edited by D L King
RELEASE DATE: 08 November 2012
GENRE: Paranormal Romance / Erotica
In this deliciously dangerous paranormal collection, D L King presents stories that will shock and entice. A lineup of top authors focus on the all-powerful succubus, a sexual vampire who is as beautiful as she is deadly, and the victims who tremble with fear and desire. Readers will be enraptured by these dark, atmospheric tales of sex and seduction.
I haven't read any erotica before, as I find the whole concept a bit, well, bizarre really. I mean it doesn't seem to suit the whole "get in knackered from work and sit down with a cup of tea and a good book once the kids are in bed" scenario which, lets face it, is pretty much my life at the moment! Am I supposed to slip into some lingerie (ha!) and light some candles first? Pick up some seduction tips? I just don't get it.
Now you know that, it won't be much of a surprise to hear I had preconceived notions about what this book would be like; gratuitous sex in all sorts of positions, domination, lesbianism and a token attempt at giving them a paranormal twist.
First the good news, the cover art is beautiful and atmospheric and the book itself feels very glossy to the touch; quite sensual in fact.
There are 21 stories in this collection, each by a different author, which means you can dip in and out of it as and when you like and you don't have to keep track of any characters or what you've read before.
Some of the stories were exactly as I'd expected: "I'm a demon. You're out of your depth. I will dominate you and hey, look where I can put my tail, you like that don't you?!". But others really captured my imagination.
The highlights for me were:
A Surprising Summons by Kaysee Renee Robichaud
When Konstantin summons Loreline, neither of them imagined that they'd develop a bond that would last throughout his life. What begins as just sex becomes romance, passion and love but alongside this is waiting, longing, and the sorrow and pain of their ultimate parting. This story was quite heart-breaking and not what I'd expected to find in an anthology of erotic fiction.
Succubus, Inc by Elizabeth Brooks
This was one of my favourites. I loved the idea of a Company called Succubus Inc, their training programme, that you can be fast-tracked for promotion, and the contracts that the clients have to sign. But what sealed the deal for me was the twist at the end about how a succubus is made. A genuinely enjoyable read.
Star-Crossed by Evan Mora
A reinvention of Romeo and Juliet with Romeo as a vampire and Juliet, a succubus. It's written in a really chatty, modern way with a big streak of joyful humour running through it. I can imagine this being developed into a full-blown book.
Minions have needs too by Anya Richards
Any story that uses the word "minion" is an immediate winner for me! Say it with me - minion, minion, minion! I liked this one because the message was basically not to take other people for granted or underestimate them otherwise the tables will turn on you. You heard it hear first - treat your minions with kindness and respect!
Sweet Tooth by Nan Andrews
This is definitely not your typical succubus tale. It revolves around Shelly who, on moving into a new house, finds a box of recipes in a drawer and the more she bakes, the more her dreams start to take a distinctly erotic form. Maybe it's because I have a sweet tooth but this particular story really seduced me and left me wanting more than cookies!
The Girl on the Egyptian Escalator by NJ Streitberger
What I liked about this story is that it focuses on Spencer, a man who gets involved with the Egyptian succubus, Sekhmet, after she catches his eye on the escalator. I used to have quite a thing for Egyptian history and mythology, which I think is partly why this story appealed to me so much. But what I also liked was that the ending brought events full circle so there was a real sense of the ouroboros about it.
What I realised from reading this book is that it's not easy to write about sex, let alone good sex, and I imagine that to do it well, you have to have a great sense of understanding and confidence about your own sexual being. This is definitely something I would like to have, as it's safe to say 2 children has stripped away my natural womanliness and replaced it with a natural motherliness instead.
I'm also surprised to say I'm open to reading more erotic fiction and you never know, I may have a go at writing some myself one day! Until then, where's my recipe book?!