Saturday, August 12, 2006

PURE SEX - Warning, it's hot!

I recently read Aphrodisia's PURE SEX for Romance Junkies review. The contributing authors to this anthology are Lucinda Betts, Bonnie Edwards, and Sasha White; I kid you not, these ladies are packing heat! All three stories are highly erotic and despite being novellas, all have satisfying endings and do not feel rushed as often happens with novellas. My RJ review is posted below, and I did note in the review that Sasha White's story, THE CRIB, is (excellently) written in first person and does not have your typical happy ending. There is the indication that the characters will get together, but the story does not end with them actually being together. I hope that revelation won't be offensive to Ms. White; I know some readers feel very strongly about first person and have happy ending issues, and thought that should be shared. I have never cared for first person stories in the past, but evidently I just wasn't reading the right authors! I have read two in the past three weeks, both done excellently, and I've been converted! How do you stand on both of these topics? Do you like first person writing? What about happy endings - do you have to have a solid happy ending with the characters headed to the altar or are you happy with them simply being together, or the implication that they will be together, at the end of the book?
Here is my review, with a reminder that the Aphrodisia line is intensely steamy - unapologetically in-your-face sexy!
This book is hot enough to come with a warning on the back cover, for good reason. It sizzles from the first page to the last.
THE BET by Lucinda Betts - Zoe Lauterbon is determined to get the promotion that is up for grabs at the investment firm she works for. She has worked impossibly hard and meets all requirements, but unfortunately, so has co-worker Phillip Kingdom. Phillip suggests a friendly bet with Zoe as to who will get the promotion - his bonus to her if she is promoted versus Zoe being his sex slave for twenty-four hours should he get the promotion - she agrees. The "good old boy" mentality of their company all but guarantees Phillip the win. After the two spend their twenty-four hours together, a very heated day and night, Zoe begins to think that maybe she didn't lose after all.
Phillip and Zoe are well-written as competitive co-workers with an attraction to each other, but neither could have guessed just how that competition would play out when they left the office.
SLOW HAND by Bonnie Edwards - When Teri Branton finds herself at the altar without a groom, she decides to take their pleasure cruise honeymoon by herself. When she sees Captain Jared McKay, she begins to think that this trip just might be a pleasure cruise after all, especially without her cheater of a fiance! From the first time Jared touched her, she felt an undeniable energy between them, one that deserves a closer, thorough, hands-on investigation. When Jared first spies Teri making her way alone onto his boat, he assumes that her groom can't be far behind. When he discovers that she has boarded his boat intending to take the cruise alone, his interest is peaked. Once he touches her and they both feel an unmistakable "zing" he wonders about the McKay family curse. Supposedly this zing is present from the first moment you touch your one true love. Despite the obvious attraction, Jared was burned in a prior relationship and is wary of taking the chance on a romantic future with Teri.
The romance between Teri and Jared sizzles from the beginning, and is very sweet. They are just plain nice, and so perfect for each other; readers will be rooting for them to admit their true feelings for each other and take a chance on love.
THE CRIB by Sasha White - Private Investigator Alexis "Lexy" Signorino has come back home to find a killer. A member of Lexy's family has been falsely accused and she is determined to prove his innocence, going undercover as a waitress in the family bar. When Devon Kaye becomes a part of that investigation, Lexy can't help but wonder whether their heated attraction is something that she should fear or embrace. When the real killer is exposed and Lexy learns that Devon isn't who she thought, she feels betrayed. Will she be able to put past hurts and heartache in the past and start living her life for herself?
This story is written first person, typically not my first choice, but it is excellently written, with an abundance of edge and grit, not your typical "boy meets girl" romance. Although Ms. White's story doesn't have the expected "happily-ever-after" ending, there is a hint of something more between the characters and I would very much like to read more of these characters and a continuation of their story.
This is an incredibly erotic anthology with stories ranging from sassy and sexy to down and dirty. It's a book you won't want to miss if you enjoy and appreciate sensually charged romance.
As always, thanks for checking it out!


Judy F said...

another great review. I do like my happy ever after pretty well spelled out but I can live with them planning on being together

Bonnie Edwards said...

thanks so much for reading and commenting on Pure Sex! And especially for letting me know you had!

Hm, first person and happy endings. It's no secret I write happy endings, always, but sometimes having the *right* ending is more important for the story.

The Crib has the *right* ending for those characters. Let's face it, Lexy's not your average girl-next-door sweetie-pie. But I LOVED her. I understood her and I cheered for her. Well-motivated to live the life she's living, I thought Lexy was complex and interesting...especially for a novella-length story.

So, Sasha really pulled a great character out of her bag of writerly skills.

I never could have written her.

Having said that, all the Aphrodisia stories and authors are wildly different.

I'm so very pleased and sometimes, yes intimidated by being with Aphrodisia with such a talented group of authors.

p.s. I'm now working on Jared's brother's story: Jake McKay, a man who's waited all his life to feel that magic touch. He quickly realizes it's a blessing not a curse...but some ghosts are getting in the way...

will be checking out your site regularly,'s blast over here!

Bonnie Edwards

Sasha White said...

Thanks for the great review, Laurie! PURE SEX has a bit of everything with all of us having differnt voices and styles. I'm so pleased to see that readers are enjoying it!

I have no problems with what you said about the story., LOL I agree, I think if readers are prepared for the ending, then they can enjoy the story for what it it, and not just get to the end and get so frustrated that they forget the rest of it.

And Bonnie!! Thanks so much for the wonderful words!!

With THE CRIB, I truly felt the ending was the right one, and yes, Lexy and Devon are still on my mind and will have another story. Lexy even has a very small cameo in my next Aphrodisia novella, which is in THE COP anthology.

I, as a reader and a writer, feel that as much as I like happily ever after's, it's important the characters to remain consistent and true. If they end doesn't fit the story, then the whole book could be ruined. That is just my opinion. :) I'm so glad that most readers seem to agree. LOL

Anonymous said...

I haven't read all the stories in this anthology yet, but The Crib was super hot--and I was just damn fine with the ending. :-) And I've read Bonnie Edwards, Slow Hand. Loved it! Delicious story with a delicious guy and a heroine in serious need of . . . . something delicious. *g*

I love these Aphrodisia anthos . . . fabulous reading for when the sun goes down and you hope something will, ah, come up to replace it.

Great book so far. Can't wait to read the Betts story.

PattiF said...

I still need to read this. Got this in Atlanta but got caught up in catching up on reviews for Sept. But, I think the Aprodisia line is a awesome. Stories for those of us who like their passion burning hot. Great job on the review, Laurie, and you didn't spoil it for me. :)
Funny you mentioned first person. I touched a little on that subject today in my own blog.

Laurie D. said...

Thanks everyone for checking it out and Bonnie and Sasha for being so generous with your time! Bonnie, I'm anticipating Jake McKay's story!! Sasha, thanks for understanding my reasons for the (almost?) spoilers. It's so great to "see" you all here and I very much appreciate it! Please stop back!

Lucinda Betts said...

Hey Laurie:

I love first person. Its so common in sci fi and fantasy and even NYT best selling thrillers, but its been such an anathema in romance.

But in romance, first person really lets you feel the perspective, which is fun in EROTIC romance!

In Sasha's capable hands, first person is delightful! I've got a book coming out next month called NIGHT SPELL. The story in that anthology is called, "My Captor," and it (obviously) is in the first person. Take a look at the excerpt on my website ( and tell me what you think!


p.s. I also loved your great review of our book! Thanks for taking the time!

The Bet, in PURE SEX, July 2006, NIGHT SPELL, September 2006, MOON SHADOW, March 2007, THE SUPPLICANT, July 2007, A Piece of Tail, in MYTHOS, November 2007, SHE BEAST, February 2008, HORSEPLAY, July 2008—all Kensington Aphrodisia