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'08 Authors Insider Tips


Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Epublishing: A Different Way
Choosing an Epublisher
Your Milage May Vary
Understand Your Contract!
Reasonable Expectations


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
The Publishing Biz
Critiquing: To Give and ...
Commerical vs. Literary...
Antiformalism for Fun &...
So You Want to Write a Novel
The Story Idea
Planning Your Novel...


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
5 Steps to Success
Inspirational
Opening Passages
Let's Get Critical
Writer's Block
Learning Lessons


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Be a Finisher ...
Listen to Your Characters
Conferences: Act Now ...
Starting an Erotic Story
Exercises & Writing Prompts
Revising & Rewriting
Copy Editing
The Manuscript Critique
How to Submit Your Work
Reading as Craft


Guest Appearances

Adventures in e-Publishing
by Lisabet Sarai

For the Love of Man
by Laura Baumbach

How to...Influence Editors
by Alison Tyler

Marketing your e-Book
by Brenna Lyons


2008 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Role Play
Busy Doing Nothing
Picture of a Fish & Chip...
What I Did With My Summer


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Naughty Cookies...
Tie Me Up, Please …
The Smut-Writer’s Holiday
Never Trust the Narrator ...
Compare and Contrast
Following the Pen
Naked at the Farmers Market
Iím Easy, But Iím No Slut
Good Girl Gone Bad
Pleasures of the Dark Side
Slow, Spare and Sexy


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Raising Daughters
Jamie Lynn
Utopias
Lust
The Good Old Days
Election '08
Traditional Marriage
Campaign 2008
Free Will


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Masturbating on SSRIs
Sex and Disability
Besides Ourselves
Adjusting our Contrast


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Sex Is All Metaphors
Turn-ons and Squicks
Sexual Truth
Fickle Muse
Porn, Erotica & Romance


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Alison Tyler
Ashley Lister
Debra Hyde
Donna George Storey
Jeremy Edwards
Kristina Wright
Rachel Kramer Bussel


Erotic Hot Spots
by William S. Dean
Interview with Tilly Greene
Interview with Devyn Quinn


Getting Graphic
with William S. Dean
New Times for Readers...
The Future in Words ...
Interview with Fantagraphics


On Writing Erotica

The Accidental Pornographer
by Lisabet Sarai

The End of Innocence
by Lisabet Sarai

Get Them Off in High Style
Helena Settimana

So, You Want To Write Erotica?
by Hanne Blank


Web Gems
Hot Movies For Her

Seduced by the Storm

by Sydney Croft

Book Review by Lisabet Sarai

 

erotic romance“Faith Black had been beaten, drugged and imprisoned, but none of that scared her. No, what frightened her to the core was the man confined with her.”

Thus begins Sydney Croft's new erotic romance, Seduced by the Storm, the second novel in his series about ACRO (Agency for Covert Rare Operatives) and its arch-rival organization, the evil Itor.  It's a bang-up start to a frenetic, fun adventure in a world of secret agents with various paranormal abilities.

About a year ago I reviewed Riding the Storm, the predecessor to this work. That book focused on Remy Begnaud, a wild Cajun with the ability to control the weather and a libido fed by storms, and on Haley, the ACRO parameteorologist sent to recruit him, who turns out to be his fated soul mate. This novel picks up where the Riding left off and centers on an equally talented (and horny) couple: Wyatt Kennedy, whose powers include telekinesis and sexual intoxication, and Faith Black, who can manipulate the state of biological systems with her mind.

Wyatt is part of ACRO; Faith works for a mysterious third agency. Both are on missions to disable the artificial weather machine that has been developed by Itor and installed on an off-shore oil platform. They meet in a Florida bar just as Faith is foiling an attempt to assassinate her, and enjoy a night of blistering passion that Wyatt knows is more than just “mission sex”. The reason he's so sure is that Faith remembers everything vividly, whereas usually the women who succumb to his sexual mojo don't recall the experience at all.

Wyatt and Faith face challenge after challenge together, including a confrontation with Faith's ex-lover Sean, who is now an Itor operative. They have to disable the weather machine before Itor's huge hurricane becomes self-sustaining in its destructive course toward New York City. But Faith and Wyatt both have secrets; each one fears revealing the truth and violating the other's trust. Nothing seems to get in the way of their sexual attraction, though, which grows more intense and passionate with each (frequent) encounter.

Seduced by the Storm includes a variety of secondary characters, many of whom were  introduced in the first book:  prickly Anika, who can marshal a hundred thousand volts of electricity against her enemies; ghost hunter Creed; Dev, the blind head of ACRO; his mysterious mentor Oz. When I reviewed Riding the Storm, I complained that Mr. Croft had left their stories hanging. Seduced by the Storm makes the opposite error. In my opinion, the book spends too much time on their subplots, particularly on Devlin and Oz. One problem is that there are clearly some important events that occurred between the end of Riding and the start of Seduced. For example, Dev's blindness has been cured, apparently due to the exorcism of some ghost. These events are discussed, but the situation never becomes clear (at least it did not become clear to me). Meanwhile, the reader is eager to get back to the  adventure, the danger and the sex.

Remy and Haley do show up for one extended scene. In fact, ultimately they are the ones who save New York. It felt as though I was reuniting with old friends. All in all, I have to say that I found Remy's and Haley's relationship more satisfying than Wyatt's and Faith's. On the other hand, I might feel the same way about the new couple when I read the third book in the series.

Plotting is not Mr. Croft's strong point. The plot is this book is paradoxically a bit thin as far as the main flow of events is concerned, yet contorted and overly complex when it comes to subplots.  However, he excels in two areas.

First, his sex scenes amaze me. Every one is vivid, intense and erotic. And every one feels different, fresh, even though almost everything he writes is pretty vanilla—not a fetish to be found. Actually, I do recall some bondage in the earlier book—but in general the thrills originate in the characters' total sexual immersion in each other. I know from my own writing experience that keeping sex scenes exciting through an entire novel is a difficult task.

Second, his characters feel very real for superheroes. They all suffer because of their powers. They've all had difficult childhoods. They're all damaged by the way they have been treated, used, abused or abandoned. Having paranormal abilities is no ticket to happiness; quite the contrary.  The agents of ACRO are in some sense freaks, or have always been viewed that way by the outside world. Their talents affect their ability to love and to trust.

The relationship between Anika and Creed demonstrates this, perhaps even better than the book's core couple, Wyatt and Faith. Until she met Creed, Anika was a virgin. During orgasm she emits enough electricity to kill any normal guy. Creed's ghostly companion Kat protects him from Anika's powers. Unfortunately, she's a jealous guardian who won't allow Creed to truly bond with another female. Creed loves Anika, but Kat won't let him have her. Anika is drawn to Creed, but wonders if all he really wants from her is the (literally) electric sex.

One particularly appealing aspect of Sydney Croft's books is the suggestion that exceptional passion and true love go hand in hand.  I've learned that this is a myth, but it's nevertheless a fantasy that I'd like to believe in. I suspect that there are many readers who are similar to me in this regard. They'll probably find Seduced by the Storm, despite its faults, as entertaining as I did.

Lisabet Sarai
September 2008

Seduced by the Storm
(Delta, July 29, 2008; ISBN-10: 0385340826)
Available at: Amazon.com  / Amazon UK


_____
© 2008 Lisabet Sarai. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.


About the Author:
Lisabet Sarai has been writing ever since she learned how to hold a pencil. She is the author of three erotic novels, Raw Silk, Incognito, and Ruby's Rules; co-editor, with S.F. Mayfair, of the anthology Sacred Exchange† (Blue Moon); and editor of Cream, the Best of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.
Visit her website, Lisabet Sarai's Fantasy Factory for more information and samples of her writing.
Join Lisabet's List on Yahoo for exciting chat, contests, and up-to-date information on publications and events: lisabets_list-subscribe@yahoogroups.com



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'08 Movie Reviews

Almost Perfect
Review by Oranje

The Fold
Review by Ashley Lister

Two
Review by Spooky

Fallen
Review by Spooky

'08 Book Reviews

Anthologies

Best Bisexual Women's Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Fantastic Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '08
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Bound Brits (ebook)
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Deep Inside: Extreme ...
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Dirty Girls
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Hide and Seek
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Hurts So Good
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J is for Jealousy
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K is for Kink
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Lust Bites
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Open for Business
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Possession
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Rubber Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Rubber Sex
Review by Victoria Blisse

Seriously Sexy
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Sex & Candy
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The Shadow of a... (poetry)
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Spanked
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Tasting Her
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Tasting Him
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Tasting Him
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White Flames
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Yes, Ma'am: Male Submission
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Yes, Sir: Female Submission
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Novels

The Art of Melinoe
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Demon by Day
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Gemini Heat
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Gothic Heat
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The Hidden Grotto Series
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The House of Blood
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In Too Deep
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In Too Deep
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Incognito
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Nicholas
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One Breath at a Time
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Out of the Shadows (ebook)
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Phantasmagoria
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Reckless
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Seduce Me
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Seduced by the Storm
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Serve the People!
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Signed, Sealed and Delivered
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Sunfire (eBook)
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Templar Prize
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The Wicked Sex
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Wild Kingdom
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Gay Erotica

Backdraft
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Best Gay Romance '08
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Hard Hats
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Leathermen
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Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
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The Night Watch
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Non-Fiction

America Unzipped
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Best Sex Writing '08
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Bonk: The Curious Coupling
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The Book of Love
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Casanova: Actor Lover ...
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Dishonorable Passions
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Flagrante Delicto (photos)
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The Flesh Press
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Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star
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The Humble Little Condom
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Instant Orgasm (sex guide)
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Man O Man! Writing M/M...
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The Not So Invisible Woman
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Swingers: Female...
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Who's Been Sleeping in...
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