Despite having shelves and boxes full of books, as well as a Kindle and folder on my PC nearly full of stories to read I am always on the look out for something new (and, often being that I am pretty literally a starving artist most of time, cheap as well) to add to my library. So when one day on das FaceBooken there was another writer offering up a free copy of her latest work for review in an erotic writers group I jumped at the chance. I had sort of "seen" her post in this particular group before, though I had not really read them or taken the time to get to know her. Within a few days of taking her up on her offer she sent me a message curious to know if I had started reading, what was an erotic story collection, and I replied that I had not as life was going on and that I had quite a backlog of stories to read and review. She responded back to let me know she would appreciate a review and a rating once I had the chance, and she let me know that I was really going to like her collection, and that if I had purchased it on my own I would have really been glad that I did.
Well, you know, of course, my first thought was, OH, BOY, (and rolling my eyes as I did so). I felt pretty certain that here was another writer who was grossly overestimating their talent. I should point out that at this time I had just made it to the midpoint of Danvers Asylum and received a response back from Gina Kincade regarding the problems I was finding with that highly endorsed story. So once I was finished with that travesty I went straight into E-Rotica, almost sure it was going to be abysmal. As I read the first story I found myself feeling I was right. The story itself was not terrible, but it just didn't seem to make much sense, although the truth about what I was reading, what the story was, and was about, became more clear and defined at the very end. Then I slept on that first story, really thinking it over and letting it sink in. It was not that the story was insensible that was the problem as I read it, the problem was that it was deep, I had not went into the story thinking it would be deep, so the problem, as both a reader and a reviewer, was actually me.
The realization sank in the more I read. And the more I considered what I was reading the more I knew that these were not stories you could simply read and "get it" (at least not all of them). This is erotica for the thinking person. These are the kind of stories I love! I did not like every single story, but every single one was well written and well beyond sappy erotic romance and mindless porn scenes. I would go as far as to say that Ms. Moore has the ability to get into the reader's head and make them reconsider their first impression of a story after they have though about it a little while after they finish it. If anything I went in underestimating Ms. Moore's ability, and having sent a couple of messages to her since I initially finished reading the collection I believe that she underestimated herself as well, which is a lot to say about someone who has a great deal of confidence in their work to begin with.
What I found in E-Rotica is a great collection that is an excellent addition to my erotic reading library. In fact I am already ready to take a look at her next collection, as well as getting my hands on her previously released works. Ms. Moore delivers unique stories that are sometimes hard to pigeon hole or stick into one category, the kind of stories I know from past experience would be a nightmare trying to place on a story site to attract the maximum intended audience
Here's a look at the stories:
This first story is the one that had me coming and going. It's not my favorite story in the collection, but by that same token it's not my least favorite story either. I really, really kind of hated it until I reached the end. After a couple of days of thinking it over I began to actually develop a grudging respect for it. A man has the hots for his neighbor and she claims she has the hots for him as well, but things never seem to happen between the two of them whenever they get together. A very unique take on the cuckold tale where the participants are not even in a relationship. I rate it Four Stars due to the fact that the beginning is somewhat muddled. I think the collection as a whole who have been better served if this was the third or fourth story instead of the lead in. Still, once you understand there's more to this story than is on the surface it does open your eyes and mind to the fact that you need to be watchful throughout the rest of the collection.
The Pursuit Of Pleasure
The narrator of this story is indeed in the pursuit of pleasure, forever chasing after his neighbor, Ella, an erotic dancer and club performer. She never really seems to notice him, so he lives a fantasy life in his head, spying on her as she has encounters with other men in the house across the way. It is the study of a man who begins to realize that perhaps its the ideal of his perfect woman and being the voyeur on the outside means more to him than ever actually being in her life. Five Stars.
On a bench by the woods a woman submits to her lover's desires. This is a true mind fuck story where most of the action occurs as the woman's internal dialogue as opposed to the physical, although it is there. This one is short and sweet, but still manages to be thought provoking and though evoking. Five Stars.
This long story takes up a good majority of the length of the collection, which is saying volumes because the collection itself is pretty big. I would have to say the Historie d'E is to E-Rotica what The Mist is to Stephen King's Skeleton Crew. The story really didn't suit my tastes, however that does not keep it from being a good story, and perhaps its only fault was my impression that the individual segments within the story were uneven. There was a great deal of exposition in the beginning with long scenes, where near the end some were quite short. Then again, on sleeping on it the style of the story makes more sense considering this is the story of a relationship that becomes a long distance relationship, and if you've ever been there you know that a couple starts off with all the time in the world to spend together before it begins to grow shorter and shorter. The sex is understated, but as I've already said this is not your standard "erotic romance" or wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am type of stories. I was initially bored to tears with this story and began to wonder when it was ever going to end. However, as with Decent Proposal, as I closed in on the end and then slept on the story I really opened myself up to what it was all about. Five Stars. This story features a long cameo by Ella from The Pursuit Of Pleasure, although she does not directly interact with the principal characters.
The Best Birthday Present A Girl Could Have
A woman puts on a show for her lover on her birthday with visions of getting a collar in her head as opposed to "simple" jewelry. The lovers each tease each other as a way of Ms. Moore teasing the reader as well. Another great little Five Star story.
When You Want Me More
A teasing game turns hot and steamy. It's short but as you read it it actually feels like a much longer story. A fair amount of teasing turns into one of the more graphic sex scenes in the collection. Guy wasn't the only one rising to full mast on this one, and that's a rarity for me when reading other people's erotica. Five Stars and a Stiffy!
Confessions Of A Stripper
Ella puts in her third appearance in the collection, this time as the story teller, giving a first person account of her own double life. A great tale of reflection as Ella finds she has to admit that sometimes the different aspects of her two lives overlap and complete a more perfect picture of who she is. Not as much erotic as expressing feelings of eroticism, but it works quite well. Five Stars.
The Love And Sex Addicts Anonymous Group
This story was my personal favorite, as Ms. Moore shows a bit of her funny side. A woman visits the titular support group with thoughts of perhaps seducing one of the other men or women in the group, but struggles with her conscience for even thinking about doing so. Still it doesn't keep her from showing a little skin and teasing (not in the way you're thinking). In some ways it does not quite fit in with the rest of the collection, and in other ways it's perfect and could have worked as either the lead in or the closing story. Six Stars! Oh, yeah!
A woman visits a fetish club and asserts her dominance over a respectful wallflower. I usually never get invested in other people's BDSM stories, mainly due to the fact that the lifestyle is a personal and unique thing to every individual involved. I read stories and a majority of the time I like them or I don't like them, only once in a great while does someone write one I love because it mirrors things in my own experience or it follows closely with my own personal philosophy about the lifestyle. This is one of those stories I personally loved, meeting my Goldilocks Principal of being "Just right". Another Six Star story in my book, and when combined with the preceding and seceding stories it is one of the reasons I do something I rarely ever do, and that's give it a high recommendation.
Toying With The Toy
Another BDSM story where a harsh Mistress teaches a novice sub a lesson in obedience and denial. This one is hot in all the right places, and probably counts as the first story I have ever read that comes off as steamy and raunchy without a great deal of action focused on graphic sex acts, which I personally consider a feat. Six Stars and a slight Stiffy!
Making Love Slowly
A young woman and her horror artist lover spend their time in deep conversation followed by hot, sweaty, slow lovemaking. The beginning is paced like a the opening of a horror story, which was my first indication that Ms. Moore writes horror themed stories as well. That different atmosphere is there, but there's no monsters other than the ones in the drawings, so the couple decides to make love and not monsters. Five Stars.
A woman stays after hours for some special, one-on-one, lessons from her yoga instructor. For the most part I know it sounds like your average little trip in the erotic romance cheese cave, however in the hands of Ms. Moore the story is real, interesting, alive and entertaining. Five Stars.
My Dirty Landlady
When a man has trouble with the boiler in his new flat it's the landlady to the rescue. They're interrupted as she attempts to fix a little more than his boiler, so she promises to give him a call some other time. When she finally gives him that call her tennant finds himself getting more than he bargined for. This one is steamy and comedic as well, showing the lighter side of BDSM (or at least telling a tale people in the lifestyle will probably think is humorous). Six Stars!
Fun At The Hotel
A quickie little scene between a couple visiting Las Vegas. I found this one a little weak, and it would have probably been a better story for closer to the beginning of the collection as opposed to the end. I did not feel the atmosphere as I did with other stories in the collection, despite the fact that the details were there. It's still well written and far from being in the abyss. Four Stars.
I Love You Forever
On the other side of the coin is a very brief story that is dripping with erotic atomosphere without being too blatantly a scrump scene. A wife submits to her husband, wishing him to be her Lord and Master, and to totally own her. Yeah, there's nothing quite like hearing that. For me it was a trip down Memory Lane seen from the other side. Very short, but still worth Six Stars! This story could serve as a prologue for the next and final story in the collection, and upon reflection it could be related to Dark Desires as well.
The final story in the collection picks up on the pair from the previous story quite some time later, and the woman in it, Kym, has run off with her old lover and is pursued by her jealous husband, who only has plans to kill whoever she is with. This is a story, story. There's not much sex or erotic action, but those things working on a lower level are what drive the story for all involved. This one has everything to do with that one person who knows how to get into your head and stay there. The one who makes you question exactly what it is you want enough to make you feel leaving them behind is a bad choice on your part whether it is or not. It was a well told story that Ms. Moore could have taken into a dozen different directions, in a dozen different genres and made it work, but I think the story she chose to tell was the right way for her to go, on top of being quite effective. Six Stars!
This is a new one for me, but I give E-Rotica and overall rating of Five & A Half Stars for going well beyond my expectations for any collection or anthology. Again I certainly can't wait to see what J.K. Moore is going to write next, and knowing she has an Erotic Horror anthology in the works I can't wait to see what her take on the genre is since a couple of stories in this collection have a definate Horror vibe to them.
You can learn more about J.K. Moore by visiting her blog Kinky Minds Think Alike http://writerjkmoore.wordpress.com/ .
Here is where you can get your copy of E-Rotica by J.K. Moore. It is currently only available from Amazon, though she is working to release it to more sites very soon and I will post updates once I know it has gone live elsewhere.
Again, this one comes HIGHLY RECCOMENDED and I think it is worth your while to lurk into.