RIPE | Matt’s Smut Vault

Welcome back to the warm confines of the Smut Vault! When you read this sort of thing on a weekly basis, you run into certain words a little more often than others. While the thesaurus entry for “penis” is the most common, the more subtle variants of erotic scene writing are the most intriguing to me. For my money, the way a character’s libido is expressed, or the way the curves of a body are described can make or break an up-and-coming erotica writer. Today’s author takes us on a journey of uncommon adjectives and adverbs in a setting that’s comfortable and familiar. Sound good to you? I’ll swing the double steel doors wide for you, as this one might be one that requires some extra ventilation.

RIPE: A Steamy Romance Novel by Sienna Shaw introduces us to Alice, staring herself down in the mirror before a big blind date. Alice is a woman of a certain age, and LONG overdue to get back into the fabulous world of skin to skin contact. The old-world (and very unfair) term to describe a woman like Alice is symbolized not only by the story’s title, but in the way she describes the particulars of her own anatomy. Yes, Alice is indeed “ripe.” I’ve never been a fan of the term, as it implies there’s soon to be a time of spoilage, but since she is buoyed by the support of Alice’s teenage children and her burgeoning business prospects, I’m down for the comparison. Anyway, Alice is dressing on the ever-greyed lines of “risque” and “professional” as she’s got not only the aforementioned blind date, but a swanky real estate showing to give in downtown Miami just before it. Alice looks like a total 10 tonight, which is a shame because as she gets to the penthouse suite for phase one, her date cancels on her at the last minute. Wow, his loss right? The blind date might be missing out on more than he ever knew, as the man that’s just arrived to look at the penthouse seems a little more interested than just learning about the square footage. Henry is rich, handsome, and suddenly alone with Alice in the nicest apartment in all of beautiful Miami. Gee if this wasn’t erotica I wouldn’t be sure what would happen next. But thanks to the author’s level of self-awareness, it’s definitely going to be an entertaining ride.

Needless to say, the foundation that’s been laid here is the archetypical pornographic romp between a perfect playboy and a milf. But while there’s no surprise as to the eventualities, the way they are delivered deserves special credit. Alice’s background is identifiable, however Henry’s story is one that separates from the usual male lead in these sort of stories. I’m not going to sit here in good conscious and say that the scenarios here are realistic, but I appreciate there being more to Henry and Alice than the piggishly common and woefully undeveloped equation of “Large Cock + Wet Pussy = Good Erotica.”

I suppose we should still talk about the sex, as that’s still vastly important to the proceedings. Once Alice and Henry finally grind enough positive karma points to start taking off their clothing, the first person narrative shows its true benefit to the reader. Alice is…scatterbrained, for lack of a better term. Whether that’s a trait shared by the author isn’t for me to know, but I suppose after three-plus seasons of missing sexual contact my faculties won’t be the most smooth either. I feel like we’re reading Alice’s diary, getting her innermost unfiltered thoughts somehow in the present tense. This concept works well for the reader, to feel a small part of the naughtiness, somehow complicit in sharing a wild night whether Alice is a willing narrator or not. Combine this unique voyeurism with a fearless arrangement of sexual adjectives (here’s a free taste: “heaving, naked, saliva soaked grapefruit,” let your mind run away from there) and the evening with Henry is just as steamy as is it is conceptually interesting.

Verdict: RIPE by Sienna Shaw is an uncommon execution of a comfortable erotica scenario, combing the best elements of both to produce a genuinely rewarding piece of fiction. Making the most of the time allotted, the character backstory is somehow identifiable despite having the properties of pure fantasy. The first person narrative allows the forgiveness of rough edges as being inside the main character’s soul is a benefit for understanding their balance between family, business, and the pursuit of softer human interaction. This story billets slices of a dozen different successful erotica elements, yielding a fruit cocktail that’s tasty, bold, and most of all, RIPE for the picking.

Special thanks to Sienna Shaw for providing a copy of RIPE to TehBen.com for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Author’s Twitter: @siennashaw4
Purchase Line: Amazon

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