Since releasing my erotica series, I have paid more attention to the works of my fellow authors. It’s a ballooning sorority / fraternity, with hundreds, perhaps thousands of active authors releasing everything from 3,000 to 150,000 word erotic escapades. Every kink, fetish, and sub-genre under the sun is represented. Different tastes, different books.
I’m not normally into the tattooed, ear-pierced bad-boy genre. I don’t often drool and go weak in the knees over a man with small-gauge ear piercings and a tattoo spread across his back. I like my men suited and shaved, successful in a Wall Street kind of way.
So when I picked up an advance review copy of Blakely Bennett’s new novel, “Stuck In Between,” the first installment in her new “Bound by Your Love” series, I did not know what to expect. I knew from the very first pages I was reading a story set in an unfamiliar world, with characters I might not recognize from my daily life.
What I encountered was some of the most beautiful writing I have read in erotica or any genre. Concise. Crisp. Flowing. It moved effortlessly from scene to scene and evoked a vivid mindscape without burdening me with bloated prose. Ms. Bennett has a way of weaving dialogue that brings back-story to the fore without feeling heavily expository. You find yourself immediately parachuted into a close-knit tapestry of friends and lovers and you quickly feel as if you are in on the latest gossip. These people feel real, with real depth, and each has rich emotional ties to the main characters.
“Stuck in Between” had me hooked within pages and kept me flying along. Perhaps the telling trait of this book is that it practically begs you to carve out a Saturday and read it beginning to end. The plot is straightforward, but the game of emotional cat and mouse between the three main characters is fraught with volleyed, troubled hearts and heated, sexually-charged returns. Chapter after chapter, my affections and affinities teetered this way and that, first loathing one character, then fearing the other, only to find out that none were as flat or as simplistic as I had first anticipated.
This is not the kind of writing you might anticipate from the “Indie” world, where we occasionally run into sloppy prose, with piecemeal imagery and relationships plucked from the scrap heap of “been there, done that” erotica. Ms. Bennett expects more of her readers, that they will put their hearts into the journey along with her characters. Her writing style is mature and evolved, and would fit right in with mainstream works from the major publishing houses…
If it were not for the fact that this is, after all, erotica.
Ms. Bennett’s flair for the first-person erotic is as effortless and as visceral as any I have read. At the risk of sounding like an over-sexed cougar – which I am – I found it impossible to read her work without experiencing the desired effect. If the quality of erotica were ranked by the shade of the blush on my cheeks, my scoring of Ms. Bennett’s sex scenes would be the most brilliant crimson. I am still reliving the images of the main characters as they moved from the mundane activities of daily life – eating, sleeping, working, bathing – into the heady pursuits of three lovers engaged in a partner-swapping waltz. This is more than a simple, “Tab P into Slot V” smut novel. You feel the tingling effects in your saturated core.
I cannot say whether the setting or plot of “Stuck in Between” will resonate for everyone. This isn’t my normal fare. I usually go for stories set in and around certain professions. Advertising. Medicine. Law. My own series is a topsy-turvy take on the “Billionaire” erotica sub-genre, so to each her own. Only the reader will know whether the multi-dimensionality of this band of familiar friends will be to their taste or not.
What I can say is that I see enormous potential in this series and this gifted author. I feel as if I’ve been blessed to read the work of a woman who’s words are deeply affecting. I’m hooked.