Red Velvet and Absinthe - erotic fiction by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Neotigress

I want to live in these worlds...

I was engaged from the first paragraph of the first story. A book of stories of "classic" horror monsters that steps far afield of the "classic" genre to bring enticing and exciting stories of passion and love, in utterly breath taking and unexpected ways.
fresh, original, imagnitive, great editing, steamy without being vulgar
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

About author

This is a short story collection edited by Mitzi Szereto, and the authors include:

Rose de Fer
Janine Ashbless
Anna Meadows
Charlotte Stein
Zander Vyne
Evan Mora
Ashley Lister
Sharon Bidwell
Claire Buckingham
Giselle Renarde
Carrie Williams
Tahira Iqbal
Bonnie Dee.

I have not had any previous experience with the editor or any of the authors to date, but the writing in this collection was so fresh, inspired and unique, that after reading this collection, I will actively seek each author out. This volume has a very nice blurb about each author and other collections to look them up in.
    • Engaging
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

This book is a collection of horror/monster short stories in the classic, "werewolf", "vampire", "ghost" sense of the words, however, to clarify the genre assignment, I would call this "horror romance".

This collection is so fresh and unique in the writing styles, that it also falls into "urban fantasy" in many cases.

Every single story packs so sort of surprise, almost all of them a bit startling in the best ways. I can't go into more detail without "spoilers". You will have to take my word for it, that this collection is charming, romantic, inventive and will get your blood flowing with excitement and anticipation.

I would think that this book would be enjoyed by an audience who likes romance, foreplay in their stories and innuendo. This is for the book lover who enjoys a well crafted tale, that has a surprise tucked in it's thesis. Much of the power of the stories is not only the lovely descriptions that take you to the heart of the tale, BUT also what is left to the reader's imagination. It is a delicate and successful balance in this book of stories.
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Romance
    • Urban fantasy
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anyshere
  • General
    [ ? ]
    Other tags that are useful and descriptive for this product.
    • Bdsm
    • Erotica
    • Fiction


This trade paperback collection of short stories, was very well edited and a great amount of thought was placed into the ordering of the stories. Each story played well or fit in the flow of the tale before and after it.

It felt while reading it that it was the book version of a well crafted musical play list, as the type of beast and era in a story was not discordant with those in the order around it. It flowed well.

Additionally, there is a very informative and useful section at the back describing each author and a little bit about other works they are published in, so that you can follow up with your favorites in other venues.

I do love this so much that the only way this volume could be more enjoyable for me, is if it was available in a hardbound volume (I love to read my favorite books in hard bound copies with deckled nice paper--everyone has some sort of fetish, nice books is one of mine).
    • Small size
    • Soft cover
    • Trade paperback


I can't go into great detail without spoilers, but in more than half the stories, the thesis was so fresh and original, that my breath was taken away in surprise.

Some of the stories were so beautifully written I was moved to tears.

And in more than one case, I longed to be part of their world rather than my own, because is was so lovely and in my kinky little way perfect.

This is simply a wonderful read, and worlds that I will enjoy revisiting often.
    • Lovely worlds
    • Surprising
    • Well written
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  • Inkkythesquid
    Great Review!
  • pal
    Thanks for the review!
  • Stinkytofu10
    Great review, thank you!
  • Bex1331
    Thanks for the review, this might be worth a try!
  • BabyL0ve
    good review
  • GONE!
    Really nice review, thanks for sharing!
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