Sexy Saturdays with Andrea and Autumn is a weekly meme created to spread the word about spicy reads.
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casa
Publication Date: 3/4/14
Rating: 4.5 stars
Allie has held a brightly burning torch for Wade since college. They were part of a writing group together, and everything about those days with him and their friends Kitty and Cameron fills her with longing. When their former Professor leaves them his rambling mansion in his will, it's a chance for them to reunite. 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 realized that she isn't quite sure who she wants...fun-loving Wade, or quiet, restrained Cameron. Neither have been honest about their feelings, and now they have the chance to act on all of the tales that ignite their most primal desires.
Telling Tales is a very interesting, very character (and sex)-driven story. Allie, Kitty, Wade and Cameron were best friends at university. After school, the four parted ways, and after several years, are reunited when a beloved professor leaves his home to them, with the stipulation that they spend a month together, there at the home. Allie is reluctant; she was in love with the sexy, charming Wade, but he only considered her a friend. The thought of seeing him again is too painful. But when Cameron calls, Allie decides to join them. So we have four old friends, four weeks in the country, combined with loads of sexual tension. Interesting, right?
What begins to happen next, in Telling Tales, kinda blew my socks off. You see, one of the group's favorite past time is reading their stories aloud to one another. So naturally, they pick this habit back up. Wade goes first, and the story he tells is surprisingly dirty. And personal. This story turns all four of them majorly on, and from there, it's pretty much game on. Allie tells dirty tales. There's tension. Sex. Watching.
But what happens on a personal level is even more interesting. Both Cam and Wade want Allie. Wade's attention would've been a dream come true in the past, even Allie is surprised that she's just not as interested now. And why is that? Cameron. Cameron, the quiet, repressed, super beta, gets to Allie. He has an intensity Allie never saw before. She wants to know him better, what makes him so repressed, what could possibly make him happy and free. The story was seemingly Allie's to begin, but the focus -through her- turns to Cam.
I was surprised, and very happy, at this turn. I love Stein's beta heroes. Nice, quiet men who hide surprising desires. I mean, I thought Control's hero, Gabe, had a lot going on, but Cam really surprised me. I like the change of reading a woman helping a man uncover and embrace his true desires. I love a story that surprises me, challenges me, and makes me think.
The thing is, not everyone will love Telling Tales, even those who love their books naaaughty. The latter half of the story is pretty much sex, sex, sex. For me that works, not only because, well, that's pretty much my wheelhouse, but I also believe that it was necessary for Gabe. It fit for the story. What happens here will definitely make some readers uncomfortable. And that's truly okay. For this reader, though, Telling Tales worked. I do look very forward to reading much more from Charlotte Stein.
Look at me, I think at him. It's OK to. It's OK.
But it takes him a long, long time. Far past the point at which I'm comfortable. I've never stuck with something this long and when he finally and slowly turns his head I feel wrung out. The effort of hanging myself out on a limb is almost too much, but by God I'm glad I did.
Because when he turns and fixes those glacial eyes on my they're not glacial at all. It's like he's on fire inside instead, and understands that if he just keeps staring he'll set me alight too.
I can see the lines and curves of his face, made ghostly by the almost completely enclosing darkness. I can make out the exact tenor of his gaze, so much softer and more liquid than it was but no less passionate. And when he says: "If we're going to kiss, I want to be able to see it's you." I confess, I turn to water and wash away.
"No...but you make it easy."
"Easy to do what?"
"All of the things I never knew I always wanted." He pauses then, while I catch my breath. By the time he starts talking again, I think my pounding, love-addled heart is back to normal speed. "You make me feel normal."
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