Pandora is an American living in Prague with her husband Ty, who has returned to the Czech Republic after the upheavals there to build a business and reclaim a sense of his homeland from the corrupt regime. Running her own lingerie shop, “Pandora’s Box,” was part of the deal for moving, and Pandora finds she’s in love with the “music box” of a city.
There eroticism of Pandora begins from the start – Pandora enthusiastically enjoys sucking her husband, and delights in swallowing him (he drinks Pineapple Juice every day, and has a sweet taste) – but she notices that he’s more in tune with the video he’s watching than with her ministrations. His pillow-bed confession that he has – in the past – enjoyed having sex with two women at once and sometimes fantasizes about doing so with her leaves Pandora a little flustered at first, but the conversation moves on, and she considers forgetting it.
Then Cerise enters her store, and Pandora begins to realize that she has more of a fantasy life than she knew. Cerise is overtly sexual – a private dancer who can cross the lines for the right clients – and stirs something in Pandora for the first time. Before long, the hint of where this is going bears fruit, and then it’s Pandora whispering to her husband of a fantasy or two.
While the background story – Ty trying to achieve permits for his business deals and real estate venture, Pandora running her lingerie shop, and Pandora’s friendship with Cerise – plays out, we follow Pandora and Ty on a journey of sexual experimentation and fantasies realized that progress through any number of partners, combinations, and scenes. The sex is erotic and liquid and well written, though there’s not much beyond mild kink and those who prefer their sex to scorch with toys or submission or dominance won’t find that in Pandora. Pandora’s taste for swallowing is a recurrent theme – and her ability in this area leads her to a wonderfully triumphant moment near the book’s conclusion.
The narrative is enjoyable – I particularly found the sexually omnivorous and carefree Cerise to be a character who sometimes stole the show from Pandora and Ty. Cerise’s ending felt a little rushed and forced, but other than that, there were few moments in the story structure that gave me pause. Likewise, the eroticism is well done – though there are occasional times where terms grew a bit too clinical for my personal taste.
All said, Pandora is enjoyable erotica – at just shy of 200 pages, you’ll feel like you’re zooming through the book – and if it doesn’t do anything exceptionally unique, that isn’t to say it’s flawed in any way. It’s erotic but manages to be gentle to its characters (and reader) even when there are threesomes, foursomes, or moresomes in play. Pandora would be a perfect book to pass to someone dipping their toes into erotica for the first time, and, as Christmas approaches, a good gift for someone in that scenario – there’s enough titillation and frank prose to give a sense of the genre, but nothing so shocking as to startle someone not used to the style and content it generally holds. That might mean that people who’ve read a lot of erotica will find Pandora plays it a little safe, but I enjoyed the softer touch. And it was certainly a welcome change to find women who were taking what they wanted, and not being consistently and constantly submissive. Pandora works with Ty to explore her sexuality – and, most of the time – takes charge of her own path.