Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Addicted by Charlotte Stein

Ahhh, everyone is in for a treat.

I don't read as much erotica as I'd like to because I am Poor, and I don't have a luxury budget for it. So I cheaply mostly leach books off nice writers when they're looking for reviews. but this is neither here nor there. I would gladly pay the price of Addicted.

Ah, where to start? Charlotte's writing is funny, searing, endearing, emotional. This book is a delightful rollercoaster, a bundle of humanity and joy and angst and best of all, wish fulfillment.

Now, Charlotte wrote a Get a Grip blog about why it's ok to enjoy Twilight, as it's entertaining wish fulfillment fiction for women. Hot young blonde hotties for paunchy old men has long been standard fantasy fair, so fuck you, I get my vampire boyfriend, no harm no foul, if I may paraphrase. I heart her for this simple point.

So too do I ♥ Addicted for the same reason. Charlotte's heroine is something of a whirlwind of neurotic worry and low self esteem - but not in the way Bridget Jones is. With Bridget (and yes, also Bella Swan) you finally start believing in their endless self criticism and wondering why handsome men ARE interested in them at all if they're so crappy. Stein's heroine Kit is full of worry but it's incredibly human and sympathetic. Also the book starts with her dynamic attempt to find what she's been lacking and she embarks on what might be termed a 'voyage of sexual discovery' if that didn't sound so cheesy. What she does is fearfully fling herself into a panicked and enthusiastic push-pull clinch with Dillon Holt, who may or may not be a sex addict.

This is where the wish fulfillment comes in - not everyone may completely identify with Kit (I do!) who has had an unsatisfying sexual experience up til now but Dillon must complete everyone's wish to get done just right by a really skillful muscly man who knows exactly what they need, somewhat telepathically. I fucking love it. Their sex is touching, spontaneous, arousing, full of pathos. Kit is a bit clumsy, a bit self-conscious, you may not be like that (I am!!), and while she may not be the typical perfect heroine, her enthusiasm and warmth and bravery are charming and inspiring. This book is so human. It's so good for imperfect people, it's like a little bible of encouragement. Dillon is a little too good to be true, but that's who we want to read about. He's the good guy. He's strong enough and big enough to make a girl feel little. Oh, god, Dillon, please heft me around the place a bit too. And he's vulnerable.

Stein keeps the tension going right til the end of the book, and while the resolution is extremely satisfying, the little epilogue attaches to the end with a really perfect little twist.

I enjoyed every second of this book, and the book within the book. It was such a pleasure to read. It's really funny. It's edge of the seat reading. It's really arousing. The characters are completely sypathetic and their dialogue is natural and convincing. This would make a lovely film, actually - I would enjoy every moment of that too.

Charlotte Stein... going from strength to strength.

Whole box a stars for Addicted.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Big Book of Bondage Blog Tour!

The Big Book of Bondage Big Blog Tour Bus is stopping at my blog today - I am feeling full of love because the ever fabulous Donna George Storey wrote a lovely review of my story therein, Life Drawing, which you can find at Alison's house.

But that's enough about me - I wanted to say some words about SenselessI'm bemused and amused by this little slice of frustration Stella Harris serves up for her poor audience. As readers we suffer along with brave Lana as she ventures unknowing into a threesome she never gets to be star player in. 

And for all the lack of first person satisfaction, it's a short, burning story that leaves the reader as aroused and wondering as the main character is. I like how it tosses expectations back Lana's face as well as our own. I always wonder why more people don't get involved in threesomes as it just seems so indulgently, wonderfully...horny - and yet here that picture is messed with, the indulgence is half refused as the focus stays on the men and the heroine's impotent arousal. Somuch proxy - the reader gets turned on by the heroine getting turned on by the invisible arousal of the men over her... it's a great Esher drawing of a story!