I am a HUGE fan of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. Not only because of the rich fantasy setting, the humor or the wisdom that is found in his pages. And lest we forget, the simply marvelous stories he can spin. But, if there is one trademark of his work, it is his love for imperfect characters.
Sam Vimes is married to an overweight woman. Rincewind is a wizard that cannot even spell wizard.
It is very rare that you will read a story where the hero is a hunk of a man with a lavish blonde by his side.
I know that this is unfair to all authors out there, but thanks to Sir Terry, I kind of expect characters that have a flaw, or in the very least, a story that does not always have a set in stone concrete happy ending.
Erotica, as much as I love tales of raunchy adventures, does not always offer me that. Instead, we are "treated" as it where to a lot of stories where everything is very cookie cutter. Man meets Woman. Man and Woman is attracted to each other, and well, we all can see where this is going. It follows a lot down Predictability Lane and goes nowhere.
What I like to read is a bit of an adventure. Yes, a hot sex scene makes the heart go boom. But it does help if there is a bit of tension outside the bedroom as well. Or for that matter, a completely different setting to start things of with.
In all this, Krystina Stevens succeeds. Her short story, Lust and Larceny follows a different path. It starts off with a robbery, does the kinky and then hands you a twist that I have to admit, I did not see coming. It is a very good thing if an author can set you up for one thing but then surprises you, and then have a very good reason for the plot taking the turn it does.
I do not want to elaborate too much on the plot. I hate to spoil a story. But you can rest assured that you will read a very well thought out plot that is masterfully executed in the small space an author has in a short story.
The progression from beginning to end is smart. The chemistry between characters sizzles. The love scene sets fire to the drapes and burns the house down. And if I may, the ending to said love scene is quite well, let's just say it is the right kind of dirty.
Characters got the depth to make them real, and it makes sense to have them in the situation they find themselves in.
I'll admit that I enjoyed Lust and Larceny. Krystina Stevens deserves to be read. If you are considering this book, then go for it. You won't be disappointed.
I am in two minds about this review. I am not a staunch believer in karma, but I have to admit it is a bit weird.
See... this weekend (last night to be exact) a bunch of thieves broke into my garage. Did not steal anything I can see, but still. And now the idea that a thief is the hero of a story...
Okay, let's be honest. I suppose it will be wrong to hold Ms Stevens accountable for the break ins. Unless of course, she is the one doing the break ins. In which case, I do wish she would come in for coffee or something...
But enough of my troubles. Let's get to the story.
Lust and Larceny 2 is obviously the follow up to Last and Larceny, the first short story in the (hopefully) Ariana series of shorts.
Ariana is a thief. And in this little adventure of hers, we find her and her new partner Javier busy redistributing the wealth of Javier's employer.
Mainly, Ariana is redistributing the wealth to herself.
As usual, I am not going to go into detail about the plot itself. It is a short story after all, and I do not want to spoil anything.
Lust and Larceny 2 is not your average short story. As I read the story, I was surprised at the amount of story there was. Yes, it is an account of a single heist. But Krystina Stevens can take that account and elaborate quite a lot. She manages to add to a character, makes me feel like I am getting to know a real life person, bit by bit. And there are not a lot of authors out there that can do that in the confines of a short story.
Any author that writes a follow up to a story faces a potential pitfall. Will the story be as good as the original, or will it falter like most sequels, whether it be a movie or a book? I can say this: Lust and Larceny 2 delivers on what you would expect, but also surprises in other ways.
Krystina has a dirty mind all right. There is enough kink to raise the temperature to scorching hot. Thinking about the final climax... She managed to hit the spot as it is, etching into my mind an image of pure lust and adventurous spirit to keep me, well, satisfied.
She also ends it off well, setting up a possible third chapter in the series.