INTIMACY: Erotic Stories of Love, Lust, and Marriage by Black Men

Robert Fleming, Editor . Plume $14 (288p) ISBN 978-0-452-28474-6

Inventive conceits dominate in Fleming's second collection of erotic stories (after 2002's After Hours ) by African-American writers both new and established. Sexual frustration proves to be a nice point of entry for sci-fi writer Stephen Barnes in "Jet Lag," as a writer's busy schedule and a visiting mother-in-law keep the flames of love in check until a final, explosive release. Kinky sex takes center stage in Reginald Brown's "Almond Eyes," a cautionary tale about a young man whose hot, older and erotically adventurous girlfriend might be sucking the life out of him. In Gary Earl Ross's "Lucky She's Mine," a criminologist rescues and marries a battered woman, only to be stalked by her ex after he gets out of prison, while in "Forty-five Is Not So Old," Kalamu ya Salaam presents the sad dilemma of a middle-aged woman lamenting her husband's lack of desire for her even as he lies in a hotel with his mistress. Cecil Brown provides a cheeky moment of comic relief in an excerpt from his novel Days Without Weather , "A Fan's Love," in which a woman seduces a comedian after his show, and demands good loving and good jokes to spur her to a stirring climax. Despite the occasional clunker, and the lack of a couple of longer, more complex stories to balance the quick-hit situational material, Fleming has assembled another volume that's sure to please. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/10/2003
Release date: 01/01/2004
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