Arsenal Pulp’s Hot & Bothered 4 is not a new book. Hell, it’s nearly eight years old at this point, but good writing is timeless and I love this collection of short tales of lesbian love and lust.
One thing I really appreciated about this book is that it took me back a few years to a time when I was just out of college and had few concerns outside of meeting girls & drinking beer. Carol Queen (<3 her!) opens the book with She’s Not A Lesbian – a story that didn’t really turn me on as much as it made me remember the days before Ellen was out. It hasn’t been that long, but much has changed my younger friends! Anyways, while Queen surely has the ability to put together a few words that’ll make you weak in the knees, I was more impressed with her ability to capture the passions of a relationship where one woman, to quote Kate Clinton, “can't say the word lesbian… even when her mouth is full of one.”
I also loved Joy Parks’ Little Black Dress and think all of my femme friends will love the way our heroine uses her lady ways to get exactly what she wants! Another notable tale is Tanya Davis’ Best Bandanna. While I was expecting a kinkier story, because that’s where my mind goes when I think of bandannas, it turned out to be a great story of first love at a summer camp that I’m guessing a ton of homos relate to. I know I do.
With over 65 stories that are no longer than a 1,000 words, you’ll find plenty of great reads in this collection that was edited by Karen X. Tulchinsky. There’s a good mix of sexy and cute stuff and if you love a quickie, it’s a fantastic addition to your bookshelves. I also love all of the cultural references, even those that are a bit dated, and in a silly sort of way this is a little piece of lesbian history for me.
Add Hot & Bothered 4 to your library today!