Celia Kyle writes sexy-sexy romance novels featuring plus-sized heroines. Commenter mccn volunteered to do a totally honest review of one of Celia’s books, as I thought some of you might be interested. Enjoy!
The best sex comes with humour. Whether it’s being able to share a laugh at the noises bodies make when they stick together, or to feel the warmth in your heart of chuckling at a partner’s quirks, a dose or two of laughter can make good sex even better. And Celia Kyle’s Love Defined, a blend of erotic description, romance novel and fantasy, proves it.
Kyle’s heroine, Dr. Virginia Taylor, creates opportunities for the second type of humour; as billed, she’s a unique personality whose quirks offer both Mattias Kilgrey, the leading man, and the reader, plenty of smiles. Whether she’s lost her glasses in the breadbox (or on top of her head), manages a pratfall in the shower when surprised there, or orders enough for four at her local take-out place so she can have a taste of everything, Ginny’s habits are endearing and create a believable personality. She comes off the page reminding the reader of herself, or of someone she knows whose habits lead to similar fond chuckles.
But Ginny isn’t just a ball of quirks. Kyle rounds out Ginny with deeper and quieter feelings, touching on her passion for her work and her self-doubts. Readers might find the relationship arc both gratifying and recognizable as Ginny initially shys away from Mattias in embarrassment about unshaven legs and in doubt that he’d be interested in a body like her own: a fat body. While insistent on being loved as she is (on revealing her naked body to her lover, she says, “This is me. Get a good look. I won’t have you telling me to lose thirty pounds in two months. . .”), she had struggled with fear about how the man of her dreams will respond to her body. Any reader who’s wondered something similar will know how gratifying it is when he responds with a full panoply of erotic moves and a resounding assurance that her body, exactly as it is, is exactly what he wants. The romance is sweet and human, and Ginny’s quirks as well as her doubts serve to make it real.
In terms of erotic content, the book teases throughout and builds up to a big finish at the end. If you’re looking for explicit detail, the action here will usually meet your needs: Kyle gives a full play-by-play from the first lustful gaze through the big finish, and intersperses the description of what’s being done with commentary about how it feels, so that readers with an interest in either have something to take away. (Those looking for more of the “kinky” side may be disappointed; there’s a lot of action but no fetishes or orgies or actual spanking; and readers should also note that this is hetero romance). Having been introduced to the book on BFD, I will say that I was expecting a bit more of a description of what it’s like to make love to a fat body, or to be made love to in one – Kyle does make it clear that Ginny is a fat woman, and that this is what Mattias wants, but the descriptions of their sexual contact could almost all be mapped onto any body type. That may be important for an erotic novel – if you get too detailed, it will be harder for readers to imagine themselves in the action – but it was my one disappointment with the book. I would have welcomed a few more lines about exactly what it felt like for Mattias to run his hands over a fat body. Kyle does invest words in Ginny’s curves, though most (not all) of those are devoted to the two ‘curves’ she’s carrying in the front. That said, we know from the start that Ginny is a fat woman, and an eminently desirable one. Kyle isn’t coy about that. And Ginny’s internal dialogue does at times concern her body, and there were gratifying, recognizable moments for me in that dialogue. Neither the romance genre or the erotic genre is known for involving fat people, and Kyle’s book clearly steps out from the crowd here.
Love Defined also distinguishes itself in its use of fantasy. The first chapter presents a mystery – what is this Mattias, exactly? It’s clear that he has the hots for Ginny’s very human body, but it’s also clear that his own body isn’t always human. He starts out in a snow leopard habitat at an animal sanctuary, turning up his nose at raw meat. We quickly learn that Mattias is the possessor of both a male-model type human frame (Ginny counts to see whether he’s got a six-pack or an eight-pack) and a feline form; with the assistance of an earth goddess, he can switch from one to the other. Rawr. Kyle doesn’t spend a long time delving into the fantastic backstory, but fantasy is an important frame for this plot. Mattias’ abilities cause the characters to come together in the first place, provide rationale for a love story rather than just an series of erotic encounters, and give a nod to the idea of “animal passions” throughout. It’s used well, and guides the plot deftly without getting in the way of the main characters’ very human interactions. Kyle also writes erotic novels without the fantasy – so if shape-shifting cats aren’t your thing, don’t be turned off by that element here. What I found in the book (in addition to a loveable heroine, steamy action, and a satisfying romance) was pleasant use of language, an extremely good sense of pace, and a good use of dialogue. I’d wager that these strengths hold up across her work.
If you’re looking for some good, clean fun – stay away from the erotic shelves. If you’re looking for some good, sexy fun involving a delightful fat woman and a man who both loves her and aims to please, this is a great choice.
Posted by mo pie