by Eden Bradley, contemporary (2010)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60928-153-3
This version of Eden Bradley's Summer Solstice is, according to the publisher website, an expanded and revised edition. Since the previous short stories in the Celestial Seductions series had been previously published by Cobblestone Press, I suspect this one was previously published by them too.
It's a very hot summer thanks to El Niño, and poor Leigh Novack does not have any air-conditioning. Still, there are compensations, such as the new neighbor, a hunky big guy, across the street who is forced to take off his T-shirt due to the heat, that poor thing, and expose his beautiful muscles to Leigh. When Jared Townsend does the neighborly thing and comes over to borrow a bottle opener, Leigh knows that she is going to be the best neighbor he has ever had. And that's before Jared's friend and occasional boyfriend Matteo shows up to borrow some sugar, so to speak.
Summer Solstice is hot, hot, hot. It's hot like "Got me like oh my gosh - Oh! Oh! Oh!", as Usher would say. I'm not sure whether I buy the whole love thing in the end since these people danced the sexy - pop, pop, popping, dropping, dropping low, as that song would go - over a short period of time, but I can believe that they like each other's company outside the bedroom.
I'm more into the grooves of this story. The descriptions are explicit and fiery, the earthy sensuality threatening to burn my hard drive into the ground. It's not all about climaxing twenty times before starting another set, though, there are enough emotions to make these scenes as much about the passion as they are about making the reader wish that someone would pour a bucket of ice water over her.
Having examined this story in great detail from every angle, I can only say that I approve heartily.
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