Desert Isle Keeper
Best Women's Erotica of the Year Vol.4
Best Women’s Erotica Volume 4 is a collection of steamy short stories by a variety of authors and edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, featuring diverse characters and pairings including LGBTQ and multi-partner tales. The theme of this collection is Outsiders and Risk Taking, and each author has brought their own imagination into the mix on what this means to them. These are not romances, though several of the works have a happy for now type ending signalling the partnership may become longer term. There are twenty stories in total and not every story will appeal to every taste, but there are sure to be some that strike your fancy! Here’s a brief look at some of the ones I enjoyed.
Take the Shot by Mica Kennedy
‘The fairy queen as Dominatrix, her trickster king tamed, in her thrall. It’s hot as hell.’
A sexy BDSM photo shoot with a dirty A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream scenario is the backdrop for this short story. Nina is a forty-something professor doing a favor for her photographer sister. She gets to revel in her sexy side as a buxom woodland nymph though she is initially discomfited to discover that her co-model is none other than her mid-twenties teaching assistant Josh. When she finds out Josh is transferring out of her department it eases her conscience and lets her let loose. She’d always been attracted to him, and the feeling is mutual. Following the shoot they indulge in a passionate encounter and make the decision to explore something more. I loved seeing Nina venture out of her comfort zone and be reminded that not every man wants a model thin waif. Josh thinks she’s gorgeous just as she is, whether enhanced by makeup and sexy costumes or just being herself. It’s a reminder that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Oh Captain, My Captain! by Calliope Bloom
Fancy a Halloween party? This one turns out to be the X-rated kind when Angie picks up her friend Sophia and Sophia’s boyfriend Kai for a night out that lets her explore some of her more kinky fantasies. Angie is bi-sexual and she and Sophia have been friends since college, but she’d never admitted her attraction for fear of losing Sophia’s friendship. On the way home from their first party they stop at a huge yacht that’s hosting a party of its own and sneak on board. They find an empty stateroom and when Sophia asks if there is something Angie wants to do but has been too scared to ask for, Angie finally gets up the nerve to tell her.
“Okay,” I said and took a deep breath. “I would want to kiss you.”
From there it comes out that Sophia and Kai have an open relationship and they are game for some fun. Sexy times are in order, and when the captain of the boat discovers them, she joins in for some extra BDSM adventures. Ahoy captain! Their threesome becomes a foursome and everyone leaves for home satisfied. It’s a fun, enjoyable and super steamy read!
The Pick-me-up by Suleikha Snyder
For Aleja, a margarita at The Hanged Man at the end of a long, lousy day is supposed to be a nightcap, but regular bar patron Conn, with his ginger hair and Irish accent, is capturing her attention more than usual. In fact, this particular night she notices more about him, specifically his thoughtfulness in a couple of situations where she’d have expected more of his normal brash obnoxiousness. Then a verbal game of one-up-man-ship leads to an alley encounter and more.
‘He tasted like drunkenness and impulse. She arched up on her toes to match it with relative sobriety and not-so relative poor judgment.’
I loved this one! Aleja and Conn give as good as they get and they are well matched both in and out of the bedroom. The story ends with the likelihood that it’s just the beginning for this couple.
Belonging by Tamsen Parker
Exploring a kink club for the first time, Glory is nervous but determined. Her fantasies of being on her knees for someone, but that someone respecting and caring for her in return, are ones she’s finally drummed up the courage to do something about. And lucky for her, Constance is there to set her at ease and give her what she asks for.
‘She’s right here, offering this thing to me, or maybe opening a door, gesturing for me to come inside. I want to cross the threshold, see if I could belong here too.’
If you’ve read any of the author’s Compass series, you’ll have seen mention of Glory and Constance, and this is their origin story. They are a long-time committed Domme/sub couple in the series, and I really enjoyed reading their first meeting and how Glory discovers that yes, this is what she’s been looking for.
Words with Benefits by Tamara Lush
For fifty two year old divorced professor Jennifer, meeting men in the world of online dating has so far been a dud, until she tries the ‘Words with Benefits’ app. When a mutual acquaintance – a professor at her university in a different department and of a similar age – pings her on the app, it’s the start of some fun word games, and a date in the real world. What starts out as drinks leads to a night on Gabriel’s boat.
Jennifer takes an interest in the ropes he has, and his proficiency with knots, to which Gabriel says:
‘I’ve never used it for non-nautical things.” His voice was rough, with undertones of dark desire. “But I’d be interested in experimenting.”
And so they discover a mutual interest in bondage kink and a satisfying sexual encounter is likely to lead to more. I really enjoyed this one, with two adults having been in previous relationships willing to take the risk of jumping back into the dating pool and finding they’ve made the right choice.
Essential Qualities by Alyssa Cole
An interesting future awaits if Alyssa Cole’s story is any indication of what will come next in our search for the perfect companion.
‘What does it mean that I was born of a human mother and father and that he was designed to my own specifications, down to his golden brown skin and tight black curls?’
In this story scientist Annika has created the perfect man for her – Ian, a humanoid robot indistinguishable from a human on the street. Society is undecided on his existence, with protests mingling with requests for her to clone someone’s own loved ones. I love this story for posing some interesting ethical questions while showing what it would be like to have someone attuned to our every need.