Okay, right up front: this one is erotica. If you’re under 18 or you’re offended by that sort of thing, just skip this one. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
That said, there’s much more to it than sex. In fact, what started off as a way to distract myself on a bad day turned into a much more complex urban fantasy (involving a human woman who gets tangled up with some very powerful fae) that actually includes limited explicit sex as such. There’s more to “erotic” than squishy noises, after all, and I find erotica more powerful when it involves believable characters and what’s inside their heads and hearts as well as what their bodies do.
An erotic fantasy serial about power and self-exploration
Jillian has tried her entire life, now creeping up on 40 years of it, to be as conventional and normal as possible, and to dismiss any restlessness or dissatisfaction as just something everyone feels. When her underachieving younger brother gets himself in trouble thanks to his new circle of friends, Jillian is definitely not expecting an astonishing revelation from her elegant and sympathetic friend Min: fae are real, long-lived and powerful, and are often willing to make bargains with humans. The price is service to the fae, for twice as long with each bargain, but the first is only twelve hours. Given that she trusts Min, how bad can it be, especially to keep her brother from a conviction he doesn’t deserve?
But the world gets stranger by the moment, as she meets Min’s cheerful rescued human pet Flair, Min’s good-natured satyr husband Nikandros, and Min’s fae friends, none of them currently pretending to be human – Min included. Although the bargain ends exactly on schedule, subtle effects linger, reaching deep into Jillian’s life and undermining more and more of her fundamental beliefs about who she is and what she needs in order to be happy. As she steps farther and farther into the reality of humans who are beholden to fae, it gets hard to be certain of anything.
Fair Trade slants much more heavily towards self-exploration and submission (sexual and not-really) within an urban fantasy setting. It has some fetish themes (mainly clothes and chastity) and a lot of variations on power and intimacy and trust. I do not, however, find rape, violence, emotional abuse, or “nasty” extreme kinks at all erotic.
And as usual, I make no promises regarding the orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sexual activity, or ethical non-monogamy of any character.
This isn’t a novel (at least, not currently). I’m offering it as a serial, with updates twice a week (which could change if there seems to be enough interest, so if you’re following it and you’d like to see more frequent posts, please let me know). You’ll have to verify that you’re at least 18 on your first visit, and every 30 days after that. You can find Fair Trade right here.