Reviewed: 2012-04-10 - (Review Updated: 2013-04-10)
Having read the entire thing through, the description of this story is very funny for how much it understates the plot of the story.
I read this as it was posted beginning probably in 2010 (2-3 years after it began), meaning that I finished it a little under three months ago and the time spent reading it was roughly two years. This should be kept in mind, as my memory may have changed some events from how they actually occurred. The fact remains, however, that I remembered this story well enough to bother writing a review.
"The No Strings Challenge" is about a man who, approaching middle age, decides that he wants to have some seriously amazing sex and puts an advertisement out on the internet to try and procure it. Miraculously, his ad is noticed by more than zero people, and even more miraculously, more than zero people are interested in his offer. Even more miraculously, all of them are stunningly hot babes who are world champions at sex-related activities.
With this said, it's fairly obvious that the story revolves around sex. There's a lot of it, and it's absolutely superbly done. Despite having read countless other stories, and sex scenes, since reading this story, I can actually recall quite a few of the individual scenes here, and they're still amazingly hot. Definitely one of my picks for Top 5 Best Stroke Scene Writers on SOL.
Characters are usually a problem in a story like this, but the author manages to make it a strength of the story. Whether it's a college coed, a penis doctor (no, really), the wife of a professional athlete, a porn star, or an exotic dancer, all the women in this story are unique and interesting people, and it feels like they'd actually be people worth talking to in real life - not just a pair of legs and a mouth as is the case in many others.
This story, as one would guess from the title, begins as a quest to have great sex with "no strings" attached, i.e. no relationship. It grows quickly from there in ways I didn't expect, and I found myself getting a bit worked up at the end, as things were winding down, while things were being resolved. Definitely not "no strings" for the reader.
Technically, this is as good as any story. Readability is not sacrificed for content, the author's voice is distinctive and enjoyable, and dialogue between characters helps the story flow.
This is a really great story. I don't know that it would work without the sex scenes, but it definitely works with them, and the ending brings everything together.