The Things That Make Me Give In
A collection of fifteen short stories by erotica author Charlotte Stein.

Because I Made You So is about a student who attends classes on romance writing. The professor isn't hot but he's charismatic, and when the student accidentally hands in some of her erotica with her homework, she's mortified. After class, the professor shows her just how powerful words can be.

Spying is the story of a woman who sees her handsome neighbour naked and touching himself one night. She looks out for him again, and witnesses him in bed with two girls. He knows she's watching, and they start leaving notes for each other, encouraging one another to act out their fantasies-but soon they want more from their odd relationship.

Lessons is a story with a twist, in which tutor Lacey is surprised by her two students Brett and Steve. They use her body and give her pleasure, but it's the mind games that turn Lacey on rather than the sex.

In Yes/, Lois and her lover Todd take turns acting out fantasies. Lois wants Todd to pretend he's a stranger creeping into her bedroom. This leads to other games throughout the day.

Dirty Disgusting You is about a woman who has the most handsome husband ever, but she prefers to go to bed with his ordinary, scruffy-looking best friend, Colin, who makes her feel alive and excited-but what will happen when her husband finds out?

In Her Father Disapproves, Lita is on holiday with her parents and gets the hots for her dad's best friend. She plans to seduce him, but things don't quite go to plan. Eventually Lita has her way, but what will her dad say?

For You is the confession of a nurse who fell in love with her patient, a man who was awaiting a heart transplant. She sits by his bed and he tells her sensual stories, and she knows he's casting her as his heroine. Through the stories he asks her to wait for him, even though she's terrified he may die during the surgery.

In Just Be Good, Starla wants to live out a fantasy involving the sheriff, but a new sheriff comes to town, and instead of changing her plans, she goes ahead and finds that she's bitten off more than she can chew.

Phoned In is a clever story about a relationship between two friends, Olive and Roy, conducted entirely over the phone. Things heat up between them when Olive starts writing true life confession stories for a magazine. She reads them on the phone for Roy to critique, little realising that their relationship is about to change forever...

In /Yes, we return to couple Lois and Todd. This time, it's Todd's turn to decide on the fantasy, and he wants Lois to go about her household chores naked. His appreciation of her body makes Lois feel good.

Sometime Soon is about a woman who loves having low-down and dirty sex with a sweaty, arrogant mechanic-the twist is that he's her lover and she's afraid that once they settle down, she'll crave that high of raunchy sex elsewhere.

Different On The Inside has Una, a shy woman, attending a house party and playing a silly hide and seek game. She's attracted to fellow guest Gabe, though she can't work him out, and they leave the conventional party and play their own games together to celebrate their differences.

In All Ways, former soldier Jamie is a haunted man. He's been through hell on active duty and he doesn't trust himself with anyone, let alone a lover, fearful of hurting or even killing them. Kes used to date Jamie a long time ago, and now she thinks she can help him heal-but first she needs to get him into bed.

Toby Hood Tastes Candy is a quirky spin on the Little Red Riding Hood story. Toby's car breaks down on the way to his grandmother's house, and in the woods he's accosted by a strange woman called Wendy. She seduces him in his grandmother's bed, spinning a web of confusion and fantasy, until Toby's grandmother turns up with a shotgun and sends Wendy fleeing into the forest.

Finally, The Things That Make Me Give In is a woman's confession of the little things of each of her lovers that affected her the most deeply, from the way he made love to her to the colour of his eyes, the way he spoke Russian, or the way he made her laugh.

This collection of stories contains some of the most incredible, varied, passionate, and vivid erotica I've ever had the pleasure of reading. It's not simply porn, either-there's a lot of intellect and emotion in these stories, and many of them twist and turn, presenting a sting in the tail (or tale). Ordinary lovers are made extraordinary and vice versa, and Charlotte Stein shows us the beauty in the mundane and the dirty. The Things That Make Me Give In is a stunning collection-I can't recommend this highly enough. Simply amazing.

Reviewed by: Maija

Maija