Red Velvet and Absinthe - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Airen Wolf

Arcane Red Hot

This book is far from being yet another tired rendition of old myths and legends. It is lushly written and each story has fresh twists that compel the reader to turn just one more page. Some of the stories are dark and yet all of them leave the reader wondering what if?
Lush writing, amazing cover art
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
I have admitted on many occasions to being a lover of supernatural novels and stories. I also happen to like other books edited by Mitzi Szereto so this book looked to be a match made to be read. Though the stories tend to be a bit longer than ones normally found in anthologies it allowed each author to add a bit of background and flesh out their stories a bit more than other books.

Mitzi Szereto brings together 14 authors and weaves a book of intricate tales of supernatural love, sex and intrigue. Joining her in this endevor are: Rose De Fer, Janine Ashbless, Elizabeth Daniels, Anna Meadows, Charlotte Stein, Zander Vyne, Evan Mora, Ashley Lister, Sharon Bidwell, Claire Buckingham, Giselle Renarde, Carrie Williams, Tahira Iqbal, and Bonnie Dee.
The Foreword is written by Kelly Armstrong and offers a great introduction to the gothic nature of this book. There is, also, an Introduction written by Mitzi Szereto, herself, to his book in particular. There is a short biography of each of the authors, as well as the editor, at the back of the book. Websites where the reader can learn more about the authors are included in quite a few of the biographies.

The cover art is amazing, provacative and still safe for work. Given that the title is Red Velvet and Absinthe Paranormal Erotic Romance it shouldn't cause too many raised eyebrows even if someone should get overly nosey.

Snowlight Moonlight by Rose De Fer offers up an intriguing take on the werewolf myth. It is raw and sensual and one cannot help wondering what it would be like to either 'own' one's own werewolf or be the werewolf in question!

I was totally entranced by Cover Him In Darkness by Janine Ashbless. It is a dark tale about an immortal being that is chained naked and in pain in a small Church in an ancient country. We don't who he is or what he's done but Milja's father insists he is evil and must be kept locked away for eternity. Milja falls in love, or is seduced by his sufering, and even though she had been sent away to Boston she feels the pull to return to the bound man.

There are plenty of stories and teaching tales that involve vengeful ghosts that seek to kill whatever they feel caused their own heartache. A Rose In The Willow Garden by Elizabeth Daniels is a fresh take on an old tale of love, betrayal and loss with a serial killer thrown in for spice!

MItzi Szereto, herself, serves up a choice Vampire story that was one of the best in the book as far as this reader is concerned. The Blood Moon Kiss is lush and sexy like any good vampire story should be. It draws the reader in and then wraps up the whole tale neatly and easily. Definitely a good read!

Zander Vyne weaves a tale that leads the reader to hope all the way through the story that our hapless heroine will, somehow, be spared death. She is courted and taught how to transcend the horrors of hanging by a kindly, and the reader assumes, supernatural hottie. While Eliza in La Belle Mort waits for her unjust sentence to be carried out the reader waits with equal hope against hope for the happy ending.

A classic ghost story about a woman who passes away while bearing the child of her husband takes a surprising twist at the end when the ghost reveals her deepest wish; oblivion. In Tea For Two Claire Buckingham speaks of the grinding loss of anxiously waiting for the birth of a cherished child and the crashing, crushing horror of the loss of that life. This tale is sad, dark and yet completely worth reading.

The Queen by Tahira Iqbal begins as the usual vampire story; sexy and saturated in blood lust but then takes a wonderful twist that leaves this reader wondering if the author is planning on continuing the tale at a later date...please?

I loved the story Benediction by Bonnie Dee as it shows a view of Deity worth celebrating. Far from being a pit of endless and pointless suffering Hell is shown to be a place where one can come to terms with and expiate one's sins before, possibly, being lifted into the higher realms. This story is truly heart lifting and totally, incredibly erotic!
Follow-up commentary
Although this book is not a book that will appeal to every fan of paranormal erotica, it is still one that I pick up every now and again for a little before bed reading.
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  • PeaceToTheMiddleEast
    Thanks for sharing.
  • lilly555
    Thanks for the review, I didn't have too much interest in this book before but now I think I have to check it out.
  • Airen Wolf
    It is worth a look if you like erotic supernatural stories
  • PassionateLover2
    Thanks for sharing!!
  • Subbi
    Thanks for the review!
  • eeep
    Thanks for the review, really gave me a good idea of what this book is about.
  • voenne
    This sounds really cool! Thanks for giving us a synopsis on what the stories are about. I am now very intrigued.
  • Tagmstr
    Thanks for the review
  • freshbananas
    Thank you for reviewing
  • Blooddragon
  • pitonno
    Want this great review. In wl
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