by Mark Henry

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940149580019
Publisher: Mark Henry
Publication date: 05/05/2014
Series: The Carnal Staircase , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 102 KB

About the Author

Mark Henry is the author of the Amanda Feral series of urban fantasy comedies (HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED, ROAD TRIP OF THE LIVING DEAD and BATTLE OF THE NETWORK ZOMBIES), as well as the young adult fantasy novel, VELVETEEN (as Daniel Marks). He's worked as a psychotherapist where he cultivated a nasty gallows humor. Mark lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and three furry monsters with no regard for quality carpeting.

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Balustrade 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Peachs44 More than 1 year ago
It always makes me feel bad when I come across a book that everybody is touting as great and I simply found it as uninspiring. The premise as well as the cover of Balustrade is what initially caught my attention. I do so love dark erotica and was really in the mood for a nice juicy steamy dark read! A couple on verge of splitting up heading out to try an unorthodox marital retreat. Something dark and sinister will eventually happen. Oh yeah, that definitely perked my interest and I was excited to get started. I settled in to get wowed.  However as I began to read, I found it just couldn’t keep my attention. Nothing about the characters jumped out at me screaming like me, love me, hate me fear me. I found Jack to be a bit too predictable in his actions. There were a few time I almost like Hilary (ALMOST) but then I felt her actions would eventually drift into a wishy-washy category where upon I would lose interest. Those characters that should have been dark and mysteriously evil just came off creepy to me. Not as in chills down my spine GET-OUT-OF-THERE! creepy but more of I’ll just change seats on the bus type. I know this book has been tapped as dark erotica, however I found it to be more horror than dark. There was quite a bit of sex, including voyeurism as well as F/F action and yet nothing that got my juices flowing. The plot line should have been able to drag me in but I just couldn’t get excited about what was going to happy to these people, these characters, when they can’t elicit any emotions out of me other than meh.  As I struggled through the plot, I found myself 4 days in and at only 60%, I finally started skimming to see if I would warm up to Balustrade and really, I didn’t. I finally hopped to the end to see if I can work backwards hoping to perk my interest. Maybe knowing the outcome would get me curious to find out how they got to this final point. Unfortunately, know how it ends, not even the final sentence which offers up a new twist didn’t change my opinion.  This is my first book by author Mark Henry and I know there will be two more books in this series. I won’t completely write off reading any more books by Mr. Henry but at this point, I have no further interesting in continuing The Carnal Staircase Trilogy.  I received this book from JeepDiva for the express purposes of an honest review. The opinions and rating of this review are solely mine and in no way was I compensated. Stars– 2, Flames – 4
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely LOVED this book. Highly recommend!! I loved the erotic scenes, the story line and how the book kept me engaged. I was not able to put this story down, I was hooked!! I would also recommend this story to married couples who might be able to relate and also find some "ideas" for the bedroom. ;)
bookowl828 More than 1 year ago
Be warned reader.... this book is EXPLICIT.  It didn't bother me, but don't say I didn't warn you. This is perfect supernatural smut. If you read and loved those HOT BLOOD Series of sex/horror anthologies from the 80's/90's then Balustrade is for you. It's perfectly atmospheric, the pacing brilliant. For me the book, in all it's delicious depravity, made me think of some 70's/80's horror movies like,The Wicker Man, The Brood(uncut version) and even The Shining (if you've seem em, I hope you get where I'm going with this). Balustrade is like a XXX-Rated Twilight Zone episode. And like TZ's opening monologue, you will transported by Balustrade.
BeccaSellers More than 1 year ago
This is my first time experiencing Mark's work and let me tell you, I'm hungry for more! This book is all about letting go of your inhibitions and embracing a sexual side of yourself you might not have known about! Just a warning, it is pretty explicit....but really good! Not my usual type of read, but I do recommend it and the twist at the end threw me!!! A must read!
BooksAndBeer More than 1 year ago
James and Hilary's marriage is dying a slow death.  Quiet resentment and irritation have eaten its way into her love and it's begun to rot. Her agreement to attend a couple's retreat to reconnect is a dutiful, perfunctory stepping-stone toward what she believes is inevitably the end. But far from being an emotionally touchy-feely program with primal scream therapy and talking sticks,the Balustrade resort has a sexual agenda with a barely veiled sinister feel.   "Believe me, Hilary, you'll want to be completely alert for this. And afterward, you'll never live outside this level of clarity. It becomes part of you." Mark Henry has quite few books under his belt.  Among the most recent, the book Parts & Wreck comes to mind. I bring this up, because that story had an intimate scene or two in it. I remember that the scenes had good structure but they were a bit formulaic except for a glaringly odd euphemism or two.  I remember mentioning in the review that with practice he'd be able to write a pretty good sex scene.   It turns out, he can.  My guess is, he had to "clean up" the scenes in Parts & Wreck, and that kind of stifling can really disguise an author's ability.  These scenes are integral to the plot of Balustrade, and its characters' development. I can honestly say, I'm eating my words. The scenes are delightfully deviant. With the exception of one line that made me cringe (not from disgust, more from word choice,) they were exactly what one would expect from a polished erotica writer. Balustrade is beautifully paced.  The tension and mystery are artfully intertwined in an almost lyrically written story.  Henry creates a quietly sinister mood that underlies everything the characters experience beginning as they approach Balustrade.  It's not in your face, but like a shadow late in the evening, it creeps toward you; steadily growing larger and darker. The characters are perfectly imperfect. Hilary's irritability, petulance, and growing alarm over James' whole-hearted "drinking of the kool-aid" parallel the thoughts of the reader.  The light shed on what seem to be her sexual inhibitions and James' role in them was a surprise.  The climax was well-conceived, and it fell in line with the mood; Hilary's actions wrought the truth about Balustrade. It had the same satisfaction one gets from sex on a hot, humid night. You feel a bit dirty and tired, but very satisfied.
Shawnao-Of-The-Dead More than 1 year ago
I have read everything Mark Henry has written. What I love is that no matter what genre he writes he never holds back. His first book in the erotic genre hits every mark. But it's not just debaucherous sex, there is a story about two people who are trying to work on their marriage. Hilary and Jack's marriage has fallen into a rut and they are giving this retreat to Balustrade to try to get their spark back. Little did they know that what Chantal, a harsh mistress, seems to focus on is sex, sex with no boundaries, sinister, carnal purposes. Trust me on this, your husband will not know what hits him after you finish reading this book.
AnnieWAW More than 1 year ago
The book was the perfect blend of scary and sexy.  Kept me entertained and I will definitely continue with this series.