SMOLDERING READ: Symphony Amore #bookreview #erotica #musiclovers

I “found” author Jordan Monroe  (“erotica author, nasty woman, and owner of sexy librarian glasses”) on the cyber-ocean late this summer and there are so many amazing things about her I’d like to tell you—but I think the first and most important is that she asks her followers and readers to donate to reproductive health & freedom organizations.

In her words:

“I can’t be a smut writer and a champion of healthy sex positivity without supporting real organizations that support these ideals.”

YES! I’m probably going to steal—er, get inspired by and adapt—this idea.

You will not be surprised that Jordan Monroe is among the hosts of the Consequences AudioBook Blog Tour—hosting Chapter 35, CRASH, on Nov 5.

She’s also the editor of an erotica collection called Symphony Amore: Erotic Stories of Love and Music that’s releasing on Sept 19. After reading some of the pieces on her blog, I sort of begged for an ARC.

I confess to being predisposed to love the collection… because I was already in love with Jordan because of that whole reproductive health champion thing.

But you know that if it sucked or was mediocre I’d tell you, right? Fortunately, it was amazing!

Read on for my review, which focuses on Jordan’s short story, “Brass Trio.”

Symphony Amore: Erotic Stories of Love and Music

edited by Jordan Monroe

Sexy Little Pages, Available Sept 19

Reviewing a short story is even trickier than reviewing a novel, because, well–one ought to evaluate each story on its own, as well as how they work together as a collection, right? And in this case… as a symphony.

So I will focus my review on the short story, “Brass Trio,” by Jordan Monroe, who is also the collection’s editor, because I think Monroe’s approach captures the spirit of most of the other pieces in the collection and makes them… sing in harmony (as a good editor’s vision should).

The first few pages of the story are a description of the trio’s performance, and what Monroe does with language there is absolutely magnificent. She’s describing… a concert, a performance. But really… it’s foreplay. But not… uncouth or unsubtle. It’s just… oh, you know, just read the damn thing. I mean, it’s easy to make blowing a trumpet sound suggestive or dirty. It takes skill to create a mood of seduction with sentences such as “it was easier to get lost during slow pieces than in faster ones” or “[he] maintained the steady pulse with low, warm tones…”

Delish.

Eventually the story progresses into a hot mutual seduction scene (that involves the entire trio of course) and it is, again magnificent.

There’s this one exchange—

“She bit her lower lip, unsure of herself.

“Do you want this?” he whispered.”

—and fuck, you know what? Consent is so fucking sexy. And this is from the woman who has lines like “she only belongs to those who take” (I’m still conflicted about that one, btw) in her prose.

I’m a big fan of sex-positive, woman-positive (human positive!!) erotica that’s… what’s the word I’m looking for… fucking hot. And this piece hits the mark here in so many ways. I won’t quote the really explicit bits—because when you come upon them, I want you to have that feeling of discovery that comes upon a reader when a perfect scene uncurls before her eyes (or a new, unexpected angle of a lover’s body is revealed to her exploring hands…). In between them are lines of emotional insight, tenderness—nervousness and power… I just really, really adored this story.

Oh.

This little sentence. So… innocent…

“We have confirmed that brass players make excellent kissers.”

… so plain, really, or potentially cliche even, right? But the way Monroe places it, leads up to it, follows it… it made my toes curl.

And also, it made me want to seduce a brass player. I don’t think I currently know any. I need to make a list of local concerts to attend…

The other stories in the mix all hit a solid level of well-written, although they vary a bit in their… let’s say effectiveness and impact on this particular reader anyway. Sionna Fox’s “Etudes” is probably my other favourite, and I am now also fantasizing about pianist’s hands and that’s all I’m going to tell you about that one.

I was trying to figure out how to best give you taste of each of the stories, and I decided to give you the line from each that hooked me.

Rhythm of the Dishwasher by Rosalia Zizzio

“The dishwasher continues its percussion, drumming and clanging and banging and occasionally growling like a predatory animal, sounding like a concerto of sorts as well as if grunting in the throes of passion, as if it’s whispering sweet nothings into my ear.”

Crescendo by Charlotte French

This is the first sentence, and OMG:

“It was always about music between him and her, singing in their veins, this symphony of skin agains skin with the bass beat of their hearts drumming between the hitch of their ribs, fitted together like a bow to strings.”

(Also, there’s a cello player in this one. Cello. Like, the sexiest instrument in existence, is it not?)

Beautiful Destruction by Rebecca Chase

‘Yielding her control, she let the music guide everything she did, surrendering her body to the will of the beat.

“You came,” a mousy haired guy called out to her.’

LOL. Love it. She came… to the bar… Chase’s word play in this piece is just fabulous.

Harmonious Variation by Genevieve Chamblee

“Brody has written an amazing symphony, which happens to include several seductive passages. Everyone who has previewed it has gotten horny. … The audience is going to get so turned on that by the end, they won’t even notice you’re nude. Hell, they’ll probably all strip.”

Humour in erotica. It’s a thing, and we need more of it.

Brass Trio by Jordan Monroe

“Veronica focused her tongue into a tight point, landing the staccato notes precisely. Justin maintained the steady pulse with low, warm tones, while Angela’s fingers flew along the trumpet valves.”

OK, I’m already wet. Am I easy? Or is that this good?

Crescendo by Laura Callender

“My hands are insured. It’s quite unusual, but one of my mentors felt I was worth the investment. I have been told I have really great control of them, my fingers especially, which comes in useful at times.”

So you know what I’m waiting for now, right?

Etudes by Sionna Fox

This first sentence just played me:

“Esther was on her knees, ass in the air…”

because it continues with

“reaching into the bowels of the rickety copier to extract yet another jammed sheet when a throat cleared behind her.”

Does it not just set the mood for… well, something dirty? It’s brilliant. The lovers don’t get naked for another few pages, but you’re ready for anything…

Verlagen by Zliabeth Caldwell

“…her music practice seemed to taunt him, reminding him of what he wanted but couldn’t have: the pleasure of seeing her perform without a wall between the two of them.”

Her Fall From Power by Nanisi Barrett D’Arnuk

“She’s a professional dominatrix,” he tried to explain to me. “You should go to her. You’d find out a lot about yourself.”

So—if you’re looking for a gift for the music loving lover in your life… consider this collection.

If you don’t have a music loving lover in your life… get this collection for yourself. But be warned: after you read Symphony Amore, you will want a music loving lover… cellist… pianist… trombone player… collection of several…

Symphony Amore releases Sept 19. Pre-orders now availabe at:

For more information about editor and author Jordan Monroe, check out her blog MISS J MONROE, or 
connect with her on Twitter FacebookAmazon &
Also, do check out Symphony Amore’s publisher, Sexy Little Pages at SexyLittlePages.com:

Sexy Little Pages is a sex-positive publishing venture that supports and promotes independent erotica authors and editors. As a society we’re ashamed of sex and sexuality but we should celebrate it. Sex is an integral part of life, whether it’s fun, filthy, flirtatious, unfulfilling, an escape from reality or something else entirely. Our needs, expectations and fantasies are all different so we aim to publish for everybody and every body, across the whole delicious spectrum of genders, abilities, and desires.

Sometimes, I just love the Internet, and today, I am full of gratitude that I found Jordan Monroe, this anthology, and Sexy Little Pages, in its immense ocean.

Be good, be naughty, be safe!

mjanecolette

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About mjanecolette

Writer. Reader. Angster. Reformed Bohemian (not). Author of the erotic romance Tell Me, the erotic tragedy (with a happy ending) Consequences (of defensive adultery), and the rom-com (she's versatile) Cherry Pie Cure, as well as the non-fiction collection of essays Rough Draft Confessions: not a guide to writing and selling erotica and romance but full of inside inside anyway. Coming in 2018: Text Me, Cupid, a steamy romance in four episodes. Current WiPs: Queer Christmas in Cowtown, Jewel of the Not-So-Spectacular Boobs, All In the Cards, and Un-Valentine. Yes, working on four projects simultaneously is a spectacularly bad idea.

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