Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Edited by Mitzi Szereto
Cleis Press 2011
turn away and
in that we
all that is
truth of all
Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
is now a popular horror subgenre with a devoted circle of fans. To
make love to a vampire, a werewolf or even a zombie (not to mention
demons and alien creatures)seems to be a fashionable sin.
In addition, if you
push hard on the button of eroticism, you get "paranormal erotic
romance" as the present anthology promises. But, when all is said
and done, regardless of one’s personal taste in terms of
relationships and of literary labels, what really counts is the
quality of fiction.
I’ve approached this
book with an open mind, looking, quite simply, for some good
stories. And I’m happy to say that, in spite of some tale in poor
taste and some other of poor quality, there is a fair amount of good
material included therein.
Moonlight by Rose de Fer is a well crafted werewolf story
imbued with a strong sense of eroticism and masochism, while Cover
Him With Darkness by Janine
Ashbless is a solid, compelling piece where a mysterious creature
chained to the rocks under a church, becomes the erotic obsession of
a young girl.
Evan Mora contributes
The Persistence of Memory,
the vivid portrait of an impossible love story between a vampire and
a young girl, physically attracted by each other beyond the limits of
their different natures.
Tea for Two is a passionate tale
of paranormal romance in which the ghost of a woman manages to keep
company to her affectionate husband.
In The Queen
Tahira Iqbal brings to the extreme the obvious link between erotic
ecstasy and vampire bites, while in Dolly Charlotte Stein
describes the ardent affair between a woman and the doll she made.
The best, however, is
yet to come.
provides A Rose in the
Willow Garden, an enticing mix of eroticism
and lyricism served with a touch of paranormal.
understand what it is
like, don’t you?"
she asked. "To love
someone so much you
want to possess their
of the women he
had cherished into their
deaths. "That’s it."
he said "That’s
Pained by Anna
Meadows is an excellent story about the portrait of a fascinating,
alluring woman more lively than what expected.
unlike the other portraits
in the Lawrence house…
Once he’d reviewed
every curve and color,
he tore his gaze
from the fallow shade
of her skin and
the folds of her
dress. He shouldn’t
spend the night staring
In the vividly decadent
Bitter and Intoxicating by
Sharon Bidwell, art is nourished by extreme eroticism:
removed her cloak,
revealing a luscious body
barely concealed in a
green diaphanous gown.
Beneath the filmy layers
of her dress her
My favourite story is
the enticing Milady’s Bath
by Giselle Renarde, a great piece of exquisite eroticism where a
maid sharing her mistress’ bed has to suffer the recurring love
meetings of the lady with a werewolf.
asking me why she
does it. Why scamper
out the window every
time the moon is
full? Why flee the
comforts of a warm
feather bed, knowing she’ll
return with her gown
tattered and her flesh
torn to shreds?
In short, if you’re
not too prude and if you appreciate good fiction, I’m sure you
will enjoy this book.
said, I’m not
the one to ask.
lives in Milan, Italy. Most likely the only Italian who regularly reads
(and reviews) dark fiction in English, his book reviews have appeared
in a number of genre websites such as The
Alien Online, Infinity Plus,
The SF Site, The Agony Column and Horrorworld.
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Authors Rose de Fer, Janine Ashbless, Elizabeth Daniels, Mitzi Szereto, Anna
Meadows, Charlotte Stein, Zander Vyne, Evan Mora, Ashley Lister, Sharon
Bidwell, Claire Buckingham, Giselle Renarde, Carrie Williams, Tahira
Iqbal, and Bonnie Dee.
Editor Mitzi Szereto
prolific author and anthology editor of erotic fiction, whose
previous books include, just to mention a few, Pride and
Prejudice: Hidden Lusts; In
Sleeping Beauty’s Bed:
Erotic Fairy Tales;
Dying for It: Tales
of Sex and Death
as well as a number of Erotic Travel Tales
anthologies. She has her own Web TV channel, Mitzi TV. Originally
from the USA, she lives in Greater London.