Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
Wild CardWild Card
By: Madeline Moore
Virgin Black Lace
ISBN: 035234038X
June, 2006

Reviewed By: Jean Roberta

This novel is a rip-snorting pornographic fantasy, much like an X-rated cartoon movie. The characters make up in exuberance what they lack in depth, and the plot turns out to be clever and satisfying. Eventually, all the women get what they want, even if they don't know what that is until it sinks in (so to speak), and the male stud at the center (or centre) of the action receives the kind of justice he claims to believe in. This book is unlikely to win any literary awards, but it makes an excellent light snack. It seems physically smaller than the average paperback, as if designed to be carried in a small purse or a large pocket.

The author flirts with stereotypes, and the camp quality of the characters is part of the fun. Meet Victoria, a sensitive blonde widow with large pillowy breasts, a graduate degree in English which she has never used (she loves poetry), and a fortune which she has inherited from the man she married on the rebound. The only man she ever really loved is her fellow-Canadian, a hunk of manhood who manages to combine a roving eye, a tireless cock, a desire to mark shapely female bottoms with various implements, and leftist political convictions. This man, Ray Torrington, left her years ago to go to Cuba, a mecca for the socially-conscious and for refugees from northern winters. Now he is in London, England, to give a speech at a world conference on housing for the homeless.

Victoria, who is in England to wrap up the disposal of her late husband's estate, summons Ray to her hotel room by telling him that she has a potentially fatal heart condition. Neither he nor the reader knows how seriously to take her metaphorical broken heart, but Ray can't resist her luscious body or her need for his attention. Their reunion is the first sex scene in the novel.

Cut to a scene of the flame-haired English card shark, Penny, in a high-stakes game of poker with a bevy of distracted men. Penny is slim and cool, and she uses her sex appeal as well as her instincts to part rich men from their money. She learned to take care of herself while staying in Canada during the lean years of her youth, when she worked as a nightclub dancer. Few of her London rivals or admirers know of her shady past across the Atlantic, but Ray is part of her emotional baggage, or her unfinished business.

Much as he enjoys reuniting with Victoria, Ray never stops looking for new territory to conquer. Bai Lon from Hong Kong, who tells Ray to call her Lonnie, fascinates him for reasons which have nothing to do with his claim to be "so inspired by [her] decision to embrace the socialist perspective regarding basic human rights like housing and healthcare." Her hunting style is described:

"Lonnie liked to tease such a man by coming on slowly and then, just when he resigned himself to a night of polite courtship, dropping a bomb like 'I'm a sensualist, Ray.' With her dark little naively tilted eyes and creaseless lids, her gaze suggested she didn't quite know what her words implied, as if she had slightly misunderstood the definition of 'sensualist.' She would retreat behind her mask of Asian coolness, then dart out again when least expected and boom! Drop another bomb!"

Boom! Ray manages to shuttle back and forth between Lonnie the tease and Victoria the devoted submissive during one hectic day and evening. Meanwhile, in apparently unrelated chapters, Penny takes on a male movie star who wants her to teach him to play poker and a lordly African chief whom she happens to meet while waiting for the lift (elevator). Penny gets what she wants by taking risks with strange men both in bed and at the gaming table. Before leaving her hotel room, she carefully dresses to create the right effect on her audience. She wonders why her calls to Ray's cellphone go unanswered.

Each of the major characters has a distinct fetish or two: Victoria likes rough treatment, Ray likes to dish it out, Lonnie likes to tease and to be watched, Penny adores games of chance and anal action. And then there is Victoria's "nurse" (or is she?), Verushka the statuesque, no-nonsense Russian whose dialogue resembles that of Natasha, the sexy Soviet spy in an American cartoon show of the 1960s, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show." Verushka's version of medical therapy is intense and effective.

Ray is intrigued by Victoria's self-centered mind-games, as he sees them, but he avoids giving a clear answer to her repeated invitation to come to Cuba with her at her expense. Will Ray continue to manipulate women while passing himself off as a savior of suffering humanity? Will they all continue to regard him as "King Fuck?"

To Ray's and the reader's surprise, solidarity eventually prevails among the oppressed (or screwed) masses. Women who appear at first to be sexually dependent on men discover their own attraction to each other, and not simply because the Man likes to watch.

After the camera’s eye of the narrative hops from one scene to another, giving the reader a brief glimpse of London landmarks along the way, all the major characters converge in the same hotel room for a memorable all-night group scene. At a delicious, pivotal moment, the traditional male fantasy of a traveling man collecting a harem changes to a scenario of sexually-empowered women playing with their boy-toy.

The climactic trip to Cuba which Victoria has been planning throughout the novel takes place on schedule, but with some changes in the seating plan. The merry band of players only leaves the hotel bed to pack quickly and board the plane which will whisk them away to a tropical paradise which is also politically correct. On the plane, Penny deals the cards. When asked what the game is, she explains: “Stud poker, of course. Queens are wild.” A kind of subtitle on the cover of the book brags: “The winner takes all.”

As part of the Black Lace stable, this novel is advertised as “erotic fiction for women by women.” It covers all the bases traditionally covered by “men’s” (sexually explicit) magazines and cheap paperbacks, but in a woman-centered way which does not dehumanize any group of human beings more than any other. As a Canadian writer, Madeline Moore has included two major white Canadian characters in a cast of fetishized national, racial and social types. She describes this as: “a first, I think, for Black Lace.” It’s heartening to know that someone is working to make Canadians appear both visible and sexy in this context.
This novel could keep you entertained on a plane or in a doctor's waiting room, but it is not a heavyweight in any sense. There is meatier stuff available for the connoisseur of erotic fiction.