Bing Cherry Silk by Valentine Bonnaire

3/5 stars.
ebook, 10 pages.
Read on January 06, 2014.

This was a recommended read from Valentine Bonnaire herself to introduce me to her writing. Needless to say I was more than happy to do so and after reading “Bing Cherry Silk” I am looking forward to seeing what else this author has to offer.  You can download and read this lovely short piece at Smashwords. Click here to follow Valentine’s blog.

I admit, I did not know what a bing cherry was. Yes, I have had cherries before but I had never heard of this type. I am from Canada in a province where it is too cold to grow fruit even in the summer, where as Valentine is from Southern California according to her About Me page and I imagine items like bing cherries are much more common there. If you need to know what a bing cherry looks like, this is it:

150px-Bing_Cherries_(USDA_ARS)

They’re a glorious colour aren’t they? I am glad I was able to get an idea of their colour and lustre before reading this story as it just added to imagery of the silk panties that are so deliciously described in this short story.

The story is hugely sensual and focuses on the complications of love, relationships and desire and how our personal growth can alter all of that. A nameless art student finds herself in love with her professor and is torn by her neediness for him and his apparent love for her despite not wanting to leave his wife. It’s when a pair of bing cherry coloured silk panties are left for her by a random admirer at her own house party does she come to a realization about herself, her needs and her own desires. What makes this story erotic isn’t the neat and stimulating sex scenes but the suspense and awakening that comes with the presence of these silk bing cherry panties.

I think my biggest disappointment with the story was the ending. The story built up the impeding decision that the main character was going make in terms her lover after the appearance the pink panties and I just felt the ending was rushed and unsatisfying in this sense. I believe that author was trying to go for something more subtle but I feel that it feel short of my expectations and with how the rest of the story built up.

Overall, a wicked steamy and satisfying short read for any erotica lover. Thanks Valentine!

Over to You by Roald Dahl

3/5 stars.
ebook, 164 pages.
Read from December 16 to 24, 2013.

This collaboration of stories emphasizes Dahl’s experiences as a flying ace for the RAF during World War II. I imagine that Dahl used many personal references and emotions in these stories, though from what I can find, from my very brief internet search, nothing specific has been directly referenced in the stories. Please feel free to comment if you know of a specific experience that has made it in one of these stories.  Additionally, I also wonder if writing these stories was a method he inadvertently used to deal with his own dreadful experiences in the war. Regardless, his renditions of the flying ace at war are detailed and provoking.

Beware of the Dog was by far my favourite in this collaboration as it brought a situation to my attention that I would not have even considered, having never been a solider, and the sheer terror that would follow. The character in the story finds himself in hospital and he isn’t sure what has happened, though he believes his plane has crashed. The nurse then proceeds to tell him where he is but other warning signs tell he may be elsewhere, like in enemy territory. In typical Dahl style, the reader is left not knowing if the main character is indeed in enemy territory or if he is just delusional and paranoid from the plane crash.

Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to see a more adult side to their favourite childhood author or anyone interested in WWII experiences.

Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl

3/5 stars.
ebook, 240 pages.
Read from December 09 to 16, 2013.

Even as an adult this man’s writing continues to captivate me. However, with this adult collaboration, Dahl has emphasised the disturbing in a less than friendly fashion by having the central theme of these stories be completely about how awful adults are to each other. So take the quirkiness of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the despicable characters in The Twits and then mash them together with some realism and adults and you have Kiss Kiss

Out of all the stories I would have to say that “Royal Jelly” truly caught me off guard. I don’t know if I’m slow or if Dahl is that good at writing but I truly did not see the ending of this story coming and I recall my jaw dropping when I read the last paragraph.  The story is a depiction of a couple that has had a baby who is struggling to get enough to eat. The babe just refuses to eat and as a newborn it is wasting away.  This is the first child the couple has had after failing to conceive before. The mother is severely distressed and exhausted so it makes what the husband does even harder to bear.  The husband works with bees and in an act of desperation, despite knowing in a way what the effects would be, feeds his withering baby royal jelly, which is the food used to produce and create the Queen bee.  Firstly, what I found so disturbing about this story was that a father would use his own child as a type of science project, though sadly, I don’t think is completely unheard of. Secondly, when trying to explain to his frantic wife that what he has done is a good thing, the wife calms a bit but as a reader I felt far from consoled! I could just see that this story was going to turn into a horror, and it did, the ending was truly ghastly.

After reading so many pieces of Dahl’s work I absolutely adore the way he is able to leave the reader hanging at the end but always in the best way possible. He leaves the reader inquisitive and allows them to draw their own conclusions without absolutely gutting the reader. Even while writing about how awful adults are, he still manages to provoke his adult readers to use their imaginations which is what I still truly treasure with Dahl’s writing. Whether you are a child or an adult Dahl still finds away to stir your imagination and provoke curiosity. I believe it was this gift that made him such a phenomenal writer.

Recommended read for Dahl lovers and those who appreciate quirky and creepy reads!