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One 4 and TWO 3 Star Reviews for Downpour by Alexa Black, A.M. Leibowitz, Helena Maeve, Dylan McEwan, Luda Jones, C.E. Case, Geonn Cannon, Adrian J. Smith #FF #Butch @SupposedCrimes

1.2

Title: Downpour
Author Name & Publisher: Alexa Black, A.M. Leibowitz, Helena Maeve, Dylan McEwan, Luda Jones, C.E. Case, Geonn Cannon, Adrian J. Smith (Supposed Crimes)
Publication Date & Length: September 1, 2015 – 104 pgs

Synopsis

The Downpour Anthology from Supposed Crimes started as a “butch women and thunderstorms” challenge. A throwback to classic lesbian erotica. The resulting stories are a mix of sexy, sweet, and downright dangerous. Women of all types tackle the storms of nature, magic, or mystery. Victorian times through the future of outer space. The classic pretty girl stranded by the side of the road in the rain, along with a pickup or two, ghosts, and, well, we won’t spoil all the surprises.

Prolific authors like Geonn Cannon and Helena Maeve write alongside newcomers like Alexa Black and Luda Jones. Supposed Crimes favorites A. M. Leibowitz and Adrian J. Smith have stories. Dylan McEwan and C. E. Case are trying something new. Downpour offers eight stories featuring our favorite kinds of women: women.

Included stories:

Thunder by Alexa Black
Between Us and the Penguins by A.M. Leibowitz
Shadow of a Storm by Helena Maeve
Lynsey by Dylan McEwan
Some People Feel the Rain, Others Just Get Wet by Luda Jones
Stage Rain by C. E. Case
Port in a Storm by Geonn Cannon
Magnetism by Adrian J. Smith

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Review

FourStars

Each of the stories in this anthology had something unique to keep the reader interested. From penguins to ghosts, magic to witty humor there’s a little bit of something for everyone. While some of the stories were off the wall and hit out into left field, each one followed the theme of the book well and had it’s own twists and turns.

Thunder by Alexa Black
This story was strange and unusual in the best kind of way. It kept me guessing and left me wishing it had been just a bit longer.

Between Us and the Penguins by A.M. Leibowitz
This story was absolutely adorable and put a smile on my face that lasted well after I had finished it. The whole thing was sweet, cute and begged to be something a longer.

Shadow of a Storm by Helena Maeve
This story was a pleasant surprise and while it caught me off guard I enjoyed every moment of it. The eventual outcome was a complete shock but was played out perfectly.

Lynsey by Dylan McEwan
This story pulled me in and held on tight, keeping me drawn into it from the first paragraph. The progression of the story was well laid out and the ending was a total surprise!

Some People Feel the Rain, Others Just Get Wet by Luda Jones
This story started off confusing but with a little patience is sorted itself out in a couple paragraphs and moved forward beautifully. The main characters ended up in a sudden and steamy encounter that played out with an intensity the setting only enhanced. I’d love to have more of this story!

Stage Rain by C.E. Case
This story was wonderful, moving and beautifully inspiring. The characters felt like they’d had so much more development than the short story allowed for and really pulled me into their scenario. My only complaint is that it was too short, I would love to read more about these two and their situation.

Port in the Storm by Geonn Cannon
The flow of this story suited the plot and characters to perfection. It held the style, development and wit I’ve come to expect and admire from Geonn. Great story!

Magnetism by Adrian J. Smith
This story caught me completely off guard after the rest of the content in this anthology. The last thing I expected was a Sci-Fi short but I enjoyed it all the same. The characters were amazingly put together and the plot was well planned out then executed flawlessly.

Rhayne

ThreeStar

The 8 short stories have the link stormy weather in common. Apart from this common theme I found the range of stories very eclectic. It’s the sort of collection you can dip into whenever you fancy a quick read and change of mood.
Some of the stories I really enjoyed, others were thought provoking some just fun. A broad spectrum of authors allowing the novel to appeal to many readers.
However I did find an inconsistency in the strength and writing experience of the authors which obviously impacted on the novel as a whole.
I really relished the short description given at the end of the novel on each author.
 If you are looking for something with a variety of sexual interludes and some chapters which are brilliantly written, or you want to get a feel of different authors styles then you will not be disappointed with this anthology.
Chris
ThreeStar

Imagine this scene. A group of lesbians – no, a group of writers – no, no, a group of  lesbian writers are sitting around a fire pit on a covered porch. (Don’t worry! It was designed by a hot butch architect so it has a proper chimney to safely draw smoke from the space.) They’re drinking and laughing and chatting desultorily about life, women, and love in between sporadic bouts of rain, during which they all quiet to listen to the thrumming deluge on the roof above. It’s after one such deluge that one of the women sighs and says, “I love rain.” There is a chorus of agreement, followed by a few comments from others about storms and lightning and why they love them. After a moment, one of the group, who is a bit ahead of everyone else in the drinking department due to an ill-considered game of “I never,” says a bit raunchly, “I love butches.”

More agreements ensue, and before long comes the suggestion. No one knows who made it first, because they were all drinking and quite a few of them jumped on the idea with an immediate enthusiasm that swamped everyone who may have stood in its way. “We should write stories about butches and storms!” And an anthology was born.

This is how random I feel this theme is. I’m not really very enamored with rain. One of the first things you learn as a person who has to occasionally work outside in the weather is that denim takes hours to dry. Women may think the result looks good as the wet material cups that which is encased within. But it isn’t very comfortable. And they’re a bitch to get off. So why read this anthology, you may ask? Three words from the blurb. Butch. Lesbian. Erotica. Say those three words to me and I’ll be there so fast that you won’t be able to find the tracks of how I got there. So I cracked this book open almost before I finished the last book I was reading.

SPOILER ALERT: The reviews of the individual stories contain spoilers. Sorry, but stuff just needed to be said. If you don’t like that idea, skip to the last paragraph to see the summation.

Thunder by Alexa Black:

This may be the most controversial review I offer of this anthology, and it’s for one reason: I don’t consider Kay a butch lesbian. The classic terminology applicable here is stone butch. Nowadays this term isn’t heard much anymore, and I believe it’s because a newer term fits better: transgender. There is a lot of anger and violence in this story that I don’t find appealing in my erotica. Kay has struggled in her life with how people treat her, as well as with her own body dysmorphia. And it shows in how she treats her lover. Shana accepts Kay for who she is, even revels in it. However, rather than this making her a sanctuary or haven, it allows Kay to indulge in a raw passion that leaves little room for any softer emotions. Kay is the stereotype of the lesbian who wants to be a man. She doesn’t allow Shana to touch her female sexual organs, and uses the proxy of a packing dick to engage in intercourse. The aspect, actions, and attitudes are almost wholly masculine and not the best part of masculinity either. One interesting point about this story is that this was the only story that integrated the theme into the character. The bad part about that is that it makes it even easier to get caught in the turbulent fury of Kay’s self-image.

Between Us and the Penguins by A.M. Leibowitz

I’m still trying to figure out why this story is in the anthology. There’s no sex in it, which is a pretty basic component of erotica. Also I find myself confused as to who is the butch. I thought at first Alice was the butch. She was called “tomboy,” was athletic, didn’t like girly clothes and eschewed makeup. Whoa! Then there came the statement that she used lip gloss. Not something a butch would do. Chapstick, most likely. Gotta keep the pucker nice and soft for the little lady. But lip gloss? No way. Don’t believe me? I told my wife (the femme) about it and she shot me a look of pure disbelief. So we move on to Drea, the love interest. She’s got short hair, and is nattily dressed, reads, is non-athletic, but can fix a hard drive and a car engine. Sounds butch enough! And yet, Alice still isn’t “a delicate flower of womanhood.” So, butch on butch? Still ok with me. That’s hot to me too. I’m not like one of those hard butches that thinks it’s gay for two butches to be together. Um. Hello? It’s already gay! They’re two women! Ok, moving on. I’m thinking basically that this author doesn’t like labels. Normally, I’m the sort that says, “Sure. You wanna be PC, we can be PC.” But in this case, the label was already applied. Use it if it’s already there, yes? After all, when people go bird-watching and want to know what kind of bird they’re looking at, they don’t expect the answer to be “A bird. I don’t want to pigeonhole the poor thing by labeling it.” Ok, ok. You want to show me instead of tell me.

However, it never went anywhere. Both now, and in the little story they’re telling about the past, there isn’t any sex, and very little relationship. Even when they’re talking about the fight they had in the past, we don’t get any real clue how they resolve it. And the reason the story isn’t about the two lesbians in a relationship? Because Junie is present. Junie is Alice’s sister, who was formerly her brother. Both Alice and Drea accept Junie without reservation. Which is sweet. But doesn’t belong in this anthology. The whole story seems to be more about Junie’s transgenderism and lesbian penguins that we’re not supposed to call lesbians. Yeah, I’m still scratching my head too. The only other thing that should be mentioned is that both times the three of them are together, it’s storming out. I suppose that’s why the whole thing about reminiscing about the fight over lesbian penguins came about. Again, sweet story, just not a good fit for the billing.

Shadow of a Storm by Helena Maeve

This story fascinated me, without me being able to make a judgment about whether or not I liked it. It isn’t every day you read about a butch mermaid. The problem I have, once again, is that this anthology was billed as erotica, and this story ends before they ever do much more than kiss. And the kiss was before the story started! So while I was beguiled, it failed to fulfill its supposed role.

Lynsey by Dylan McEwan

I was flagging a bit in interest and hope when I started reading this story. This one, however, delivered. An angry butch, cooled off by the sight of a cute femme, a rainstorm, two disabled cars, and an empty mansion that wasn’t empty. After finally getting out of the elements, the two end up sharing a room their unfriendly host shows them to. And after a bit of aborted wandering and other happenings, the butch makes her move and we get some sex.

Two problems in this story for me. First, up until the butch, Morgan, joins Lynsey in the bath, Lynsey seems to be extremely shy, out of sorts, and uninterested. The impression she gave me was that she would have been much more likely to jump out of the bath, than relax into her companion’s touch. Perhaps a bit more lead up? I know femmes change their minds at any time for any reason, but usually I can follow the changes. Second, the twist on their host is very telegraphed. I basically guessed it when the light appeared in the window. And if I could get it, based on my wife’s opinion that my idea of subtle is a two-by-four to the head, pretty much everyone would get it.

The thing is, this was one of my favorite stories in the book. But it was extremely clichéd. I don’t claim to be a literary reader. In fact, most of the time I don’t get the subtle themes and underlying reasons in stories that supposedly make them great literature. I’m more the type of reader who is there for entertainment and escape. And I don’t know if I liked this story so much because it was good, or if it was because it was the first story in the book that gave me what I wanted. The point being, the story itself wasn’t anything new and touching. It almost seemed to check off the items it was including. There were some small things that I did want to note though. First, Morgan may have been butch, and confident as well, but she enjoyed being touched as a woman too. I think sometimes people don’t think of butches in that way. And second, I love that Lynsey wasn’t just a booty call to her, that Morgan wanted to see her again. That may have made the story for me.

Some People Feel the Rain, Others Just Get Wet by Luda Jones.

Again, we have a story I’m not sure of my reaction to. And the reason why actually makes me laugh. I’m extremely ok with the subject matter contained within. Let’s face it, even people who aren’t into it can get turned on by reading about it, especially if it’s well written. This isn’t bad. There are two things that bothered me in this story. One, who the hell is Fran? Maybe I missed something in there somewhere, but to tell you the truth, I couldn’t tell if she was a pimp, a john, or someone making pornos using hookers and a butch friend. Yeah, I’m still wondering.
Not good if that’s distracting me from the action going on. And two, the action? Was great until the girl got all mucky. Sex in the rain is ok. Sex in public is ok, to read about anyway. But sex that leaves her nose full of muck, and her upper body splattered? Not quite so hot. Definitely hit the theme though.

Stage Rain by C.E. Case

I’m not sure how to put my feelings about this story into words. Finally someone is called butch unequivocally. Sure she’s a soft butch, but that’s ok! I’m an equal opportunity butch watcher. The woman in the last story was also quite clearly butch, but I believe she went unlabeled. So already this story has got positive feelings flowing in me. I’m assuming that the POV character is femme, since it was a big deal for the other woman to be butch. Maybe that was actually said and I missed it. Or maybe it was by implication and I inferred correctly. So far, we’re a go. I think the biggest problem I have with this story is the fact that the butch is such a player, and the femme doesn’t care. Again we’re back to butches picking up the worst traits of men in order to “prove” their masculinity. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into it and she’s a player because she’s a star and everyone wants her. The thing is, the femme feels lucky to be chosen to be her sex partner that night. Ugh. That makes me want to throw up a little in my mouth. I’m not even sure what else to say.

Port in the Storm by Geonn Cannon

I liked this story. Logan was unabashedly butch, but she was a good person. She tried to help Sarah out on a bad night, but wasn’t going to take advantage of her. Which brings up one of the things I really liked about this one: Sarah was the aggressor, not Logan. One of the things that drives me crazy about butch stories is that the butches are always cocky and aggressive. They start things moving towards sex and they’re always sure they’re going to get what they want. It made me smile that Sarah flipped that on its head. Sarah was the one that knew what she wanted, and Sarah was the one who went for it. The thing is, a butch who is truly confident in herself, doesn’t always have to be in control. Logan is perfectly content to allow Sarah to take control, at least for round one. Bet the story changed once they got to the bedroom, but for the escapades on the kitchen counter, the tables were turned from the usual. Kudos to you, Mr Cannon, for reaching a little beyond the stereotypical.

Magnetism by Adrian J. Smith

If I described this story in one word, it would be Incomplete. I have to admit, I love science fiction. It is one of my favorite genres and if more authors combined sci-fi with lesbians, I would live a much happier, much more fulfilled life. Ok, that may be stretching it, but you get the point. I was pre-disposed to like this story, even though I didn’t know anything about it when I started. The problem was, I didn’t know much more about it when I finished. These two women are alone on a spaceship somewhere in the depths of the abyss between stars. Their mission? To take measurements on geomagnetic storms. Ok. Why? They’re from Seattle, but what’s happening on Earth that makes this a vital mission? Cheska is there because Kapri talked her into going on the mission, but why did Kapri want her? The way Cheska is studying so hard makes me believe she wasn’t quite qualified to go, but that since Kapri wanted her there, an exception was made. Only during the actual storm do we discover that Cheska is actually a pilot. Isn’t she? I mean, she did really well at holding the ship in place, but what did she really do before this trip? I don’t know. She came because she wanted to get to know Kapri better, but Kapri doesn’t talk to her, and seemingly the only way she interacts is when she’s scolding Cheska. Lots of negative emotions shown to Cheska; disappointment, disapproval, anger, impatience. And Cheska still wants her? After two months of being treated that way?

Also, I am once more a little lost as to which one is the butch. The only identifying thing in the whole story is the fact that Kapri has extremely short hair. That isn’t a good identifier. She may have just shaved it for the mission, so her spacesuit would seal better. My point, make it a bit more obvious. Some butches with unsubtle minds who shall remain unnamed need it that way. And, is it a bad thing that I had to reread the story to remember whether or not they actually had sex? I’m going to assume so. I know there was some hot and heavy making out, but again, erotica includes sex. That isn’t just me thinking that, is it?

So now we come to the conclusion of the review. I like anthologies. Especially lesbian anthologies. The reason is because I usually find new authors to stalk – er, read. I remember way back in the old days when we had to buy a whole music album to get the songs we wanted. The rule of thumb was that if you found three tracks on the album that you liked, the album was a good deal. I’m not sure I can apply that rule to this particular anthology. Yes, I found some new authors to look into, but let’s just say I was extremely surprised to find out the two stories I liked the most were written by men. That isn’t a negative. I’ve found myself enjoying more and more male-authored books with lesbian characters over the past two years. This anthology had so much potential and engendered so much excitement when I got it. However, I don’t think all the stories in it really fit the billing. Three stars because individually, the stories were pretty good.

But all together, they lacked that sort of magic that binds an anthology into a whole. There was opportunity here to move beyond stereotype and turn our preconceptions on their heads. That would have been magical. Instead, I was left disappointed.

Amy P

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3.5 stars for The Bewitching Hour by Literary Stud @literarystud #FF #EroticRomance

The Bewitching Hour

Title: The Bewitching Hour
Author Name: Literary Stud
Publication Date & Length: May 3, 2015 – 3,000 words

Synopsis

Meet Mac and Sofia. A chance encounter at an overcrowded Lesbian club sets them on a path neither can deny. Sofia believes in following rules and Mac is happy to oblige until both fall under the spell of the bewitching hour.

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Review

 ThreeandHalfStarsThis was a very sweet, short and sensual piece. I Loved the set up, butch and femme, and relationship but no relationship. It was written well in terms of feeling and action. I did struggle through some parts in figuring out who was who and mixing up pronouns. A good editor should be able to fix that.

 

This is a very short read. I think it took me all of twenty minutes to get through it, so it’s hard to write a review without spoilers. It’s steamy, it’s endearing and it was well worth my time.

 

I downloaded this book off Smashwords on a free promotion.

 

~AJ

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AuthorBio

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Literary Stud has honed her craft since she could form sentences. At the age of eight, she presented her mother with a short story about the funny people living in her head. Instead of committing her to a mental institution, her mother encouraged her writing and remains an avid supporter to this day. Writing became her reason for breathing but the work she produced only satisfied mainstream society. Eleven years later, Literary Stud realized her sexuality and she was no longer comfortable writing the accepted romance and the characters began to mimic the world around her.

Literary Stud has written several short stories showcasing Lesbians of color. Most feature various circumstances in Lesbian relationships with believable characters that remind you of close friends. Literary Stud brings grown and sexy to life in the serial story Maxi’s Place by weaving realistic tales of Lesbian culture. Good food, good music and good company are the ingredients for an unforgettable night at Maxi’s Place. The atmosphere is comfortable, with a healthy share of regular patrons. If only the customers knew what happened in the background of this bustling restaurant – drama, deceit and maybe a little love.

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