xoxo Paperback – 17 Dec 2013
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"Well-composed vignettes with just enough setup provide a little inspiration for the reader who is hopping into bed alone, or for lovers reading aloud to one another to kick off a night together." --Publishers Weekly
"If you're a Kristina Wright fan, this is another lovely collection. If you're just discovering her, then XOXO is a fantastic anthology to start with. No one does erotic romance like Kristina Wright." --City Book Review
"Erotic, romantic, and sweet and saucy!" --Hanging off the Wire
"These tales of sweet sexiness depict a wonderful range of encounters." --Geeky Nymph
"Perfect for an afternoon delight, these are bite-size short stories, with several coming from the genre's best-known writers." --Retail Me Not
"The bite size stories make for a fun pleasurable bedtime story foreplay for kinky readers to get into the mood." --La Crimson Femme
"The stories are a great length for sharing with a partner as an aperitif to some sexy fun. One or two and you'll be ready and raring to go!" --Cara Sutra, reviewed by Victoria Blisse
"This collection of 38 short and sweet stories will both light your heart up and light it on fire." --Books a la Mode
"XOXO: Sweet and Sexy Romance is another fantastic anthology from Cleis Press. Thirty-eight contributions promise something for everyone: Married couples, friends to lovers, reunited lovers, lesbian couples, May-December, interracial couples, kinky sex, and exhibitionism, just to name a few." --Ms. Romantic Reads
"xoxo is the perfect book to share with that special someone." --Networking Witches
"XOXO: Sweet and Sexy Romance is the perfect gift for your lover or even yourself. Packed full of romantic stories with a spicy twist, xoxo is an anthology that's sure to get you in the mood for a romantic evening." --Kink Etc.
"If you want to skip past the soap-opera stories and get right to the juicy stuff, then you should probably pick up Best Erotic Romance, the first anthology to offer stories where the sexual and the romantic are entwined. ... All the stories have an optimistic ending that will leave a song in your heart and a smile on your lips--the passionate, emotional encounters will leave you breathless." --Erotic Readers and Writers Association
"A thought-provoking and entertaining gamut of tales that encompass all stages of romance. A wonderful range of stories that tell erotic tales of new love, the fears accompanying the start of a marriage, pregnancy, stolen moments from child-rearing, the antidote to stagnation in a relationship, the pain of broken dreams and the fear of commitment. A enjoyable reminder that romance and eroticism are synergistic and healthy elements of a relationship." --Night Owl Reviews
"They don't come much more wicked than Kristina Wright." --Erotica Revealed
"Kristina is a phenomenal writer... she has the enviable ability to tell a story and simultaneously excite her readers." --Erotica Readers and Writers Association
"Kristina Wright knows how to spin a yarn that keeps the readercaptivated." --Coffee Time Romance
"Kristina Wright is a gifted writer... [who] shows her talents to tell a powerful story with deft subtlety." --Erotica Readers and Writers
"A budding force to be reckoned with." --The Romance Reader
"She shows how sexy the simple exchange of words can be when in the hands of an accomplished author." --Erotica Readers and Writers Association
"Kristina Wright delivers taut, breakneck pacing with snappy dialogue." --Book Page--Reviews
From the Back Cover
The Ultimate Romance Reader
Sensual, sweet and a little bit spicy, this collection of amorous stories is a romance treasure, filled with fun surprises and unusual twists. Award-winning editor Kristina Wright explains, "I love a good love story, especially when it's one wrapped up in a sexy red bow. Erotic love, the kind that makes your heart beat faster and does exciting things a bit farther south, is what "xoxo" is all about." With over thirty top erotic romance writers, including Sommer Marsden, Kathleen Tudor, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Elizabeth Coldwell, Saskia Walker and Cheyenne Blue, these lustfully literary short stories are meant to tease you and please you. "xoxo" is a veritable candy sampler of delectable delights and inspired ideas to share at home with your sweetie.
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I got a complimentary copy of this book in return for a honest review.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Below, I've spotlighted four exceptional stories that stood out to me. It was hard picking just a few to feature, but I hope they give you a sense of what this anthology is like!
"Anniversary Wrappings" by Kathleen Tudor
A couple's one-year anniversary starts out with a sweet gift that ends in kinky pleasure. The simplicity of this story really made me connect with each of the characters, and the writing is fluid, readable. The scenario isn't outlandish and ridiculous like a porn plot (which isn't uncommon in erotic anthologies), and is a situation you could totally find yourself in in everyday life.
"Dirty Laundry" by Martha Davis
This one is on the more extreme end because of how aggressive the sex is, but it's SUPER hot. It features ultimate alpha male Josh Moran, whom, even when domesticated, has the ability to start a five-alarm fire. Comforting story not only about spontaneous sex, but also about cohabitation, about making even daily household chores like laundry mind-blowing, as long it's with the one you love.
"Night Moves" by Christine d'Abo
When plagued by incomprehensible night terrors, the protagonist turns to the solace of her husband's arms. In this dark, lingering hour of frenzy, fright, and complete need, the two find each other with familiarity and ease, with practiced hands and experienced hearts. I loved the middle-of-the-night sex scene, but it's the beauty of how well a married couple can know and understand each other d'Abo portrays, that really blew me away.
"Wild Naked Bandits Flee the Square Conspiracy" by Nikki Magennis
1. A mediocre costume party—how the night starts off
2. A wild, skintight leggings-clad bandit—how the night becomes interesting
3. And a thrilling escapade—how our night ends
Narrated in a wry, engaging voice that I immediately liked, this story is hardly a romance—it's spur-of-the-moment, fantastical, and even a little eccentric, but oddly enough, that's what makes it so sweepingly romantic. You would not expect an erotic story about a hookup at a party to be so vivid, so entertaining, but Nikki Magennis's characters exude sex, subtlety, and charm that culminate in a very whimsical roleplay. By far my favorite story in the anthology; five stars for being all of smart, playful, and incredibly comical—in the bests of ways—while still provocative.
Pros: High-quality writing // Each story is only 4-6 pages on average, so very easy to get through them // Lots of variety // Perfect blend of sweet and sensual stories with hot and heavy stories // Each story has something incredibly romantic about it; this isn't just about sex // Read "Wild Naked Bandits Flee the Square Conspiracy" if nothing else!
Cons: A few stories that I didn't like that much
Verdict: This collection of 38 short and sweet stories will both light your heart up and light it on fire. Like a Valentine's Day candy sampler, each is delectable and unique; put together, xoxo: Sweet and Sexy Romance makes for a passionate, completely satisfying treat. The range of subjects and storylines is vast, featuring the kinky and vanilla, the sensual and scorching, the routine and spontaneous, the heterosexual and lesbian... so much variety! You definitely won't grow bored with Kristina Wright's latest anthology because there are so many different types of story to keep you entertained, each with special romantic flair that will make you melt.
Rating: 8 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): An engaging read that will be worth your while; highly recommended.
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Cleis!).
My top picks:
Midnight by Emerald – For the past six years, this married couple upholds their kinky tradition to ring in their birthdays. Romantic and very sexy.
By the Sea by Angela R. Sargenti – Wow! This story deserves a medal for hottest sexual encounter on a beach! I think this made the list on quite a few reviews.
Dirty Laundry by Martha Davis – The heroine knows how to manipulate her burly, manly firefighter into doing housework which ends in mutual satisfaction. Hot!
Imagination at Play by Brighton Walsh – A couple fantasizes about a threesome without having to cross that line. Very hot with a dirty talking hero and heroine.
One Hot Wet Night by Veronica Wilde – Two divorcees, a skinny dip and possibly the beginning of a new relationship status. Very sexy read.
Wild Naked Bandits Flee the Square Conspiracy by Nikki Magennis – This was probably the most memorable, even though I have no idea how to sum this up in one sentence. I have no idea if Gabriel was a loon or just really clever at playing one to intrigue a woman. This was engaging, sexy and some parts were hilarious.
Very, Very Well by Kristina Wright – This couple gets kinky in a dressing room. Good introduction to the couple and what they’re into sexually. A very hot and steamy read that didn’t feel rushed. A very nice and satisfying read to end the anthology.
Other very enjoyable stories:
Control by A.J. Lyle – On their wedding night, the groom coaxes his blushing bride into submitting.
Friend of the Court by Kelly Rand – In this May to December romance, Koryn was fine with the secret relationship and casual sex with the hot DA, but now she wants more. Can Craig give her what she wants?
Designated Driver by Heidi Champa – A married couple gets adventurous in this sexy tale when they need to sober up before driving home. How will they pass the time?
Ouch! by Lily K. Cho – Sexy, playful retaliation between lovers.
Eighty Cupcakes by Neve Black – A quick shopping trip turns into foreplay and leads to a hot car tryst. Quick and sweetly sexy.
A.M. Wood by Rosalia Zizzo – After twenty years of marriage, this couple still has it. Sensual.
The Distraction by Louise Hooker – A husband helps his wife take her mind off conceiving difficulties. Sweet and romantic.
Puzzle Pieces by Rachel Kramer Bussel – Bending over a jigsaw puzzle leads to some sexy times for this couple. It’s evident how well they know each other and what works so well for them. They just fit. Sensual and sexy.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. The views and opinions expressed in this review are my own, and in no way represent the views or opinions of the publisher/distributor.