Sexy Summer Saturday's is a weekly post we created to share our love of "Adult" books with our fellow readers.
**If you don't care for steamy books or you are under 18, you may not want to continue reading the review below.**
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publication Date: February 5th 2013
Author: Stephanie Draven
Format: Paperback provided by publisher for review
In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires. Society girl, Nora Richardson's passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wants out of the marriage and she has just this one night to win him back. The catch? He wants to punish her for her bad behavior. Nora is offended by her husband's increasingly depraved demands, but as the night unfolds, she discovers her own true nature and that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin indeed. Meanwhile, Clara Cartwright, sultry siren of the silent screen, is introduced to a mysterious WWI Flying Ace. If Clara, darling of the scandal sheets, knows anything, it’s men. And she’s known plenty. But none of them push her boundaries like the aviator, who lures her into a ménage with a stranger in a darkened cinema then steals her jaded heart. Working class girl Sophie O'Brien has more important things on her mind than pleasures of the flesh. But when her playboy boss, the wealthy heir to the Aster family fortune, confronts her with her diary of secret sex fantasies, she could die of shame. To her surprise, he doesn't fire her; instead, he dares her to re-enact her boldest fantasies and Sophie is utterly seduced. One party serves as a catalyst of sexual awakening. And in an age when anything goes, three women discover that anything is possible.
I am not a really big fan of historical romance but when I got the request for this book I couldn't turn it down. I have always been fascinated by this particular time period after watching black and white shows growing up and seeing how couples slept in separate beds and didn't even kiss in public. I was curious to see a different side of this era and Stephanie Draven didn't disappoint. There are three stories each unique to their own characters filled with lots of steamy scenes and surprisingly tender moments.
The first story is about Nora and Johnathan. She is the daughter of a wealthy man and he was working for her father when they met one wild night that ended in the backseat of her fathers car. When Nora ended up pregnant, Jonathan stood up and took her as his wife but shortly after that she lost their baby. The following year after the loss while at a party she tries to reconnect with her husband for fear that if she doesn't she will lose him. This was probably my favorite of the three stories. You could tell from the beginning that these two were supposed to be together despite whatever they needed to work on. It wasn't clear right away what happened between them but as their story continued you got to the heart of their trouble. Not only did Nora lose their baby but after being neglected by Johnathan for so long she had a momentary indiscretion by kissing another man. He sets out to punish her but they end up making a spectacle of themselves at this party when they are caught having rough sex. See Nora likes it rough and has tried to get Johnathan to participate but he thinks he's the reason they lost their baby after some rough bedroom play. I felt really bad for Johnathan when I discovered how he felt. He struggles with the part of himself that loves giving Nora the roughness she craves but at the same time he loves her so much he doesn't want to hurt her anymore. Watching Nora fight to keep their love alive was great. I loved her character and how determined she was to help Johnathan understand their loss wasn't his fault. I was really happy with how this story turned out.
The second story was about Hollywood darling Clara Cartwright. She's the mistress to an industry mogul whose wife is slowly slipping away. Clara prefers being a kept woman because then she doesn't have to fall in love and give herself away to anyone. When she meets flying ace and war hero Leo Vanderberg all that changes. When he approaches her at her party with the information that he has a stag film she made when she was younger she becomes putty in his hands. She's already attracted to him but his dominating side turns her on and when he sets up a date for her to watch the film with his friend Robert Aster the heat is on. I always thought this era was so innocent and assumed the sex back in these days was vanilla but this book opened my eyes to the fact that people in those days were just as human as we are now and kinky sex is fun! When Clara ends up in a menage with Leo and his friend Robert Aster I think my GRANties melted completely off! You know from getting into Clara's back story a little that she's no innocent virgin especially because she is someones mistress but I had no idea she was going to be such a freak in the sheets! She enjoys the threesome so much that all three of them become a kind of couple as the story continues. Clara and Leo grow closer in between kinky sex and making a war movie together and eventually become exclusive to each other. I loved Leo in this story. He was confident, controlled and knew exactly how to get Clara to open up. He helped her find something in herself she was scared to acknowledge. They weren't my favorite couple but they were certainly the hottest!
The third story is about Sophie O'Brien who works in the hotel that Robert Aster owns. When he finds her diary full of secret fantasies and then offers to fulfill them she can't resist. He shows her things she didn't know she would like and starts to feel bad about the things he makes her feel. Sophie is an advocate of the Women's Lib movement and was trying to fight for the rights of the hotel staff before she got swept into her fantasies by the owner. She enjoys her time spent with Robert and becomes torn between her responsibility to her co-workers' fair treatment and her growing affection for Robert. Robert wasn't looking for anything permanent especially when his father expects him to settle down and live up to his namesake but when he meets Sophie he finds something he didn't know he needed. I was very pleased that Robert finally got a girl of his own. After watching him lose out on the first two women in the story that he loved deeply, it was a relief to see him have something solid of his own. Sophie was probably my least favorite character because she was just so stubborn and seemed to pay more attention to her many causes than to the amazing man right in front of her. Robert opens his heart to her and she hands it right back to him because she doesn't want to lose who she is as a woman. I could understand her point of view to a certain extent but I felt she was too abrasive about it. Robert wasn't a complete saint in how he viewed her because of the pressures his father put on him but he was still very likable and charming. The sex in this story was hot and even showcased some girl on girl action. I always thought reading a steamy scene between two chicks would be hot but surprisingly I find dude sex to be hotter for some reason. SWORD FIGHT!
I loved how every story felt fresh and each character had their own personality and issue to overcome. The author gave just enough back story between the characters to fill you in without any lagging and the pace was perfectly timed out. I absolutely loved the attention to detail that the author included! Usually reading the word bloomers during a hot scene would be a major turn off but since this book was set in the 1920's it actually added to the allure of the romance for me. This book was highly enjoyable and I never once felt like it was too out of date while I was reading it. I really felt like the author did her research about everything from the wording the characters used to the clothes and music. I actually learned something while reading this book that surprised me. I had no idea that condoms existed in those days. This book had everything I want in a romance between the hot sex, the intriguing characters and the unexpected heartfelt moments. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is like me and not a huge fan of historical romance because this one changed my mind!
The memory forces me to moan. It had taken two, maybe three cracks of his belt on the backs of my thighs before I begged him to put himself inside me. He'd shoved inside me, slammed his hips against me, and kept me pinned to the bed. And when I fought to push back, to take him deeper, he'd caught the nape of my neck in his teeth. I'd yelped with an orgasm that left me exhausted and deeply satisfied. ~ Nora Page 45
Nothing in my life has ever prepared me for sex with two men at the same time. It's all new. All of it. Everything I've ever done has been child's play. I must have been a virgin because I've never felt like this before. Not my body. Not my mind. Not my heart. ~ Clara Page 174
I like it. I like it so very much. And it makes me feel strangely...powerful. He's the one who cries out when his cock throbs and spurts warm sticky semen into my palm. But I'm the one who wants to shout with victory because in this one moment, he is mine. ~ Sophie Page 260
About The Author:
Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books. Stephanie has always been a storyteller. In elementary school, she channeled Scheherazade, weaving a series of stories to charm children into sitting with her each day at the lunch table. When she was a little older, Stephanie scared all the girls at her sleepovers with ghost stories. She should have known she was born to hold an audience in her thrall, but Stephanie resisted her writerly urges and graduated from college with a B.A. in Government. Then she went to Law School, where she learned how to convincingly tell the tallest tales of all! A longtime lover of ancient lore, Stephanie enjoys re-imagining myths for the modern age. She doesn’t believe that true love is ever simple or without struggle so her work tends to explore the sacred within the profane, the light under the loss and the virtue hidden in vice. She counts it amongst her greatest pleasures when, from her books, her readers learn something new about the world or about themselves. Stephanie also writes historical fiction as Stephanie Dray and has a series of forthcoming novels from Berkley Books featuring Cleopatra’s daughter.