Steamlust - erotic fiction by Cleis Press Inc. - review by wrmbreze

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Steamy Stories to entice and excite...

While reading through the forward my interest was piqued with one short sentence. In the opening of Sparks by Anna Meadows, the heroine starts her story by saying, "I would have been the first to concede how much better things were for me back when I behaved myself."

This was enough to ensure that I would read this anthology from cover to cover and not regret a moment of it.
Published:
Pros:
well written, flows well, good variety from authors
Cons:
mostly hetero which may turn some people off
Rating by reviewer:
5
extremely useful review

About author

Steamlust is a collection of erotic stories based in the Victorian era. In the forward written by Meljean Brook, she explains that, "steampunk features advanced steam engine or clockwork technology. Steampunk is historical fiction with a speculative twist; it's silk and steel, corsets and gears, parasols and airships." When I think of Steampunk, many things come to mind, the first of which is the old television show " Wild Wild West". I would be glued to the television for the entire time, I couldn't be budged. To add an erotic element to something that I already enjoy is a big bonus for me. It was pretty much a given that I would love this book. This anthology features stories from Vida Bailey, Mary Borsellino, Meljean Brook, ELizabeth Coldwell, Christine D'abo, Andrea Dale, Sylvia Day, Sacchi Green, Nikki Magennis, Anna Meadows, Anya Richards, Lisabet Sarai, Charlotte Stein, Lynn Townsend and Saskia Walker. If the title of this anthology isn't enough to pull you in, the author lineup definitely will.
    • Engaging
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

While the stories may have been written for fans of the Steampunk genre, the stories are well written and engaging enough to pull other erotica lovers in. The stories are mostly heterosexual and are female centered, but they are very intriguing, sexy stories for the most part.

Iron Hard by Sylvia Day

“Oh, my…” Her arousal spiked. Her blood was hot for him, her body softening to accommodate the hardness of his. Unseemly thoughts filled her mind. Naughty thoughts. Highly sexual. He was scarred on his chest as well. As with his face, the puckered bullet hole and multiple knife slashes only made him more delicious. Annie’s lips parted on lightly panting breaths, her breasts swelling within her bodice. She flushed and tore her gaze away from the seductive expanse of flame-lit muscle and golden skin. It shocked her to realize how much effort was required to focus on his finely wrought arm instead. In truth, it had been far too long since flesh and blood had held more appeal than steel and grease. She found herself at a loss over which arm was more skillfully cast—the one afforded him by the grace of God or the one crafted by an earthly engineer. “Exquisite.” Annie referred to the entirety of him, not merely the manmade pieces. Judging by his sudden low growl, the baron knew it. Sharp tension spiked between them, a heightened awareness that swept across her skin in a prickling wave. An aching need built between her legs, a reminder that she had suppressed her desires for years. Or, more accurately, it had been that length of time since a man had proven capable of rousing them.


Green Cheese by Lisabet Sarai

She removed his spectacles, stowing them on a convenient shelf behind them, and gazed into his eyes. She watched the emotions chase each other through those velvet depths: surprise, disbelief and finally understanding. Still, he hesitated. Tired of being patient, Caroline leaned forward and kissed him. As though the touch of her lips had freed him from constraints, he grew suddenly bold, pulling her to his chest and thrusting his tongue into her half-open mouth. He tasted spicy and unfamiliar, utterly delicious. Although she had begun the kiss, he soon assumed control. Freddy had been annoyingly tentative, but Pete clearly knew what he was doing. His hands engaged in wanton exploration, molding her silk-sheathed breast, thumbing the nipple, then slipping under her skirts. She gasped when he brushed the bare skin on the inside of her thigh. Sparks flared wherever his fingers traveled. Her quim felt soaked and swollen, aching for his attention. Her many-layered garments were a sweltering prison. She stroked his lean thigh through his trousers, then allowed her hand to creep upward. Pete groaned into her mouth as she cupped the substantial bulge she discovered in his groin. He wore no undergarments. The bulb nestled in her palm, quivering and damp, while she ran her thumb around the ridge. He tensed, thrusting into her fist. Under the fabric, his prick felt hard and smooth as polished river stones. It was long and slender, as exotic as the rest of him.


Fog, Flight And Moonlight by Sacchi Green

“Why would I not be pleased to be admired?” I had a good notion what his misconception was, and thanked my stars I’d never had the tendency to blush myself. “I’m not some simpering damsel who denies having any parts below the waist.” “No, of course not! But it’s known that your opinion of men is…is not quite that of most women.” Enough fumbling around the issue. “Plenty of women share my opinion that men are boring and overbearing and a bar to our freedom. That doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate them under the right circumstances. Just because I have some appetite for women doesn’t mean I draw the line at men.”He brightened a good deal. “And what circumstances do you prefer?” “Well,” I said, to jolt him a bit, “back in Wyoming I made the ranch hands let me tie’em to a fence post, and those who objected at first didn’t seem to mind it much later.” Just one ranch hand, a very young and shy one, but close enough to true.
    • Fiction
    • Hetero

Design

I found the cover art very well done. It doesn't scream erotica, although I found the cover to be sexy. It is a soft cover book that measures 5 1/2" by 8". I thought the stories fit pretty well together and they flowed well. The binding and material quality are what you would expect from a paperback book. As long as you take good care of it, the book should last you a good while.
    • Soft cover
    • Well made

Experience

Since joining the Eden Fantasys site, I have found that the Cleis Press books are a good fit for me. While I don't like every story in every book that I read from them I do enjoy them overall. Kristina Wright is a wonderful editor and writer. With her name on the cover I know that I can expect a well put together anthology that will be hard to put down. I haven't been disappointed by any of her anthologies that I have been fortunate enough to read, although there is of course a first time for everything. I honestly believe there is a story for just about everyone in this anthology.
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Comments
  • Zombirella
    Zombirella  
    Nice review
  • ScarletFox
    ScarletFox  
    I had been wavering on picking this up for myself, but this review has pushed it into the need this now category. Thank you for the Review!
  • Various
    Various  
    Great review.
  • unfulfilled
    unfulfilled  
    Thank you for sharing. I'm glad that you've found editor that you like and know you'll like most of what's included. Thank you for sharing tid-bits of the story and background info on the author.
  • ViVix
    ViVix  
    Your summary drew me in!
  • Aydios
    Aydios  
    great
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