About Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 4
In Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 4, award-winning editor Rachel Kramer Bussel has gathered the hottest sexy stories starring outspoken women who daringly pursue love and lust. You'll read about a single mom who goes back to college and gets some very hands-on education from her hot professor, an Amish woman tenderly revealing her most intimate desires, and a woman who crafts the man of her dreams. From outsiders who lustily claim their place without apology to women taking the boldest of risks with their hearts and their bodies, these sizzling stories are sure to make your heart pound. Featuring stories by popular authors including Alyssa Cole, Megan Hart, Tamara Lush, Tamsen Parker, Sofia Quintero, Suleikha Snyder and Alessandra Torre, along with a variety newcomers to the genre, these tales will turn you on and stay with you long after you've finished.
Table of contents:
Introduction: The Sexual Allure of Outsiders Who Take Risks
Take the Shot Mica Kennedy
The Dressing Room Alessandra Torre
Mark Rosie Beth Randall
O Captain, My Captain Calliope Bloom
The Jump Rebecca Chase
On Display Louise Lagris
The Pick-Me-Up Suleikha Snyder
Belonging Tamsen Parker
With Honors Sofia Quintero
Breathe Patricia Elzie
Aftershock Jo Henny Wolf
Her Invisible Prison Jocelyn Dex
The Invitation Regina Kammer
Protest of Passion Eliza David
Words with Benefits Tamara Lush
Essential Qualities Alyssa Cole
Eight Seconds Madeline Moore
Seven Sweets and Seven Sours Megan Hart
Baby Doll Sienna Saint-Cyr
Beautiful Dirty Wonderful R.M. Wood
Introduction: The Sexual Allure of Outsiders Who Take Risks
The first three volumes of Best Women’s Erotica of the Year didn’t have official themes, but when I was compiling Volume 4, I decided I wanted stories on the themes of Outsiders and Risk. While on the surface those may seem incongruous, both spoke to me regarding current events and seemed urgently relevant. At a time when outsiders of many kinds are being ostracized, discriminated against, and shunned, I wanted to explore what being an outsider feels like on a deeply personal level. I always want the authors I publish to turn readers on, but this time, I also want to make you think.
The outsiders you’ll read about here sometimes grapple with navigating a new culture, as in “Aftershock,” by Jo Henny Wolf, or the constraints of their own culture, such as the tender, heartbreaking longing in “Seven Sweets and Seven Sours,” by Megan Hart. In Eliza David’s “Protest
of Passion,” a community organizer finds herself swept away by a different kind of passion than the one motivating her lover.
I left it to my authors to define what exactly an outsider means to them and their characters. All of us have likely been outsiders at one time or another, depending on the circumstances. Outsiders may be able to learn something about themselves via insiders, and in the process enjoy some hot sex, as happens in “The Pick-Me-Up,” by Suleikha Snyder. Sometimes it’s hard to say who the outsider is, such as in Alyssa Cole’s sexy science fiction tale, “Essential Qualities.” The bisexual protagonist of Calliope Bloom’s “O Captain! My Captain!” ventures into unknown territory with her new lovers, going from outsider to insider as she takes a risk that pays off.
Taking risks in the face of fear has certainly cropped up in past volumes, but the risks the characters take in these stories are heightened. Sometimes these risks are erotic in nature, like trying something new for the first time, for instance posing for an erotic calendar, as the heroine of “Take the Shot,” by Mica Kennedy, does, or starring in a gang bang, like Julie in “Beautiful Dirty Wonderful,” by R. M. Wood. Sometimes the risk itself is a turn-on, such as the illicit but utterly arousing behavior of the naughty narrator in “The Dressing Room,” by Alessandra Torre.
Sometimes these risks, while sexual in nature, involve confronting aspects of these characters’ core selves that require a great amount of bravery. In “Her Invisible Prison,” by Jocelyn Dex, Eden faces a battle between her desire and her agoraphobia. Her steps out of that “prison” are hard fought and all the more exciting. And lest you think a story involving mental health can’t be scorching hot, Dex will surely prove you wrong. Similarly, in “Baby Doll,” by Sienna Saint-Cyr, Heather pursues her fetish only with the very careful reassurance of her lover.
Many of these stories involve finding community of one sort or another, whether that’s the world of rodeo bull riders in “Eight Seconds,” by Madeline Moore, or kink club BDSM as in “Belonging,” by Tamsen Parker. While passion and desire are at the heart of these tales, there’s more happening than simple arousal.
There’s a little something for everyone, I’d like to think, within these pages, from the woman going back to school who gets an education beyond the books in “With Honors,” by Sofia Quintero, to a divorced woman getting seduced by a learned man in “Words with Benefits,” by Tamara Lush. You’ll travel back in time with “The Invitation,” by Regina Kammer, get kinky with “Mark” by Rosie Beth Randall, explore a penchant for tickling in “Breathe,” by Patricia Elzie, and attend an orgy in “On Display,” by Louise Lagris.
You can find out more about the series at bweoftheyear.com and follow our books and authors @BWEoftheyear on Twitter and bestwomenserotica on Instagram. You can always reach me at to share what you want to see more of in future volumes.
I hope, at least in some small way, this book entertains you and gives you inspiration to take the kinds of risks these characters do.
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Reviews and press:
“The entries range from tenderly seductive—Alyssa Cole’s sf human/android tale “Essential Qualities” proves a true standout in this regard—to playfully raunchy, with everything in between. This anthology’s inclusion of diverse characters in terms of age, race, kinks, and ability is refreshing and much-needed in erotica; each writer finds a way to adhere to the collection’s theme while blissfully breaking the mold. VERDICT An exceptional volume of quality quickies; highly recommended.”
STARRED Review, Library Journal
“Female empowerment is the uniting theme in this sexy anthology featuring powerhouse authors such as Megan Hart and Alyssa Cole. The anthology opens with a bang as Mica Kennedy’s 'Take the Shot' introduces a plus-size, sensual woman of color posing for a hot photo shoot with her much younger teaching assistant.”
“If you’re not sure where to start, try Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4, which costs around $11 for an e-book or $17 for a new paperback. Produced in 2018 by Cleis Press (another great erotica publisher) and edited by Bussel, the anthology’s overarching theme of “outsiders and risk” manifests in plenty of incredibly sexy ways.”
“Kick off your shoes and drop any qualms at the door! Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 is a book that’s built to inspire! From ‘carnal delights’ to ‘delectable tortures,’ each of these journey-filled stories is an irresistible gift just waiting to be unwrapped.”
Rose Caraway, host of The Kiss Me Quick’s Podcast
“Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 will have your heart beating throughout your entire being with its diverse array of thoughtful and tantalizing fantasies. Now, more than ever, we need this book to help harness the undeniable power of women’s sexuality and pleasure.” Nicoletta Heidegger, co-host, Sluts & Scholars podcast
“An enticing mix of tales that are both sensual and thought-provoking.”
Caridad Piñeiro, New York Times bestselling author of One Summer Night
“This collection is as diverse as it is exciting—familiar and new, kinky and sweet, fierce and tender—and filled with women from across the spectrum of life's experiences. It's a good thing the book is long, because each story leaves you hungry for more.”
Suzanne Krohn, Love in Panels
“Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 titillates and satisfies, with hot fiction featuring a diverse range of experimenters and experiences. From bar encounters to bucking broncos, from online flirtations to sexy gangbangs, the women in these stories all learn a thrilling lesson—that great rewards can come from taking risks.” Justine Elyot, author of The Story of Jo
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