Authors
Alexandros
Carmine
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
One Breath At A TimeOne Breath At A Time
By: Gwen Masters
Virgin Black Lace
ISBN: 0352341637
March, 2008





Reviewed By: Ashley Lister

I shouldn’t really read romantic novels. It’s not because the genre is usually prohibited by Erotica Revealed’s review policy. I’m a rebel who can read what the hell I like (and, of course, I asked DLK’s permission first). I shouldn’t read romantic novels because, sometimes, my manly tears can be so strong they make my contact lenses come out.

And One Breath At A Time is, first and foremost, a romantic novel.

However, cast aside your assumptions and presuppositions about the “prohibited genre” and settle back into the sultry world of passion and punishment that Gwen Masters has created. One Breath At A Time is the simple story of what happens when boy meets girl. However, Gwen Masters is a gifted mistress of erotic storytelling and the simple idea of boy meets girl becomes something extremely powerful in her skilled and capable hands.

Kelley, the story’s heroine, encounters Tom in the first chapter. Tom is hot and Kelley finds him irresistible. The fact that his kinky tastes match her own deviant appetites means that this is a marriage made in heaven. The blossoming couple soon discover that their unconventional tastes are perfectly suited.

(I should make a note here that I’m not frowning on kinkiness. I have been accused of being kinky in the past and I have never seen it as being a slur. The truth is, I was once with a partner, we were having vigorous sex in a vaguely unconventional position, and she said to me: “You’re a sick and depraved individual.”

I said, “Wow! A talking sheep!”

However, that incident has nothing to do with this review or Gwen Masters’ excellent novel!)

One Breath At A Time is a deftly told story. The heroine and hero are painted as believable people. Both of them come to the story with their own personal baggage and the plot develops as they grow closer together and grow further from the pasts they are each leaving behind. It isn’t easy for either of them. But their adventures in the bedroom (and the kitchen and the wilderness, and the gym etc.) help cushion the problems they face in building a new life.

Without wanting to give too much away, Kelley has a natural tendency to be submissive while Tom is more naturally dominant. This aspect of their relationship is boldly foregrounded when Tom rides Kelley roughshod across a picnic table shortly after their first meeting. The theme of dominance and submission is later expanded on with a variety of paddles, whips, floggers and a cat o’nine tails.

Except, like it is in real life, the powerplay between this couple isn’t quite so neatly defined. Kelley is certainly submissive for Tom – but she is also sufficiently confident to make her own demands and occasionally hold the relationship’s reins.

After the delicious scenes of her submission to Tom, and the exquisitely written elements of her sexual punishment, I have to admit one of my favourite parts of this book came from Kelley taunting her eager soul-mate about the prospect of a potential threesome.

Not that a book of this strength can be reduced to a series of favourite scenes. Meeting Tom and Kelley, watching them grow together and stretch each other’s boundaries, was a total experience rather than a collection of cumulative encounters.

Did it make me weep? A good romance doesn’t always have to be a tear-jerker. Admittedly, I had a box of tissues close at hand while I was reading, but they weren’t there for tear-jerking. Overall, I have to admit that One Breath At A Time was a satisfying love story, beautifully told, and with some powerful, passionate (kinky and clever) sex.

Of course I shouldn’t have been surprised by the quality of Gwen Master’s novel writing. I’ve been a big fan of Gwen’s short fiction for ages now. Her "Confession" in He’s on Top, is a wonderful portrayal of a realistic couple dealing with a new way to overcome the ennui of a staid marriage. "The Craziest Thing," in Hide and Seek is another example of how Gwen is able to take real people and present them in erotic circumstances that defy the dull and dreary conventions of vanilla relationships. ("The Craziest Thing" is reprinted in J is for Jealousy).

Seriously, if you’ve not encountered Gwen Masters’ writing before it’s time to broaden your horizons and get to grips with a man who knows his own mind and a woman who minds her own man. And One Breath At A Time is just the place to make that acquaintance.

Personally, I think One Breath At A Time, with its strength, passion, credibility and sexual ingenuity, is how every contemporary romance should be written. Kelley and Tom are presented as living breathing human beings. Their appetites defy normal conventions (but the same can probably be said for the majority of people reading this review). Kelley likes Tom to play rough – and he can. Kelley doesn’t mind having ties, toys or Tom’s friend in the bedroom. The variations on the familiar theme of sexual pleasure are all used to enhance their relationship. As this story’s focus is fixed on a burgeoning romance, it makes sense that the couple’s appreciation for alternative satisfaction is central to the plot.

If you’re looking for well-written fiction, that dares to venture into the edgy world of extreme sex, you can’t get much better than Gwen Masters and you can easily get there with One Breath At A Time.