Saturday, August 28, 2010
Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt) is a single, straight, successful New York journalist who, like most of her female friends, has had a history of dating (male) creeps. But when she answers an intriguing personal ad from Helen (Heather Juergensen), Jessica finds herself intensely drawn to her. As Jessica explores this new side of her sexuality, the two begin a friendship that ultimately leads to romance.
Ok, I’m going to review this movie although I’m sure everyone’s seen it already, it being a so-called cult classic and all. I know I’ve seen bits and pieces of it on cable, but as the Mr. is not too keen on chick flicks and the clicker has become a permanent appendage to his hand, heh, I haven’t seen the whole movie. There are also a jabillion reviews for it at Amazon, so if you really have a burning desire to know all about it, you can glean through them.
I’m just going to talk about it from my perspective as a lover of bisexual and lesbian stories as a straight curious woman.
Jessica is fed up with the loser men she keeps getting set up with. The truth is, although they showed really loser guys to make a point in this film about how losery they are, she really is neurotic and picky. On a lark, she answers a personal ad in the paper from a woman who quoted something from a book she had just read that she took note of.
Helen, the one who put up the ad, is truly a bisexual woman. She has male lovers for each of her moods and she has experimented with women before, but has decided that she wants a meaningful relationship with a woman. A full on deal that doesn’t include the men anymore.
Helen and Jessica meet and it’s major awkward, especially for Jessica. In fact, she tries to leave before meeting. I can imagine how weird it is to meet someone from an ad for the first time, but add in the same sex factor when both aren’t lesbians and it would be even more awkward, I’d think.
Helen sticks it out with Jessica even though Jessica is taking the sexual aspect very sloooooowly. They start dating for real (having a full on sexual life) after a loooong while, but Jessica is keeping it all hidden, lying to her friends and family, embarrassed that she’s with a woman.
Things come to a head when Helen finds out that Jessica has not even shared the most basic of things about her life with her and she walks out. Jessica is devastated but comes around, deciding to work it out with Helen. However, she only does this after her meddling Jewish mom shows that she knows and accepts that Jess is with a woman. Personally, I don’t think she would have done that without the support of her mom or friends since she was so uptight about the whole gay thing for herself.
All the while, Josh, Jessica’s old friend, family friend and co-worker for years, has been pining over her while getting on her case and pointing out how messed up she is.
So…what I liked was how the women started to begin with. I could relate to both women. Answering an ad, experimenting with someone who is willing and open without expectations seems like an easy way to ease into something with a woman when you’ve never done that before. I mean if you put up and ad and someone answers, then there’s a high probability that the other is interested in being with a woman at any rate. Although Jessica started it on a whim, not really wanting to be with a woman, she does go through with it because she's had it with meeting men she can't get on board with.
With Helen, she finally meets someone who gets her and whom she can not be picky about.
Unfortunately, this story went the way of how I think it would go with a straight woman who is experimenting with a bi, lesbian or another curious straight woman. Their sexual and co-habitational relationship easily slipped into being “close” roommates with a lack of sex stemming from Jessica not being totally gung ho about it, but still wanting that close friendship.
This movie was light and funny and I think it approached the whole bisexual/curious thing in a good way, even if a bit stereotypical of a comedy. How nice that Jessica’s conventional Jewish family and best friend at work all think it’s kind of cool that she’s suddenly a lesbian. Reality? Not. But that’s part of the charm of this movie; it’s unrealistic, but possible.
While it stays in the realm of whatever floats your boat is OK, one gay friend of Helen gets pissed at her for co-opting gay sexuality just for experimentation when she has a choice to be straight. I can imagine that lesbians would get pissed as well with this movie. Although, it doesn’t get into any of the actual scocio/political aspects of being gay outside of Jessica's paranoia and denial.
This was the only part in which things got a bit serious because Helen feels she has to defend her desire to explore without being judged with her gay buds. And although Jessica’s friend thinks it’s so cool that she’s having an affair with a woman, she tells Jess that it would be better to end it since it will never work, because she actually gets along with this woman. Haha?
Another thing that also might piss off lesbians, which I can totally see, is that in the end, this is about Jessica taking a detour into bi-curious land on her way to finding her true love, a man. I would have been pissed myself at the usual “it’s OK to get with a chick for fun, but only until you meet the man who shows what it’s really all about.” However, Jessica was never portrayed as really being enthusiastic about her relationship with Helen. There was always a feeling that she would bolt at the slightest conflict. Yes, she loves Helen, but it’s clear there are hesitations all the time. So, it’s no big shock that she can’t handle the full on reality of it.
But ultimately, this is a cute, non-judgmental film about female (bi) sexuality that let’s face it, is pretty rare even with current trends of chicks with chicks being cool. It is kind of funny and Jessica and Helen are quirky enough characters to keep this rather non-serious. It is what it is I guess, an easy way to pass a couple of hours being entertained.
Heat level- 2- minor kissing.
Friday, August 27, 2010
1990 BBC (DVD)
Based on the book Portrait of a Marriage by Nigel Nicolson, Vita Sackville-West’s son.
From the BBC, Janet McTeer stars as Vita Sackville-West in the classic Masterpiece Theatre drama British aristocrat and writer Vita Sackville-West and diplomat Harold Nicolson married in 1913, and their love endured and deepened over the course of their 50 years together. Each, however, was knowingly and repeatedly unfaithful to the other, Vita most famously with fellow writer Virginia Woolf. But only one affair threatened their union: Vita’s tempestuous liaison with her childhood friend Violet Keppel. This BBC drama is the story of that affair based on the extraordinary literary biography by Nigel Nicolson, Vita and Harold’s son.
Award-winning actress Janet McTeer (Tumbleweeds, Carrington) stars as Vita with David Haig (Two Weeks Notice) as Harold, and Cathryn Harrison (Clarissa) as Violet.
First I’d like to say that I had never heard of Vita Sackville-West, although I’ve read many authors of her era. I have some time to watch some films on my break, so I looked up “lesbian” in my library catalog and this movie came up. So I got it just by chance.
Vita Sackville-West was a complex woman in her time and lived a life full of passion. Since watching the film, which affected me on many visceral levels, I’ve looked her up and her story is fascinating. She was a famous author in her own right and was also a lover of Virginia Woolf briefly after her affair with Violet.
For the purposes of this review, I’m sticking to the movie representation. There are some interesting reviews of the book on Goodreads that go into actual history. There are also accounts by Vita herself and Virginia Woolf of Vita’s affair with Violet, but since I haven’t read those, I can only speak to the movie representation. From what I’ve gleaned though, this movie is a fairly accurate portrayal of her relationship with both Violet and Harold.
The most immediate, visceral reaction I had to this film was--- intense. This story was extremely passionate as portrayed in the film. Vita took me on an emotional roller-coaster that took me to some interesting places and I really didn’t want this story to end. To hang out with a person so consumed by their passion for a few hours is a ride I didn’t want to get off of.
The movie starts out with Vita and Harold in middle age, living what seems a typical upper middle class quiet life in the country. Vita receives a letter from Violet and this affects her to the point of tears, downing several glasses of booze and chain smoking after she runs and locks herself in her room. It’s very clear that this letter has had a painful effect on Vita. The scene then goes back in time with Vita remembering her past starting with her earliest memories of Violet as a child and then on to her marriage to Harold.
The movie then continues on in the past from that point until the end when it comes back to present time.
She’s had two sons and all seems to be the perfect marriage and life, even if Vita wasn’t happy with Harold’s career as a foreign ambassador. It’s very clear though that both she and Harold love each other deeply. The poo hits the fan though when Harold confesses that he’s contracted venereal disease from sex with men. Vita is upset but loves Harold, and doesn’t really freak at this. This though seems to be the impetus to the beginning of her love affair with Violet. But I suspect it’s in the movie only since she did have a love affair with a classmate when she was a teen, which was mentioned later in the film. She did mention Violet though when she and Harold discussed getting married, hinting already at Harold’s dislike of Violet and Vita’s unusual closeness to her.
The story carries on for the next years as Vita and Violet become more and more involved and bold; Vita dressing as a man as they cavort around Paris in alternative clubs and in English bed and breakfasts. During this whole time, Harold still loves her and fights for their marriage and it is clear that Vita and Harold have a bond that cannot be broken even though she’s obsessed with Violet. She won’t leave Harold, really.
The relationship that Vita and Violet have borders on co-dependent at times, to the point where they lose all perspective of their responsibilities. Especially Vita lives a fun life with Violet for months in Paris, missing Christmas at home and selfishly ignoring the fact that she has a husband and children. I think a lot of mothers would have a hard time with this aspect, although I don’t know if IRL she was as cold to her sons as portrayed. Her youngest son wrote her biography and although shocked at a life he never knew about, he held her in the highest regard. So who knows really? But it will be hard for a mother to not hate her for that.
Violet, in this portrayal, cannot live without Vita and seems to have been the one dominated by Vita. Although, she constantly gets on Vita’s case for succumbing to what she thinks is a boring bourgeois life of a middle class housewife with kids, which conflicts Vita internally. Violet marries at the insistence of her mother, but makes a deal with her betrothed that she will only do so if he will not touch her. She comes across as rather selfish as well, callously living as she pleases at the expense of others. But her passion for Vita is unparalleled. It’s the only thing she cares about in life and she would die without her.
What was really fascinating is that both the husbands, at times, go after the two women who try to run away to live together outside of their marriages and lives. There are lots of confrontations and both men seem to be at a loss of how to deal with Vita and Violet. And yet, somehow both men cannot walk away from the women. Particularly Harold. He really does love Vita more than anything and he sticks with her no matter how many women Vita has affairs with. This was something really interesting to me. But then again, Harold was having many affairs with men that both he and Vita accepted while they stayed married.
On many levels, Vita comes across as a really selfish person, which she herself acknowledges. She knows she’s acting selfishly, and yet, she has a fiery nature that she cannot contain. Especially when it comes to Violet, who apparently affected her the most and was the love of her life. However, it was easy to sympathize with her because you can see the internal struggle she goes through. She loves Violet in an obsessive way, and yet, she loves Harold as well. Trying to give reign to both of those conflicting passions drives her insane almost. Harold is the safe harbor for her internal chaos, while Violet is her need to feel alive at all costs.
The acting by Janet McTeer in this film was amazing. She brought Vita to life vividly in all her pain, agony, passion, and love as a woman driven by her emotions. David Haig also did a great job at representing Harold. He easily could have come across as pathetic, but it’s clear that he wasn’t dominated by Vita. Vita’s mother in this movie came across as a tyrant. I don’t know how she was written in the book, but again, from what I’ve gleaned, she had a hold on Vita that Vita couldn’t shake. At any rate, the movie was rich and lush and didn’t hold back or try to romanticize Vita’s life, but portrayed her in a very real and human light.
For those who might be wondering, there are a few sex scenes that were tastefully done and not too graphic. But there is quite a lot of kissing between the characters Vita and Violet. And there was one very intense scene in which Vita, in a rage because Violet has married, rapes Violet. I know that will bother some people, but Janet McTeer did a great job of expressing the all consuming pain Vita is feeling that she would do that. These two women had an extremely tempestuous relationship and that came through in the actor portrayals.
I highly recommend this film. Not only for the realistic portrayal of a famous person, but for the impassioned expression of a woman who openly loved women in a time when it just wasn’t that acceptable.
Heat level- 3- some sexual scenes, but not too graphic.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
by Karin Kallmaker
Buy it Amazon, B&N
Brandy Monsoon is looking for love. Since there's never a shortage of casual playmates at the tropical resort where she works as a fitness trainer, most of the time she gets it, too.
If Brandy tires of the perpetually curious but primarily straight women, there's her best friend Tess for a friendly encounter – safe, with no strings. After all, they're just buddies.
When an all-lesbian tour group arrives for a week, Brandy is sure she'll be in paradise on earth. The guests include lesbian celebrity comic Celine Griffin, who has an obvious interest in an after-dinner Brandy. Celine and Brandy do find explosive pleasure together -- so why does Brandy feel as if that's no longer enough for happiness?
What comes to mind when I think about how this book read for me is, beach read. All The Wrong Places is light, fun erotic romance with easy going characters and a summery, recreational backdrop in which they get to play. This is also a friends to lovers story, which I’ve come to really enjoy.
Brandy is one of those characters who I’d love to be friends with. She’s a light, easy going but inherently grounded person. Although a full on confirmed lesbian who has no issues about it within herself, she seems to be constantly getting involved in non-committal flings with straight girls who want to experiment. Brandy knows this not a good thing for her ultimately, but she hasn’t met a lesbian who rocks her world. She’s also a person who has had to deal with major crap from her family who’ve disowned her for being gay and it still affects her psyche.
Although this story is told from Brandy’s POV in first person, I will talk about Tess as well. Tess is working with Brandy in the same resort. The resort they work at has an unwritten policy of don’t ask don’t tell about sleeping with the clientele. Both Brandy and Tess enjoy mingling with the guests on a sexual level; Brandy with straight women and Tess with men. Tess is the type of woman who goes with men to scratch an itch. She loves sex and especially when she’s premenstrual, she seems to need non-stop sex. Unfortunately, she hasn’t met a man who can satisfy her when she’s hormonal and then have a normal sex life the rest of the month.
Tess and Brandy are friends and after one night of desperation and lack of satisfaction with the man she was with, Tess heads over to Brandy’s for some girlfriend comfort, and bitch about men and sex, time. This innocently leads to a hot night of unbridled sex in which Brandy satisfies Tess’ hormonal/sexual needs without a break and Tess finds out how juicy it is to be with a woman. In the following weeks, they have several friends-with-benefits encounters but stay just friends.
The rest of the story is Brandy’s musing and obsessing over her growing feelings for Tess as she realizes that Tess has maybe switched sides for good and that makes her a bit jealous. They have an easy going relationship, sexually and otherwise, until a group of lesbians show up at the resort giving Brandy some options with real lesbians. It also gives Tess a chance to explore to Brandy’s chagrin.
What I really enjoyed about All The Wrong Places is that it was a nice slow build to a sweet love story between Brandy and Tess. I love it when I’m reading and half way through I’m really dying for two people to get together, wondering and hoping that it can work out. I love it when I can feel the ache of the characters and ache myself for them to get what they want. Ms. Kallmaker created that longing and tension in this story, but not in an angsty, heavy way.
Ms. Kallmaker’s style of writing is fun and very erotic, meaning, there’s a lot of sex in this book, written fairly graphically. However, it all had its place and nothing felt gratuitous. Nor did it really feel over the top erotic, but more playfully sexy.
All The Wrong Places was basically a few weeks in the life of Brandy and what she feels about them. It’s a rather intimate viewpoint and I liked that; it had the feel of chatting with a girlfriend and her sharing everything that happened, which kept this entertaining.
I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a light lesbian love story with a satisfying ending.
Heat level 5- graphically written sex scenes. Strap-on, dildo.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
This is what I know I should be doing-
I'm trying, I really am. But it seems that all the books I've started lately are not grabbing me. I'm feeling like Goldilocks; This book is too technical, this book's dialogue I don't understand, this book doesn't have enough sex, this book has too much sex, this book is just boring. I don't know, I'm just so bored and can't get worked up about reading any book. That sucks.
But I've also been doing a lot of heavy work in my yard since I have a long school break, which has me wiped out and in pain. The mister and I decided to do some landscaping, but didn't realize what we were getting into when we decided to upgrade our garden border from cherry log poles to stone walls, plus cleaning out a whole section of garden that was severely overgrown with ground cover, Oregon grape, stringy Rhododendrons, and ferns. It's just a lot of heavy work. And seriously, I hate gardening. Hate it! But I am having fun even with the pain. Learned how to build a retaining wall for the first time, which has been fun even though hard work.
Our walk up to the house. Left side was all overgrown.
The 10 yards of top soil I have to schlep. And the second garden I have to build a wall for.
Have to build a small wall around my Buddha garden as well. That also was completely overgrown and a huge mess.
We had to offload 250- 25lb stones, since stupid Home Depot will only drop off curbside now. Then I got 10- 60 lb. bags of gravel for the wall base and schlepped them myself from shelf to car to sidewalk. We still need 12 more. Ugh.
I can't wait to be done though. I'm working like 4-5 hours a day outside. But it feels good to move my body.
What I'd really like to be doing on my school break:
Read any good books lately? Or seen a good movie?
Saturday, August 14, 2010
By Monica Conti
Jan. 27, 2010
Contemporary/ Lesbian erotica
Get it at Smashwords
This is the torrid tale of a lesbian writer who discovers the hidden world of the taboo in a New Orleans dance club. Intensely erotic, the story intercuts sexual episodes with observations about the nature of desire.
I’ve heard of Smashwords and thought it to be a site much like Lulu where authors self publish and I guess I’ve worried that I’d have to slog through tons of crap to find a gem. I became curious and typed in “lesbian” and a lot of books came up, some by authors I’ve reviewed and know and others that looked rather interesting. I noticed that some are free so I read this book since there were a few stars along with it with nice comments.
Just a brief synopsis- I won’t give names because they only get mentioned right at the end of the story. Monica Conti actually refers to her main character as “the writer.” The writer works at a normal job as a writer for a magazine. She has to be fairly straight laced during the day but wishes to let loose her more darker, sexual side at night. She ends up in a strip club and has women dance for her. She goes there almost every night and all the girls come to know her and like to dance for her. She doesn’t care that she’s the only female customer. Since this is a short story, it’s mostly about this short period in the writer’s life and what goes on in her head and sexually about it.
To say that this short little story was a delicious find is to put it very mildly. I was immediately sucked in by the clean, elegant and poetic writing style of Ms Conti. Not only did the writing style grab me, the little details that were picked up on in how the characters see things and think, quietly stand out in crisp, expressive ways. Reading this reminded me of those moments when we are totally present and the minutest of details become the focal points. In short, Song of the Sirens read like looking at picture or movie in which I was drawn in and made part of.
I’ve read a lot of erotica. There’s a lot of really bad erotica out there, which I paid for unfortunately, that is labeled erotica due to the graphic nature of how the sex is written, or by the fact of lots of different sexual scenarios, with the focus purely on the sex. Much of it is coarse and written in a more pornish way with no regard for the sensuality around sex.
Then there is high brow erotica. This type of erotica is my favorite. It’s classy and turns sex and eroticism into an art. It’s usually beautifully written and inspires not only sexual titillation, but something more sublime and sensual. This is the type of erotica I prefer to read, but it’s hard to find and it’s a matter of taste.
Song of the Sirens is just that type of erotica for me. I was taken into a dark, seedy, sexual world but didn’t feel icky or like I needed a shower afterward. I felt, wow, this is something I’d totally want to experience. Monica Conti has a beautiful way with words and storytelling, really getting into the head of her characters.
Since this is a free read, it’s a nice glimpse into what kind of stories Ms. Conti writes. I’m definitely going to buy another of her books to see if the same writing quality is there.
Heat level- 5- erotically written with graphic terminology. Strap-on.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
by Leigh Ellwood
Nov 17, 2009
Contemporary/ Bisexual/ f/f
Buy it ARe, Amazon (Kindle), Smashwords, DLP books ($.79)
Desperate to achieve release with a little help from her trusty toy, Marissa tries to be discreet and not disturb her roommate. Nell, however, is quick to convince Marissa to change her plans...and to share more than her battery-operated pet.
I’ve decided to review both Share and Share Some More at the same time because both books were short—readable in one sitting together—and they’re connected.
First I’d like to say that I’ve read a few of Leigh Ellwood’s books and have never been disappointed. They’ve all been rather cute and full of heart and warmth. And in the f/f genre, often they are stories of friends who become lovers in uncomplicated and natural ways, which I rather like.
In Share, it’s the same situation between friends. Nell and Marissa are roommates who have a normal platonic roommate relationship. While Marissa is focused on getting through school, not having a sex or romantic life, Nell seems to have a revolving door of men. Nell’s not too interested in settling down with anyone and likes to keep things on a purely superficial, sexual level with the men she's with.
The story basically starts with Marissa coming home and hearing sounds of sex from Nell’s room, assumes there’s a guy there. Marissa feels a bit lonely and fed up with her lack of a sex life, so she decides to take care of business on her own with her trusty dolphin vibrator. Right in the middle of her excursion into self pleasuring, Nell walks in. Of course Marissa is humiliated, but Nell hops into bed with her and things go in a whole new direction, one that Marissa finds herself turned on by and shocked at the same time.
Since Share is such a short book, it’s mostly the story of Nell and Marissa’s first night together with a leave off of an HFN. They both easily slip into a comfortable sexual relationship, although they both agree that it’s just a friends with benefits situation. Nell finally shares with Marissa that she’s really bisexual and doesn’t want to let go of having cock once in a while. And Marissa identifies as straight but is just enjoying what's going on with Nell for the moment.
I like the easy going dynamics of these two. There’s no big drama and they’ve worked things out for now.
The sex is graphic but not hard core and a sweetness--- although not too sugary-- comes through in how they interact. It’s kind of my perfect scenario between two women, although I do prefer it when they form a more permanent bond. For what it is, it's a hot little quickie.
Heat level- 4 – graphic but not over the top sexual scenario. f/f. Masturbation, toys.
Share Some More
by Leigh Ellwood
April 7, 2010
Contemporary/ Bi/ f/f
Buy it ARe, Amazon (Kindle), Smashwords, DLP books ($.79)
The sequel to Share. Marissa enjoys her friends with benefits arrangement with roommate Nell, but lately the twinge of jealousy makes it difficult to have fun. Between a professor persistent on employing her for dubious acts and her jealousy toward the latest object of Nell's affection, Marissa wonders how much longer she can share herself. Will she stop?
The blurb is pretty much what this story is about, so I’ll just comment about it.
The main thing about this story was that I went from being leery about the direction the book seemed to be going, to being very satisfied. Leigh Ellwood threw in a few curves and changed direction a few times, hinting at other scenarios. But luckily it all came together in a good way in the end.
The book starts out with Marissa walking in on her professor humping a fellow student and her uncomfortable feelings about it. The prof then asks Marissa if she would secretly watch while he’s having sex and he will pay her. The prof is married to a very sick wife with whom he says he has an agreement to screw around, which he takes full advantage of. Marissa has a visceral reaction against all this, but she could really use the money, which would be substantial. I have to admit that I was a bit worried about where the book was heading right off due to this. It turns out this isn’t the only story line that had me wondering if I will dislike this book or love it.
The story then shifts to Nell and Marissa. They’ve been having a nice light sexual thing going, while staying commitment free friends. They have an unwritten agreement that bringing over men is fine, but if one would want another woman, it might be uncomfortable. They've been carrying on like this for a few months and it's all been good. That is, until Nell mentions that she’s met someone she’s interested in, someone who’s not a man. Suddenly Marissa realizes that what she feels for Nell might be more than friends with bennys, which she’s surprised at.
There are lots of implications of several scenarios going on, two of which I didn’t feel I wanted to read and which would have been against my current experience with the type of stories that I like from Ms. Ellwood. But she created an ending that I could get on board with and which left things off on a much stronger HEA for both Nell and Marissa.
All along, in both Share and this book, the POV is mostly Marissa’s. I liked Marissa as a character and was glad that she stuck to her guns even though she’s tempted on several levels to go against her nature. She’s a quality person who catalyzes Nell’s superficial nature to something more likable for me in the end.
Share Some More is a bit longer than Share, however, there’s not as much sex in the book, it’s more plot and story, which actually fit perfectly. And once again, Ms Ellwood delivered the warmth mixed with sexual hotness typical to her characters and scenarios.
Heat level- 4- there was one or two graphic scenes. Masturbation, voyeurism.
Friday, August 6, 2010
So... While I was locked up basically taking care of the sick kitten, I somehow got hooked into HGTV and now I'm addicted. I can't stop watching it! And since I'm still sleeping the guest room with the kitten at night until I know our older alpha mama will not kill her-- she's gone after the kitten a few times--I'm watching TV instead of my usual reading.
I'll try and get a few really short stories reviewed in the next week though.
I still have 3 finals to do by the 10th. And since I lost time with kitty in the guest room keeping her entertained, I got behind again. I'm so done with school at the moment and can't wait to just be able to do what I want for a while.
I've been seeing a few new f/f books that are coming out so I thought I'd pimp them since all of them are from authors I like so far.
First out- Aug 10th
The Princess Bride
by KT Grant
Daisy de Fleurre, an exiled princess from a far away land longs for true love. She almost experienced that at the tender age of seventeen, when she and her servant Chelsey, engaged in a smoldering love affair for one brief summer before they were both separated forever. Eight years later, Daisy is now engaged to a man who wants to offer her the world. But Daisy still longs for the woman she has never forgotten.
Out Aug 15th
by Adriana Kraft Whiskey Torrid Creek Press
When Meghan Keenan’s old flame Josh Hendricks unexpectedly shows up at the Summer Shakespeare Festival where she has a leading role, Meg has a brilliant inspiration: he’ll be perfect for Camila, the hot Latina who currently shares Meg’s bed. If Meg’s scheme works, she can continue to enjoy sexy escapades with both of them.Josh has a different idea. He’s come to the Festival with one goal in mind: to marry Meg. Will Camila buy into the plan and help him spark Meg’s jealousy? Can Josh escape this tempting triangle unscathed? And if he does, can he claim his would-be bride before she flees in panic?
Out Sept. 1
Kaydee & the Tramp
by Titania Ladley
“Show me how a woman makes love to a woman.” Hearing that from any hetero woman is normally a deal-breaker. But when lesbian Kaydee Truman is propositioned with those words by her longtime secret crush—her best friend’s widowed step mom—temptation takes a front seat to propriety. Savanah Kirtright exudes irresistible sex appeal, and her many past experiences lie solely with men. Savanah’s unexpected enthusiasm to learn how to please a woman proves to be more than Kaydee can resist.
Nov. 2nd - yes, it's a long way away at this point, but this looks kind of good.
by Paisley Smith
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
By Ava McKnight
July 22, 2010
Contemporary/ Erotica/ ménage- f/f/m
Quickie- (have no idea word count on that) Jasmine Jade
Who says you can’t always get what you want? Shayla is a Savannah socialite with a secret fetish for bad boys. When the younger, mysterious Keith pulls up in a hot muscle car, she knows he’s exactly what she wants. Even if it’s only for one night.
Back at Keith’s apartment, there are no strings attached and no holds barred, especially when Keith’s pretty roommate Carla joins the action. Shayla checks her inhibitions at the door and enjoys an erotic ride that’s double the fun, with Keith and Carla focused solely on her pleasure!
Publisher’s Note: This story was previously published elsewhere under the title Wet & Wild and has been revised for Ellora’s Cave.
There’s really not too much to say about All For Shayla. It’s a cute, quickie that’s pure erotica and for what it is, it’s pretty good. I mean, except for the first few pages in which Shayla’s internal dialogue goes on and on about how she’s a good girl who has a thing for baaaad boys, it’s pretty much non-stop, very graphic sex.
Shayla is bored at the bar she’s in. She’s an upper class girl, dressed in designer clothes and is sick of all the preppy rich, but boring guys her parents hope she’ll end up with. Not seeing any bad boy prospects for a hot one-nighter, she heads out only to come across the sound of GTO engine. What’s this? A potential bad boy? Things are looking up. She stands around letting him know that she’s up for some action without even caring what he looks like.
He bites and brings her home. After a round of getting each other off, he introduces her to his roommate Carla. Carla comes across as a bit of a shark, ready to eat Shayla up. She’s a lesbian, but loves doing threeways with Keith and other women. Since Shayla is up for being a bad girl, which includes kink, she goes right along with it.
Seriously, that’s pretty much the plot. What I liked about it was that it was no holds barred sex without big discussions around it or judgments. All parties are just out for a commitment free good time and that’s fine for what it is. I knew that going in to the story.
The threesome sex was really hot although I’m not so sure that a lesbian would be into threesomes with a man. However, Carla really didn’t have sex with Keith, she had sex with Shayla while Shayla had sex with Keith, so I didn’t get too uptight about it. There might be some lesbians out there who are into this kind of thing and there might be some lesbians who’d read this and get miffed maybe. Fair warning.
For erotica it’s a fun read. For readers who like f/f/m erotica, this is a juicy little story.
Heat level: 5- m/f sex, f/f/m, graphically written sex with hard core language.
Grade: C+-- I would have given a higher grade if the author wouldn’t have spent so much time telling the reader how Shayla likes bad boys.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
by Ali Vali
Jan 1, 2006
304 pgs. – Bold Strokes Books
Buy it Amazon, Bold Strokes Books
Brains, guts, and ruthless ambition should be enough to come out on top in any fight. Except when the battle is over love, all bets are off. Derby Cain Casey was groomed from birth to take the reins of the Casey family enterprises, which just happens to be one of the major crime organizations in New Orleans.
Surviving by never turning away from a fight and knowing how to win at all costs, Cain is as careful with her heart as she is with her business - until she meets Emma Verde. The farm girl from Wisconsin puts a hit out on Cain’s heart and leads her down a dangerous road filled with great joy and devastating sorrow.
The Devil Inside is the story of unexpected passion, a shattering betrayal, and the challenge of love put to the test.
The Devil inside is one of the best books I’ve read recently. It’s a well written suspense story with characters that totally pop. Cain Casey is one of the most provocative and unique characters I’ve read in a long while. The Devil Inside is also pretty heavy on parent/child relationship dynamics, which was different as well.
Cain and Emma come from completely different worlds. Emma is a farm girl from Wisconsin with a strict, closed minded, religiously conservative mother who condemns her for being a lesbian, although her father is a lot more open.
Cain is from a tight knit Irish crime family. She’s been brought up in an atmosphere in which loyalty and family are number one. When her father died, he left the family business to her and she’s become one of the most powerful crime bosses in New Orleans.
Cain and Emma fell in love, set up house together and had a child; the sperm donation from Cain’s brother. One day, something bad happens to Emma and Cain takes care of, um, punishing the person, which freaks Emma. Emma decides she can’t stand being part of whatever Cain does for the family business and leaves, never contacting them again.
The story starts to really kick in when Emma suddenly shows up after 4 years wanting to be back in their son Hayden’s life, but with an ulterior motive and a few secrets she’s hiding. At the same time, Cain is in a constant mouse and cat game with the FBI, while she seeks revenge on the person who killed and tortured her developmentally challenged sister.
The suspense part of this story is full of intrigue and realistically written. Cain is brilliant, but has vulnerabilities and is always one step ahead of the FBI, although the FBI head who’s been on Cain’s tail for years has become obsessed with bringing her down at any cost. Ali Vali constantly switched things up so I never really knew what was going on with Cain, Emma, the FBI and other intrigue and this kept the suspense and tension very high.
The relationships in this story are real and complexly developed as well. Cain herself is such a delicious character. One would think that what she does and who she is would be a turn off and cause the reader to chose Emma to root for, however, Ali Vali walked a really tight line with her. She’s not as cut and dry as one would think. Things that both Cain and Emma do ask the reader to question actions that aren’t usually considered kosher or agreeable to most.
Even though she does what she does, Cain has a strong code of ethics, honor and loyalty with all the people she loves and she will do whatever it takes to protect them. The way she deals with Hayden as a parent is so clean cut and mature, while she acknowledges that Emma is his mother and she deserves some respect for that even if she herself is angry and unforgiving of Emma for leaving. She's definitely a character that leaves you thinking a lot.
Emma in this story is not as developed as Cain. It’s clear that she’s got the best intentions but she’s done several things against Cain and her son that say “I’m not with you through thick and thin.” She also goes back home to her parents after leaving, which I just didn’t get. Her mother really is one of those nasty people who think their piousness makes them better than everyone else while they condemn everyone who don’t think like them. Particularly she treats Emma like crap. I just couldn’t get why Emma would go back to that or even listen to her mom, whom she still lets influence her.
The contrast between Cain and Emma though is what makes part of this story good. It’s clear that they do have strong feelings for each other, feelings that might still have to be dealt with. But trying to work it out is part of this story, so it’s not really a love story, but more a love story of two people who are trying to heal on some level with a bumpy road ahead. And for those who like family dynamics with kids and all, this story has a lot of that.
The only thing that bugged me in how this book was written was the use of flashbacks. I found that they were awkward at times and I felt they were inserted too often to let us know some of the back story. Sometimes flashbacks work really well on the level of keeping a story on a current pace while giving more background, but in this case sometimes it was too much information or went overboard. But this was Ali Vali's first book, so one might expect a few funky things. Mostly though, I really enjoyed Ali Vali’s style of writing and it came across as very polished and well done.
One thing I did really like about the fact that this story is about two lesbians basically, is that it was written as if being a lesbian was normal and accepted in society. Not one person questions it for either women outside of Emma’s mother. Not anyone in the FBI, nor the crime families, nor anyone else in the story. It was treated as if being a lesbian were a common, everyday thing in society. I loved this because wouldn’t it be so cool if that were the case?
One thing I do have to warn people about, I didn’t realize this was the first book of a series and I was very disappointed in the end. It was left off rather abruptly and with no resolution to Cain, Emma and Hayden’s working things out, or Cain’s war with a rival crime boss. But knowing there are 3 more books that continue on with the story made me feel better.
All in all The Devil Inside is an excellent read and a definite recommend to anyone who likes suspense.
Heat level: 3 There are some sex scenes but they aren’t too graphic and are only a small part of the story.