “ladies and gentlemen” would excuse her behavior because she’s still a virgin. Don’t get me wrong, I’m only judging this based on what Barbara herself as a character has insisted on over and over.

Then after their first act of love, if you want to call it that, she makes the mistake of mentioning marriage. Oops.

"That must be why everyone wants to get married so badly."

He stiffened at the statement. "Marry you? Oh no, honey, I hope you know that I am not going to marry you just because I fucked you."

Oh, how honorable of him. But then instead of getting insulted, she gets doey eyed innocent and starts acting dumb about it as if that makes the fact that she’s diddling him all right for her.

He smiled. "That is a performance I wouldn't mind repeating, sugar. And you are technically still a virgin, but if you want me to correct that deficiency, I would be happy to solve that for you."

"After all that, I am still a virgin?"

"You may have lost your innocence but not your virginity, and you'll only lose that when you decide you want to give it up to me," he said smugly.

"I want to give it to the man who marries me, Vince."

"You don't always have to feel loved to be fucked, and you don't have to fuck because you love. If you ever change your mind, I will still be here, hun. And I promise I'll be as gentle as I can be and make your first time an event to remember."

I hate this asshole. And I’m starting to hate how Barbara just rolls over for him like that and has zero self respect. She was a spitfire in the beginning. But that’s what happens when a man gives you great orgasms I guess.

After weeks of non-stop virginal sex while they live together, they strike it rich by finding a hefty gold nugget, which means that Barbara can now sell her half of the mine. At this point though, Barbara really gets that Vince will never marry her and she decides she must leave him. But first, just to prove something, I don’t know what really, she wants him to take her virginity and they finally have mind blowing “real” sex, at which point she says:

"Am I ruined yet?"

Then he so lovingly says:

"Lord, I hope so. I want you ruined for all other men. I want you for me and me alone, sugar."

As he spilled his seed into her, she whispered to him, holding tightly to his back. "I belong to you, Vince. No one else but you."

Yes, he’s such a worthy man that she feels she will never love anyone else but knows he will never love her. So she decides to do the next best thing, become a whore at Annie’s brothel. And she’s a shoe-in too because of her bodacious breasts and curvy body, according to Annie.

While at the brothel, she finds that her sexual needs are much and that she enjoys the sex. She’s even turned on by Kitty, the girl who teaches her the ropes as it were. And then she gets lucky because one customer, after only the first time with her, wants her as his own, which practically means she will get married.

But then Vince shows up, all pissed off with her walking away and tries to convince her that he loves her without actually coming out and saying it, of course. First he’s incredulous that she might have slept with another man.

"Did he fuck you already then?"

"Your fiancé?" He shot her a penetrating look as she rose. "I knew I should have ruined you when I had the chance."

Nice of him to show he cares. Then he tries to say that this other man only wants her for her money, the gold nugget.

His face grew red with suppressed rage. He tried another tack. "All he wants is your gold, Barbara."

"How do you know?" she asked, keeping her voice calm.

"He doesn't know you like I do."

"He wants me. More than you do. He asked me to marry me—which is more than you ever did."

So basically, he loves her so much that he has to insult her by telling her that she can’t be loved for herself, she’s wanted for her money only.

And then finally, he tries to convince her by having sex with her, which works. OMG, of course, the almighty penis wins again. She’s in love with him and he finally manages to convince her that he loves her by having sex with her and she goes for it.

To be honest here, the very end did have me believing that Vince does love her. Yes, I felt he does, but maybe it’s just because he couldn’t have her considering how selfish he is.

But after all that horrible, insulting behavior towards Barbara, she should have made him sweat and really work for her love. And he wasn’t contrite at all. Up until the point that she takes off he basically treats her like his personal sex toy to do what he wants with. And Barbara just lets him.

In the end, this book didn’t really do it for me. I’d say that on writing alone Missy Lyons writes fairly well. But I really don’t know who the target audience is for this book because much of it read as titillation for a man, most of it in favor of the male POV. And I can’t imagine women who want to read this as a romance could get on board with liking Vince on any level.

If you take this as pure erotica, well then, this book can be a good read. But the sex alone couldn’t carry this even if it is hot. And the fact that this is set up as a romance and ends as a romantic HEA, puts this into the romance category and I have to judge it as such.

Sex rating: Orgasmic- the sex was very graphically written and being erotica, just about everything was in here. Anal, some minor girl on girl, light bondage, and titty fucking. While I give it a rating of Orgasmic for hot sex, I was a bit turned off by the assholish nature of Vince, which made the sex less of a turn on for me.

Grade: D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review- A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime by Rayne 2. Marzett

A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime
by Rayne 2. Marzett
August, 2007
Contemporary/ Lesbian/ African American
Category- 44K - $3.00

Buy it Phaze

A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime is a first hand look at the fears and desperate misconceptions about love. This is by no means your average love story, and that is very clear as you follow Chrysten Rainer in her quest to figure out how to navigate through the rough waters of love and her budding career as a fashion designer. After losing the one thing in life she longed for, Chrysten must come to terms with not only the loss but also overcome the mourning and move on.

A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime is not your average romance, it’s more about the journey of one woman as she comes to terms with what she wants out of life and how the women she loves fits into that. It’s a story of growth in which sex and love play a huge part. So this is no traditional love story although it ends up with that. This story is told through Chrys’s lens and it’s her story.

Chrys is a strong, confidant woman who is a fledgling, but savvy, designer and is trying to get a clothing line going. This is her career. She’s likes to keep her independence with the ladies and is a bit of a player. As the story starts, Chrys is in semi committed relationship with Angel, although she does have some favorite girls that she goes to here and there. She reflects about her life and why she doesn’t settle down, but not too much… in the beginning.

Angel dies in a car accident while Chrys is getting it on with another woman and this throws Chrys into a tailspin of self reflection and to some degree, guilt. She loved Angel and after this happens, Chrys spends the next year basically trying to deal with her grief and she doesn’t really get involved with anyone, even for fun.

As her clothing line is getting a lot of buzz and she’s having a major showing, she gets a model off, but hates that she did that. She’s still grappling with her feelings about relationships and what that is to her when her first love from high school, Stephanie, suddenly shows up at her door and they reconnect. It turns out that Steph is pregnant and Chrys decides it’s time to settle down, so she and Stephanie move in together and prepare for the baby.

Chrys then goes through a period of freaking out, feeling claustrophobic and she takes off for a bit planning to find another woman to have sex with. Instead she goes to Angel’s mom and pours her heart out, everything she’s feeling and she goes back home to Steph to ask Steph to marry her.

As I said in the first paragraph this isn’t a traditional romance story, nor is it erotica. It’s more like an account of someone’s life, which I found interesting for what it is.

Chrys at first was a character that I didn’t like. She’s kind of selfish and does as she pleases, often hurting those women that love her by not really thinking about them and what they are feeling. And she makes all kinds of excuses for her behavior. But after Angel dies, she becomes very self reflective and in the end I felt some respect for her.

The story does get a bit emo heavy at times with Chrys kind of going off on tangents about life and love and relationships and it does get a bit bogged down in parts with philosophical musings. At one point I thought this was going the way of too much melodrama with these kinds of musings being expressed:

I tried desperately to shake this feeling off me but found that it wasn't going to budge. Out the clear blue sky I submitted this soliloquy:

"I don't know. I've tried and tried. I pushed her aside for what I think is the last time and right back she comes. I wanted to move on. I wanted to find a love that I could start over with. Someone that I could offer the chances that I denied her so many times. Ohh, but this grave in my chest shows no sign of ever allowing that to happen. It came to pass too soon and over before the wind could blow. Must I forever wallow in the drudgery of the mistaken past? Must I spend eternal nights and days longing for what I can never have? I'm only human. I can't make promises. I can't understand what has no questions and only answers. The time has passed and come again and I have no idea how I'm going to get through it all. I thought that I was over and done with. Now here it is again. Haunting me, looming around my heart only to find no place to rest. I know now that I can not start anew without clearing up the past. That is my hold. Angel is my unfortunate end and I don't really want to let her go."

However, fortunately Chrys moves on and gets over herself towards the end and there’s a really satisfying HEA ending for both Chrys and Stephanie. This one does end with an actual marriage and having a baby. Ending on a high point like that actually saved this book for me.

A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime is not your average fictional story so I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who’s looking for hot sex and a light love story. However, it is a good book about a personal journey through relationships and sex and is worth to read on that level if you’re into something deeper. Also, there are poems written between chapters that express the feeling behind what’s coming in the next part of the story. They are nicely written, if you’re into poetry.

Sex rating: Orgasmic- there are a few graphically written sex scenes that were pretty hot, although I wouldn’t call this erotica or even erotic romance.

Grade: B+

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Review- Nashoba's Hope by Moondancer Drake

Nashoba’s Hope
by Moondancer Drake
April 15, 2009
Historical/ Paranormal/ Lesbian/ Interracial
67 pages PDF- $3.75

Buy it Shadowfire Press

The sins of the past and desires of the present collide for two women caught in a war between their people.

Nashoba is a shifter, a warrior with the gift to take the form of both woman and beast. She is also the last of her tribe after smallpox killed everyone she ever loved, including her wife and sons. Now gathered together with other shifter kin, she battles to make a home for them all, and to seek revenge on the white soldiers she blames for the death of her family.

May came to America in the wake of her sister's death to look after her brother-in-law and their farm. May is working to find a place far from the European universities she was buried in, a task she fears is as hopeless as finding love. A nighttime attack on her brother by a mysterious Indian woman threatens to undo everything May has ever known. In the wake of the attack, May finds herself inexplicably drawn to the woman responsible for it.

Is there hope for these two women to find common ground coming from worlds so far apart, or will deep-set hatreds and old wounds doom them and their people to a bloody war no one can truly win?

Nashoba’s Hope is a nicely written, very sweet story about two women from completely different worlds coming together from a mutual attraction and an unspoken understanding of each other.

Nashoba, a Native American, is trying to find out about a local White farmer’s intent on her people when she sees that he’s actually a soldier. He happens upon her and points a gun. Feeling the rage of all of her personal loss, Nashoba attacks him but is stopped by a White woman, May, who shows no fear. There’s something about May, her eyes, her strength, her lack of fear that Nashoba is mesmerized by so she stops trying to kill and runs off.

Nashoba tells her clan, the medicine woman and head warrior, what has happened and the head warrior becomes enraged. Nashoba should have killed him. Nashoba explains that there was something special about May and that she thinks May is a special “White” woman, which of course the clan does not believe.

May, an Irish woman who went to live with her brother-in-law after her sister died, felt that spark of understanding between her and Noshoba and explains to her brother-in-law that Nashoba is a shifter just like him and his clan. He is from a clan of European shifters, although as a man, he can only be a carrier of the gene and not become an actual shifter, so she convinces him to not go after Nashoba.

In the meantime, Nashoba hovers around May’s farm as a wolf and saves May from a drowning one day, bringing May back to her teepee to have the medicine woman heal her. Hiding her from the others, she takes care of her until she’s conscious. May feels a strong connection to Nashoba when she wakes and sees kindness in her eyes even though she’s a bit afraid. When Nashoba kisses her, for the first time in May’s life she feels that spark of energy and love that she’s thought she yearned for with a man, but has never been able to find.

I really enjoyed this book. I haven’t read too many, if at all that I can recall, stories about Native American shifters. So I enjoyed this book for the uniqueness of it. It wasn't only that. This is a story that had many interesting levels to it. It’s a love story, a first experience story, and it’s a story about how love can cross cultural boundaries.

Nashoba is a very spiritual person who follows the beliefs and ways of her people. She’s suffered a lot of pain at the hands of White people. People who’ve killed her wife and her sons as well as her family. But she’s able to look past the skin color and feel that May is a person who “gets” her and that she is special.

What I liked about this part is that the author Moondancer Drake didn’t take the racial and cultural differences, especially as we know the history of what really happened, and turn it into a political statement in general. It’s just Nashoba and May’s reality of living during that time and it was kept on a very human level. But it did give a good backdrop for conflict that they have to overcome as two women attracted to each other, which I liked.

I also thought that Moondancer Drake wrote May’s first experience with a woman in a very beautiful way. May’s an individual. She’s always been a bit different, independent, not like other women, and even though she’s thought about marriage and such, she’s never found a man that inspired that spark of love in her and she was thinking that she’d be a spinster all her life.

When Nashoba kisses her, it’s like for the first time she becomes alive. It’s a very soft and sensual experience for May and was realistically written, I thought. I got that May is surprised by her reaction but also that she understands that it’s all OK and she doesn’t judge it, but goes with it.

The story leaves off with an HFN as May is still going to live with her brother-in-law having made a pact with the women to not say anything about their camp. I would have liked to see where that story went, but felt satisfied that all might be good.

I really liked Moondancer Drake’s style of writing and that she managed to write a full story giving enough character background to understand them and tell their story in a full and engrossing way. I’ll definitely look for more of her work.

Sex rating: Damp Panties—This is labeled as an erotic romance, but the language used and the way the sex was written was more poetic than erotic in terms of specific language. There’s really only one sex scene and it was written with a cross between somewhat purple prosey and graphic language. Almost like Moondancer Drake didn’t know how graphic she wanted to get or how she wanted to write the sex scene and vacillated between lightly sensual and erotic. I thought it was very sweetly written but it wasn’t written in a way that got me going in any way.

Grade: B+

Friday, April 10, 2009

Review- The Wrong Valentine by Dana Littlejohn

The Wrong Valentine
by Dana Litteljohn
Feb. 2009
Contemporary/erotica/f/f/ interracial
Short Story- 5K

Buy it Phaze-- $2.00

Shante had prepared for a night of self pampering complete with dinner, wine and dancing by herself. Indeed, she was truly enjoying herself, but her evening improved immensely when someone else's Valentine-o-gram showed up at her door.

OK… this was a very short story. Only 39 pages on my ebookwise and 12 pgs. Pdf after credits, so I’m not so sure it’s worth $2.00. But what I will say is that what is packed into these few pages is one hawt little erotic story that read nice and smoothly and will get you going.

Shante has recently moved to NYC and is working in a high powered job. She’s on her way home when her co-worker, a really “nice” guy asks her if she has plans for Valentine’s Day and also if she has interest in him. She likes him but is unwilling to get involved with someone at work, which satisfies him.

She goes home alone and proceeds to pamper herself. She bathes and shaves and slowly creams her body from head to toe with vanilla lotion. While putting on the lotion, she can’t help but fondle herself, loving the way it feels and the way she looks in the mirror while playing with her breasts, and she gets turned on. While she wants to wait until later, she can't help it and masturbates to her first orgasm of the evening.

Then she gets dressed up in a clingy evening dress, puts on her favorite ruby necklace and earrings and puts on a pair of 4 inch heels. She turns on some soft, romantic music, lights some candles and makes a nice pasta dish with a strawberry dessert, which she eats with a glass of wine.

Then there’s an unexpected knock at the door. Even though it’s NY and she’s leery about opening it, it’s a woman’s voice, so she feels OK to open it. This woman is the most beautiful woman Shante has ever seen and she’s immediately mesmerized by her. It turns out that this woman, Vanessa, is a Valentine’s Day gift to Shante and she is there to pleasure Shante sexually.

Um… OK… wow! This was such a juicy little fantasy/story and nicely written as well. What I liked is that it’s very unclear if Shante is into women or not. She’s very open and comfortable about her sexuality, but we the reader don’t know if she’s straight and just finds Vanessa hot, or she likes women already. Vanessa obviously likes women although she’s definitely bi as she services men as well. But it’s clear that Vanessa is pleasantly surprised that she gets to please a woman for a change and that she likes Shante.

The sex is really steamy and these two really go for it with each other although it’s more about Vanessa pleasing Shante. It’s just too bad this wasn’t a book. I’d love to read a much longer story by Dana Littlejohn with two women involved. Even though such a short story, she still managed to convey that these two women appreciate and like each other even if it’s a paid sexual encounter so it didn’t come across as sleazy or degrading in any way. Very nice. And there’s a nice little twist at the end.

Sex rating: Orgasmic- smoking hawt, wet and juicy, vanilla f/f.

Grade: B-

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Review- Good for Something by Anika Hamilton

Good for Something
by Anika Hamilton
June 2008
Contemporary/ Lesbian
Short Story

Buy it Total-E-Bound -$2.81

Casey never had a really serious relationship; while Nicolette just got out of a bad one.

Nicolette Marchand relocated to South Florida to get away from an abusive lover. In her new home, she loves the sun, the beaches and the bookshop owner with the hazel eyes and beautiful smile. Spending her evenings in her home away from home, life was really good. At least, until the phone started ringing.

Casey Addison, bookshop owner, was a native of South Florida. She never really cared about anything or anyone other than her store before now. A chance encounter with a fellow book lover changed all that. She thoroughly enjoys the company of her bookshop's new fixture. Unfortunately, someone is threatening her new found happiness and Casey gets caught in the middle.

Helping each other, will these two women discover a love they never knew they needed? And can Nicolette open herself up and trust that together, they are both...

Good for Something?

Good for Something was definitely good for something. It was a sweet, quick, satisfying read about two women who fall in love and give each other something neither has had before. Nicolette gets a sane, supportive partner who’s not out to kill her at every turn and Casey gets to experience real love for the first time in her adult life.

Nicolette is new in town, forced to leave the only place she’s known and lived to get away from Gabriella, her former lover who violently attacked her for trying to break up. Checking out her new town, she ends up in Feed Your Mind bookstore owned by Casey.

The two women hit it off immediately and sparks fly between them. They take their time though and spend a month getting to know each other before having sex.

After spending a hot weekend together of making love during a trip, their first time to be secluded together for a couple of days, they decide to move in together, taking their relationship to a deeper level.

In the meantime though, Gabriella has found Nicolette and has been calling her, threatening her. When Gabriella makes a real move and attacks Casey putting her in the hospital, Casey confronts Nicolette about not sharing and trusting her with the fact that Gabriella has been stalking them, and pushes Nicolette to face her trust issues within their relationship.

This is a short story so I didn’t expect too much in the way of a lot of detail leading into a relationship or other details that would explain some missing pieces. Like in this case, how Gabriella found Nicolette and why she’s in FL instead of where she lives in AZ. But I will say that this story was better than average at being a complete story without too many holes left to be filled in by me the reader.

The story starts out nicely, but I thought that in the initial meeting the emotional connection happened unrealistically fast, with both acting more familiar then would normally be the case upon a first ever meeting of someone. The real emotional build-up was just explained and not really shown. However, from that point, the relationship between Nicolette and Casey was written in a believable way and I could feel that these two are really into each other and that they will have an HEA.

One thing I did like is that this is the first story about two women lovers who practice some sort of safe sex in that they both get tested before having sex. In m/f, and m/m stories the condom issue seems to be a biggy for many readers in contemporaries with many being upset if there is lack of mention. But it was good to read some sort of mention of safe sex practice between two female lovers who’ve just met.

The whole ex-girlfriend turned stalker was a good counterpoint to force Nicolette to open up and also to give the women a reason to become even more intimate with each other. Plus it created some tension, causing Nicolette and Casey to really come together and fight for themselves as a couple. Gabriella’s stalking and violence towards the women was very realistically written and did have me thinking about what it would be like to have that happen.

The only thing that got on my nerves, and this is purely a matter of taste, is that both women address each other as “Casey girl”, Nicolette girl,” “my girl,” “my Casey/Nicolette girl,” and so on, all. the. time. Because it was every single time it got a bit nauseating in that way in which couples have cutesy names for each other that make others want to barf.

For a short story though, Good for Something was a good read, the sex was hotly written, and I’d definitely read some more of Ms. Hamilton’s work.

Sex rating: Wet Panties- usual f/f stuff with some minor anal. No toys.

Grade: C+