I’d been looking for some new erotica to read, having just finished a novel and several collections, and I love exploring new writers – some of my favorite novels of the past few years were picked up on a whim – so I was excited when I found the stories of I. M. Telling. His website lists his currently available books, which cover topics including swinging, cuckolding, bondage, open marriage, and interracial relationships, and they can be found at many retailers, including the iTunes Store, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, in print, Kindle, and Nook formats. The author provided me with a copy of The Wager for free in exchange for this review.
Written in 2012, and Part One of the High Stakes Erotica Series (although it also stands alone), The Wager runs about 40 pages. It’s long enough to have a story that isn’t just a sex scene (and it’s longer than what you’ll usually find in anthologies and collections), but it’s short enough to read in a sitting. The story flows well, and can be enjoyed whether you choose to read it with a glass of wine and a soak in the tub, or read it aloud to your partner in bed.
In The Wager, Jack and Chloe are a married couple, both in their mid 20s. They’ve been married a few years and are exploring their sexuality. Jack tells the story from the beginning, where he and his wife decide to rent a few porn movies to watch – something they’ve never watched together before. The scenario in the second movie they find intriguing: a woman meets several strangers in a bar and goes with them to a hotel for a gangbang. Jack and Chloe joke back and forth while watching the movie, but Chloe finds the action on screen hot, and the couple’s joking and sparring back and forth turns into a discussion of how such an encounter could be successfully set up and executed. Jack doesn’t take her all that seriously and is sure she’ll chicken out, so he makes her a wager, which Chloe accepts.
Jack and Chloe play out the encounter the next night. Neither is sure how far it will go, but neither wants to lose the bet. Jack is reluctant, but he’s also clearly excited when he tells the story. What follows is a fairly explicit and sexually charged tale, as Chloe entices Jack and several strangers he’s seated with at a bar to go with her to a hotel for a sexually satisfying romp, that leaves them both surprised at the outcome.
The characters in The Wager are interesting, and even though the story is short, you get a good feel for who they are and the desires they’re aiming to satisfy. I. M. Telling has a style that’s easy to read and makes the story flow, and he sets up the story line and the encounter well. You’ll find this story arousing if you’ve ever thought or fantasized about doing something similar with strangers you’ve just met, or your partner’s had this fantasy. I know I enjoyed reading this, and wondering how far I’d go to win such a bet. And with eight books in this series, I’m curious to find out what other kinds of wagers Jack and Chloe will make, and how far they’re willing to go to spice up their marriage.
Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book to review! You can find more information on The Wager on the author’s website, and also links to where you can find the book for sale.