Saturday, January 23, 2010

Review- First Blood by Bryn Colvin

First Blood
by Bryn Colvin
Contemporary/ Lesbian
13K words- $3.50
Ebook- Loveyoudevine

Buy it ARe, Loveyoudivine, Fictionwise

Cassy is in love with an older woman – the boss of a company she delivers to, who probably doesn’t even know she exists. Totally inexperienced, she has no idea how to express her desire and win the attention of this strong, high powered woman. When the chance arises for her to learn about love, Cassy takes it only to find nothing works for her. If she can’t have Velvet Aston, she doesn’t want anyone else.

Oh, where to begin. First, I got this book on sale when Fictionwise was having its holiday sale or I wouldn’t have bought it since it’s a Loveyoudivine pubbed book, which are outrageously priced for content. As per my past experience with Loveyoudevine books, the writing quality is not that great. I do have a lot of mixed feelings about this book though.

Cassy is a young woman who’s totally inexperienced in sex. She’s a simple person that seems to be socially awkward with one on one, but gets on OK in general. She delivers food daily to an office near the bakery where she works and one woman has caught her eye. Being shy, she manages one day to get noticed by offering a menu and daily delivery to this woman.

Velvet is a high powered, workaholic career woman and completely stressed out. She’s also socially dysfunctional having no life outside of work. It takes her a while, but she does start to respond to Cassy and they go out for a date.

The trouble is that events, and the fact that both women are so out of touch with each other, could mean that having a future together might not be on the plate.

Unfortunately, this story fell way short for me. The stilted and disconnected ways in which the characters communicate with each other left me wondering if they are really into each other. It read to me like thoughts uttered with no connection to actions, kind of like a foreign film that’s been dubbed with all characters speaking different languages. There was also a lot of telling, which came across as if the author just didn’t want to deal with expanding or having the characters actually interact.

This is the first story I’ve ever read in which a character cannot have an orgasm and it’s a huge deal in this story. Cassy has never had one. Seriously though, she’s never had sex, nor has she ever masturbated, so it is kind of hard to have one in that case. But she’s sure it’s because she’s incapable. Velvet disappears after their first date leaving Cassy feeling like a sexual/ social misfit, so she gets with this woman who tries to teach her about her body.

The magic G-spot gets mentioned over and over as if it was equal to having an orgasm and I suppose that’s so for Cassy since she can’t have one. No matter what this woman does, Cassy cannot let go and feels inadequate.

The way these two women related though, came across as very clinical to me and I could see why Cassy would not have an orgasm; there’s no emotional connection between these two women. Plus, Cassy’s just too self conscious during sex. She does learn how to please a woman though, which she enjoys, and she accepts that this might be all she will have in sex. Of course, this other woman gets tired of an unresponsive Cassy and that story goes south really quickly.

Enter Velvet again. She just shows up apologizing for not being in contact but doesn’t seem to be really concerned about what Cassy might have been feeling. But then again, Velvet is a bit out of touch.

On that one date they went on before she left and not knowing Cassy too well, Velvet took Cassy to an adult video/ bar/ gaming place to watch lesbian porn and drink cocktails. Ok, that was a bit odd for me. Cassy describes that the only other occupants are men sitting randomly around, but not together. Oh really, you don’t say? Even more odd was that after this date of watching porn, Velvet offers Cassy a ride home as an after thought because she doesn’t want to leave her in a sketchy neighborhood at night. Huh? Then she just kisses her goodnight and leaves. Yes, definitely out of touch. Next…

Velvet and Cassy both establish that they are social loner types and end up spending days together getting to know each other. Velvet does tell Cassy that an orgasm isn’t everything and whatever they do is fine, which relives Cassy. On this point I will say that Velvet is kind of cool. She doesn’t push anything, giving Cassy a relaxed atmosphere during sex.

It’s easy to see what’s coming though, the magic vagina cock trope in which finally, being with the woman she loves, Cassy will have the big O. But you’d be wrong. Cassy still cannot have her big O moment because there is yet one more kink to their HEA. You’d think at this point that these two women, being dysfunctional, would have realized that they’ve both found a kindred spirit to get on in life with, but no. Once again, Velvet’s complete and utter lack of connectedness and ability to empathize interferes.

Velvet gets flaky again and acts rather ambivalent to Cassy when a new situation comes up and at this point, I felt these two are doomed. Even though, yes, it all gets worked out, she’s just way too flaky for me to believe these two will make a go of it. I know how I’d feel if someone I really loved just kind of agreed to be with me as an after thought. Uh… no. Sorry. Where’s the passion and intense need to really be together?

And then there’s this, the reason for the title: a spoiler

Yes, Cassy does get her orgasm. She not only gets her orgasm, she’s also gets marked on the forehead by Velvet with her own blood from her broken hymen. See, she was a virgin and her hymen never broke even though this other women Cassy was with fingered her as well. But magically, it’s only Velvet who deflowers her with her fingers. To say this was a bit weird is an understatement. I have read other blood ceremonies in lesbian erotica but I must say, this kind of takes the cake.

Bottom line, this was too weird a book for me. It did inspire in me though some feelings of pity and empathy for these two characters who seem like they are working against huge odds of being inherently socially awkward. It also gave me a softer feeling toward this book as if it, by itself, were some unfortunate being having no fault in its execution. Weird, huh?

Sex rating: wet panties- vanilla sex written in semi graphic terms. Low sexual activity.

Grade: C-


Cathy in AK said...

Their first date is at an adult video/bar/gaming place to watch porn???? Whatever happened to a nice dinner? Even if they were just going out for drinks, did it HAVE to be with all the "extras"? Maybe I haven't been in the dating world for while, and never a lesbian one, but I don't think my sensibilities are *that* far off.

Also, in this short story, Cassy goes out with Velvet, gets ignored by her afterward, has some amateur sex therapist-type help her to no avail, then gets back with Velvet? That's a lot in 13K.

LVLM said...

Whatever happened to a nice dinner? Even if they were just going out for drinks, did it HAVE to be with all the "extras"?

Exactly. This whole book was off for me. Has nothing to do with lesbians or not. If some guy I don't know that well took me to an adult video store to watch porn on our first date, RED FLAG!!! I mean, porn has it's place and I could see a couple watching it after they've been together for a while, but not a first date. Even if I had been pining over him for months.

Not only that, but Cassy was really very naive and simple. No sexual experience at all. It's the last place I would, as an older woman maybe, take a younger inexperienced girl for date.

That's a lot in 13K.

I didn't get the point of all that at all. The only thing it does is that it helps Cassy to have some self confidence when she does get with Velvet again. But she didn't know she would get with Velvet again.

Again it was very weird.

The thing that pissed me off the most about this story was how after Cassy and Velvet get back together again...Velvet has an opportunity for a job far away and when she tells Cassy, Cassy is like, so what about us and Velvet suggests that maybe it's better to break up. What?!!! But then Cassy fights for them and Velvet then goes, OK, I'll stay.

At that point I really disliked Velvet.

Anyway... yes, it was a weird book.