Hello, and welcome back! We're still waiting for a good snowstorm here, though I know some of you have recently gotten far more snow than you'd like. I hope before the next snowfall that you'll all get to stock up on new reading material to tide you over.
This time out, I have a new anthology, Yes, Master (Aphrodisia, received from publisher) with stories from Anne Rainey, Tawny Taylor, and Vonna Harper, all centered around relationships where one partner is definitely in command of the other. Theoretically. Taylor leads things off with "Stark Pleasure," with virginal Alice Barlow getting brave enough to model for an artist and meeting Tristan Stark, who has much more experience than Alice is even able to imagine. If you found erotic romance via the very popular erotica trilogy everyone and her sister was reading last year, this one might make you happy. but it's told in first person, which I dislike immensely, and I found Alice rather annoying. "Ruby's Awakening" is next, by Rainey. Ruby London just dumped her boyfriend on a night she'd hoped to be celebrating. Instead, she finds herself watching her wild, sexy neighbor Drake South in his pool with a pretty lady. but Drake sends the woman home and comes to Ruby's rescue when her new ex arrives, loud and drunk. And Drake is hoping to persuade Ruby that he's a better match for her. This is my favorite story of the trio, because Drake is a terrific hero, though the conflict between this pair feels a bit weak. Harper's "Runa's High" finishes the collection with college runner Runa Mullan dedicated to her sport, always focused on reaching her next goal. But Jeff Tappe has been where Runa is, and he wants to be sure she knows there's more to life, so he sends her to Ken Paro for a bit of massage therapy. And more. This one probably best-suited to the theme of the anthology, but it's my least favorite. Runa's change of heart is much too easy, and the way Ken and Jeff go about things is a complete turn-off, so to speak. I didn't find either of them attractive or heroic. For the Rainey story, I'm borrowing three and a half of Cupid's five arrows, but the other two stories, well, I think I'll skip rating them.
Until next time, happy reading!