In Appreciation of Their Cox by Janine Ashbless

Story: 9
Presentation: 9
Total: 18
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Contemporary Erotica Multiple partner

Blurb: “Well, what we really need are small girls who are good at shouting and like hanging out with tall, muscular blokes.”

“Sign me up!”

And that was how I got into coxing.

Eight tall, muscular men, straining every sinew, and one itty-bitty young woman urging them on with all her might.

Joanna is the coxswain for a British university rowing crew, all of them fit and muscular and hot. Although she’s fantasized about each of the men, she has always been careful to keep her relations with them strictly platonic. But now she’s leaving for a new job—and they’re going to have a farewell party they will never forget, as all Jo’s wildest dreams come true on this final night together.

Review: I’m only going to touch on the low part briefly because there is so many amazing points to this story. The first big chunk of the story is terminology if you want to get into rowing. However, I found it interesting. But I received this as a review copy and didn’t pay for a dictionary.

Now for the story. There are eight men and one women. Rather than being confused by so many characters in a short story, I felt like I got to know them. As Joanna recounts her years as their cox, thinking back on how important these men had become to her, I grew to love them too. The writing is flawless. The friendship between all of them made my heart flutter and the sex was so freakin hot the words melted on the page. This book is so beyond my keeper shelf. All I can say is that this is a story that I wanted to read again the moment I finished it. It was bittersweet. The sex was raw, gritty and emotional. With eight sticks (yeah you know what I mean by sticks) in a room, it would have been easy to get lost in the choreography. Never once was I confused as to who was doing what. God, I felt as if I was in the room with them, I wanted to be in the room with them and when it was over, I ached with the loss. But the story wasn’t an epic love story between two people. It was love, devotion, friendship and only when the risks had been removed, were these characters able to act on the attractions that had always existed between them.

It was an amazing short story and one I will read again and again. Brilliant storytelling.

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