Yes, I know, I read too much... just joking ;o) This past week I read a couple of short stories that deal with romance beyond what's socially acceptable. Today I focus on OPHELIA'S LESSONS, by Easmae Browder.
A teasing short story about a woman's learning path in the sensual realm. The best thing about this novella is that it's loosely based on Shakespeare's drama Hamlet. In this case, it's an erotic view on the bard's imaginings.
We have the well-known characters of Ophelia, Hamlet, Horatio... and they all come with their little schemes.
Ophelia is in love with Hamlet, but he has certain tastes she's too naive to fulfill. So Portia offers to provide the experience needed via Horatio. Thus starts a series of delicious lessons in the art of pleasure. After spending some quality time with Horatio, she begins to grow attached to her first lover. However, when the time comes to meet her true goal, things get a little darker than expected.
I liked the parallelisms between the original plot and this version that, nonetheless, adds a modern twist to the place and time it is set in. The intimate scenes are frequent, hot and graphic.
I also liked the changes the main character goes through. She starts innocent, but when she's ready for Hamlet she has to play coy to hide how much she craves what she's learned and how far she's willing to go to achieve her personal goal. After all, she shouldn't want something she's supposed not to be aware of. In order to get her dreams, she has done so much that she's not the same person. I don't know about you, but waiting so long for something usually spoils the dream for me.
It was pretty entertaining, but the resolution came about too quickly. I'd have liked more drama even if we already know the outcome.
The Naughty Shakespeare Series Book 1
by Esmae Browder
Sweet, innocent Ophelia--she wants nothing more than to marry Hamlet Elsinore. But what does a simple virgin know about pleasing a man like the sophisticated and charming Hamlet? Not a whole lot, but when her seductive roommate, Portia, learns of Ophelia’s interest, she gets Horatio to “teach” the innocent girl everything she’ll need to know to seduce his best friend, Hamlet.
Set in modern day, this prequel to Hamlet is steamy enough to have even the Bard blushing! Enjoy this first book of Literotica in the Naughty Shakespeare series.
In two or three sentences, what are the main themes of this novel?
Ophelia’s Lessons is a modern day, erotic prequel to Hamlet and attempts to explain the back story of one of Shakespeare’s most tragic female characters. This novel touches on the theme of true love, deception, and betrayal, but in a sexy, light hearted way.
What inspired you to choose Shakespeare as the basis for a steamy story?
I’m pretty sure I dated Shakespeare in another life. I might even have been his muse...just kidding! I have always liked his work, but I felt like he doesn’t do justice to some of the women in his plays. I wondered why Ophelia loved Hamlet so much that she could be driven mad by his actions. Exploring her back story, as well as, the back story of some of his other female characters was a great challenge and really fun to add some larger sexual elements to.
Who was the first character you came up with when creating the story?
Ophelia, but I guess that was sort of cheating! I mean, the Bard did come up with her first. However, her roommate, Portia, is all my own creation. She’s naughty and always got her mind in the gutter!
Tell us about other books in this series.
The Naughty Shakespeare series currently is made up of Ophelia’s Lessons, Ravishing Rosaline (a prequel to Romeo and Juliet), and The Taming of the Prude (a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew). I do see several other works coming in the near future!
What are the last two books you've read?
Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffen. Fast paced, great characters, and interesting love situations!
What's a typical day in your writing routine?
I try to get up early. I stress try. Once, I’ve had my coffee, then I consider going to the gym. Usually, I just consider it. Occasionally I actually do it. After that, I spend the morning on promotional things for my various projects. Afternoons are for writing! And some times napping…
Besides writing, what things do you enjoy?
I’m a big reader so my Kindle is full of great novels! I enjoy the arts--particularly theatre and dance. I’m certain that at the age of 40 it is still not too late for me to be a ballerina. I just need a good pair of shoes, right? I’m also an avid Game of Thrones watcher. I literally cried tears of joy over the demise of a certain evil jerk who finally got what was coming to him!
What are your writing plans for the rest of 2014?
I just got back from the Romance Writers of America conference in San Antonio which was incredibly invigorating! There are two summer erotica projects just begging me for attention and I plan to use some of the techniques I learned at the conference in my upcoming work. Hopefully, I will have a new release in the Naughty Shakespeare around Christmas, too!
Thanks so much for having me today! May all your nights be erotic ones!--Esmae Browder.
“You look fabulous.”
Portia’s eyes were filled with admiration as she surveyed her handiwork. She’d dressed Ophelia in a simple white dress. It fit to the curves of her body like a delicate glove, the silver zipper in the back running all the way down to the hemline. All a lover would have to do was pull the zipper down and her voluptuous body would be revealed.
“I like your hair up like that, too,” Portia said. “All those springy curls will create a wonderful effect during the heat of passion when he pulls it down.”
Astonished, Ophelia stared in the wide mirror above the couch.
Reflected back at her was a person she’d never seen before--someone who held a childlike innocence on her face that belied her twenty one years. Tucked into that innocence was the possibility of more.
“Well, what do you think?” Portia tapped her foot, impatient. “Do you like it or not?”
“I love it,” Ophelia whispered. “You’ve made me beautiful.”
“You were always beautiful darlin’,” Portia said, giving her arm a squeeze. “You just didn’t know it. And after tonight, you’ll be a little vixen. I have a feeling about you, Ophelia. Sex is going to change everything.”
There was a knock at the door.
Portia clapped her hands in excitement, while Ophelia bit her lip, her heart beating a mile a minute.
This was it.
What she’d been waiting for.
“Take a breath.” Portia instructed her. “It’s all going to be okay.”
With a small nod, Ophelia did as she was told.
“Horatio, how are you darlin’?” Portia opened the door, revealing a dark haired man. In the dim light of the hall, he seemed larger than life, his square shoulders framed in the doorway. “Come on in.”
Ophelia couldn’t help but let out a little gasp of surprise when he entered the room.
Horatio. Hamlet’s best friend. What could Portia be thinking by setting her up like this?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Esmae Browder is an ex-Catholic school girl from New Orleans who loves vodka tonics and romance. Combining her love of literature with a flair for erotic fiction, she has created a unique series which includes prequels and retellings of some of the Bard’s most famous works. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew--nothing is sacred in Esmae’s Literotica world. You may know your Shakespeare, but you haven’t heard the whole erotic story! An avid blogger at All Things Writing, you can learn more about Esmae there or stop by her website: www.esmaebrowder.com.
Esmae will be awarding the first three ebooks in the series: Ophelia's Lessons, Ravishing Rosaline, and The Taming of the Prude to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
THE MORE YOU COMMENT, THE MORE CHANCES OF WINNING!
THE MORE YOU COMMENT, THE MORE CHANCES OF WINNING!
Thank you so much, Esmae, for this lovely interview. I love your sense of humour! And I'm definitely looking forward to that release on Christmas.
Cheers, book buddies.