Red Velvet and Absinthe - erotic book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Sammi

Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

If you like your erotica with a supernatural twist (and perchance a drip of sugar), this collection of short stories is worth a read. Within these pages, you’ll find a myriad of paranormal and supernatural beings that unleash their wild and untamed desires on their quite willing partners, bringing to life tales in a dark Gothic vein.
Well written stories, supernatural and horror elements, interesting and mostly arousing erotica.
Some stories melancholy, some won’t appeal to all readers.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

About author

Red Velvet and Absinthe (Paranormal Erotic Romance) is edited by Mitzi Szereto. Mitzi is the author and editor of several books, including Pride and Prejudice, Erotic Fairy Tales, and Tales of Sex and Death. She often lectures creative writing workshops in the United Kingdom and Europe, and has her own Web TV channel and blog.

The 15 authors who contributed stories to this collection (Mitzi being one of the 15) have wide and varied backgrounds, and a short segment about each is included in the back of the book.

Kelly Armstrong (author of Bitten and Haunted, among others) provides a forward to the book, where she talks about Gothic literature and how it became shaped over the ages.
    • Engaging
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

The erotic and Gothic stories in these pages are written in both first and third person perspective, and deal with all manner of paranormal and fantastical creatures, from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Werewolves and vampires make their mark in these pages, as do golems, enchanted paintings, dolls, voodoo, fairies, ghosts, angels, and even serial killers. The stories are almost entirely heterosexual, and the characters love and lust with abandon in olden times and newer days.

Some of the stories, while enticing, are melancholy, and aren’t the stuff erotic dreams are made of. In Zander Vyne’s “La Belle Mort”, Eliza has been falsely accused of theft and condemned to death, to hang from the neck until she’s dead. She could avoid this by sleeping with Lord Dover, but she’d rather die than do this. In the nights before her scheduled execution, a mysterious man visits her and Eliza learns of the light that always follows the darkness, which leads her to a strange and sad revelation.

In “Tea for Two” by Claire Buckingham, Anastasia loves her husband Gregory, and desperately misses her son. In the mornings he makes tea, but one cup stands empty as the house withers around them and the two are destined never to touch each other again until they meet on the other side of the veil of life.

Other stories are more feral in their heat while still courting the supernatural, and sure to inspire some delightful dark daydreaming, including:

Janine Ashbless’ “Cover Him With Darkness” features a young woman, Milja, who learns of a carefully guarded secret within her family: they are the caretakers of a strange man who must be kept chained to a rock in the bowels of a mountain. Is he Prometheus or some long-forgotten god? Milja’s fascination and obsession with him may cause her to release him upon an unsuspecting world.

In Elizabeth Daniels’ “A Rose In the Willow Garden”, Bierce sat in the bar looking for the spark that would call him, the hunter, to those who would court death with him. The lovely girl he finds beneath a willow tree in a park has the spark, nay the glow, he needs, but will Rose hunt him and keep him from freeing her?

Mitzi Szereto’s “The Blood Moon Kiss” features Christine, a young actress who landed a part on the hottest vampire soap opera in the land. Talen, the leading actor is striking and well suited for the part, but is he really acting or living the role? Will Christine find that loving him really bites?

Bitter and Intoxicating” by Sharon Bidwell finds a painter unable to create his masterpiece. Emile meets the woman of his dreams, clothed in green, in a bar, and Verene delights his senses with emeralds and sugar, absinthe and sex, until he paints as he never has before. Will his work be well received, or has he been deceived by la fée verte?
    • Erotica
    • Good mix of styles and content
    • Hetero


Red Velvet and Absinthe is an oversized paperback published by Cleis Press in 2011. The cover is glossy, and the binding seems secure. The cover is discreet with simply a picture of a woman in a mask on the front, and the word Erotic is featured in small type.
    • Discreet cover
    • Soft cover
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Do you like this review?
  • Ivy Wilde
    Thanks for the review. I'm looking forward to reading this.
  • Sammi
    Thanks for reading! It's a pretty good one
  • SiNn
    awesome review looks like agreat read
  • Sammi
    Thank you!
  • eeep
    Thanks for the review, this book sounds like a good read
  • Sammi
    Thanks for reading! It is
  • zwee75
    Excellent review, thank you! Have yet to get a book from Eden but this looks interesting...
  • Sammi
    Thank you! This is a good one to check out
  • Chris15461
    thanks for the review
  • Sammi
    thanks for reading!
  • closed account
    not typical for sci fi type erotica to be all hetero
  • Sammi
    It's not all hetero, but predominantly so, which I would have thought that was typical Thanks for reading!
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