cover image Athletic Aesthetic

Athletic Aesthetic

Edited by Kojo Black. Sweetmeats (, $15.95 trade paper (241p) ISBN 978-1-909181-45-8

In this collection of steamy novellas, five authors explore the relationship between sports and sexuality, with athletes and fans discovering their deepest desires and satisfying their erotic cravings. Emerald’s “Doubleheader” sees a baseball team’s CFO take on her two favorite players for some erotic teamwork. “Monocoque,” by Vanessa Wu, feels like the odd one out, as Wu uses Formula One racing merely as a backdrop for a young woman’s sexual exploits in Shanghai. Lexie Bay’s “Playing with the Big Boys” has a sales executive getting close to all three of her male colleagues, first on and then off the golf course. The strongest of the batch, “The Master,” by Malin James, focuses on a quartet of fencers as they compete for a single apprenticeship with the mysterious Master, in a compelling display of power exchanged; however, as the sole gay piece, it seems out of place as well. Though the collection doesn’t entirely come together as a seamless whole, each story satisfies on a sensual level. (Sept.)