This year’s collection of erotic shorts lives up to its title, covering a variety of kinks and characters. With a refreshing variety of characters, configurations, and situations, all 21 stories in the collection deliver... (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review )
A stellar compilation that upholds the high standards of its predecessors. Highly recommended for all erotica collections. (Library Journal, Starred Review)
Sink your teeth into these female-focused stories wherein our heroines explore their boundless passions and fantasies in a variety of page-turning of ways. (Stylecaster)
From Abigail Barnette's standout story, 'The Birthday Gift,' a sexy twist on what men really want, to Charlotte Stein's thrillingly literary and darkly sexy 'The Skin of Someone Else,' this is the kind of hot, surprising and brainy collection that will charge imaginations and ignite readers' passions for many well-worn pages. I ate this one up. (L. Marie Adeline author of the S.E.C.R.E.T. trilogy)
Rich, challenging, and deeply erotic, each story invited me to explore a different part of my erotic imagination. My body couldn't help but respond. Beyond the simple pleasures of seduction and sex, this collection offers gritty, defiant, nuanced journeys into what can be possible when you shed the weight of expectations and invite yourself into your own desires. The erotic is not clean, easy, or simple, and neither are the rich, nuanced stories of this collection. You will not find perfect characters falling into wordless sex within these pages. Instead, you'll find yourself naked and trembling, caught off guard from the unexpected, deliciously sensual mess that is the erotic. Surrender, as I did, to the breathtaking ride that is Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3. (Dawn Serra sex educator and host of Sex Gets Real podcast)
Created from the works of several esteemed female erotica authors, these stories are sure to bring some of your most lustful fantasies to life, taking them even further. The relatable stories evoke arousal, while taking on an array of topics often left out in the mainstream. From sensual love making to hot and heavy fucking, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year has something for every gal – whether straight, lesbian, heteroflexible or bi – looking to embrace her sexuality, one orgasm after another. (Slutty Girl Problems )
...perfectly curated selections with strong female characters who are in the driver’s seat when it comes to sexual exploration... [T]he characters, storylines and sexy moments are incredibly unique. (Romancing the Book blog)
...[A] wonderful set of 21 short erotica stories. All of these stories were heavy in sex of the best kind and no story left you wanting more. 5 out of 5 stars. (Terri's Tasty Teasers)
I absolutely loved this volume. The stories are all unique on their own but flow well together. Bussel does a great job of ordering the stories in a way that lets each stand on its own two feet but also support each other, leaving the reader with a complete and absorbing reading experience. It honestly felt like starting with a tease and ending with a climax. (My Library Card)
"Women seeking woman-oriented erotic writings by recognized authors will find this collection offers an excellent synthesis of engrossing perspectives and encounters." (Donovan's Bookshelf)
If you love erotica in all shapes and colors, this is something that'll heat up your winter night. (Bitches n Prose)
...[T]here isn’t a single story that didn’t have some line or image that caught my attention...Plus there were several that opened my eyes and mind. (T.C. Mill )
From light and bubbly to dark and thrilling, the stories run the gamut of styles from some of the most successful female erotica authors of our time. (AVN)
There's no holding back in this collection and that's exactly what made it so great (Diana Little Miss Drama Queen)
From the Inside Flap
One of the great joys of editing the Best Women's Erotica of the Year series is discovering with each volume how sexy, outrageous, and powerful the characters in the stories sent to me truly are. I consider them fierce role models who don't let anyone else dictate how they should behave, in bed and out, and in this third volume, every story features a woman who, in some way, defies our culture's expectations that we all be "good girls" who grow up to be women who behave, conform, and don't make too much of a fuss about sex.
These women make a fuss--and they are greatly rewarded for their leaps of faith when it comes to having the kinds of sex they want, with the lovers they prefer, on their own terms. Perhaps they make a sex tape, something considered the ultimate scarlet letter in our society (see pretty much every article about Kim Kardashian), as Sophie does as a gift to her husband Neil in Abigail Barnette's sizzling opening story "The Birthday Gift." It's very clear that while this is indeed a present that he's extremely eager to open, Sophie's tape is as much a gift to herself as it is for him.
The women you'll read about in these pages defy cultural expectations, both their own and the ones set by those around them. They don't shrink into the background to be bit players in someone else's drama, or kowtow to the urges and desires of those who make unwanted advances. Instead, they stand up for themselves, figuring out the kind of sex and desire that will truly fulfill them, whether that involves Zoe getting over a breakup in "Weightless," by Rachel Woe, or Anouk claiming the real object of her heart's affection in R.J. Richardson's beautiful, lesbian erotic story, "A Love Affair All My Own."
They take dressing up to a whole new level, whether it's Halloween costumes as Cinna from The Hunger Games and Agent Carter in "Guyliner and Garters," by B.B. Sanchez, the lesbian couple riffing on the soccer star and cheerleader in "After the Heist," by Aya de Leon, or the makeup artistry that leads to some very spirited dirty talk in "Demon Purse," by Sommer Marsden. Lyla Sage's "Romance and Drag" turns gender norms on their heads as both halves of a couple don alternate genders and personas that are as vital to their sexuality as the ones they were born into.
They take their curiosity, whether for an old-time tale come to life in "A Stolen Story," by Leandra Vane, or the bookish fetish of Dee Blake's "Bibliophile," and don't just wonder what if, but live out their fantasies. They pursue partners whom the rest of society may look down upon, judging without a thought to the core of humanity in all of us, and instead, they let their own preconceived notions get upended. It's a beautiful unfolding, the moment when a real, live, gorgeous person with their own passions and desires becomes more than just a label, as you'll read about in the tender and heartfelt "Overexposed," by Brandy Fox, and the deliciously wicked "Making It Feel Right," by Annabel Joseph.
These authors also prove that desire doesn't fade with age, and that older women, such as Janelle, the heroine of "The Follow-Through," by Kris Adams, are proud and powerful enough to know exactly the kind of mate they want next to them.
For those who've navigated the drama of dating, wondering if you'll be stuck with someone who bores you to tears or someone who makes your every cell in your body perk up, you'll find a bit of yourself in "Falling," by Charlie Powell, in which the narrator grapples with how much to trust her new partner, and finds that sharing all of herself leads to the joy of delivering lines like, "I can keep quiet...but having my mouth full makes it easier." Powell also seamlessly weaves in her narrator's disability as part of their first date conversation, part of their process of getting to know each other.
Her debate over how much of herself to reveal to a new partner is similar to that of Cassidy in kinky bondage erotica tale "A Matter of Trust," by Angell Brooks, as she has to decide just how far she wants to let her longtime friend go with her, and how the dynamics of being tied up will or won't change their relationship. Will she obey her "begging slut of a clit?" Keep reading to find out.
There are stories here that I hope make you swoon, and others that might make you a little uncomfortable. These are not all pretty, perky narratives of oral sex and orgasms, or role-play and bondage, though there's plenty of all these. "Infused Leather," by Dr. J., tackles the topic of sexual abuse as its heroine discovers a way to overcome her past and make her current fetish one that leaves her utterly smitten, while also showcasing just how hot having an inanimate object to fixate on can be. In "Watch Me Come Undone" by August McLaughlin, one of several stories here that play with photography, a woman struggles with the weight of infidelity, balancing her deepest desires with her deepest love.
The women whose stories are gathered in this book don't have to leave their true selves behind to live out their sexual fantasies. Rather, they take their unique quirks, talents, and personalities and bring them into their erotic games, whether it's the perfectionism of Kit in "Body Shots," by Thien-Kim Lam, the curiosity that compels the bold narrator to go after a stranger in "The Skin of Someone Else," by Charlotte Stein, or the combined cynicism, cunning, and arousal of the heroine in "Through the Lens," by Emmanuelle de Maupassant. In "Tanked," by Lynn Townsend, Jory brings the full history of her relationship along on an arousing overnight sexual journey with her husband as they celebrate their anniversary in a way they never have before.
Many of these stories made me question whether I have anything in common with the women starring in them. Would I ever let myself be stowed in a box tied up in shibari (a style of Japanese bondage) with "Red Satin Ribbons," as Leah does in the story by Tamsin Flowers, presenting my body as a gift to a woman I didn't even know? I'm not sure, but I loved taking the ride right along with her.
These twenty-one all-new stories run the gamut, from down and dirty adventures to swoon-worthy erotic love, with all sorts of nuances, fetishes, turn-ons, challenges, and first times. They take us through many of the ways women celebrate their bodies, understand their desires, come to terms with what turns them on and figure out how to make their relationships work on every level. Most of all they are hot, and, I hope, they are tales that you'll return to again and again when you want to relive these intimate, sexy moments. I'd love to hear what you thought of these stories, and what you'd like to see more of in future volumes; you can reach me at email@example.com and visit bweoftheyear.com to find out more about the series.
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Atlantic City, New Jersey