The Things That Make Me Give In Paperback – Apr 22 2010
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About the Author
Charlotte Stein is the acclaimed author of over thirty short stories, novellas, and novels, including the recently DABWAHA-nominated Run to You. When not writing deeply emotional and intensely sexy books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms, and occasionally lusting after hunks.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
These short stories were, in a word, Fantastic. I'm a huge fan of the romantic genre and I occasionally make forays into the Erotica category. My biggest criticism of many offerings in the Erotic genre is that too many authors liberally pour on the crude buzz words [y'all know what they are] in a lame attempt to hype up the heat and distract the reader from the lack of plot and character development.
In Ms. Stein's capable hands, crudity is employed as a quiver of erogenous tipped barbs that are expertly placed in ways that only enhance the perfection of her storytelling.
Ms. Stein beautifully builds on the hearts, minds and core desires of her characters that explode into exquisitely rendered scenes of gritty and imaginative passion that are HOT, HOT, HOT. Best of all, many of the stories [though not all - and that's okay] weave in strong elements of affection and love between the protagonists which take these tales to a level above pornographic.
From an artistic standpoint, I was highly impressed by Ms. Stein's ability to offer so many different voices and points of view and land you into the heads of these odd, but normal people.
From a lecherous standpoint... this book is like a compilation of my absolute favorite sexy scenes all under one cover. Frankly, I was amazed that the exploits of all her characters [even the ones engaged in activities I tend to be conservative about] warmed my blood. I really never had an "Eew" moment [okay, maybe once] and I think this is due to the fact that she made her characters so engaging their motivations became understandable.
The bottom line: This collection is a keeper. The common thread, as suggested by the title, throughout all the stories is that lovely buckling in to Temptation. What people *give in to* are themselves: their most secret wants and lusts actually acted upon. The result is ... well, devastatingly erotic.
I totally hope this Brit keeps on writing.
This short story collection by Charlotte Stein seems to me the epitome of beautiful, literary writing that happens to encompass sex and sexuality (making it simply reflective of life/reality--not that all literary writing has to have sex in it, but an ardent attempt to avoid such subject matter because of externally postulated standards about "literary" writing to me seems less realistic and respectful of authentic artistic endeavor). There is really a story in each of these stories, a journey with a character or characters that leaves someone changed or shows a connection or demonstrates an internal exploration brought out or at least demonstrated by the sexual endeavor, connection, or behavior of a character or characters. It is simply a breathtaking work.
There were some stories I loved especially for the heat/arousal factor, that turned me on the most, and there were some I loved for the connection or beauty of relationship or character(s). In the former category my favorites included "Because I Made You So," "Her Father Disapproves," "Sometime Soon," and "Different on the Inside." In the latter category they included "For You" (which I found so moving that after reading it I felt compelled to put the book down for a while to let the story soak in), "Dirty Disgusting You," and "All Ways."
There was, of course, overlap between these two elements (indeed, in most of the stories I experienced both of them; the list above simply encompasses those I found to be my particular favorites), and the story that was possibly my overall favorite in the collection was the one in which for me, both of these modes of appeal were at their climax: the utterly sexually arousing as well as intensely moving "Just Be Good."
Shortly into reading The Things That Make Me Give In, I found myself thinking upon finishing a story, "That one was one of my favorites," only to find that I loved the next story as much or even more. I truly, highly recommend this book, and I commend the author on a beautifully executed erotic work of art.
Who are these people? They are nervous, tender, lust-crazed, lovable outsiders who appear more real than the people of real life--and whose introverted erotic intensity might make rock stars, glamour models, and other outgoing types a little envious. They sometimes see their world in remarkable ways. But thanks to the author's narrative persuasiveness, we have no trouble understanding their outlook: their outlook instantly becomes ours.
Their affections are wrapped up in idiosyncratic, subjective near-antagonisms that often give a deliciously madcap, gamelike tint to the libidinous proceedings, as the author shapes their wary mating dances into previously undiscovered types of erotic tension. Their magical interdependencies are unfurled by relentlessly present narrators, who glide seamlessly back and forth from the engagingly goofy to the searingly sexy. Paragraphs reinvent themselves brilliantly, making sudden sideways turns from desperate to rebellious and earnest to flippant and back. Each story's evolution takes us confidently past its peculiar milestones, progressing rhythmically through the deeply involving long sentences and the tersely witty, off-the-wall short ones--all in Stein's unflaggingly distinctive voice. Every surprising step rings true, and it all works beautifully.
It isn't that Stein's characters are sexually captivating despite the weight of their personal awkwardness; it's that they're captivating because of it. In this collection, the author celebrates their insecurity as an avenue to erotic depth. And she does it differently each time--making this book, though blessed by its strong unifying elements, a richly varied assortment.
Each story was unique. Some were romantic. Some were just about sex. Some seemed like early drafts of a scene that later turned into it's own book. They were all about 20-30 pages I think (reading on Kindle it's hard to judge that sort of thing).
Between all of these stories, there's just about every kind of kinky sex you can think of. It doesn't have as much of Charlotte Stein's unique turn of phrase that I'm used to from some of her other works. But most of these stories included her signature: messed up people trying to work things out, which mostly involves sex.
I think in the end, this wouldn't be my first choice in a re-read if I were picking a whole book, but if I were only thinking about reading for 20-30 minutes and really wanted a super, sex-filled story, I could probably pick any one of the stories in this book and be satisfied.