Monday, November 25, 2013

Late Night Reading: "Hot Set" by Sage L. Morgan

You know, no one has ever accused me of being vanilla.

Sure, I might not write (or participate in) the most "out there" kink ever, but I do have my indulgences. I will freely admit that one of my dirtiest fantasies is something called PI, or pseudo-incest, which is where parties unrelated by blood, but still considered family, get it on. That might mean stepfather and stepdaughter, stepmother and stepson, or stepsiblings. One of the reasons I like it so much might actually be because it's so damn wrong and taboo.

That being said, do I necessarily endorse this behavior in real life? Only if everyone is above the age of consent and not being taken advantage of. Also, as part of a blended family, I certainly wouldn't be pleased if my daughter was fooling around with her stepdad - but that's why this sort of thing is a fantasy and not an endorsed reality. The terms of our fantasies are so much different - there are typically no consequences, no hurt feelings, and nothing we deem to be "actually creepy" is going on because it's all in our heads, and therefore, we get to set the terms.

This is a category that has seen a lot of bad press lately. Amazon, All Romance eBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Draft2Digital, to name a few, have been up in arms over it due to some sensationalist press stories that have recently surfaced. Frankly, it's rather silly to tell readers that they aren't allowed to enjoy this kink involving person over the age of consent, and it's even sillier to tell authors that they can't profit from it, especially when it seems to only apply to self-published material. Last I checked, V.C. Andrews' and George R.R. Martin's stuff is all still up (hell, both even got their own movie/show).

So when I see that something like Hot Set by Sage L. Morgan has managed to twist the kink into something Amazon will begrudgingly approve, it makes me very happy.

From the blurb:
Eighteen-year-old Kendall plays a much younger character on the hit sitcom, Average American Teen. She's tired of everybody treating her like a little girl, especially her TV daddy, James. How far will she go to convince him that she's all grown up? 
As you can see, this isn't necessarily "true" PI - but the "P" stands for "pseudo," which means "false," and so it still totally fits. Not only that, but Sage makes it hot as hell, with just enough verbage devoted to each character's inner turmoil to make the sex meaningful in addition to dark and dirty.

Let's break it down after the jump!

Overall: ★★★★★

Taboo stories are difficult to come by these days on Amazon, or any other digital marketplace, for that matter. Fortunately, Sage L. Morgan has provided us with one that is not only a breath of fresh air, but a cut above the rest.

Originality: ★★★★★

Unlike many other stories in this category, Sage puts an entirely new spin on the concept by creating a pseudo-pseudo relationship - James is Kendall's TV dad on the set of her popular series, and while that means there's nothing "truly" taboo going on here, it sure does feel like it in all the right ways.

Cover Art: ★★★★

It fits the bill, but could have used a little jazzing up. I wasn't a fan of the charcoal gray background.

Character Development: ★★★★★

As is the case with short stories, we don't get a lot of time to really delve into the psyche of the characters - particularly in erotic fiction, where sex is the primary goal. Sage manages to buck this trend, however, by cementing the nature of each and every character within the span of a small word count. We come to understand Kendall's defiance and feel the pain of her forgotten birthday used as punishment against her. We also explore James' initial reluctance in a believable way, and Kendall comes off not as a naughty, brazen seductress, but as a girl coming into her womanhood as she experiences her first time with a man, rather than a boy. It's sweet, meaningful, and oh-so-sexy.

Editing: ★★★★★ (4.5)

Despite some word repetition right at the very beginning, this piece is flawless, not just in terms of grammar and spelling, but also in terms of style and prose. Sage has a fluid quality to her work, where once sentence seamlessly flows into the next, punctuated by sharp, staccato beats that all together form a linguistic symphony not often seen in this genre. Sage manages to come off as sophisticated, yet down-to-earth in a delightful way that makes her characters - and her story - entirely approachable. Readers can really settle in, relax, and enjoy this one!

Story Satisfaction: ★★★★★

We get the perfect rollercoaster ride, all crammed into a succinct package. The ending is a little sweeter than I expected, but still a good one, and everything ties up nicely. All avenues are explored to the appropriate degree; nothing drags or feels too rushed. Very well-paced with a satisfying conclusion.

The Sex: ★★★★★

HOT. Kendall and James have great chemistry, and when Kendall takes out the "big guns" (i.e., her filthy mouth), James' reaction is sexy and priceless. I loved watching him strain to maintain control under her advances. Sage does a great job of keeping James' nobility, as well - he never comes off sleazy or predatory, and the way he strives to take care of Kendall is admirable, particularly in the bedroom. But do they get dirty? Oh, yes. They most definitely do!

You can purchase Hot Set by Sage L. Morgan from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or you can click on the cover art image above to be taken to its product page on

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