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Agony/Ecstasy: Original Stories of Agonizing Pleasure/Exquisite Pain Paperback – December 6, 2011

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


4 Stars from RT Magazine:  A BDSM theme runs throughout, from the playthings found in Eric's basement in Shoshanna Evers' "The Wooden Pony" to the redemption won in the post-Titanic drama "Kiss of Life" by Lily Daniels. There are various timeframes and sexual encounters between all kinds of people, some in unusual situations.

From the Author

I'm Jane Litte, a blogger, reader, and now a collector of stories.  Agony / Ecstasy is an anthology that will be published by Berkley in December 2011. The anthology is a collection of very steamy stories that explore the twin concepts of pain and pleasure.

I hope you contact me to let me know what you think of the collection, good or bad, so that if I ever have the opportunity to put another together, I will have a better idea of what you, the reader, is looking for.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425243451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425243459
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,352,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Maneater on December 25, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Really enjoyed 4 of the stories (Ann Calhoun, Del Dryden, Meljean Brooks and Cristine D'Abo), but the rest left me in various stages of "meh" (or worse). Poorly developed stories just did me in. I like reading dear author but it's a pretty big mystery to me why they hired a blogger to was pretty clear she wasn't hired for any actual editing skill. I don't want marketing gimmicks, just good stories. If i'd paid 5 bucks, I wouldn't feel so cheated on this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I rarely buy anthologies because most are not as satisfying as full size novels. I took a chance on this one. Sadly I was disappointed. There are 21 stories by 20 different authors. Each story is about 20 pages long. Because they were so short, something was missing from all of them. The least satisfying were those with unfinished endings, not knowing what would happen with the couples. Some had potential but I wanted more background, character development, or relationship development. The genre is probably erotica, but some stories have the feel of erotic romance. There is at least one intense sex scene per story. A majority of the stories have pain with sex. Most of the sex scenes are one man and one woman, but one story has two women, two stories have two men. Expect rear door activity and sex toys. Most of the stories are contemporary, but others include historical, futuristic, paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi.

11 Agony Stories:
These had a pain theme. This meant one of the characters was being physically hurt, whipped, pinched, bit, cut. The characters enjoyed feeling pain, but it didn't do anything for me. I couldn't identify with them, and there wasn't enough else to draw me in. I have liked a number of BDSM stories, so it wasn't that. It was just this didn't work for me.

The best of the Agony stories was Wicked Wedding Night by Margaret Rowe. It was similar to the Kate Pearce books about a guy who was tortured in prison and now must cause pain to his female partner in order to have sex. It had a happy ending which I liked. But the pain to his partner didn't do anything for me.

Caged by JK Coi had potential. A werewolf was imprisoned. The hanging, unfinished ending was the problem. I wanted a lot more on this.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elf2060 on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Agony/Ecstasy" is an anthology edited by Jane Litte that has the subtitles of "11 stories of agonizing pleasure" and "10 stories of exquisite pain". The reverse positioning of the stories in the book reflects the mirror nature of the two emotions and the short stories therein run the gamut from a couple taking their relationship to the next level to an established relationship undergoing a one-eighty shift of role reversal with the punisher becoming the punished, all linked with their descriptions of the ecstasy conferred with a thorough spanking or other infliction of pain as an arousal aid. An erotic twist on the tale of the Nutcracker, a bachelorette party that explores boundaries that the bride-to-be hesitated to approach with her fiance, a darkly erotic version of the Little Mermaid story, a woman determined to convert the pain she has experienced into a reaffirmation of her life, a tattoo's endorphins changing emotional pain into a freeing experience, an executive who fails to relieve his stress in the boxing ring and more. The stories include both straight and gay relationships and are written by such talented authors as Meljean Brooks, Christine D'Abo, Jessica Clare (aka Jill Myles) and HelenKay Dimon with their usual style and flair and includes the talents of widely published erotica authors as well as those who are relatively new to the scene.

A darkly sensual collection of tales that explore the erotic spice conferred by pain. The fine line between punishment and reward is blurred as participants test their boundaries and the freeing nature of allowing someone else to dictate their pleasure. The editor has done a masterful job of choosing 21 spicy tales sure to torture the senses and arouse a delightful frisson of imagination for both those who are curious and those who are well-experienced at the juxtaposition of desire and pain.

© Night Owl Reviews
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By susan eggleton on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First up, I have to admit I didn't read all of the stories in this anthology. There are always a bunch of stories in any given anthology that don't float my boat. I know this about myself, so if the story isn't working for me in the first couple of pages, I just skip to the next. Some of these stories really did not work me, but others worked so well that it more than made up for the misses. I'll review what I liked best in this anthology first.

Transfixed (story one) & Transformed (story 2) by Anne Calhoun:

This pair of stories were the best in the book, IMHO. Although the Slot A/Tab B aspects of the story were very hot, the real meat of the erotic content was in the thoughts and feelings of the characters as they interacted with each other. In a very short number of pages the author managed to make her characters seem very real - so real in fact, that by the end of the anthology, they were the only characters who's names I could still remember off the top of my head! Cole & Marin put more meaning into one kiss than some people put into an entire relationship. I particularly loved this, as it proved that even after multiple sexual encounters, one kiss done right can be the most erotic thing of all. 5 stars.

Wicked Wedding Night by Margaret Rowe:

Historical about an innocent miss who entraps a Viscount into marriage, only to discover on her wedding night that he's got mucho psychological problems (paging tortured hero 27B) and he likes tying women up and flogging them in the bedroom. Our hero thinks the two issues are intertwined. Our heroine suspects they are not as she has no psychological problems but enjoys it all as much as he! This story is rich and emotionally lush.
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