In Sleeping Beauty's Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales - erotic fiction by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Tori Rebel

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I'll Take a Little Education With My Erotica

In Sleeping Beauty's Bed is a collection of erotic re-imaginings of classic fairy tales, accompanied by a history and background on the origin of each story. While it may not be particularly thrilling for those seeking outright erotic and vividly sexual writing, it would be very well suited for those just beginning to read erotica that are looking for a softer introduction to the genre while not being bored by the same old sexual scenarios.
Published:
Pros:
Educational, wide range of stories, surprising plot twists, good for beginning erotica readers.
Cons:
May be too flowery or wordy for some, not written in an outright explicit manner.
Rating by reviewer:
4
extremely useful review

About author

This is the first book I've read that was written by Mitzi Szereto. She is quite the accomplished writer and blogger, having written several of her own fictional books and contributed to several erotica anthologies as well. Based on reading this book and looking at several others that she's written, it's easy to conclude that she's got a very varied range of interest and knowledge within the erotica spectrum and is well known within erotic fiction circles. I did find her writing to consistently surprise me with the twists and unexpected ends to story lines.
    • Expert author
    • Well known author

Content / Style / Audience

In Sleeping Beauty's Bed is comprised of 15 stories, ranging from 12-30 pages each and with origins reaching from Western Europe to Japan to the Carpathian Mountains to India. Several of the stories originate in one land and then travel a good portion of the globe, and there were only a few that I had even heard before. Unlike many other compilations, all of the stories in this book were written by Mitzi Szereto.

The most interesting and unusual feature of this book was the 2-3 page summary on the background of the particular fairly tale before the actual erotic version. I found this helpful because I'd heard of so few of the stories beforehand and it made the characters and locations in the fictional story far easier to understand. I was impressed with how well researched each story was and how much detail was given about the locations of origin, the people involved in the history of the story, and how it had changed as it was passed along or passed through different cultures.

The stories are all written in a very non-imposing manner. The writing is flowery and possibly a little verbose at times, which made certain parts of the book slow to get through. It also is not remarkably explicit and the romantic wording includes no particularly outright sexual language - in fact, if you aren't paying particular attention to the wording, you could miss the creatively described sexual components altogether.

What got me though the book and past the writing style that just wasn't particularly suited for my taste was the unexpected plot twists and turns within the stories. You would expect these traditional stories to include traditional erotic scenarios but it's actually quite the opposite. Amongst stories that have classical roots over a hundred years old, you will find elements of several different fetishes, BDSM, and voyeurism.

This book is probably not best for those used to, expecting, and that enjoy explicit, graphic sex scenes. The stories have more character building and story background than erotic situations. But for those leery of graphic language, pornographic scenes, and seeking a gentler, more romantic but still interesting book, this is perfect. I would also recommend it to those just beginning to read erotica as it wold be a non-intimidating introduction to erotic fiction. I also see no reason why this couldn't be enjoyed by all sexualities, gender identities, singles, and couples alike.
    • Erotica
    • Fiction
    • Good mix of styles and content

Design

This book is a high quality paperback with 316 pages in total. The order of the stories transitions well and the type is easy to read. The cover is very pretty and fairly classy with the title in script and a nude women scantily sheathed in pink fabric. It is not particularly discreet though so if you're going to be reading this in public or leaving it out where you might not want it to be found, you may want to put a cover on it.
    • Not very discreet cover

Personal comments

I was really impressed by the wide variety of stories in this book - everything from the traditional Little Red Riding Hood and a humorous rendition of Rapunzel to the very interesting Persian tale of The Magic Muntr and the lesser known but very titillating Scandanavian story The Swineherd.

My personal favorite in the book was Szereto's rethinking of Cinderella. It began just as one would expect but transitioned far off of the traditional path into a teasing plot of a common fetish and some interesting sex toy replacements.

The writing was a little hard to follow for me at some points and the lack of graphic sexual scenes was not what I normally enjoy in my erotica. If that's all there had been, I probably would've given it 3 stars but the addition of the story histories was so interesting and gave the fictional stories so much more depth that I think four stars perfectly reflects my personal experience with this book.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Comments
  • namelesschaos
    Good review, that it includs the backgrounds for the fairy tales makes me more interesting in this then I would other wise.
  • Kayla
    Great review. It really is such an odd format for erotica, but it works relatively well.
  • Airen Wolf
    I liked this book as well, the little bit of background made the story feel fully fleshed, if that makes sense.
  • kitty377
    I want to read it!!
  • Mihoshi4301
    Thanks for the review.
  • calliope
    Thanks
  • geliebt
    Thanks! I'm really interested in this book the more reviews I read!
  • pinkzombie
    Great review!
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