Passion - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by hybridinsurge

  • Christmas shipping schedule
  • 20% OFF sitewide — Code: ENJOY20
Passion

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

Add resource

Passion: Erotic Romance About Straight Women

'Passion: Erotic Romance for Women' is a thoughtful collection of twenty couple-based erotic short stories. This anthology is mainly centered around heterosexual, non-BDSM sexual encounters. 'Passion' contains a number of ethnically and racially diverse characters, which I find unexpected in erotica collections.
Published:
Pros:
Well made
Well written overall
Varied plotlines
Cons:
All heterosexual couples
'Vanilla' sex scenes
Indiscreet cover art
Rating by reviewer:
4
extremely useful review

About author

Passion: Erotic Romance for Women is edited by experienced author, blogger and editor Rachel Bussel. She has edited over thirty anthologies of erotica including Fast Girls, Caught Looking, The Mile High Club and Tasting Her. Bussel is the author of Everything But… and How to Write an Erotic Love Letter. Her short stories have been published in over one hundred anthologies including Best American Erotica 2004 and Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong. Bussel has written for numerous magazines, newspapers and Internet blogs. She has won three IPPY (Independent Publisher) Awards. Bussel is currently a senior editor for Penthouse Variations.

The editor and nineteen other authors each contributed one short story to this collection. These writers are all female and are located mainly in the United States or the United Kingdom. All but one of these contributors have been published previously.
    • Expert author
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

Passion: Erotic Romance for Women is 226 pages long and includes twenty short stories that range in length from six to seventeen pages long. The stories were fairly well-written, with one exception. As you might expect, this book is for those who prefer 'romantic' erotica. Some stories revolve around existing couples and some deal with 'love at first sight.' The collection is fluffy and flowery.

It is important to mention that every single one of these stories is about a heterosexual couple. I found this very unusual for a Cleis Press collection. I expected a couple of stories about lesbian couples, at least, given the title of the book. If you do not enjoy reading heterosexual erotica then I do not recommend this book.

The lack of diversity in sexual orientation is made up for by diversity in the races and ethnicities of the characters. In my experience, either race is not mentioned in erotic stories or the characters are described as having typical Caucasian attributes, such as blonde hair or blue eyes or something. It was refreshing and unexpected to actually see some racial diversity. I have included some examples of this from the book. In "My Dark Knight" an African American couple hooks up and later acknowledges that they are the only black participants at all the Renaissance fairs they attend together. Muslim culture plays a large role in "An Easy Guy to Fall On" when an American of Saudi Arabian heritage expresses angst over whether or not to have premarital sex with a Hispanic woman. I really enjoyed this piece and the thought it spoke to the issue of Americanization of immigrants and their descendants.

This book is not for those wanting less 'vanilla' or non-BDSM stories. There is some light bondage in "The Silver Belt." In "Getting It Right," a woman is caned by her lover and other allusions are made to their Dom/Sub escapades. However, aside from these two stories the sex is relatively tame. I still found the sex scenes satisfying, overall.
    • Erotica
    • Fiction
    • Hetero

Design

The design and layout of Passion: Erotic Romance for Women is standard for Cleis Press collections. It is a thin, lightweight paperback. The cover is not discreet as it pictures a nude couple. The book seems sturdily bound.

The ‘Table of Contents’ clearly lists the included stories and their authors. There is an ‘About the Authors’ and an ‘About the Editor’ section at the end of the book.
    • Soft cover
    • Well made
    • Not very discreet cover

Personal comments

I have included some brief summaries of my favorite and least favorite stories in this collection:

In "Dear in the Headlights," a woman saves her and her husband's romantic evening by showing up at his broken down car in a long coat and not much else. A delicious sex scene takes place on the hood of said car.

In "Autumn Suite," a woman is brought to a sexual frenzy by the sound of her man playing the cello.

"An Easy Guy to Fall On" is about two lovers who meet on a bus. Before taking the next step to intercourse they must both deal with their respective cultures' ideas about relationships.

"Lingua Franca" is a sexy piece about a Polish man and the boss who drives him crazy by attempting to correct his accent. They have sex at their workplace, which is deliciously naughty.

In "Third Time's the Charm," a couple makes up in an elevator. This story also touched on some interesting things. The stress placed on the relationship is due to the male component's work as a police officer.

"Riding Wild Things" is about a steamy hook-up between two rodeo competitors.

"No Risk, No Reward" is another car sex story. Hooray! This time it is between two lovers about to be separated by an ocean.

In "The Morning Ride," two subway passengers fantasize about each other and, eventually, go out for coffee.

"Rekindle" was a very sweet story about a long married couple's successful attempt to rekindle their sex life in a hotel room. It was surprising to read a story about an older couple with a child.

"The Efficiency Expert" drove me nuts, in a bad way. There were way too many punctuation marks and several run-on sentences. The writing style and plot reminded me a bit of the Fifty Shades of Grey series. The sex scene read too silly to be a turn-on. Some gems: "I'd like to ... caress his masculine bum this very minute." "...he kisses me hungrily again, like a pirate king savoring his plundered booty..."

Experience

While I will be keeping this book by the bed for my personal use, I probably will not be sharing many stories with my boyfriend. I think the book is a bit too flowery for his taste. I am sure he’d be happy to read the sex scenes but these were pretty standard. We could just as easily read stories he would enjoy more that have similar sex scenes. I will still be getting plenty of use out of Passion for myself though!
Follow-up commentary
This book is good for when I want to read some more tender erotica. I'll admit, it is not my favorite erotic anthology, but I still really enjoy it. The binding is still strong.
This content is the opinion of the submitting contributor and is not endorsed by EdenFantasys.com
Become a Reviewer. Get free toys. Enjoy Special Deals
This review was edited by
  • Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
  • Rank:
     
    6.1
  • Edited reviews: 133
Do you like this review?
Comments
  • Lildrummrgurl7
    Lildrummrgurl7  
    Great review. Sounds like it's a good book to add to my collection
  • HotMilk
    HotMilk  
    Thanks for the review
Forum
No discussions yet.
Thank you for viewing Passion – book review page!