I got hold of a pre-release copy of Compatible Gardens by Angora Shade. This short story will be released on Wednesday December 9, and I was asked to read and review it.
The download links will follow once it’s released. Be sure to also check out Angora’s other books, especially her latest Cat Games.
Now, about Compatible Gardens. It’s a 7000 word, female on female short story about a young college student that has a little game she plays during her dreaded bus rides. She gives names to the people on the bus, and gives them a role in their very own story, that she makes up. But that day, she gets pulled into a story of her own as a particularly large and rude man pushes a pretty girl into her lap. What happens next…well, you’ll just have to go and find out for yourself. If you read my review beyond this point, you will encounter spoilers though. You have been warned.
I was asked to be honest and give my blunt opinion, whether I liked it or not.
I liked it a lot, but I was only mildly aroused. This story isn’t a quick-rub instigator. I didn’t have the urge to go find some privacy and scratch an irresistible itch, but I suspect this wasn’t the aim of the story at all.
What I did feel was a certain involvement. My sympathy with the main character was genuine. I was rooting for her during the entire time it took me to read the story, which was about as long as the bus ride, and about as long as she needed to be brought to an unexpected climax by a pretty stranger that was so rudely forced into her little fantasy game.
This is where the story left me a little wanting. The build-up was brilliant, the anticipation and conflict of our heroine palpable. But the actual climactic moment had passed me by almost unnoticed. I actually had to go back and read a few paragraphs again to make sure it had actually happened. It had, and I felt that here, Angora’s choice of imagery—although beautiful and captivating—failed to ignite the pilot flame in my belly.
Once the ultimate moment—in all its modesty—was over, so was the bus ride. Protagonist and antagonist went their separate ways, only to be joined again in a happy, though not surprising, final happenstance that did put a smile on my face. I’m sure that the continuation of this little urban frivolity could inspire quite a few follow-up stories a lot more passionate and knickers-moistening than Compatible Gardens.
So, is this a good story? Absolutely! Beautifully written, captivating, inspiring. Read this story, it will put a smile on your face. If your lover is close by, give them a hug and a big kiss, and enjoy the rest of your day. I’m sure wetting your panties isn’t what Angora was after with this one.
A solid 4.5 out of 5 for literary value. And to borrow Naughty Book Snitch’s Flames Rating Scale, I would give it 2 flames out of 4 for hotness.
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