Desert Isle Keeper
Emma Holly is one of the better known erotica authors; although her current historical Beyond Innocence is near the top of my TBR pile, I had previously read and enjoyed a couple of her contemporary erotica books, including one of her most famous titles, Menage.
Thirty-three year old Kate Winthrop, a Philadelphia bookstore owner, has made her plans for the evening: some masturbation, dinner, TV, and then curling up with her half finished erotic novel. Her plans change when she walks into her bedroom and discovers her two grad-student borders having sex. While Joe is embarrassed, Sean asks if she’d like to join in, and join them she does. In the aftermath of their intense encounter, Kate wonders if the three of them can come out of it emotionally unscathed. She prefers Joe’s tenderness, but is hardly immune to Sean’s bad boy tendencies, and soon the trio’s involvement goes far beyond mere sexual adventures.
Kate embarks on her sexual odyssey with a lot of eagerness and confidence. She is extremely secure in her body and attractiveness but isn’t obnoxiously conceited. She is worldly but occasionally naïve, and warm-hearted even to those who may not totally deserve it. Sean, Joe and Kate may have started a game driven by lust and curiosity, but it quickly evolves to involve their hearts as well. Kate is closer to sensitive composer Joe than she is to Sean, but when Joe gets the opportunity of a lifetime and becomes a famous star, it means major changes for the trio.
I have to admit that the way Joe tries to convince Kate to accept him when he returns, swathed in fame and glory, is not my favorite aspect of erotica to read about, but it may not bother other readers. And the ending, although not a typical HEA, is entirely suitable to the plot and characters and I liked that it doesn’t sell out or betray the characters.
The sex, as you have figured out by now, is very, very explicit, but there is no purple prose or silly euphemisms, although it sometimes seems as if all the characters are into some kind of sexual kink. I did occasionally wonder how these three managed before the trio, uh, came together, because they are forever dripping and erections are there for the asking, or even without asking. The plot itself, and the characters, all of them, even the secondary ones, are well crafted. There is emotional turmoil and manipulation since each person who is participating in this ménage has their own reasons for doing so. There is an element of fantasy as both Kate and Joe become famous and land on covers of magazines.
If you’ve given erotica a try before, you’ve probably heard of Emma Holly – if you haven’t, you can’t go wrong by starting with one of the masters of the genre.