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Sex & Candy: 22 Succulent Stories, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

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I remember the first time a woman said to me: “Put this in your mouth if you want satisfaction.” I was equally impressed when she offered me some candy.

Good. Now we’ve got the vulgar double entendre out of the way, I can begin.

It amazes me that sweets are considered such a guilty pleasure. To admit that you enjoy candy, chocolate or confectionary is tantamount to publicly announcing that you jerk off to porn. It’s not actually wrong, but it’s vulgar to be proud about it.

Personally I think this is a good thing. Vices are always more satisfying when we know we shouldn’t really give into their temptations. Pleasures are always more fulfilling when we know so many others in society would frown on our decadent indulgence.

Which is why Sex & Candy work so well together.

An anthology of short (but sweet) erotic stories, Sex & Candy is edited by the scrumptious Rachel Kramer Bussel. Rachel herself should be known as The Mistress of the Cupcakes—please make up your own double entendres—as one of the leading voices behind the site: cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com.

And, just as her enthusiasm for all things sexual shows through in her other themed anthologies, Rachel’s gourmet appetite for succulent nibbles is apparent in her selection of each story here.

The anthology begins with a contribution from another connoisseur of fantastic food: Donna George Storey. Donna’s culinary knowledge is broad and comprehensive. Her ability to write a compelling and sexy tale is deservedly praised. Combine these two ingredients and you have “Six Layers of Sweetness”—the intense sensational experience of one woman’s recipe for passion.

In “Turkish Delight,” L Elise Bland claims the delicacy of the title is the worst candy her protagonist has ever tasted. I can sympathise with that opinion. To me, Turkish Delight is one of a very short list of items that I wouldn’t willingly put in my mouth. But, unlike Turkish Delight, Bland’s story is a pleasure to enjoy.

Catherine Lundoff, “Phone, Sex, Chocolate,” reveals a protagonist with a unique way of consuming chocolate that negates the need to worry about calories. Catherine Lundoff is a powerful writer and in this story she brings her protagonist’s hunger to life and shows the satisfaction that can come from one of life’s guiltiest pleasures.

In “Peppermint Delight,” Michelle Houston skilfully underplays a scene that other writers might have exploited more gratuitously. It’s a testament to Michelle’s talents for knowing how far to tease the reader before plausibility becomes an issue. This subtle story comes across with the strong and true flavour that is so reminiscent of a tangy peppermint candy cane.

Shanna Germain’s exquisitely passionate “Kneading” is the story of two women and one bakery. Shanna Germain’s characters are separate ingredients at first. But, as the story progresses, they mix slowly and comfortably together in this rich and well-blended narrative.

Pretty Things Press know how to create an anthology. Sex & Candy is another sure fire success that conscripts a wealth of talented authors to showcase the guiltiest of our guilty pleasures. Like a box of chocolates, it’s a pleasure to enjoy. And because this book contains such a broad range of treats, this anthology is one of those sweet pleasures you can keep enjoying again and again and again.

Sex & Candy: 22 Succulent Stories
(Pretty Things Press; November 24, 2007; ISBN-10: 1576122999)
Available at: Amazon.com


© 2008 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

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