Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review Tuesday: Anonymous by Giselle Renarde (#reviewtuesday #erotica #menage)

Anonymous cover

Anonymous: An Erotic Novel by Giselle Renarde
Createspace, 2016

Fulfilling fantasies is both a major goal of erotica (at least, providing vicarious fulfillment) and a common theme in the genre. What happens, though, when fantasies spin out of control? That’s the question that drives Giselle Renarde’s provocative novel Anonymous.

Hannah and Nathaniel love talking about Nathaniel’s homoerotic fantasies while they have sex. Just the mention of his sucking another guy’s cock is enough to push them both over the edge. When Hannah decides to turn those cherished fantasies into hard-core reality, she plans carefully to avoid any unforeseen side effects. In particular, she insists that the encounter be totally anonymous. The escort service she has engaged provides exactly what she’s ordered: a gracious, hunky Latin lover with no name and no history, whom she mentally christens Mr. A (for Anonymous).

The long-awaited night with their hired partner is scorching. Nathaniel experiences not only fellatio but anal penetration. An eager voyeur, Hannah enjoys every minute, at least as much as her husband does.

After his initiation into gay sex, Nathaniel brings a new partner into their circle, a sexy and charming Caribbean waiter named Lewis. Far from being jealous, Hannah finds their new lover a delight. For some reason, though, she can’t stop thinking about Mr. A. She starts haunting the neighborhood where the escort service is located, hoping for a glimpse of their elusive first partner, or a clue to who he might be. Her obsession isolates her from Nathaniel and Lewis and influences her life decisions. For instance, she turns down a promotion that would require working in another part of the city. Becoming progressively desperate, she even tries breaking into company’s offices in the hope of searching their files.

This is one hot book. Ms. Renarde pulled me into the naughty scenes with her usual expert touch. Since I find gay sex a turn-on myself, I strongly identified with Hannah’s arousal as she watches Nathaniel with other men.

On the other hand, I couldn’t really understand Hannah’s obsession. The author seems to suggest that somehow it’s a side effect of her being unemployed and depressed, but the dynamics weren’t obvious, at least not to me. What is Hannah looking for, that she can’t find in the intense, sexual-creative polyamorous relationship she shares with Nathaniel and Lewis? Her thoughts and actions just didn’t make sense.

To some extent, I felt that the theme of obsession and the luscious descriptions of three-way erotic excess were at war in this novel. It’s almost as if the author started out to write a super-hot MMF fantasy (a goal in which she definitely succeeds) but then got distracted by a what-if scenario involving her heroine’s fixation. I don’t really feel that the obsession thread contributed to the eroticism in the book. On the contrary, it was disturbing, puzzling and ultimately distracting.

Obsession can indeed be a powerful theme in erotica. Perhaps that was what Ms. Renarde was aiming for. In this case, I don’t think it quite works.

Nevertheless, if (like me) you have fantasies about watching sexy guys pleasure each other, I think you’ll enjoy this book.

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