It’s erotic romance, no, it’s erotica. Um, no, it’s paranormal. In fact, it’s all three. And why should you have to choose? Whatever your take on it, Sexsomnia delivers some of the things I most enjoy in a book: mystery, magic, hot, hot sex… oh, and love. Never forget the love.
I went into this expecting pure erotica, since Sexsomnia is presented alongside some pretty dark examples of the genre. But it mixed me all up, swinging me into the world of erotic romance and then back, finally landing me—elsewhere.
Because I’m me, I’ll dive right into my favorite bits: the naughty ones.
Shy economist, Jenny, is tired. Luckily, she befriends a sleep disorder specialist who helps her figure out what’s going on. What Jenny discovers is that her nightlife is much more active than her waking hours and, if her exhaustion, along with the “musky stank” on her body is anything to go by, she’s not your garden-variety sleepwalker.
The novella’s setting has a camp-like atmosphere, which thankfully provides Jenny’s sleepwalking self with a contained environment in which to frolic. Although, that’s really not the right word, since, what Jenny’s body (or Jennifer) does in those night-time hours is pretty darned nasty. She teases, she tortures and, above all, she gets it on with hot biologist, Turner—the guy Jenny hasn’t had the guts to talk to in the light of day.
After all this powerlessness, Iva gives Jenny the chance to take back the night—allowing us readers to experience Jenny’s unconscious meanderings, for the first time, alongside the character. The scene that emerges is full of sensual self-discovery, during which this shy academic finds out just what it takes to turn her own crank. It’s sexy and filthy and oh so delightful.
What pulled me from Jenny and Turner’s story was a bit of (unintentional) promiscuity, which, in my mind, moves this from erotic romance into the realm of erotica. After that, it swings toward the paranormal and the forces Jenny must face are larger than herself. You feel for the woman, you really do. Her body has gotten away from her and she’s trying to keep up. I couldn’t help but root for her.
Overall, the sex is frank, the writing clear, the prose easy on the brain—and there’s humor. Besides a few editing errors, which pulled me out of the fascinating weirdness of this story, I was in it, completely. Sexsomnia pushes envelopes and shifts genres—neither of which I’m necessarily comfortable with, but I don’t have to love a genre in order to love a story. Right now, I’m still pulling this one apart…and hoping for a sequel.
The rest of the anthology is interesting, the stories shorter. The styles and subject matters, while all dark, are wildly different and not necessarily what I’m normally into. I would certainly consider reading these authors elsewhere, perhaps in genres that are more along the lines of what I generally read.