From the BLURB:
Have you ever dreamed of having a single experience which would change you forever? I think I’d dreamed about exactly that sort of thing most of my life. In recent years I thought it was going to be about writing a New York Times best-seller. But a long time ago, before I lived through my teenage years and came out damaged on the other side, I thought it would be falling in love with a man and living happily ever after, like every other girl.
Who knew the one to change me would be a woman? But the story doesn’t end there. No, that in itself is a whole new beginning. Because right after I met Audrey, I met Jack.
‘The Lovers’ is an erotica novel by Eden Bradley.
I would call ‘The Lovers’ the thinking woman’s erotica. This storyline isn’t about a woman falling easily into a ménage a trois and vapidly experiencing every one of her naughty fantasies. This isn’t an empty bit of smut, but rather a hot and frustrating novel of complicated feelings as well as intense couplings.
Bettina is slightly neurotic. She is an author of dark ‘angry female’ novels. For two years she has been seeing a therapist and dealing with a slight case of agoraphobia which sees her reluctant to leave her house and make new friends. Bettina is also combating memories of her lonely childhood and repercussions of having grown up with disinterested parents. To top it all off, she also has a small case of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).
Bettina is going on a writers workshop retreat with six other authors, upon recommendation of her therapist, to connect with herself and *feel* something. Little does she know she’s going to experience all that, and a little bit more than she can handle...
She meets fellow writer Audrey, who has captivating eyes and the most beautiful body Bettina has ever lusted after. Bettina has never felt attracted to women, but Audrey is magnetic, pulling her in and casting a spell on her.
But Audrey’s affections are fleeting; she flirts with everyone and has intense couplings with numerous people. One of whom is another author at the retreat, called Jack. The same way Bettina was attracted to the gorgeous Audrey, Bettina finds she is equally drawn to the handsome, carefree Jack. Bettina’s lust is not even diminished when she discovers that Jack and Audrey have been carrying on an intense fling for the last three years. In fact, Bettina’s yearning is amplified when Jack and Audrey invite her into their bed...
But soon enough Audrey’s interest wanes and she leaves Jack and Bettina to navigate their own intense coupling without her. Jack warns Bettina that he isn’t a ‘relationship guy’ and will break the heart of any woman who falls for him, but Bettina can’t seem to help herself where Jack is concerned...
This novel is a cure for my lagging interest in erotica. So often ménage a trois storylines are old-hat and so-so, and I know that my interest is waning when I start to wish that the frivolous characters would question their threesome relationship. Bradley offers just such deep explorations in ‘The Lovers’.
Don’t read this if you want a throw-away hot erotica read. As I warned, this is the thinking woman’s erotica. Just as Bettina questions her attraction to Audrey, and Jack’s interest in her, readers are drawn into the complicated love triangle and Bettina’s feelings.
I nod my head. “Okay, okay.” I pause, thinking, trying to figure this all out. “It’s okay that you still want her, Jack. So do I. I can’t help it. You can’t either. That’s just Audrey.”All of these characters are layered and complex. Jack’s reasons for only carrying out flings with fuck buddies are imbedded in his childhood. Likewise, Audrey’s reason for flirting and fucking anything in sight is rooted in a past trauma that continues to influence her adult relationships. Bettina is the most complicated of all, and together these three make a triumvirate of a tricky situation.
“Yeah. It’s not the same anymore for me, though. I don’t buy into it as much as I used to. Into her charm.”
“But it’s still there. And it’s undeniable.”
The sex scenes are lush and sensual. Bettina and Audrey’s couplings are some of the best smut I have had the (surprising) pleasure to read. Bradley is a talented erotica writer in that her sex scenes aren’t cold on the page, purely written to titillate – they instead reveal pieces of the characters, their neuroses and unspoken feelings. It’s all there, between the lines, making the sex scenes a character exploration unto themselves.
If you’re not in the mood for a book that explores feelings as well as sexual healings, then ‘The Lovers’ is not for you. But if you are in a temper for slightly more high-brow literary erotica then I highly recommend this book. You’ll get caught up in Bettina’s obsession with Audrey and Jack, her worry about losing herself to the one man she shouldn’t and her desperation to protect herself from feeling too much.
I loved this book. It was frustrating at times, extremely sexy and smutty with just enough deep character exploration to keep me invested and interested. Highly recommend for those who want a bit more substance in their erotica.
‘The Lovers’ comes out November 1st 2010