Control is Charlotte Stein’s second book. The first, The Things That Make Me Give In, was published by the late great Black Lace – and it was fooking awesome, as you can see by reading this review. TTTMMGI was a short story collection, and Control is a full on erotic novel. And bloody hot it is, too.
It tells the story of Madison Morris, a bookshop owner. But it’s not just any bookshop – oh no – it’s a smutty bookshop. Called Wicked Words (as a nod to Black Lace). I’m totally gutted that the place doesn’t really exist. I think Ms. Stein should open it, just for me. But anyhoo – onto the story.
Madison needs an assistant. She starts the interview process and one particular guy, Andy, stands out. Not because he shows any particular expertise or suitability for the job, but because he gives good head and bangs Madison over the kitchen table. Yes, it starts off like that – no messing about, straight into the action. And it doesn’t let up, either.
While Andy doesn’t get the job, he’s still sniffing around Madison and his arrogance pushes her buttons. Meanwhile, she’s given quiet, shy Gabriel the job as her assistant, and he’s perfect. In every way, actually. Soon, Madison is torn between the two men. Andy likes to take control of sexual situations, whereas Gabe likes to relinquish control and be humiliated. Madison’s happy to play the game with both boys – but in the midst of all the kink and sexy threesomes – is she losing control herself?
I can summarise this book in one word – awesome. It has Stein’s mark all over it – it’s easy to read, flows well, is funny in places and of course is damn sexy. To me, it feels like a different take on threesomes and submission and domination games. It’s like all three of those things – but with heart. There are feelings involved as well as body parts and this is what makes this book such a fabulous read. It’s got a brilliant storyline as well as erotic sex scenes, and I recommend it to any fan of contemporary erotica.