Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sapphistocated Review

Loving Venus - Loving Mars had this to say about Sapphistocated:

I’ve read a few anthologies now from Alessia Brio and to date, I haven’t been disappointed. There are always some very interesting and unique stories in them and Sapphistocated is no different. In this book, four authors whose names I’ve come to recognize as well known in f/f, lesbian romance and erotica, but not had the chance to read yet, are represented and it was a great chance to get a taste of each author’s writing.

What I liked with this book was the variety in stories. Each had a different flavor and ranged from very sweet, with characters who are soft and real, to gritty, in your face type characters who learn something about themselves. All the stories were well written and definitely grabbed my attention.

Double Decker by Alessia Brio- Tess is a very confident woman. She has her days, but then she has her SOL days, sex on legs days in which everything just falls into place. She’s participating in a karaoke contest in which the prize is a weekend trip to a resort and she really wants to win. It’s a quarterly contest held in a dyke bar, the Double Decker, and she knows she has a good chance to win. And she’s lucky because it just also happens to be an SOL day for her as well. She always manages to find someone to go home with after these karaoke contests, but on this night there is only one woman she wants. But that woman has no idea what Tess feels.

This story is one in which the over confident person get a little comeuppance. Tess as a character came across at very arrogant. She knows she’s hot and she’s sure she’s the best singer. She’s also very confident that she can seduce anyone in the audience to get who she wants when she wants. I had mixed feelings about her. She’s not someone I would normally like and the fact that she goes on and on and on about how great she is through most of the story got a bit tedious.

I wished there would have been more interactions with the woman she does want and less of the build up of Tess’ ego. I wanted more tension created between them. But Tess does get knocked down a few pegs when the one woman she does want seems to blow her off. Tess does then recognize that she got too cocky and that’s what turned the story around for me. Plus, there’s hawt sex. I’m shallow like that, what can I say. B+

I Know What I Want- Jolie du Pre- Allie is working as a waitress in a sucky job, but she’s gorgeous enough to eke out a small living modeling on the side, which is what she’d rather do. One day a friend of a photographer calls Allie and tells her she has a modeling job for her and will pay her 2k per hour to be a centerpiece at her party, but she needs to interview her first.

Vivian, the woman who hires her, is an older and very wealthy woman who comes onto Allie sexually but cuts Allie off before really doing anything. Allie is very intrigued by her and wants to be with her. Vivian then plays this game with her of making Allie feel that she is interested and yet blowing her off all the time, controlling the relationship totally. Even after they have sex and Vivian says she loves Allie, she never quite gives Allie the satisfaction that she will really be with her.

When Allie gets a call from a major fashion magazine that wants her to be their main model, she goes to NY and although Vivian has said she would come, she doesn’t. In the meantime, Allie gets with the assistant of the magazine editor and they fall in love. Then Vivian shows up.

I have to be honest; the end of this story was very abrupt and a bit disappointing. While I got that this is about Allie deciding what she wants, I felt that the stronger part of the story, or lets say the part that was the most developed and had the more interesting dynamics, petered out.

Vivian is such a delicious, mysterious character. She in total control of that relationship with Allie and had some really interesting Domme characteristics that made her exciting. She’s very cool and yet, very patient with Allie as Allie tries to figure out what the deal is with Vivian. Yes, Vivian is very manipulative, but the cool mystique around her made her the most compelling character in this story.

The beginning of the story is all about Allie and Vivian, but then it shifts to Allie and the assistant. Allie is just your normal type girl with no real outstanding qualities who’s enthralled with Vivian and wants her, but also gets really pissed off with being dicked around. She has a more normal, realistic relationship with the assistant, but is unfinished with Vivian. When Vivian comes back into town, she calls Allie acting like nothing is bad between them and Allie blows her off. Then it just ends. What? Wait… don’t stop.

Personally, as a reader, the focus of this story was on the wrong person, it should have been on Vivian who was the more complex character. What makes her tick, why she’s acting like she is, does she really love Allie or is it a game… so much about her I wanted to know. Not so much about Allie. And the D/s elements that were hinted at, but never really developed, were also way more intriguing than the story between Allie and the assistant.

So I’d have to say that on quite a few levels this was a really cool story, but there was disappointment in the ending, which left me wanting a lot more. B+

Better with Age by Beth Wylde- Olivia is a woman heading into middle age and alone. She has a grown daughter who’s in college and is coming home for a night for her birthday before going back. Olivia is lonely, suffering from empty nest syndrome, but gets by keeping busy with her job.

Aleesha is also an older woman who hasn’t really found that person with whom she can really love and settle down with. She’s come back to her home town and bought a small bakery and is just living life… that is until quite by coincidence, Olivia shows up to pay for a cake she ordered for her daughter’s birthday.

Olivia and Aleesha were lovers in high school until Olivia’s mom caught them together and forced Olivia to drop Aleesha or she and her father would cut all ties with her. Being young and naïve, she let go of Aleesha. Now meeting Aleesha after all these years, the sparks fly again between them and they find that they cannot resist each other.

Oh what a totally sweet story this is. I loved, loved it! Beth Wylde really captured that feeling between the characters of a love that never dies and that feeling of coming home and rightness that happens when you find and are in the presence your soul mate. Neither one of these women have found a person who could replace the other or give them what they had together and they get immediately that after all those years that they still feel the same with each other.

I also thought their fears and vulnerabilities about their much older bodies being desirable to the other to be very touching as well. Olivia and Aleesha are just two characters that are so easy to relate to and it’s a nicely written, very satisfying story. And it's always nice to read a story about two older characters who find love. A-

Drawn by Yeva Wiest- Sydney is a cartoon artist who gets a little too involved in her characters, is definitely a butch who has very specific tastes in what she likes in a woman’s looks, and… she’s a player. She hasn’t had any nookie for a while and while creating a character, she creates the perfect woman but with two heads that can be swapped. One head is for the character’s nice personality and the other for the evil one. When Sydney goes in to see her boss to show her the new character and story, she likes what she sees in Beth, her boss’ assistant. Beth is tall and willowy and just Sydney’s type. She asks Beth out and Beth agrees.

But wait… who also shows up in the office is Alice, the boss’ daughter. She’s round and voluptuous, has huge breasts and heavy thighs and Sydney has an immediate reaction against her thinking Alice is too fat for her. And yet, there’s something about Alice that Sydney finds herself attracted to. The next day when Sydney goes to meet Beth for a date, Alice just happens to be in the hall of the apartment building since she lives in a nearby apartment and again, Sydney finds against herself that she feels this intense attraction to Alice.

Alice gets that Sydney has judged her straight away as too fat and keeps cool with Sydney even though both of them are aware of some kind of attraction going on. After a while it becomes too much for Sydney when she finds herself thinking of Alice non-stop and getting all up in that soft, round, womanly body and she finds any excuse to meet with her.

First, all around, this was a very quirky story, which had a bizarre fantasy element going on with it. Sydney’s drawing, Kisha, messes with Sydney all the time, demanding her attention and doing awful spiteful things. Sydney also has sex with her. It’s written in an odd way so that I never quite knew what’s going on with that. It’s obvious that when Kisha is involved that it’s Sydney’s imagination and maybe even the two parts of herself being expressed, but it’s written as Kisha literally doing those things, so that part is a bit strange. Ultimately, I didn’t really get the point of that, why it was even there really.

What I really got off on in this story is how Yeva Wiest has Sydney all flustered about suddenly being attracted to a woman who is so not her usual taste and who changes the usual dynamic of her being butch who loves femmes. And Ok, I liked that she falls for a fat chick and that it’s Alice’s curves and fullness that turns her on. I just like stories in which a character finds themselves acting out of character and being totally turned on by that.

Then there was the weird night Sydney had with Beth. Truly, this story went into bizarro land a few times and it was very entertaining, like being in a lesbian erotica story written by Seinfeld. B+

Sapphistocated was a general, all around good read and I’m glad that I finally got a chance to read a few stories from some authors I’ve been meaning to get to. It’s definitely a nice collection of distinctly different stories, but all ending on a good note. And the sex in all of these stories was deliciously written and sizzling as well.

Sex rating: Orgasmic- very erotic and steamy f/f, some minor anal, strap on. Mostly vanilla.

Grade: B+

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