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Aphrodite in Bloom by Anonymous [arc review]

Aphrodite in Bloom by @glimpses_of_my_books

I find it really hard to review books that are a collection of stories or novellas, some are always going to be great while others are not going to be exactly to my taste. That is definitely the case here. There are some amazing novellas in this book that could easily be turned into full books, there are others that I could have done without. That being said, I was impressed, most of them were actually really good.
The other difficult thing with reviewing novellas is saying why you liked it without giving away the story. So I apologize in advance if this review will come across vague.

Before we get to it, here is the blurb, which I find 100% accurate :)

This erotic anthology has something for everyone and caters to many different tastes and proclivities. Discover what interests or excites you. Explore which is your perfect story. Return to it again and again. We dare you.

A virgin receives an especially satisfying gift at a masked ball...

A duke offers to settle a man’s debt for one night with his wife...

As an introduction to a secret club, a viscount’s heir is made over into a woman—and discovers her true self...

Plus nine more sensual stories of libidinous lust, catering to the tastes of varying sexual appetites. Whatever your fancy, Aphrodite in Bloom is ready and willing to serve…


Aphrodite in Bloom is a collection of erotic historical romance stories. I feel that is worth a mention because I genuinely had no idea they were all going to be historical. 

There were trigger warnings written somewhat sweetly a the beginning of each novella, I found that very thoughtful. Regardless of your sexual orientation or preferences/kinks everyone has the things they do and do not like and knowing in advance some of those things made the reading more pleasant.  I for example do not personally enjoy reading FF romance, knowing in advance which ones those were was nice. 

I will figure out an overall rating for Goodreads but I won't add one here. Each novella deserves its own rating and it wouldn't be fair giving 5 to the one I did not finish or anything less than a 5 to the one I liked the most. And boy did I love one of them... I need to know who wrote it and I need that person to make a whole book out of it!

- Gift 4.5/5
Cute and charming while at the same time being very naughty. Made me laugh. The ending was perhaps a little rushed but that can't always be helped with a novella. The "gift" was definitely not to my taste, but it made for a very entertaining read. Sometimes it is nice to read out of your comfort zone.

- One Night With a Duke 3.5/5
It made me smile, not because it was sweet and romantic, but because of how ridiculous and unrealistic the whole thing was. And you know what? I liked it exactly for that reason! There are many types of erotic romances out there, this one had less story and more spice, that is ok, but I need more balance, hence not a 4 or 5.

- Bosom Chums 2.5/5
FF romance just isn't for me. This is not quite it, it's MFF, but there were enough FF scenes in such a short novella to make it difficult for me to enjoy. I read it, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.

- The Grand Ball 1/5
Sadly this was a big no for me. A guarantee however that many of you will LOVE IT. Here is the thing, as much as I enjoy reading erotic novels I need them to have a plot and not be just sex. This was just sex. So it will work for some of you for sure, just wasn't for me.

- Standing in for an Earl 5/5
Can the author for this one come out of hiding and make this into a book? Pretty please? Super sweet, super charming, and super spicy. All three characters were fascinating. I don't know how the author put so much into one tiny novella! There is context, there is content, there is passion. Give me more.
 
- Stepping Out With a Stable Boy 4/5
Ridiculously fun and enticing. A mature woman and a younger man find passion... or love... who knows... Great late night short read.

- One Night as a Woman 3.5/5
MM romance. Cute and well written. The author managed to pack a lot in a few pages: romance, friendship, identity, sibling love...

- Love Letters with a Governess
- A Glimpse of her Groom
- A Lady for a HIghwayman
I don't have much to say about these 3. The first was ok but not engaging enough. The second was odd and out of place in the book. The third is merely a matter of preference, not for me, but probably something everyone else will love.

- An Evening of Cards 3/5
Fun read. Entertaining shenanigans. Lacks a plot and its mostly sex but it was written in a way that made you want to finish!

- A Baker's Man 5/5
Another one that could easily be turned into a book. I need to know more about the baker and I need to know more about the nobleman that stole his heart. 

And there you have it. I told you nothing, but I told you all you need to know to give this collection a try. There were only 4 out of 12 I did not lile and 2 of those 4 were just a matter of preference and not because they were bad. 10 out of 12 good stories is a pretty good deal if you ask me :) 

Release Date: August 1oth, 2021
Pre-Order at Inklings Bookshop
Add to your GoodReads
 

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