by Paisley Smith
Contemporary/ f/f/m/ Erotica
May 25, 2011
Buy it Ellora’s Cave
Jess has always been curious about being with another woman. Soon after her husband Ben gives her the go-ahead to join a swingers’ website, Jess meets another couple interested in a little girl-on-girl swap.
Tina is drop-dead gorgeous and her husband Bradley is equally hot. With Ben’s blessing, Jess is soon experiencing wholly new pleasures at the hands of another woman; pleasures wrought by soft fingers, a feminine tongue…a sexy strap-on. But sex is rarely just physical. As Jess delves deeper into this taboo lifestyle, she wonders how newfound feelings for Tina will affect her relationship with her husband.
Jess quickly discovers she’s not as prepared as she thought for some aspects of her newly defined sexuality—including the fact her darkest, most secret fantasy might finally be fulfilled.
Anyone who’s read my reviews here knows that I’m a fan of Paisley Smith. She writes about bisexual characters, which are pretty rare in the romance world and I enjoy her writing style quite a lot. Fortunately, Soft Swap was another hit for me.
Let’s start with the characters. They are all easy going types who don’t angst too much about what’s going on with their partner’s needs or desires to experiment. This was a plus for me. Of course, since this story is told in 1st person by Jess, we get into her head for most of this story. And really, it’s anyway all about her in that the other characters are there to support her fantasy and desire.
Jess and Ben decide to get with another couple to amp up their sex life and to explore some of Jess’ fantasies. Jess has always dreamed about being with a woman and Ben finds this kind of hot. Before I go further here because I know many readers of f/f dislike the whole chick being with a chick to turn the guy on scenario, I can tell you, this isn’t it. While Ben does love the idea and finds it a turn on to watch Jess get it on with Tina, he never goes into that territory of it being about him. It was just a nice side effect of Jess’ fantasy for him and he stayed very respectful to her in that.
Tina and Bradley have been swapping with other couples for a while, and while Tina has been with and enjoys women, it seems to be more of a fun thing to do for her than a need.
They all readily jump in when it comes time to get it on, but there were ground rules. I liked this. This becomes important because certain boundaries get explored, including Jess’ desire to be with Tina without the men, and it kept the story more about Jess’ desire to explore with Tina, but with Ben’s and Bradley's blessings.
One of the downsides for me in this story was that Jess’ character sort of mind fucks about who or what she is, a common thing in first experience bisexual stories. Is she gay, is she bi, does she just want to have sex only with a woman sometimes, does she want a full on romantic/sexual relationship with a woman, does this mean that she doesn’t love her husband anymore, etc.
For me this sometimes goes too much into realistic territory, like I’m reading someone’s real diary or hearing about a real experience in which a person is working out very real issues that I imagine do come up for someone who wants to a.) explore sex with someone other than their partner and b.) explore with someone of their own sex for the first time.
On the one hand I respect that this aspect is brought into this kind of story, on the other, I tend to enjoy stories of this kind when the characters just enjoy their fantasies and go for it without too much angst-ing. Fortunately, there is enough fantasy around this whole thing that I didn’t get too wrapped up in her inner dialogue. And Jess does recognize that she's over-thinking things, which did mitigate some of me neg feeling around it.
For those who are wondering, while Jess has a really good time with Tina and finds that she has some feelings for her, she’s very clear that she loves Ben and there’s no way that this whole turn of events means that she has to choose Ben or Tina. She comes to love Ben even more that he allowed her to go with her fantasy and this solidifies their relationship even more.
The sex. Wow, yes, there’s lots of sex in this short story. And it’s hot sex. Spicy, hot, juicy sex. It’s why I will label it erotica. However, it’s not written as a bunch of bodies just getting it on. Paisley Smith managed to infuse a lot of warmth, some tenderness, and a dose of respectfulness into the sex scenes. This is what made this story a bit more than the usual erotica for me. There’s also a slight amount of D/s dynamic in those scenes which kept them from getting too sugary sweet or vanilla.
I highly recommend Soft Swap if you’re looking for an erotic story that feature f/f/m, with a good feeling. It’s well a written and fun fantasy.
Heat Level: 5 – F/f, f/f/m, anal play, strap-on, spanking.
MA's Review of Soft Swap on Goodreads
MA's Review of Soft Swap on Goodreads