The Wanderer
by Crystal Jordan, futuristic (2010)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60928-031-4


In 2012, the world decided to act funny, great disasters struck - hey, didn't they make a movie about this recently? - and only a couple of strong men survived. Women and children died because they had no sequel value in the romance genre. Wait, some women survive, and due to the limited numbers of women available to repopulate the world, they are now categorized into four neat labels. This short story deals with a Wanderer, a loose canon woman who doesn't fall into the other three categories (Breeder, Whore, and Priestess) maybe because her vagina isn't special, holy, or valuable enough.

Of course, Kadira wants it bad. When she spies Ezra boinking some woman alongside another man - a poor woman must learn to service several guys at one go, clearly, in these trying times - she wants him bad. The Rite of Spring is here, a time when Wanderers literally and happily lie down and spread their legs wide, but Kadira refuses to put out unless it's on her own terms. Besides, she's a Clan Shaman and therefore she can't become the happy piñatat of love.

Ezra, unsatisfied with his orgy of sodomy and rogering because it isn't really happy hour until he's had Kadira, offers her Clan enough fuel to convince them to give her to him for the three remaining weeks of the Rite. Of course, she will fall in love with him during the time while he's already in love with her.

Initially I was convinced that this story is going to be one of those cheesy space barbarian smut stories, but once the author has Ezra and Kadira settled down for a one-on-one, the story improves tremendously. All the orgy stuff at the stuff serves as nothing more than gratuitous smut to allow this story to qualify as an erotic romance. I personally find the smut too over-the-top to be sexy. But once the two main characters have plenty of quiet time, their chemistry and love story sizzle as much as the short story format will allow.

I'd have to deduct some points from the final score for the cheesy and cartoon-like smutty start of this story and the ridiculous cheese that is the entire premise, but I have to say, the end result is a pretty satisfying love story all the same. The limitations of a short story do apply here, of course.

Rating: 82


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