Tag Archive | book review

Renee Swindle’s “Shake Down The Stars” – A Review


Not so recently, I was the lucky winner of the latest novel of Renee Swindle, A Pinch of Ooh La La. I was happily surprised by this win as I had tried for it on a whim and had just finished Ms. Swindle’s second novel, Shake Down The Stars. For years and years I waited for another Renee Swindle book as I loved  her first, Please Please Please so very much.

Now, before I begin this review I must tell you that I’m forgetful. Let’s just…put that out there. I say and do things on the fly. I hoard notebooks. I write myself notes on an app on my phone. It’s how I live. I’m saying all that to say that I immediately wrote a review for Shake Down The Stars which I fully intended to post here and upload to Amazon. Who knows how that went awry, but in one of my cleaning frenzies yesterday, I uncovered the abandoned review, and well, better late than never…right?

In this ultimate comeback novel, the main character Piper won me over from page one. You see, hooking and reeling me in the beginning is important as I have the attention span of a… wait… what was I saying?

Oh, right. Piper. What a mess! But quite frankly, I need for my characters to be a bit of a mess, so I know they’re real. Fortunately, Renee Swindle shared my sentiment in this brilliantly crafted and tightly written novel where she presents readers with a character who immediately resonates. Be it Piper’s alcoholism, (whether she acknowledges it or not), family turmoil or unimaginable loss, there is a little part of this character we can all relate to.

It is all these parts of Piper that made me ask the question over and over: Who will love you at your worst?

Though Piper isn’t overtly in search or love, or any one thing in particular, it’s a question she seems to want the answer to herself. While dealing with the unthinkable in the only way she knows how, drinking until she can no longer think nor feel, engaging in reckless and promiscuous behavior and clinging to an unhealthy back and forth relationship with her ex husband, Piper often looks for answers in the stars. Star gazing is a passion of hers, and after hitting rock bottom, the stars, it seems, are all she can hold on to.

It takes the chance meeting of a perfect stranger to bring Piper’s starry gaze into focus and force her to confront her demons and, once and for all, decide who she really is, and if the real Piper is worth loving at all.

Since her breakout novel Please Please Please, I’ve found Renee Swindle to be synonymous with creating shockingly real and relatable characters and terribly realistic stories. Her much anticipated follow up proves consistent in presenting readers with a complex and flawed character that we have all at one point either known, seen or been. 

Filled with detailed descriptions, familiar settings and sharp, snappy dialogue, Shake Down The Stars is an engaging and compelling read that I highly recommend.

Now…on to A Pinch of Ooh La La!


The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker Makes An Impression


It seemed more than coincidence to me that I wound up with Suzanne Portnoy’s The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker in my hands to review. Its original release was in 2006, a year that flew right by me because I was in the midst of a separation from my two children’s father, moving back in with my mother, losing my full-time job and entering a brand new relationship.

At that time, the world around me was reading about a 40-year old divorcee’s wildly erotic adventures. Now fast forward seven years, the book has been re-released, and my life has changed dramatically and fresh meat like me got the opportunity to climb into bed with it for the very first time.

I knew when researching the book what is was about and what I didn’t want to write about it. Yes there is sex and yes it is sexy…very, very sexy. And I only got that out of the way to allow me to say that that there’s some really good stuff here. And in this instance the stuff I’m referring to is Suzanne’s superb writing.
The sex inside the pages wooed me, but Suzanne’s way with words wowed me.

The scenarios presented in this memoir were so magically painted that it almost read like an erotic novel, and while I believe that fantasy is great, anyone who knows me knows I like my sex with a little reality. That makes it perfect that there is plenty of emotion tied in with this erotic memoir’s mistress, Suzanne’s couplings.

No way does she does she make the mistake of confusing sex with love, not even in the beginning after she has sewn what she thought were her wild oats and settled down and married. She doesn’t look for love in sex – not in dives, not in sex clubs or in saunas.

She also doesn’t present us with a faux representation of what it’s like to be a mother of two, over forty, and sexing again in happening cities like London and New York a la Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones.

Suzanne has her share of thrills and her share of disappointments, and what will keep her readers turning the pages and ultimately hesitating to close the book is that through it all she gets right back up and tries again.
The Butcher, The Baker tugged me every which way. It made me happy to be currently married and out of the dating scene, but also made me wish I and made more of the free time I had between marriages.

However, The Butcher, The Baker is not just for the mature, divorced woman, it’s for the adventurous couple, it’s for the curious single, it’s for the voyeuristic man which she so eloquently writes about… it’s for the woman who wants to wrap her hands around a firm glass of cabernet and swallow hard as she devours every delicious word.

What I Learned From Reading Andrea Dale’s “‘Golf’ Spelled Backwards”


It’s no secret that I love a good erotica, and when I think of good erotica, the name Andrea Dale immediately comes to mind.  Then you throw in some complex characters, a little bondage and some steamy sex and, well, you’ve had me at…you know.

In Andrea Dale’s, Golf” Spelled Backwards, the unconventional tale of submissive male and dominant female, Corporate careered and handsome devil Daniel is referred to confident and clever Anastasia.  And boy, did he learn his lesson.

Of course, with a title like this one, I dove in expecting the unexpected and Ms. Dale didn’t disappoint.  Through unconventional and pleasurable means, Anastasia taught Daniel to control his swing and his urges, among other naughty things.

I appreciated Ms. Dale’s innovative approach to the bondage theme.  An old school fool like me general expects one to be tied up, down or around, but it was a joy discovering how and to what Ms. Dale decided to bind her submissive character.

I was in no way expecting the final twist in which the teacher unwittingly becomes the student, because the story had constant twists and turns that had me on the edge of… let’s just finish that with my seat. Yes, I was kept on the edge of my seat.

Er hmm

I’m going to end this review with a confession. I spelled golf backward in my head before I began the story, and I had my eyes peeled for a flog during the entire read, so here’s a spoiler:  No one got flogged, at least not in the conventional sense.

The word flog is relevant, however, so get Alison Tyler’s Big Book of Bondage, read Andrea Dale’s “Golf” Spelled Backwards, and do your research, kids.  I did mine, and thoroughly enjoyed it through and through.

Review of Kyoko Church’s Nymphomania

Erotica author Kyoko Church’s “Nymphomania” is a historical erotic romance, the first in the Draper Estates Trilogy, which chronicles the story of diseased Lilliane, new bride of Ewan Draper.  Seemingly, since she is not only able to enjoy sexual pleasure and but also able to achieve full orgasm, young mill worker Lilliane is diagnosed with Nymphomania and must be sent to an assylum if she is not cured.

Though I had my own personal views of the handling of Lillian’s treatment by the doctor, her new husband, and eventually the maid, Celese, it occurred to me, that the author, Ms. Church had perfectly acheived her goal, she had written a book with a host of characters that were believable and that I was passianate about, so much so that at points I wanted to throw my Kindle against the wall in frustration!

The story is classic, timeless and timely, bringing slut-shaming to the fore-front in a time when it is still indeed ever present.  Ms. Church has written a story surrounding a time when women weren’t supposed to expose or embrace their sexuality, not even with or even in front of their own husband. 

The fictional world the author created was believable, and one I was immediately drawn into, and the writing was tight and consistent.  There were of course the erotica must haves: bondage, masturbation and voyeurism. The unexpected twist on the very last pages, left my mouth watering and hanging open and waiting, nails tearing at the sheets, for the next book in the series.  You can order it from Amazon here.