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There’s a new review of Sex and Candy (ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel, Pretty Things Press) up at Erotica Revealed.sexandcandy.jpg Reviewer Lisabet Sarai isn’t a big candy fan, as she admits in the opening sentence of the review. “I have an anti sweet tooth,” she writes. Despite that, she give the review a sideways thumb (I understand she rarely gives a thumbs-up), and has some nice words to say about my story, Kneading, as well as Donna George Storey’s Six Layers of Sweetness and others. Personally, I liked the book much more than she did, but then I do have a raging sweet tooth and an appetite for sweet, sticky things to match!

From Lisabet’s review:

I’d suspect my subjectivity was the cause, except for the fact that the book does contain two completely wonderful stories that follow the theme, but take it much further and deeper than most of the contributors. Shanna Germain’s “Kneading” left me in wet, astonished awe. It is lyrical and tough, intense and original, featuring characters so far from the stereotypes that I guarantee you, too, will be amazed. The editors showed great wisdom in using a quote from this tale as the introductory blurb for the collection.

    “At home, I don’t let her touch me. There is only this: my fingers tangled in her thin apron strings, cascade of cotton and flour against the floor, Macy’s dark arms iced with sugars and spice. My recipe is simple: Macy and me, hands and skin, kneading and heat. ‘The best recipes just taste complicated.’ This is something I plan to teach her.”

Equally fine, in a different way, is Donna George Storey’s “Six Layers of Sweetness.” The tale is as carefully constructed as the dessert in its title. Sharp, spicy layers of physical desire alternate with more subtle emotional flavors. Ms. Storey is an expert chef, and it shows.

A few other stories in the book have bent over pages, meaning that I felt they were worth mentioning.  “Cling,” by Tenille Brown, is the delightfully tongue-in-cheek tale of a mature woman who can’t quite bring herself to give up her lover even though she knows he’s not “marriage material.”  I enjoyed Bianca James “Green Chile Chocolate” largely because her “Chile man” so completely matched my image of male sexiness.  R.Gay’s “Other Girls” is a carny romance, shot through with the wistfulness of a man who’s always just passing through.  And Catherine Lundoff’s “Phone, Sex, Chocolate” offers a sticky, poignant look at a hopeless lesbian fantasy:

    “We make plans for lunch next week and you sign off with some flippant comment about beauty sleep.  I drop the phone, sending both hands between my legs to rub soft chocolate on my clit in tight, firm circles.  I imagine you in your power suit, taking me on your desk with expensive chocolate dripping onto your memos and I come hard, my back arching against the couch.”