As you probably know, we don't review much erotica. But ever since I was handed one of her anthologies in my days at Heroes & Heartbreakers, I've followed Rachel Kramer-Bussel's work with Cleis Press. Kramer-Bussel's curation of these anthologies, particularly the Best Women's Erotica of the Year series, is what really makes them sing. The collections are diverse in both authorship and content and while most readers won't love every story, there's something for everyone in them--as with most anthologies. They're also loosely organized around a theme, this time it's "Outrageous."
These books aren't cheap, but wow have I stumbled across a lot of poorly written stuff on Amazon. I've picked up a few on sale, too. And if you're reading this in December 2019, we're running a giveaway! Head down to the end of the post for the link.
So this time the author lineup is:
Alexa J. Day
Angel Leigh McCoy
Balli Kaur Jaswal
The Summer of 1669
Broken Thing Fixed
I was going to go into a few of the standout stories, tell you what was fun about them... but that's so subjective that I'm not sure it'd be of much value. There are mixed pairings, with some group scenes and solo activities. Erotica doesn't follow romance beats and you shouldn't expect an HEA. Some of the stories are about established relationships, some about something new, some are about a fleeting encounter. They're not all explicitly consensual, though most are. For example, in a story about a group scene in a cupcake shop, the boss and a client are getting it on right in full view of all the employees, who eventually get into their own scene, but there's no discussion of consent. Because this is erotica and the rules are different. But in another story, a man and his nonbinary partner who are in a long-term relationship engage in sex featuring humiliation kink, and it's been negotiated in the past.
Anyway, the anthology is great and you can skip around to different stories to find what works for you.
The book releases on December 10th and I have a print copy courtesy of the editor to give away! You should know that I also got a digital review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
On to the giveaway!
This will run from today, 12/3/2019 through 12/9/2019. Must have a US mailing address and be 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Please don't cheat. :)
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