I wanted to do this post as a double review because Lana Fox‘s erotic novel, Cream, and J.T. Louder‘s new collection, Fast Girls with Short Shorts Always Score, are about as different as erotica can get, but they’re both incredibly good. I’m a comparatist, so reviewing them side by side seemed natural. Together, Cream and Fast Girls show how much room there is in the genre for high quality work. Separately, they show off the breadth of style and content coming out of Go Deeper Press, one of the most exciting publishers in the genre.
Let me start with Cream since I read it first. This is a full length erotic romance by a writer who not only knows the conventions of the genre, but interprets them in a way that makes them feel fresh.
Cream is about jazz singer, Caroline Spence, who has a passion for music, submission and double cream (god, how can you not…). The book opens with an interview – her life is at a crossroads and she’s answered an ad to become a dominant’s voluntary slave. But she’s no ingenue – she knows exactly what she wants – and she gets it in Marcus, a man with control and kink to spare. But then she meets Kyle and things get complicated, but not in any way that you might predict.
What makes Cream so compulsively readable is that Caroline is such a very well-rounded, autonomous, interesting person. Her sexuality is anything but cookie-cutter and the way she expresses it is really personal and compelling. While the plot brings you along so smoothly that you stay up til midnight promising yourself “just one more page”, Caroline handles herself with full sexual ownership – even if she’s unsure of something, she seems grounded in herself. It’s wonderful, especially because so many erotic romances follow a young woman’s initiation into kink at the hands of an experienced (and often 2-dimentional) man. Throw in a love triangle and she could easily have become a dolly the two alphas fight over, but Caroline is not a dolly and she’s anything but predictable.
The nuance and care Ms. Fox took with her elevates Cream to a whole other level. What kept me engaged deep into the night (beyond the fact that it’s a really sexy read) is that I wanted to know what Caroline would do, and I finished the book about as satisfied as a reader can get.
And now, for something completely different, the incomparable J.T. Louder’s new short story collection, Fast Girls in Short Shorts Always Score.
I’m going to tell you right up front that this collection is so hot and so joyfully pornographic that I couldn’t stop smiling.
Whereas Cream is all smooth subtleties and emotional heat, Fast Girls is like the best kind of 80’s porn – these stories don’t care how they get you there, but they’re gonna strip you down and make you do things like you’re a plumber on PayPerView. I can’t tell you which story is my favorite because I kind of loved them all, from “The French Pass” in which a typical sports reporter watches the Frenchest of hot French soccer players get fucked by her androgynous supermodel girlfriend (how can you not love that?) to “How Hungary Got to the World Cup”, which chronicles the methods “Coach Viv”, a Swedish porn star famous for her portrayal of a footballer, uses to get her team to kick ass with panache.
The thing that makes these stories work is that Louder gives them all a tongue-in-cheek joie-de-vivre that totally sucks you in. I don’t care why the Canadian team’s soccer shorts are five sizes too small – I care that the star player is sucking her goalie’s cock in the middle of a locker room orgy. These stories are fun and it’s the fun that turned me on – that and the fact that Louder slips trans characters and sexual fluidity in like it’s the most natural thing in the world. The stories aren’t self-conscious. Nothing is a big deal. It’s all good. Everyone‘s having fun, which means the reader does too.
Only Go Deeper would come out with two titles that are as sexually, tonally and stylistically as diverse as Cream and Fast Girls while maintaining such a high editorial standard. Lana Fox and J.T. Louder are at the top of the game for a reason, and while one of these titles might appeal to you more than the other, I can honestly and enthusiastically recommend both.
Want to buy either or both? You can find them at Amazon – just click on the covers to be taken directly to their respective pages. And if you’d like to see the rest of what Go Deeper Press has to offer, check them out here. You’ll be glad you did.