Retro-Post: Pushing the Envelope (way) Too Far?

Posted August 15, 2017 by Holly in Discussions | 25 Comments

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Rowena: Are you in need of a laugh this fine morning? Well, let us revisit an old post that Holly wrote about authors who push the envelope…too far? Haha, trust me. It’s well worth the read. This is a post that only Holly could write.

This post was originally posted on July 25, 2011.
Warning: The following post is graphic and not for the faint of heart. Read on at your own risk.

Sometimes I wonder what the people at Barnes and Noble think of me and my reading because I get some seriously strange recommendations from them. One of the most recent ones was Stroke It by Cassandra Curtis, which I believe is a self-published…I hesitate to call it a novella, since it’s so short, so I’ll just say story. It’s currently free for the Nook, and after reading the blurb I figured why not?

Exhausted after a coast to coast book tour, Laris needs serious R and R. The luxury resort along the Baja coast provides their guests with everything they could desire, including their own personal masseur. Former special ops agent Alejandro Maranta loves his job as an on-call masseur for the resort hotel. Using his unique gift for easing tension, he gives Laris a massage she’ll never forget.

I was surprised when I opened the book to find that it’s only 31 pages – and that includes the copyright, etc. I think the actual story is about 21 pages. Still, it was free and the blurb was intriguing.

Chick is stressed so she books a weekend at a luxury spa to relax. She requests a masseur to give her a “special” massage (it’s implied that there was a bit of matchmaking going on w/ the choice of masseuse) and dude shows up to make it happen.

A guest with a sore neck and lots of tension had requested a personal massage. Nothing unusual about that, except Enrique also used the code words – special services. He grinned, knowing it meant the guest was a woman who needed extra handling. Perhaps she’d heard of the enhanced techniques he’d developed for releasing feminine stress.

He shows up prepared to get her to relax. He starts by warming up her muscles and twenty minutes later the ache has left her neck. He stops and she begs him not to.

“Please don’t stop.”

“You want more?”


“How much more?”

“I-I don’t understand.” She tried to turn onto her side but he placed a warm palm on the small of her back, stopping her.

“I have developed a special technique for easing stress. Inside and out. But it takes much longer than a thirty minute session, and it would require you to take your clothes off.”

“You mean sex?” Was he serious? Oh my…maybe dreams do come true.

“Much more than sex, a special stroke that massages more than muscles.”

“Oh.” Please let this be real..and my royalties cover whatever it costs. She made a fervent prayer. “Yes.”

So far I’m Chick is willing to pay for sex? With a total stranger? Maybe I watch too much Cops, but I’m thinking hello prostitution sting. Anyway…

She lets him pull her clothes off and before she knows it she’s on the brink of orgasm. Then he tells her he’s ready to give her his “special stroke”. He started to enter her and she feels a pressure at her anus. Then he’s fully inside her front..and he’s sliding into her rear. She figures he’s got some kind of toy and thinks it’s pretty hot.

She has a pretty amazing orgasm and she rolls onto the bed, sated and happy. They start snuggling and she’s pressing against him. Oh, but what’s this? She feels not one, but two erections.

“I thought when I saw you pull something from your case, that you had a sex toy of some kind, maybe one that fit around your penis..”

“ I took only condom from my case.”

“Then how…?”

“I am Were.”

Uh..what? I didn’t see that coming. But ok, whatever. The author is trying something different. Except the chick’s reaction? Yeah, that doesn’t work for me. She’s heard rumors about this type of thing existing, but she didn’t believe it.

“Do not be afraid. I would not harm you…or perhaps you are horrified, si?”

“No! I just thought your people were a myth. you shift?”

He got up from the bed and proceeded to show her, only allowing the transformation to reach halfway, before returning to his human form.

“What are you?” She touched his abdomen with her shaky fingers.

“Half Were-Rhino, Half Were-Panther. I can take both forms or I can take a hybrid form.”

I just hit a wall. I’m pretty sure my head might have exploded. Were-RHINO??? Were-PANTHER??? HYBRID?!?! Then he asks her to dinner and the story is over. There’s no description of him in any form (Rhino, Panther or Hybrid), no reaction from the chick except to accept his invitation to dinner. Nothing. The story just ends.

Look, I understand pushing the envelope. But there comes a point where you’re pushing it way too far. This is it. I spent a good amount of time trying to imagine what this would look like. A huge rhino head on a panther body? A tiny panther head on a rhino body? A panther head with a rhino nose?

Tracy came over this weekend and we got to talking about the book. And naturally – because we’re immature like that – the penis came up. My husband and I were recently watching some program on tv (to my eternal shame I’m pretty sure it was MANswers) and they were talking about an elephant penis. Which is 6 feet long. SIX FEET LONG. So I’m thinking, if an elephant penis is 6 feet and a rhino isn’t that much smaller than an elephant and dude has a rhino big is it? And how, exactly, would that fit inside her?

My husband heard us speculating about this and took it upon himself to look up the size of a rhino penis. 2.5 feet. TWO AND A HALF FEET. Holy Mary Mother. Can you imagine? I couldn’t either. Luckily for me, Tracy – being the curious sort, you understand – Googled it. And what did she find? Oh look, a video.

So dude whips out one of those? But wait..there’s more. Because he didn’t just have a 2.5 FOOT rhino penis. He also had a panther penis. Can you imagine the logistics? Take a minute. Think it over. I’ll wait.

Are you horrified yet? Oh good, welcome to my world.

The moral of this story? Authors, feel free to push the envelope. As a reader, I want to read about new things. But, for the love of all things holy, think before you do it.

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25 responses to “Retro-Post: Pushing the Envelope (way) Too Far?

  1. It’s just wrong. I find nothing about this sexy. Maybe the double penetration was…until you found out what you were penetrated with. lol

    Oh yeah, and they said the rhino penis is shaped like a lightning bolt. ouch.

    Ahhh – never a dull moment at Holly’s house. lol

  2. HA! I cracked up at the were-rhino, were-panther bit. That is so wrong.

    If a dude came at me with a penis like that, I’d take off running as fast as my feet could take me. LOL!

  3. 0_o I think im permanently scarred! Were rhino however ginormous his disco stick is, is just not sexy. yeah. wow. *giggling* I can’t even imagine that hybrid either…

  4. You mean you wouldn’t accept his dinner invitation? That’s so mean.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention – they did the dirty (off screen) again before the dinner invite, but after she found out he could shift. Alrighty then.

  5. Is a panther penis barbed, like most felines’? Because that adds another level of squick. Although honestly, how being a shape-shifter gives him double organs really defies logic.

  6. Barbed or not, how would he reach her with it? I mean, if the rhino-peen is 2.5 feet how long would the panther-peen have to be to even get there??

  7. Dev

    No. Just no. I’m embarrassed to say that I was honestly a bit intrigued…until the whole rhino/panther/hybrid thing.

  8. Anonymous

    LOL! Were-RHINO? Did the author deliberately pick the least sexy animal in the world, I wonder? — willaful

  9. Has

    It’s a good thing this story was free- I’ve read books with heroes who have two dingdongs. But the half were Rhino/Panther bit keeels me LMAO.

    It might be a blessing he’s not quarter anything! Where the hell would that extra dong fit?

  10. Wendy

    Former special ops agent Alejandro Maranta loves his job as an on-call masseur for the resort hotel.

    My eyes are still rolling over that, and it’s by far the tamest part of this post.

    Wow. Just….epic wow.

  11. I don’t know which caused me to laugh the hardest: the blog post or the comments. Tracy and I were howling over this yesterday . . . Just way too much “creative” thinking going on here with this author. I also refused to review a book about snake shifters — not sexy either, in my book. I think the real question that bothers me the most is that after this chick got a gander at this hybrid action, she was not running out of the room screaming? Not about the shifter bit, but just how really and truly weird this physical configuration must have looked. As as already been noted: NOT SEXY!!!!! Thanks for the fun post. We all needed that laugh!

  12. Jen

    OMG you guys I’m dying! First, I can’t hear the word “stroke” (as in the sexy kind, not the blood clot in your brain kind) without getting this song in my head:

    Most importantly, why does this guy have two penises? Can he like superimpose his rhino form on TOP of his panther or human form? Because that’s the only way that would work. If half of him changed to one and half to the other, he’d still only have one penis, right? So let’s say one penis would be in human and one would be….something else. But, which one would be which? And where would they both be located? Maybe the rhino penis is for reaching all the way to the backdoor? I guess that 2.5 feet would be useful in that situation. Wait, I just remembered cat penises are barbed! Dear god let’s hope the panther penis isn’t the one in the back.

    Wow, I’m thinking way too hard about this, lol.

  13. Tracy

    Ah…memories. That day was so much fun!

    I still think this guys penises (peni?) were just all about wrong.

    And if there were two of them and the rhino peen is 2.5 long how in the everliving hell does the panther peen even reach the girl? Logistics, people! lol


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