Seven Characters, Seven Days, 550 pages of Fun
[Disclosure: This review is from a review copy of the novel provided by the author for the erotica review podcast The Red Light Library, what I'm posting here is a distillation of our hour-long full review.]
Going from no experience with swinger/polyamory fiction to this is like jumping in the deep end and learning to swim, but in a fun way.
Approaching the Swingularity tells the story of seven characters from varying walks of life/sexualities/kinks as they roam around Xanadu X, a swinger's takeover of a Hedonist-style resort down in Cancun. Set across the seven days of the takeover, each character gets their moment to shine in this 550 page beast, all of them constantly bumping into each other to create a delightfully interwoven narrative that isn't afraid to jump forwards or backwards in time on occasion.
Beckett opens the book with character Ryan experiencing a pool foam party for the first time and immediately having an anxiety attack as he's slowly consumed by the suds, only for his wife to appear and propose protection-free sex. This perfectly sets up the tone of the rest of the novel: Characters who can't get out of their own head to enjoy the resort takeover, and they have lots of sex.
Make no mistake, this is an erotica novel, but it transcends the trite stereotypes of the genre encapsulated by most pop-fiction that slips into the mainstream (such as E.L. James' stain on the literary world). Chapters don't end with a sex scene and a cliffhanger so you can masturbate and go to sleep, characters are actually believable, safe sex and disease history is openly discussed without villification.
For those looking for the naughty bits: Beckett lets the emotion and the actions of the scene speak for themselves, employing a simplistic "it is what it is" style of writing sex. Instead of falling into the cliche of employing fifteen different synonyms for a vulva, he simply calls it a vulva. Unless one is incredibly uncomfortable with the human body and finds such terms clinical and a turn-off, there is at least one scene in Swingularity they'll find attractive as heck.
Interested in Approaching The Swingularity: Tales of Swinging & Polyamory in Paradise (Books of The Swingularity Book 2)?