Lust: erotic fantasies for women - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by ToyGeek

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Variety is the Spice of Lust

Every story in this anthology is well written, with characters who are more than just lust objects, and so each story feels honest and real. All types of relationships are represented, and there's variety among their encounters. If you're looking for romance novel heterosexual encounters with flowery terms for the naughty bits, look elsewhere. Likewise, try another volume for more extreme BDSM situations. But if you want a variety of tales somewhere in the middle, you've found your book.
A wide variety of character types and sexual encounters. Great writing. Honest language.
May be too tame for some, yet still racy enough to scare off more vanilla readers.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

About author

The editor of this volume is Violet Blue, whose name I recognized when I picked this up in a bookstore, although I failed to recall why. Thanks to the magic of Google, I figured out that I had encountered her a few times on Boing Boing. She's also the author of The Smart Girl's Guide to the G-Spot. For this collection, she selected authors who share a couple of similarities in style. First of all, none of the stories contained any complex euphemisms, which is either a pro or a con, depending on the reader, or for me, my particular mood. The other characteristic these tales shared is the character development, which I always appreciate in erotica.

The following writers are included: K.L. Gillespie, Bonnie Dee, Teresa Noelle Roberts, Kay Jaybee, Andrea Zanin, Sloane Square, Saskia Walker, A.D.R. Forte, Geneva King, Maria Grigoriadis, Susan St. Aubin, Maria Matthews, B.J. Franklin, Jean Roberta, Debra Hyde, Kristina Wright, and Reen Guierre.
    • Engaging
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

Lust is very much geared toward female readers, with a wide variety of topics. Stories feature both heterosexual and homosexual characters, with encounters between heterosexual couples, lesbian couples, and bisexual threesomes. Some of the activities portrayed stay pretty vanilla, while others include light BDSM type play. The realistic feel of the character development adds to them all.

Those looking for rough sex or more extreme situations will probably be disappointed with most of the stories. One story in particular -- Kidnapped -- featured some rough sex, but while the situation moved beyond my comfort zone as a reader, the character also constantly reminded the reader that the whole kidnapping was staged with her consent, which served as a distraction from the fantasy. I personally found it an odd balance, and I wondered if a reader looking for that sort of fantasy would be put off by it, but at the same time, it made the character's experience seem more honest.
    • Erotica
    • Fiction


The layout is pretty standard for an anthology. There's an introduction by the editor, the stories themselves, and a brief paragraph about each author in the back of the book. It does have a table of contents, but lacks an index, as does most fiction.

Nothing about the paper quality, the printing, or the binding stands out as a distraction, and I didn't find myself stumbling over typos. The paperback cover feels sleek and glossy, rather than matte. It's not illustrated.

The cover lacks discretion, but falls short of being openly pornographic. It displays a black and white photograph of an undressed couple embracing, artistically cropped, with the title in red.
    • Not very discreet cover
    • Soft cover

Personal comments

The two stories that stuck with me the most, and which I return to when the mood strikes, were Satisfaction Guaranteed, which to my delight included toys; and Pleasant Surprise, a steamy lesbian encounter with really great character voice. I also enjoyed the character development in Coffee Shop Boy.

With so much variety in this book, I'd expect that almost anyone would be able to find a few favorites in the mix.
Follow-up commentary
I keep my erotica stashed away so thoroughly hidden that I'd forgotten about this book, and a number of others. Fortunately I saw this review on my EF dashboard, and pulled it out again.

I'd forgotten the, hem, plots for most of these tales, which makes them plenty useful for a second read. It has nice variety, and the writing is refreshingly solid. I'd still recommend this book, at least to those who aren't shopping for a very specific story type, since the downside of variety means there's not much of any specific thing.
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Do you like this review?
  • bzzingbee
    This sounds like a nice read, thanks for the review!!
  • namelesschaos
    sound good thanks for the review.
  • Danielle1220
    great review!
  • Research
    Cleis Press is the publisher of some other great books. They also did The Whole Lesbian Sex Book by Felice Newman.
  • ToyGeek
    @ Research -- wow, that just went in my cart. It looks excellent, thanks!
  • Kayla
    Sounds like a nice read.
  • Waterfall
    Thanks for the review! Looks like a fun read, adding it to the wish list!
  • ZenaidaMacroura
    Looks pretty good. Great review!
  • Kindred
    Great review, thanks!
  • Sammi
    This does sound like a good one to get
  • C4ss
    This one looks good. Thanks for the review.
  • AlexaFish
    thank you for the review
  • AmandaA
    Thanks for the review!
  • eeep
    Great review, this book sounds very good
  • Mihoshi4301
    Thanks for the review.
  • teachmetouchme
    LUST. Great.
  • Lola Park
    adding this to the wish list
  • Zombirella
    Wish listing it now.
  • Nirelan
    thanks for your review!
  • Zandrock
    thank you for the review
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