Payback's a Bitch
Praise for Payback’s A Bitch
We picked this novella because we were in a mood for something pleasant and hot. This seemed to fit the bill – and we were not disappointed. In fact, we got much more and much better than we were prepared for.
The two women, Taylor and Joy are introduced in the first sentence itself. Their sexual interaction and relationship starts the story off and we are slap-bang in the midst of the moment right away. The first scene is sexy and playful and unveils the characters immediately.
Sexy and playful is the theme of the novel where the author uses a minor character as a somewhat bumbling bringer of coitus interruptus numerous times. It is funny as hell.
Tylor and Joy are in a loving, committed relationship, when we meet them. Kaāl shares a slice of their life with us and it reaffirms to us that an eternal honeymoon is not only probable, but possible too. The two ladies have the comfort of togetherness and the raunchy playfulness of newly coupled people. There is an incredible tenderness and romance in their relationship that just grabs your heart.
Importantly, there is real emotion running through the book. It is not something that is overtly focussed on, but it is there, interspersed throughout. It serves to build the romance between Taylor and Joy and show their bond. We love that since it makes all the sex in the novel more than just gratuitous sex. It adds the necessary dimension of emotion into it giving us a total connect with the girls.
We really like the way, the author takes the time to tell us the backgrounds of the characters and what they do. It makes them complete people for us. At the same time, the mastery of Kaāl is that she doesn’t try to explain the two protagonists to us. She lets us get to know them through the novella via their behaviour, actions and dialogues. This is a rare ability that Kaāl wields with panache in this and her other novella, Everything Has Changed.
We are more than a little in love with Taylor and Joy. Taylor is adorable. She is just so open and delightful that it is hard not to fall in love with her. Joy is borderline broody, but in the Tall Dark Handsome way; and it is easy to see what about her appeals to Taylor.
Their relationship is beautifully revealed through their interactions and it is wonderful to come across a writer who doesn’t find it necessary to spend time on explaining how these two women actually connect and click. Instead she lets us see for ourselves just how and why they work so stunningly together.
Kaāl has created an interesting character in this novella. One of the two girls is perfectly healthy with a fantastic sexual drive, but can only get off getting her partner off. Also, she doesn’t seem to need or want as much touching as her partner does. This can be a sexual orientation, a preference or maybe an expansion of feeling. Whatever it is, the author does not find it necessary to explain it, and that positive acceptance is one of the things that is just so great about this piece of art (we use the word ‘art’ knowingly here).
The best part of the book is definitely the sex. Kaāl proves to be a master of sexual exploration and gets us really going with the sheer exquisiteness of detail that she provides. The actions and reactions during the sex scenes are fulfilling and honestly, of the lets-put-the-book-down-and-get-some-now variety. This is also true of her other gem, Everything Hs Changed.
Written as mostly short scenes, this is a definite page-turner. The narration via vignettes is a fascinating technique employed by Kaāl in both, Payback’s A Bitch and Everything Has Changed. It is a singular narrative technique that has us totally fan-girling. In fact, we were surprised and a tad disappointed when it got over. We could have read this for a few more hours, or even days. (Confession: we did just that and read it almost obsessively and repeatedly over the next few days).
This is a no angst, fun erotic novella in which the emotions are deep, the characters filled out, the dialogues completely relatable and the language explicit. Did we already mention hot? Yes, once again – hot!
This is a book we strongly recommend.
Go get it now.
PS: We are giving it a five star rating only because five is the maximum possible rating. Can we just add something like ‘off-the-charts’ as a rating for this one, please?