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The apotheosis of the bitchy ex-girl-friend, or a review of Shattered Glass

The biggest disadvantage of reading so many books so quickly is that the clichés, like thrusting alpha males, tend to come hard and fast. They are more obvious and annoying in bulk. My background doesn’t help since I’ve been trained to identify and analyze literary patterns. And much as I love romance and erotica, they are definitely genres that are strongly driven by familiar conventions. Some like the Happy Ever After I don’t mind (because honestly what’s the point of readi

On Teaching Smut: A Review of Out of the Woods/Twice Caught, by Syd McGinley

(Note: though the book divides successfully into its two volumes, this is clearly one story, and I am discussing it as such. ) The title question of this post represents a failure of sorts: I tried over several days and multiple drafts to write a review of Out of the Woods. At last count it was 2000 words and growing, and though utterly brilliant of course, it struck me as pointless to post a ten-page review on Goodreads. So I tossed it and came up with another approach to co

How to Write a Rape Scene or A Review of Cethe

(Spoilers ahead) I read a lot of non-con and I really like it. When I write that, it feels like I'm confessing something--a dirty secret, guilty pleasure, something to be ashamed of. I get it: rape is abhorrent and shouldn't be portrayed as erotic or titillating. It's arguable that media like books or video games make us more likely to accept or perpetrate crimes in real life--maybe not me, but someone else. But I still read the stuff and I have no plans on stopping. Intellec

Best of 2012: A Review of Bloodraven

There’s a moment about a third of the way through Bloodraven, when Yhalen, the young forester who was taken prisoner by ogres and then brutalized by them, uses his powers to heal his erstwhile captor, the half-ogre or ogr'ron, Bloodraven, who had also raped him, though not with the same cruelty. “Why?" [Bloodraven] asked instead. "Why do such things when my death would have benefited you far more?" Yhalen bent over his knees, resting forehead on his forearm, perhaps not willi

My first work of fanfiction: A Review of Collared by Kari Gregg

So back in September I read this amazing book, Collared by Kari Gregg. It’s an erotic fantasy set in the near future where an unexplained disaster involving agricultural products has made the entire world population far more dominant and aggressive—except for .1%. That .1%, called anomalies, have become far more submissive. In this new society, anomalies are like bleeding seals in a sea of sharks: the more aggressive predators are instinctively drawn to them, and they have no

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