When I receive a new erotica anthology, the first thing I do is check the table of contents. Mainly it’s to check that I’m really there (after eleven years and over seventy stories I still can’t quite believe it), but after that it’s to check who else is there. Writers that I’ve come to love over the years or the newer writer whose story I adored in a previous anthology. And although I always read the stories in order, I have a sort of mental list: “Ooooh, story by A. coming up next!” or “Clever title story by someone new to me soon”.

Kristina Lloyd is in the first category. Quite simply, I love her stories. So when Alison Tyler, editor of the upcoming “Morning, Noon and Night” called for writers with a story in the anthology to do a mini-review of another story, I jumped on Kristina. Well, not literally.

Kristina’s story “Five p.m. Somewhere” is everything I love about erotica. It’s smart, it’s clever, it’s original, it shows the imperfections and the people behind the tab A into slot B, and it’s hot.

Kristina’s story is about a couple who celebrate their wedding anniversaries by recreating the cocktails they drank on their first date: whisky sour for him, dirty martini for her. Only problem is that Brynn forgot the gin. And they’re snowed in miles from the nearest grog shop. Kristina’s character gets pissy. She sulks, she takes a bath, and that’s when Brynn shows his creative side

One thing I love about this story is the reality of it. Erotica can be, well, somewhat fantastical at times (and there’s nothing wrong with that, says the writer who once wrote about a couple having sex on the wing of a biplane). But the stories that touch me most, the memorable ones, the slice of life ones. Real people. Real situations. Real sex. Real hot sex. Kristina has nailed all of these. I love the way she works the little details so skillfully in the writing: Brynn’s hair wonky with static. The feel of a rough towel on tender places. Of a 69 with someone, not for the first time but the 1,000th. Kristina’s writing flows with a natural fluency that is so easy to read, so easy to get carried along in the story.

I’m not going to give away the details of Kristina’s story, but I defy any reader not to love Brynn’s solution to the no gin problem.

I’d like to borrow Brynn. My cocktail of choice is a Harvey Wallbanger.