Monday, January 16, 2012

Review- The Last Best Tip (Grift-Girs) by Cassandra Duffy

The Last Best Tip (Grift-Girls)
By Cassandra Duffy
July 4, 2011
Lesbian/ Paranormal/Erotic
16.6K words
Publisher: Sapphic Pixie Tales

“This is a novella, actually it’s a novella with two short stories attached to it, but even then it shouldn’t be mistaken for a novel. Like most summer trysts, when the heat is too oppressive for a long love-making session, it’s short, intense, hopefully satisfying, and over before you’re likely to succumb to heat stroke.” ~Cassandra Duffy

The lone anchor in Lucy’s life is a job she hates at a swingers club in the heart of middle America; without it, she would be just another twenty-something college dropout, who never quite reached her potential, and is as unlucky in love as most everything else. It’s a shame she hates her job. Sasha, her vampire crush, working in the bar across the way, is in a similar boat, but she has a way out…

Lucy breaks the law, breaks rules she didn’t even know she had, and risks what little she has left to be with Sasha. In this sexy, lighthearted comedy of errors luck and flexibility aren’t always what they seem.

I loved Cassandra Duffy's The Gunfighter and The Gear-Head so I was jonsen to try another of her books. This book actually contains three stories, all with a vampire theme. To be honest, I'm not that excited about reading vampire stories any more, however I do put that aside if there's a particular author's work I have admired.

While the vampire aspect of these stories was really nothing more than a character who happened to be a vampire, meaning for me, there's no mythology build-up to give that aspect a unique feel to it, what Cassandra Duffy did do is create two unique characters in the first story and focus on the dream like, nebulous quality of the typical vampire portrayal in the last two. These, I did get excited about.

The Last Best Tip-- is about a vampire and a human who are partners in crime. The blurb is an accurate description of this story so I'll go from there. I have a soft spot for strong, clever women who have chutzpah and like to break the rules. Before Lucy and Sasha meet, Lucy didn't really ever think about scamming people, but Sasha sparks that part of her that likes that excitement. Both are working in jobs they hate and Sasha, the vampire and more worldly person, convinces Lucy to work a con with her so they can open their own bar. Lucy readily jumps on this.

This story is fun and very erotic with strong exhibitionist/voyeuristic elements to it. I thought it kind of funny that these two rather wild and kinky ladies would want to open a normal lesbian sports bar in the Midwest after having worked in fetish bars, but how their con turns out works out for the best for them. As a couple, there's a lot of sexual heat, but the romantic angle is a bit glossed over. That was fine because these two ladies are juicy and that's what's interesting in this story.

An Eternal Night of Overtime--- Brooke is a young, former surfer girl from Australia who lands a job as an assistant with a famous and difficult designer Vendela. Vendela has a reputation of being weird and off-beat. She has a home up in Barrow, AK and she wants Brooke to come up there with her to work on her designs during the coldest and darkest time, Nov-Jan.

After Brooke arrives, she finds Vendela's massive stone and metal house to be cold and unwelcoming and a bit shocking since Vendela creates colorful, splashy clothes. After Vendela arrives though, things get weird and Brooke can't tell if what's going on is a dream or real.

I have to be honest, at first I was reading this and thinking WTF? It's a story set in Alaska above the Arctic Circle. Already, that's odd because we're talking about a fashion icon who you'd think would want to work in NY or CA. But it piqued my interest. Second, Brooke wakes from sleep after being called by Vendela and walks downstairs not realizing what she's wearing. I was thinking, how can you not notice something like that? But as I read the story it all became clear and quite the turn-on.

This was my favorite story of the three. It's got a biting starkness to it that's really unique in an erotic story. And I love, love stories, particularly sexual scenarios, in which what's going on is dreamy or hazy.

Haunted House on Top--- Cami, who's a vampire and her human, long distance girlfriend, Brianna, are meeting up for Halloween night. Cami's gay best friend Lewis has told her about a haunted house that would be fun to go to and they need a special password to get in. When the girls get there the house is in a constant flux with rooms and people appearing and disappearing.

The girls' story together is basically that they are already a couple but this house gives them a chance at a different erotic sexual scenario. Or that's what I read in this. What appealed to me about this story is again the vagueness and the shifting perceptions that the women experience. It brings in a mystery to what's basically short erotic story.

What I didn't really get off on in this story is the throwing in of an odd assortment of demons in the form of weird animals. This made the story a bit hokey for me. I appreciate these kinds of elements if there's complex world building around it, but throwing in paranormal elements without that doesn't add to a story for me. But that's a personal pet peeve so YMMV.

Still though it's a cute story.

All in all I enjoyed this book. If you're into vampire paranormals and like unique and odd settings for sexual scenarios, this book will totally do it for you.

Heat Level- 4, somewhat graphically written sex, strap-on, exhibitionism.

Grade- Really liked


Cathy in AK said...

I really enjoyed "The Gunfighter & the Gear-Head," too. Like you, I usually don't read vampires, but will make exceptions for an author I like.

Oh, did you see she's working on a sequel to TG&TG? Yeah, baby : )

LVLM(Leah) said...

No, I didn't see she's working on that. I thought she might since it was such a detailed world.

I've come to like the unusual and fresh characters that Cassandra Duffy writes. They feel young and not stuffy. LOL