Rant, Review

Review: A Fair Swap by Ava Sterling (2019)

Heat Factor: It’s steamy, forbidden, and very naughty.

Character Chemistry: They can’t keep their hands off one another (BUT THEY SHOULD).

Plot: Two couples have a recurring…swaperoo…and are generally very naughty (AND SHOULD BE MORE CAREFUL).

Overall: If you like steamy erotica that breaks all the rules, you will love this.

The three of us each agreed to read a piece of erotica. Erin and Holly were very enthusiastic about this because when it comes to dividing up the ARCs, they’re the ones who go after the graphic, juicy, steamy stuff and I…don’t. I don’t DISLIKE it, I just sometimes (sometimes, not always) have the exact same reaction reading about two characters having a private moment as I would if I walked in on two people having a real-life private moment. This is how erotica is for me. I have historically spent the whole time thinking “OH MY GOSH, pardon me–I did NOT know you’d be here, I just–oh, hiney. I MEANT CRIMINY!!”

So, you know, this isn’t going to be what I’d call a comfortable review. For one, it’s erotica. It’s also a very…rebellious, rule-breaking erotica, and that is NOT my jam. I like rules. Rules exist for a reason. When you follow the rules, you are often free from really annoying/destructive consequences, like, oh, I don’t know, shattering your marriage because you did not establish clear guidelines before swapping spouses. Because I’m such a professional reviewer, though–I’m going to just hush those instincts right now and pretend I’m a wild, free spirit who doesn’t care about silly little things like NOT sleeping with your friend’s husband. Starting now.

So the basic plot here is that two couples get together periodically to have a sexy little switch. They all eat dinner together and play footsie and flirt somewhere they won’t run into anyone they know.* 

They spend a fair amount of time at dinner low-key rubbing on each other like teenagers in the back of a movie theater** and then of course they move on to “dessert”.*** 

So anyway,  it’s time to split ways and unsurprisingly our couple-of-the-evening can’t really make it home**** so they pull over for some fun.***** They have just EVER so much fun, and they never worry about the upholstery of his very fancy car, not once.******

If you like escapades such as this, where rule-breaking and whims run amok, this is probably going to be your cup of tea. Sterling seems to be adept at crafting a vignette with just the perfect balance of detail and restraint–not too long, not too short, and with just the kind of subtlety one would hope to find in this…type of thing.*******

*Okay, except THEY COULD run into someone they know. 

** Which is NOT appropriate for a public space where everyone’s just trying to enjoy their food without thinking about what precisely you’re going to do when you go home.

***Ughhhhh, ok. See? I’m doing great. I’m so good at this. 

**** And that’s why you have to know TIMING, cars are small and it’s not like you can pull the blinds in there, dude–what if someone thinks you’re trying to car burgle and calls the cops but in fact you’re burgling someone’s underpants?? Seriously, people.

***** Fun for the heroine, in this case, is unprotected turkey stuffing in the front seat of a car in a public parking lot while running through a list of all the ways her short-term loan of a hubby is different from her everyday hubby, which I am totally cool with because I’m free, free like a bird in an imaginary world with no STIs or marital consequences…

****** I mean, to each their own but please for the love of all that’s sane and holy, oh sweet Alexis, go get a proper check up at the clinic and maybe pop by the therapist’s office because I just feel like you have a lot going on here and your best friend is sleeping with your husband?

******* However, I will say there is a severe lack of personal space and an overabundance of germ-sharing. I’m told that’s actually the point? 

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon
“A Fair Swap” is also available as part of a bundle of five swinger stories, if you want more bang(ing) for your buck.
Interested in a preview? Want to buy on a platform that’s not Amazon? Check out Sterling’s website.

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