I read “Highland Pursuits”, Emmanuelle de Maupassant’s contribution to Because Beards, a charity anthology that benefits The Movember Foundation, a few weeks ago, and I have to say that I gobbled it up.
de Maupassant’s novel, The Gentleman’s Club, as well as her collection, Cautionary Tales, established her as a singular voice in the erotica, as did her tireless work surveying erotica writers on all aspects of the genre and craft. She’s become, in a very short time, one of erotica’s leading authorities and champions, so the bar is set quite high on anything she writes. Unsurprisingly, she not only meets but exceeds all expectations once again with “Highland Pursuits”.
Emmanuelle de Maupasant’s erotica is truly different – intelligent, cheeky, sexy and full of the sly charm, qualities that are especially on display in “Highland Pursuits”. It’s as if Stella Gibbons (who wrote Cold Comfort Farm, a snarky, hilarious romp through the English countryside in the 1920’s) had written an erotic romance, with it’s sophisticated, modern girl shipped off to the wilds to make her way.
And yet, for all its tongue-in-cheekiness, the main character truly is modern in that she allows herself different sexual experiences without guilt or shame. By the time the story comes full circle to its properly romantic ending, you have the sense that she has become a young woman in full possession of herself and that any marriage she makes will be one in which she can autonomously enjoy both her own sexuality and that of her husband.
Based on the strength of “Highland Pursuits” I’m greatly looking forward to reading the rest of the collection now that it’s released, all the more so for it’s raising funds for, and awareness of, men’s health issues. Emmanuelle de Maupassant is one of my favorite authors writing in this genre, and I’m pleased to say that my estimation of her grows with every story I read. She is brilliant and different in the best of ways. If you’re looking for “erotica for the discerning mind” she cannot be bested.