Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Plot With A Side Of Fries

I got an e-mail from my younger sister last night. Something along the lines of "Glad it was good. I like my erotica with an actual plot, can't wait to read it." Yes, being the good older sister that I am (I'm more subversive when it comes to corrupting youth), I'm sending All U Can Eat by Emma Holly to her. Yes, I am an excellent sister.

Whenever I give a talk or do a presentation on romance and her "sister" genres I always mention erotica. Mostly because most librarians are terribly clueless about it. I mention to them that if they want to take a walk on the wild side they should try Emma Holly. In my esteemed opinion, if Emma Holly doesn't work for you, chances are erotica as a whole ain't going to work for you. I'm just saying.

With her last several books Holly has really been dipping her toes in more mainstream waters, and All U Can Eat is the pinnacle. She's got it down to a science now. I'm thinking world domination in next.

Frankie Smith runs a diner in a small Southern California beach community. She's young, she's sexy - and her clueless male model boyfriend just dumped her for another woman! That's OK though - there are plenty of men in town who would love to console our girl in her hour of need. But when a dead body of a wealthy socialite is found in the back alley behind Frankie's diner, she finds herself in the hot seat - with Chief of Police Jack West trying to decide if he should arrest her or tie her up in bed. Ooh La La

So there's the plot, and Holly does an admirable job with it. I figured out the mystery, but I hadn't quite worked through the motive until all was revealed - so it hums along at a good pace.

Oh right, you're reading this post for the sex. Forgot myself there for a minute. The sex here is vintage Holly, hot stuff, erotic and adventurous. Lest readers forget that we're talking erotica here - our girl has sex with like 4.5 guys (the .5 is for a threesome, and technically that guy's attention is not focussed on the heroine if you get my drift). But don't be confused - Jack West is our hero and the reader does get a happily-ever-after. I would have liked a bit more focus on this developing romance - but it does work well despite that, so it's more like a minor quibble.

My final grade? An A-. Really, Holly just keeps getting better. Lord I hope she never abandons erotica outright. I think it might kill me.

Sidenote: I like the cover. Let's call it Retro Sleaze.


ReneeW said...

Oh, I want this one. I've read several recs for this book so it's on my wish list. I agree that if you don't like Holly you won't like erotica. Her books that I've read have both a plot and a romance which is rare for most erotica. Must go shopping but no time this weekend. Drat.

Rosario said...

I've just finished this one, too, and I agree. Emma Holly is the best!

sybil said...

I have this! Must find time to read...

sidenote: I am looking forward to what you have to say about My One and Only!

Evanne Lorraine said...

Already on order - looking foward to reading it. Thanks again for the reminder that Emma is still improving.

jmc said...

I really liked this one -- except the cover, which wasn't awful like ebook covers but still was kind of ~meh~.

I read another erotic romance this weekend and it REALLY didn't work for me. I've been mentally comparing it to Holly's contemporary erotica, trying to figure out where the other author lost me.

Wendy said...

Re: Her One And Only - so far it is nowhere near an F read. Don't get me wrong - it's certainly not perfect, but with 90 pages under my belt so far it's a "C" read.

sybil said...


I almost picked this up today but decided to wait on you cuz I almost always agree with you on westerns.

no suprise since you are queen librarian of the world *g*

Amie Stuart said...

I keep waffling on this one. I loved her historicals but I'm not sure about her contemporary.....LOL