Tag Archives: Cleis Press

Review: Best Erotic Romance 2014, ed. Kristina Wright

Best Erotic Romance 2014Best Erotic Romance 2014 by Kristina Wright

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Night Owl Reviews. The full text of the review can be found there.

One of the things Cleis Press does best is their yearly anthologies of short erotic stories, usually pegged to a specific theme or conceit. So with Best Erotic Romance 2014, I knew there would be some wonderful sexy times between couples who truly love each other, and that’s exactly what I found.

View all my reviews

Review: Twisted – Bondage With An Edge Anthology, ed. Alison Tyler

Twisted: Bondage With an EdgeTwisted: Bondage With an Edge by Alison Tyler

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Night Owl Reviews. The full text of the review can be found there.

Although I enjoyed reading the whole book, there were a few selections that I would definitely consider as favorites. They were the stories where I was immediately engaged without having any idea what would happen next, and pleased by where the story ended up: “Foundation Stone” by Jax Baynard, “Rope Drought” by Teresa Noelle Roberts, and “Broken” by Alison Tyler. These three stories explored a variation on the bondage theme that I found unique without being over the top, and each made me wish that they had more pages. Not because I found what was there to be incomplete, but so I could stay in the worlds they’d created for just a bit longer.

If you’re a fan of short erotic fiction, and bondage is one of your reading kinks, you can’t go wrong with Twisted. It’s a perfect example of what makes the Cleis Press erotic anthologies so reliably good.

View all my reviews

Blog Tour Guest Post: Alison Tyler, Author of The Delicious Torment

What’s In a Name?

Sometimes the title comes first. “All Things to All Women” is the name of a story I wrote for a new Cleis collection. I had the title before I had the story. The plot came second. Same for the one I’m tying up right now: WYSIWYG. As soon as I had the title, the story followed.

My series of novels for Cleis was totally different. First off, the books began as blog posts, and each individual “chapter” had its own title. Compiling the posts into readable books was a puzzle in itself. Naming those books was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done writing wise. I discussed this topic at Kristina Lloyd’s blog when the first novel came out:

Kristina Lloyd: Alison Tyler – The Words Please My Mouth

The original title for The Delicious Torment was The Beast In Me (Nick Lowe’s version, thank you very much). At this moment, the third book is called Wrapped Around Your Finger. (You must sense a music-theme here, yes?)

Within the books, many of the chapters are named for song titles. And I listened to the radio religiously while I was writing the books. I was often inspired to create a specific mood based on the songs I heard each day. I’ve been tempted to compile playlists to go with the novels. I wonder if readers would appreciate companion “soundtracks” to accompany each book.

Truly, I wish I could create atmospheres for every reader. I’d pour the right drink. I’d serve the right snacks.

As I said in The Delicious Torment:

By now you know that I think sugar tastes better in cubes, that coffee is richer in my favorite mug, that food is more luscious on a special blue glass plate.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you scents or tastes or a 1950s mug of French Roast. But I can give you my words. Every last one—from the hardworking title all the way to “the end.”


Alison Tyler is the author of more than twenty-five novels, including Dark Secret Love and The Delicious Torment from Cleis Press. She has edited 50 collections for Cleis Press, as well as collections for Harlequin, Plume, and Masquerade. Visit her at AlisonTyler.blogspot.com and follow her on Twitter.

P.S. Believe it or not, I have books four, five, and six nearly finished and titled. My fingers are crossed in hopes that I will be able to bring these novels to your bookshelf.

Review: The Delicious Torment by Alison Tyler

Title: The Delicious Torment
Author: Alison Tyler
Series: A Story of Submission #2
Genre: erotica
Publisher: Cleis Press
Format: ebook and print
Release Date: January 14, 2014

A copy of this book was provided by the author for an honest review.

Publisher Summary:

The second in a series of novels by bondage connoisseur Alison Tyler features heroine Samantha progressing with her predilections and exploring the deepest recesses of her master’s dungeon and her heart. The Delicious Torment is a Story of O meets 9 1/2 Weeks coming-of-age tale fueled by lust, longing, and based on the author’s personal diaries. The Delicious Torment takes readers to Sunset Strip, way up in the sky in a penthouse apartment overlooking Los Angeles with a love affair ensconced in an S&M relationship filled with corsets, crops, and plenty of kink. In the introduction Tyler notes, “This is a novel with me at the center. That is, my heroine is based on me. I’ve sketched her with broad strokes, but at our core we are the same. She’s gotten herself entwined with an older man — nothing new there. But now she has to learn how to maneuver a 24/7 relationship.”

My Review:

Before I tell you how much I enjoyed reading The Delicious Torment I need to insist that you must first read Dark Secret Love, the previous book in this series. You could try to read The Delicious Torment as a stand-alone, but your experience would not be half as rewarding.

In Dark Secret Love, Alison Tyler introduced us to Samantha, a fictional character who is more like her than not. We saw Sam grow from a teenager exploring her power over men (and vice versa) to an adult woman discovering her sexual persona through a series of increasingly meaningful relationships. But after the man she nearly married had all but broken her with his withholding behavior and emotional abuse, Samantha was able to begin healing through her submission to Jack, a man more dominant and dangerous than she’d ever known before.

When we return to Sam’s world at the start of The Delicious Torment, she’s moved into Jack’s penthouse apartment and committed herself to him in a 24/7 power exchange. Jack continues to push her limits further out, and she responds to his demands with her complete and unwavering submission. Well, mostly. When it’s Jack who commands her, Sam can’t help but comply. But it’s another matter when Jack uses his assistant Alex as his “designated Dom” during the times when he can’t be there himself. Her brain knows that Alex is only doing what Jack has directed, yet she senses that the two men have a connection far more complicated than what they’ve presented to to the world. As Jack leads her deeper into submission, Samantha wonders if what they have can transcend Master and slave as long as Alex remains in the picture.

As much as I adored Dark Secret Love, The Delicious Torment was an even better read for me. I was so pleased to be back in the thick of Sam’s life as she continued her path of self-discovery as the slave of the first man strong enough to earn her complete submission. Jack is easily one of the most terrifying and desirable Dominants I’ve ever read, and The Delicious Torment ultimately becomes his story as much as it is Samantha’s. If it seems like he’s continuing to test her capacity for submission, it’s because his need for her exceeds hers for him, even if that’s not always what he wants to reveal. And now with his long-time assistant Alex in the mix, Jack is forced to face his deepest secret, leaving us to wonder how it will all work out in the end.

What makes both of these books so compelling is how authentic they feel as the events in Samantha’s life play out. The characters and their actions may be fabricated, but there is a thread of realism that makes me feel like I’m reading Alison Tyler’s secret diary instead of a work of fiction. There’s no fairytale romance here – just fascinating portrayals of people who could be anyone you might meet in real life, if only you could ever be that fortunate.

The Delicious Torment provides the essential next step in Samantha’s journey and is just as riveting as the book which preceded it. I can’t wait to read the next book. 5 stars