Playing With Fire - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Jul!a

Let Fire Get You Hot

Playing With Fire is a collection of short stories that all involve, well, playing with fire. Save for one story that the editor uses to 'cool everything off' at the end. Every story is well written and more focused on the experience and the journey rather than the act itself.
Very well written stories, a variety of scenarios.
There could have been more stories.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

About author

There are 22 different authors featured in Playing With Fire. Playing With Fire was edited together by Alison Tyler and features the following authors: Nikki Magennis, Sommer Marsden, Shanna Germain, Sophia Valenti, P. S. Haven, Jeremy Edwards, Teresa Noelle Roberts, Michael Hemmingson, N. T. Morley, Bella Dean, Kristina Wright, A.D.R Forte, J.D. Waters, Jolene Hui, Andrea Dale, I.K. Velasco, Thomas S Roche, Janine Ashbless, Heidi Champa, Alison Tyler, Christoper Tolian, and M. Murphy.

At the end of the book there are 3 pages dedicated to giving you a paragraph of information on each author, as well as an expanded section on the editor.
    • Engaging
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

Playing with fire is a book of 22 short erotic stories from 22 different authors. Totaling 162 pages, the stories range in length from a few paragraphs to a few pages.

The premise for each story is that of the taboo and all, except the last one, involve fire in some way. While some stories involve fire in its physical form, some take fire to just be intense heat, like that of a heat wave in the country. The very last story of the book is a tale about water, which the editor states is a "cool refreshing finale to a crackling collection."

Instead of multiple stories of say, a man and a woman getting it on at home, maybe foraying into the kitchen, we see tales of a woman who teases a man and gets herself chained to a tree and left there after being used like she wanted, a married man who picks up a woman in a bar and gets dominated and tortured in the back of his car, a couple who stay up late waiting for a thunderstorm to bring cooler temperatures that will allow them to finally be close again and once the rain starts they just can't wait. One story is about a man lighting matches, and the sensual erotic-ness that can come from a simple match lighting.

Some stories are tamer than others, but each story is written very well, focusing more on the experience that the character(s) go through rather than just on the act itself.
    • Erotica
    • Good mix of styles and content


The book itself is relatively small, about 8" tall by 5 1/2" wide. As a paperback, it won't hold up to tons and tons of abuse, but with normal use, it will be fine. For outward appearances, it isn't the most discreet for appearances, but the title on the front isn't that large, so if you can cover that with your hand while reading, you can pass it off as just a regular book with a more 'risque' picture on the front.


I really enjoy erotica, but I don't own that many books of it. Given the opportunity to not only expand my collection, but also the types of stories, I couldn't resist.

The types of stories in Playing With Fire aren't normally the ones that I go for when browsing erotica, but I still found most of them hot and exciting in some way. Not all of them were my personal cup of tea, but I did enjoy reading every story in the book. I had my fiance read the book as well and he summed it up pretty well when he said that it seemed like the point of the collection was more about the journey to the climax, rather than the climax itself. Which is something I look for in well written literotica.
Follow-up commentary
Apparently my fiance did not read as much of this book as I had initially thought. A few weeks ago he sat down and read it all cover to cover, and came away feeling pretty sad about the multitudes of stories that seemed to involve cheating in some way or another. Personally, I can separate all that out in my head, and it doesn't affect me, so I enjoyed re-reading these stories. I still recommend the book to anybody who's interested.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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  • Boobs and Lubes
    Nice review, we enjoy erotica too, we should get a book exchange going in the chat rooms.
  • Jul!a
    Ooh, you know, that definitely sounds like a great idea actually. Thank you
  • Tori Rebel
    great review - going to have to add this one to my wishlist!
  • Jul!a
    Thanks ToriRebel
  • Sammi
    This does sound like a good read
    Good review!
  • Jul!a
    Thanks Sammi

    I enjoyed it a lot
  • iceman681
  • Viktor Vysheslav Malkin
    Very good review as always Jul!a!
  • Jul!a
    Aww thanks Vik!
  • gone77
    You've piqued my interest in this book, Julia. Nice job!
  • Jul!a
    Thanks Kristi
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