by Adriana Kraft
May 1, 2009
Contemporary/ Erotica/ Ménage f/f/m/ Interracial
360 pgs. - $ 6.99
Buy it eXtasy Books
What would it be like to be romanced by not one but two potential partners, simultaneously?
Luci Parker has finally achieved the career of her dreams as an erotic author – but the only romance in her life these days is in the books she writes. Long attracted to both men and women, Luci despairs of ever finding just one person to settle down with. Owners of a South Side Chicago bookstore, Chai and Frank Ferguson eagerly devour Luci's books as fast as she can write them, and now they wonder if she might be the woman they've been looking for.
Frank is deeply in love with Chai but knows she'll never be complete without a woman to love as well. Can he match the passion of not one but two exquisite and complicated women at the same time? Will Luci even want him? And if Chai truly falls in love with Luci, will there be room for him?
I follow a GLBT promo blog and this book came up on it recently. Even though I seek out this type of book, I hadn’t heard of the author/s before, so I was very excited because this type of story is exactly what I want to read and it’s so hard to find. Writing Skin is about three people, two women and a man, who want to have a committed threesome for the long haul.
Luci is an erotic romance writer who is bisexual. She’s single at the moment having lost her last love, a woman, because this woman wanted kids and marriage. She’s attracted men equally, but for some reason they don’t love her and every relationship she’s had with a man has gone sour after they had sex.
Chai and Frank are a sexually open couple who like to experiment and experience different types of relationships. They are very happily married and love each other deeply. Chai is bisexual though and she would like express her need and love for a woman by bringing another woman to their relationship, which Frank is open to.
Both Chai and Frank have read Luci’s books and have used her sexual scenarios for titillation in their own relationship and feel that she might be the one they can share their life with. When Luci meets Chai she’s immediately attracted and agrees to try a relationship with them.
This isn’t an easy review for me to write because I had many mixed feelings about this story and it hit me more on an intellectual level, making me think a lot. I’ll do my best though.
The Plot: The main points of this story are Chai and Frank trying to seduce Luci to be their partner, and Luci needing to work out some personal issues to go along with it. That’s it. Most of what is going on here is lots of sex between the characters, relationship discussion, and Chai taking Luci on shamanic spiritual journeys to help her find out what her problem is so she can be open to her and Frank.
There’s also a strong, pervasive spiritual element/ theme to this story as well, which I feel some readers might be good with if they are into that kind of thing. It didn’t work for me although I got that the authors were trying to instill that this threesome is spiritually sanctioned by the universe, making it special and fated to all three.
The characters: Luci is younger than Chai and Frank, who are in their 40’s and it’s mostly from her POV that this story is told. She’s rather innocent and passive on some levels as she lets Chai push her spiritual agenda on her when she had no spiritual leanings to begin with and felt nothing wrong with herself before meeting Chai and Frank. At other times though, she’s very aggressive and assertive, especially during sex. She’s also very clear that she’s not going to join Chai and Frank until she’s good and ready, which I rather liked.
Chai is a shark. Or that’s how I experienced her. I really felt that she wants Luci and pushes for that, but there was a certain calculated-ness about her and how she went about it even though she's very spiritual. I felt her to be the main controller in the relationship dynamics between all of them even though Luci is the one who will decide whether or not to be with them.
She also practices shamanic rituals and seems to not do anything or make any decision until she consults the spirit guides. Because of this, I couldn’t feel who she is really and I wished she would have let her hair down, gone wild, shown her vulnerability and not been in control all the time because I think she's a very complex character.
Frank was barely a blip on this map. He’s a really nice guy but I didn’t feel anything about him, what makes his blood boil, gets his juices flowing. He’s just so accommodating and easy going and it felt more like he’s just there to comfort and service the women. I appreciated though, that he wasn’t a man who was in this for the “ooh, two hot women to service me” angle.
The Relationship/romance: Here I had some mixed feelings. What I liked was the intent of Chai and Frank to share their lives with another woman in a permanent situation. It was set up in a very respectful manor, meaning that all parties were to be in agreement about everything and that everything should be above board. The authors addressed several issues that can come up with a threesome, like jealousy as the characters discuss this and how to deal with it and I liked that.
Chai and Frank are very clear with Luci right from the beginning that to start, no two would have sex without the third present. These three are getting to know each other and agreed upon boundaries was a good start, I thought.
Another good point for me was that I felt the characters all felt very comfortable about expressing what they want sexually without judgment. It was very freeing for me to read that.
What went wrong for me here though was that everyone was so polite and respectful to each other that I felt the passion and raw emotion of love sex was choked to death. Kind of like if you’d say to your partner, “may I fuck you,” “Yes you may, I’d like that very much”, “thank you.” There’s no intensity or fire in that and sometimes too many rules and conditions stop the organic energy flow of a relationship.
I think the authors were really trying to set up a threesome in a way that IRL might be a good way to go about it, but this threesome relationship was overly talked out and intellectualized. I wanted to feel that these characters would die without each other and that never happened.
As far as the sex went, this is erotica and there were plenty of graphically written sexual scenarios. However, some of the expressions were off putting. Mainly many descriptions of female juice being copious and abundant.
‘"That a girl." Chai stroked relentlessly, strumming her until Luci squealed her name. "Look at you. You’re gushing for me." Chai quickly withdrew her finger and covered Luci’s flow with her mouth gulping in her essence.’
I’ve never been with a woman on that level so I don’t know, but by those descriptions and wording it’d be like guzzling a whole gallon of liquid, which is not something I want to imagine.
You might think with the criticisms I offered in this review that I wouldn’t read any more of Adriana Kraft’s books. You’d be wrong. I will get more of Adriana Kraft's books because even with those issues, I still felt that the authors were trying very hard to make this a beautiful, erotic romance that readers would love to use as titillation or foreplay as they express in their biography.
They do write very erotic sex, which did get me going a few times. But as a female reader, I need more of an emotional and passionate connection between the characters to get really juiced, even in erotica, and the heavy spiritual elements in this book got in the way of that. Maybe it was just this book that missed the mark for me but I’ll keep trying though because I really want this type of story and I wish authors like Adriana Kraft to keep writing it.
Sex rating: Orgasmic because there are many really graphic sexual scenarios. f/f, f/f/m, strap-on anal with man and DP with strap-on, anal, and toys.