My first book review on this blog!
First of all, I'd like to thank the first purchasers of The Serpent's Kiss. It's a story that has been enormous fun to put together and research and I really hope readers are enjoying it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And if you're not a reader yet, and interracial Victorian-style smut – with a heavy dose of spanking – sounds up your alley... well then, give it a try!
This blog is also my space for reviews of others' work, either by request or simply as the spirit moves me. I'm pleased to kick off these reviews with Contrast, a fun little interracial erotic romp from Ian Saul Whitcomb.
The set-up for Contrast is straight-forward and economical: a random encounter between a (White) guy and a (Black) girl produces instant chemistry and turns into a long and torrid fling, with a will-they-or-won't-they question about facing up to deeper emotions hanging in the background of their vigorous erotic encounters.
To be sure, there are a lot of vigorous encounters; Contrast definitely does not skimp on the sex. However, if you're the sort of reader who likes character development, an emotional centre and a touch of humour with your erotica, the good news is that Contrast doesn't skimp on any of those either. Whitcomb is skilled at delivering steamy, affecting sex scenes that also carry emotional resonance and convey character details, building our lover protagonists into relatable and sympathetic people. Just as important, Whitcomb handles the relationship's touch of interracial kink in a psychologically believable fashion that doesn't reduce anyone involved to a stereotype.
The resulting journey is both sexy and just plain fun. If you've ever had, or fantasized about having, the kind of whirlwind relationship where you couldn't keep your hands off one another—and where being in the presence of your crush unfailingly turns you into a sex maniac—you'll find an entertainingly idealized version of that experience here. There's no shortage of memorable and charming set pieces; one of my personal favourites involves the lovers making an excursion to a record store and picking up some hilariously improbable sexy-times soundtrack music, ranging from Basil Poledouris and Rimsky-Korsakov to an absurdly crude hip-hop sex anthem. I'd like to play this review out with a few songs in honour of that scene, with Big Sean standing in for the over-the-top sex rhyme genre; bask in the musical goodness, and if you haven't got a copy of Contrast yet, I recommend it.