Passion: Erotic Romance for Women Paperback – Nov 1 2010
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"Passion delivers just what you would expect - super hot stories with sex that burns up the pages. Don't miss it!" -- USA Today and Essence bestselling author Kayla Perrin "Talk about a collection of stories to make you squirm in your seat! Chilly fall night or a quick pick-me-up to get in the mood--this is the one!" -- Whipped Cream Reviews "The only issue I take with the anthology is this: though it may be erotica for women, this should definitely be required reading for men. Definitely." --Nine Naughty Novelists Blogspot
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"When you're together long enough, sometimes even the hottest sex starts to seem rote. Your body might respond, get wet, hard, perk up, but your mind starts to drift and once it does, it's a goner. To be honest, I never that thought that would happen to me, or rather, us."
That opening from Rachel Kramer Bussel's story, "Five Senses," sums up the spirit behind many of the stories within Passion: Erotic Romance for Women. It will speak to women who have been with their partners, lovers, and husbands for many years, past the point where the hunger for each other is automatic, but it's also far from forgotten. Speaking as a woman coming up on a ten-year anniversary myself, I found these stories inspirational, touching, and deeply sensual. It definitely qualifies as erotica for women, because the love they're expressing in a physical sense feels real and heartwarming. It warms other body parts as well, but to me, the success of this collection is in the emotional intent intertwined with the passion. True romance fans should find themselves quite at home here.
"Autumn Suite" by Suzanne V. Slate was absolutely beautiful, with a wife who is overcome when she hears her husband play their favorite piece on his cello, and they make love on a bright Sunday morning. It's such an intimate scene and the ending made me sigh. The collection is filled with stories of long-married couples who reconnect in new and old ways, in hotels with big beds, on picnic tables, and on car hoods. The setting is usually special for the couple and brings back memories while making some new ones at the same time.
So that covers roughly half of the stories, but what about the others? Well, they're just as yummy, because there's nothing like falling in bed, and falling in love in the process. There are several excellent `new encounter' type stories, and two that stood out for me were commuter romances. There's something about being stuffed into a small space with an attractive stranger that works magic. "An Easy Guy To Fall On" by Annabeth Leong was practically a mini-romance novel within the length of a short story, and I savored the conflict that was part of the journey. "The Morning Ride" by Delilah Devlin is for anyone who has entertained dirty thoughts about someone across from them on a subway car, and wished that their fantasies would lead somewhere real.
Passion is a great collection for readers who don't find their inspiration in anonymous, one-night-stand encounters, but in long-time love, new passion, and couples who know that they're meant to be together.
A number of the tales show us people who are already in love leading each other into joyous, lust-drenched--and truly intimate--abandon. Sometimes it's a matter of pushing buttons that the lovers have always known were there but have neglected awhile; sometimes it's a matter of discovering--or creating--new buttons to push. And in "Rekindle," for example, Kathleen Bradean treats us to all of the above.
Sometimes, as in Angela Caperton's "Dear in the Headlights," it's a matter of taking *mis*adventure by the horns and transforming into *erotic* adventure.
Style and tone in Passion cover a rich and impressive range, from the picturesque late-night giddiness of Monica Day's "Arch of Triumph" to the dreamlike, epic revelations of Justine Elyot's "Lingua Franca"--a piece that repeatedly stopped me in my tracks with its fresh, apt imagery.
Turning from style to content, the compelling psychological theater of each tale weds our feelings to the contributor's unique emotional landscape. From the context-driven roleplay of Donna George Storey's "Big-Bed Sex" to the exquisite erotic ambivalence of Emerald's "If," these are stories that really *tell* stories--about passion, in all its wonderful erotoromantic complexity.
Why, yes, it does, and very nicely at that. It contains spicy stories that ran a gamut of passionate experiences. And I, for one, passionately disagree with the title. It's a marketing thing, I realize, but women aren't the only ones who like strong writing and characterization in their erotica. Marketing issues aside, it's another solid collection from Bussel, so let's give some highlights, shall we?
In "Big-Bed Sex" by Donna George Storey, a ritzy hotel with a giant bed provide a "grander canvas" for a wife and her husband the role-playing fun that ensues.
In "My Dark Knight" by Jacqueline Applebee, a café-goer learns that chivalry is not dead when the manager takes a special interest in her well being after a scary encounter with a dog, and invites her to his place - an apartment replete with armor and swords and, now, a princess to serve.
In "Dear In The Headlights" by Angela Caperton, even a car accident will not keep a woman from an anticipated tryst, as she provides her own auto club service for her stranded husband.
In "Autumn Suite" by Suzanne V. Slate, a cello player rouses the passions of his woman with a memory and some well-played Bach.
In "The Silver Belt" by Lana Fox, a woman finds that the right accessory makes the outfit and ignites a torrid affair.
In "Five Senses" by editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, a woman takes us on a tour of the sensory during a sexy night in.
"Crave You Close" by A. M. Hartnett shows a couple hit hard by the recession, but rich with each other.
"An Easy Guy To Fall On" by Annabeth Leong, is a slow-burning tale of a bumpy bus ride and an ignited spark that has to cross cultural barriers before it can fully be a flame.
In "Third Time's The Charm" by Charlene Teglia, a broken elevator forces an overdue conversation, encourages an explosive tryst, and helps reboot a relationship.
In "If" by Emerald, our wedding-party heroine is tormented by fantasies of a groomsman. But, then, what of her boyfriend, whom she loves so deeply?
In "Getting It Right" by Theresa Noelle Roberts, a couple gets a do-over on a caning scene gone wrong, and this time gets it very, very right.
This means that all of the stories follow a couple - whether they've been dating for years or haven't started dating yet - throughout some romantic or passionate seductive that one of the partners has been planning. This leads to quite a few different plots - one where a couple who is breaking up is stuck in an elevator, one where a woman is coming to "rescue" her man whose tire blew out, another is in Paris where she finds a man while trying to find the bar, and there's are so many other plots. The book is full on a variety of plots, locations for sex, and the sex itself.
Something worth mentioning: All of the stories in this collection are heterosexual. There are no threesomes, female/female pairings, or male/male pairings. All of the stories are between a male and female. The stories don't usually include much BDSM-type stuff in them. There is some kinky stuff like outdoor sex, but for the most part, it's usually non-kink related.
That's not to say that it isn't hot. All of the stories are at least mildly arousing with some of the stories being very arousing. It's hot to read about the seduction and romance - and sometimes "desperation" that goes along with the sex stories. There's a lot of sexy stuff included in this anthology, and I'd highly recommend it if you enjoy having a bit of romance thrown in with your sex.
While the descriptions are tantalizing, there was little to no kink in these stories and the use of more flowery language. This was fitting for the theme, although I personally prefer naughtier language. The descriptions were still quite explicit and the authors did an excellent job with building anticipation. The focus was clearly on the romance and how the relationship impacted the sensuality of the sexual encounters. In a couple of the stories, memories of sex helped to fuel the fire. The desires for one another created the intensity rather than the particular act, position or location.
Three of my favorites from this collection were "My Dark Knight" by Jacqueline Applebee, "The Silver Belt" by Lana Fox, and "The Arch of Triumph" by Monica Day
Full disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.