This book is a nice little erotic diversion from the Nexus Enthusiast imprint, "the last word in fetish." These are thorough adult fiction professionals, even offering a four-page questionnaire at the back of the book where you can tell them all about the kind of content you'd like to see in the next Nexus offering, in multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank. Essentially you provide the plot, setting and fetish details, and the last question is the title you'd like your creation to have. Pretty cool.
Refreshingly, this book was pretty well done, with none of the massive editing and proofing errors I've seen in almost all other adult fiction. There were a couple of holes, a bit of discontinuity, a few mistakes, but nothing major.
Well, this book does deliver on its title. There is no doubt about that. One guy gets a sweet '78 Charger for his wife, and the other guy gets a chain saw and a new hunting rifle. No, not really. The approach is not one of men as owners and their wives as property being handed about. The women are equal partners, highly empowered, making their own choices and taking their own actions.
Synopsis: Everybody makes it with everybody else, and a great deal of raw erotic pleasure is had.
The setting is the UK, in the present day. Swingers Lisa and Johnny are the equivalent of the adult homecoming king and queen of their area, young and smart and successful and so ever so mind-shatteringly hot, with a number of happy years on the local swinging circuit. They trust and love each other completely, so much so that they'd never deny the other the sweet delight of getting it on with anyone else they'd like to. And they both do, ever so much.
Then there's Mark and Anne. They're young and successful and really hot, too--go figure. They've been interested in swinging for some time, but just haven't had the courage to actually take that first fateful step inside. Johnny and Lisa just happen to be next-door neighbors, and things just go from there. And go and go and go.
I was surprised to read how Mark and Anne were hesitant and apprehensive, having actually thought this through, and are insecure, unsure of where this will lead, and if their egos and jealousies will be able to handle it. There is no deep or distractive melodrama here, but it was refreshing to see that extra little depth of character (especially for a reader whose jealousy and doubts could never handle this kind of thing). Taking a further, positive step, our protagonists Johnny and Lisa are actually swingers with an ethical approach, at first not jumping straight into Mark's and Anne's pants, not until all four of them are genuinely sure that they are aware of what's going down, and that they are all fully willing. After, Anne actually feels guilty over her unequivocal enjoyment of her adventurism, having difficulty reconciling her upbringing/society's wider constrictive mores with her purely positive recent experiences. Of course, a brief soliloquy on prudism and the tyranny of others' hypocrisy (the only preaching in the book), and Anne naturally no longer feels herself dirty, wanton, or bad, and it's off to the climactic orgy.
There's a wide variation of what Black Adder called "rumpy-pumpy," with all of the standard variations. There's an under-the-table bit in a lunchtime restaurant, a daisy chain, some phone sex, and a bit of cyber sex. There's a bit of bondage, some spanking and even a relatively intense double whipping, with some other, ah, devices thrown in. The vast bulk of the action is hetero, some of it with three-plus partners. There is a bit of lesbian action, but absolutely no gay male; the male characters bristle at even the hint of it.
There is an evil adversary who must be overcome, and good and virtue and rampant sexual abandon win out in the end, of course. By the end it appears our two couples may actually have found the equivalent of a couple-soul mate, folks they genuinely like as people, but whom they also can @%2*# the heck out of whenever the mood strikes. Everybody digs everybody else, and they apparently are genuinely happy with each other.
The subtitle of the book is "epic journey," but there is no cast of thousands; it's more like a cast of ten. All of the action in this book takes place in about ten days, and the number of encounters these people go through in that time is beyond impressive, it's positively Herculean. I'm a sad and repressed rank novice compared to these folks, so maybe they are primed and prepared sexual Olympians; I figured they'd be so sore they wouldn't even be able to walk after the frequency and intensity of the physical escapades they share in this short period of time.
Bottom line: There is no mistaking what you'll get with this book, and it delivered just fine, with an unexpected depth of character and just a little bit of non-preachy rationalization. The story moved quickly, with lots of promised and varied boinky-boinky, and did not bog down with non-essential details.