I’ve been reading a variety of erotica lately. Most of the books have been theme-centered, and a lot of them have been fun reads, presenting some ideas that we’ve either tried to act out or hope to try out. In February, I got to read two selections of the Sexis Naked Reader Book Club – the first, Passion, was for the most part an incredible read, with some extremely hot stories. The second, Best Lesbian Romance 2011, was a bit different.
Best Lesbian Romance 2011 is published by Cleis Press, and edited by Radclyffe. It contains 17 stories, an introduction, and about sections for both editor and authors in its 200 pages. This is an oversized paperback, with a glossy, understated cover.
Radclyffe, has over 35 novels and anthologies in print. She’s a retired surgeon, and she’s won several awards for her writing. In the introduction she talks about what romance and love are, whether the relationship is just beginning or well into blossoming into something more, and leads into the stories presented in the book.
These stories are fairly romantic and well written, but they aren’t what I’d consider erotica. They’re more along the lines of soft-core stories or light romantic reading with just a hint of sex, for the most part, beyond kissing and an occasional feel. They really focus more on the feelings experienced by the women involved rather than raw sexual arousal. Good to read? Yes. Arousing? No, at least not for me.
The stories are a mix of first and third person tellings, and deal with dates arranged by Moms, new relationships, relationships that are yet to form, and chance encounters that lead to something much more. Whether in an apartment, a slave laundry, or a forest, the women find something special to share with each other.
While there weren’t any stories that I thought were bad or out of place, there were some I enjoyed reading above the others:
“Hearts and Flowers” by Theda Hudson Jen’s not one for hearts and flowers, and her one year anniversary with Gina is coming up. They toss around ideas to celebrate, but what Gina wants more than anything is for Jen to tell her what their anniversary means to her. Can Jen discover what being with Gina means before she loses her for good?
“Lost and Found” by Andrea Dale Lara gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii, but it doesn’t start out well when the airline loses her luggage. Her friend Jeanne tells another member at the conference about the problem and Evie shows up at her door to help her out. The two hit it off, but Lara’s nervous – she really LIKES Evie. And Evie lives in Hawaii, while Lara’s in Chicago. Can their relationship work?
“Rock Palace” by Miel Rose Taylor wants to take her girlfriend Lilly to visit her farm, but she’s not sure if she should. All her other girlfriends have been too city to appreciate it. Lilly is different, however, and Taylor takes a chance, showing off the country and her special hidey-hole.
The saddest story in this collection is “Dirty Laundry” by Cheyenne Blue. Eileen ends up in a Magdelene Laundry in Ireland, sent there by a priest and her family to be imprisoned. She meets Maura, another lost, imprisoned soul, and over the years they share a tender, hidden love to keep them going. Will they ever be able to escape?
Probably the most unusual lesbian romance tale is “When Hearts Run Free” by Radclyffe writing as L. L. Raand. She was bitten by a rogue werewolf, and now she’s a mutt in the pack. She’s smitten by the pack Alpha, Sylvan, and the feeling is mutual. But in the world of the pack, will a mutt have a chance with a Were born and bred?
If you’re looking to read some enjoyable romantic tales and not steamy erotica to get off to, Best Lesbian Romance 2011 is a book to pick up, and you can get your copy at EdenFantasys by clicking here or on the widget below.
The Naked Book Club discussion about Best Lesbian Romance 2011 and Passion was held February 22 on the EdenFantasys forums, with host Kristina Wright. The first of two March discussions will take place on March 3, where we’ll be discussing Hide and Seek. Hope to see you there!
Book by Various Authors
Publisher: Cleis Press Inc.
|This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer.|
This product was provided to me for free in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.