So, it's Valentine’s Day on Thursday. I have such a love/hate relationship with Feb. 14, it is not even funny. [caption id="attachment_15127" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Finally, erotic fiction that doesn't make me want to stick my fingers down my throat! You will like it too – it’s such a fun read :)[/caption] I mean I hate the fact that it's a day that sometimes made me feel as if there was something wrong with me, as if being single meant I was a failure and nobody loved me. Especially when the bouquets of fresh flowers would start rolling into the office and friends would tell me about fun Valentine’s nights they were planning – with, ususally, a Valentine. And mine were usually me, a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates and a movie that would always make me cry. Also, some of the stuff was crazy: one friend would make a lot of strawberry Jell-O in the days leading up to the big event, then she would throw it into the tub and they would take a bath together. I guess that's fun? I dunno. Anyway, there is stuff about Valentine’s Day that I do love. I like the way it makes couples stop and say I love you in a myriad of ways. Whether it's a box of chocolates or flowers or lingerie or a nice dinner or Jell-O, it is a day that hopefully makes them stop and think about them and their relationship. And I love the way that couples get up enough courage at this time of year, especially, to get a little daring in the bedroom. So I'm always on the lookout for decent erotic fiction. I was so disillusioned however, by my last read, 50 Shades, that I stuck to medical websites for a while. I mean, that’s not fair. The writing wasn’t great and neither was the plot but it did have a few moments. Honestly, though, I'm often disappointed with erotic fiction. It's not an easy thing to write. Remember the stuff we used to read? About throbbing members, sometimes? haha. And some just goes too far the other way and makes me say eeyuw. So I’ve been on the lookout for a new good read. Happy to say, I found one! S.E.C.R.E.T. (Random House, 2013) by L. Marie Adeline (pen name!) The real writer is Lisa Gabriele and one of my coworkers, Jenn Gruden, told me about it. So I called Random House and Randy sent one over for me and I started reading...and I couldn’t stop. It was fun. I like it because Cassie, the protagonist, has a lot of power, she’s calling the shots. She joins S.E.C.R.E.T., an underground society that helps women make their sexual fantasies a reality. And it’s fun to watch Cassie pick up confidence and lose herself in the moments. It’s about desire. And empowerment. And getting comfortable with your sexuality. And that’s pretty sexy. And I like the writing. It's not all cheesy, well, you know. Please, don't make me write it. I like that Lisa is Canadian and has a good imagination. I like some of the lines. And parts of it are funny. Like the time one guy, the “pastry delivery man” smashes the cart in the restaurant kitchen where Cassie works. It’s funny, and humour isn't something you often get in an erotic novel. And it’s about desire. And empowerment. And that’s pretty sexy. I like how she builds up the scenes, with some adorable surprises. It made me want to read more, so I did my favourite trick of popping it inside a file folder at a speakers’ forum, so I could keep reading. And I like the twist at the end, but I won't tell you that. In any case, happy Valentine’s Day. Pick up the book, maybe you'll get some ideas. And if not, at the very least, it’s a good read. How about you? What are you up to for Valentine’s Day?