Monday, August 31, 2009

Review- In My Skin by Cassidy Ryan

In My Skin
by Cassidy Ryan
Contemporary/ f/f- bi/lesbian
44 pgs/ 21K- $3.95

Buy it Torquere Press, Fictionwise, All Romance Ebooks

Successful attorney Anna Stuart is drawn to coffee shop owner Chaise the minute she lays eyes on her, and the first time they speak they forge a connection unlike anything Anna has ever felt.

The two women quickly realize that there is something special between them. But will love be enough to see them through in the face of Anna's mother's vehement disapproval of their relationship? Or will Anna be forced to choose between her family and her heart?

In My Skin is one of those cute, sweet stories about a woman who finds herself overwhelmingly attracted to another woman for the first time in her life and how she goes for it against her strict upbringing and angst about being in foreign romantic territory.

Since the blurb is pretty accurate, I’ll get straight to it. This is one of my favorite kinds of stories, one in which a predominantly straight women gets turned on by another woman. It’s not too complicated, nor is there a really deep story or plot; it’s simply about two women who fall in love with each other with the usual apprehensions and excitement about that.

Anna has fallen in love with Chaise. Having never been in love with a woman in her 29 years, she’s feeling all kinds of doubts about her ability to please Chaise who is a lesbian and has lots of experience. She also comes from a very traditional Catholic family in which all the women follow traditional female roles and it’s been expected of her as well. Particularly, her mother has criticized her for becoming a lawyer, having a career and not choosing marriage and kids. So she’s already dealing with being an outcast.

Chaise is a really sweet woman who fears, as a lesbian, that since Anna has only been with men, that this might be some kind of frivolous adventure for Anna, which Anna makes clear is not the case. Chaise takes things very slowly with Anna, allowing Anna to open up and explore her sexually as she feels comfortable to do.

The romance in this story is really rather sweet and flows along nicely without too much of a hitch or conflict. Cassidy Ryan really did a great job on capturing that uncertainty and shyness between both women, especially Anna, as they find their way together.

The main foil or stressor in this love story is Anna’s family. Of course, Anna wants her new love interest accepted by her family and the struggles with her mom’s rejection is a big part of the story. I find this theme common in lesbian (f/f) romance, parental/family disapproval as a way to give a new couple a reason to fall into each other’s arms and fight for their love against all odds.

This story does get into the issues people have when they enter into the gay world and what they have to deal with, however, it didn’t get preachy or political at all, which is always a big plus for me. It’s simply realistically written as part of what Anna has to deal with.

For those who like the straight girl attracted to a woman scenario, I would definitely recommend In My Skin. Although there is one point where Anna realizes that men have never done it for her like Chaise does, it doesn’t enter into, “oh, I was gay all along and never realized it and men suck now” territory, which I appreciated.

Sex rating: Wet panties- some really hot graphically written sexual scenes but not over done. It’s strictly Vanilla as well.

Grade: B+


JenB said...

Wow, this one sounds really cute! Sweet, sexy, and not irritating? WIN! It must be nice to find a gem hidden in amongst all the crap you have to sort through. LOL

kirsten saell said...

What??!! No total conversion to the all-girl's club? I'm shocked. LOL

I do like stories where some of the conflict revolves around "OMG, I'm having sex with a woman!" or "OMG, our daughter/sister/whatever is having sex with a woman!" I just tend to hate when it creeps into "OMG, I'm a lesbian!" territory, so I'm glad this one didn't go there.

And yes, Jen, hidden gems and all that. Oy.

MB (Leah) said...

Jen- yeah, this one is kind of sweet. It's a short quickie and just the thing to read if you want something light. And yes, the crap pile is huge! LOL

What??!! No total conversion to the all-girl's club? I'm shocked. LOL

LOL Kirsten...nope, it didn't go there. Although the lesbian character does introduce Anna to all her friends and their hang out, it never came across as the us vs. them thing.

And the non lesbian character wasn't freaked that she's into women, but did feel the shyness and fear around being able to please a woman, which I thought was kind of cute.