REVIEW – Gilded Flower series

Gilded Lily
Calla Lily
Vivian Winslow
Self-published
E-books provided by the author for an honest review

NOTE: Tomorrow comes out the third book: Tiger Lily! Check the links below after the review, there’s a button there that says buy ebook and it will direct you to Amazon.
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After catching her fiancé Jack in bed with her sister the day before her wedding, New York socialite Lily Baron escapes to Rio, her honeymoon destination—alone. There, Marcelo, the dark and sexy hotel masseur, releases a heated passion Lily had never experienced with Jack. When Lily meets handsome and powerful Brazillionaire Gustavo de Lima, she can hardly resist him. There’s just one problem. He’s married. In this uber-sensual city, will Lily’s reluctance to be with a married man, in light of her own fiancé’s betrayal, give way to her burning desire for Gustavo?

Having experienced a profound personal and sexual awakening during her solo honeymoon to Brazil, New York socialite Lily Baron rushes back to New York upon hearing the news that her father has fallen ill. Now, Lily must take the helm of the Baron Media empire and fend off a high-stakes hostile takeover attempt. With the fate of the company hanging in the balance, will Lily be able to resist the advances of the luring, unwanted suitor in the boardroom as well as the bedroom?


It has been a while since I have read an erotica book, if you have been paying attention to this blog, you can see that I have been choosing carefully the authors. After a string of poorly written novels, reading Lily’s story was really nice. I held no expectation before reading these two novellas, I no longer believe in 5star reviews, which state that the book is amazing and awesome. I wanted more while reading it and I got it.

Now let’s not believe that the Lily trilogy is an award winning series or even something highly complex. It is not. The novellas have 76 pages, hence the action is fast and the reader must pay attention to little details – sentences that the characters say – the way they act in order to understand their personality and what Lily story is all about.

Personally, Lily is not only about sex. While the first novella is about her finding her sexual identity, the second book focuses more on her professional life. She was someone with no clue regarding pleasurable sex, her fiancé was awful in bed and a cheater. In order to discover what she enjoys, Lily takes on different partners (Todd, Marcelo and Gustavo). She is a free woman and as such she has very few limits. And this is where the novella gets tricky. Lily is a woman of beliefs: she was cheated on so she will never accept a relationship with a married man, however she can’t deny her attraction to Gustavo and the plot is almost cyclical in the first book. Lily is learning how to live after a devastating breakup and we, as readers, watch her making decisions and mistakes and learn with them.

The second book is more filled with doubts and anger. It focus on Lily’s thoughts and struggle between duty and her feelings. It is good to see that she is getting stronger and with more depth: she loves Gustavo but she has to keep her father’s business. Another interesting thing is that you have no idea how this is going to end. Will Lily find true balance between lust, love and her job? Will she need to give up anything? If so, will she give up love for duty? The cool thing is: anything that she chooses will say a lot about her. If she chooses love, she will prefer safety and a warm and secure future. If she chooses duty: she is free to explore her sexual experiences and maybe will lose love and return to “an empty apartment”.

Being a novella, there are some details that are left unexplored for example there are few descriptions and few romantic scenes. Everything is action packed and fast which lacks in a more thorough exploration of setting and depth. However for 90 cents, these novellas are a really cool way to relax and perfect for a steamy read at the beach.

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authorinfobutton

Having spent most of the last two decades abroad, Vivian Winslow currently resides in New York City with her husband and two grade school-aged children. Her stories are heavily influenced by her ex-pat experiences. The Gilded Flower Series is her first foray into erotic romance.

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Kept: Hot Stories, Hotter Settings

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(ARC given by NetGalley)
Editor: Sorcha Black
Publishing House: WC Press
Publication:  March 2014 (ebook only)
Review by Lady Entropy

From the darkest parts of the underworld, to aliens hunting on Earth, to planets far away, each of these capture-themed novellas by six bestselling authors takes you on a wild ride that will heat up your fantasies and keep you up all night long…reading.

 

I have to admit, I requested this book more out of sense of boredom and “I haven’t read erotica in a while, let’s see what the kids are doing these days”. And boy, was I surprised.

I must state in advance that erotica is something I read every now and then, usually when some concept intrigues me (like T-red porn!). I’m not an expert, or even someone who can appreciate the finer points of the descriptions or collapse into a mass of wiggly desire.

But I was amazed by how huge the RANGE of stories (from sci-fi, to time travelling, to fantasy) was. And what amazed me even more was how complex the settings were. The authors seemed to be challenged to find all sorts of strange and unusual combinations (military and vampires! BBW and aliens! Time travelling, Domming and Scotsmen! Virgins, lesbians and succubus!) then came up with the most elaborate possible settings and worldbuild. Sure there was sex, and lots of it, but I found myself caring more the people and their world than their jolies.

This is what a well-written book (which is also erotica) looks like. I am actually quite glad I read it, even if erotica still isn’t my thing. Brainier readers who want more than just the quick fix of porn will love it.

Cuffed, Tied and Satisfied: How Bring 50 Shades of Gray into your Sex Life Without the Stupid Bits.

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(given as an ARC by NetGalley)
Author: Jaiya
Publishing House:
Harmony
208 pages
Publication: 17th June 2014
Review written by Lady EntropyAre you ready to expand your sexual boundaries? If you’ve ever fantasized about being taken by your man, dreamed of playing with handcuffs, ropes, and paddles, or been turned on by the thought of wickedly wielding power over your lover, you’ve found the right book!Award-winning Sexologist and author Jaiya will be your Mistress in this fun-to-read handbook that will transform your sex life. CUFFED, TIED, AND SATISFIED leads the kink novice and pro alike on a shame-free personal journey to sexual empowerment, including your full plan for safely playing on the edge, setting boundaries, and communicating with your partner about your deepest, darkest, untapped desires.

I like to read something weird for Valentine’s every year (something connected to romance, but, at the same time, weird), and when I saw this book being offered on NetGalley, I knew I had found this year’s choice.This book is surprisingly better than I expected it to be, even if the “do it yourself” manual of the second part wasn’t as interesting to me as the first part.Now, I am not an expert, by any stretch of the imagination, in BDSM. All my knowledge comes from either my own research, or my contact with friends who are involved in such a lifestyle, and who patiently answer my questions on the topic. So, this book hit the right spot, because I already managed to understand quite a lot of the concepts (I’m not sure how someone with no connection with the world would fare, though). It still felt a calm, easy read, who tries to help people alleviate any guilty for wishing to indulge in different sexuality and give them tips and tools to discover themselves.The first part was my favourite, where the studies on the why and how are presented, and frankly the part I read more attentively. I was amused by two things:

– Mention of a Dom called Master Eragon (who apparently is a real person: http://mastereragon.com) because, c’mon, who could take seriously someone who took the very unique name of the protagonist of a really crappy (but well known) fantasy series? This is in the lines of Mistress Hermione, or Master Bobba Fett.

– How defensive some people in the lifestyle seem to be about explaining the “why people feel turned on by non-vanilla sex”. The author remarked how several times she was told there was no point in trying to explain the why people are into it, just “enjoy it”. I happen to disagree. I really like to know the why. The same why I am fascinated how a clock works, why the earth spins and so on. Sure, a working clock is no less useful even if I don’t know why it works, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a point (and a fascinating one at that) to it. I think it’s basically because these people never really came up with an explanation that satisfies them (or maybe because different people have different reasons), so they tried to justify it.

The second part studied “sub-types” and held the “How-Tos” and “beginners guide to_______” *insert your kink here* for the simpler (discipline, bondage, etc) disciplines of the BDSM. I can see it being incredibly useful, but it held less interest to me, because I had no willing partner at the time to test things on (maybe a good thing, since I read quite a lot of this book at bus stops). It seemed solidly made and had interesting ideas. I might have one of my BDSM friends read it to get a more informed opinion

All it all, while it wasn’t a “light” read, it was an interesting and informative one, and, while I was moderately disappointed at the mentions of 50 Shades of Gray (a book that bored me to tears and had extremely unsexy BDSM scenes, clearly written by someone who knew little of it), I can’t entirely fault it, because, whether we like it or not, 50 Shades opened the path to more understanding about alternative sex practices.

Recent BDSM erotica: a reflection

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The world of BDSM constitutes an enchantment for some feminine readers, curious of the rules and underworld that has been populating bookstores worldwide. The literary sensation 50 shades of grey has contributed into inviting women oblivious of this movement. Authors who dared not to write about the subject start researching about it. The plot and character’s model provided by the trilogy has turned into something that must be followed in order to achieve success. However, what is the effect of the trilogy on the BDSM novels after and how were they before? In order to answer this question, the following books were read and analysed:
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Soul sucker

{83D6420A-B51A-4C58-8AD2-0F0FAA22B88A}Img100Soul sucker
Kate Pearce
Publisher: Carina Press
eISBN: 9781426895340
File size: 300KB
86,000 words
E-price: $2,99

Read an excerpt

I think I have a new deal with Pearce’s books. When I first read Vivi Anna’s “Blood red”, I swore I would read all of her works. With Pearce is more or less like that as well. Even though I am not a fan of her series House of Pleasure (simply because I believe that the series ended up using the same formula), every time something new shows up it is almost impossible for me to resist. Also her Tudor Vampires inspired me along with Anno Dracula to write Portuguese paranormal.
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Spellbound

17558734Spellbound
Emmie Dark
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia I Destiny Romance
E-book (released on 15th of March 2013)
Aprox. 100 pages

Spellbound is a nice reading mixing paranormal with erotic, but sometimes I wished the author made this story less heavy and more funny and took advantage of the situations to create humour.

Belle is not the best witch, in fact she has no powers and is clumsy. Being mistreated by her last boyfriend, Belle is not confident, even though she drools over her pretty neighbour Nicholas Marchetti, he does not seem very interested in her. So she decides to make a potion to create a replica of her neighbour, but obviously things do not work well.
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Death blow (to my brain mostly)

16474880Death Blow
Jianne Carlo
(Viking Vengeance, #2)
Publisher: Etopia Press
147 pages

This review has been delayed mostly because I have some mixed up feelings towards the book. In the end, the book is far from ok if you analyse it with a feminist perspective. Today I read an article where it said that romance novels nowadays are adapting a feminist approach. Well, this book is the opposite. It makes one literary critic sad when you read one article saying “yey feminist is spreading around romance novels” and then you read romance novels and you realise that the last book that I read with such a misogynist approach, was “Das Nibelungslied”, fyi, written in the 14th century. So, go figure!
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