January 16, 2009 | Leave a Comment
ISBN# Digital version: 1-978-1905091-31-7; Print: 1-978-1905091-32-4
Aprx 110-110 pages
Publisher: Logical Lust Publications , will also be available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles, and other online retailers
The world of erotica is a genre over-saturated with cheap bland smut with no more artistic value than what one would pick up in the back room of their local video store. Bittersweet, a collection of short stories by Amber Hipple, is an exception to this rule.
Those expecting poorly written romance, uninspired sex scenes, and fairytale endings should look elsewhere. Bittersweet is just what it promises in the title: a series of stories about passion, love, lust, and angst. There is something malicious flowing forth from every story, a thread of cruelty that flows throughout every page.
The words are more than just a narrative tool, Hipple writes with a definitive prose that seems to be spoken in hushed whisper by some unseen narrator. The stories explore both the joys and sorrows of love and lust, the temptation of forbidden fruit, and the beauty and intimacy of pain.
More interesting is Hipple’s ability to convey passionate scenes of love with minimal description of the acts being performed. On many occassions the actual act of sex is alluded to rather than spelled out. The love scenes are often written between the lines as opposed to graphically spelled out and this is what really sets each tale apart from average erotica.
Bittersweet is a collection of tales filled with sorrow and regret and angst, but each one of them will touch upon your heart. From the playful creulty of “Games” to the violent beauty of “Blood on Snow” to the sorrowful joy of “Fate,” the reader experiences a myriad of conflicting emotions that both saddens and titilates and leaves you begging for more.
There are a few stories that seem tonally to be in the wrong collection and a few like “Games” and “Yellow” that are a bit weak in comparrison with the rest but neither of these factors detract from the enjoyment of the book as a whole.
Ultimately “Bittersweet” is a very satisfying book that is easy to pick up and only really unsatisfying in that it ends.
Reviewed by, Ryan Covey