Review by Joel Kreissman
Leather Ballad: Folsom, is a sequel to the first Leather Ballad by Alex Constance and, like the first book, it compiles a series of chapters previously posted on the author’s art gallery sites into a single PDF.
However, Folsom, unlike the first Leather Ballad, is a single long story about Helga taking Amethyst to an S/M convention in California, where they run into Helga’s ex. Helga and Lorraine, an intimidating wolfess who currently works as an agent for porn actors, did not part on the best of terms. Lorraine claims that she’s changed since they last spoke and says she wants to make amends, but the sow is suspicious. We aren’t told why they broke up at first, rather the chapters alternate scenes from the “present day” of 2020 and highlights of Helga and Lorraine’s relationship from twenty years earlier. This format allows Lorraine’s abuses, betrayals, and crimes to gradually sink in, giving the reader a more thorough understanding of why Helga regards her with such contempt.
And naturally we get all manner of kinky scenes between Helga and both her past and present girlfriends.
Right after my review of Leather Ballad went up on the blog I saw a post by Constance about how my review had inspired them to publish another book about Amethyst and Helga. Reading about how my review writing had affected an author that way was a new experience; frankly, I was flattered that they felt that way about my simple summary and critique. The flashback story is a challenging format to pull off, but Alex seems to have managed it. I could have stood to see some more content on the porn industry, although they do kind of emphasize that it’s just acting and porn stars can be much different in their “real life” than on screen. We’re informed that Lorraine’s current slave is well known as a dominatrix in porn, but we don’t see much of her films.
All in all, Leather Ballad: Folsom is a significant improvement over the first book, with a much more cohesive storyline told in a difficult format that Alex Constance has pulled off.