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Best Women's Erotica 2009 Paperback – Dec 11 2008
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It features 21 stories, each by a different author. Most of the stories have a female main character and/or narrator, common in "by women for women" erotica. But beyond that, the collection is full of variety, featuring many different scenarios, orientations, sex acts, writing styles - something for everyone, I guess one could say. But I wouldn't, because I found almost every one of the stories to be exciting and erotic in its own way, regardless of my own personal preferences.
When I first read it, I mostly appreciated the quality of the writing. Violet Blue selected particularly well-written, evocative stories. The erotic impact didn't strike me until later, weeks later, when I found myself opening it up again, with a craving to reread the stories that I was surprised to realize I remembered with excitement. Who would have thought?
Some of the highlights:
"Fly", the first story, by Valerie Alexander. It features a lustful Tiger Lily, hunting and dominating both a feisty rebel Peter Pan and a shy virginal Wendy. Concept sounds silly, but the execution shines. I've returned to this story many times.
"What If", by Cheyenne Blue. A committed lesbian/transgender couple fantasizes together about luring a curious straight woman into her first lesbian sex experience. Again, the writing really brings it to life, sets the mood, draws you in.
"Eve", by Alana Noel Voth. Unusual lyrical writing style. I have to mention this one because it includes a scene where the girl fantasizes about... McNulty from the Wire. "He lay beneath Eve, Jesus style between her legs, looking up in her face and trying not to come because she'd told him, 'If you come, I'll kill you.' So Jimmy had to decide." Nice.
I also liked "Mr Snug", "Decorations", and "Live Bed Show".
The collection has a lot to offer. It's also a good introduction to erotica, for those who have never tried it. I'd recommend it highly.
You get 21 stories across 228 pages. Some stories are as short as 4-5 pages, while a couple go 15 or more. There are author thumbnail bio-sketches at the back, some of them with contact info if you want to interact with a favorite author.
The opener is a good one, taking the Peter Pan saga to a very new place; I will never be able to watch the play or the movie the same way again. Tiger Lily has an idea and takes charge, and Peter and Wendy find they've underestimated her forever. And the book goes from there. There's more than enough power-transfer, tables turned and BDSM, and a good smattering of girl-girl, most of it involving power play. How can I not mention the delightful offering from Ms. Naughty, "Pasta with Blue Cheese and Anal?" Mama mia! And we even get an instance of the highly doctrinally accurate "introitus," a word usually not in danger of over-use in erotic fiction.
The observation I had for my review of Best Women's Erotica 2006 has changed a bit. Last time I expected liberation and women dominating men, taking charge, being in control, forceful, demanding, and casual, but it gave way to too many stories about abject surrender to control, the trite stuff of the bodice-ripper. This time around it's evened out a bit, with less of the taken woman and more of the women knowing what they want and getting it, fast and hard.
And yeah, my tired comment of poor erotica editing appears once again. This one is not nearly as bad as some have been, but it still appears that the "editors" of these collections are the people who choose the stories, not actually, you know, edit them. There's an awkward line about "radiating heat to the touch," and a line about a man "[rising] steadily to his feet" after he's described in the previous phrase as "bruised and dizzy." It's not the end of the world, but it would be nice if someone would pay closer attention to what's being printed.
Bottom line: It's more woman-centered filth-fiction, and it delivers just that. Man or woman, you will enjoy this collection of stories.
When one hears and/or sees a title that starts with "Best" one would assume that is exactly what you are going to get. Not so with this Erotica book. Having read quite a few erotic books, (some novellas, some novels) I by no means consider myself a master of deciphering what is erotic and what is not. Saying that, I have read short stories more remarkably considered "real" erotica. While reading some of the shorts, I noticed they were not erotica but a mere bit sexual, 15+ could read. Disappointed as I was in this book, I feel safe in saying I will not be reading any of the other "Best Women's Erotica" books. Nor would I recommend reading this book to other people. But if you have a desire to investigate, try it.
R.R. Harris, author of Double Take, An Island Travel Mystery of Lively Romance and Deadly Betrayal, available on Amazon.
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