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
Threesomes: An AnthologyThreesomes: An Anthology
Edited By: Lori Perkins
Ravenous Romance
September 2009

Reviewed By: Lisabet Sarai

Sometimes I hate being a reviewer. I'd rather just be a reader, with no goal other than self-entertainment and occasional enlightenment. Instead, I'm engaged in ongoing evaluation every time I open a book or a PDF file.  It doesn't matter whether I plan to review the book or not. The critical mindset becomes a habit. These days I can't just read; I have to judge.

When I was still innocent--many years ago, before I began writing reviews--I might well have loved Threesomes. I've always been attracted to the notion of ménage (even before I had the chance to participate in one). I especially like group sex where everyone gets it on with everyone else regardless of gender or ostensible orientation. Threesomes indulges my polymorphously perverse tendencies by serving up pretty much every combination imaginable: gay men who are still not opposed to having sex with a woman, straight women drawn into lesbian embraces or bonds, straight men willing-- no, eager--to bend over and offer their butts to their queer companions in the mini-orgy. Even"straight" male-female interactions take on new spice in the context of additional participants.

I give Ms. Perkins, the editor of this collection, two thumbs up for the variety of its stories. I wish that I could say the same for the quality of the writing.

Of the dozen stories in this anthology, only three stand out for me as both original and well-written. "Center Part" by Hobart Glass offers an intriguing three-way lesbian encounter in which one of the participants is in some sense imaginary. Natalie is seriously in lust with her gorgeous hairdresser Hillary, but still holding a torch for the mysterious Safi who was Natalie's first woman lover. Safi returned to her native Africa and then disappeared, leaving a huge hole in Natalie's life. Hillary manages to conjure Safi to join in Natalie's sexual healing. The result is arousing and erotic in the truest sense of the word, as rich with the ache of desire as with its fulfillment.

 Cynthia Genty's contribution "Just Friends" is fascinating because of the complex relationships between its characters.  "Back when Matt and I were trying to be lovers, he used to talk dirty to me on the phone," Ms. Gentry's tale begins. Matt and the narrator have a powerful sexual connection, but personality and circumstances become obstacles too serious to overcome. They decide to be just friends, but when they meet for a seemingly casual drink, the narrator discovers that Matt still recalls her fantasies and is eager to fulfill them. There's no happily ever after, though--at least not for her and Matt.

The third gem in this anthology is Kilt Kilpatrick's hilarious "Later, Day Saints":

I know, I know, this is the part where I go straight to hell. But can you honestly blame me? Are you trying to tell me you wouldn't have done the same thing in my place? Bitch, you are such a liar!

So listen, there I am, minding my business in the Swinging Bachelorette Pad. I should have been working on my term paper, but I was still collating my data and letting the outline marinate a while. Get off my case already, that's my process, and you have to respect that, right?

I was giggling already, but my amusement turned to awe as I watched how the narrator systematically seduces and corrupts the two (extremely cute) Mormon missionaries who show up at her door.  Actually, this is not the first story I've read based on this premise. (The other was equally good, but the main character was different enough that this seemed original.) The sexual shenanigans that ensue are playful but intense, cleverly skirting the edge of parody without stepping over.

Moving from the special to the adequate,  Em Brown's "And Damian Makes Four" and Brit M.'s "Two Men and a Lady Prequel" are competently composed stroke fiction, replete with sexual activities but with little plot or point. Readers whose main interest is arousal will probably enjoy them.

The remaining stories in the collection are hackneyed, badly written, or both. As a policy, I don't mention the names of stories that I rate negatively. I'm an author myself, and I know how much that would hurt. Suffice it to say that the other offerings in Threesomes ranged from the implausible and incoherent fantasy scenarios buried in purple prose, to painfully amateurish efforts that read like offerings on a free "true confessions" website. (Sorry but I don't consider references to a woman's "rack" and "jugs" to be at all erotic.) In one case, I debated whether the story was intended to be tongue-in-cheek, a clever imitation of some vintage tale from the days of the newsgroups. I decided, alas, that this was not the case.

Group sex is a potent fantasy, and this book tries to tap into that erotic potential. It succeeds only occasionally. One might ask whether a few noteworthy tales might be enough to save a book. However, I've read some anthologies lately in which almost every story was exceptional. Those books set the bar pretty high.

As I said, unless you're snarky by nature, it's no fun being a reviewer. Readers less particular than I might get off on Threesomes, but I can't really recommend it.