I bought this rather expensive short story because I liked the cover and sample. It’s narrated by Betsy, a recently widowed young woman. Her husband committed suicide after the stock market crash of 1929. Hungry for change and adventure, she boards a ship bound for England.
Betsy’s husband was much older, and unable to spark her passions. She’s naïve about sex but wants to take a lover. On the first night she meets the Captain, a handsome, bearded gentleman, and Claire, a glamorous Englishwoman. The two women hit it off. Claire tells Betsy that the Captain is a fantastic bed partner, very discreet and well-endowed. She claims that he loves innocent, buxom blondes like Betsy. Then she kisses Betsy goodnight. Ooh la la!
The next evening, Claire debauches Betsy thoroughly. Betsy is scandalized by the wonderful, confusing sensations. She never dreamed that a woman would be responsible for her erotic awakening.
Betsy gets a summons from the Captain the following afternoon. After meeting him in his cabin, she visits Claire, and journals about their naughty exploits:
Oh God. What has happened to me? I’m lying here feeling deliciously satiated, after a deep sleep of perhaps ten hours. I made love with two people yesterday.
First, the Captain. I’m going to try and write this briefly, because there’s so much to say. I was nervous, but I dressed up for him. I put on my silk stockings and I chose not to wear any panties. My blouse was low-cut, my brassiere lacy. I applied lipstick to my mouth and rouge to my cheeks, which were flushed anyway. I don’t know why I did it; he probably would have been just as amorous had I shown up in an old robe and slippers.
I’m going to be coarse here. He took me three times: in the missionary position, and from behind (delicious), and then he buggered me. Can you imagine?
Betsy continues to sleep with both partners. Claire encourages her to explore, and the Captain loves to hear the details of their lesbian affair. While Betsy’s encounters with the Captain are strictly sexual, her feelings for Claire go deeper. She declares her love to Claire and vows to break things off with the Captain.
(Highlight to read)
(Highlight to read)
But when she visits him to say goodbye, they end up in bed together again.
“You’re wild,” he said to me afterwards as I buttoned my blouse rather shakily. “You won’t stay faithful to Claire for long.”
“Yes I will,” I told him.
“A woman will never satisfy you permanently. I’ve never met anyone with a stronger sex drive.”
I just laughed at him.
“Goodbye, Captain,” I said.
For what it’s worth, I believed the Captain, not Betsy. The ending is ambiguous because Betsy is an unreliable narrator. She wants to be true to Claire. Will she succeed? I’m doubtful, but her story is charming nonetheless.
I enjoyed the writing, the setting, and Betsy’s transformation from a curious young lady to a hot-blooded hedonist. The girl can’t help herself.
Review by Jill Sorenson (To find out more about Jill you can visit her website and follow her on Twitter. She also reviews for Smexy Books)
New York, 1930. Bubbly young blonde Betsy Parker is left a widow at only 25, after her older banker husband commits suicide in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Her family are sending her off on a voyage to England by cruise ship. Innocent and curious to explore, Betsy attracts the attention of both the ship's captain and an experienced and exotic English artist, Claire, who initiates Betsy into the delights of lesbian sex.
In this intensely erotic tale told in the form of first-person diary entries, Betsy is pulled between wild sexual encounters with the dominant captain and her deepening bond with Claire. Who will she choose?
Shaggy Dog Publications. December 4, 2011