All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica, edited by R.G. Emanuelle and Andi Marquette, is an outstanding collection of stories that revolve around food. With the entries ranging from sweetly tame to ghost chili hot (see what I did there?), there’s something for everyone here.
Because these are all short stories, there isn’t a chance to get to know any of them particularly well. That said, the characters are drawn well enough to make you want to read each story all the way to the end. There are first meetings, women who are newly dating, friends who become lovers, and established relationships.
At least a couple of the stories feature characters that make appearances elsewhere. Notably, Jove Belle’s Kelly and Elana from Cake appear in the story “Vanilla Extract.” If you’ve read our review, you know how much I love those characters.
The Writing Style
This is one of the few short story collections where I can say that the writing is consistently great across the board. Usually I’ll pick one up and have a couple of stories I love, a couple I hate, and then a range in between. Not the case here, where the range is between stories I like and stories I love.
The stories are collected by heat level: tamer stories are in the Appetizers section, moderately hot stories in the Entrees, and holy hot damn stories are in the Dessert section (um, Yvonne Heidt, wow—just, wow). I’m not going to bother naming favourites, because it would basically be most of the book.
Collecting the stories by heat level is genius, because it allows people to read only what’s likely to work for them. They’re also ordered well so that there’s a good flow from one story to the next. Special shoutout to R.G. Emanuelle for perfectly working the word “umami” into a sex scene.
Also, what a list of authors! All You Can Eat has stories by Ashley Bartlett, Historia, Jae, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Cheyenne Blue, Karis Walsh, Victoria Oldham, Cheri Crystal, Andi Marquette, Jove Belle, R.G. Emanuelle, Sacchi Green, and Yvonne Heidt.
Okay, this might just be me, but I don’t like reading about food being involved in sex, especially sugary food (I always imagine a trip to the doctor later). Thankfully it wasn’t in most of the stories, but there were two and both times I was cringing for those women.
If you’re looking for a consistently fantastic short story anthology, look no further. All You Can Eat is the perfect book to savour.
Excerpt from All You Can Eat edited by RG Emanuelle and Andi Marquette
“You can do macaroni and cheese, right?”
“Of course.” On a good day, at least.
“Good. Then we’ll do that.”
“Uh, I don’t think that will impress Alexandra.”
Remy patted my hand. “Don’t worry. My version will. We’re making zucchini pasta alla panna.” Familiar with where I kept things in my kitchen, she opened one of the cupboards and took out my kiss-the-cook apron. When she turned toward the counter and tied the apron strings around her waist, I couldn’t help noticing what a fine behind she had.
Overweight, my ass. Or rather, her ass. I tore my gaze away. Christ, what was wrong with me? I hadn’t ogled her ass—or any other of her body parts—for a long time. When I first met her, I’d felt an instant spark of attraction, but we’d both been in relationships back then, and as time went by, I’d learned to see her as Remy, the most loyal friend in the world, not a potential flavor of the month, as Remy called my usually short-lived relationships.
I didn’t want to ruin the best friendship I’d ever had, so I had to remind myself that Remy wasn’t on the menu today. Or on any other day, for that matter.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9783955332242
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing