|cover art copyright Amber Stone|
Let me start off by saying that Daddy as an erotic archetype is something I find fascinating and incredibly hot. I read Pat Califia's Doing It For Daddy in college and that's what hooked me. I've had many years of experience both reading and writing this subject, so I'm not new. I'm also well aware that there are several ways to explore Daddy (role-playing, non-incestuous, incest; heterosexual, homosexual) and that the way Daddy appeals to one person isn't necessarily the way Daddy appeals to another.
With all of that said, this book is just awful.
It's a short story, which I liked. I don't mind paying $0.99 for a short story of this length. The premise isn't bad: eighteen-year-old Amber goes camping with her stepfather as a way to bond because they've been butting heads at home since he married her mother the year before. I thought it had an interesting, potentially great setup, so I didn't bother with the sample.
I should have.
It's shallow. It explores none of the emotional depth or conflict or the moral questions presented by this situation. There's no consideration for Amber's mother--Steve's wife. There's no hesitation from Amber or Steve. (Steve asking twice if she's "sure" is not hesitation. It's a standard stalling tactic in erotica and romance.) I wouldn't mind that except that there was absolutely no established pattern of anything that would lead to the two of them falling into bed together. Amber "talked" briefly of being Daddy's Little Girl, but there was no connection made between those feelings and feelings she had for Steve except for saying that Steve would never replace her dad. Amber isn't promiscuous. Thunderstorms get her hot, she's horny, and Steve is there. That's it. That's the whole reason they have sex.
And that's all it is. Amber and Steve might as well be strangers for the sex they have. If you remove the trappings of their relationship, the sex and dialogue stand fine on their own. Well, fine enough, I guess, for empty mechanical description.
I don't mind straight-up written porn. I've written it myself. There are times that it's enjoyable. This was not enjoyable. It reads like it was written by a fifteen-year-old boy who hasn't had sex yet but has seen a few really bad porn movies. Steve's penis is at least eight or nine inches long but I think it's longer, based on the description that preceded the discussion of length. They have anal sex with little foreplay and only spit as lubricant. Amber is almost a virgin, mind; as in, she has only had PIV sex once, has never had anal sex and, from what I gather, has never even tried anal play on herself. If many years of writing m/m erotica have taught me anything, it's that buttsex is a little more complicated than "spit on pucker, insert penis."
There were technical issues with the work as well. In several instances, the incorrect word--while properly spelled--was used. "Wear" instead of "where," "peak" instead of "peek," "affect" instead of "effect," "bit" instead of "by," "me" instead of "my." One mistake in a piece this length would have been easy to overlook. The consistent misuse of words coupled with the weak writing and the telling-not-showing narrative made them impossible to overlook.
The funniest moment came when I thought Steve had two penises and they both had eyes. "His cock sprang free from their confines and stared proudly at me."
I am clearly not a member of this story's target audience. That's okay. The author has a firm grasp of spelling and punctuation, it's just that she could benefit from a beta reader or an editor with a keener eye. Like I mentioned before, the premise is quite promising. I really wanted to like this story. I am willing to suspend my disbelief when it comes to hot sex... but the sex has to be hot. This story did nothing for me.
No, that's not true. It did a few things for me. First, it made me spend a lot of time going, "WTF?" Second, it made me feel scared, nervous, anxious, and insecure about my own writing. Third, it made me swear that I will be more careful about my editing from now on.
So, I guess, in the end, it was a dollar well spent.