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It Stings So Sweet [Kindle Edition]

Stephanie Draven
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Fifty Shades of Grey Meets The Great Gatsby in this electrifying novel that vibrates with the hot rhythm of incendiary jazz and teems with wild sexual abandon.
The Twenties were roaring and the women—young, open, rebellious, and willing—set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met…

In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires.
Society girl, Nora Richardson's passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wants out of the marriage and she has just this one night to win him back. The catch? He wants to punish her for her bad behavior. Nora is offended by her husband's increasingly depraved demands, but as the night unfolds, she discovers her own true nature and that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin indeed.
Meanwhile, Clara Cartwright, sultry siren of the silent screen, is introduced to a mysterious WWI Flying Ace. If Clara, darling of the scandal sheets, knows anything, it’s men. And she’s known plenty. But none of them push her boundaries like the aviator, who lures her into a ménage with a stranger in a darkened cinema then steals her jaded heart.

Working class girl Sophie O'Brien has more important things on her mind than pleasures of the flesh. But when her playboy boss, the wealthy heir to the Aster family fortune, confronts her with her diary of secret sex fantasies, she could die of shame. To her surprise, he doesn't fire her; instead, he dares her to re-enact her boldest fantasies and Sophie is utterly seduced.

One party serves as a catalyst of sexual awakening. And in an age when anything goes, three women discover that anything is possible…

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

My name is Stephanie Draven and I write very smart books for very bad girls. Sometimes it's historical, sometimes it's contemporary, sometimes it's paranormal, and sometimes it's erotic, but everything I write takes into account the heroine's journey as well as the hero's!

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

IT STINGS SO SWEET is a historical erotic romance novel that is actually comprised of three separate, but intertwined stories. The first is a story about a married couple on the brink of divorce who are brought back together when they discover their inner kinks. The second is about a jaded starlet who finally meets a man who can make even a girl like her blush. The third is about a shop girl and social activist who finds herself in a torrid affair with her boss--the man she's planning a strike against.

All three stories are set in a time when there weren't words for the BDSM lifestyle, but people still had the same urges. It's about people who are convinced that their sexuality will leave them isolated and alone--people who learn that accepting themselves is actually the path to love.
Which character is your favorite and why?

I loved every character in this book but if I have to pick only one, it's Leo Vanderberg, World War One Flying Ace. An American aviator who masters everything he puts his hands on whether it's an airplane or a silent screen siren.

There is a moment in the story that Clara gets embarrassed and doesn't want to tell Leo how many lovers she's had. He laughs and says, "I hope your list numbers in the hundreds . . . this way, when you admit I'm the best you've ever had, it'll really mean something."

The moment those words rolled off his lips, I fell in love with him. And so did she.

As the author, what surprised you about this story?

I didn't know that films in the 1920s were so racy--it was before the Hays Code, so anything was allowed. And they did everything. I actually tripped over digitized pornography from this Jazz Age era and was so charmed by one of the films that I started writing a story for one of the women in it. That's how Clara Cartwright was born.

What was the hardest thing for you about writing this story?

I really pushed myself to think of sexual scenarios that were decidedly out of my comfort zone and I'm glad that I did. The Roaring Twenties gave me the perfect backdrop to explore the rougher stuff, like spankings, beltings, and even slapping as it related to the nature of consent.

What do you find easiest and hardest to write?

Dialog is usually easy for me but in this book, I spent a lot of time learning 1920s slang. It was time-consuming but so much fun! Now I try to use at least one 1920s slang term in daily conversation. It's the berries!

Is there a theme or message that runs through your work?

All of my books make the argument that love isn't really bound by rules. Your relationship is what you make of it. You and the person you love get to decide what makes you happy; society doesn't get to have a say. And even more importantly, that women don't have to conform to the shape of the boxes society wants to put them into. They can be smart and sexy. They can be nurturing and bad-ass.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I can't work without my shoes on. Seriously. The moment the shoes come off, I'm done for the day. My mind turns to mush.

Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don't write romance) do you wish you had written?

HEARTS IN DARKNESS by Laura Kaye, for starters. Have you read it? If not, do so now.
Also, Megan Hart's DIRTY. Really, anything by Megan Hart.

About the Author

STEPHANIE DRAVEN is a national bestselling and award-winning author of historical, paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance. Her newest project, IT STINGS SO SWEET is a 1920s historical erotic romance that celebrate sex, women, and the Jazz Age. Stephanie is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures-three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

Product Details

  • File Size: 626 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (February 5, 2013)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AWL8TB4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,975 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The bad, bad Roaring 20s . . . February 5, 2013
I got an early peek at this book because the author is a friend and I begged shamelessly for one of her early-author copies. Her alter-ego novels about Cleopatra's daughter Selene are great faves of mine, but I didn't know what to expect here because this was my first real dip into reading erotica. And with "It Stings So Sweet" I got the point of the genre: it's not just cover-to-cover bonking (or it shouldn't be). Yes, there is plenty of sex (and the sex here is both explicit and daring, so be warned) - but the sex is a vehicle to explore character growth and change. We are presented here with three interlocked couples, all with problems that extend far beyond the bedroom, and by the end they have all grown and changed in subtle, subtle ways.

We have society girl Nora and her working-class hubby; their marriage is on the rocks and divorce seems inevitable. Talking things out hasn't helped, and nor has being polite, so Nora and her guy decide to just let the anger out and see where it leads. It leads to cruel words and slaps and some rough sex, but the punishment here isn't used to degrade, but to forgive. For our next couple we have film-star Clara (a tip of the feathered hat to Clara Bow) and her adrenaline-junkie daredevil-pilot suitor Leo; this is my favorite couple, and their raunchy good fun is undercut tenderly by the wounds that this flashy self-confident pair carry on the inside. Finally we have suffragette Sophie attempting to carry her liberated ideals into the bedroom in an affair with the millionaire boss who stands for everything she hates - and he might be the teacher between the sheets, but she's got something to teach him when it comes to the bright new world of the 20s.

And it's the 20's setting that really makes these stories sing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steph does it again! January 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Taken from my Goodreads review

Well, where do I begin?

I'm not normally very good at writing reviews as I always tend to take a scholarly approach to them, so I'll just give this a blow for blow. I'm familiar with Stephanie Draven's work, and I have yet to find a book of hers that I don't adore! Her historical fiction is enthralling, and her romance is enticing. It Stings So Sweet is all of that... and she manages to capture an essence of sensuality that many writers seem to fail to grasp. Where others come across as clumsy and crude, Draven weaves these stories adeptly, and words everything just so. She has an amazing attention to detail that really manages to draw you into the character's minds. (There was one scene in which I got so incredibly frustrated I felt like I might start yelling at the pages, only to learn that the character was just as frustrated at that point as I was.)

The first story is "Love Me or Leave Me". It was the original story that inspired this collection, and it was a great way to start things off. Though the characters didn't have as much depth as the later stories, it certainly set the tone for the rest of the book.

It's followed by the second story, entitled "When I'm Bad, I'm Better". This was, frankly, my favorite. Everything about it from the story, the characters, and the scenery... I remember reading this one and feeling very refreshed and satisfied when I was done. It took me a few days to pick the book up again to finish the next part.

Part three, "Let's Misbehave" was a lot of fun, and it features some of the minor characters from the former stories, however this is the only part that I feel I needed to complain about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hot read! November 22, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase


That sums up my reaction to this book perfectly.

It Stings So Sweet is an erotic romance with THREE novellas inside. Love Me or Leave Me is 68 pages, When I'm Bad I'm Better is 139 pages and Let's Misbehave is 129 pages.

The first story sets the ball rolling on the 2nd and the 2nd sets up for the 3rd. All three are lovely stories. Although if you are not really into BDSM or such, you may be disturbed by some of the content, in the first story especially. The blurb says it all though - in the first story, her husband wants to punish her and this isn't innocent by any means. So you are warned!

Overall, this book was HOT. HOT HOT HOT. I even commented to my friend that I wanted to fan myself. It's based in the 1920s and it's just lovely. Even though the stories are short, you "get" the characters. You know enough to be rooting for them and perhaps even want to hug them.

This is the first book I've ever read by Stephanie Draven and I'm definitely going to be reading more from her, especially if they are as great as this book was!

*Originally posted by me on Goodreads on June 27, 2013*
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - "It Stings So Sweet" by Stephanie Draven February 8, 2013
I first noticed this book on Amazon one day underneath my recommendations and decided to place it on my Wish List. I have always loved the 1920s and the description of this book, as well as the cover, had me already ready to buy it when it released. I was contacted by Stephanie's assistant inJanuary to read the book early and review it. I definitely could not pass it up since the book was on the top of my Wish List so I did not miss out on buying it.

Stephanie Draven not only dived me into the Roaring 1920's with flappers, prohibition, and women's suffrage...but she brought me into a world of 20's erotica that includes BDSM, menage, and scandals.

Three different stories, but each have a connection with each other, which made me love this book even more. I believe more authors should do this kind of writing style. It made everything fall in place and took me into other's people's heads during each story.

The first story, Leave Me or Love Me, is about Nora Richardson and how her husband is going to leave her due to what she did with another man. She will stop at anything to win him back and have him with her forever. She'll even discover things about herself, she never knew she enjoyed. She'll even discover what her husband always wanted from her. This story definitely takes you out of your comfort zone and what Nora endures with her husband. He puts her in certain scenarios that would make women cringe, feel embarrass, or leave their husbands for. Instead, Nora is a strong-willed wife that will please her husband and spite her father, just to prove to her husband she loves him.

The second story, When I'm Bad I'm Better, is about the famous actress, Clara Cartwright, who has never fallen in love.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
If you enjoy smut, this book is for you.
Published 4 months ago by K. Hauck
1.0 out of 5 stars Really awful. If you have a brain, don't read.
Wouldn't even give it one star but had to to post. The poorest excuse of a story possible for the backdrop of a porn book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Catherine Craig
4.0 out of 5 stars RITA Finalist so I bought the book
I enjoyed a trip back in time to the glamor of the Roaring Twenties. The author did a nice job weaving in the emotional elements of sexual intimacy - trust, passion, compulsion,... Read more
Published 10 months ago by MK Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal read!
I'm all for losing myself in a good book, but when I end up finding myself in one of the characters? Job well done. Read more
Published 11 months ago by VaudevilleMomma
3.0 out of 5 stars easy read
Kept my interest, easy read.
Want to read other books from this author
Will read more of her book s
Published 12 months ago by Susan Archer
4.0 out of 5 stars a little off the mark for me...


Genre: 1920's Historical

They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon. Read more
Published 18 months ago by The Book Reading Gals
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my mind about historical romance!! Plus it was HOT!
I am not a really big fan of historical romance but when I got the request for this book I couldn't turn it down. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amanda Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars So Hot!
Really hot and sexy! The characters were extremely likeable and engaging. You end up really rooting for their happiness. Read more
Published 19 months ago by V. Alvear
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the bee's knees!
This was an incredibly fun and naughty (in a good way) story. I loved the time period, which was unique, and the way the author drew us in with period language, film and politics. Read more
Published 19 months ago by lilymay22
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow...where do I start
I am giving it 4.5 stars. It would be 5 stars if it only it lasted longer.

It Stings So Sweet is far from "sweet". Read more
Published 20 months ago by Joanna
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More About the Author

Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures-three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

Stephanie has always been a storyteller. In elementary school, she channeled Scheherazade, weaving a series of stories to charm children into sitting with her each day at the lunch table. When she was a little older, Stephanie scared all the girls at her sleepovers with ghost stories.

She should have known she was born to hold an audience in her thrall, but Stephanie resisted her writerly urges and graduated from college with a B.A. in Government. Then she went to Law School, where she learned how to convincingly tell the tallest tales of all!

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