Online by Madeleine Taylor is an erotic romance about finding love when and where you least expect it.
Recently divorced, Valerie has discovered a surprising new passion – lesbian erotica. After purchasing The Red Room by accident, she realizes that she has stumbled upon the explicit storytelling of one Sadie London. She’s so enthralled with the book that she starts devouring all the lesbian erotica she can get her hands on and joins a small, online book club where she can discuss her love of the genre with other readers from around the world.
Syd is a tattoo artist from Quebec and a fellow member of the book club. Despite living in Los Angeles, Valerie and her always seem to be online at the same time. Valerie can’t help but be drawn in by Syd’s intriguing profile picture and subtle flirtation. When Syd asks her if she can contact her away from the book club, Valerie is both intrigued and reluctant. She surprises herself when she agrees to message with Syd in real time.
It’s not long before Valerie and Syd discover they click sexually. When Syd invites Valerie to come see her in Quebec, she shocks herself and accepts. Valerie realizes that it’s excessive to get on a flight for someone she really doesn’t know, but her curiosity wins over her grounded sensibilities.
Upon meeting, their connection is electric, and they embark on a journey of sexual discovery. Is their weekend together going to be just what they’d agreed upon – two nights of no strings sex, or will they decide to take things one step further and see if their compatibility is as strong outside of the bedroom?
I love Valerie. She’s the picture of controlled efficiency in her tailored power suits, running a large company. I love her even more when she’s home in her silk robe, nervous with anticipation, awaiting Syd’s phone calls. The novella follows her journey of self-discovery, and I couldn’t help but admire her courage to explore her newfound attraction to women, or in her case, one specific woman. At every turn she throws caution to the wind and just goes with what she wants, not what she thinks she should do. There is a delightfully vulnerable side to her, and her giddiness before she meets Syd each night is enchanting.
Syd is delicious. She isn’t just a sexy, dominant butch. She’s high spirited and mysterious with a touch of devil-may-care about her. She’s ingenious in the way she expresses exactly what’s on her mind without any filter. There’s a tenderness in the way she treats Valerie even when she’s got her tied to the bedposts, riding crop in hand. It would have been very easy to make Syd a one-dimensional character, the catalyst in Valerie’s journey of self-discovery, but Syd is so much more. I’m so glad that Taylor allows the reader to see Syd’s kindhearted nature through Valerie’s eyes.
The Writing Style
The story is told in the first person, present tense which is not so easy to pull off. The book is from Valerie’s point of view and Taylor does a great job letting the reader in on her feelings and insecurities as she discovers a sexual side to her, she never knew existed. It also creates a sense of mystery because we don’t know anything more about Syd than she does.
So, let’s talk about sex. Holy smokes, Taylor mixes things up in Online. I can’t recall ever reading an erotic romance heavily featuring online sex. It all begins as a wonderful tease – flirty emails, seductive messages, the exchange of selfies, naughty gifts, and Facetime sex. The story is off the charts hot before the two women actually meet in the flesh. Once they meet in person, watch out! What begins as raw need quickly turns into a deeply intimate union. As Valerie and Syd explore their sexual boundaries, they develop a mutual trust and intimacy that is downright sweet.
The premise of Online is unique, and I think it resonated with me because I’m such a tremendous book nerd. There’s nothing extraordinary about being part of an online book club. It’s also no stretch of the imagination to imagine being part of a book club solely devoted to lesbian erotica. The fun part is taking this scenario to the next level. The “what ifs” are where the erotic fantasy begins to take hold. What if one of the book club members is attractive, charming, and sexy? What if she initiates a relationship outside the confines of the online club? You can see the possibilities. I doubt I’m the only reader that finds this fantasy appealing. (I’ll never be welcome in an online book club again!)
Nothing from me.
This book was charming. I know that’s not the first adjective that comes to mind for an erotic romance. Don’t get me wrong, the story is packed with incredibly erotic scenes between Valerie and Syd, but beneath it all there is a sweetness that just warmed my heart. The plot is wickedly alluring, but the story is more about Valerie and Syd’s deep bond. There’s a solid romance underneath all that smoldering heat, and I think you’ll enjoy this novella as much as I did. We can chat about it online! (Sorry, I don’t do pics.)
Excerpt from Online by Madeleine Taylor
Initially, I’m shocked by her directness but deep down, it also arouses me. I should have seen this coming, of course. No one starts a flirty exchange without expecting it to turn sexy. I could always tell her I’ve taken it off, she can’t see me after all. But something makes me want to do it, and so I slide the silky fabric off my shoulders, leaving me in the pastel pink lace bra I’ve been wearing all day. ‘It’s off.’
‘I’m going to need proof of that too, I’m afraid.’
I laugh and shake my head. ‘Why would I send a half-naked picture of myself to a stranger? You could do anything with it.’
‘But I won’t. I promise I won’t, so just send me the picture.’
I bite my lip, contemplating her request while heat spreads between my thighs. It’s so not me, but then neither is being a member of a lesbian erotica book club. Knowing I’ll give in—because my body really, really wants this—I take another sip of wine so I can blame it on the alcohol if my picture ends up online. ‘You’d better keep this to yourself, Syd,’…
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-1916265325
Publisher: Lise Gold Books
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