Wednesday Reading Meme

What I Just Finished Reading

So I had to put Deep Wizardry, New Millennium Edition down unfinished. I had gotten to the part where I’m all teary eyed for much of it and I was on a train full of strangers. The last time I made that mistake (reading The Book Thief, which made me sob at the end) the woman sitting next to me became very concerned. She ended up passing me a pamphlet for her church and told me it would be okay.

So instead of being teary, I decided to read porn. Wait, I mean erotic romance.

Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha was written by some friends of mine. I got a copy of it for free, but never got around to reading it until recently. I’m not much of an erotic romance reader. I tend to more traditional romances. Probably because, as Bree put it on Twitter, they have more of a guaranteed HEA (happily ever after) with a specific pairing. ERs tend to be more ambivalent with final pairings (or polyamorous) and not always a HEA. The worst of them become porn without plot and you wonder why you ended up buying this instead of just finding it free on the internet. And white this has both the ambivalent pairing and ending things to an extent, but it didn’t bother me. Perhaps because I knew there was a sequel immediately available? Who knows.

But what I liked about this book: I described it to another friend as “innocent gets thrown into a hedonist culture and goes hog wild”. The main character, Noelle, is raised in a very Puritan, women-should-be-seen-and-not-heard, sex is DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY society. Being a smart and curious young woman, she falls in with a crowd that manages to get a hold of porn from pre-apocalypse times (did I mention this was a post apocalyptic story?) and then gets caught attempting the nasty with another young man. So she’s banished from the pure city to the outer slums, wherein she falls in with a gang of hard fighting and hard fucking moonshiners. This all could have gone very badly, but what I loved about it was that once she starts shagging people, everything is really on Noelle’s terms. There’s no handwaving of consent. Consent actually becomes a very explicit issue at one point that is nicely resolved. There’s a fine line walked between Noelle’s shame and joy in her new-found sexual freedom. Also, the sex is varied and hot. There’s some dom/sub and bondage stuff going on but I didn’t find it boring in the way that I find a lot of alpha-male-mates-5ever-sexy-dominance sameness.

If you’re looking for things other than porn, there’s also a decent amount of politicking plot (Noelle is the daughter of a big mover and shaker) and murder and attempted murder. All and all, it made of an excellent train read. No tears!

What I’m Reading Now

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs This is the third book in the Alpha and Omega spin off of her Mercy Thompson series. I haven’t read anything in the universe in a while and this one’s been sitting on the ereader for a while. I didn’t have my next book (below) loaded yet so I decided to read this. Thus far I’m pretty interested in the murder mystery that’s just started, although I could give no fewer fucks about the weird dominance issues that the eponymous Alpha character has. See above about alpha-male-mates-5ever-sexy-dominance sameness boring me to tears. If nothing else, WOLVES DON’T WORK THAT WAY and it irritates the fuck out of me to see what are totally human hierarchy issues blamed on the wolf side of their monsterhood. So we’ll see if the plot can keep me entertained faster than my irritation at alpha male bullshit can build up.

What I’m Reading Next

I enjoyed Beyond Shame enough that I’ve bought Beyond Control already.

Alexa Parrino escaped a life of servitude and survived danger on the streets to become one of the most trusted, influential people in Sector Four, where the O’Kanes rule with a hedonistic but iron fist. Lex has been at the top for years, and there’s almost nothing she wouldn’t do for the gang…and for its leader. Lie, steal, kill—but she bows to no one, not even Dallas O’Kane.

Dallas fought long and hard to carve a slice of order out of the chaos of the sectors. Dangers both large and small threaten his people, but it’s nothing he can’t handle. His liquor business is flourishing, and new opportunities fuel his ambition. Lex could help him expand his empire, something he wants almost as much as he wants her. And no one says no to the king of Sector Four.

Falling into bed is easy, but their sexual games are anything but casual. Attraction quickly turns to obsession, and their careful dance of heady dominance and sweet submission uncovers a need so deep, so strong, it could crush them both.

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