Showing posts with label Erotica. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Erotica. Show all posts

Thursday, June 10, 2010

...On Romance of Lust by Anonymous

Romance of Lust or Early Experiences by Anonymous is a Victorian erotic tale published in 1873-1876 in four volumes. It is believed that either William Simpson Potter or Edward Sellon wrote it and it's considered an erotic literary classic. The following is the description for the book:
The novel is told in first person, and the protagonist of the novel is Charlie Roberts. The novel begins with “There were three of us — Mary, Eliza, and myself.” Charlie catalogs his sexual experiences with his governesses, various male and female friends, and acquaintances. The book deals with a variety of sexual activities and taboo subjects.
Interesting finds:
  • Use of language and vocabulary
Language and the way it was used made these volumes an unsettling read. The writing flowed and even while describing some of the most erotic or shocking moments in the story the formality of expression used by the writer was often at odds with the subject matter, specially throughout the first two volumes. As the novel progressed and its true focus became clear, the use of erotic terminology deteriorated and became raunchier, however the formality and flow of language remained a constant.
    Words most often used: lascivious, libidinous, lubricity, salacious, gamahuche, voluptuousness and debauchery. References to Venus and other Roman and Greek gods and goddesses are used in conjunction with sexual acts and body parts. French, Italian and Latin are used freely, although many of the common names used by Anonymous are still used today. 
    • Beauty
    As may be supposed, not a bone was to be traced in her upper neck, but all was dazzling in colour and flesh, which is such a beauty in woman. When a woman shows her gaunt collar bones, it is a proof of bad breeding, and a common nature.
    • Social commentary
    1. Hypocrisy of women and how well they are able to mask their true selves by presenting a false front to society and often to men in general.
    2. Society's hypocrisy in general, specially that of the gentry and the aristocracy, i.e., how they are viewed by others vs. how they really are.
    3. Husband's selfishness and disregard for their wives sexual needs. Example:
    It is these insensate cold-blooded husbands who raise, without satisfying, their wife's erotic passions, and drive them perforce to seek salacious comfort in other arms. 
    Controversial finds:
    • Taboo subject matter - the above book summary mentions taboo subjects, what it does not mention is that the main taboo subjects addressed in this book are incest and the seduction and deflowering of minors, both males and females. What it doesn't explain when it says "There were three of us, Mary, Eliza and myself" is that Mary and Eliza are Charlie's sisters; or that Charlie is fifteen at the beginning of the book, and his sisters are fourteen and thirteen respectively. Charlie himself is seduced by an adult and later on he takes on and relishes the role of seducer.
    1. On the subject of incest through Charlie Roberts, Anonymous writes:
    In after-life, I have always found the nearer we are related, the more this idea of incest stimulates our passions, so that if even we be in the wane of life, fresh vigour is imparted by reason of the very fact of our evasion of conventional laws.
    Final thoughts:

    After reading Romance of Lust or Early Experiences, I will never read a Victorian historical romance where there is a dissolute and corrupt character without thinking of Charlie Roberts. He was portrayed as both and as one who not only relishes but also thrives in corrupting those around him. Charlie has to be the most distasteful character I've ever encountered in a book.

    I was able to read the first volume completely and then proceeded to skim through the rest of the volumes, where I basically looked for the information I was interested in finding. The subject matter throughout the rest of the volumes escalated to a point where I could not quite make myself read through the erotic encounters, although I followed Charlie's story through to its unfortunate end.

    This is an erotic fantasy, not to my taste and definitely out of my comfort zone, yet in reading it I still found some things that interested me, those few glimpses into Victorian society were definitely a draw for me. The use of language and vocabulary, their idea of what constituted beauty and the social commentary about the times that were included in these volumes made an otherwise uncomfortable and unsettling read, interesting. I would like to conclude by saying that if the writer's purpose was to shock his audience at the time these volumes were published, I'm quite sure he succeeded.

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Impressions: Brothers in Arms Series by Samantha Kane

    A couple of years ago, I read The Courage to Love by Samantha Kane, the first book in her Brothers in Arms erotica series. This past month, I decided to read a few of the other books in this series and as result re-read The Courage to Love to refresh my memory.

    There were a few different aspects to this book I really liked: the setting is historical England, male protagonists Jason and Tony are ex-soldiers who fought in the English/French war, female protagonist Kate is a lady turned mistress who after falling on hard times is shunned by the ton.

    Does this sound like another historical romance? It might be, except Kane gives it an interesting erotic twist. Jason and Tony began sharing a woman as soldiers during the war. They found that it allowed them to maintain a much needed human connection and alleviated battle trauma - a type of disconnect and inner isolation. That bond continued after the war ended, until they found themselves loving and wanting to share it permanently with a woman through marriage.

    That is the basis for the entire Brothers in Arms series. During the war, hoping to help a few of their fellow soldiers cope with their own trauma, Jason and Tony shared with them their new-found solution, their bond. Slowly, those soldiers paired up during the war, making up a tight circle of friends who after the war continued to share this lifestyle. Eventually, they all yearned for the same thing: a woman who would share their lives permanently, a family.

    Although there's an eventual "happily ever after" to all the stories and emotions are involved and addressed, the erotic in this series is the core. In The Courage to Love, the sexual scenes between Jason, Kate and Tony are scorching hot and amazing. But Kane also incorporates subtle homoerotic hints that build slowly and get hotter as the story progresses. By the time the whole story unfolds, there's loving all the way around and heat sizzles off the pages. Kane doesn't leave anyone wanting.

    This homoerotic build-up is also found in some of the other books I've read as part of this series. As in The Courage to Love-Book 1, in Love Under Siege-Book 2 and Retreat from Love-Book 5, the male protagonists share strong bonds, but don't realize their true needs until the woman they love becomes part of that bond. In Love's Strategy-Book 3, the sexual relationship between the men is established before they approach their lady, giving this installment a different perspective. The females encourage these relationships, are lusty and loving of their men.

    The above-mentioned similarities make this series feel repetitive after a while. Also, the fact that all these men need to or must have this type of relationship to go on with their lives after the war, makes the improbability factor creep in. It does make for highly erotic, scorching situations and Kane certainly knows how to write those beautifully. The couples are all likable, lovable and sexy, but the stories do tend to get mixed up after a while.

    Two books that stand out for me in this series:
    • The Courage to Love was fresh and new, however after re-reading it, I realize that it still holds up as a stand out with the best homoerotic build-up in the series, and excellent threesomes all around. 
    • Retreat from Love has some of the most erotic M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F, M/M scenes of the whole series in addition to emotional angst galore and an interesting storyline to back it up -- I'll never look at leather gloves the same way again! 
    Love Under Siege was more of an average read for me and I thought Love's Strategy was the shortest and least developed of the four books, making it the weakest installment.

    If you like M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F, M/M with your erotica, these books are sizzling! Definitely high on the erotic scale. However, I do recommend that they be read far apart from each other for better enjoyment.

    Genre: Erotica/Historical setting

    Complete Brothers in Arms Series:
    The Courage to Love - Book 1: Grade B
    Lover Under Siege - Book 2: Grade C
    Love's Strategy - Book 3: Grade C-
    At Lover's Command - Book 4
    Retreat from Love - Book 5: Grade B
    Love in Exile - Book 6

    Visit Samantha Kane here.

    Thursday, April 29, 2010

    Review: The Moonlight Mistress by Victoria Janssen

    It is the eve of the Great War, and English chemist Lucilla Osbourne finds herself trapped on hostile German soil. Panicked and alone, she turns to a young Frenchman for shelter. Together they spend a night of intense passion, but their dangerous circumstances won't allow more than a brief affair.
    Even with the memory of Lucilla's lushness ever present, scientist Pascal Fournier is distracted by his reason for being in enemy territory—Tanneken Claes has information Pascal could use against the enemy but, even more extraordinary…she's a werewolf.

    After entrusting Pascal with her secret, Tanneken and her mate, Noel, are captured. Suspecting a rogue scientist rumored to have a fascination with werewolves is behind the abduction, Pascal knows he must act fast to save them. He's all too aware of Professor Kauz's reputed perversions and lust for control….

    As war rages, Pascal and Lucilla combine efforts to stop Kauz, struggling with danger, power and secret desires transformed by the unyielding hunger for the beating of a lover's heart.
    I picked up The Moonlight Mistress by Janssen thinking it was erotica with paranormal elements and a bit of a historical background, especially after reading the above book description. Instead I found much more. The story begins in Germany right as they invade Belgium and WW-I explodes and introduces the reader to Lucilla and Pascal -- the core couple. However, most of the story takes place in France after the Germans invade that country and as war rages on.

    There are multiple protagonists in The Moonlight Mistress and some of them are part of an English battalion fighting in France. The war is not used as background, instead Janssen thoroughly develops the plot and cast of characters while incorporating well-written historical details and making the war part of the story. The reader is right there with those men as they dig ditches, sleep in the mud, and as they experience battles, hunger, losses and small victories. Janssen cleverly integrates the historical details into the paranormal aspect of the book; an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

    The erotic scenes are great and don't overwhelm the story, although there are plenty. The couples are all likable and their relationships are thoroughly developed. There are M/F, M/M and M/M/F erotic scenes to go with the storylines Ms. Janssen weaves into The Moonlight Mistress. The M/F scenes start on the warm side with Lucilla and Pascal and get hotter as the story goes on. In the beginning sexual tension is used to develop the M/M relationship, however the sexual encounters are hot from beginning to end as is the M/M/F. You will find that all the female protagonists in the story are either strong women or women with a defined path.

    The Moonlight Mistress is a well-written, enjoyable adventure with well-developed characters, hot, erotic encounters, and thorough historical details cleverly incorporated into the overall story.

    Genre: Historical Erotica/Paranormal
    Series: None
    Release Date: Harlequin Spice - December 1, 2009 - Kindle Edition
    Grade: B+

    Visit Victoria Janssen here.

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    Review: Rough, Raw, and Ready by Lorelei James

    Torn between the love he has-and the love he's always wanted. A Rough Riders book. Chassie West Glanzer hasn't been a stranger to drama and tragedy. A year of wedded bliss to sexy-as-sin cowboy Trevor Glanzer has brought her the happiness and contentment she never thought she'd find, and mellowed Trevor's rodeo wanderlust.

    Then Trevors old roping partner ambles up the driveway and Chassie's life changes drastically. Trevor never expected to see Edgard Mancuso again, after it became clear he couldn't be the man Edgard needed. Now Edgard is back from Brazil to sort out their tangled past, and Trevor is plagued with feelings he thought he'd buried over three years ago.

    Although Trevor is hat-over-bootheels in love with his sweet, feisty wife, the sense his life is missing a piece has always gnawed at him. Chassie's shock that Edgard and Trevor were once lovers turns to fear of losing her husband. Or worse, fear that Trevor will stay with her only out of a sense of duty. Yet as the three of them spend time together, the sins of the past blur and fade, leaving raw emotion and unbridled passion. Passion that could heal-or cause irreparable damage to their future.
    The story of Chassie, Trevor and Edgard is an excellent M/M/F by Lorelei James. All three characters in this book have been introduced in previous books. Trevor & Edgard were an integral part of the plot in Long Hard Ride, Book #1 Rough Rider series, and we know from that story the two of them had a long 2 1/2 year M/M relationship. Their relationship ended when Edgard could not deal with Trevor's bi-sexuality and lack of commitment to their relationship. At the end of that book, Edgard returned to his home in Brazil.

    In the ensuing years, Trevor met and married Chassie West, a cousin to the McKades, and he loves her passionately. The book begins when Edgard returns from Brazil and shows up at Trevor and Chassie's ranch. Edgard needs to know if there is anything left of the love he and Trevor shared. However, Trevor has not been truthful with Chassie and Edgard comes as a shocking surprise to her. Trevor, Chassie and Edgard have some tough decisions to make.

    I was pleasantly surprised in how well James captured the turmoil and emotions that these characters go through. All three of them go through many changes in this story, yet nothing seems rushed or left hanging. The plot is developed slowly and sure enough by the end of the book, these three people become a unit. Trevor works through his ambivalence, Chassie through her doubts and Edgard through his feelings of regret. There is no question in my mind at the end, that they are one happy threesome.

    This is not easily accomplished in an M/M/F. I've read quite a few and usually the males, especially if (as in this case) they've had a previous relationship, seem to have the strongest attraction, while the female is usually kept on the periphery. She usually is attracted or attractive to one of the males, but not the other. I thought that's what was going to happen here, and for a while it did. However, by the end, Ms. James had skillfully made me believe in this threesome.

    James did a very good job of balancing the emotions and the erotic in Rough, Raw, and Ready -- the erotic part of the book is hot, hot, hot - all of it -- the M/F, M/M and the M/M/F. But as much as I enjoyed all the sexual scenes in this book, where James is once again at her best, the development of the emotional relationship is what really kept me invested in the story. Another favorite in the Rough Rider series by Lorelei James, this installment convinced me to go on to read the next in line, Branded as Trouble, Book #6.

    Rough Rider Series by Lorelei James:
    Long Hard Ride, #1
    Rode Hard, Put Up Wet #2
    Cowgirl Up and Ride #3
    Tied Up, Tied Down #4
    Rough, Raw and Ready #5
    Branded as Trouble #6
    Shoulda Been a Cowboy #7
    All Jacked Up #8

    Visit the author here.

    Saturday, December 5, 2009

    Review: Cowgirl Up and Ride by Lorelei James

    "So, AJ you weren't pullin my leg last night?" She shook her head.

    "You up for some fun and games?" Her mouth was so dry she just nodded. "Flattered as I am. Why me? You gotta know any one of the young guys in here would kill to have a shot at you."

    AJ broke eye contact and scraped at the label on her beer bottle. Shoot. How was she supposed to answer that without giving herself away? Cord's rough hand curled over her wrist and he idly stroked her knuckles. Her stomach jumped again. She glanced up, overwhelmed by the lust in his eyes.

    "Jesus. You have the sexiest mouth I've ever seen. I can't think beyond tastin that mole by the corner of your lips. Runnin my tongue over it. Kissin every inch of it on the way back to kissin every inch of your mouth."

    Warning. Don't let him sweet-talk you until you get a chance to speak your piece. She blurted, "Do you wanna dance?"

    "Not to this."

    "Why not?"

    "Because the first time I put my hands on you, I want you close. Real close. Close as we can get with our clothes on without getting kicked out for lewd behavior." The silence between them grew. AJ felt her confidence slipping. This was not the way she'd envisioned her night of seduction. Then take charge. She finished the beer and hopped off the barstool.

    "I want your hands on me now, Cord."

    Cowgirl Up and Ride is the story of Cord McKade and Amy Jo. AJ has been in love with Cord forever (since she was 5 years old, so she says), but he's 13 years older and sees her as too young -- I mean she used to be his son's babysitter for goodness sakes! Now she's 23 and decides it's time to go after what she wants, time to get noticed. Shy, wholesome AJ is no more. Cord is divorced and the single father of a little boy. He has become a bitter and lonely cowboy who doesn't have much to do with women. It's all his ex-wife's fault. She up and left him after their son was born for Seattle because she couldn't make it as a ranch wife in Wyoming. Now all he cares about is raising his son and running his family's ranch.

    This book was quite good and actually a personal favorite in this series so far. I liked that unlike most of the other installments I've read, this was a one-on-one erotic romance. The main characters have known each other all their lives and although we know some of their back story from previous installments, they are further developed in this book. Even through all the enjoyable sexual encounters, the "rosy cheeks" and the cowboy/cowgirl rope games, AJ and Cord manage to have personal conversations and get to know each other.

    The secondary characters who take part in Cowgirl Up and Ride, other MaKade's, are also developed and they contribute to this story -- they were not just thrown in there. We can also see the beginning of their individual stories taking shape, but don't take away from Cord and AJ as central characters.

    However, this is Lorelei James and this IS an erotic romance, so I must tell you I found the erotic part of the book just as hot as in the other books -- I happen to like her style. Her tendency for light domination scenes is there, as is the inevitable menage, although in this case AJ and Cord are not involved.

    Cowgirl Up and Ride managed to be both erotic and touching in some ways, plus peripherally it dealt with some serious subjects such as alcoholism, homosexuality, homophobia and the sad consequences. In its entirety, this book was definitely an enjoyable ride for me. (M/F, M/F/M)

    Rough Rider Series by Lorelei James:
    Long Hard Ride, #1
    Rode Hard, Put Up Wet #2
    Cowgirl Up and Ride #3
    Tied Up, Tied Down #4
    Rough, Raw and Ready #5
    Branded as Trouble #6
    Shoulda Been a Cowboy #7
    All Jacked Up #8

    You can visit the author & read excerpts for her books here.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    November 2009 Reads & Minis

    November is done! I can't believe it... I read almost half the books I read last month, and didn't like some of them as much as I did my last month's reads, but those months/weeks/days don't come around too often. I did, however, find a few wonderful surprises along the way.

    I got hooked on the paranormal Guardian series by Meljean Brook and that's great for me. I've had some disappointments this year and my PNR list of authors has dwindled down to three must-read authors -- this is an excellent addition to my list. I also have a new-to-me author whose backlist I'm going to explore, Cheryl St. John writes historical romances set in the west. I love the genre and can't wait to read more books by her. And, I was very happy to read Lisa Dale's latest book and hope to read more. I'm thinking maybe I found a new contemporary romance writer I'll be following in the future. So, a productive reading month, if not in quantity, for the most part in quality. :)

    1) Demon Angel by Meljean Brook

    2) Joe's Wife by Cheryl St. John

    3) Demon Moon by Meljean Brook

    4) Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts - Upcoming Review

    5) It Happened One Night by Lisa Dale

    6) The Cowboy (Bitter Creek Series #1) by Joan Johnston

    The Cowboy by Joan Johnston was a DNF for me. I read as far as the end of the 3rd Chapter and closed the book. There's a feud going on between the H/h's families and while at college, these two young people meet and fall in love. In the opening scene, while the two are in bed together, she receives a phone call telling her that her brother was tragically paralyzed in a football game accident. The person who made the unlucky play and hurt her brother is the hero's brother. She decides right there and then that she has to end their relationship. He begs her to go with him and marry him, to confront their families and end this feud. She won't do it even though she secretly knows she's pregnant. Yes, pregnant. *sigh

    Eleven years pass and the hero finally returns home. When they meet again, (by Chapter 3) she accuses him of LEAVING HER! All of the sudden it's HIS FAULT! All of this while she is still trying to hide the fact that the child belongs to him. See, she married another man 1 month after he left and is now a widow. I have no patience for this type of storyline and that was the end for me. I actually thought of reading the trilogy by Ms. Johnston... the other two are The Texan and The Loner, but decided against it. Frustrating, just frustrating.

    7) One Good Man by Alison Kent

    A Blaze category romance. I was actually enjoying this book. It was a pretty fast read and it had really hot moments between the H/h, a Texas Ranger and the victim of a crime. The romance was one of those fast, "I think I have feelings for him/her" within the first 24 hours (insta-love), but okay... it was HOT. But, but BUT, their whole story was entrenched with the crime. You couldn't really separate the two. After the climax to the story where the villain is caught at the end? The how, who and why were NOT answered... Can you believe that? I read this WHOLE book and it felt incomplete. I cannot describe my read all the way to the end only to get no answers. Frustrating! However, this is a Blaze, the H/h had their hot HEA and if you don't find not finding out these details frustrating, then you might enjoy this book. I have one more book by Ms. Kent on my TBR pile that I'll be reading.

    8) He's No Prince Charming by LuAnne McClaine

    Okay... this book is hmm... I don't even know how to describe it! I started it, put it away and started to read it again. The heroine is an ex-teen star singer and the hero is a has-been bull rider. The hero is bitter, lonesome and he comes off as okay, but the heroine in this book just killed me! This girl/woman.. I'm not sure how old she is in the book (I might have missed that), acts like a bubble head, air-head, child/girl/woman... and I just did not KNOW what this man saw in her. She might have been just a wee bit too superficial for my taste. The woman in the secondary romance was more appealing than the heroine, at least to me she was. Maybe I just didn't quite appreciate the "Three Stooges" style of romantic comedy in this book. The book does have a very nice Southern atmosphere to it that I enjoyed and I'll try one of her other books with this same theme to see if it works for me.

    9) Almost Like Being In Love by Steve Kluger (M/M)- Upcoming Mini

    10) Slow Burn by Tori Temple (M/M)

    This is a very short Sip by Torquere that covers one very hot encounter. I love Tori Temple, so it was worth the read for me. :)

    11) Cowgirl Up and Ride by Lorelei James - Upcoming Mini

    12) Long Hard Ride by Lorelei James (Re-read)

    I re-read A Long Hard Ride in preparation for Rough Raw and Ready since two of the main characters in that book are introduced in this installment. (Not that I minded too much re-reading this book *g*) Lorelei James style, this is the story of Colby McKay & Channing Kincaid. -- how they meet on the rodeo circuit and their sexual adventures before they fall in love and reach their happily ever after. This is a hot installment with lots of M/F/M, M/F, & M/M & one M/M/F/M scene included. A Long Hard Ride is the perfect title for this book. It's not really my favorite in the series, but that's mainly due to the short time it takes for Colby and Channing to realize they're in love and I had other issues. As for the erotic part of the book, there's no question that it was hot and I enjoyed that part of it plenty!

    13) Rough Raw and Ready by Lorelei James - Upcoming Mini

    How was your reading month? Any good ones?