REVIEW: Self’s Blossom – David Blossom

Self's Blossom Book Cover Self's Blossom
David Russell
Independently Published
August 16, 2018

A romantic, erotic tale of a vivid portrayal of the quest for the inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching for primeval abandon and reckless adventure. Intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist, Selene became emotionally scarred by unhappy relationships. Riled and taunted through the years by her former college roommate Janice, Selene gave in to the long-term desire to ‘get one back’ at Janice by having a passionate holiday encounter. Immediately drawn to the sea and enthralled by its brutal yet sensual waves, Selene seduces a young boy on a deserted beach. Once she comes to meet the mature and powerful Hudson, Selene finally begins to claim her sensual destiny. Through a slow process, accentuated by Selene’s shyness, introspection and circumspection, she embarks on a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and rejection. The volcanic passion builds until there is a blazing row. A possible drowning, the final ritual undressing at long last, leads to the ultimate flowering of the woman Selene was meant to be. Included in Self’s Blossom are: Blossom Reburgeoning Selene, a little older but still well-preserved, decides to retrace the steps of her holiday. Up-to-date in spirit, she procures a companion through the Internet, and in the key scenes, she opts for alternatives to the choices she made on her first expedition. She feels enriched by her experience, and her sense of satisfaction removed her inhibitions from expressing her bisexuality. Spatial Dimensions Selene becomes so fascinated by the Moon Goddess that bears her name, that she imagines and wills herself into becoming a goddess, to go on an etherial quest, embracing space and time travel, with concomitant ecstatic fulfilment. Sci fi embraces ancient mythology!

Reviewed By S.C. Principale

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Self’s Blossom by David Russell is more of literary introspection with erotic scenes than an erotic or romantic piece. Selene is a woman who has lived rigidly, always consumed by tension and introspection. She’s constantly feeling conflicted by interactions from her bombastic friend Janice. Symbolically striking back at Janice’s words and her own lack of spontaneity, Selene decides to spend a holiday indulging in erotic pursuits.

If you’re expecting a straightforward tale of “girl goes on holiday and has wild, fun sex”, you’re in the wrong book. This book jumps all over the place with scenes from Selene’s past, her long and drawn out introspections (some of which make her rather unlikeable as she seems full of her own importance and her desire to use humanity for whatever she can get). In short, readers will be spending a lot of time in Selene’s head, which may not be the exciting, sensual vista they envisioned. Imagine a linguistic feast and a character study, and that’s the bulk of the book. Because of its slow, meandering narrative and overall lack of thrust, this book might struggle to keep a reader’s interest.

Some readers may be expecting the erotic interludes to carry the story, but though lovemaking occurs, the “steamy scenes” aren’t terribly erotic, reading more like choreographed dances and staying in Selene’s head. First, she makes love with a virgin boy on the beach and later with Hudson, a seasoned activist and intellectual (or is he?) at her hotel. Hudson and Selene have some excellent exchanges, but it’s more like an intellectual debate than wooing. Soon, it almost becomes competitive, with Selene wanting all that she can get from Hudson on her terms, and Hudson trying to be honest about his feelings while controlling his desire. While the romance is barely a simmer, the amazing visual descriptions are a treat.

Hudson leads Selen into danger and proves he’s not really such stellar company, but yet it’s his risk-taking that seems to make Selene ready to take the sexual plunge. Sharing dinner and a late swim with another couple (who Selene considered potential partners for couple swapping) Hudson starts touching her while they swim. This doesn’t seem out of line at all, not for Selene’s thought process or for the point in the plot, but Selene slaps him and storms off after insulting his manners. Odd to think that she was okay with undressing in front of the other woman and was trying to seduce her husband, but suddenly Hudson is a dirtbag. It feels forced and jarring. When he comes to her, full of apology, they have a very theatrical love scene, which ends in mutually satisfied separation. The vacation is over.

Until we get to the epilogue, when Selene is off on holiday again, and this time she and a new partner make love while Selene is decked out as an ethnic goddess. It’s Selene and Melville’s fantasy, but there’s a lack of depth and passion in the text so that it comes off as another intellectual exercise.

Russell has a masterful command of setting and language, but struggles to make characters likeable and keep the plot (and steam) flowing. If you enjoy deep psychological analysis against a lush background, you may enjoy this book, but I wouldn’t pick it solely for its erotic content.


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