Book Reviews

The Art of Mutual Pleasure by K.A. Merikan at Acerbi & Villani

Genre Gay / Historical / 19th Century / Regency / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 12-April-2017

Book Blurb

--- The path to debauchery is strewn with good intentions. ---

Benjamin Snowley is trapped in a most distressing predicament. He’s been feeling poorly and after having recently recovered from influenza, he knows that the fault for his declining health lies in a vice he wouldn’t dare mention in polite conversation.

Onanism, self-pollution, masturbation. All names for the same sinful affliction.

For Benjamin, it all started back at school, where he first encountered the immoral Frederick Cory. Ever since then, the man has been plaguing Benjamin’s dreams and causing most unnatural urges.

Now is the time for all the infatuation nonsense to stop. With the help of an unorthodox doctor and an indecent proposition to a young stablehand, Benjamin will rid himself of the vile addiction.

But can the experimental treatment be enough to make him forget his feelings for Frederick?

Warning: Contains a clueless young man on a futile quest for chastity and a libertine artist eager to rid him of that goal.

Themes: masturbation, historical attitudes to sexuality, medicine, doctor, guilt, unorthodox treatment, master/servant, groom, superstition, moral failure, enemies to lovers

Erotic content: explicit language, inappropriate medical examination, cum swallowing, bareback, sex toys, body worship, multiple partners

Book Review

“Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure.” ~ Lord Byron (Don Juan)

Benjamin Snowley, of 'The Art of Mutual Pleasure' by K.A. Merikan, gets his first hint of  sexuality from watching his school boy crush, Frederick Cory, with another boy engaging in a carnal act. What should have been a perfectly natural way of pleasuring himself turns into a constant struggle between what Benjamin feels is morally wrong as well as damaging to his health. Benjamin's quest to find a cure leads him down some unusual, sometimes ludicrous, paths. One of these paths leads him full circle, back to the person who started it all, Frederick Cory.

It's been a while since Frederick has seen Benjamin and he's pleased with what a handsome young man he's grown into. It's obvious that, if anything, Frederick's behavior is even more depraved that before, yet, Benjamin is still drawn to him. Frederick's teasing about what a prude he is only exacerbates Benjamin's need to rid himself of this unwanted desire. Benjamin is shocked by Frederick and his friends’ blatant disregard for convention and infuriated by their teasing. Benjamin tells them just what he thinks of their offensive words and behavior and leaves, more convinced than ever that he must find a cure. He comes across a pamphlet by a doctor who claims to have a treatment for his “problem” and resolves to visit him. The doctor's examination and proposed cure are not only unconventional but unscrupulous as well. Poor Benjamin is so naive and desperate that he is willing to try almost anything to gain his failing health back. Without any prior sexual knowledge, Benjamin is at a loss as how to proceed with the doctor's cure, but knows he must soldier through it.

Benjamin soon finds men who are more than willing to help him improve his health per the doctor's orders. Benjamin is more conflicted than ever but carries on until he's put himself in a precarious position, not only physically, but emotionally. Once again, he becomes in contact with Frederick who has been keeping an eye on the young man. Once Frederick learns how and why Benjamin is putting himself in jeopardy, he explains the error of Benjamin's logic and helps him see the truth; that the doctor's “cure” is more than useless and actually harmful. Benjamin doesn't believe him at first, but when he realizes Frederick is telling him the truth he is appalled and falls into a deep depression, not even being able to go out of his house.

This just may be the most decadent book I have ever read, definitely not my usual taste but surprisingly gratifying. Even though I felt sorry for Benjamin, I could hardly believe he was that clueless, but he lives in different times. I can't call this a love story, perhaps a “'lust story”, although I suppose this is from a woman's point of view. Also, Frederick did care about Benjamin and Benjamin cared for him, it seemed more like possessiveness and mutual satisfaction whether in bed or playing their outrageous games with others. If you want a romance, I'd skip this book, but if you enjoy lusty, libertine behavior, then this may be for you. Thanks, K.A., for the potent carnal images you've placed in my mind that won't soon be forgotten!





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 45000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 29-March-2017
Price $3.75 ebook
Buy Link