The Club by A.L. Brooks

Rated 4.38 out of 5 based on 8 customer ratings
(8 customer reviews)

$9.99 / E-BOOK

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Read an excerpt here: pdf | epub

Author: A. L. Brooks

Description

Welcome to The Club—leave your inhibitions and your everyday cares at the door and indulge yourself in an evening of anonymous, no-strings, woman-on-woman action.

For many of the women who visit The Club this is exactly what they are looking for and what they get. For others the emotions run high, and one night of sex can change their lives in ways they couldn’t have imagined. For Lou, her weekly visits to The Club enable her to set aside her shyness and loneliness and feel intimacy, however briefly. For Kath, caring for her mother at home, The Club is a welcome relief from her everyday toil; while Max needs distraction from her troubled relationship, even as she tries to tell herself she isn’t really cheating. Tania and Jacky find an outlet for a tricky block in their sex life. Cassie and Nina, bar staff at The Club, find themselves staying on after hours. And finally, Stephanie, struggling with her sexuality, finds her life changing in so many ways once she plucks up courage to enter.

The lives of these women intersect in ways they don’t realize, and watching over them all is Mandy— the owner, whose own ghosts play a pivotal role in the existence of The Club.

Additional information

Publication Date

July 2016

Formats

epub, mobi, and pdf

Length

72,200 words

Language

English

ISBNs

978-3-95533-655-4 (mobi), 978-3-95533-656-1 (epub), 978-3-95533-657-8 (pdf)

Publisher

Ylva Publishing

8 reviews for The Club by A.L. Brooks

  1. Dee
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    4.5 steamy stars

    Welcome to The Club indeed. What a story. Let me tell you this is far from another run of the mill story in the sea of e-books. It commanded my attention from start to finish. In fact, initially, I found myself back tracking a few times until I got a grip on who was who, not literally – more’s the shame.

    The prologue kicks off in 1993 then jumps to present day, chapter 2 returns to 1997, then forward, then back to 2001… okay you get the picture, the story has a shifting timeline. It’s told mostly in present day but there are a number of flashbacks. Although Mandy is the main character, I think, many of the other ladies took up residence in my heart and soul.

    For 65% I was sure this would be a 5 star read, then there was a scene with Mandy and her friend Rebecca that left me cold. Sure, it explained how she came about having the club, but in my humble opinion the scene needed to be expanded upon further, or ideally not so much. Cryptic I know but to say more would involve spoilers.

    As the title suggests, the book is set in a club so there’s a lot of sex, but in saying that this is far from porn with plot, there’s a riveting story here as well. There’s voyeurism, exhibitionism, plenty of strap-on fun, mild BDSM. Or should I say domination and submission? After one D/s scene the heroine stated she avoided the red room as she wasn’t into BDSM, that con-fuddled me a little.

    What makes a story a kick-ass read for me is one that gives me the ‘feels’, most people who read should know what that means. And this one had my heart a flutter, my girlie bits tingling, and pouting when I had to put my kindle down. I was totally invested in the characters and plot.

    I highly recommend ‘The Club’ to readers who enjoy reading engaging ‘lesbian erotica’.

  2. Ameliah Faith
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    This tale is a giving me a really hard time trying to describe it so please hang in there with me. In this story we are given a glimpse into several character’s lives as they intertwine in a sex club. Easy enough right, just a lot of erotic and anonymous sex… well, yes but no.

    There was a LOT of insanely hot, tingling and yummy sex right away but I felt like there was not too much in the way of a story However, I do know that Ylva Publishing only puts out quality work so I stuck with it. Am I ever glad I did. I was wrong, Ms Brooks was just laying down the foundation for what was to come… er um… moving on (blush)

    The Club is owned by Mandy. The book takes us back in time as we learn who she is and why she opened this type of place. It is also set in the present as we meet a few of the women who visit this den of desire.

    The characters in this tale are complex and compelling. Each woman has her own reason for going to the club, whether it be for mindless sex, exploring sexuality, to forget, to find… they all have a voice in this novel. There are such layers and circles… the story is sheer beauty in its dance as the women connected and parted…It was so easy to get involved in the drama. I found myself really invested in the characters, seeing their motivation, feeling their emotions, I’m at a loss for words, it is so well written and so gosh darn good! The ending was fantastic, I loved how it came full circle, leaving so many open possibilities for Mandy.

    I am blown away that this is a debut novel and can not wait to see what the future holds for this promising author.

  3. Karen McIntosh
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    Great hot read
    By Kitty Kat – 28 July 2016
    This is the fascinating story of Mandy and her dream to provide women with a sex club where they can meet safely and without prejudice. Although extremely erotic and sensual it is also very well written, insightful and chock full of real characters. We meet a collection of different types of women who visit the club for very specific reasons.
    The encounters are ultra sexy and erotic and seem very honest and true to life. I can believe in these characters. It really hits the mark and shows how the club helps people fulfil themselves and be happy. They work through their problems and move on. Max visited the club as her older partner was no longer interested in sex and she needed to fill a need, without harming their relationship. Married couple Tania and Jacky found a way to deal with their particular difficulty with the help of other women. I enjoyed the story of Lou and Stephanie especially as there was a sense of great personal change for both of them. A really good book that is a notch above the rest.
    I was given this ARC free by Ylva Publishing in return for an honest review.

  4. nikkivanderhoof
    Rated 3 out of 5

    :

    3.5 stars

    While I did enjoy this story, I wish some of the story arcs had been more completed. In this story we are introduced to a club that is run by Mandy. We get to see Mandy’s backstory of how she came to own the club which I did really enjoy. What we see is the many lives of the different women that come through the club, overlap and converge on one another since they all frequent the same place. Although we are introduced to about 10-15 different characters, it’s really only 4-5 that we get background on, and an ending for.

    I would’ve liked to have seen what happened with Max’s relationship after that first time at the club, given how she feels about her experiences and her current relationship, but we never get that. I would’ve also liked a little more story around the girls who actually work there. We get about one chapter from each of them and then they disappear from the story, except to be a background person in someone else’s POV, but it doesn’t further their story by any means.

    I also really enjoyed reading about Lou. She is super shy and can only find an outlet at the Club. Where she can be whoever she wants to be without judgement.

    Really this book is a lot of mini vignettes about a lot of different people. Almost a short story collection that all parallel each other. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t my favorite.

    Copy received for free from Ylva Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.

  5. Millie Ireland
    Rated 4 out of 5

    :

    The Club – Is there a Solution for Every Problem?

    I’ve read a few books recently that are playing on my mind. Leading that list is A L Brooks’ The Club. The club of the title is established in present day Manchester by Mandy, a middle aged woman who wants to ensure that women who want an encounter with no strings attached have somewhere just for them, rather than the dangerous and demeaning conditions she experienced as a young woman. The ways in which her own experiences have shaped the present-day club are illustrated through the device of alternating chapters. Every second chapter is set in and around the present-day club. Each preceding chapter takes us back to a period in Mandy’s life that influences what the club is today.

    There are many lesbian novels that have drawn on the setting of encounter venues, and at first I thought I was reading a rather old-fashioned novel of this genre, not unlike a Radclyffian erotica setting with butches, femmes and vivid descriptions of anonymous sex in dark cellars. If you wanted to, I think you could possibly read the novel through this lens and enjoy it in that vein. Brooks is a very talented writer, and there are no lapses, errors or tentative approaches to give you any hint this is a debut novel.

    However, while you can read the novel as “anonymous encounter erotica”, I don’t think that is what The Club – the novel – or the club – the venue, is really about. Rather, this is a novel that provides us with the club as a stage on which a series of scenarios, many of them interconnected, are played out. Mandy, the owner, is an excellent stage manager. There are rules, safe spaces, locker rooms and showers. The club serves as a vehicle to explore really challenging and persistent issues for lesbian women, in their relationships with others and in their acceptance of themselves.

    This novel reminds me very much of two others, both by established writers, who present interlinked stories of women facing challenging relationships, life transitions and in some cases, really wicked problems. Karin Kallmaker’s “18th and Castro” and Georgia Beers’ “Slices of Life” both came to mind. What is interesting in The Club is that for each of the women / couples who face challenges, they are resolved through the dynamics of the club – except for one woman. After an encounter, she initially feels relief, even joy – but it is almost immediately replaced by despair. What is she going to do now? At first I was disappointed but then I was impressed – Brooks does not push to present a solution for every problem. Sometimes, it is only possible to make clear the nature and extent of the dilemma.

    I enjoyed this book very much. You may laugh at the one element that detracted from the story for me. There is little to no consideration of safe sex. While that may seem a strange objection, and my just show that I really got sucked into the story line, for me it jarred with the overall emphasis in the novel on the club providing a ‘safe space’. Why be distracted by the concern of long-term implications of unsafe one-off encounters?

    I enjoyed this book very much and as I said at the start, it continues to play on my mind. For engaging, emotive and thoughtful fiction, The Club is on my ‘highly recommended’ list.

  6. Tara from The Lesbian Review
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    The Club is so well written that I can’t believe it’s AL Brooks’s first book. The writing is clean and engaging, but the real strength is in how it’s structured. It almost straddles the line between full-length novel and short story collection, with each woman or couple’s story followed individually, threaded together through their interactions at the club. Mandy is the only character we see followed from the beginning to the end, and even that is through a series of flashbacks that tracks her journey to opening the club.

    Full review here: http://www.thelesbianreview.com/club-al-brooks/

  7. Stephanie Cardinal
    Rated 4 out of 5

    :

    ENJOYED IT. Fun, steamy, seductive read. ?

  8. matsu
    Rated 4 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    No-strings attached sex, for women-loving women. That’s what the club is about… but the book is much more than that. Yes, there are hot sex scenes of all kinds, but the story spans a couple of decades, the flashbacks seen through the eyes of the club owner.

    There’s a bunch or characters, some appear only in one chapter, some have a longer story arc. At first it looks almost like a collection of short stories, but it’s not – it’s just constructed in a really cool way.

    I pretty much fell in love with this book after reading the first few chapters. I was so invested in the characters’ lives and everything that I wanted to read it in one sitting (impossible, but one can dream). This was a perfect mix of sex and feels.. and made me so hungry for more. The day after finishing The Club, I bought another book by Brooks and devoured that too.

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