43 Following


Adult Romance & Erotica Book Reviews

Currently Reviewing

Tease Me
Club Wonderland

Michelle (MsRomanticReads)'s favorite books »

Review: Hungry For More – Romantic Fantasies for Women Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Hungry for More: Romantic Fantasies for Women - Rachel Kramer Bussel


Romance is all about fantasies of love that ignite the imagination and light a fire inside. Love and sexual fantasy have always been intimately intertwined, and this collection of steamy stories shows just how well the two can merge. Combining rich and explicit imagery with classic love stories, the best writers of erotic romance bring to life tales that can be read aloud in bed. From long-lost lovers reunited to love at first sight to romance rekindled, award-winning editor Rachel Kramer Bussel offers succulent stories that will quicken heartbeats and appeal to the most romantic of souls.

Read: Aug 20-23


WARNING: This is a looooooong review. Twenty-one stories in total, I read and reviewed eighteen, but they're short.

This anthology of twenty-one short stories was a mixed bag for me. The quality of the writing was consistent with anything coming from Cleis Press, however F/F or dominant females using strap-ons just aren't my cup of tea. Of course there are always exceptions, so I did actually (try to) read all of them. If I wasn't hooked after the first page or two, I just moved on.

While there were only four F/F stories, there were probably around six stories that had women who took on the dominant role. Some stories were rather amusing because I'd never heard of such fantasies before. So be prepared for a few "interesting" kinks. Overall, the collection offered something to suit every taste.

M/F: 12, F/F: 4, M/M: 2, Menage or more: 4

5 Stars: Bringing the Heat by Tiffany Reisz, The Sleeper's Beauty by Jade A. Waters, Relief by Katya Harris.

4-4.5 Stars: Just Once by Jocelyn Dex, Boat Rocking by D. L. King, Jailbait Torch Song by Valerie Alexander, A First Time for Everything by Rachel Kramer Bussel

(I rated this book by adding all the stories I read and diving that sum by the number of actual stories read.)

#1 - Submissive by Jacqueline Applebee
Elements: Erotica, BDSM, M/F, Menage
POV: First person
Rating: 2.5/5

Gloria longed to experience the kink she'd been reading about. She soon learned not all doms were like the men in her novels. A trip to a club not only showed her how a real dominant should act, but it also revealed something new about herself.

I felt a little sorry for Gloria's first foray into dealing with a dominant. Monty was an a**, only thinking about himself, then talking about how she wasn't in his class or station when she hoped their encounters had come to mean more. She didn't let the bad experience deter her from finding the happiness she sought. The scene at the club was okay, and Jeremy was a sweet hottie. I just didn't find myself engaged in this story.

#2 - Happy Endings by Giselle Renarde
Elements: Erotica, F/F
POV: First person
Rating: 3/5

Linda had never heard of the term Happy Endings before. When her assistant Maya mentioned she'd once been a masseuse and a friend was doing a documentary, Linda's interest was piqued.

I felt the chemistry between Linda and Shari, Maya's friend. Their encounter was sensual for what it was.

#3 - Craig's List by Greta Christina
Elements: Erotica, M/F, Anal, Rough sex, Stranger sex
POV: Third person
Rating: 3/5

The nameless heroine wanted to experience three things before turning twenty-five. all of them involved sex, risque behavior and Craig's List. Game One was Craig's List Roulette, Game Two was Motel Slut and Game Three was Pick the First.

The heroine knew she was being reckless, but that was the thrill for her. This story was more telling than showing. It was difficult to get immersed in it, but considering some of her choices, it was probably for the better. Her last choice was the most interesting and probably the most frightening since she had picked a sadist. The story ended with his letter detailing what he would do to her. As far as extreme fantasies go, this story was very well detailed.

#4 - Bringing the Heat by Tiffany Reisz
Elements: Erotica, M/M, Voyeurism, Baseball player
POV: Third person
Rating: 5/5

Jada had always fantasized about watching two men. She unexpectedly gets her chance at a minor league baseball game when she sneaks into the dressing room.

I loved this story! Although this was Jada's fantasy, the story was more about Jack "Flak" Gordon and Evan, the team's massage therapist. I loved these two men together. They had wonderful chemistry, I loved the way they talked to one another, and their first time together was so freaking hot!

#5 - Madam Secretary by Jaye Markham
Elements: Erotica, F/F, Domme, Anal play
POV: First person
Rating: None

Quick and steamy, but I couldn't get into it.

#6 - Kitchen Slut by Olivia Archer
Elements: M/F, Fetish
POV: First person
Rating: 3/5

Laurel loves her kitchen utensils, but some of them require a little assistance. The men she meets never seem to share her enthusiasm. A trip to her favorite kitchen store not only lands her a premium piece of equipment but also a match made in culinary kink heaven.

What can I say about this one *snickers*. This sort of ranks up there with produce being inserted into an orifice, but who am I to judge. Yes, I had a juvenile reaction to the ball whisk, but I couldn't help my natural reaction of squeezing my thighs together. Laurel had a blast, and she found someone who shared her particular kink, fetish. I wonder if she ever invited friends over for dinner.

#7 - Just Once by Jocelyn Dex
Elements: Erotica, F/M/M/M, Heroine is a widow, Older heroine, younger heroes
POV: Third person
Rating: 4.5/5

During Mira's marriage, fantasizing felt wrong and too much like cheating. Since the passing of her husband, she not only welcomed the fantasies, she was ready to act on them. She'd thought about being with three men and online message boards led her to find Adam, Jace and Rand.

This story was pretty straight-forward. I liked the older heroine (48), younger heroes (30s) scenario, and they were incredibly sweet towards her. Their encounter HOT which wasn't a surprise.

#8 - Boat Rocking by D. L. King
Elements: Married couple, M/F, Domme, Strap-on
POV: First person
Rating: 4/5

Audry and David were happy in their marriage. She didn't want to rock the boat by voicing her fantasies out loud. When she finally does, David is willing to try her idea of kink but naturally assumes he'll be the dominant.

Sexy and a little funny, especially when David tried assuming the role of the dominant partner. I liked that he encouraged her to tell him how they could make it work.

#9 - The Sleeper's Beauty by Jade A. Waters
Elements: Married couple, M/F, Anal
POV: Third person
Rating: 3/5

Carrie never understood what all the fuss was about regarding anal sex. She'd tried it once with her husband Andrew, but that didn't work out so well for them. Since then, she's been obsessed with wanting to try it again, while Andrew tries to reassure her he can live without. But she's not having it.

I loved the hero in this story. Carrie was rather amusing in her attempts to seduce him into trying again. The more he tried to discourage her from her obsession, the more...upset she became. She was on the edge of being rather mean about it. I found the situation quite comical that he began dozing off during a blow job. Carrie decided to seize the peen. I loved the ending. They were totally cute and lovable.

#10 - Upstairs at the Ava by Delovely Olive
Elements: Married couple, Menage, F/F/M
POV: First person
Rating: 3/5

Cami's college roommate is planning to visit, and Abby finds herself reminiscing about those days. Cami had been the studious, good girl while Abby had been the free spirit and the sexually adventurous one. With Abby around, Cami is ready to shake off the good girl and be bad, but will she be okay sharing her husband without getting jealous?

The threesome was hot, and executed well, but something about it didn't make me feel the same way about other menages I've read. I think it was because Cami made all the decisions. Her husband wouldn't have minded watching her with another woman (but at the time he voiced that fantasy, she found it eyeroll-inducing). That Cami came on to Abby in front of him, and he begged her with his eyes to partake, just made it seem like they hadn't really talked about it. Also, if she thought she might feel some jealousy, she obviously hadn't thought it through enough. I don't know, she just seemed a little selfish.

#11 - Organically Grown by Brandy Fox
Elements: M/F, Single mother, Produce fetish
POV: First person
Rating: 3/5

Single mom Gayle gets kinky with the produce guy, Frank.

This was the second story that made me chuckle. I liked Gayle's boldness in going after what she wanted, but I felt a little squeamish when they brought out the cucumber. To each their own. They didn't have sex, just played with each other.

#12 - The Room of Guarantees by Jessica Lennox
Elements: F/F, Domme
POV: First person
Rating: None

I got as far as Elise agreeing to meet Mick in the Room of Guarantees, but then I stopped. I just wasn't into it.

#13 - Redrawing the Lines by Bren Emile
Elements: M/F, Domme
POV: Third person
Rating: 2.5/5

Brandon and his wife (gf?) engage in a little pain play with a crop. I found it a little boring. Perhaps it was the writing style or just the story itself that didn't leave any lasting impression on me.

#14 - Tickle Day by Jeremy Edwards
Elements: Married couple, M/F, Tickle fetish
POV: Third person
Rating: 3.5/5

Steve indulges his wife's fantasy of being tickled. On a day declared as Cynthia's Tickle Day, Steve proceeds to sneak up on her throughout the entire day, slowly building up her arousal and tension.

Another amusing story with an odd fetish. Steve's sneak attacks and Cynthia's cries of giggles, i.e. "Whoooo!", "Eeee!", "Heh-oooh!-heh-hee-heheheh!" made it quite funny, but at the same time a little on the silly side. However, I love stories about couples who accept their partner's odd proclivities and don't mind participating. The tickle fest ended on a hot note.

#15 - Relief by Katya Harris
Elements: Erotica, M/F, Co-workers, Public sex
POV: Third person
Rating: 5/5

Lila had been fantasizing about her co-worker Mike. She'd been told he was interested, but he hadn't yet made a move on her. During a night out at a club with some of her co-worker friends, she intends to have fun and hopefully get laid.

Wow, this was smoking hot! The dance floor scene was so incredibly sexy. I liked the fact that Lila had her back turned to the mystery man who'd sidled up behind her. It kept me wondering if it was Mike or a complete stranger. And the sex on a crowded dance floor is always a particularly sexy fantasy. If you find the lack of condom use icky, then you probably won't enjoy this.

#16 - Jailbait Torch Song by Valerie Alexander
Elements: M/F, Older woman, younger guy, Taboo
POV: Third person
Rating: 4/5

Single mom Lyla has an admirer. Small town scrutiny and the fact that Tanner is only eighteen prevent her from giving in to temptation. Then Tanner makes the first move. Secret rendezvous and sneaking around last only so long until suspicions rise.

A good story about forbidden fruit. Somewhere along the line, it seemed Tanner didn't just see their time together as a taboo affair. Even after getting sent away once and then leaving for college, he returned to Lyla to pick up where they left off. His parting words at the end of the story left the ball in her court.

#17 - Red Lipstick by Erzabet Bishop
Elements: F/F
POV: First person
Rating: None

Didn't read it.

#18 - Something Sleazy by Elizabeth Coldwell
Elements: Married couple, M/F, Voyeurism, M/M
POV: First person
Rating: 3/5

Jenni and Brett spice up their lives by living out fantasies. Jenni wants to watch two men, but Brett doesn't have a gay bone in his body. When he discovers a spot in the park known for dogging, he sets a plan in motion to give Jenni what she wants.

Another good story with a loving couple. I didn't find it particularly memorable, but it was executed well.

#19 - The Instructor by Rose de Fer
Elements: M/F, Slave
POV: First person
Rating: 3/5

Christine wakes up in a strange place, and a man who calls himself The Instructor tells her she's to be trained to become a slave.

Christine was a rebel and frustrated with her life. She got the change she'd been seeking, but the road to obedience and acceptance was a painful one. This story was rather clinical. The Instructor broke her down until she no longer saw herself as Christine but as a slave. The whipping freed her and made her stronger, but it felt clinical. Overall, it wasn't anything too exciting.

#20 - My Pillar-Box Red Cock by Tilly Hunter
Elements: Married couple, M/F, Military, Domme
POV: First person
Rating: 3.5/5

Ryan's wife's fantasy is to f*ck him with a strap-on. Her hopes are dashed when he declares that nothing would ever get near his ass. Then one day he surprises her by showing off what he'd been secretly up to.

The opening scene was funny because of Ryan's matter-of-fact revelation that he'd been secretly preparing himself for his wife's strap-on fantasy. In the end, it was pretty hot stuff.

#21 - A First Time for Everything by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Elements: Bukkake
POV: First person
Rating: 4/5

Caitlin was a thrill-seeker and had done just about everything imaginable (and her list was quite extensive). When she revealed her bukkake fantasy upon a dare, her gay friend helped her set it up. He'd found her five straight guys to help fulfill her fantasy and theirs.

A hot story, and I liked that Caitlin managed to remain in charge of her little party of six.

*Complimentary copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.*

Source: http://wp.me/p4SVFG-22s