This is about a young woman's self-discovery. Selene is a 'success story', having become a top journalist, while retaining her dazzling looks. However, in the past she has had unhappy relationships, and feels she has missed out on hedonistic fun. This she obtains, firstly with a young stranger on a beach, and finally with enigmatic Hudson: tryst is preceded by cultural tourism, and careful sizing up of minds. Afterwards Selene returns to her 'I stand on my own' attitude.
While she is on holiday, her mind is free to ramble, often into Selene's chequered past. Flashback blurs into the present, past-rooted interior monologue into direct observation. The dialogue is sparse. Selene is a cautious, premeditative type, in whom thought, reflection and analysis outweigh direct action.
Selene’s subtle, monitoring mind coolly observes and controls all the events. Maybe she is super-confident, or perhaps has a deep, underlying insecurity. She is many things to many readers.
Newly divorced and looking for interesting new experiences, Janice takes an art class with live models and the star makes her want more than a coincidental meeting. Art model, Cedric, thinks he knows the lady from somewhere when he sees her again at the pool. Body language says a lot and chance meetings lead to a desire for more. Will Janice ask Cedric over for a private modeling job and will he accept?
This short is all about rediscovering oneself – mentally, physically, emotionally and sexually. Janice and Cedric, who have both been in stale relationships, cross paths a few times before deciding that they both want more from themselves, for their lives. Determined to take a risk Janice makes her move, leading to sexual explorations with Cedric.
I liked Janice. I think she represents a lot of women who find themselves in a position of not being where they want to be in life or even who they want to be. Her feelings rang true, making this story seem more real and her risks even more worthwhile. I also like how Russell writes from Cedric’s point of view as well. I like being able to see where each character has come from, and how each character reacts to the same situation. I found Explorations to be a great read and very satisfying!
Further Explorations , by David Russell, takes up where the first book, Explorations , left off. Janice and Cedric, who are recently divorced, have enjoyed their passionate interlude. They have experienced a rejuvenation of spirit but both are still striving for that transformation of self; to shed the constraints of their old lives and become the person each secretly desires to be. Their interlude was just the beginning of that transformation and although there are some misgivings and reluctance they agree to go their separate ways to experience all that life has to offer.
During their time apart they keep in contact via email. They each encounter financial and career success which allows them to seek out the pleasures they had missed out on while in their respective marriages. Each shares a passionate encounter with another and learns more about what they like in the opposite sex. As well they learn much about what the other seeks. As the story approaches the end Janice and Cedric meet again. My Thoughts…This is not a conventional contemporary romance novel. That is, it’s not a typical romance where boy meets girl, they split apart and realize in the end they are passionately in love with each other. Please don’t take that to mean that I didn’t like the book because I certainly did. It’s very thought provoking and explores the relation between aspiration / illusion and reality. What is real and what is not? Janice and Cedric aspire to transform themselves and experience all that life has to offer. Each is convinced that transformation has taken place. The average on-looker would have to agree. But is it real or is it all just an illusion?
I have been reviewing David Russell’s work the past couple of days, and I must say that I have saved the best for last. Therapy Rapture is one of the most eclectic short stories I have come across. It combines a short story, art, and poetry. Crazy cool, huh?
Our male protagonist has an issue separating fantasy from reality. Throw in a therapist and a fitness trainer, and we have all the hot makings of a sensual read. After reading a few of Russell’s short stories, I see that he has an eye for romance and subtle details. His character lives in the moment, and each movement is filed with emotion and meaning. This builds quite the anticipation for lovemaking. And speaking of lovemaking, David has a soft hand for these types of scenes, preferring to keep the erotic details hidden. I find it refreshing and alluring.
I also really enjoyed how Russell changed up things a little with artwork and poetry. It was an unexpected break from the usual short stories, and one I liked very much. After reviewing Russell’s work over the past couple of days, I’ve come to know his work as truly unique. His writing is very abstract, sophisticated, and sensual, and I highly recommend Therapy Rapture!
The first story, My Dream of Madonna is about a dream the character had about his desire to be a sex object for Madonna - the pop singer. The story overall is a little weird but does have some sensual elements. The author's use of description in this story clearly shows that the story is a complete fantasy as it sometimes did not make sense and appeared very unrealistic. I understood the use of
references to songs by Madonna and even flamboyant scenes that appeared to act out scenes from her videos, but it sometimes made this story a little off-balanced.
The second story, An Ecstatic Rendezvous was actually more enjoyable and had more sensual elements. It was about a very handsome but shy man who yearned to have a one night stand with a sexy woman. One day he decided to step out of his comfort zone and gained enough courage to ask a girl out. Their sexual encounter was interesting. I liked the imagination that flowed with this
story. It showed how he overcame his shyness to live out his fantasy for at least one time.
Overall, both stories were "non-traditional" in terms of each story line, and sometimes appeared a little exaggerated as it seemed that both stories explore a man's fantasy about being intimate with a special female lover. What I liked about both stories is that is shows how
fantasies and dreams can sometimes be ambiguous and unclear but can make sense at the same time.
This ebook would be an interesting read for someone who is looking for something different.