We all have… that One, the one who got away. The one we fell for or simply were attracted to, but we never got. That One, but not necessarily The One, at least not the first time around. That One who slips into our fantasies late at night when we’re feeling melancholy or nostalgic. Maybe we took a chance once and it simply didn’t work out. Maybe we never took the chance… and we wish we had. We all have the name of the One Who Got Away tattooed on our heart, always with us, never forgotten.
There is something hopelessly romantic about the idea of connecting with a long lost love. This luscious Cleis Press collection of second chance stories celebrates longing and loves that, whether by fate or by design, are at last requited and fulfilled.
Review: Warning: Ménage’s, Masturbation, and hot sex hard and fast. In this anthology it was all about that second chance. That one that slipped through our grasp leaving us with the question of what if…
What would you do if you were given another chance at finding or having sex with that hot guy or girl or other or extra that got away? Whether it was camp, school, college or just maybe the boy next door…what would you do if given that chance?
Homecoming by Alex Tobin: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Starbucks work for me. Billy and Sadie meet while his band is playing locally. Life happens and you or they move on. Billy ends up coming back to play a solo gig in the town where it all started. Billy gets ready for the set noticing Sadie standing up against the wall as there is no available seat.
Picking up after eleven years I don’t know if I could do it. To Billy and Sadie it was if the time in between never happened. That was after Sadie offered or ordered Billy to take a shower. I liked the storyline, characters and details. Sometimes the right person is worth waiting for.
Again by Renee Luke: To quote from the story there is always shoulda, wouldas and couldas in our lives. If only I had done that…
Ms. Luke gave us a story with warmth with Cyrena and Mace. This was a true love story that I didn’t want to end. It was kind of like the ‘Gift of the Magi’. Mace went into the service to help Cyrena out. Cyrena stayed put to raise her sisters and take care of her Grandpa. They each thought that the other left and didn’t care. He comes back wounded she is his therapist. While the feelings and sex ended up right where things left off (well, more heated now) I just enjoyed the background romance of Cyrena and Mace wanting more of them and their story.
Polyglot by Skylar Kade: Sergio and Katie take us into what seems to be a ménage minus the third person (Ekaterina). Katie and Trina were so in love at school…with plenty of F/F sex. Sergio got off on Katie describing all that she and Trina did. For him it enhanced sex with Katie. For Katie it was bittersweet memories of the love that got away. I had a rough time with the characters I didn’t find them to be very real. The storyline was okay but not one that I liked.
Sunshine by Emerald: Sean, Kelly and a rather interesting tattoo of a clock. An encounter in a hotel bar where Kelly recognized Sean from a couple of years earlier but at the time Kelly was there with her husband and daughter. They briefly talked. I liked the chance encounter that brought these two together again. But, what I think I liked the most was the way Kelly put the condom on Sean. I don’t want to spoil it but it was interesting and I would like to know if it actually works.
How to Get Your Wife Back, in only about a Million Steps by Claire De Winter: Ms. De Winter wrote a story that really hits home. Sometimes marriages need a good swift kick or just some unplanned sex. I know after having kids sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan when it comes to intimate times with your spouse. This is the case for Elise and husband, Els. Just had twins, always in a nursing bra, body out of shape and no sleep, feeling very unattractive, thinks husband is having an affair.
Midnight sex outside…Sexy as hell! If you have had kids you know that Ms. De Winter nailed the feelings we go through. The doubts we have. I liked this sexy story. I would have grabbed him in the shower. Just saying…
Proof by Mia Hopkins: Ms. Hopkins takes us into the kitchen where, let’s just things Emma and Lucas do a fine job making bread. Five years doesn’t seem like a long time but a lot can happen in that five years. What do you say about someone that you have daydreamed about all that time? Ms. Hopkins not only heats up the kitchen but everywhere else as well. Slow and downright sexy…
The One Who Came Instead by Tamsin Flowers: Paris a place for lovers to meet. This reminded me of ‘An Affair to Remember’ with a twist. Seven years and a promise to meet again in Paris only Karen showed up. It seems that Elliott got married and has a couple kids. He made the promise but forgot right after leaving Karen but his friend Tom came and let me tell you he remembered everything. Karen found it hard to believe that someone would actually remember all the little details taking the time off to come to Paris because he was intrigued. I thought this was simply a very classic romance. The sex was hot also.
In the Dark, So Bright by Lalia Blake: Ms. Blake shows us that if we are confident in our bodies we can have it all too! Hot sex is for everyone. And hot guys find woman of all sizes attractive. Gemma and Logan made their own music. The visual from the cigarettes to the guitars that lined the exposed brick wall of the apartment were easy to see and smell. Ms. Blake showed that even with confidence everyone still has insecurities. The sex was raw, full of passion. Meant to show that it was real the hurt from the last five years didn’t matter.
Triple Treat by Rachel Kramer Bussel: Ms. Bussel takes us on a journey that spans twenty years. Luke had a hold over Brandy. Luke was married to Yvette at the time and still is. They (Luke and Yvette) were in an open relationship. Now twenty years later, a failed marriage and a daughter, Brandy and Luke meet again. This time it won’t be just Luke and Brandy picking up where they left off. Yvette wants Brandy. So Yvette and Brandy and eventually Luke end up having hot sex on the hood of the car. Secluded perhaps… Or maybe just a little out there for all to see. Ms. Bussel took us from M/F to F/F to M/F/F. There was a little bit of something for everyone to choose from. I found this a little bit out of my comfort zone. The characters just were a little flat for me. I just couldn’t quite get into the whole open marriage concept.
College Days by Kim Stafford: Mira and James had a thing years ago at college. Mira is now working at the college. Time has passed and life went on. Now fate brings them together. James is there on a college visit with his daughter. Married…Now he is divorced. Can they go back and recapture those feelings? Mira shields herself not wanting to feel that pain again. Weeks pass James had the chance to transfer close to Mira. Things end up working out where he does move. Ms. Stafford brings an of urgent sex to the forefront letting everyone know that at times you just have to have that orgasm without him. Well, maybe more than one time also. It was as if James was showing Mira that although he married Linda he never loved her. Mira always held his heart. The story was a little on the sappy side but not that bad.
A Few Gray Hairs by H. Keyes: In her twenties Sarah moved from Wales to Japan. She ended up staying for a decade. Back into her life walks Seichi, a designer/sometime musician. Five years since they had last spent their once a month weekend and Seichi faded from the scene. Hurt Sarah tried to put her life back together. She went to school to further her career in Jewelry making among other things.
I really had a hard time with this story as it was difficult for me to grasp that in five years Seichi couldn’t call and let Sarah know what happened. I don’t care that his career took off and he now has a store. I would have a hard time taking him back. Second chance or not, the sex would have to be earth shattering and I just didn’t feel it. I felt things were just a little bit rushed. Not a favorite.
Photograph by Jillian Boyd: Rachel found it hard to keep her cool at the wedding that she was taking pictures for. The best man was her past. She so hoped that Ben wouldn’t recognize her. After all seven years had passed. It was a long summer of traveling and making love in Paris, Vienna and Rome. And it ended. Twenty one was young too young to know what you wanted well for Ben anyways. He was immature. Now seven years later Rachel is expected to get over the hurt. I guess a second chance was in the cards for them. I really got a grasp on the characters in this short story. I was able to feel the hurt that was all too real for Rachel. I liked this story and would have liked more of their summer together. There was hot sex with adventures for the future thrown in.
Danish Affair by J. Crichton: I would drop my boyfriend at sixteen for a hot exchange student from Copenhagen. Time passed by way to fast and it was time for Anders to go back home. There was the undying professing of love at sixteen. Who hasn’t done that? Then there is giving each other a gift or memento to remember each other by. I forgot the promises to keep in touch. (As if that ever happens.) I remember that long ago young love. But for these two the feelings were real. She went to school and studied everything about Denmark eventually moving there for her career. Once settled finding her love again picking up as if the years never happened. I like this sweet romance that spanned fifteen years. Sometimes we need that time to grow, along with admiting that we lost the address. I liked the story along with the characters they worked. I was able to feel their plight. Sex fast and hot for time wasted. It works for me.
Beginnings and Endings by Kristina Wright: Different places in lives…a relationship that shouldn’t have started in the first place…no real ending or beginning for that matter. Addicted to each other; consumed by each other. Erik and Fiona texts sent with the promise to meet. Erik lost his father, his idol, and has decided to start over. He decides he no longer wants to be a firefighter but a teacher and wants Fiona to be a part of that life. I think that Ms. Wright showed that sometimes second chances can be good. That for whatever reasons the timing wasn’t right for Erik and Fiona they both wanted different things and just weren’t ready. I felt that I wanted more with this couple. Sometimes to find the beginning we have to find the end if that makes sense. Hot sex for a hot couple…
No matter where you are in life I think that everyone has that one regret that late at night or when you are all alone you think about that one that got away. This anthology gives those ones a second chance to get it right this time, to grow up and make it work this time. So if you aren’t happy there still may be some hope or at least hot sex.