Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day Review & Giveaway: Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel!

Title: Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3
Editor: Rachel Kramer Bussel
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: December 12th 2017
Source: Cleis Press

Book Description:

Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 delivers the kind of sexy stories you want most: daring, bold, and surprising tales of women who pursue their boundless passions anywhere and everywhere. Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, winner of multiple Independent Publishing Book Awards, these scintillating scenarios turn the tables on how women are "supposed" to behave. Instead, these uninhibited vixens indulge in their favorite fetishes, do deliciously intimate "Body Shots," and get tied up with "Red Satin Ribbons." They pose nude, dress up, and roleplay, always obeying their most exhilarating impulses. These lusty ladies take your most cherished, private fantasies--from making a sex tape, to taking part in a thrilling threesome, to having a stud delivered to your door hot and ready--and make them come alive. Written by beloved authors Abigail Barnette, Annabel Joseph, and Charlotte Stein along with several genre newcomers, these are erotic encounters you'll want to savor again and again and again...



I love Cleis Press anthologies. The main reason why is that they are so diverse, and this book is no exception. There are 21 short stories in this book, but other than being labeled erotic, they couldn't be more different. There are characters of color. There are characters in the LGBTQ category. There are women who are submissive, and women who dominate. There's monogamous couples and polyamorous ones. There are characters in their senior years and ones who are squeaky clean and new. There are ones with realistic body types and even disabilities. It's pretty all inclusive, character-wise.

That expands to kinks and fetishes too. There's a little something for everyone. BDSM play. Exhibition. Ropes. Professional dominants. Roleplay. Even a paranormal experience. I appreciate that they're not all the same bland "oh I have handcuffs" type of erotica, which I see a lot of.

As any anthology will be, it's a bit of a mixed bag. The stories I didn't care for so much, it was either because I didn't care for the writing style or that the kinks involved are not my own (and that's okay!).

Rather than give a mini-review for 21 stories, I'm just going to highlight my top three favorite stories.

The first story that made my list is "Bibliophile" by Dee Blake. It involves a woman with a passionate love for all things books and literature, a mysterious book author, and a shared book appreciation that goes far beyond your local Barnes and Noble employees. It's well written, and because I also have a bit of a book fetish, I really enjoyed the angle of the plot.

The second story is called "Overexposed" by Brandy Fox. This story includes a photographer back in her home state for work, a former lover in the unlikely guise of a street performer, and a luxury hotel. I felt that in the few pages of story, the author really managed to make these two characters connect and have feelings beyond a night at a hotel. It seems hard to do, so well done there.

The final story that rounds out my list is titled "Romance and Drag" by Lyla Sage. This short story is a bundle of queer/gender-bendy deliciousness and includes a drag king, a drag queen, and a lot of flaming hotness shared between them. My partner is gender fluid, and I am queer, and this just happened to hit all of the right buttons for me.

Of course there were other stories I liked too, and some honorable mentions include: "Demon Purse" by Sommer Marsden (paranormal cosplay), "A Love Affair All My Own" by RJ Richardson (ballet, f/f), and "Tanked" by Lynn Townsend (private aquarium).

If you love erotica in all shapes and colors, this is something that'll heat up your winter night. The stories are quick and can be read in any order since they're independent from one another.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.


Does this sound up your alley? Good news! Rachel Kramer Bussel has generously offered a copy to ONE US reader 18+.

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  1. I remember the first time I fell in love with you, you beautiful galaxy eyed princess.

  2. I do remember and man, it's like it was yesterday when it was well over 10 years ago now :)