Eight Kinky Nights Xan West

Eight Kinky Nights: An f/f Chanukah Romance by Xan West is a friends to lovers, contemporary, holiday, erotic romance with heavy kink overtones. But it is also so much more. This book is an incredibly diverse, uplifting, how-to manual on how communication and consent should work in any relationship, not just D/s ones.

Jordan and Leah have been friends for over thirty years and while the attraction between them always lingered under the surface, they never pursued anything beyond that of the platonic. While remaining close friends, both found themselves in long term relationships with other women. However, after her recent divorce, Jordan is ready to make a fresh start and who better to restart life with than her closest friend?

Jordan moves in with Leah excited to begin her new job, meet new friends and to explore a new sexual lifestyle. She has always been interested in the D/s dynamic, but it was never something her ex-wife would consider. Now that she is divorced, she has the freedom to explore this desire, but is nervous about being an older, yet inexperienced dominant.

Leah has been having some recent revelations of her own. An experienced submissive, owner of a sex store, and well-established kink educator, she is now coming to terms with her discovery that she is grey ace and navigating how to incorporate this into her submissive sexual personality.

As Chanukah approaches, Leah has an idea for the perfect gift to give to her dearest friend. Eight kink lessons, one for each night of the holiday with the dual purpose of helping Jordan learn the intricacies of being a dominant, as well as allowing Leah the opportunity to explore consent and grey asexuality as a submissive. What begins as a friendly educational exercise quickly evolves into something deeper as old emotions flare up and wounds from the past are flayed open once again. Can their friendship withstand the emotional turmoil this gift stirs up? Could it be the catalyst that enables it to evolve into something more?

The Characters

So, wow. There is representation aplenty in this book! The story contains a cast of characters that are polyamorous, grey ace, pansexual, Jewish, fat, autistic, non-binary, transgender and those with physical and mental challenges. Each of these characters are explored with such compassion and care.

As for the main characters, I find them both incredibly relatable for different reasons. Jordan is a recently divorced, 49-year-old stone butch. Finally free from a one sided marriage where her needs were not met, where she always felt as though she were a burden, and where she was never able to truly express herself, she has decided to use this time to focus on herself. And that includes exploring her long-inhibited desire to explore the D side of the D/s dynamic. Leah, a 51-year-old submissive femme, is Jordan’s longtime friend and the owner of a kink shop and kink educator. Both women are older. Both women are larger. And both women are autistic. Each have their strengths and flaws and it is a wondrously fulfilling journey watching them sort through their feelings, TALK about them, care for each other and grow together.

The Writing Style

First things first. I love the fact that West has included clear and well-defined content notes at the beginning of the book complete with page references, making it easy to note any sections the reader may wish to skip over. Not only that, they have also included a very detailed glossary which is informative and gives the reader a solid background of terminology before beginning the book as well as just being a fabulous source of information in general. There is also a cast of characters with their preferred pronouns, a soundtrack and movie reference list.

And now the nitty gritty… We get the POV’s of both mains in this story which really helps to understand the benefits of how they communicate, their reactions and coping strategies. The pacing is steady. There is a lot of discussion between the two mains about their feelings and different scenarios, but I don’t feel as though it dragged at all. Instead it provides so much more character depth and intensity to the story. This is a heavy read in many ways, but there are fabulous bits of humour, musicals, movies and delectable descriptions of food that are woven throughout the storyline which break up that heaviness nicely.

The Pros

What do I like most about this book…? Geez it there is just SO MUCH. I mean the representation alone is enough to shout gloriously about this book from the rooftops. But the biggest pro for me is twofold. First and foremost is the focus on personal growth and acceptance. The way the characters discuss, accept and cope with different hardships and traumas (both physical and mental) is refreshing to read and I actually took a few notes on some of their strategies.

Secondly, the focus on communication, consent and expressing your feelings with your partner is outstanding, especially in that is applied to both sides of the D/s dynamic. The way these actions enable a happy and healthy relationship is just beautiful.

The Cons

There is content that could be disturbing to some readers. There is discussion of non-consent scenarios, there are occasions of mental health dilemmas and breakdowns. There is BDSM content, PTSD and other traumas discussed, pain play and many other topics that some readers may want to avoid. As I mentioned before, there is an extensive content warning at the beginning of the book which can also be found on the author’s website. I would recommend checking this out before reading so there aren’t any surprises.

Michelle's Favourite BooksThe Conclusion

If the incredible diversity, body positivity, consent focused interactions and mental health exploration in this book aren’t enough to rush out and read it, there is also some intense D/s content to heat things up. This book really has it all gift wrapped in a lovely package and I highly recommend giving it a read.

Excerpt from Eight Kinky Nights: An f/f Chanukah Romance by Xan West

“You don’t have to go,” Leah said. “Your flight just got in this morning. I know you must be fucking splatted.”

“I want to go,” Jordan insisted. “I’ve never gotten to see you do your thing before. I’ve been dying to, for years.”

Leah curled into a new position on the couch and pushed her long black curls out of her face. It drew Jordan’s attention to the color Leah had dyed her grey streaks this month, and she almost got lost in the bright blue and the way it echoed the tattoo of blue roses that twined from one arm to the other across Leah’s chest. Were the blue streaks perhaps in honor of Chanukah? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. The old Doris Day song began to run through her head. Perhaps Leah was right and she was splatted. Whatever, she still wanted to go to the class.

“Are you sure? It might make you uncomfortable.”

Wait, perhaps Leah didn’t want Jordan to go. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. “Is it me you’re worried about, or are you thinking it might make you uncomfortable?”

“Oh! No, I’ve taught this so many times, I honestly think even if my first girlfriend showed up I wouldn’t blink.”

“Kyra Rabinowitz? Wasn’t she the rabbi’s daughter?”

“Yep.”

“And you wouldn’t blink if she came to your fisting class?”

“Well probably not,” Leah shrugged. “Maybe she could use a little fisting in her life. Many of us could, don’t you think?”

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1676003229
Publisher: Indie author
Xan West Online

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Note: I received a free review copy of Eight Kinky Nights: An f/f Chanukah Romance by Xan West. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

 

I live in Ontario, Canada. If I’m not seeking out my own adventures, I am reveling in the reading of the adventures of others.