What Caroline Wants by Amanda Abbott

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What Caroline Wants (Pushing the Boundaries, #1) by Amanda Abbott is, at first glance, a nice little book of erotica about wife sharing. But when read, What Caroline Wants is so much more. This is definitely one of those small print runs that exceeds expectations in a genre where just meeting the status quo is the norm. This is a book about sex, lots of it and very explicit. This is a book about couples and exploration and voyeurism and testing the self imposed moral boundaries of our lives. This is a book about charting unknown territory and learning that what you fear most is not the unknown, but knowing how much you enjoy it.

Jason and Caroline Stratton married straight out of college and have always enjoyed a vibrant and passionate sex life. It is one of the pillars of their marriage. When they find out that their neighbors, Piper and Michael Collins live a lifestyle as swingers, they are intrigued. Jason can’t stop thinking about it and much to her horror, neither can Caroline. The Strattons have always enjoyed a healthy sex life and never thought anything was missing. But the thought of watching another couple, of touching another couple has Jason excited, but Caroline, with her strong Southern guilt, isn’t sure what she feels.

They fantasy about sharing their sexual adventures with another couple cut cannot let it be their neighbors. But in talking with Piper, Caroline is told about another couple who share the lifestyle. They agree to meet with Emma and Pete at a dinner date that quickly turns erotic and leads to an opportunity to watch the new couple make love in the parking lot. Though Caroline is very much into how this makes her feel, she cannot shake the sense that what she is doing is immoral and will destroy her marriage. But she cannot stop and soon they agree to visit Emma and Pete for a night of adventure and exploration, that though very exciting, may lead to the destruction of their marriage. How far is too far?

There is a lot of erotica out in the market and there has always been. The massive success of Fifty Shades of Grey just took it mainstream. Sex sells. Not matter what the medium, sex sells. There is nothing wrong with this, sex, erotica, porn…has always been a pillar of civilization since we all step out of the caves. If you look at some of the artwork in those caves, you can say it happened even before then.

The view or thought process that sex is somehow bad or dirty is actually very new to humanity and that is too bad. But its this sense of guilt when you enjoy sex, that may not be what we were raised to think of as “normal” or “vanilla”, as it is so often refereed to, that is the theme of this book. Not the sex. Its the coming to grips with her own sexuality; that is the journey that Caroline is on. Not the voyeurism or wife sharing. Those are simply the means to her journey that really takes place in her heart and mind and not just between her legs.

There is a lot of bad erotica out there. There is a lot of mediocre erotica out there. But every so often there are the gems. The books that want to do more than shock or titillate you. The books that tell the stories and dare to make their characters about more than just their bodies and their orgasms. Books that deserve not to be missed.

What Caroline Wants is one such book.

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