Walks in Stardust

Walks in Stardust - Lynn Armistead McKee Initial reaction: I have to say that I respect Megan Hart's writing - she has the ability create characters that are rounded and writes steamy, sensuous scenes without mincing words. I definitely liked the first two stories in this collection, but the last one was a complete miss for me. I hope I can explain more in the full review.Full review:People have actually asked me in multiple spectra "Rose, do you read erotica?" My answer used to be "Not really, not usually, but I'll pick up a book of any genre if it engages me and is well written." The latter part of that statement still holds true, but I found as I've grown older and expanded my preferences in variant spectra of literature, I've picked up quite a few erotica titles that really impressed me, so I've perused that genre more than I'd done in the past. The ladies I've had the pleasure of reading (sorry, guys, I haven't read any erotica titles by any gents...yet ;) ) can write their socks off, and Megan Hart is no exception.This is the first collection of short stories that I've read from Megan Hart. "Spice Briefs" is certainly an apt title to describe this group of stories - they're quite steamy and quick reads. The audiobook I listened to was a bit over four hours, and I listened to it over a couple of days. Three stories compose this compilation, and they're of varying degrees of development, and Hart doesn't mince words in the sensuality of her scenes. Yet, I found as I read through them, there were some that appealed to me very much, while others didn't quite engage me.The first story, "This is What I Want" was the story of a female blogger who had no qualms about divulging her sexual fantasies online in expanded entries. Eve Grant works a usual customer service day job, but at night writes on her blog about fellow coworker she fantasizes about. Zoe Hunter narrates the first story and does a great job with the character voice. I actually loved the blog passage incorporation - they were very vivid, and - suffice to say - hot. I think the overarching story was cute, especially considering that Eve entertains an anonymous commenter who intrigues her with his response to her entries. I could see the commenter's identity coming from a mile away, but it was still light to digest and enjoy for the experience. I liked it quite a bit. The second story, "Reason Enough" is a stronger story in its construction - with a fair share of steamy scenes. I was able to connect to the character very well. I didn't know it was an off-shoot of one of Hart's other stories, and I'm likely to check into that at a later time (hopefully review it as well). Suffice to say, the male lead, Dan, is awesome. His chemistry with Elle is amazing and I'll admit I love how he responds to her. The two married lovebirds are considering having a baby of their own and there's a bit of another side story that's nicely developed in the mix of that. I would say this is the strongest story in the collection and it made me wish it were a little longer just to see beyond the scope of what these two characters do in the aftermath.The third story, Layover, actually didn't really do much to click with me. The sex scenes were hot, don't get me wrong, but I didn't really connect with either character. I think for those who were in the flavor for more of the sex and less expanded story (since the premise focuses on two lovers who had a long distance relationship and then collided as a result of a delayed flight), would like this more. I tend to like stories where I have a little bit more of a connection to the characters and this one was problem weaker for me because the characters didn't really leap off the page in the way the previous stories did. And there's a fair bit of dirty talk that made my brows shoot up as I read it, but that's all I'm going to confess about it. :POverall, it's certainly a collection worth reading for those who like well-written erotic stories. I'd recommend it.Overall score: 3/5