BOOK REVIEW: ‘Yearn’ (Tobsha Learner, HarperCollins)

Yearn is a collection of fun, imaginative and sexy stories by the author of Tremble and Quiver, Tobsha Learner. Learner’s stories are not purely erotic, but romantic and often other-worldly. Fate and magic have their parts to play in this collection. Highlights include ‘Pussy and Mouse’, about an overweight and insecure woman who is a BDSM goddess in the online world of Second Life; ‘Weather’, about a woman who believes the TV weatherman is her soul mate; and ‘Fur’, about a realistic nightly apparition who may have something to do with the protagonist’s new cat. The stories are pure fantasy— not just the sex and romance, but the wealthy and artistic lives of some of the protagonists. In terms of the writing, there are some awkward sentences and shifts in point of view. The erotic elements are various and well described, though all in the realm of heterosexuality. While this collection was enjoyable, I’m not sure it provides more substance than your standard erotic fiction kept in another section of the bookstore. Nonetheless, there is a great deal of imagination at work here, and enough to entertain and titillate a mainly female, popular-fiction readership. Male readers also have no reason to be deterred.

Angela Meyer is a former acting editor of Bookseller+Publisher. Her blog LiteraryMinded can be found on Crikey. This review first appeared in the Summer 2010/11 issue of Bookseller+Publisher.

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