Jaybee's "Brick Dust" is another great bondage story that is a master class in pacing. Hot, visceral and perfectly crafted to draw out the tension between the two characters." Valerie Alexander
From the Inside Flap
"What do you want from me?" Sarah asks Ollie in the opening line of Corrine A. Silver's beautiful and hot rope bondage story "Her Best." In a way, it's a question that's asked implicitly by all the protagonists in Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 2--when they're not asking themselves what they want, and going after it. That's something that may sound easy--figuring out your desires, and staking a claim to them--but in the real world, it's not always so simple. There are so many ways we women hold ourselves back, allow ourselves to believe that what we might want is "too much," and that by extension, so are we.
But the women you'll meet in these twenty-one stories are curious and tenacious, allowing themselves to wander to distant lands, to explore new types of sex, with new lovers, even when they aren't totally sure where these missions will lead them. They take chances, get vulnerable, risk saying yes when it would be safer to say no, all because they sense that something greater will be in store for them if they dare.
I didn't set a formal theme for this anthology, because I like to give my authors as much leeway as possible to explore whatever corners of their minds their fiction takes them to. I did notice that travel and adventure predominated among the submissions writers sent me this time. You'll find many of those travelers within these pages, whether it's Jocelyn Bringas's heroine in "Taste" going about her daily commute only to be stopped by a particularly irresistible stranger whoshe wants to ignore, but simply can't; Lucie in "Passion in Peru," by Vierra Lai, who breaks off from her friends to let her new man visit a part of her body that's never been traversed before or Valentina in Dorianne's "Like Lights in the Northern Sky," where the aurora borealis illuminates a new relationship path along with the landscape. "At the End of the World," by Winter Blair, finds Jasmine extremely lucky to be alive--and luckier to find two sex-starved male survivors in this post-apocalyptic tale.
For other characters, taking the leap from fantasy to reality is the most powerful trip of all, as happens in Josie Jordan's "The Fight Club," where Suzie gathers the courage to confess her deepest desire, risking rejection but needing to voice it. In "On Some Maps, But Not on Others," by Annabeth Leong, gender is the course this creative body cartographer must explore.
I'm fully aware that no single book of erotic stories can cover the wide range of possibilities women erotica authors can cook up or all the infinite ways women get off--after all, there are countless ways we can connect with another human being. What I can offer you here are twenty-one tales that showcase heroines who are indeed heroic, whether they're in an opera house basement obeying orders from their kinky lover or offering the comfort of their body at the most challenging of moments, as in "Phone Call, Three a.m." by T.C. Mill. They're heroic because they are up for the challenge, even when they may risk getting caught, having their heart broken or being rejected. They're heroic because they allow themselves to grapple with uncertainty, jealousy, fear and nerves as those mix and mingle with their arousal, sometimes so closely it's hard to know where one starts and the other ends. I'd argue that each of these heroines is gutsy in her own way, and maybe, in or out of the bedroom, some of them will inspire you to be gutsy too.
What else is in store for you as you read on? In this book, you'll salivate right alongside Abby over the ultimate juicy girl talk in "Star Bright," by Cela Winter, find out what "Teacher Appreciation" is all about once the students have graduated, according to Stella Watts Kelley, and visit the after-hours life of a startup employee in "Serious Faces," by Ella Dawson. You'll meet a domme who exerts her power over her very willing sub via sign language in "Wordless Surrender," by Janelle Reston. In that story, Allie asks Marbeth, "Are you mine?" It's another question that's a through line of these stories, although whether the lovers in these tales belong to each other in the formal sense gets a different answer depending on who's asking the question. Whether that sense of "belonging" is formalized within BDSM, expressed through tenderness or teasing, or is simply ephemeral, lasting as long as the lovers need and no more, in each of these stories, through exploring what they want out of sex, these women discover what it means to belong--to themselves, to another person (or people), and to their bodies and desires.
There are moments of rip-your-clothes-off passion as well as tenderness and connection, of sex as both a scorching physical encounter and a healing emotional balm, often within the very same story. There's humor (the corny pick-up lines in "Taste" are wonderfully absurd) mixed with heartache, life's highs and lows explored as these women get completely naked, body and soul. I hope you'll share with me your favorite stories--and what you'd like to see in future volumes--at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit bweoftheyear.com to find out more about the series and where it's going next.
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Atlantic City, New Jersey