Reviewed: 2014-07-03 - (Review Updated: 2014-07-04)
Crossover stories can generate both anticipation and trepidation. Done right, they can meld two or more of an author's fantasy worlds into one intriguing universe. On the other hand, the result can be an awkward pastiche of poorly realized wish fulfillment.
But not to worry . . . in "OSL: New York," bluedragon proves that he knows how to do it right.
Hard on the heels of "An Ordinary College Sex Life 3" (the 2013 Clitorides Award winner for Epic Erotic Story of the Year), bluedragon offers a novel-length vignette that covers 10 days in the Big Apple. It could have been subtitled "Ben and Adrienne Take Manhattan" . . . or, perhaps, "When World Collide."
Ben, the sexual savant from Orange County and a newly minted graduate of California Berkeley's business school, heads for the East Coast accompanied by his sort-of sister sort-of lover, the impossibly gorgeous and desirable Adrienne Dennis. She's looking to revisit friendships and the lifestyle that came with being the world's hottest swimwear and lingerie model. He's headed for a week of orientation at the home office of the company for whom he'll work out of the San Francisco office: Jonathan Kwong Enterprises.
Yeah, THAT Jonathon Kwong.
Fans of bluedragon's OSL and John Billionaire series have been salivating over the prospect of this story since it was revealed in the vignette "OSL: Felicia" that they shared a universe. It could have been overkill, what with all of the over-the-top sexual characters in both series, but bluedragon keeps things well-grounded. The characters all stay true to the way they've been written in the past, and the relationships between them all make sense. It's of course completely reasonable that Adrienne and Taylor Brynn, Jonathon's wife and a modeling legend in her own right, would have at least become acquaintances, and the fun develops from there.
The bigger challenge, as it turns out, was the balancing of the "stroke" half of this tale with the weightier matters of character development. Yes, Ben gets to play with a host of models as well as most of the members of Jonathon's inner circle, and the scenes they generate are worthy of the reputation that bluedragon has earned as a writer of sex stories. But "OSL: New York" is most of all about Ben and Adrienne facing the crossroads of their relationship. Fans of Adrienne, one of the truly great characters in all of online erotica, will appreciate the insights into her two years largely away from Ben, and the potential for her character going forward in the series' "Adult" years.
It should go without saying that there's no point in reading "OSL: New York" unless you have some familiarity with the "Ordinary Sex Life" series, but I'll say it anyway. And while it can be enjoyed on some level without having read the "John Billionaire" series (or at least up to the third chapter of "A Billionaire's Life," at which chronological point the events in this story take place), the experience is greatly enriched by a knowledge of those characters as well.
And isn't that what the crossover experience is supposed to be about?