Sprucing something old with something new.
Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)
First Published: 5th March 2012
Date Reviewed: 29th March 2012
Jess and Alex’s marriage is stable, but after 15 years and two children, their life is set in its ways. Then Jess discovers erotica, and the stories appeal to her. But telling Alex is something else – would he be okay with it all?
As the name suggests, Forbidden Fantasies is a bit of an explicit book dealing with a faithful long-term couple and their first foray into kinky sex – the explicitness regarding word choice rather than any situation. As far as the story goes the scenes are quite mild, and it is only the people the couple encounter, and the described scenes from Jess’s books, that take it any further. In this way it is a very good candidate for anyone looking to try something slightly outside the “norm”, while the faithful loving couple make it a good choice for anyone who might worry about casualness.
And while the scenes are explicit, and start from the word go, they are not uncomfortable. Indeed the inclusion of “forbidden” has a lot more to do with Jess’s upbringing than any sort of sexual urge. It is Jess’s protected childhood and her parent’s views that ultimately cause her to believe that what she wants is wrong, and it’s Alex’s job to convince her that he is okay with what she wants. A lot of scenes look back at how Alex and Jess got through her initial issues with sex itself.
Jess and Alex are struggling with communication and ideals, and while a vast amount of time is given to sexual scenes, there is a lot to be said for the emotion that Griffin stirs up. In fact the scenes full of angst are perhaps the best of all, and Griffin has written them beautifully. They are what sets the book firmly in the realm of romance and because of the nature of the characters crafted, Griffin succeeds in being very true to life.
Because what Griffin examines, as the background to the whole idea of Forbidden Fantasies, is this communication. She demonstrates how things can become out of control if communication is halted, how things can go wrong when a person can only assume from extracts of information, how the smallest of issues can become major problems. Of course because the issue is, at least for the characters, minor, it’s going to be resolved quickly, thus enabling Griffin to get back to the erotic side of things, but everything is given the appropriate amount of time.
Due to the development of the characters, the sexual scenes at the beginning of the book are more what one would term “vanilla”, slowly increasing to soft bondage by the end. Apart from those mentioned there are also brief looks at voyeurism and ménages where the couple are outsiders pondering on these new experiences.
Forbidden Fantasies may be too much of an introduction for seasoned erotic romance readers, but for the person looking to explore the erotic romance genre as a whole, it is a good way of deciding whether or not you might like to take things further. And as far as one can ascertain from the couple, Jess and Alex certainly hope you do.
I received this book for review from Carina Press.