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Secrets, Volume 10: The Best in Women's Erotic Romance

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2005

    The Limits of Literature

    We read Secrets for the same reason men read Penthouse. Both fulfill a purpose; however, we have to accept that neither is great art. We like sex and plenty of kinks, and we got it... sort of. ________________ ________________ Private Eyes by Dominique Sinclair ¿ This is workplace sexual harrassment the way we love it. A bit bored, we fantasy about a colleague or client, and in this case, the gloves (and clothes) come off. Pretty tasty, and you can read multiple meanings into that opinion. ________________ ________________ The Ruination of Lady Jane Bonnie Hamre ¿ I have a real problem in that the title itself grates on my nerves. This is supposed to be a Victoriana or Regency novel, but the non-word 'Ruination' is a recent gross modernism that has managed to slip its way into a couple of American dictionaries. Indeed, my English classes taught that 'ruination' is an ignorant corruption of 'ruin' with precisely the same meaning. That rant said, the story isn't too bad on other Americanisms and anachronisms and the sex is 5 stars. Hamre's strong suit isn't plot (and obviously not vocabulary), it's good characterizaton and an odd type of morality that is her key combination. If only I didn't have to put up with the bloody title. ________________ ________________ Code Name: Kiss by Jeanie Cesarini ¿ Kiss proves we care about plot after all. This is a peculiar story by an obviously talented writer. I don't condemn the setting in this age of terrorism, for it's quite possible that the story might well have been in production and even the publishing pipeline before 9/11. I think what most of us find troubling is the main character's ditzy view of what good spying is. Better she just be a sex slave (hot!) and forget spying (brrr) and we'll all feel safer that way. Sex scenes get 6 stars but plot gets... 1-1/2. ________________ ________________ The Sacrifice by Kathryn Anne duBois ¿ I am sure I've read duBois stories before and liked her writing. Certainly, I liked the irreverent (literally) premise of this story, but this Secrets collection gives the impression that the authors are under such pressure to produce that such things as plot, characterization, and accuracy of setting fall by the wayside. Perhaps the writers are busy with other projects, because I catch glimpses of brilliance from the author, but nothing I can satisfactorily get my hands around. I find that I want to encourage the author to make a second attempt at the story, perhaps turning it into a full-length book. ________________ ________________ I recall that when I read The Pearl that after a while the stories began to be repetitive, and by the time I trudged into Rice/Rampling's 3rd Beauty book, I was so bored, I couldn't finish it. It must be difficult coming up with new and entertaining erotica with a small stable of authors, and we may be seeing the limits here. Still, as I mentioned in the opening, we buy Secrets as erotic entertainment, not great literature. For the entertainment value, I give it 4 stars.

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