Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781573447164
Publisher: Start Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 811,859
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Mitzi Szereto is an author and anthology editor of erotic and multi-genre fiction and nonfiction. She has her own blog Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto's Weblog (, and a web TV channel Mitzi TV (, which covers the quirky side of London. Her books include The Wilde Passions of Dorian Grey, Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers, Dying For It: Tales of Sex and Death, Red Velvet and Absinthe, Thrones of Desire, Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts, and Normal for Norfolk: The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles. She divides her time between Atlanta and London.

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Red Velvet and Absinthe 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Review by Stephanie O: Haunting, Intriguing, Sensual, Curious, Lustful, Spellbinding, Hot. All words I could use to describe this collection of short stories. Ok, so I didn't get the chance to sit and read this one by candle light, with glass of wine. More or less, I was privileged to read it sitting in my car in the parent pick up line waiting for school to let out. A few times I wondered if I was blushing. At times I even had to set the Nook down, so I could let the short story I just read sink in. As with any multi story book, you run the risk of some being out of the park home run hits, while others seem to be a foul ball. With this grouping, each story made its way to a base . . some made it only to first base, while others were out of the park home runs. The two stories that just completely rocked my world were: The Blood Moon Kiss and La Belle Mort. The Blood Moon Kiss finds us on the set of a popular "Vampire" show. The amount of heat that oozed off the pages of this story should have melted my Nook, I'm so glad it didn't. However, La Belle Mort, a story that finds us in a cell with a young lady awaiting punishment (hanging) for something she didn't do . . well, this story was one that I had to set my Nook down after reading. I needed a moment to just let the story sink in. There is something here for everyone. With 15 different short stories, how could you not find something that tickles your "fancy". Favorite Quote: "In fear can be found pleasure, just as in darkness can be found light."
BookRatMisty on LibraryThing 22 days ago
You never really know what to expect when you go into a collection like this.  Well, I mean you know one thing to expect, but as for the quality of the actual storytelling, it's a gamble.  Fortunately this was a gamble that paid off, because I found myself consistently surprised with the quality of the stories.  Yes, each one revolves around some sort of otherworldly/supernatural (smutty) relationship, but for the most part, it seems like all of the authors chose to focus on layering their stories and injecting as much depth and interestingness to the stories and characters. A lot of people are put off by short stories, I think (and this used to be true of me) because they don't connect - there's just not enough time, not enough text, and so things end up falling a little flat for them emotionally.  Many times a reader will say of a short story, 'It was good but I wish it was full-length' or 'There just wasn't enough' ... they are left unsatisfied, feeling as if they've just begun when it ends.  But there are a good number of stories in here that I actually found myself connecting to, sometimes rather quickly, and I have to praise that.  One in particular, "Cover him with Darkness" by Janine Ashbless, I found very intriguing and perfectly complete as a short story - I didn't want anything else from it.  I just thought it was really well done, well-suited to the format, and intriguing.  The same is true of "Painted" by Anna Meadows and "Dolly" by Charlotte Stein.  All 3 of these stories are completely different with a different feel, but they all had a completeness to them, and a story I loved following.One other thing I found interesting and a little unexpected was that the stories that most appealed to me and felt the most interesting and complete (and the least cheesy) were the ones that didn't have to do with vampires or weres.  It's not necessarily that the vamp/were stories were bad, necessarily, but with few exceptions, I found myself caring about them less.  I did really enjoy editor Mitzi Szereto's "The Blood Moon Kiss" which is one of the vamp stories, and is a fun, somewhat tongue in cheek take on vampire culture and a certain popular television show.  But the standouts for me were the unexpected ones: artworks come to life, little wax voodoo dolls that could have been very creepy but were somehow sweet, fallen angels or gods or god-knows-what - there was a nice spread of creativity and world-building throughout the collection that I really appreciated.The only real drawbacks for me were just things that aren't to my taste.  Romances and dynamics that just don't appeal to me.  (I'm sorry, but I am just not a fan of complete submission, of anyone, to anyone.  Collars and cages - aaaand I'm out.)  But this I think was actually probably a good thing in its own way because it shows that there really is a little something for everyone.I think the foreward from Kelley Armstrong (yes, that Kelley Armstrong) was a nice surprise that really seemed to get at the heart of the collection and the somewhat gothic feel of the whole thing.  These stories are about atmosphere and Otherness, and amping up the latant sexual tension of the gothic classics into something more palpable.  Really well done.[Side note: If you're wondering if you want to venture to read a book labeled 'paranormal erotica romance', I would employ the cock-test I used in my review of and Falling, Fly sometime back:  how do you feel about the word 'cock'? If you just cringed, skip this. If you sat up straighter and said 'where?' go out and grab a copy.]
TheStephanieLoves More than 1 year ago
Sunlight, Moonlight by Rose de Fer: With gorgeous prose and a deeply sensual style, this untraditional werewolf love story revolves around an eccentric, but yummy, doctor and a sexually charged woman during her rebirth and transformation - 8 out of 10 hearts Cover Him with Darkness by Janine Ashbless: An account of the seduction of the young, naïve Milja by an imprisoned fallen angel. Disturbing as it is tantalizing, this story takes place in a rustic faraway land and has biblical notes. I found it absolutely explosive, and it reads almost like a folktale - 10 out of 10 hearts A Rose in the Willow Garden by Elizabeth Daniels: Apparently this was inspired by the murder ballads "Down in the Willow Garden" and "Where the Wild Roses Grow," but being unfamiliar with both, I was really lost while reading. Daniels's effect is majestic and surreal, but the supernatural summoning in this story is too confusing for me to enjoy greatly - 5 out of 10 hearts The Blood Moon Kiss by Mitzi Szereto: Hot! I love the southern spunk with which Szereto writes. Daytime television's most popular hunk Talen and small-town actress Christine hook up in this surprisingly refreshing vampire tale of reincarnated love and its path to eternity. The shifting perspectives aren't clearly labeled, which is a bit disorienting, but other than that, The Blood Moon Kiss is a delight of an erotic read - 8 out of 10 hearts Painted by Anna Meadows: Benjamin, a lowly groundskeeper at Mr. Lawrence's estate, loses his innocence and discovers ecstasy within the mysterious beauty of an enchanted painting. The way he completely loses himself in a seductive art's form is fascinating. The plot is kind of confusing, but the concept, lovely - 7 out of 10 hearts Dolly by Charlotte Stein: Ohhh this one's kind of twisted, but a fantasy you can't deny: a make-believe man come to life. Sophie imagines the man of her dreams and literally creates him: a gorgeous Frankenstein. However, that's all he is: a doll. No mind of his own, and no soul... or so she thinks. Love the perceptive tone in this one, but not a fan of the choppiness. Overall Dolly is red-hot and has an amazing implication at the end. Simply mind-bending! - 9 out of 10 hearts La Belle Mort by Zander Vyne: Eliza, imprisoned in a dark cell for a crime she hasn't committed, comes face to face with her executioner, whom she just as well may be imagining. This one is a bit darker than the rest, but enjoyable in a devastating way. Grim and chilling, La Belle Mort follows an unlikely pair of lovers and highlights the keeping of faith and the promise of light after darkness - 8 out of 10 hearts The Persistence of Memory by Evan Mora: A passionate lesbian story to spice things up a bit. Rowan, a healer who has the power to wipe the memory of her grantees clean, falls for the vulnerable but ever-strong Lily. The concepts of soul mates and protective duty are touched upon in this story. It's emotional and will make your spine tingle, but the plot itself is nothing terribly exciting - 7 out of 10 hearts Scratched by Ashley Lister: Vicky must deal with the transformation of her werewolf lover, Jake... even though she might be his biggest prey. The curse this storyline revolves around is great, but the actual sex scenes are just okay - 6 out of 10 hearts Bitter and Intoxicating by Sharon Bidwell: Wilting artist Émile finds inspiration in the eerily alluring Vérène, which propels his greatest piece yet. I found this one rather strange and didn't "get" it for the most part, but do appreciate how it combines French mythology with the essence of abstraction and the fine line between art and pleasure - 6 out of 10 hearts Tea for Two by Claire Buckingham: Not of fan of this story about Anastasia's coming-to-terms with her fallen angel husband, Gregory because it dragged on so much. The plot is messy as well, so it took me a while to comprehend, and the sex just falls flat - 4 out of 10 hearts Milady's Bath by Giselle Renarde: The maid of a young, impulsive lady who lusts for a beast she seeks to tame, narrates this sensual story. The actual supernatural eroticism takes place behind closed doors, while a tender female passion takes place in front—an interesting perspective! The juxtaposition of rough werewolf sex and gentle womanly loving makes for a rich story that will make you squirm - 9 out of 10 hearts  The Way Home by Carrie Williams: Darker and more sinister than the other stories, The Way Home follows the downfall of a nameless woman who finds an escape from her complicated life in a bartender whom she only knows as "Freddy." The mindless, pleasurable routine they fall into is a French paradise, but she soon discovers that this little vacation of hers won't last forever. While I'm still not exactly sure what kind of creature this story depicts, the depth and obscurity of it makes it an exemplary piece of Gothic fiction - 9 out of 10 hearts The Queen by Tahira Iqbal: Upon a sudden attack in the King's court, Amelia is snatched out of her vampire King lover's arms, and forced to face the tragic aftermath, as well as the throne she inherits. The new Queen finds solace in the sexy but detached bodyguard, Landon; she soon discovers that between them, is lust... as well as bloodlust. The plot here would make a terrific novel, but it was just way too much to fit into 14 pages. Iqbal's ideas are ambitious, but The Queen moves way too fast; too much happens for a tiny story that's meant to be longer - 5 out of 10 hearts Benediction by Bonnie Dee: Micah's soul is stripped bare when he seeks redemption in the form of an angel, the gorgeous Hasdiel. She alone has the power to separate him from his sins, as well as teach him to finally forgive himself. While the tone of Benediction is ethereal—perfect for an angel story—I didn't like it that much because the plot isn't novel, and the characters are rather unmemorable - 6 out of 10 hearts Pros: Very diverse stories with all sorts of paranormal creatures and folklore // Intricate plots // Complex characters and relationships // Rich, seductive mood // Quality erotica Cons: Some of the stories are hard to follow because they're so fantastical // Only a few stories were actually arousing ("Dolly," "Milady's Bath," and "The Way Home." Love: "Dites-moi qui vous aimez, et je vous dirai qui vous êtes," she said. "Isn't that pretty? It's French. It means 'tell me whom you love, and I'll tell you who you are.' I read it on a tombstone, once." — from Elizabeth Daniels's A Rose in the Willow Garden Verdict: Red Velvet and Absinthe is a Cleis Press classic, with lush worlds built into every story, and sensuality that reaches supreme heights. This anthology is as good as Gothic short fiction gets: dark as night and smooth as velvet. While I didn't really connect with some individual stories, the majority of them are hauntingly seductive and gloomy in the most alluring way. Rating: 8 out of 10 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended. Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Cleis Press!).
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I really enjoyed the variety of the short stories included in this book. They were sexy, fun, and I could not stop reading. They certainly got my pulse racing and my imagination running.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago