Longing by Jamie K. Schmidt is an erotic romance, intended for readers 18 and older. It is promoted as being perfect for readers of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You. I have not read Bared to You, but I have read FSoG, and was not impressed.
No, when it comes to erotica, my gold standard is Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series. This series is not for the faint of heart, containing scenes with blood play, a sadistic priest and even a hint of incest. I feel Ms. Reisz has set the bar for erotica, and she leaves a lot to live up to.
Longing is the story of Anya, a plus-sized model, and Clint, the incredibly hot dom/stripper/wannabe bar owner. Longing was an interesting take on erotica.
I’ll start by saying that the first chapter really kind of dragged for me. There was a lot of back story dumped, and while the information provided was rather useful, I feel like it could have been given in other ways so as not to have that first chapter drag on the way it did. It was almost enough to make me set the book aside.
But I didn’t, and I’m glad I didn’t. While Longing is not on the same level as the Original Sinners series, it is a nice story. I would say it would be good for the new-to-erotica and new to kink in general reader. There is just enough kink to make it fun, but not so much that it might turn a reader off and turn them away because it’s more than they can handle.
What I found most intriguing and enjoyable about the story, however, was the character of Anya herself. In most erotica, everyone is hot – porn star hot. Hard muscles, firm large breasts, tiny waists and thigh gaps you could drive a big rig through. But Anya is not your typical erotica girl. She’s overweight – and well aware of it. Overly aware of it, in fact, since her agent keeps calling her every morning to ask how much weight she’s lost for a part in a play.
Anya’s issues with her weight add a new dimension to the world of erotica. She reminds us that you don’t have to be a stick figure in order to be beautiful and arousing, or to enjoy hot, amazing sex. But she also gives an intimate view into the head of a woman who is made to feel unattractive, ugly, disgusting or just plain wrong because of her weight. She wavers between believing that the super sexy Clint is truly into her, and wondering what on earth a gorgeous stripper could possibly see in her. We see those moments of doubt when she’s about to get naked with him, when she questions what he’ll think of places that jiggle when they shouldn’t, or when she worries that she’ll crush him beneath her weight – a concern she really probably doesn’t need to have, yet that so many overweight women do think of.
This book was a very enjoyable read for me. I enjoyed getting to know Anya and Clint, seeing their love story unfold and how they got past the many issues that got in their way. The ending was not unexpected, but even though it was somewhat predictable, it was still a very nice ending that I enjoyed.
Overall, this is a book that I would recommend to someone who is just beginning to dip their toe into the world of erotica.
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*I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
You can read my review of Fever, from the Club Inferno series.