[Friday reads | fiction] The Girlfriend, by Abigail Barnette

The Girlfriend, by Abigail Barnette (ie, Jenny Trout, my idol), is the sequel to the much-loved The Boss. I was lucky enough to win a copy in the giveaway she held in August. I read the first five chapters before Pirates and Faeries, and now I’m trying to ration myself on the rest of them. When I finished The Boss, I ended up scrolling to the left so hard it excited the ebook-reading app. Then I screamed JENNNNYYYYYYYYYYYYY as if I were Kirk and she Khan.

Want to know a bit more about The Boss? Well, it’s free through Saturday on Kindle, so she’s done a post about it at her site. Here’s a pretty good assessment:

It’s an erotic romance with a kinky Dom billionaire and a twenty-something sub, written specifically to counter all the abusive, non-con stuff in 50 Shades of Grey. I’ve heard it described as The Devil Wears Prada meets The Secretary. I think that’s apt.

It’s erotica, and it’s definitely on my list of favourite sexytimes books. The Girlfriend is just as good, so far, and really really hot. UNF. Also sweet! And funny. Several times while reading it I’ve laughed out loud and the Ogre has been all “What’s so funny?” and I’ll tell him and he’ll just shake his head like he doesn’t understand me and I’m like THAT’S RIGHT YOU DON’T.

Jenny understands me though. And so does Sophie Scaife.

Here’s the official synopsis of The Girlfriend:

Unemployed, blacklisted, and pregnant, Sophie Scaife’s life is totally upside down. Her relationship with publishing magnate Neil Elwood is on the rocks. Her best friend’s career is igniting. And Sophie is afraid she’ll make one of the toughest decisions of her life alone…

When a devastating diagnosis forces Neil to return to London, Sophie throws caution to the wind to follow her heart across the Atlantic. Keeping a scorching D/s affair as red-hot in sickness as it was in health is a challenge, even for two lovers as inventive as Sophie and Neil. But Sophie is more than willing to try anything her Sir commands, and their fantasies of control become a welcome refuge from the daily stress of illness.

While Neil’s wealth and privilege make adjusting to her new situation easier, Sophie finds herself rebuilding her life around an uncertain future. And while both of them face the changes between them head-on, they’re all too aware that their happiness could be fleeting—and Sophie could lose Neil forever.

So I guess you kind of have to read The Boss now, huh?

If you’re looking to pick up some new BDSM erotica to wash the horrible taste of Fifty Shades’ popularity out of your brain, I highly recommend Abigail Barnette’s feminist response to it. (Yes, a BDSM erotic romance where the heroine is a feminist AND a sub. That right there should convince you to pick it up. I mean, if you like erotic romance.)

-Kat

Blog Tour: Gabriel Fitzpatrick’s “These Days” Post

Today I’m hosting Gabriel Fitzpatrick, one of the Literary+ writers, on a blog tour for his new book Rmnce!

These Days

‘These days’ was the first expression which ever came to turn my stomach. Never before the moment
when I first came into the full realization of its implications can I recall feeling disgusted by a linguistic
concept. Since then a few others have crept in, but that one has always stood above all as a foreboding
bastion of ignorance, arrogance, and conceit.

You see, these days and other expressions like it are used, almost exclusively, to draw a spurious
distinction between past and present, usually to the great deteriment of the latter. It is a phrase which
is characterized by the cherry-picking of half-baked facts, the use of unapologetically fallacious logic
to support conclusions drawn in advance, and above all else by an emotional approach to reality not
grounded in the concrete.

In short, these days requires something which is not true: It requires that human experience, being a
function of human nature, must change fundamentally over time. I have, in some ways, made it my
life’s work to combat these days, having written a string of stories demonstrating the universality of
human experience across not just time but also space and culture, and yet when one writes something
like a “Romance for the Digital Age” the question one is expected to answer is, “what’s going on these
days?”

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Gabriel Fitzpatrick’s “These Days” Post”

30 in 30: Day 21 (more Kushiel spoilers, be warned)

Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)

Phedre/Joscelin, Kushiel Series.

I would classify them as a romantic relationship between a sexual and asexual person. Yes, they make love, and yes, Joscelin enjoys it — but he’s still pretty asexual. You can be asexual and enjoy sex. It’s just…not necessary for life.

Sexual people (like Phedre, and the writer of this blog) need sex. It is a physical need. Phedre needs something a step further — she needs BDSM sex, because she’s an anguissette. (This is [part of] why she becomes Namaah’s Servant again in the second book, and why she continues to take patrons — only a few each year, but still — throughout most of  the series.)

The two types can work out in a relationship, though it is difficult.* Phedre and Joscelin make it work, but not without difficulties (and a terrifying moment when you think they’re not going to make it). There is true, deep love and devotion in their relationship, however — the type of love that can only be forged under extreme hardship and duress (running for their lives in Skaldia, the millions of other things they go through). They are, for lack of a better term, “lovers in arms”, though neither one is in the military.

It is exactly the sort of relationship I cannot get enough of in literature and film (the type forged in duress/with undying devotion/etc, not necessarily the asexual nature of one or both of the parties, though that is awesome too).

*(Personally I’d never be able to make it work with an asexual person, but I’m a freak of nature with an abnormally high sex drive.)