Two new audiobooks

2 SFH books

I have two of my books newly out in audiobook format and I’m so excited. The books are somewhat different in style and content.

Lovers in Their Fashion is – according to my editor at Mandrill Press – deliciously romantic, delightfully amusing and explicitly sexual. Ooh 🙂

The brilliant narrator Missy Cambridge certainly brings out the humor in this extract, when Merrill is describing what she loves about her new man, Bolivian Tony Frejus – and, in particular, which bit of him she likes most (oolalaa)

Find the book on Audible here in the USA and here for the UK.

The Transformation of David is somewhat different because: it’s a gender swap story (but with a twist); it’s shorter than Lovers in Their Fashion, which is a full length romance; and it’s a lot more outspoken, sexually speaking. You can find a snatch (yes, yes, I know and it’s appalling but I just couldn’t resist the pun) here. 

The book itself is on Audible here in the USA and here for the UK.

This is a RANT. It’s about men. Not all men. You know who you are.

This blog contains details of my books, stories that anyone can read free of charge, views on various topics surrounding erotica – just the sort of thing you would expect. It’s wide-ranging, but one single page draws nearly 80% of visits to the blog. It’s this page. Take a look and you’ll see that this page is a free story and the title of the story is Alice’s Gangbang. That’s right – I’m getting large numbers of visitors every day who want to read a story about a woman being raped. How do they find it? They Google the word “gangbang” or some phrase containing that word. What at first surprised me and now, frankly, depresses me is the sheer number of people – men – all over the world who are using Google to find stories about women being demeaned, hurt – or worse. What the hell is the matter with these men?

I don’t hate men – you can see that if you listen to this extract from my contemporary romance, Lovers in Their Fashion. In it, Merrill – an American woman – is imagining telling her friend Alice (the heroine, and, yes, I do seem to have been hung up on the name Alice) about her love for Bolivian Tony Frejus. What could be more affectionate than that sweet, loving extract? It grieves me that so many men (and, no, I don’t mean all men; I know better than that) hate women so much that they get pleasure from the idea of taking them violently. As it happens, I have the last laugh because, when they get to the end of Alice’s Gangbang, they see the price the rapist-in-chief pays for his crime. Read it – it won’t cost you anything – and you’ll see what I mean.

There. Rant over. I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Lovers in Their Fashion. A Marmite book – readers love it or they hate it


Lovers in Their Fashion has eleven ratings on Goodreads. They break down like this:

Lovers in Their Fashion Ratings


1 reader gives it 1 star, 2 give it two stars, 2 more give it three and four and five star ratings each have three reader ratings. How on earth can that happen? How can we have such total disagreement so evenly spread? This is a Marmite book – people love it or they hate it – which would you be? There’s only one way to find out for yourself and that is to read the book. So what kind of book is it? Lovers in Their Fashion is an erotic romance set in the present day. Here’s the blurb:

A Decade of Undiminished Desire
When Alice Springer and John Pagan meet again after ten years it is clear their love is as strong as ever – but can it survive the dreadful secret that Alice has been hiding all this time? Alice ended her relationship with the love of her life because she had done something she believed he could never forgive. When they meet again after ten years, she knows she wants him back. But before she can confess her secret, he learns it in the worst possible way from another source – and it seems that this time their chance of happiness together really is over.

And here’s a short extract to help you decide whether this book is for you:

John woke at three the next morning, his body still functioning on London time. Cathy was fast asleep beside him, her black hair spread out on the pillow, her limbs flung in abandon across the rumpled sheets. How long? he wondered. How many nights was he doomed to spend like this, his hungry male body satisfied but his heart filled only with longing for what could not be?
They had gone from bathroom to bedroom, sitting in their white robes on the broad bed, drinking champagne and feeding each other with plump, succulent morsels of lobster interspersed with increasingly passionate kisses. Then they had stripped off their robes and explored each other’s bodies – frankly and openly, exulting in their mutual desire. It had been a time out of time, a time of giving and sharing. The room seemed still to echo with Cathy’s cries of joy as he had pleasured her with his tongue. Then, when he had raised himself above her, he had smothered her face and throat with kisses as she reached down, holding him, guiding him into herself.
Afterwards they had lain in each other’s arms and talked. She had told him about the end of her relationship, her sense of loss and the fellow-feeling that had driven her to invite him to change hotels. ‘I’m not usually as forward as this,’ she had whispered. ‘You may not believe that, but it’s true. I saw something in you that spoke to my own pain, and I wanted you.’
And John had told her what it was that she had recognized. Possibly for the first time with any woman, he had talked about Alice and what she had meant to him. He had told Cathy how certain he had been that he and Alice would marry. And, sipping the last of the champagne, he had told her of that dreadful day when Alice had explained that it could never be. When she had told him that, young though she was, there was something in her past of which she was deeply ashamed. Something she knew would return to haunt her. Something that would prevent his ever respecting her, and doom their marriage to failure.
Cathy had rested on her elbow, looking into his eyes, sharing his pain. ‘And she wouldn’t tell you what it was?’
John had shaken his head. ‘I tried. Heaven knows I tried. But she was immovable.’

If you like what you see, you can find Lovers in Their Fashion on Amazon here. It can also be downloaded free of charge as part of your Amazon Prime subscription.

Keeping It Real

The Binding Cover

Visiting an old friend in South Africa a while ago, I was convulsed by TV commercials with the theme: Keep It Real. Some man (it was always a man) would be making a complete idiot of himself when Louis Gossett Jr stepped out of the shadows to correct his behaviour, hand him a bottle of Windhoek Lager and tell him to “Keep it real”. I’m not a beer drinker, ever, so the fact that I remember the name of the product more than a year later says how good the ads were (although, because I’m not a beer drinker, it hasn’t done Windhoek any good).

“Keep It Real” had vanished from my mind until, in the last two days, I was drawn to a post called 10 Things I Hate About Sex (Scenes) on the wonderful blog. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing a treat.

Katie Carlton and I talk all the time about sex and how to portray it in fiction. Well, okay, not all the time—we live 3,500 miles apart for a start—but we do talk about it. We talk about it to John Lynch, too, although—as his blog has repeated a number of times—he (unlike us) doesn’t write about sex. We’re all Mandrill Press writers, though, and we try to meet Mandrill Press expectations which—in a nutshell—are: that the characters come first, that the characters and their motivations should be believable, and that sex scenes should be there for a purpose. They must carry the story forward.

Keeping it real means removing the fantastical, “all-is-perfection” style that marks so much erotic fiction. Katie and I don’t do Adonis-like male heroes with washboard stomachs and huge wangs because (a) we’ve met very few Adonises; (b) the few we did meet were too self-absorbed ever to make good fictional heroes (read: “We didn’t like them”); and (c) neither of us has any wish to be penetrated by anything in the sort of size range we so often read about. Nor would our heroines meet teenage male fantasy standards: their stomachs could often be flatter, they’re sometimes tired and irritable, they’ve been known to have spots and they prefer comfortable underwear to the sort of stuff that appears on too many book covers.

What all three of us agree on is that any relationship we’ve ever had that was in any way satisfactory included humour. If you can’t laugh with a man, even when you’re in bed together, you have no future as a couple. I can think of a few episodes in my own life where the hilarity could only be described as scatological and I’d use those incidents if they served a purpose in the book but there needs to be humour somewhere in the book. The two examples I want to give here come from The Binding. In the first, Melissa Blaze, a sexually experienced young English woman in Victorian India, is pretending innocence in order to snare a husband. Her target has other ideas:

‘Sir,’ I said, as with great apparent reluctance I returned my hands to where he had instructed. ‘You are cruel.’

‘Cruel,’ he agreed, the laces in his hands. ‘And determined.’ He pulled the drawers down so that my mound of Venus, now quivering with desire, was uncovered. ‘And stronger than you.’ And with that he pulled hard at my drawers, tugging them down—and off.

‘Take off that foolish hat,’ he ordered. I did so. Apparently he did not regard my stockings or riding boots as “foolish.”

Well, my dear, what happened next was what you will by now be expecting and it proved to be my undoing. When he removed his breeches in order to have at me, I was shocked by the paltriness of his equipment as to both girth and length. I had but little time to hope that he could perform multum with parvo when, after the most cursory fingering of my aching sex, he lay on me and inserted himself.

Three strokes and it was over. I had scarcely felt him enter me and he was withdrawing. Standing up. Wiping himself.

‘Is that all?’ I asked in incredulity.

I should not have said it.

‘What?’ said he.

‘Are you finished?’

‘You expected more?’

Fury took possession of me. Oh, my dear coz, the number of times when, as a young girl, my governess and my mother told me that temper would be the ruin of me. They could not have dreamed how right they would prove to be. ‘Yes,’ I spat. ‘I expected more. Have I gone through the humiliation of pretending to resist rape, only to be disappointed by…by’ and I pointed to his shrivelled cock, now even less impressive than it had been, ‘by that?’

If my governess and my mother thought that I had a temper, they should have seen Mountbank’s! He bent down and slapped me hard across the cheek. ‘You are experienced in men, I suppose.’

‘Enough to know when I have been left unsatisfied,’ shouted I.

‘Are you, bedamm? And you are unsatisfied, are you? We must see how we can assist you with that.’ And he turned and beckoned to his groom.

The man was beside me in a moment. He wore the native costume, which is much quicker to remove than a European’s. In two seconds he was naked. His shaft stood rigid. I looked at Mountbank from where I lay.

‘At least he has the organ of a man,’ I sneered.

Mountbank spoke to him. He fell upon me. We need not dwell on the rude mechanics of the thing. I was rogered. Well. By someone who knew what he was doing and did it with efficiency.

When finally he withdrew I lay still for several moments, catching my breath. ‘Are you satisfied now?’ scowled Mountbank.

‘Yes, thank you,’ I said, mustering as much calmness as I could. ‘That will do very nicely.’ I sat up and began to dress.

Mountbank and his man moved away. Mountbank said something and the other laughed before replying. Mountbank lit a cigar.

When I was fully dressed, Mountbank came towards me. His man was hoisting the unused picnic hamper back on to his horse.

‘Where is he going with that?’ I asked. ‘We have not eaten and he has given me a hunger.’

‘I asked him whether we were the first with you,’ Mountbank said. ‘He says there is no possibility of that. My dear, I do not eat with harlots.’

We rode back in silence. Anger was dissipating, to be replaced by fear. What had I done? I was to find out soon enough.

In the second example an army officer, once again in India, writes to an old fellow-soldier to tell him about his latest adventures:

To my story. Once I had her naked, I began an assault on her arse—first with kisses and caresses and then with the full weight of my open palm. By God, old man, I spanked the woman! Do you remember that young’un who so provoked you and me with her airs? Or what we thought were her airs? As we discovered some little too late, she was the daughter of a Rural Dean and not the streetwalker we had taken her for. I do believe we’d both have been cashiered had not that trouble broken out in Rajput, and every man needed for the fray. I still would not go within twenty mile of Gloucester, even today, for fear of the Dean’s wrathful countenance. I don’t think, old chap, you should have offered to marry her off to your Company Quartermaster as a ruined girl. That only made matters worse, if you want my frank opinion.

I said at the beginning of this post that Mandrill Press requires that sex scenes be there for a purpose—that they carry the story forward. You may by now be wondering what purpose these extracts serve, so let me show you how that second one continues:

Be that as it may, I spanked the widow Marjoram with the same vigour we used on that poor victim of mistaken identity, but in this case to more gratifying effect. If I told you she had loved my ministrations beyond all imagining, I should be understating the impact I had upon her.

(Impact! I do not know how I maintain the levity of heart to make these puns. Perhaps it is the recollection of that day, or even of what was to come later with Halanda. But I think, do you know, that I have always been a fellow who saw the rosy side of life, whatever my predicament. Even being whacked at school by old Thwaites. Remember him? Even then I could still raise a laugh. And now I come to think of it, wasn’t he the chappie who said puns were the lowest possible form of wit? The man knew nothing worth knowing about humour).

Devilish good spirits were also what I was in as I beat the widow’s arse into a state of radiant scarlet. The more I beat, the more excitedly she moved in her bonds, the more scarlet became her backside, the greater my good mood waxed.

And then, of a sudden, it was over. I delivered one especially stinging slap right on the crack between those two splendid bottom cheeks and she raised herself violently from the bed as far as the cords would permit before collapsing. There could be no doubt. The woman was sated. I had brought her to a conclusion by the force of my hand.

I untied her. I stripped off the rest of my clothes and lay beside her, taking her tightly in my arms. I smothered her sweet, warm face in kisses. For a moment I regretted that we were to part, and so soon. What is love, my dear old fellow? I am not sure that I know, but I think it must be something like what I felt for my Evelyn at that moment. A combination of desire, and affection, and the wish to protect someone and keep her safe—is this love? You and I may never know; and perhaps that will be the price we pay for serving the Crown.

A warmth emanated from her. In a sort of half-swoon, she let her body press against mine and I felt that she, too, was taking refuge in the moment—that, if I could have offered my protection in the rest of her journey through life, she would have accepted it. But I was a serving officer in the British Army and that could not be. I knew it, and so did she.

She began to stir. She looked down the narrow space between us—a space she had to pull slightly back to create—and smiled. I smiled, too. Importunate, demanding, obstinate, persistent—what name would you give to a man’s tool when it needs release? Like a Ghurka’s knife, which he calls his kukri (brave fighting man, your Ghurka), once drawn it cannot be sheathed until it has been used.

The widow saw my situation clearly. She kissed me on the lips. Then she moved back as far as the tight confines of the bunk would permit, drawing me after her until I was in the centre of the mattress. At this point, she rolled on top of me. Lifting her hips, she reached down between us, took my hard and swollen weapon in her hand and drew it into herself. When she lay down again, I thought I should be unable to move–but that turned out not to matter. It was the widow on top of me who moved, or rather those muscles inside her that needed to move. Have you experienced this, old man? My darling Evelyn milked me, long and slow.

When we awoke it was six in the morning and the stewards were bringing tea. I requested an extra cup for Evelyn, which was served without demur. Stewards on the Peninsular and Oriental are known for their discretion. Having drunk it she rose, kissed me, dressed hurriedly and departed for her own cabin where she would wash before dressing again for breakfast. I felt an obscure regret that she could not do those things in my cabin—our cabin—I mean a shared cabin. Something had come into my heart that had never been there before. I was not sure I wanted it, but I know now that I should have hated to go through life without knowing it at least that once.

It’s sex, it’s humour—but most importantly it is part of the telling of the story.

Not a James Franco “Me-Too”

Not a James Franco “Me-Too”.

The Transformation of David, a $0.99 short by S F Hopkins

This was an interesting story for me to write—and it’s selling regularly, which suggests that it’s also an interesting story for people to read. Mandrill Press likes books that are “on the edge” and I have a particular interest in those places on the masculine/feminine continuum that get less attention. Not many people are really “all man” or “all woman”, hard though some try to appear to be one or other of those things. Most are somewhere in between—and some men are very close to the female half of the spectrum, while some women are just a fraction away from the male. That was what interested me when I wrote this story: the way in which someone removed from their accustomed place on the male/female curve and set down further along it might not respond only with revulsion. Emails I’ve received suggest that most of Transformation’s readers are men, and I find that slightly disappointing—I’d have thought there was something here for women, too.
Anyways, here is where you can find it.

This is what it’s about:
The Chakin teach Andrew Matthews how to transfer people between bodies. Breaking a solemn promise, he turns his daughter, Lottie into David Walters in order to seize David’s fortune–and, along the way, enjoy the carnal pleasures of the beautiful female body that was forbidden him. The Chakin cross the seas to release David from his bondage as a woman, and David is grateful to them…but the gratitude is not total. Has David, in becoming a man once more, lost more than he gains?

And here is an extract, which should allow you to decide whether you’d enjoy this book or wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole:
It was a wicked thing they had done to him. He knew that. Wicked. As he lay on his front in this beautiful female body that he had been trapped into, skirt raised to his waist, a hand playing gently over his bottom, he knew that he should hate the person who had done this. She sat on the bed beside him in the body of the young man he had so recently been, and she toyed with him. Through the soft silk of his panties her thumb traced the space between his firmly rounded bottom cheeks. Her hand pressed on, down, down, until the tips of her fingers grazed the lips of his sex. Lips that he knew were moist with longing. A sex that ached to be entered once again.
Her head moved down, close to his own. She nibbled the lobe of his ear; she kissed him gently on the back of his neck. Her other hand was now in play, sliding beneath the waistband of his panties. ‘You want me, don’t you,’ she whispered. ‘You want to be fucked again. Turn over, my little darling. Let me give you what you crave.’
He rolled onto his back. Her hand now was right inside his panties, drifting over the smooth skin of his stomach, stroking where the fine hair had once been until she shaved it off, sliding down between the legs he opened wide to help her debauch him. ‘That’s it, my sweet,’ she murmured. ‘Open for me.’ She slipped a finger into his yearning sex, finding with her thumb the little nubbin, stroking it erect. He put his arms on her shoulders, reaching upwards, looking for a kiss. She obliged, pressing her lips against his, pushing her tongue into his mouth, searching for his own.
He lifted his bottom as she took down his panties and threw them aside. He lay, legs splayed, knees raised as she undressed without haste. Then with her knees she pressed his thighs further apart. Her cock rested for a moment on the moist lips of his sex. Then she pushed forward and he, helpless in the hands of one bigger and stronger than him; helpless also in his overwhelming need; was filled once more. She rode him, that handsome cock driving furiously in and out of his cunt, whipping him on towards his climax, his mind empty now of anything but this, on and on until the sudden, devastating leap over the waterfall into some unknown, unnameable nirvana, and he collapsed beneath her as she pumped her seed—his seed—deep into his honeyed cavern.
He was a man, desexed and used like a woman. Everything he had been raised to do and to be had been taken from him. He should hate the person who had done this to him.
So why did he feel this aching, remorseless need?


John Yorke begins Chapter 4 of Into the Woods with this extract from The Godfather:
“He locates the gun behind the toilet cistern, composes himself and moves towards the washroom door. In the small Italian restaurant, Sollozzo and McCluskey sit impatiently. He makes his way back to the table. He takes his seat, a subway train rumbles above but he hears nothing but the sound of his own heart. Diners talk on obliviously, the train screams past, he rises, pulls the gun, pauses and then in a moment plants a bullet in the forehead of both his guests. A mist of blood, a table upended, and Michael Corleone’s life is changed for ever.”
This chapter is called The Importance of Change and Yorke does a pretty good job of showing the importance of change to the creative artist—doesn’t matter whether you’re writing novels or screenplays, change is (or should be) the essence of what you do. He says that, “in three-dimensional stories the protagonist goes on a journey to overcome their flaw” and that “Change is thus inextricably linked to dramatic desire: if a character wants something, they are going to have to change to get it.”
When I’ve talked about Into the Woods before, it’s been to say how something that should really be obvious did not become clear to me until I read what John Yorke has to say about it. That’s the reason I recommend that we all, neophyte to established bestseller, have something to learn from this book; a well-thumbed copy should be on every writer’s bookshelf. It happened again with this chapter.
As I’ve said before, my degree from the University of Toronto was in English; I didn’t take Creative Writing and I’ve never done a Creative Writing course. I’m not against them—in fact, I think they’re probably a very good thing—I’ve just never done one; and the result is that there’s a lot of writing theory that is second nature to some writers but that I don’t know. I’ve always been aware that sometimes I get it right and sometimes when I read what I’ve written I realise I’ve a heavy restructuring/rewriting job on my hands and until I read Into the Woods I often didn’t really understand why this book worked and that one didn’t.
I’m a lot closer to that knowledge now.
Roadmap of Change

I’m not going to reproduce great chunks of Into the Woods because (a) I want as many writers as possible to buy their own copy and read it; and (b) I don’t want to be accused of plagiarism or—worse—sued for breach of copyright. However, I find this graphic so irresistible I’ve printed it and stuck it on my wall. Planning and executing the structure of a novel is so much easier if you keep this sequence in your head. And, when I look at the books of mine that have worked and compare them with the near-misses, I can see that the winners followed this structure and the others didn’t. The winners followed it accidentally, though, because I didn’t really know what I was doing and I was trying to reproduce structures that I’d found satisfying in other people’s books, and now I have a better handle on what I’m supposed to do.
My book, The Unquiet House was ready for publishing and due to go live in October. Now I’ve pissed off Ron Lynch’s cousin, who does his best to keep Mandrill Press writers on the administrative straight and narrow, by withdrawing it so that I can strengthen Act Four—the part where the characters, having grown in self and situation-awareness, regress and suffer doubt before girding their loins (and not just figuratively; Bernie Kells told me the other day in a Facebook post that I was a rude woman and I really don’t dispute that) and going into Act Five ready to get what they want. And, actually, I’ve just lied because I’m not going to strengthen Act Four—I’m going to write an Act Four that, in the original, doesn’t exist.
This reminded me of my very first sale, a short story that was published twenty years ago when I was half the age I am now (Yes, that’s right, you clever mathematicians). The magazine’s editor rang me to say she’d be pleased to see more; and she congratulated me on my excellent structural technique—the way I’d put the last and biggest hurdle the heroine had to climb over right before the joyful ending. I had? Well, I had—but I hadn’t really known I was doing it. And now I did.
This is how writers improve—by having an expert explain technique. Not content—that’s the domain of the writer alone. Technique.
I wish I’d come across John Yorke twenty years ago. By now I might know what I’m doing.

Another story went live last night

The Dream went live on Kindle last night. I don’t know exactly where the idea for the story came from, but then I almost never do know where the idea for a story comes from. It arrives, and I write it—though often there’s an interval between the seed and the finished article. In this case, I typed out these sentences several weeks ago:

She had the dream again last night. The one set in 1941, which was thirty-five years before she was actually born, but that’s what dreams can do. In the dream she’s the English head of a private girls’ school in France. Another thing that dreams do is skip over all the little linking bits, like how the soldiers surrounded the school and whether the girls are all safely asleep, and lead straight in to the action.

Which, in this case, is the Leutnant and two of his men standing in her office. The two men are smiling, grinning in fact in anticipation of what they no doubt know as well as she does is going to happen, but there is no smile on the face of the Leutnant. A Leutnant isn’t a proper officer, she knows that. He’s the equivalent of an English Second Lieutenant, a glorified NCO really, but he has the power here and he knows it and she knows it.

She wonders, as she does every time she has the dream, how this young officer can possibly be so tall, so well built, so powerful and so blond. The German economy has struggled since the end of the previous war, starving its people to pay reparations to a vindictive France. That’s how Hitler found it so easy to take power, isn’t it? This young man, this boy really, was born during that time, so how does he get to look like a corn-fed child of the Canadian prairies? He should have rickets. It’s a mystery.

That was as far as I got, and then I went back to what I’d been working on before. On the surface it might have seemed that I had forgotten about The Dream but I knew I hadn’t. It was ticking away in my subconscious, which is the way it always happens with me, and three days ago I had the finished thing lined up in my head. All I had to do was write it J.

It’s now done and last night I put it on Amazon—you can find it here (at $0.99) on and here (at £0.79) on If you’d like to see a bit more, to make up your mind whether you might like this story, this is how the beginning (above) continues:

‘What’s your name?’ He’s asked this question every time she’s had the dream, which means every night this week, really; he should know her name by now but still he asks for it.

‘My name is Christine. I am a British citizen. You have no right to keep me here.’

He smiles. It is not a nice smile. ‘You are correct, Christina. So what shall we do? Would you like to leave? Of course, a woman on her own making her way on foot through an occupied country might have difficulties. Not all our soldiers are as polite as I am. And I don’t know what you’d do if you ever reached a port. But, please. Feel free to go.’

She stares at him. She knows what he suggests is not really a possibility.

‘And when you have left,’ he says, ‘I will be disappointed. I shall have to enjoy the Head Girl instead. What is she? Eighteen? Perhaps my disappointment will not be so severe. And I shall turn my men loose on all these girls you have here. You think their parents will like to have them back with German babies?’

This, also, is not a possibility. A headmistress takes on responsibilities along with the prestige. Protecting the young ones in her charge is her most important task. If it means she must sacrifice herself, then…

In the dream she is still a virgin. She isn’t, of course; not after eight years of a marriage now thank God dissolved, but in the dream she has never known a man. That has remained constant all week. Something that has changed is what she wears. On the first night when she removed her tweed skirt at the Leutnant’s behest she had on the Marks and Spencer knickers and tights that are her usual wear, but in her musings on the dream the following day she saw how ridiculous that was. So on the second night she stripped to what her father used to call Harvest Festivals. “All is safely gathered in.” They were no more right than the St Michael’s cotton; her great-grandmother might have worn them; she could see from the Leutnant’s face that she had displeased him; so on the third and each subsequent night she adopted what she thinks a well-off French woman in 1941 might have worn.

‘Have you considered your position?’ asks the Leutnant.

‘I cannot leave my charges to your care.’

He nods. ‘Take off your clothes.’


‘Take off your clothes.’

And so she does. What choice does she have?

That’s how it starts. If you like the idea—good. If it doesn’t appeal, no hard feelings. But, just in case, I’ll repeat the locations: it’s here on and here on



10 September 2013

And this is why I write!

MaryH reviewed Lovers in Their Fashion on, and I’m so delighted. This is what she wrote. Thank you, Mary!

This is the kind of book I became a reviewer for, July 29, 2013      

This review is from: Lovers in Their Fashion (Kindle Edition)      

I wrote this review for Manic Reviewers, for whom I write three or four reviews each month. I’m reproducing it here because I loved this book more than almost any and I wanted to give it as wide an audience as possible. When I first became a Manic Reviewer, I saw myself finding unknown gems on the Web and bringing them to a wider public. I know now that I was mistaken. Like unusual vegetables, unknown books are mostly unknown for a reason–they’re not very good. After two reviews with so few stars I didn’t want them published for fear of hurting the writers’ feelings, and having taken myself off the reviewer list for what turned out to be the worst book I had ever read, I adopted a different approach. Now, I look for the authors who have shown they can write good English and the publishers who (a) exercise some kind of selection over what they publish and (b) make sure the book is properly edited before it reaches the public. Lovers in Their Fashion is the second Mandrill Press book I have reviewed, and the second book by S F Hopkins. I’m not sorry I chose to review it because I’m giving it the full five stars–something I almost never do.
This is not an erotic book–there is some sex in it and it’s very satisfying sex, but primarily this is a contemporary romance between two people who come fully to life in Hopkins’s hands. Alice Springer started out with not very much but by the age of 30, through her own talent and hard work, is the retail director of high fashion company House of Pharaoh. John Pagan is about to become chief operating officer of a multi-national company. As it happens, I am PA to the chief operating officer of a multi-national, which may be why Lovers in Their Fashion and I connected so well, and I can say with certainty the world he moves in is extremely well portrayed–it’s authentic. Of the other characters, Alice’s American friend Merrill and the villainous Martin Planer are also very well drawn. When reading a story like this there is a natural assumption that the central two characters will go through a few ups and downs before getting to the inevitable happy ending. I was astonished by the size of the wall S F Hopkins throws up between them and the apparent impossibility that they could climb over it. My heart was in my mouth till the last page–but, my word, I was rooting for them. I don’t expect to read many books this good this year.

%d bloggers like this: