First things first.
For purposes of reviewing, the highest number I will ever give a book is a 4.5 out of 5. Only because I’ve found that five and one star reviews have the nasty tendency to be overly dramatic in either their praise, or dislike. Anything from OMIGAWDZ THIS IS AWESOME BUY THIS BOOK! to, PFFT. THIS AUTHOR SUX. Enter your own spelling variations where you please. I’m not doing it to be mean, or to tout myself as some sort of ‘expert’ on what a book should and should not be, Lord knows before I started reading reviews I was just as apt to give a book five stars because it was that damned awesome. Now, I know better. To keep things objective, my review ratings range from 1.5 to 4.5 with 1.5 being the lowest and 4.5 the highest. This is my personal preference and should in no way shape or form, skew your own rating system.
And now you know.
Now that that is out of the way, ah, erotica. So much fun. Yes I read it, shut up. I bet you have a guilty pleasure, too! The book we’re going to be talking about today is author Caroline Jane Wetherby’s AFTER THE DREAMS.
What are your desires and your longings?
Are you a man who wants, desperately, to be a woman, or are you a woman who has deep desires to be made into an erotic animal? Do you want to give pleasure to more than one other person at a time, or do you expect to find your fulfilment in complete subservience and slavery to a magnificent and dominant female? Perhaps you are just not sure quite who you want to be but only know who you want to be with?
What if you were lucky enough to find someone who would help you to become what you most need to be, and to find your true nature?
In ‘After the Dreams’ such a person exists, and her friends are eternally grateful to her.
But although Caroline and her companions practice and report on much highly erotic behaviour, the book is not just a sex story; there are sex-changes, pony-play, female domination, and sex-in-bondage; there is affection and developing romance in beautiful countryside; but in this series of books, all of these are entwined with a darker, more complex plot, and are thrown into sharp relief in bursts of fast action.
Themes of self and self-sacrifice, of revenge and reconciliation, and of hatred and of love are played out to their ultimate ends by people who are deeply sexual and who help others to achieve their own sexual fulfilment.
If you enjoy imaginative writing, and you don’t mind laughing, crying, and reaching ecstasy together with the people you read about, then ‘After the Dreams’, the first volume of ‘Caroline’s Company’ is for you.
Alright, lookie here, I am not going to lie to you, an open mind is needed to read this book.
Not that it is a terrible book. It’s not. It’s a great little book with plenty of potential for the rest of the series. It just takes some getting used to as you read it. I give it a 4.0 out of a possible 4.5. The writing is well done, the characters are interesting and deep, and the story is unique. In After The Dreams, what you want, you will have. Which is not a bad thing. It might just make you a bit uncomfortable. The author has wonderful descriptive skill and a mastery over her characters and her craft, and for a first book it is not terrible at all. A bit clunky in places, but not terrible. The only thing I found difficult at first was getting used to the character’s speech patterns, as well as places where the dialogue and accompanying action felt contrived to further the plot. But these were few and far between.
Overall, the book moved pleasantly along. I was intrigued with the story, involved with the characters and surprised at the underlying plot I found building as I read.
I will admit to squirming a bit uncomfortably in some places, but on the whole I was happy with the experience. If you’re looking for something different than 50 Shades or just want to test the erotica waters, I do not think you’ll be disappointed with Caroline’s series.