I love frequenting my local comic book shop, not just because it is great to be in a physical space full of nerdy things, but because the staff are so great. They frequently suggest reads for me when I come in, which is great for fulfilling my quest for comic knowledge even if it isn’t great for my wallet. During one of my visits two of the people there mentioned there was a book they thought I’d like. They showed me the first volume of Sunstone and insisted that while the book was pretty steamy, that the plot was so good that they frequently recommended it to their over 18 readers. This first book set me down a path of discovery and excitement and I fell completely head over heels for the world of Sunstone.
Stjepan Šejić, with the help of his wife Lukšić Šejić, brings to life the relationship between Lisa Williams and Ally Carter. These two women meet by chance in a BDSM chat room, I told you the book gets steamy, and decide to take the leap and start an initially purely sexual relationship. This will allow the two of them to actually be in a BDSM relationship, which is a first for Lisa and something Ally has not been in for a while. Ally is the dominant and invites Lisa to her home, which she has super outfitted with a bunch of gear and supplies, many courtesy of her best friend Alan. Ally has a bit of a shopping addiction when it comes to her gear and even without a submissive she has been stocking up. Lisa is a little overwhelmed by what she’s gotten herself into, but as they begin to experiment with each other something begins to grow. While they went in not expecting a romance, especially because Lisa has never thought about being with a woman before, both women start to feel a deep connection that pushes them to move into something more romantic.
Ally is not only more experienced in connection to BDSM, but she also is noted as being attracted to women earlier on in her story development. Lisa is trying to come to terms with realizing she is attracted to Ally, while also discovering herself within the realm of BDSM. The story is told through Lisa, who we later learn has turned her journey into a series of books, which totally look like the Sunstone series. This tongue in cheek way of setting up the books allows Lisa to provide comments from the future and also to show not only her point of view, but also to include Ally’s thoughts and feelings. The original story of Sunstone spans 5 volumes and excitingly includes a happy ending. That’s a bit of a spoiler, but the plot is so up and down, twisty and turny, that knowing that doesn’t entirely tell you what the happy ending is. The most recent volume is subtitled Mercy, it is also noted as Sunstone Volume 6. This book doesn’t focus on Ally and Lisa, but instead looks at Alan and his relationship with Anne, a bisexual tattoo artist we meet earlier in the Sunstone books. I’ve read all of the books and while I adore Ally and Lisa tremendously, Anne is such a great character and both she and Alan definitely deserve to get their own backstories shared with readers.
Now I mentioned BDSM exceptionally casually when I introduced Sunstone and while yes, the relationship between Ally and Lisa is a bit outside of what people consider the norm, what they have together is beautiful. They trust each other and are willing to try anything as long as they are with each other. The story isn’t just about sex, but rather learning to open yourself up to new things and allowing yourself to be in an open and trusting relationship. While Lisa might be coming to terms with a lot of new elements to her personality, Ally is also working to open herself up and let herself be vulnerable. While neither character specifies their sexual identity they are attracted to each other and again, we do know Ally has been attracted to other women. The art in this series is exceptional and even if you don’t typically read comics Sunstone is such an amazing experience, with more books being added, that you definitely need to check it out. You can find Sunstone in a variety of places for sale and I’ve included a link for you for Volume One.