cover image Night Shift: A Choose-Your-Own Erotic Fantasy

Night Shift: A Choose-Your-Own Erotic Fantasy

Joanna Angel. Cleis, $14.95 trade paper (310p) ISBN 978-1-62778-288-3

Angel brings her adult film star cred to print with a set of giddily gleeful, empowerment-oriented, and mostly female-centered vignettes about the blossoming of a lonely novelty store employee, all strung together in a story-game format. Sexy opportunities drop into bisexual Taryn’s lap as she works the overnight shift at Dreamz and revitalizes the store. Characterization of the quirky inhabitants of Taryn’s world is shallow but consistent, and although Angel’s stereotyping is sometimes awkward, she treats the cross-dressing lumberjack, enthusiastic sex shop owner, and smart-talking masturbation party fans with fondness and good-natured acceptance. Angel writes thoughtfully about kinky sex through Taryn’s beginner lens, making this a comfortable education for someone newly exploring these concepts. The story threading mostly offers a choice between two related scenes, and after the scene is about half complete, the reader has an option to continue or go back, making the branches feel more like a way for the reader to change up the reading order of the fantasies than a way to make meaningful character choices. The marketing is unsubtle—the protagonist’s lovers include a sales rep for the author’s favorite toy company and Angel herself—but the effect is as playful as it is commercial. This interactive story is a fun way to enjoy a smorgasbord of sex scenes. Agent: Kim Koba, United Talent Agency. (Feb.)