Risking-me = Risking Time Out From it All = 358 pages
Not a Risk At All. Only a Refreshing, Re-creative Break.
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Your buttons will be pushed!
You won’t just finish the last page and toss this book out of sight, out of mind: the characters, these new friends with whom you’ve just shared moments of heightened emotional intensity, will stay in your thoughts well after you’ve put the book down.
Grab a copy of Risking-me, the [lesbian] romance novel that flags the issue of same-gender domestic violence and you won’t just be turning pages: you will think and you will empathize.
|Risking-me was the first [lesbian] romance novel in which I embedded a societal issue.
Its real focus is domestic violence in our midst. In the days I wrote it, in too many lesbian communities, the topic of abusive partners was kept conveniently loose and intangible through a Don’t Ask/Don’t tell code of silence.
It is now estimated that the instances of DV within same-sex relationships match fairly closely the frequency and intensity experienced by the heterosexual segment of the population.
Why would it be any different? As lesbians, gays or straights, we are all products of the ‘greater western world society’ and its stressors.
Besides, there is commonality when it comes to our parents and the emotional baggage that was passed on to them before they passed it on to us.
Enjoy, dear Reader,
|Risking Very Little
This book opened my eyes to the situation of same-gender DV.
I had ‘heard’ about it, but it’s only while I was turning the pages that it really hit me that women are not exempt from violent mood swings and neither are we, lesbians. If you’re in it just for the sexy bits, there’s plenty of that 2.
Tamara and Emilie are women in love.
The DV moments are about Laurel and Melissa. There’s also Jill and whats-his-name, the husband. Nothing sexy there. just life as it is for many of us. –
A Readers’ Review – J. Dougherty, PhD
Emilie is forty-six and rather self-conscious. She meets Alex. The similarities between the two women’s life experiences and tastes are glaringly obvious, at least to the casual observer. But Emilie hasn’t figured out, yet, that she is attracted to Alex’s conversations and charismatic personality. They have so much in common that Alex could, at times, pass for Emilie’s alter ego.
However, Emilie also meets Tamara, one of Alex’s ex-lovers. Tamara is intelligent and sensual but, at twenty-eight, she might be here one day and gone the next. Despite this, Emilie is attracted to the young woman’s physicality and to her youthful wisdom.
Risking-me is about triggers
As the candles flickered on the nightstands, as their glow danced sensuously across her face, her collarbone, over the immature creases of her stomach, over the length of her thighs, and the dark patch of springy hair, I knew that if I could draw I would’ve drawn her. Not on the spot, no, but later. I would’ve drawn her during a re-enactment of sorts. She would have let me draw her if I had told her of the dance of light across the valleys and planes of her strong and healthy body.
If I had known how to, I would have told her about illusions, as well. About illusions of light and illusions of my own making as I delighted in the aestheticism of her naked body. I would have drawn her as she was. At ease inside her body. Her body at ease with itself and with her. Just as she was, watching me. (Emilie)
Risking-me, unlike the ‘average’ lesbian romance, looks at the everyday realities of women. C.C. Saint-Clair explores issues such as domestic violence, ageing and age difference between lovers, as well as the universal fears of rejection and impermanence. Within the context of these everyday realities, there are also fun times and moments of exquisite connection between women.
Will Emilie’s self-reflexive musings lead to insights which might gradually allow her to ‘let go’ and to risk becoming involved with Tamara, who is many years younger? Layer upon delicate layer of erotic sensation and desire between Emilie and Tamara is portrayed subtly and passionately through Saint-Clair’s sensuous language and imagery.
This subtle, sensuous, slow spiraling of stimulation and sensation reminds me of the French confection ‘mille-feuilles’ (literally, a thousand leaves) – multi-layered, simultaneously rich and light, creamily textured and delicious.