Erotica Showdown: Agony/Ecstasy Preliminary Round - Part 2
Yesterday, I looked at six short stories from Agony/Ecstasy new erotica anthology edited by Dear Author's Jane Litte. And just as Dear Author and Smart Bitch Sarah judge the year's romance novels in their annual DABWAHA tournament, I am pitting the short stories from Agony/Ecstasy against each other to find the very best one. With the Part One of the preliminary round of JDAEEOA (that is “Judging Dear Author’s Edited Erotica Of Awesomeness”) yesterday, today I am on to Part Two seeing which tale will come out on top when eight more stories face off.
Bracket #4 - Kidnapped
The heroine of Rebecca Lange’s “Taken” has not felt desire since her husband’s death. So when Myriam is abducted by Hiro’s Native American tribe, her response to her captor confuses her. She desires Hiro’s touch. However, many things stand between this couple. Not only is there are language barrier between the pair, but as the leader of his people, Hiro is not used to explaining himself, so he doesn’t. Hiro wants Myriam and so he takes her, vowing she will be his wife.
Kidnapped by a serial killer, Jenny knows she doesn’t have much time left in “Rescue Me” by Meljean Brook. Brandon Shaw may seem innocuous, but he has killed several victims and Jenny is next. Tied up in the Shaw’s cabin in the woods, without hope of anyone finding her, Jenny’s mind drifts. She starts to imagine that Ian, the cop she has been friends with for years, is there with her. This helps her stay strong while she comes up with a plan to escape from the madman holding her captive.
Winner: “Rescue Me”
Both “Taken” and “Rescue Me” are difficult to read, but for very different reasons. In “Taken” the heroine’s abduction is by the person who wants to claim her for a wife. However, without explaining what he wants, the initial consummation reads more like a rape scene than lovemaking. In “Rescue Me”, the heroine’s abductor is the bad guy and she is waiting for her hero to rescue her. What makes this story difficult to read is there is some confusion between reality and fantasy. Jenny imagines Ian in the cabin with her in order to stay sane while she works to escape. But even with some head scratching at exactly what is happening during the story, the author’s amazing writing style will absolutely captivate readers.
Bracket #5 - For the Very First Time...
In “Safeword” by Delphine Dryden, Ashley Burke enjoys paddling and other kink in the bedroom. She has wanted Nathan ever since they first met in law school, but she doesn’t think her flirtation will amount to much because Nathan is about as wholesome as they come. Ashley is afraid any revelation about her naughty nighttime activities will scare him away, so she ops for being friends without benefits. When Nathan realizes what the problem is, he is more than willing to try out some new things in order to get Ashley into bed — exactly where he has always wanted her.
At the beginning of “Overtaken” by Sara Thorn, John and Liz have been broken up for three months. Afraid that he would hurt her with his rough treatment in the bedroom, John decided it was better to watch Liz walk away. However, she is no wilting flower and if being with John means exploring some new experiences in the bedroom (or in this case a locker room), then that is exactly what Liz wants to do.
“Overtaken” is a darker, more angst-filled story, while in comparison “Safeword” is a totally fun romp. The first story will definitely pull emotions from the readers, but “Safeword” will leave you giggling (especially during the scene where Nathan is confused about his role as the dominant). Thankfully, he is a quick study and more than up to the task of teaching Ashely some lessons of her own.
Bracket #6 - The Lure of the Forbidden
Best friends Haven and Ashley from Jessica Clare’s “Bachelorette Party” are in Vegas for one last night on the town before Ashely gets married. To Ashley’s surprise, Haven has gotten her an interesting bachelorette gift — a man that is willing to whip the soon-to-be bride. Ashley’s secret desire to be spanked has gone unfulfilled because she has never had to guts to admit her fetish to her sweet fiancée, Josh. At first Ashley is unsure about her “gift”, but after being blindfolded by a delicious stranger she finds that getting paddled is everything she ever imagined and more!
In “Just Say Yes” by HelenKay Dimon, Colin Banks and Allie Garner are co-workers and because of strict office policies, they cannot date. But the rules forbidding their relationship only make the temptation that much stronger. So they go forward with some very, very naughty after-hours office sex play that eventually leads to the two of them opening their hearts to each other.
Winner: “Just Say Yes"
Bracket #7 - Pain
In “Caged” by J.K. Choi, Nora Donnelly has been working with an agency that tracks down werewolves ever since she lost her husband to an attacking beast. After his death, Nora has needed violence in order to feel anything, and because she feels pleasure in hurting the wolves, she wants to be hurt by them as well. So she uses the excuse to train with a werewolf that is locked in an underground cell. Only the training turns into something more. The feral violence between woman and beast cannot be contained and it explodes — in a stunning way.
Natalie Durso from Shoshanna Evers’ “The Wooden Pony” deliberately cuts herself, but now that scars criss-cross her entire body, she is looking for a new way to feed her addiction to pain. Searching for solutions online, she finds Eric Turner a BDSM master. Interested in being initiated into this lifestyle, Natalie approaches Eric about making her his submissive. Eric is more than ready to take on the challenge, so he takes Natalie his adult playroom which is equipped with all the latest sex toys and shows her how to use them.
To read the first part of the preliminary round of JDAEEOA click here. And make sure to return tomorrow when the last seven stories from Agony/Ecstasy are discussed. You can judge the stories for yourself by picking up your own copy of the anthology which is available now!