Pros: The stories do an excellent job of showcasing people’s reactions to each other in steamy situations.
Cons: The voices of the protagonists feel at times as if they blend together.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
Madame B has once again opened up her store of sensual stories collected from women to bring us the second volume in her Notebooks trilogy: Ecstasy. And indeed, the women in this book find ecstasy, whether in the embrace of a construction worker or a roommate, or even a stranger met at a party. There are lots of hidden opportunities for erotic encounters, and these are the secret stories of women unafraid to reach for ecstasy in whatever form they might find it…
I wasn’t sure after reading the first volume of Madame B’s Notebooks, “Desire”, whether or not I’d enjoy the rest of the series. I’ve got to admit, though, that I’m glad that I kept going. The Notebooks of Madame B: Ecstasy allows the reader to experience not only the sexuality of the protagonists (again all women) but also the responses of their partners. If you are the type of reader that enjoys watching characters react to each other in erotic situations, then you’ll likely find at least one story to enjoy out of this collection.
Just as with the last book, it’s best to keep an open mind, because this book encompasses a variety of encounters, from sex at a massage parlor to sex on the hood of a car, to mixing urine and sex. That last story was something that I’d never before encountered in erotic literature, and I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d like it, but I kept reading. I’m actually glad that I did; the author’s skill is such that while I didn’t find the idea of that kind of play appealing, from the characters and their actions and reactions I can understand better now why it would appeal to some people. There is a good deal of sensitivity towards unusual sexualities present, which made it much easier to enter into stories of unfamiliar erotic situations.
There was one thing that did detract a bit from my enjoyment of the book. The individual perspectives of the female protagonists began to blend together for me, and after a bit it wasn’t always easy to distinguish between one or the other. A good deal of that probably comes from the format of the book; short stories don’t always leave a lot of room for character development, but I couldn’t help wishing for one or two completely unique details to get to know each girl just a bit better.
Despite some of the characters feeling a little flat, this was a fun book full of sexy vignettes. Readers, by themselves or sharing with someone special, are treated to some steamy depictions of people embracing their sexuality. Even though some of the sexualities brought up in the book might not appeal to everybody, the author has written with sensitivity as opposed to sensationalism, making it somewhat less frightening to try out a story that deals with something new. “Madame B: Ecstasy” is a fun, sexy romp through pages and bedsheets, well worth picking up if you’re looking for bite-sized pieces of erotic literature.