Tag Archives: anthology

Review: For the Men & The Women Who Love Them

I’ve been looking forward to reading For the Men and the Women Who Love Them, Rose Caraway’s newest anthology, for months. Now that things on are slowing down as Christmas approaches, I’ve had a few evenings free to read for fun, which is great because it’s the perfect time of year for fun (in both written and unwritten forms), even better when the fun makes a sneaky, subversive point.

The thing I love about Rose Caraways’s anthologies is that they combine balls to the wall, sexy fun with a real social consciousness. The Sexy Librarian believes in sex positivity for all – cis, queer, male, female, trans, old, young, feminists, humanists, conservatives, liberals, proud sluts, monogamous lovers…in other words, pretty much everyone. As a result, she brings a remarkable amount of empathy and positivity to the anthologies she narrates and edits.

For the Men is classic Rose Caraway in that way. I don’t usually say this about erotica anthologies, but seriously, read the introduction. It’s an empowering essay in support of a guy’s right to enjoy erotica just as much as women do – an idea that should be a no brainer, but  is still met with a surprising amount of stigma. Rose Caraway’s passion for inclusive sexuality shines out hard in that introduction, and it sets the perfect tone for the rest of the anthology.

It’s tough to pick a favorite in For the Men, especially when a huge chunk of my favorite authors are in the list of contributors. The Table of Contents literally reads like an all-star list of kick-ass veterans and shiny up-and-comers. Allan Dusk’s freaky, funky, genre-bending fuck fest is like nothing I’ve ever read, which means it’s vintage Allan Dusk. If you’ve never read him before, A. you should and B. “Wayward Drift” is a pretty great place to start.

“73A”, and adorable repair man fantasy by Jade A. Waters has been a favorite of mine since she let me read the first draft (not sure if I should even be admitting to that, but she’s my best friend so whatever. I’d love it even if she weren’t). Same with Tamsin Flowers’s “Rope Burn”. God, that woman knows her stuff. The fact that she can write about sexy barrel racers in a way that makes this city girl sit up is a testament to her talent.

Adrea Core’s gorgeously lush “Dance For Me” brings cage dancing and submission to a completely feline and intuitive conclusion, while Charlie Powell’s “Winning Big” is a sexy, empathetic and deeply touching portrait of the ex that complicates your present as much as your past. I’m not quite sure how to begin describing how much I enjoyed Rachel de Vine’s “The Hitchhiker” but what I can say is that I would love to see more of Hermes and Miss Jezebel in the future. And then there’s “Labyrinth” by Emmanuelle de Maupassant. Oh, this story…monsters, mazes…it’s a lovely, masterful, deeply erotic nod to Greek mythology, and I loved it.

There are so many beauties in here – while the stories I mentioned above are the one’s I especially loved, every single contributor brought it, and the result is an anthology that anyone could love. It’s a truly inclusive collection, one that I could see men enjoying on their own or with their partners. It’s a hell of an achievement and no surprise that Rose Caraway pulled it off and then some.

For the Men and the Women Who Love Them is available in print and ebook from Amazon and Amazon UK, and in audio (narrated by Rose Caraway) at Audible.com.

KMQ Interview: Alice in the Attic (#8Authors)

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 11.17.17 PMI love talking to Rose Caraway. A few months ago, I spoke with her in-studio for the release of the Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30, vol. 1. It was a great experience – one that I didn’t realize I’d be lucky enough to repeat so soon.

Earlier this week, I went back to Rose’s studio, this time to talk about Libidinous Zombie, the collection of erotic horror that Rose and her brilliant husband / partner in crime, Dayv, have been dreaming of for years.

I was privileged to be one of the #8Authors she asked to contribute to this collection and the story that I ultimately handed over turned out to be quite a labor of love, one that is especially important to me.

Alice Blk Bkgnd FB“Alice in the Attic” isn’t a pretty story. If I did my job right, it’s creepy and unsettling and abjectly filthy. I also hope that, while it makes you vaguely uncomfortable, it also turns you on. That intersection between sex and fear is fascinating to me. In fact, it’s very much at Alice’s heart.

This interview was short and sweet and really fun (at least, that’s how it felt to record!) We talked about short stories that want to be novels, taboo and transgression, and how wonderful it is when an editor asks you take off the reins and GO. You don’t have to have read #LZ to enjoy it. Hell, you don’t even have to like horror. It’s just a good conversation about writing without restraint. That said, if you happened to want to read some pretty righteous, sexy horror, you could do better than #LZ.

So, if you want to check out my conversation with the brilliantly excellent Rose Caraway, click HERE.

LZ Cover LargeAnd if you want to pick up a copy of #LZ (because it really is hella good) head on over HERE. And stayed tuned. Audio is on the way.

 

New Release: LZ

LZ logo Twtr dimentions with title and date

Halloween is the release day for a project that I am both humbled and proud to be part of. Libidinous Zombie (#LZ) is Rose Caraway’s erotic horror anthology. It pushes at boundaries both in writing and in life, and gleefully breaks pretty much every convention in the genre. To quote the blurb:

This book is erotic. This book is horrifying. This book is cunning.
This book is edgy, seductive, violent, fiendish, indecent, and unfair.
This collection is a work of fiction. Consider yourself trigger warned.

Quick Note: Remittance Girl wrote an excellent post explaining what, exactly, a libidinous zombie is. I would recommend reading it – it’s fascinating. It will also allay zombie-oriented fears. There’s only one zombie story in this collection and it’s brilliant (this coming from a woman who got nervous watching Sean of the Dead).

“Alice in the Attic”, the story I wrote for #LZ, has been germinating for twelve years. It started as a sort of dark fairy tale about a little girl who has cobwebs for hair, but it never went anywhere. I wasn’t prepared to take it where it needed to go. Over the years, it went through various iterations, some fay, others less so, but I couldn’t shake the sense that I wasn’t telling the story. Eventually I set it aside.

When Rose Caraway asked me if I wanted to contribute to this collection I thought of “Alice in the Attic” for the first time in years. After simmering for so long, the story felt more substantial. Alice was more than just a fairy tale concept. She was more than a little girl with sentient hair. She was darker, meaner, more raw, filthy, clever, wise and frightening. She had a history. She had suffered. In short, she had grown up. But in order to write the story as it needed to be written I needed to be able to go to places that are not romantic. They aren’t even civilized.

Revenge, injustice, predation, sexual obsession, madness, compulsion, manipulation, death…. All that sexy stuff. I say that somewhat ironically, but I’m actually quite serious. It’s a different kind of erotic, one that happens when civility cracks and biology takes over. It’s not pretty. In fact, it’s fucking filthy. And because it’s fucking filthy, it’s really fucking hot…if that’s your cup of tea.

“Alice in the Attic” is my cup of tea, and it’s an honor to have it in a collection that embraces the wrong, the frightening and the deeply sexual without the boundaries of convention.

I’ve written quite a few pieces that will never see the light of day because there is no place for them in the market, but Rose Caraway deliberately created a context free of the rules that define the genre. This collection makes its own way. It’s uncomfortable and intelligent and incredibly hot. It’s a beautiful fucking monster.

Alice Blk Bkgnd FBFrom “Alice in the Attic”:

Adler froze as her breathing hitched, no longer quiet, but striving and broken by throaty, frustrated moans.

Patient shows signs of nymphomania. Has pronounced tendencies towards sexual self-abuse.

He’d seen those words the day before, written in crabbed, fading ink, but he remembered them like a slap as he felt his body respond. It was only when his cock bulged against his trousers that he realized how compromised he was.

“Alice,” he said, as she writhed in the chair. “Miss Mulgrave? You must stop. You are agitating yourself.”

Dark eyes flew open and locked on his. Adler stepped back, shocked by the look on her face. It was full of rapacious promise, like a wolf scenting prey. But the impression didn’t last. He’d barely absorbed it when it was papered over by a rueful smile. Then she flipped down her skirt and stood to greet him, calm and self-possessed.

“You must be Dr. Adler. Alice has told me about you. I’m Miss Mulgrave.”

Instead of curtseying as Alice had, Miss Mulgrave extended her hand. Adler froze and stared at her fingers, which glistened with the juices of where they had been. Seeing his discomfort, she snatched her hand away.

“Forgive me,” she said. “One forgets.”

Then she slid her fingers into her mouth and sucked them clean, smiling calmly as she did.

Adler swallowed, reacting as much to her calm as to the sight of her working her fingers with brutal, sensual force. When she was finally satisfied, she offered him her hand again. Adler took it gingerly with his.

“Em…yes. I’m Dr. Adler. A pleasure to meet you, Miss Mulgrave. Are you prepared for our first session?”

Buy the Book!

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Available on Amazon Kindle.

New Release: Bases Loaded

Cover for Bases Loaded: Baseball EroticaA lot of people are surprised to find out that I love baseball. I really do, especially the Giants. As a San Francisco native, I grew up watching Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell while munching hot dogs at Candlestick Park. I still remember freezing in the bleachers in the middle of July when a rookie pitcher named Burkett hit the home run that got us to the playoffs that year.

Baseball is one of those things that feels like home. I don’t know if it’s because my dad coached my brother’s little league team for years (you learn a lot when your dad’s the Coach), but few things feel as simple and good as watching a game. There’s something joyful and intimate about it, even when you’re swearing like a pirate at the screen, (which I kind of do).

Which is why I was excited when the lovely, and incredibly baseball savvy, F. Leonora Solomon asked if I would contribute to a collection of baseball erotica. “Lucky”, is a tribute to my girlfriend’s penchant for athletic superstition and my own competitive streak. I hope it captures the sheer, ridiculous joy of loving your team, wanting them to win and going to any lengths (especially lengths involving team colored glass dildos) to help them pull through.

Bases Loaded: Baseball Erotica is packed with a bunch of other great stories too. I’ve got to say that, as an editor, Ms. Solomon knows her stuff. You can find it and make it your very own by clicking HERE.

And to celebrate opening day for Bases Loaded, here’s an excerpt from “Lucky”. May all your post season dreams come true.

From “Lucky” by Malin James:

Callie’s eyes drop to my face. Now that I’ve got her attention, I slid the hard, glossy dildo into my mouth, sucking it slowly to warm the cool glass up. Then I take it out of my mouth and slide it into her. She sighs and her legs fall open even more. I kiss her calf and the inside of her knee as the bright blue glass disappears into her plump, pink cunt.

Behind me, the announcer starts chattering again, but Callie’s eyes are on me now. I starting working her with Lucky, thrusting in hard and pulling out slow, in long, drawn out strokes as I drag the dildo’s curved glass tip over her g-spot, just the way she likes.

Her hips start rolling, seeking out the glass. I pull Lucky out all the way, and rest the tip on the glistening entrance of her cunt. I watch her thighs tremble. I watch the small, pretty muscles of her pussy spasm, needing something to clench. I love it when her body is hungry like that. I love it when she holds herself still, even though she’s dying to come.

I rest Lucky there, right at her entrance, for what feels like ages. She starts to whimper and seek it out. That’s when I slide it back in, harder and deeper as she grabs at the cushions on either side of the couch.

“Jess, please.”

The please is whispery and pleading. She’s so ready, I can hear it in her voice. It’s like aural ecstasy. My nipples tighten up as I lean in and start to lick her clit, moving the dildo in and out as I do.

Something happens on the screen, but I’m not paying any attention at all. I can just hear the announcer through the pounding in my ears as I lick and gobble her up.

Feel like a little more? Buy Bases Loaded in ebook or paperback at Amazon! And follow the book on Twitter at @BasesLoadedBook for news, updates, excerpts and more.

 

Best Erotic Romance of the Year, vol. 1

BER 2015You know what’s romantic? Erotic romance. Know where to find the most romantic erotic romance of the year? Best Erotic Romance of the Year, (vol. 1). Know what’s really cool? It’s available today.

Kristina Wright, writer, editor and mistress of Cleis Press’s Best Erotic Romance series, is back with another round-up of the best erotic romance the year has to offer, and I’m proud that one of my stories found a place in it. Ms. Wright pulled together some really beautiful work from established favorites like Emerald and Kiki DeLovely, as well as from newer voices like Renee Luke and Crystal Jordan. You’ll also find gorgeous, sexy pieces from my lovely and talented Pillow Talk colleagues, Tamsin Flowers and Jade A. Waters.

My contribution to Best Erotic Romance of the Year is a story called “The Couch”. It involves a cocktail party, a slightly open door, and yes, a massive leather couch. I’ve included an excerpt below. I hope you enjoy. xx.M

Excerpt:

The couch, when they reached it, was even bigger than it looked. She sank into the buttery leather and crossed her legs, feeling like Goldilocks in Papa Bear’s chair. In fact, if she were prone to giggling she would have. Instead, she watched Tom sit down beside her—just close enough to catch a hint of his aftershave. The scent went straight to her head. She felt light-headed, and drunk, though she’d barely touched either the martini or her champagne.

His eyes met hers, and she smiled, allowing the edge of a promise to curve her lips, as she leaned in. God, he smelled good.

“Are you as hard, as I am wet?”

Tom narrowed his eyes. She wasn’t usually so blunt, but they only had one night. She wanted Tom, and she wanted him now.

“Say again?”

Daphne shifted, settling her long legs several inches from his. His eyes flickered down over the bare length, and, for the first time that evening, she saw naked heat flare in the genial warmth of his eyes. Civilized Tom. Nothing civilized there. Pushing her advantage, she leaned in bit further and purred right against his ear.

“Are you as hard as I am wet?”

“I thought that’s what you’d said….”

Daphne held her breath as Tom kissed her neck, sparking pleasure through her skin and right into her bones. Her spine flexed, drawing her close.

“I’ve wanted to fuck you since I left Singapore.”

Daphne’s breath caught. Tom had never said he wanted to fuck her before—make love, of course, but never fuck. Daphne turned her face, and nuzzled his lips.

“Kiss me, then.”

The kiss was like him—warm and lovely—with a solid edge beneath. He was holding himself back. Normally, she loved that, loved that he had so much to offer that he could hold some in reserve, but right then, she wanted what was simmering beneath. She wanted more of that edge.

“Do you want to leave,” he murmured against her mouth. He tasted of gin and her perfume.

“No, I don’t,” she said. She had come to the party alone. Thanks to this development, she saw no reason to leave. Not yet.

“I want you to make me come,” she said, “right here on this couch.”

Daphne felt his lips curve against her skin.

“Let me close the door….”

“No,” she said. “Leave it alone.”

Slowly, Tom settled back.

“Are you sure?”

Daphne nodded, loving the mixture of concern and lust in his eyes.

“I’m sure. Now, make me come.”

Tom laid her down. The couch hid them from a casual glance, but anyone could have seen them if walked into the room. A fresh gush of heat pooled between her legs as Tom shifted and kissed her again, but driven by her awareness of the open door, Daphne pushed past his sweetness and nipped his bottom lip. He stiffened, surprised. Then he smiled and nipped her back.

Daphne let her hands slip down from his waist to his hips, which were pressed lightly into hers. She could feel him through layers of silk and wool. He was hard and getting harder despite his easy, playful mouth. She arched against him. He felt so good, fit so well into the cleft between her thighs, that her body began to move, a soft undulation at first, and then a demanding grind. His breath hitched. With a grimace, he lifted his hips away.

“Careful, sweet. Or you’ll ruin the game.”

She smiled, enjoying his admission as he parted her legs and half-reclined between them. Then his hands began to move. Nerve endings fluttered between her legs as her nipples peaked, achy and hard. She tilted her head back and sighed. He touched her as if he had a map of her in his mind…he’d always known how to touch her.

Tom stroked her thigh and coaxed her legs open wider, as the silk of her dress pooled just above her waist. Instinctively, Daphne’s abdomen contracted and her hips tilted in demand. He smiled and kissed her cheek.

“Easy, love. We’ll get there.”

The words dropped into the hollow of her ear, electrifying her skin from collarbone to scalp, and sending a shot of aching heat straight through to her cunt. She bit her lip and gripped his lapel, but he’d already moved on, slipping down her straps of her dress to expose her lovely, teardrop breasts.

Daphne shifted, restless beneath his deliberate hand. She was already going mad, and he hadn’t gotten anywhere near her sex. Words formed in her mouth, but she could only gasp when he dipped his head and took her entire breast in his mouth. He suckled hard, flicked her nipple with his tongue as she, so reserved, so habitually quiet, moaned. I sound like a whore, she thought. But she couldn’t help herself.

Buy the Book:

Amazon

Amazon, UK

The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30, vol.1

Dirty 30_1

It’s ebook release day for The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty Thirty, vol. 1which is pretty damn exciting. I’ve got two stories in this anthology, which began as an audio collection narrated by the magnificent Rose Caraway of The Kiss Me Quick’s Erotica Podcast, but quickly expanded to include other formats. So, you can get this baby in ebook now, and in print and audiobook formats very soon.

In honor of the great unleashing (because this anthology is so powerfully sexy, “unleash” feels more appropriate than “release”) I have a couple of excerpts for you. The first, from “Barcelona” you can read right HERE. It was first featured in The Mammoth Book of Urban Erotic Confessions, edited by Barbara Cardy, and I’m very happy that it’s gotten fresh life in Rose Caraway’s collection.

“Barcelona” is also featured right now on the KMQ, so you can hear Rose read the whole thing by clicking HERE.

The second is from a story that’s exclusive to this anthology called “The Reader and Her Books”. I love this story, mostly because my fetishistic love of books got to come out and play when I wrote it. Here’s a little taste.

From “The Reader and Her Books”

“Hey, Alexa. What’s in the closet?”

Lexy widened her eyes in that vague, innocent way she’d learned from watching Marilyn Monroe. It was Lexy’s secret weapon—that and the fact that she looked like Marilyn Monroe.

“What closet?”

Her boyfriend, John, smiled.

“That one. You know…the only one in the room.”

Lexy blinked and angled her head.

“Oh! That one? I don’t know…stuff?”

Lexy giggled so that her breasts bounced beneath her robe. It was a calculated move. Lexy’s tits were her greatest asset. In fact, Lexy tits were glorious in ways that poets had once written epics about. John’s eyes drifted lower and she giggled again, gratified when his cock stirred beneath her pretty pink sheets. Then, with obvious effort, John looked away. Lexy sighed. He was a focused sort of person, not easily distracted by what someone had once called Lexy’s “greatest gift.”

“Seriously, Lex. We’ve been dating for five months. What’s in there? A dungeon or something? Have you got all your exes stacked up in there like a pretty, blonde Bluebeard?”

Lexy shrugged, pretending she didn’t know who Bluebeard was.

“I dunno,” she said. “Just a bunch of stuff. You can take a look if you like.”

Inwardly, Lexy flinched. That might have been a mistake…. John sat up, like a hound scenting a fox. Yeah, she thought. Mistake.

With a coy little smile, she slipped her robe off and let it drop to the floor. Lexy naked was the only thing more distracting than Lexy in a robe, and she was banking on good lust to get his mind off that door. Sadly, it didn’t work. Despite his now fully erect cock, John got out of bed on put on his rumpled slacks.

“Really? You’ll let me have a look?”

Lexy’s pulse spiked. Sometimes she was so dumb she wanted to strangle herself. Still, she somehow managed to keep her expression open and sweet.

“Um…yeah. Sure.”

Lexy tossed her curls beguilingly over one eye. Then she shimmied across the room and pressed her creamy, naked self into his suddenly wary frame.

“Of course you can take a look. But first, we could…you know….”

Lexy snuggled until she felt his cock against her hip. He was already nice and hard. Pressing her advantage, she brushed her fully pouty lips against his. John sucked in a breath and kissed her with semi-awkward passion. Then he took a firm step back.

“Wow, babe,” he said, still distracted. “You know I always want to…. You know, but….” He dragged a hand through his hair. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I want to see what’s in there more.”

Lexy wrestled her face into a kittenish pout. Time to bring out the big guns.

“Are you sure you don’t want to fuck,” she asked biting her lip, while stroking his hard-on through his pants.

No one with a blushy, baby doll voice should know how to say fuck like that, and yet, goddamn, she did. John closed his eyes. Then, with a strength of purpose Lexy should have known to expect, he removed her hand from his crotch.

“Yeah,” he said. “I’m sure.”

Lexy’s shoulders sagged.

“Okay.”

If you’d like to download your copy of The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty Thirty, vol. 1 click the link right HERE

Review: Tie Me Up

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Tie Me Up: A Binding Collection of Erotic Tales, edited by F. Leonora Solomon. Riverdale Avenue Books. (April 2015)

I’ve been looking forward to writing this review for awhile. Tie Me Up is the sort of anthology I especially enjoy – disparate stories from all sorts of authors, both new and experienced, linked by a common theme. In this case, the theme is bondage, which on the surface might seem like fairly well traveled territory, but the sheer variety in this anthology proves that there are about a million different ways for someone to get tied up.

As with all anthologies, I loved some stories more than others, but this isn’t a reflection of quality so much as it is of personal taste. Every story in here is good and shown to its best advantage, a testament to F. Leonora Solomon’s skills as an editor. I also appreciated the variety in style and pairings from raucous m/m’s and intense f/f’s to haunting group scenarios and anything-but-traditional m/f’s. There are stories in here with a comic twist and stories that will pull you right to the edge of your seat, but regardless of style and tone, all of them are sexy as hell, so much so that I’d be willing to bet money that at least one story (and probably more than one) will punch your buttons hard.

So, which stories did I love? Like the anthology itself, it’s a pretty varied assortment. “Pierced” by Annabeth Leong was a standout both for the subtlety in the dynamic between the two female lovers, as well as for the way Leong incorporated piercings into rope play. Annabeth Leong balances kinky perfection with emotional accessibility, making you identify with her characters even if what you’re reading isn’t your kink, and that’s massively arousing in a whole different way.

“Femme Soumise” by VC surprised me in the most wonderful way. It’s all about the unfolding of a new D/s relationship between a Domme and a lovely, very long haired submissive. The lack of stereotyping with both characters kept the story fresh and sexy, while the bondage played out with a playful kind of inevitability that made me smile a wicked, wicked smile.

Which brings me to “For Her Own Good” by Salome Wilde. For the sake of full disclosure I have to say that Salome Wilde is one of those writers I automatically jump to when I find out she’s in an anthology. I love her writing for many reasons, one of the largest being that her voice is so fluid and convincing that she can write about anything and make it hot. (Seriously. She even made Godzilla hot). “For Her Own Good” is set in a harem and features the sort of group play that could have fallen flat in the hands of a less skillful writer, but under Ms. Wilde’s command, the material jumps to crazy perfect life. I loved this story so much that all I’ve got is *gush*.

On the opposite side of the spectrum from a historical harem is Cheryl Kaye’s absolutely lovely, contemporary tale, “Birthday Knots.” Ms. Kaye is newer on the erotica-writing scene, but “Birthday Knots” reads like it was written by a seasoned pro, proof that she is a writer to watch out for. I don’t want to spoil too much because a large part of what caught me up was watching this particular situation play out, but I will say this – it’s one of the sweetest, hottest, most I-wish-I-had-been-there threesomes I’ve read in a long time.

Finally, there’s “By a Thread” by the incredibly talented Jane Gilbert. Ms. Gilbert, like Salome Wilde, is a writer whose work I am almost guaranteed to love. She brings detail and tone to the next level, from her tremendously effective use of the 2nd person POV, (the “oh pet” in the opening paragraphs killed me) to the light handed way she uses small, telling details to increase the tension in a scene. And I do mean “scene”. Ms. Gilbert writes D/s with a facility few writers have, and her instinctual understanding of both halves is on full display in this story when she alternates POV between the submissive and the Dom. The effect is incredibly sexy – the reader is immersed in the experience like a very well hidden voyeur.

I could go on and on, but these are the five stories that stood out for me in a collection full of excellent work. If bondage is your thing and you’d like to discover new writers while enjoying the work of established favorites, I can’t see how you would be able to resist Tie Me Up.

Review: Darker Edge of Desire

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Darker Edge of Desire: Gothic Tales of Romanceedited by Mitzi Szereto. Tempted Romance. (February 2014).

There are collections that you read anytime, and those you save for when you’re in a certain mood. They aren’t for everyday, but when you’re ready for them, they’re perfect. It’s sort of like the difference between drinking a glass of wine while you cook dinner and drinking a Kir Royale while you order your steak.

Darker Edge of Desire: Gothic Tales of Romance, Mitzi Szereto’s newest anthology for Cleis Press’s Tempted Romance imprint, is one of those collections that fits into the latter category. It’s all black velvet, moonlight and Kir Royale. Now, I’m going to be honest – this collection is not going to appeal to everyone, nor, as I’ve already implied, is it going to fit every mood. That said, if you have a fondness for Poe, gothic mansions, murderous husbands and lovely women committed to insane asylums of questionable repute, this will very likely suit you.

The anthology as a whole works because Ms. Szereto knows the subgenre very well, and her familiarity with gothic literature is evident in her choices. While all of the stories are reasonably good to excellent, the ones that truly stood out for me are those that nod directly at the gothic literature of the 19th century – “The Wicked Wife” by T.C. Mill, Adrien Ludens’s “Reynold’s Tale”, “Moonfall” by Rose de Fer and “Lightening in a Bottle” by Kim Knox.

These modern decedents of Poe, Bluebeard and Walpole made me smile as much as they turned me on. Let me clarify – they made me smile the smile of a lit. geek who majored in the Victorian novel. Intellectually, I enjoyed their cleverness as much as I emotionally and sexually enjoyed the hotness of the scenarios. Other standouts where “Blood Soup” by Benji Bright and “Devoured by Envy” by Jo Wu, based purely on the strength of the writing and the way the stories pulled me in. I’d have loved there to be more of both.

On the whole, I enjoyed the collection a great deal, but with that I have to acknowledge the fact that I have the occasional taste for the baroque, dark and gothic. If what I’ve described intrigues, then I would say that Darker Edge of Desire will be your cup of tea. That said, its appeal is pretty specific, so if you’re not into sex tinged with werewolves, revenge and mystery, I might suggest trying something else. For the right reader though, this collection is a treat.

You can find The Darker Edge of Desire at the following purveyors of fine erotic literature:

Amazon

Amazon, UK

Cleis Press

Barnes & Noble

Powell’s Books