I’m a big fan of indie publishing company Less Than Three Press, who specialise in LGBTQIA romance. I’ve been following the #WeNeedDiverseRomance hashtag for some time, and realised that I hadn’t actually reviewed any LGBTQ romances. That ends now.
She’s with Me is a kinky, BDSM-lite erotic lesbian novella by Vanessa Cardui, which is more than a little of a mouthful, but is actually a skillfully crafted narrative.
The protagonists are Meeka and Izzy, her seemingly-straight best friend who’s just been stood up by her boyfriend. What I really liked about the story is the fact that it’s all about exploration. Cardui manages to capture the tentative way that Meeka feels, whilst appreciating that a girls’ night out can result in all sorts of situations, especially when alcohol’s involved.
There’s also order-giving, with Izzy discovering that she likes taking orders almost as much as Meeka likes giving them. The balance between Izzy experiencing non-hetero sexuality for the first time – particularly whilst she considers herself straight – with Meeka’s obvious feelings for her friend is just right. The tone isn’t flippant, and nor is it painted as a crazy thing done whilst drunk. I particularly liked the way that their emotions were interwoven with the sex, giving the erotica depth.