Phaze, $6.00, ISBN 1-59426-504-6
Contemporary Erotica, 2005
I believe it will spare everyone a lot of bother if I spoil the story a little and point out that the heroine Elizabeth is married to Glenn but in this story she has taken three days from her work to tryst with her lover Richard. This is no cheap-thrill love-on-the-side story though: she is thinking of leaving Glenn for a long time and all she needs is that one reason or catalyst in her life that will give her the strength to make that one last step needed to leave that man. Is Richard going to be that reason?
Richard is into all sorts of kinky games involving some toys as well as domination/submission scenarios, all of these scenes contributing to the reason why this slim body of work is categorized by the publisher as a work of erotic fiction. Readers who really don’t like tales of adultery will not find any contrived romance-novel style reasons to root for Elizabeth because Glenn isn’t some cartoonish evil husband.
Aside from the erotic aspects of the story, which I find not as erotic as I’d like them to be because Elizabeth isn’t into those acts as she’d like (the impression I get is that Elizabeth in this story isn’t looking for great sex as much as a reason to leave Glenn to fall onto her lap), the story’s focus is on how she tries to sort out what she wants and needs to do with her life. Our heroine isn’t a goody-goody saint as there are times when she is gratingly self-absorbed and selfish, so she comes off as exactly what the author wants Elizabeth to be: a confused woman at the brink of the big 4-0 knowing that she needs to change some things in her life but she is too afraid of what may happen if she takes those steps necessary for changes to happen. The things she does to come to her epiphany (that is, if I can call that an epiphany, heh) won’t make her Mother Theresa if you’re going to judge on her, but personally I find the workings of her mind as she gets there realistic and human enough to make Elizabeth a compelling character to read about.
I also appreciate the fact that Ms Slick allows me to form my own opinion of Elizabeth by showing me her actions and thoughts without resorting to dumbed-down attempts to make Elizabeth a “good” heroine to justify her actions in this story.
Three Days in New York is best treated as a chick-lit story, where adultery and ambiguous endings are allowed to thrive in stories that sometimes aren’t too intent on conforming to a reader’s sense of morality. While I won’t say that this story is a keeper as it is too short to leave much on an impact on me, I find it an interesting and even enjoyable quick read to get into.