G Is For Games - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Antipova

G Is For Games

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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High Stakes Erotica: G is for Games

Sizing up your opponent, planning your moves, playing to win---that's the name of the game in G is for Games. Edited by Alison Tyler, this erotica anthology is written just for people who thrill to competition---people who live for the pleasure of the chase. There are plenty of hot stories, focusing on the mental and physical aspects of the game we all love to play. While not every story was a home run for me, with such a great variety included, every reader will walk away a winner.
Adrenaline-rushing, diverse themes, well-written stories of perfect length.
Many stories focus on the 'thrill of the chase' instead of the 'pleasure of the prize.'
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
Do you delight in a challenge of your brain or your body? Do you seek out competition... or do you like to prove yourself worthy to the eye-catcher across the room? Better yet, do you desire that hot human to show you (s)he's got what it takes to win your heart or body? Does your pace quicken when you won't know who the winner will be til the very last stroke?

Then G is for Games is your book.

"Those who miss the sexual overtones are really missing out," muses the lead lady in Rachel Kramer Bussel's Check, Mate. "Like most things in life, those who want to partake of the erotic side of the game [...] will call the kinkiness of a chess game immediately. For the others, the power dynamic at play is wasted, the chance to conquer, tease, invade, and capture lost when taken too literally." The potentials of chess are not lost on the lead lady, though, nor on the readers of the story.

Bonnie Dee's heroine in Showtime plays a little game all her own. "I wore that classic pleated skirt with no panties underneath, slipped my patent-leather shoes on over white bobby socks, buttoned my white Oxford shirt over my braless breasts, and strolled down to the Blue Heron Theater, where the triple-X movies were shown." Even though there are no points in her game, by the end she's definitely gotten the high score in my book.

In Unfinished Business, Brooke Stern rolls out the story of a couple who'd left an indelible mark on each other, one evening a year ago. They use role play, a game of a director looking for an actress, to express the feelings they can't address. "You look familiar." "Maybe you saw me in the 2004 romantic comedy Drinking Alone at a Hotel Bar." "Weren't you also in "The Amazing Disappearing Woman?" "That wasn't one of my better roles." "I've been hoping you would do something new." "Oh, yeah? Any ideas?" "How about Unfinished Business?"

"Rick spit in his hand and wrapped his palms around his dick and the narrow end of the bat. It took both hands to reach around the shafts, and Rick sighed as he squeezed his thick cock up against the bat. The contrast between the fire of his skin and the inner cool of the wood made his balls grow tight." Joel A. Nichols does a fabulous job writing the story of Rick, a man who gets off faster when he starts to Think About Baseball.

G is for Games is a nicely glue-bound paperback holding 137 pages of stories, and it's a couple inches shorter than most books on your shelf. The front cover is adorned with a poker-playing pin-up girl next to a large letter G, and she sits slightly smaller on the back cover and the spine as well. This isn't as obviously arousing as some erotica covers, but you'd still want to use a book cover for public browsing. Alison Tyler, the editor of G is for Games (and, I believe, of all of Cleis Press' "Alphabet Erotica" series) does a wonderful job selecting stories with hot content, and mixing up the lengths perfectly for your reading pleasure.

The orientations in this anthology are nicely balanced. G is for Games tells the tales of a lesbian coupling, a lesbian group scene, an almost-straight 'key party'-esque scenario, an FMM threesome, and a gay fantasy tossed in with eight straight couplings. All of these stories are very approachable to readers of all kink levels, and aside from two spanking stories most are focused primarily on no-frills sex. These stories don't seem to need much kink---the thrills in G is for Games come from the tit-for-tat, the carefully served and met advances of the lovers-to-be.
Despite the high-quality writing and generally hot concepts, G is for Games held more strikes than hits for me. There were five stories I really loved (each of those mentioned above, plus Michelle Houston's Nine Ball, Corner Pocket), and the rest were enough to turn me on, but I won't be coming back to them. Maybe you could say G is for Games hit five home runs, a double, six singles, and one foul ball*.

I feel safe saying that even the stories that didn't whisk me across the finish line will still be winning stories for people whose tastes are different from mine. Lots of the authors for this anthology worked the 'game' theme into the courtship of the characters. And many, many people love the "thrill of the chase," the careful choreographed steps of winning a lover's favor. Personally, I get my kicks from the pleasure of the prize, rather than the planning of the hunt. If you're someone who loves artful anticipation, G is for Games will be a big hit for you. Also, if you're the sort of person who fetishizes any sort of sport, whether you get you'd rather lift up a tennis skirt or take off your jock's shoulderpads, there's a story here for you. My athletic tastes lean toward solo sports like biking, and my 'games' tastes are more likely to be met by a board game (or maybe game theory). Still, though this book wasn't written with readers like me in mind, I am very happy with the prizes I managed to walk away with.

While I won't be going back and rereading the majority of these stories, I would have paid the price of the book for any one of my five favorites alone. I'm definitely glad I've got G is for Games on my shelf. Alison Tyler earns a medal, her authors ought to get laurel crowns---but her readers are the real winners!

*(Seven Minutes in Heaven was that close to being perfect---it talked the talk but tiptoed away on the walk! If I were an ESPN commentator this story would get most of my analysis the day after the game.)
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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My G Is For Games tags
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Anyone
    • Foreplay
    • Mood enhancer
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anywhere
  • General
    [ ? ]
    Other tags that are useful and descriptive for this product.
    • Moderately discreet cover
    • Thrill of the chase
  • Waterfall
    Nice job on this review We need to get the rest of the erotica alphabet series on Eden as well, I liked E is for Exotic a lot and I want to read this one!
  • sarki
    I haven't taken much notice of this book but I'm adding it to my wishlist
    Thank you for the great review
  • Antipova
    Thanks Waterfall and Sarki. This was a really good book, I hope we get the rest of the series too. I'm sure there are some letters that will have themes that *were* tailored to me, and I can't wait to check one out.
  • Starkiller87
    I was really curious about this one since everyone was reviewing it for book club. I dunno if it would do anything for me either, I get kinda picky with my erotica to be honest. Though if I was reading the whole series I think it would be fun.
  • Antipova
    I've actually been surprised, having joined the book club, just how much erotica can really do for me. I used to just read online erotica, but it was *so* hit or miss in terms of writing quality. I've found that the published stuff is much better overall, and even stories whose themes don't knock me over the top, I still wind up at least partly aroused.
  • Ivy Wilde
    Thanks for the review. I really enjoyed this book as well, but some of the stories just weren't to my taste either. My favorite was probably "Unfinished Business".
  • Antipova
    "Unfinished Business" was definitely my favorite of the book too, Ivy. I really liked how we got both characters' perspectives.
  • Breas
    ty for the review
  • Antipova
    My pleasure, sktb0007.
  • DeliciousDrip
    i think i'd like to read this. great review tho
  • Antipova
    Thanks DeliciousDrip!
  • M121212
    Mmm... those excerpts make me think of hot New York nights in August playing pool with my sweetie. Yum.
  • Antipova
    All my pool memories make me giggle instead of turning me on... I'm legendarily bad at it!
  • Chris15461
    nice review
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