edited by Shawna Kenney
Seal Press (2014)
I figured there was no better time of year to review a genre that's out of my usual comfort zone, that being erotica, than the month that plays host to Valentine's Day. Well, Cupid's big day has come and gone, but that's no reason not to shine a light on some more naughty fiction. I read a little bit of everything, so when I saw this new anthology dedicated to--you guessed it--book lovers, I figured I should check it out.
"A to Z" by Kristina Wright started off the book really well, with a love affair between two women who meet in a library, their affair intensifying with each book they read together, going alphabetically through various authors from A to Z. I thought it did a great job in encapsulating the whole theme of the anthology, and setting the bar quite high for the rest of the stories that would follow.
Stories about book lovers weren't relegated strictly to libraries though, as the anthology sees characters getting up to all kinds of hanky-panky in small Irish villages--even the Playboy Mansion in Izabella St. James' "Playmates at Play." Some stories wound up being like erotic homages to famous authors like Edgar Allen Poe and Junot Diaz. As a matter of fact, the anthology lends itself to references with countless winks and nods to several authors.
That said, as varied in style as the stories are, they vary in enjoyment as well, as some were just a little too saturated in their inspiration. Almost like they were trying to hard to emulate and pay tribute to, rather than focus on the story itself.
All in all, a book of erotic fiction that aims a wee bit higher than Twilight fan-fic, Book Lovers offers quite the heated blend of stories that all show a deep and abiding love of the written word. Call it smut if you like, but you can't say it doesn't have heart.