A couple years ago, I was walking around the Printer’s Row Lit Fest and someone from a booth called out “time travel nerd erotica!” My response was an enthusiastic “yes, please, take all my money,” and that is how I ended up reading Time Bangers Vol. 1: One Does Not Simply Walk Into Tudor by Ivery Kirk and Luna Teague.
The book follows Beth, a history aficionado, as she reconnects with her undergraduate friend and sorority sister Tawny, a scientist, many years after they both graduated. The two women eventually reconnect over an old sex book from their college years where they related their sexual escapades in scientific detail (anonymized of course, as all good scientists would do). It turns out that Tawny has developed a time machine in order to travel back in time to meet and bang hot historical figures (which, to be fair, we all know we would do if we had a time machine). Eventually the two women find themselves traveling to 1536 England where hijinks ensue. Sexy, sexy hijinks.
I had never read erotica before, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I certainly did not expect to be so invested in the characters and their friendship. Beth and Tawny are well-drawn characters and instantly relatable. The anxiety they each felt reconnecting with an old friend and wondering if their relationship will get back to the place it was when they were younger or whether the vast gulf of time and life that has passed will be too much for their friendship to withstand, are feelings I’ve had in the same situation when reviving an old friendship.
I also wasn’t expecting to laugh so much. The book is really funny, in a weird, nerdy, awkward way that reminded me of the way I joke around when I’m hanging out with my friends. I’m pretty sure I had a big smile on my face during the entire time I was reading this book. And, of course, the sex scenes were incredibly sexy.
In a way, the book is much more a story about two women coming to terms with the fact that life in their 30s isn’t what they had always imagined it would be than it is about sex or time travel. They are trying to figure out who they are and what kind of life is still available to them, navigating friendship, motherhood, and career success or disappointment. The sex scenes are there, but they are a fun and spicy bonus, not the meat of the story.
As the weather starts to turn warmer, if you’re looking for a quick, breezy, fun beach read that is equal parts female friendship and time travel sex adventures, I just cannot recommend Time Bangers enough.