Naughty, Naughty
by Susan Johnson, Adrienne Lee, Leandra Logan, and Anne Marie Winston; assorted (1999)
St Martin's Press, $5.99, ISBN 0-312-97174-5


First off, let me suggest to readers-to-be of this anthology to take things slowly. This book has four stories of drop-dead sexy and oblivious women bungling up their pathetic seduction attempts. Four clueless and frigid women being chased by hunks and playing hard to get may be pushing one's quota a little, especially if you, like me, can't take these heroines more than one per sitting. Be prepared to get headaches and nausea if you do attempt to read through all four stories at one go.

Obviously someone has neglected to tell these people in the stories that the most potent sex organ isn't the hero's wee-wee, but the brain.

Of all four, Anne Marie Winston's short story The Maine Attraction is the one with a semblence of readability, but since it's tucked away to the last seventy or so pages, I don't really have the mood to enjoy it as much as I would in other circumstances.

Susan Johnson contributed the sole historical novella, A Tempting Wager where four bored and supposedly jaded noblewomen of the world bet their jewellery on who could seduce the suddenly-celibate Simon Mar, Marquis of Narne and Sex Machine Incomparable. Georgie, our heroine, gets the first go, falls in love after seventy or eighty orgasms, and I can't care less. Halfway through, someone must have told Georgie that heroines must be virtuous because in a blink of an eye the sophisticated society woman has degenerated into a simpering I haven't taken a lover since my husband... *simper* boring twit. Of course, playboy and sex maniac Simon finds such inexperience and innocence sexy and a material for love. Call me suspicious, but any man who loves innocence as much as these sort of men do are closet pedophiles, methinks. Worse, as soon as these intrepid orgasmoheroes exchange love words, the war breaks out and I'm bombarded with Documentary about the War instead of a romantic novella (if the latter is ever one in the first place). Waste of time. Oh, but there's one great line though:

He: Screw politics.

She: After me.

Adrienne Lee's Winner Take All has our heroine Caroll Sydney discovering she's dying of leukemia and seducing bad boy male nymphomaniac Mitch Bohannah so that she gets an orgasm before she expires. Mitch, however, has a bet running that he won't die of testosterone overloading if he doesn't experience a non-self-induced orgasm in say, two months. Too bad he finds inexperience and innocence more potent than anything he can think of. Closet P material alert.

Caroll is the usual sexy-but-refuses-to-believe-it ninny. I don't even want to know about a woman who has to experience a terminal disease before she actually starts looking at men and considering a date. A 25 year old woman! Instead of orgasms, I would prescibe heavy-duty hormone level therapy or a visit to the psychiatrist. Caroll, there's no shame in being a lesbian, honey - have you ever consider that alternative instead of making me, the reader, hurt in the head with your stupid playing-hard-to-get antics? Again, waste of time.

In Leandra Logan's Strangers In The Night, it's the two twit above's clone, this time in the guise of Andrea Donas, wife to abusive control freak. She meets and shag Jack Taylor who then saves her from the abusive marriage she is too ninny to get out on her own. I mean, she should have hired a hitman to off that idiot hubby. Jack is a scum, period, whose Big Secret don't even earn him an eenie weeny castration from Andrea when she finds out - and to me, his Big Secret is unforgivable bcause of his deliberate withholding of information. Gutter spawn and brainless floozie - they deserve each other. Good luck!

The best story is definitely from Anne Marie Winston. The unfortunately predictable librarian - gee, what a surprise - heroine gets stuck in a cabin with a hunk. Hunk sees her for the Beauty she is when she can't, wooes her, beds her, she has low self-esteem, he can't commit... the usual. But these two people talk, which is more than I can say of the other three stories, hence there is a semblence of brainpower behind these two characters. As it is, thanks to the extra effort by the author in padding in some humanity behind the genitalia of the main characters, The Maine Attraction ends up the most sensual and readable - if predictable - read of the four.

One out of four stories that is worth reading. This is the last time I buy a book because of a great washboard on the cover.

Rating: 28


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