Monday, March 10, 2014

Telling Tales by Charlotte Stein

The Basics:
Telling Tales by Charlotte Stein
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published March 4, 2014

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I read Control by Stein late last year and really enjoyed it. 


One Steamy Reunion

Back in college, Allie and her friends used to come up with the wildest stories. When a professor bequeaths his mansion to Allie and three other former students, it's the chance they've all been looking for to get back together. But there's more than friendship bubbling beneath the surface...

As secrets are revealed and relationships rekindled, the stories get dirtier and the stakes get higher. And now Allie's realizes that she isn't quite sure who she Wade or quiet, restrained Cameron. Neither has been honest about their feelings, and now they have the chance to act on all of the tales that ignite their most primal desires.

My Thoughts:

I was conflicted at the start of this novel. The book does an excellent job of conveying how the main character feels. Unfortunately, her discomfort early the book was, for me, infectious. I was very uncomfortable with the early events in the mansion, and that made it difficult to enjoy the story.

This is definitely erotica that doesn't try to be anything else. It embraces the sexy and I appreciated that. From fantasizing to story-telling to actual encounters, there's a lot of variety for the adventurous. It's also a little off the beaten path, which I also appreciated. It wasn't all exactly the way I wanted it to go, but it was all well-written and I wasn't put off by any of it because of how it was presented.

Stein has a very distinct voice, or so I'm starting to think having read two of her novels. I was definitely remembering the 'feel' of Control while I was reading Telling Tales. There are some echoes of that story - or perhaps, more simply, these two tales belong in the same sub-genre.

Allie made for a very identifiable narrator. Her confidence issues were something I could relate to, and I enjoyed seeing how all the suddenly not-so-secret desires helped elevate and empower her. That alone was pretty hot. Her ability to accept any and all fantasies as normal and possible was also refreshing - no shy miss here! Her moments of hesitation were all about confidence and I did want a BIG moment or two to wash them away.  

I loved the storytelling device, the use of stories written now and in the past to reveal and ramp up desire. I'm a sucker for any story with writers/writing/reading in it, and so this was an instant boost to my overall enjoyment.  

I did want something more at the end of the novel, but the conclusion was neat and in keeping with the overall tone of the story. It was satisfying in its own way, just, perhaps, not in the way I normally prefer.

Bottom line:

Not for everyone, Telling Tales belongs solidly at the top of books in its sub-genre - one in which men crave being 'forced', being ordered about, having their secret desires exposed and exploited. Once again, Stein's made me think carefully about my own desires and nudged me to explore erotica that wasn't previously on my radar. 

4 stars
For fans of erotica, menage/multiple partners, humiliation, male submissives, big men.

1 comment:

  1. That is unfortunate the main character's discomfort made the reader feel that way too. :-/