All writers engage in a sort of internal pitch meeting as they struggle to decide which ideas they want to develop into a story, book or screenplay. It would have been interesting to be present at the one for Paisley Smith’s erotic novella, Purr. Here is a fanciful version of what may have transpired:
“What we’re going to do is write a story about sexual awakening and forbidden desires that morphs into a romance with a happily ever after ending. To make it au currant the lovers are lesbians… but so it doesn’t seem too stereotypical the setting is Europe during the 1700s and the principals are forced to dress and act like cats. What are we going to do for conflict, you ask? How about an amoral, slightly sinister and debauched aristocrat who exploits young lesbians for her own pleasure, then throw in a scheming stepmother who betrays one of the girls in order to benefit from her absence in the household?”
When summed up in that manner, the premise for this story seems ludicrous and destined for disaster, but all kidding aside, Ms. Smith did an amazing job of pulling those exact elements together and creating an entertaining, erotic, and imaginative tale. For me, what stood out about this book was its effortlessly beautiful descriptive prose. Whether it was bringing the physical aspects of a setting to life or eroticizing sexual activities to arouse the reader, the author’s exceptional command of English was exquisitely apparent. In almost any other writer’s hands this story likely would have fallen flat.
Since Purr is primarily a work of erotica, I would be remiss if I failed to address how well it succeeds in that realm. Overall, the erotic and sensual aspects of the book are exceptionally well done, but readers who are looking for something kinkier than Sapphic couplings will be mostly disappointed. The kink involves animal play, primarily between the komtesse and her playthings, plus a couple of “kitten” initiations that include public humiliation, paddling, and strapon sex that is not particularly graphic in its depiction. I want to emphasize that the sex scenes are very erotic, just not especially hard core. 3.5 on the kink meter (which isn’t bad!).