Tigerlily by Charlotte Stein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was such an odd little sexy book. I don't even really know how to categorize it. I've been trying to think of descriptive words for it. These are the ones that came to mind right away: whimsical and mystical. It was like a smokey dream sequence from a movie. Like, maybe it was real or maybe it was someone having a dream.....but you weren't really quite sure. Sexual whimsy. That's how I'm going to describe it. And it was like no other romance I've ever read. (And that ain’t a bad thing.)
One day, Mae sees this man running through the fields behind her house. He's handsome, yes, but he also seems hurt. Oh, yes and he's deliciously naked. She finally catches up to him and she isn't sure about him. He doesn't know his name, where he's from, and he responds oddly to being called "human". Mae immediately thinks either she's crazy or he is. Eventually, she talks him into coming back to her house with her.....and she notices the cuts on his arms have already healed. Like, 5 minutes ago he had wounds.....now he has none. Odd, indeed. He's not ashamed to be walking around butt-ass nekkid and is also mystified by things such as water faucets and telephones. Ok. Now Mae really thinks she's crazy. Just to prove to herself that she's not imagining him.....she calls a friend and has the friend speak to Mr. Nekkid-No-Name. Sure enough, the friend can hear him.....so at least Mae knows SHE'S not the crazy one. Then Mr. Nekkid-No-Name calls Mae by her name.....and she knows that she hasn't told him this information. This is the point when I would start to really freak out. But there's something about the guy that Mae just can't make herself fear. Finally she tells him that she needs to call him something and he says that he's always liked the name Sam. So from here on out....Mr. Nekkid-No-Name is Sam.
The whole mystical-whimsical ambiance continues throughout the entire book - and it works - because even though Mae knows that Sam is real, he still has this unrealistic quality to him that she just can’t wrap her mind around. It’s like she knows him from somewhere, but can’t remember where. Or maybe he’s some sex god or demon.....she just doesn’t know. But as the hours tick on, she remains drawn to him. He’s almost child-like in his wonder of everything - the water in the faucet, the phone, and Mae. They share some sort of connection - sexual, romantical (if that’s a word)....whatever you want to call it. When Mae feels aroused, so does Sam. When Mae feels pleasure from a touch or a kiss, so does Sam. Good God - to know a man with the power to know what turns you on because he can actually FEEL IT turning you on - seriously, that thought is almost too much to comprehend. And there is some delicious sex in these pages. I won’t go as far to classify it as hot monkey sex - although it is hot....but it seems to go deeper than that. (No pun intended.) It seems not to be just sex for the sake of orgasm, but sex for the sake of orgasm and emotional connection and healing of the spirit. Or something like that. I don’t know how to explain it. All I know is that I read the sex scenes with a little bit of “oh yea, that’s hot” and a whole lot of “awwww......how touching”.
But why is Sam there? What brought him to Mae? Well, Mae is sad, depressed, and lonely. Her parents were killed, though it isn’t explained how, and she’s hasn’t been herself in quite a while. Is Sam there to bring her back? Is he really real or is he just something Mae made up to help her heal? Do I know for sure? Yes and no. I have my ideas on what exactly Sam is. Although it IS explained what/who he is.....I think there is another layer to that, but I’m not going to say because either a) I’m wrong and you’ll think I’m a dumbass or b) I’m right and it will prevent everyone from drawing their own conclusions. So.....my advice is for you to read it, let it swirl around in your head, and then figure it out for yourself. And if you want to email me and discuss it later, well, that’s ok too.