Review: Penthouse Variations on Kink by Barbara Pizio

Posted September 7, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

Review: Penthouse Variations on Kink by Barbara Pizio
Penthouse Variations on Kink
Narrated by Lia Langola

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: BDSM Romance, Erotic Romance
Published by Start Midnight
Released on February 13, 2017
Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Giveaway

Get it at: add to goodreads

The Delight

As someone who is cautious about what I pick up to read when it comes to BDSM romance/erotica, I don’t tend to try new to me authors out of the blue.  I think this is the first time I’ve set out with a book based off this genre because I enjoyed the last book by the narrator, Lia Langola.  Still, I was cautious, but in the end, I listened to the several short stories and was duly impressed by many.


Penthouse Variations on Kink is a short story collection written by several different writers only one of which I might have experienced before.  Each story focused on a different set up from meet cute to long time married pair, different sexual preferences in the Dom(mes)/submissives, different experiences new to BDSM to old hat, and different heat levels from light bondage to heavier pain.

Most of the authors set up their tales so the reader could easily engage and connect with his or her characters and plot though they didn’t beat around the bush getting to the point.  I liked this as I am one who needs an actual storyline to appreciate the erotic element.  I also liked it because I also need to feel that BDSM is treated carefully between participants even if its one-time only encounter.  I felt the authors understood the world well and appreciated the lifestyle they were portraying in their stories.

I took this one in bits over a period of time and it worked out great for that.  Some forms of kink or relationship dynamics weren’t my thing, but I could still appreciate the storytelling quality in each.  I enjoyed some writing styles more than others, but all were at least moderately good.

As I said, the narrator was the reason I listened to this one.  I really appreciate Lia Langola’s style.  She imbues just the right amount of emotion without overbalancing into cheesy pornstar voice.  She voices genders and multiple characters, pacing, and tone well.  I would definitely listen to more of her work.

All in all, I thought this was a well done anthology and is definitely best appreciated by erotica or BDSM romance fans who don’t mind the short story format or want something quick now and then.


Romance Roundabout #262 ER
Audio #51
COYER #60 


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • RO

    Wow! Many, many years ago, a friend showed me those Penthouse books, and there were lots and lots of interesting stories in there of real life exploits, (sometimes, I thought a few of those stories were pure fiction-lol) and I thought the magazine eventually went away. I’m surprised it’s still around, but cool to see that they’ve done something different with BDSM stories. I haven’t read any BDSM but this sounds like it would be neat to check out, Super Sophia. Hugs and Happy Friday to you! RO

    • Hey! Thank you so much for bringing that up. It was driving me nuts for a month now why this anthology seemed so familiar and yet I knew I hadn’t read anything like it before. It was a magazine collection of stories. Of course!

      You’re the best, Radiant Ro!

  • I think this would be something I would like. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    • My pleasure, Jenea!

      It’s perfect when you’re in the mood for some heat and don’t have much time for longer stories. 🙂

  • Oh interesting. I do like a bit of BDSM in my reading at times.

    • Same here, Mary!

      I don’t crave it often, but once in a while… 😉

  • How interesting you picked this one up for the narrator. I don’t listen to audiobook yet, but I always find it interesting to hear how important the narrator can be. That’s nice most stories are set up well so you can easily connect with the characters.

    • Yes, I’ve not really done that previously. I’ll try a new narrator because others have recommended or I’m curious, but this is the first time I’ve paid more attention to the narrator than the story in a cold contact situation.

      Yes, the stories introduced situation and characters before diving into the heat. It sure helped me enjoy it more.

  • Northwomn

    It’s not my normal reading material. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I totally get picking based on the narrator. Anne – Books of My Heart

    • Not my usual stuff either, but once in a while, I’ll pick it up when the mood takes me.

      Yes, it was an interesting feeling knowing nothing about book or authors, but being interested because the narrator did a great job on a different collection like it.

  • Not something I gravity towards, but this is a fun way to dabble in the genre.

    • Yes, these short stories are a good way to nudge that line and see how it works for the reader.

  • Shari Delighted Read

    For some reason the cover of this story really is putting me off. I just can’t get over it and I usually am not one to judge things by the cover.

    • I’ve had that happen with covers. I try hard not to be influenced, but sometimes it just doesn’t match my mood or what I’m interested in.

  • It’s definitely not my normal read but dang that cover!!! I’ll definitely give this one a try though. Awesome review Sophia Rose 🙂

    Blushing Geek

    • Yeah, I know what you mean, Vanessa. This is a genre that I don’t normally pick up, either, but once in a while I like to give it a go.
      Thanks! 🙂

  • Looks like this one hits the spot when you’re just looking for the spot.