NSFW Book Review: Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 6 edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Title: Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 6

Author: Rachel Kramer Bussel

Publisher: Cleis Press

Publication Date: December 8, 2020

Genres: Erotica

Shelves: Female-fronted, Female-authored

When it comes to erotica anthologies, Rachel Kramer Bussel is one of those editors I trust to assemble a fabulous collection of stories, no matter the theme. With Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 6 that theme is a bit softer, a bit more open to exploration with a wide variety of topics and scenarios to be explored, with the only firm connection between stories being the women writing them and the women living them. It lends the whole anthology an element of surprise, with each story something new and different.

Not surprisingly, this was another stellar anthology, full of stories I loved, stories I liked, and really only one story that fell flat for me. New Year’s Chance by SHELLY BELL was a wonderfully romantic tale of youthful regrets, lost loves, and second chances at a happily ever after. Inked on My Skin by NAIMA SIMONE was a powerful story about healing, inner strength, and the power of transformation, contrasting the scarring of pain delivered with cruelty and the catharsis of pain offered with compassion.

Change of Season by LEAH W. SNOW was another story of emotional grief and the healing power of pain and submission, a BDSM-themed exploration of empty nest syndrome that I adored. Spring Fling by KYRA VALENTINE was a complete change of pace, a sexy, seductive story tale of a polyamorous threesome. If I can squeal and gush for a moment, Cabinet of Curiosities by OLIVIA WAITE is a short story in her Feminine Pursuits series of regency women-loving-women romances, and it’s just as wonderful and romantic and delicious as the novels, perhaps the happiest surprise in the anthology.

The Instruction Manual by ALEXIS WILDER was an odd story, but a fascinating one, an amazingly detailed and inventive story of detachment kink, with a woman encouraged to be consumed by the distraction of a boringly detailed instructions while being pleasured. Sweater Weather by ELIA WINTERS was another favorite of mine, a super story of two women, roommates and friends, who seize upon an accidental discovery of toys to enter into a powerfully erotic scene of intense BDSM submission.

Inflated Egos by EVIE BENNET was another somewhat odd and original story, featuring two lovers working in a car dealership, centered around a latex balloon fetish, but so good! And, finally, Adult Time by JEANETTE GREY was a sexy tale of rekindling the romance and the spontaneity of marriage that warmed my heart.

With its variety of couplings, settings, and scenarios, exploring everything from the warmth of romance to the intimacy of fetish, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 6 is a true delight from beginning to end. The stories are so wonderful, and so wonderfully well-written, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀ 1/2

My sincere thanks to the editor for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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