Sunday, September 24, 2017

Series Tour & Review: Entropy - Joshua Edward Smith

Series: Entropy Series
Titles: Entropy, Duality, Gravity
Author: Joshua Edward Smith
Genre: Erotic Romance
Available Now 
“Joshua Edward Smith’s gift of delivering the themes in an understated yet deeply thought provoking manner provides a medium for the lives of Sir and Lisa.” - Author Maggie Jane Schuler
“Dark, Hopeful and Provocative” - Amazon Review
“A story of personal epiphanies that transform inner worlds and intimate connections between family, friends and lovers…” - Amazon Review
Lisa and Sir have finally managed to balance their kinky love life with the vanilla world of suburbia. But when Sir starts training a sexy young submissive, the strength of his relationship with Lisa is tested. Could polyamory be the key to maintaining the stability Lisa needs while giving Sir the variety he craves? This captivating sequel to Entropy is a provocative journey through the complex world of physical and virtual sexuality.
Lisa and Sir have finally managed to balance their kinky love life with the vanilla world of suburbia. But when Sir starts training a sexy young submissive, the strength of his relationship with Lisa is tested. Could polyamory be the key to maintaining the stability Lisa needs while giving Sir the variety he craves? This captivating sequel to Entropy is a provocative journey through the complex world of physical and virtual sexuality.
A chance meeting brings Sir and Lisa together after five years. But Sir is in a budding relationship and Lisa’s life is in chaos. Could a radical change in Sir’s situation finally let things work between them? Gravity is a complex and moving exploration of the turmoil older people face bringing romance and commitment back to single life.
4 Stars

I've had Joshua Edward Smith's Entropy series on my to-read list for over a year and an opportunity to read all three in a row was something I couldn't pass up. I spent my weekend in the intriguing world of Lisa and Sir, a world of internet BDSM that becomes something so much more than just internet. The characters embark on affairs with one another, unsatisfied in their marriages and seeking something that lets them escape from the norm. Entropy deals with blurred lines and the difficulties that come with keeping secrets while still trying to live a previous life. It's complicated, it's fairly dramatic, it's at times sexy and sad, and it's ultimately a heavy read.

I knew what I was getting into with Entropy, I went into this reading from a very open perspective, knowing I was going to be reading about cheating and a different type of book when it came to BDSM. Entropy is written in third person, which is sort of a relief when it comes to the characters. I never got into their heads, I never agreed with them at all actually, but I really enjoyed watching the entire book play out from an outside perspective. Lisa is a shallow, vain, mean character and more than anything, she's unhappy and she doesn't even know it. Sir is the man behind the screen, we don't know how he looks, we don't know his voice, but we know Lisa bends to him in every way. Smith takes Entropy a step farther than most books though, it's lengthy and tangled, especially as Lisa's life before Sir unravels. There's heartache, loss, health complications, and more. As complicated as real life is, Entropy wasn't really an escape from the norm, but rather a close up fictional study of how it works.

Smith's writing is different than the norm, when it comes to romance and BDSM novels readers aren't used to a more literary style. It's filled with words, descriptive, almost play-like. It's slow to read, but the pacing of the novel works, especially as it introduces you to the start of the next novel. Entropy is about a modern affair, one that maybe before wouldn't be called cheating, but absolutely is now. Smith takes on the subjects of human nature, self-discovery, death, and even psychology. Readers interested in a break from the norm of usual romance and erotica novels with find a nice escape with Entropy, but don't say I didn't warn you when you start to evaluate your own life and choices.
3 Stars

Duality follows shortly after the conclusion of Entropy, book one in the series. Joshua Edward Smith introduced readers to two married individuals who embark on an extramarital affair through social media. Both are involved in vanilla relationships with their significant others, but together they are Sir and Lisa, a BDSM couple. They thrive on social media and followers, on being popular and well-liked. We previously saw them through their affair as Lisa in particular dealt with several serious personal issues and now we follow them after their first meeting as they embark on something more serious together.

I previously had a lot of issues with Lisa, I really struggled with liking her and her choices, but with Duality I found myself liking her and disliking Sir. Lisa learned a lot in Entropy and it is no surprise that she brought those learnings with her to Duality. She helps with the children, she becomes a domestic partner to Sir, and she provides him everything she thought he needed. Sir, however, is the kind of man who wants to have his cake and eat it too. He's never satisfied and he lets you know repeatedly through out the novel. He wants his wife's positive qualities, he wants Lisa's positive qualities, and he wants other women to fill those spaces. I really struggled with liking him, he reads very much like a selfish spoiled teenager rather than adult, well-educated man. Even with my dislike though, much like Entropy, the third person perspective allowed me to sit back and just watch it play out.

Lisa and Sir's relationship is unconventional and I really appreciated that Smith kept this novel as realistic as possible as well. Lisa has money, Sir is struggling financially, and their methods of raising children is different. We see their daily lives, the school events, the bickering between children and parents, it all is very much like real life. Slightly less complicated than Entropy, Duality deals with serious subject matters as well, especially as Lisa discovers that her role of caring for and being there for Sir is much like that of caring for her children, an opportunity she is later given in the novel. Ultimately, the characters have happiness, but overtime recognize that happiness is this flowing, changing thing that's never constant. I really felt like the characters learned over time the value of work in relationship, of compromise and learning together, but ultimately it worked out how I expected it to.

I enjoyed Duality, but not nearly as much as Entropy. I struggled with the characters, with their selfishness, but continue to appreciate how true to life they are as humans. Duality again reads more non-fiction than fiction, it delved deep into human nature and pushing the boundary of what is conventional.
4 Stars

I will admit I was nervous to read Gravity, after enjoying Entropy and failing to like Duality I didn't know what to expect with Gravity, but I wanted answers. Unlike the short timeframe between Entropy and Duality, Gravity takes place several years later. We're provided glimpses of what happened during the 5 years Lisa and Sir spent apart, but Gravity specifically picks up during an intense period in both Sir and Lisa's lives. Lisa is no longer needed as a full time caregiver for Wendy and her young son, as Wendy is now married. Sir has taken on his youngest companion yet, a girl who could easily be his child, and they enjoy another form of BDSM together. Lisa and Sir immediately find themselves picking up where they left off, a friendship forming between them easily due to the bond they share. They rely on each other in a new way, for advice and kinship, but overtime realize that the bond they have is something more.

Lisa and Sir have aged, their lives are different than they were in the start, further complicated by the 5 years they spent apart and yet these two seem only meant to be together. The friendship between them is obviously just the start of something more, readers will immediately see the chemistry between them never died. I continued to struggle with Sir, he falls in love so easily and manipulates everyone in his life, but in Gravity I felt he finally started to learn and change. Lisa, on the other hand, has grown more complex, her maturity showing on her physically and mentally. Without their previous rules and their obligation and Dominant and submissive Lisa and Sir discover a new type of relationship. It's more fluid, it comes with a lot of thought and an intimacy that can only be found over time.

Smith's complicated writing style from the previous novels is gone, with Gravity featuring a beginning, middle, and end that follows a very linear pattern. The third-person perspective remains constant, allowing readers the opportunity to observe both character's lives separately and together, allowing us to know that these two are indeed going to fall into one another again. As the characters aged so too did this novel and the situations the characters find themselves in. At points things seemed laughable, but I also recognized that Lisa and Sir were dealing with the fear that comes with age and the loss of vitality. They both held on tightly to their youthful exuberance, but together found a happiness in the quiet pace of sharing a life together. I really enjoyed that Smith continued to include secondary characters through out the series, their parts very important in how the entire series worked. We see them with coworkers and friends, with children and ex-partners, as they deal with the outside world beyond their own relationship.

Gravity is a solid conclusion to the Entropy series, with each book perfectly represented as Act I, Act II, and Act III in a series that could easily be a movie. It's modern erotica mixed with literary fiction, with characters that aren't the average book age and situations that mirror every reader's real life in some way. I highly recommend this series to readers who are looking for something that breaks the norm, but still gives them that wistful romance feel and that lusty, sexual deviance we seek in erotica.
Joshua Edward Smith is the author of three novels (Entropy, Duality, and Gravity), several shorter works, and innumerable blog posts and tweets. He is also a technology executive, jazz musician, ballroom dancer, father of three, and husband. He lives in central Massachusetts.


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