Book Reviews

clara woodfordWelcome to Charlotte and Clara’s Book Review Page

Well, it’s really just Charlotte’s because poor little Clara is still a prisoner at The Gentleman’s Retreat and I doubt she will be allowed to leave any time soon…

To find out more about a book or to purchase it, click on the photo (affiliate link).

I dislike criticizing, therefore the only reviews you’ll see from me on this page will be positive ones. If I didn’t enjoy the book, I won’t review it here.

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 Capture me: The Complete Trilogy by Anna Zaires

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The life of Anna by Marissa Honeycutt

I think this is my new favorite erotica book! It was amazing! There are five books in the series and each book takes the reader a little further along Anna’s incredible life up to the wonderfully satisfying conclusion in the final book.

These novels have everything I look for when I read. The editing is well done and I couldn’t find a single typo or any annoying, repetitive language. The sex scenes are erotic and varied. Some are shocking, extremely rough and non consensual while others romantic, sweet and beautiful. They are all well-written and the descriptions give just enough information to fill my mind with details but not bore me with the same thing over and over again. Sometimes I want to read about exactly what part of the body is doing what; other times I don’t need to know and I just want to get on with the story. Ms. Honeycutt got that balance exactly right. The characters are so fully developed I feel I know them or at least that I watched the movie. It has taken me a while to convince myself that Anna doesn’t really exist but part of me still wonders if I could maybe see perform one day at the ballet. Surely there’s a YouTube clip of her dancing somewhere on the Internet…

One thing that really stands out about these stories is the world the author creates for her characters. Ms. Honeycutt manages to not only paint an extremely realistic picture of Anna but she also solves the problem of how to have a beautiful, strong heroine who loves sex and is very good at it, while at the same time remaining delightfully sweet, innocent and shy. The perfect woman! Were it not for Anna’s unique childhood, lifestyle and the people around her, she wouldn’t be a believable character but thanks to the world Anna lives in her irresistible beauty, sex appeal, and adorable personality are plausible and realistic.

And the men! Oh but the men in Anna’s life are amazing! Again, the balance is exactly right when it comes to pure evil and romantic goodness and there are some wonderful surprises too when some characters don’t turn out to be quite the way they seem. Is he being cruel or, deep down, does he actually love her? Is he her friend or does he have dark, hidden intentions? The men are multi-dimensional; the good ones make mistakes and can be cruel just as the evil ones can sometimes be kind. And they don’t just do good or bad things for no reason other than because they enjoy it. There is always a logic to their behavior which also helps to make the characters more believable and well-rounded.

I highly, highly recommend this book. (They can be purchased as one novel or in five individual novels.) It really does have a little bit of all the good stuff.

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The Toy by Claire Thompson

I have to start with my favorite erotica novel. I read it first years ago and I have reread it several times since then. There is something so sexy about the relationship between the three characters that gets me every time. The story starts with a kidnapping (always a good start) and the poor girl finds herself the captive of two very different men. And that’s the part I really enjoy. One of the men is harsh, rough and cruel to Gina, forcing her to do exactly what he wants and punishing her if she disobeys. She is terrified of him. The other man gently teases the pleasure out of her, breaking her down slowly, subtly taking control of her body and mind. She is scared of him but in contrast to his friend, he feels safe. There are so many delicious mind games! The book has a few scenes with just a little m/m so if you really don’t like that then it may not be for you, but I don’t read m/m and I didn’t find it spoiled my enjoyment of the story.

This was my Amazon review: I have read many erotic novels and stories and this is by far my favorite. It has everything I look for in an erotic book: innocent girl, gorgeous men, intense pleasure and cruel pain. Even the ending is satisfying, which is where I find a lot of erotica disappoints me. But the strongest point about this book is, in my opinion, the descriptions of what is going on in the minds of the main characters. I was really able to put myself in the heroine’s place (which was a very pleasant experience!)

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The Gazillionaire and the Virgin by Lisabet Sarai

I don’t usually enjoy reading consensual sex stories. Real life is full of good consensual sex so why would I want to read about it in a book? But I loved this story because the characters seemed real and drew me into their lives so that I cared about them and wanted to find out more about them. In the same way, I often skim read through the sex scenes in erotica because it’s not the details and descriptions of what body parts go where that interest me; it’s the emotions and feelings the characters are experiencing that I want to read about. But the sex scenes in this book were all interesting and different and very much part of the plot so they kept me enthralled because it wasn’t just reading about how they were touching each other I was also learning more about the characters and why they were doing what they were doing. In order to enjoy a story I need a great deal of detail about what the characters are thinking and I have to have an overload of emotion every now and then. I got my fix this time. The power exchange was delicious and the gender roles were original and excellent. It is fiction and it is a fantasy but the story is so well-written and the characters so real and believable that it could have actually happened in real life. There are also quite a few references to a Second Life type online virtual reality program which added a little extra to my interest in the plot. If you enjoy the power play of BDSM and are looking for a really well-written story with hot sexy scenes, definitely check out this book.

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Hunted by Claire Thompson

Yes, another Claire Thompson book, I know. I can’t help it; they’re really good!

Hunted was an excellent read although only recommended for the reader who really enjoys non-con because it is very, very non-con. It gets rather brutal at moments and it was almost too much even for me – and I love the rough stuff – but the happy ending made up for the poor protagonist’s suffering. The story reminded me a little of Ms. Thompson’s Slave Island although I preferred this one.

The main character, a young woman called Mara, is flown to an island thinking she is going to be interviewing for a job. The build up to her learning the truth is very good and gives the reader enough detail to understand who is who while also getting on with the plot quickly enough to take the story along at an exciting pace. I actually prefer novels where information is given out more slowly, and over time, however that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this book. I really liked how little details were added that made everything believable and realistic. It’s a fantasy story and so it doesn’t have to include details such as how to stop the girls getting pregnant or how to keep the island a secret, but it’s great when they are included in a way which enhances the story and makes it more natural and real which is what we see here. I also loved the way that Mara is rescued and the fact that she doesn’t end up with the man I thought she might fall in love with. If the happy ending is known in advance, then the way it comes about has to be a surprise.

This book is well worth the read if you enjoy stories with a lot of erotic pain. I would have liked a light paragraph or chapter every now and then to offset the darkness and provide a contrast. For example, a scene that made me laugh or smile would have been welcomed or reading more details about the girl who seemed to embrace and enjoy her life on the island would have given another perspective. But, knowing that Mara was going to get her happy ending made it all okay and very enjoyable because I wasn’t worried about her. I knew she’d be fine in the end so I could just lie back and enjoy it! And it’s such a wonderful experience to be lost in a world created by an author who knows how to write so well and can publish a book with no typos whatsoever!

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Party Games by me!

I was so thrilled to see a detailed, professional review for my book on Lisabet Sarai’s website that I couldn’t resist posting it here on my review page:

“Eroticism is in the eye of the beholder. Reading Charlotte Gatto’s novella Party Games reminded me once again of this truth. The stimuli and scenarios one individual finds arousing might have no effect on someone else. Indeed, acts or situations that turn one person on may squick another.

I celebrate the diversity of erotic impulse. If everyone had the same sexual tastes, both life and literature would be boring indeed. As for me, there are a lot of things that push my buttons, including some topics or behaviors that are generally considered extreme or taboo.

Party Games goes somewhat further out on the edge than I’d normally venture. It falls into the category of non-consensual erotica, stories in which a character is forced to engage in or submit to sexual acts explicitly against his or her will. In Ms. Gatto’s book, the heroine Stephanie is lured into attending a party by Chris, a charming and handsome man who has befriended her at a coffee shop. They’ve spent several weeks getting to know one another, so it’s not unreasonable for him to invite her out on what she thinks is a date.

She arrives at the party excited by Chris’s presence, hoping this new experience together will move their relationship to the next level. Flattered by his attention, and that of the host Simon, she agrees to participate in unexplained “games”. She soon discovers what this means: she must obey the orders of anyone at the party, or be severely punished. The party guests make increasingly lewd demands upon her. Though she enjoys herself initially, she’s soon made to suffer very real pain, over which she has no control.

Stephanie’s situation becomes increasingly desperate as Chris, Simon and their female co-conspirator induce paralysis via a surreptitiously administered drug, then abuse her in a variety of degrading and uncomfortable ways. Her problems escalate further when she’s turned into human prey, running for her life and safety, while the guests stalk her, free to rape her if she falls into their clutches.

And is all this arousing? Well, it depends on your tastes. I suspect the author finds it so. I’ve certainly had non-consensual fantasies, so parts of the book turned me on. The notion of being drugged without my knowledge or consent, though, is something I find terrifying and disturbing. Likewise, I can’t stand the notion that someone I trust would deliberately lie to me, the way Chris does. These two aspects of the book killed a lot of the excitement for me.

I also found the heroine’s blithe lack of suspicion a bit annoying. She’s not exactly TSTL (Too Stupid To Live), but she seems far too ready to believe anything that Chris tells her, especially after she has seen some of the results of her credulity. On the other hand, her pain, terror and exhaustion are highly convincing.

It was surprising (to me, at least) that the novella had a happy ending. Given the darkness in some parts of the book, this struck me as incongruous, though it will probably be a relief to many readers. I guess even someone who loves non-con scenarios can only endure so much without a bit of voluntary pleasure.

All in all, my reactions to Party Games were mixed. I applaud Ms. Gatto’s courage, however, in bravely exploring fantasies which many women have, but relatively few will admit.”

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Large (tee hee!) selection of books at:

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Website: Caroline’s Adventures

I have a list of websites that I like in the links section, but here is a little more detail about one of them and why I think it’s worth checking out:

This is a blog I found the other day while Googling around for other Second Life websites. Second Life Adventures is run by Caroline Resident and is a great read if you enjoy SL role play and reading about sex and relationships in SL. The blog is very active and updated regularly with new posts about Caroline’s adventures having a lot of sexy online fun. There are also sections which serve as a guide to new SL residents or anyone looking to find something a little spicy and exotic to play around with. Maybe I’ll take Clara OOC (or use one of my alts) and go meet Caroline inworld one day; she seems like a fun person to know!

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