Amazon has four…
Like the finest poetry, which does not realize its full potential unless read or recited aloud, Bonnaire’s prose needs to be spoken aloud to release its magic. For this is the prose of seduction, of moonlit rooms and distant drums, of incense and candlelight, rose-scented baths and diaphanous curtains stirred on warm evening breezes. Words that should be whispered by one lover to another in close embrace; words like a sibilant caress, the imagined brushing of lips, moving softly and so very near, yet all the while just out of reach.
My reaction to Gardenias was also a surprise because my preferences generally run toward darker and more twisty erotica. Gardenias is not dark in that way, but it held my attention with a similar sort of emotional depth, an introspection not always (or often) triggered by such ephemeral, feminine language. To help keep it with me, I parceled it out over several days, and savored it.
Gardenias and Greta Christina’s ‘Bending’ are my two favorite erotic books this year.
It has been said over and over again the most potent, largest sexual organ in the human body is the mind.
The short story collection, Gardenias by Valentine Bonnaire goes about proving this concept repeatedly. The over whelming theme is how all of our senses work to create the sensual environment for us to feel, want and then act on these desires.
The use of flowers, perfumes and scents is explored how they impact triggers.
The opening story, Gardenias, brought a rush of feelings for me as I remembered all the times my mother had them bought for us….how my sister and I were instructed to not touch the petals as if touched they would be damaged and turn brown… the fragrance Shalimar and Chanel No. 5 was used and like so many others… those scents have serious memories for me as well as the character in this tale.
There were many different chapters… some connecting … some not. Each brought a different use but all with the same purpose and result… a keen interest to see where this author was taking me. Some of the stories involved relationships which weren’t complete or resolved due to unhappy marriages or circumstances….. But all were driven by a strong voice fighting to control her life and figure things out.
The most engaging part of this collection was the string of chapters involving our main character with a man 20 years her senior and cut from the Hemingway cloth… he had lived and they found each other when she was free finally to see herself as she wanted to be…
There were descriptions of letters, conversations and times together which made me personally wish to stop reading and go on the hunt for that man… he was made real and the way he loved and lived life was a thing of beauty. Read more ›