Bad Boys and Circus Freaks

Been reading some interesting stuff this week and I’ve got a couple of recommendations for your weekend downloads.

ShelteredSheltered, by Charlotte Stein, is quite a good read. There are some interesting elements to her characters that drew me in from the start.The heroine is Evie, an only child who lives with a horribly abusive, domineering father who keeps Evie larger sheltered from mainstream life. There’s a lot Evie doesn’t know and hasn’t done that most of us take for granted. She hasn’t a clue what an iPod is, for example. But she’s an incredibly likeable gal with a self-deprecating sensibility that’s both amusing and a little heartbreaking. Complementing Evie is Van, a sometimes pot-smoking, tattooed punk-rocker looking bad boy with a sensitive side that wins me over from the start.

Van is drawn to Evie for the same reasons we are: her vulnerability, her almost accidental humor, and her honesty. Their chemistry is interesting and it works, and then there’s the sex. This is a hot read, not so smokin’ hot that it’ll melt your eyeballs, but the sex scenes are good. Interestingly (and no big surprise), although we’re dealing with a girl with zero experience, the sex in Sheltered works. To me, deflowering scenes can sometimes be almost (dare I say it?!) boring. I mean, the heroine doesn’t know what to do, and she’s fumbling around and the sex is kinda formulaic. (I will expand on this in a future post). For now, however, despite Evie being “thee of little experience,” Ms. Stein makes the scenes between her and Van really work. Give it a look.

Cirque ErotiqueTaking things in an entirely different direction, there’s Cirque Erotique. It’s a quick read and the plot isn’t complicated. Our heroine Loralei gets stranded in the middle of nowhere, takes a walk looking for help, and happens upon a bizarro house. It’s filled with interesting characters – conjoined twins sex, anyone? – and Loralei is drawn to it for a variety of reasons, one of which is that she’s a bit of an outcast herself and has finally found herself a place where she fits in. Along with the twins, she meets an alluring ringmaster and a hottie hermaphrodite, all of whom present tantalizing temptations for Loralei. I have to say that although this is short read, Ms. Cooper spins a hot yarn in the short amount of pages that we have. The end of the book offers a glimpse of a follow-up, and I for one would love to see more of Loralei’s journey. My only complaint with this story is that I felt I wanted to know the characters more, learn their backstories, and find out how they ended up in the Cirque Erotique.

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