Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
By: Annabeth Leong
Sweetmeats Press
ISBN: 190918179X
September 2014

Reviewed By: Sacchi Green

In Untouched, Annabeth Leong may have written the hottest book you’ve ever read, with the height of sexual tension, at least for those who can appreciate the pleasures of the female body being vividly presented by a female viewpoint. There are male-centered pleasures, too, but the central character Celia is always the one who observes, describes, and usually inspires the hot and heavy scenes that make up pretty much the whole book. Celia is always in control of the narrative, even though much of the story is driven by her feelings of self-doubt and lack of control.

As the title indicates, touch is at the core of the story. Celia can’t bear to be touched, except by herself, even though she’s intensely turned on by being watched as she expertly and creatively pleasures herself. Her panic at the thought of being touched by any living thing, even grass, might be thought of as pathological, but as the story progresses the central point becomes her passionate desire to be accepted just as she is, to be admired and desired for what she can offer, without a lover pressing her for more or being disappointed by what she can’t offer.

A woman in a nearly constant state of arousal could seem like a ploy in a cheap porn film. Celia goes about, even at work, with sex toys imbedded where they’ll provide the most stimulation, and she allows (with insincere protests) a former and quite naturally frustrated lover to post photos online of her in every possible phase of masturbation. But there’s a great deal more than that going on in this book. Celia has been shamed and hurt and made to feel guilty and worthless because of her inability to be “normal,” and her journey to accept herself as well as to find acceptance is the central theme of the story.

Celia craves love and connection on her own terms, and finds these things to some extent with Eli, who responds to her detailed classified ad. But that’s only the beginning. With Eli, Celia gains insights, and a degree of confidence, and eventually a sense of connection so close to actual touching that she can sense the heat of the body that she can’t quite touch.

Two scenes at private sex parties are high points, first when Celia is masturbating with an audience and Eli, being fucked by several women at once, is looking only at Celia. “There was no doubt in Celia’s mind that she and Eli were connected. They were fucking each other right now, even if most people wouldn’t have realized that. It was obvious to her in every line of his face, in the way he couldn’t take his eyes off her. She knew that her gaze made this moment possible for him, just as his did for her.”

At the second party, Celia gives such a bravura solo performance that her voyeurs are awestruck, and women beg her to tell them how she achieves such stupendous orgasms. Her confidence grows, and in another encounter, when she and Eli pick up an appealing woman in a bar and Celia gets to direct the other two through a night of steamy sex, she realizes the powerful effect of being in control. All these things bring her closer to being able to overcome her fears, but they don’t change her deep-rooted need to be accepted for the way she is without any expectation of change.

Celia is appealing enough that I rooted for her to get exactly what she wanted, even while I couldn’t suppress a feeling that it wouldn’t really be good for her. Her story is pretty clearly intended to be symbolic of anyone’s divergence from the norms enforced by our culture, the pain they feel at being despised, and their longing to be able to go their own way without pressure to change.    

Another character weaves in and out of the story, Marie, Celia’s former almost-lover. Near the beginning she appears to play the role of the villain, and later developments confuse the issue. Toward the end an extended dialog of what could be termed “processing” slows the flow of the narrative, in contrast to the otherwise well-written prose, but that may just be a matter of my own perception.

All this doesn’t do justice to the complexity of Untouched, so you’ll have to search out the subtler aspects for yourself, but you can be sure that the explicit, inventive, no-holds-barred sex will make it a stimulating journey of discovery.