walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
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_What She Needs_, Anne Calhoun (kindle)

This is a short: a novella, at the most, and while available in more than one ebook format, I don't think it's available in paper at all.

I bought it on the strength of _Liberating Lacey_, which, IIRC, I bought based on an SB review. Like _LL_, this is an erotic contemporary romance with no secondary characters or plot and no supernatural elements.

My reviews almost always have spoilers and this one isn't going to be any different, so if you dropped into my blog via the google, you should bail out now if you have a problem with someone telling you the gimmick.

Our heroine has received a call to come to the Embassy Suites hotel bar to meet "Jack". Jack has a room and after they each have (part of) one drink (he has a Heineken and she has a chardonnay), they go upstairs. There's a d&s theme running throughout, but without any b&d or lifestyle elements. It's subtle: a tiny amount in verbal phrasings and non-verbals that are not particularly overt (hand at the nape of the neck rather than hair pulling, for example).

Once upstairs (did I mention that happened fast? This is basically an extended sex scene), they make good use of the door with its mirror, then strip the bed down to the bottom sheet. Since this is electronic only erotic fiction, I figure someone is going to care: manual, oral and tab p slot v sex. There is anal penetration of her by him with a lubricated (yay! I love the realism) dildo.

If that was all there was, I think my only complaint might be, hm, where are the condoms? And the answer to _that_ is supplied and beautifully. There are little nibbles laid out for the alert reader: that they've known each other sexually for at least 15 years would be the real gimme. One of the cliche fantasies for long-term couples to act out in an effort to get the zing back is the pick-up-a-random-stranger-in-a-bar (but with each other). And that (hey, spoiler weenie, leave NOW) is what this story is.

The structure of the story is fantastic. The relationship is believable. The where-are-the-kids question is answered. You know what these people do for a living, and even get a sense of what their days and nights and weeks and years are like. It is a phenomenally well-executed version of something which gives me the heebies: a massively unbalanced relationship. The guy is a trial lawyer working 80 hours a week and she is a stained glass artist who is running the home front. And this imbalance, she believes, is why she desperately needs this periodic stranger-in-a-bar-followed-by-hot-dominance-in-a-hotel-room sex.

It's so well done, and the people involved are so believably loving to each other, that I can't hate it. But it isn't really what I am looking for, either.

I'm very much looking forward to more by Calhoun.
Tags: book review, contemporary erotica
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