Friday, February 13, 2015

Dog Men by Alana Noël Voth

(eBook; 2014: erotic story anthology)

Overall review:

Dog Men is one of the best anthologies -- erotic and otherwise -- I have read in a long time. Its stories transcend the usual genre bullcrap and cut to the often dark, emotional core of its characters and their disturbing circumstances, while maintaining the necessary sexual heat that keep it erotic.

Own this in-your-face, cinema- and music-savvy collection, already. Dog Men can be purchased here.

Standout stories:

1.) "Dog Men": Two friends (Tally and Amber) head into the deep woods with two hot-looking brothers (Cannon and Justin) whose house holds secrets which may prove fatal to the young women.

This is an excellent, entertaining work, with its initially-sexy-now-dread-inducing foreshadowing, waste-no-words-effective pacing and its relatable, hope-they-get-out-okay lead characters (Tally and Amber).

2.) "Benediction": A gay teenager (Brent Johnson), in love with his heterosexual best friend (Ron McDermott), wrestles with his awkward desires, as well as the small town bigotry surrounding him. Relatable (for its 'wanting what you can't have' theme), vivid and otherwise superb tale.

3.) "Boxy Temples": A vain, beautiful and wealthy young man ( Hyacinth "Hancy" Jackson) gets a brutal comeuppance when he hooks up with Phillip Wheeler, a man who's more leech than lover. Emotionally raw, hard-hitting and moral piece.

4.)  "My Name is Brighton":  A date rape victim-turned-zombie seeks out one of the men (Paul) who used her - without being aware that he had done so.

Excellent, sympathetic and character-veracious horror-sex tale, this.  (Brighton was also published in the erotic story anthology Coming Together: Hungry for Love, edited by Sommer Marsden.)

5.) "Marcelle": In Portland, Oregon, a young man (Ronan) with guilt issues and a bent for masochistic sex gets involved with a domme (Marcelle), who pushes him -- and herself -- toward dark, kinktastic salvation. Like the rest of this sometimes disturbing love story, the end-line is a stunner that not only sums up the BDSM lifestyle, but resonated with me on an emotional level. One of my favorite stories in this collection.

6.) "Resevoir B*tch": Two "trailer trash" teenagers -- Rand, and his ultra-tomboy friend, Spike (a.k.a. Marie) -- experience an afternoon where their bond deepens in a way that neither of them expect, a bonding that may violently cure at least one of their obsessions.

Voth imbues this plot-mini-twisty tale with a dark, erotic tension, sympathetic characters and an ending (specifically end-line) that's stunning. Great story, this -- another favorite in this anthology.

7.) "Genuflection": A half-Mexican, half-Caucasian porn clerk (Manny) in East Colfax falls for a beautiful, dangerous hustler (Carlos). When Manny and Carlos meet to hook up for a trick, it sets Manny down an unexpected and even darker path. Excellent, intense  story.

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