Title: A Perfect Dream
Author Name: Raven J. Spencer
Publication Date & Length: June 22, 2014 – 48 pgs
Sex and politics can be an explosive combination. Beatrice, wife to a conservative lobbyist, can’t imagine being out in the open about her preferences and orientation, but lucky for her, there’s A Perfect Dream. Secret parties that only the privileged have access to fulfill every fantasy and need she can think of. Beatrice didn’t count in meeting Sage, a woman who not only satisfies her in every way, but challenges everything Beatrice has believed about herself so far.
I was given an ARC of A Perfect Dream for an honest review.
I read A Perfect Dream in a few hours, following the storyline of one character, Bea, as she discovered herself through a lot time of repressing it. I’m rating this book at three and a half stars mostly because it didn’t wow me. It’s difficult to wow with erotica in such a short space of time, but I was impressed with the writing and story line.
This novella has quite a bit of sex in it, as one can imagine, it is erotica after all. It’s an interesting premise, the “Gay for You” trope turned into “Out for You” and it definitely works in this piece. Raven takes a character who most would assume to be unlikable and gives her a story that makes her likeable.
This rating is a 3.5 because I felt the erotic scenes could have been better, more sensual, more sexy and spicy. They seemed fairly vanilla for a woman going to a sex club. Even though the character wanted to try all different sex acts when she went to the club, she did not, and it turned out, she was much more comfortable with what she knew. Most women these days, however, know what a vibrator with clit stim looks like and how to use one—so Bea not knowing where certain parts went was a bit unbelievable to me, particularly if it was not her first visit to A Perfect Dream.
The writing was great. My only issue was in the beginning when it would switch from third person to second person. I think the story would have been a lot stronger and better if the author had stayed in third person and described everything from Bea’s POV. It would have also allowed the reader to get into her head more quickly. There were only a few grammatical issues I found (and… I’m picky about grammatical issues, so this is a HUGE compliment).
This book was good for a quick read late at night. I would definitely read another from Raven.
A Perfect Dream by Raven J Spencer is a short story about Beatrice, the wife of a conservative politician who spends time at A Perfect Dream with Piper, the woman with whom she is having an affair. A Perfect Dream is exclusive, expensive, discreet, and offers almost anything Beatrice can imagine. On one of the weekend get-a-ways, she meets Sage, the woman of her dreams, who turns out to be more than meets the eye.
I was excited about reading this story because it seemed like it had a lot of potential. The premise is strong, with a lot of possibilities and room for growth and I was excited to see where Spencer took it. So, first, the good:
The writing is well done. There are a few stray commas here and there, and a few odd word choices, but overall, it’s well written. Better than a lot of things available on the market, and it’s highly readable. It’s also a quick read. This took me less than an hour to get through. Lastly, it’s a completely self-contained story. No cliff-hangers here. You get a beginning, middle, and an end where everything is wrapped up.
Second, the meh: Let’s talk about the sex. This is supposed to be an erotica. The majority of the story takes place at a resort where the whole point of going is to have sex with as many people as you want in as many ways as possible. There is actually not a ton of explicit content in this book. Some readers will prefer the softer descriptions and having things left up to the imagination. However, for me, I would have preferred to have had fewer more descriptive and explicit sex scenes than what we got. This just didn’t seem like erotica to me. It’s erotica-lite.
Also a meh is the plot. It’s an interesting plot and I’d have liked to have seen more done with it. At 48 pages, this is getting almost into novella territory and if the author had taken some time to give more development to the plot twist with Sage(which was totally out of left field, by the way. Seriously, some foreshadowing would be good) it would have felt more complete to me.
Now for the bad: The beginning is not good. I had a hard time getting past it. There is a lot of exposition in this story and it detracts from the plot and the movement of the story. It feels like Spencer gets lost in the minutia of the details in some places and in others she doesn’t give some very needed descriptions about the surroundings. Also, just a minor thing, but there are apparently a hundred bathrooms in A Perfect Dream. Character development gets lost here, too, and some of the characters feel a little one-dimensional.
The bottom line: I think it’s worth a read. I don’t feel like it was a waste of my time, but I’ve read better, and I don’t feel like this is erotica. Spencer has good writing skills and the plot had promise but it needs developing. I would be much more interested in this as a novella or a full-length novel. She’s tried to cram too much into a short-story and lost a lot of the elements I like to see in order to feel satisfied after finishing a story.
Rating: Three Stars
Raven J. Spencer, lesbian, married, loves everything sensual and indulgent which led her to write erotic romance and fantasies. When she’s not writing, you can often find her on Pinterest in the pursuit of inspiration.
Author’s Website: http://ravenspencer.blogspot.ca/