Thursday, November 7, 2013

Late Night Reading #8: "The Curse" by Haleigh Cookson Clark

Welcome to another edition of Late Night Reading!

This evening, I'll be reviewing another great story by Haleigh Cookson Clark called The Curse.

I feel pretty blessed lately in that the stories I've had to read for review have been awesome, and this one is no exception. It's about a guy named Nick who wakes up with a vagina - and a hankering for a dick to put in it! When two of his friends arrive to find a girl in his apartment, things get a little weird - but in a really sexy way. This is a story that keeps you guessing right up until its twist ending that will have you grinning from ear-to-ear.

We'll delve into a bit more when we break it down after the jump.

Overall: ★★★★★ (4.5)

Haleigh is a great writer. She transitions easily between scenes and keeps the action flowing seamlessly. Her ideas are wicked fun and she comes up with the most delicious kinks to explore. I really can't recommend her enough. She keeps her stories short, but sweet!

Originality: ★★★★

There's no shortage of gender-bending erotica out there (a genre I think I'll have to try my hand at soon), but Haleigh gives it a new spin that's all her own. I had fun reading this, and the ending was awfully creative.

Cover Art: ★★★★

I'm not a huge fan of the Instagram-ish look Haleigh goes for with some of her covers, but it's pretty in its own way. It's clear that Haleigh knows what she's doing - and who I am to begrudge her her style?

Character Development: ★★★★★

It's a short story, but the characters are developed to their fullest extent, given the premise. You won't be left wondering, "Gee, why did he do that? That's so out of character!" because even in a condensed format, Haleigh is able to explore her characters without dropping in loads of exposition. I was really happy with how everyone was portrayed and the subtle differences between them. Nobody felt like a stock character in this.

Editing: ★★★★★

The Curse is very clean and error-free, but there were a few sentences that were just slightly wonky for me. Still, very professional!

Story Satisfaction: ★★★★★ (4.5)

The ending has a really great twist, but for me, it wasn't alluded to enough in the beginning for me to experience the full weight of its impact later. I would have liked to have seen some additional reference to it, or maybe one of the friends could have eased us into the concept more just before the big reveal. Don't get me wrong here - it was still wonderful! It just happened a little too fast for my tastes.

The Sex: ★★★★★ (4.5)

In contrast, the sex happened a little too slow. It wasn't that Haleigh didn't get right down to it, and it wasn't that it wasn't hot and heavy and extremely sexy (a no-strings-attached MFM threesome? Yes, please!), but it did run a bit too long, in my opinion. Unfortunately, erotica falls victim to a pitfall that visual porn doesn't, which is that there's only so much thrusting you can write on a page before it all seems so mechanical. Haleigh doesn't make it quite that long to where the characters seem more like horny automatons, but I think it could have ended a few paragraphs before it did and have been just as juicy and delectable.

You can purchase Haleigh Cookson Clark's book by clicking the cover image at the top of this post. It is also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

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