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Image source: Scarlet Smith

Review of ‘Spice’ (Scarlet Smith, 2015)

Helen Maloney itcherScarlet Smith explores the increasingly popular theme of ‘kink’, but from the perspective of an established couple trying a few things out. Many erotic and romance novels have been released examining this topic, but most feature at least one character who is aware of their ‘needs’ or their likes and dislikes. Smith discusses what many are wondering, “How vanilla am I? and “Do I need to change?”
~ Review by Helen Maloney
This book was offered to me as the team at itcher thought I might enjoy it, since I’ve read and reviewed my share (Take a look at my Books like Bared to You and Books like 50 Shades if you want to know more). It was given to itcher by the author, who wants an honest review, so I’m going to try my best.
Whetting the Appetite

Jess is a freelance writer for an online magazine and has been given a new assignment: she is to test the waters and try out a few of the ‘kinky’ things people do or read about with her partner of 3 years, and then write about them in a blog. She is to try something new every day, and there’s a list of contacts of people she can talk to about the different activities. 

As well as the story itself, I enjoyed reading about Jess’ conversations with her ‘experts’ but then, as she says:

People always wanted to know what other people were doing in the bedroom. How they measured up.

Overall Feel

Image Source: Scarlet Smith

It’s clear from the start that Max isn’t some dominant, possessive alpha male, like you often read about – he’s just a typical guy. Nor is Jess a closet submissive waiting for her needs to be discovered. This instantly captured my attention: while I love a good alpha male as much as the next girl, sometimes it’s nice to read about more ‘ordinary’ men and relationships.

I really liked how it was an established and committed relationship from the start; it’s a nice change to read about those, rather than just a brand-new relationship. It proved the perfect background for exploring if there’s more to sex maintaining loving relationships once things have settled down a bit. Smith keeps her characters’ reactions as realistic and honest as she can – both the main characters, the family and friends of the couple, even those at the magazine.

Smith discusses the topic, through Jess, with open-mindedness and no real hint of judgement, just acceptance that different people like different things, but as human beings, we’re all curious.

What would I change? I’m not sure I’d change anything. There’s less back-story given than in some short novels I’ve read, but that just helps to keep the focus on the here and now and the things Jess and Max are exploring and the changes it has on their outlook and their relationship. Despite its length, there’s enough character development and insight that you can empathise with Jess and the situation.

It’s not an in-depth look, so I wouldn’t recommend it as essential reading for anyone who’s read 50 Shades, Sylvia Day or other such novels and is wondering about trying out a few things. However, it’s a nice introduction into how experimenting can add to your sex life, while warning you about ensuring you really talk to you partner about everything and think it through carefully.


A Different Flavour

It’s hard to compare this book to anything because there aren’t many set in the middle of a relationship, or kink without the dominant/submissive aspect, yet both of those things are the books key strengths.
Whether you like this genre or just want a charming tale about livening up one’s sex life, I definitely recommend this story.

Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice

On the whole, I give this book a 4/5, primarily because I like how it’s not a typical book about kink. I like how the ‘spice’ is portrayed and how the different aspects all combine. I wouldn’t say no to reading this again or reading other things by this author.

Have you read any books, short or long, on a similar topic that you would like to recommend?
Have you read this or other work by Scarlet Smith?
If so, please share your thoughts and opinions here.
Hi, I′m Helen, I teach English in the UK and am a book addict (I′m serious - if I go too long without reading I get withdrawal symptoms!). I also love music, films, crafting, corresponding and video games. It is impossible for me to sit still unless I′m eating, holding a book or making something.
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