by Mitzi Szereto (author & editor)
Editions: ebook, paperback
Published September 6th 2011 by Cleis Press
Source: review copy
Red Velvet and Absinthe explores love and lust with otherworldly partners who, by their sheer fantastical nature, evoke passion and desire far beyond that which any normal human being can inspire. Although the greats such as Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, and Daphne du Maurier are long dead, these contemporary authors keep the Gothic spirit alive and well by interpreting it in new and exciting ways. Red Velvet and Absinthe offers readers a collection of unique and original stories that conjure up the atmospheric and romantic spirit of the Gothic masters (and mistresses) but take things a bit further by adding to the brew a generous dosage of eroticism. Lie back and listen to the wind howling outside your window as you read these stories in the flickering light of a candle, the absinthe you’re sipping warming your body like the caressing touch of a lover’s fingers . . .
Snowlight Moonlight by Rose de Fer
Cover Him with Darkness by Janine Ashbless
A Rose in the Willow Garden by Elizabeth Daniels
The Blood Moon by Mitzi Szereto
Painted by Anna Meadows
Dolly by Charlotte Stein
La Belle Mort by Zander Vyne
The Persistence of Memory by Even Mora
Scratched by Ashley Lister
Bitter and Intoxicating by Sharon Bidwell
Tea for Two by Claire Buckingham
Milady’s Bath by Giselle Renarde
The Way Home by Cary Williams
The Queen by Tahira Iqbal
Benediction by Bonnie Dee
~ Goodreads Blurb
Wow! Just, freaking wow!! As you guys can see, this is my first time awarding the Bomy Award of Excellence – the bunch of butterflies that appears as a second rating under the 5 butterflies. If you guys haven’t had the chance to, take a looksie at my newly set rating system here. It’s like a 5++ sort of rating, the official fangirlism at large basically.
I debated with myself whether to award it or not, it’s a new rating so I’m still getting used to it. In the end, I felt like it had to be awarded here, because above all other delights, this anthology gave me a dose of my ultimate delight: diversity. Beauty, emotion, delight, and diversity. To put it in clear terms, this is my reading experience jackpot.
Reviewing anthologies is at times hard, especially when we’re talking about various authors. Sometimes that kind of diversity can become confusing, but this one was the rare case of everything fitting together utterly amazing. Though we’re talking about various writing styles, points of view, themes, endings, heat levels, this is quite possibly one of the best anthologies I have read, it was one of the best reading experiences I’ve had in a while. True, given the paranormal erotic romance tone it has overall, it would seem easy to seduce me I guess, but this just blew me away, honestly. This book was waiting for me for like a year, patient and sweet, until I managed to make my way to it. Guess what, I was literally biting my hands while reading thinking, wholly freaking gosh, I had this jewel collecting dust in a folder all this time???
I wanted to pick out a couple of titles that I liked best, but I just can’t pick. Honestly, I loved them all. Some I was completely melting about, some I totally loved. I got sort of sniffling for some…they basically cover all kinds of awesomeness.
Plus, simplistic as it may be to view things this way, this anthology is sort of big. I mean, big, like 240 pages or more. Call me a sucker but I like short stories that aren’t too short to make their point, you know what I mean? These stories make their points fabulously. If you like paranormal romance on the hotter side, but beautifully written and gorgeous, read this. If you haven’t already, and you will, you’ll surely love it, I simply can’t imagine you not loving it.
Do you like anthologies with various authors, or do you prefer the ones by the same author? Have you read this one, what did you think of it? 😀