Kallmaker gently pokes fun at and pays homage to the paperback romance novels of the past; in [Erotica] she does the same. We have a physical fitness trainer at a Florida resort, where sexual conquests of a very transient nature are abundant. We have a lesbian tour group booked for the week. The stage is set for some very hot, no-strings-attached sex. Kallmaker does not disappoint anyone expecting sex on every page. It’s there; it’s hot; it’s imaginative; and the bonus is that it’s well-written and well, entertaining. But in standard Kallmaker style, we get personalities, conflict, plot, tension, resolution, all the requisites for a regular read…
Then, in typical Kallmaker fashion, other stuff happens: the plot deepens, expanding to include a death in the family, some soul searching, a life change or two. There’s humor and pathos, and of course the sensational sex scenes.
And there you have it. An erotic novel that is more than it’s expected to be, more than it’s required to be. Should we feel cheated? Why can’t the author just give us what we want without distracting us with baggage like plot, for heaven’s sake? Why can’t she simply provide what’s required, an evening of steamy sensuality that will send the reader, very bothered and hungry, into the arms of the nearest loved one?
The answer lies in Kallmaker’s skill and years of experience. She knows how to tease the reader with her expertise. She has a sure hand and a steady eye after fifteen romance novels, six fantasy novels writing as Laura Adams, and numerous contributions to erotic anthologies. She knows how to play with genre; she knows how to respect the reader. She is so good that we don’t know we are being manipulated, made to want more than is called for, more than is necessary to satisfy the requirements of both genre and the fan of erotic literature. We are in very skilled hands indeed.
Bett Norris for Lambda Book Report
All the Wrong Places – Karin Kallmaker