Red Velvet and Absinthe

Red Velvet and Absinthe : Paranormal Erotic Romance

3.46 (277 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 . . ."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 139.7 x 200.66 x 17.78mm | 249.47g
  • San Francisco, United States
  • English
  • 1573447161
  • 9781573447164
  • 652,396

Back cover copy

Explore Your Dark Desires
The supernatural: Think vampires, werewolves, ghosts...eerie sounds in the night, impassioned whispers teasing at the depths of sleep...Think red velvet, flickering candles, love and lust with otherworldly partners who unleash passion and desire far beyond that inspired by simple mortals. Editor Mitzi Szereto's sensual stories provide thrills and chills of telltale hearts, redolent with romance and danger. "Red Velvet and Absinthe" will carry you away, conjuring up the romantic spirit of classic Gothic fiction with a generous dose of eroticism.
A lusty lady, ravaged, seeks comfort in the arms of her maidservent in Giselle Renarde's rapacious "Milady's Bath," while bondage and desire enslave a wolf girl to her master in "Snowlight, Moonlight" by Rose de Fer. Janine Ashbless's "Cover Him with Darkness" is an exquisite tale of secret love between an imprisoned fallen angel and the girl he seduces. Editor Mitzi Szereto's vampire romance "The Blood Moon Kiss" is sexy Southern Gothic at its finest.
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Review quote

"I simply cannot get enough of this gothic revival in romance."
Lady Smut
"Outstanding prose complying with that genre of literature that I affectionately refer to as 'literary smut.'"
Reviews by Amos Lassen
"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."
Books a la Mode
"These stories show that the old magic of Gothic fiction can still work in the right hands."
Jean Roberta
..".For anyone who's fantasised about being ravished by Edward Cullen or Jacob Black (that's all of us then.)"
Glamour UK
all these stories embrace the emotional and sensory richness integral to the Gothic tale.
San Francisco Book Review
"The title says it all: a collection of erotic romance by well-known erotic author and anthology editor Mitzi Szereto. Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, things that go bump in the night, creatures that would be right at home in a story by Stoker or Poe, coagulate on these pages, raw and exposed as readers haven t seen them before, draped in danger and romance, lit by flickering candles and red tapestries that conjure desire beyond mere mortality."
Portland Book Review
"Regardless of one s personal taste in terms of relationships and of literary labels, what really counts is the quality of fiction... If you re not too prudish and if you appreciate good fiction, I m sure you will enjoy this book."
The Short Review
"The passion you discover is worth sneaking off into the bedroom with your other and discovering your own passion. Just beware of what lurks in those corners..."
All I Want and More
"With truly bizarre and just slightly paranormal and everything in between, Red Velvet and Absinthe offers readers many delicious stories to choose from."
She Knows
The focus here is on quality writing and story-telling If you like the paranormal or are turned on by the unusual, I can t recommend this enough.
Of Sex and Love
"I love compilation books and this one did not disappoint me. Some stories were written so well that I didn t want them to end. Other stories told just the right amount about the characters to leave me thinking about them long after the story ended."
Kissin Blue Karen
"These stories bring out an atmosphere of intrigue, full of dark and twisted emotions we can all feel in the right this case it is candle light that will inspire us... Deliciously Gothic."
Love Romance Passion
"This is a lush anthology of paranormal romance.... Although sometimes erotic, these stories don't skimp on the emotional depth."
- Fresh Fiction
"Editor and writer Mitzi Szereto chose the stories, skillfully pulling together a whole collection yet allowing each story to maintain a unique voice... The collection holds a seductress in a painting, a vampire who stars in a hit television series, a doll made from scraps and wax, and the list of oddities continues."
Luxury Reading
"All of these short stories explore romance of a different kind, be it Vampires, Werewolves, or unexplained otherworldly creatures."
Vampire Romance Books
"The stories were superb and the sex sublime. This was an awesome collection of paranormal erotica, probably the best collection I have ever read."
"The darkness and desires enveloping the characters within these stories makes for an altogether fascinating read. Whether it is a vampire, werewolf or spectral being there is something in all of them that you can recognize... Each of these authors will enrapt you with the depth of their characters and the complexity of their storylines."
Coffee Time Romance
"Altogether lovely, haunting, and deliciously decadent, you ll be snuffing out the candles long before you re done, if only to hide your own gothic touch beneath the sheets!"
Bibrary Book Lust
"An intriguing collection of short stories filled with complicated relationships that, like absinthe itself, waver between being considered extremely dangerous and perfectly acceptable, depending on one s perspective."
Night Owl Reviews
"Haunting, Intriguing, Sensual, Curious, Lustful, Spellbinding, Hot... There is something here for everyone."
Romancing the Book
"These stories are about atmosphere and Otherness, and amping up the blatant sexual tension of the gothic classics into something more palpable. Really well done."
The Book Rat
Scintillating and suspenseful, this homage to Gothic fiction is a winner! Red Velvet and Absinthe scores with both sexy and scary thrills.
Caridad Pineiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost
"I urge all lovers of paranormal erotic romance to pick up this anthology! Perfect reading for those cold, autumn nights."
Read All Over Reviews
Haunting, Intriguing, Sensual, Curious, Lustful, Spellbinding, Hot There is something here for everyone.
Romancing the Book
"Dark, dirty, passionate, and paranormal... Great stories with erotic element firmly in place."
- Getting Naughty Between the Stacks
"Several of the stories in are wonderful because of the language. They are beautifully written, poignant and touching. I particularly liked La Belle Mort, The Persistence of Memory and The Blood Moon Kiss."
Daemon Reviews
Scorching hot and deliciously sinful, Mitzi Szereto s collection of stories of dark and preternatural hungers will have you panting for more.
Adrian Phoenix, critically acclaimed author of The Maker s Song series
"The authors are all wonderful story tellers, weaving their own versions of Gothic Erotica."
- Blood, Lust and Erotica

"Fifteen different variations on the subject of the supernatural will keep the reader entertained from the beginning to end. This book has something for every taste."
- Sensual Reads
"Having literary pieces of art and being focused on more than just the sex is one of Mitzi Szereto s styles... a very enjoyable read."
Pop My Cherry
Run a hot bath, pour a glass of red wine, and slip into this enticing collection of sexy tales.
Dianne Sylvan, author of the Shadow World novels
"[S]exy and often quite humorous... Enthusiastically recommended.
Library Journal
Thank God for Mitzi Szereto! Now the literary purists have someone new to go after with their pitchforks. Adding zombies to Pride and Prejudice was one thing, but SEX SEX SEX? It s sacrilege! Raunchy, hilarious, subversive sacrilege which is the best kind, of course. Steve Hockensmith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
If Jane Austen had drunk a great deal of absinthe and slipped out of her petticoat Mitzi Szereto s erotic parody of Pride and Prejudice might well be the result! Susie Bright
If Jane Austen can survive the onslaught of zombies, she can surely swoon all over at the thought of Mitzi Szereto s witty and explicit new exploration of her classic novel. A sexy hoot! Maxim Jakubowski
Mitzi Szereto s deliciously erotic retelling of Pride and Prejudice boldly turns Austen s classic on its pretty little head, knickers-side up. With keen wit (I laughed out loud many times), elegant prose, and a wicked imagination, Szereto exposes hidden lusts and truths, paying irreverent homage to Austen s romantic entanglements of yore while at the same time revealing a great deal about contemporary matters sexual and otherwise. Janice Eidus, author of The Last Jewish Virgin and The War of the Rosens
Mitzi Szereto s Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts is a luscious tribute to Jane Austen. This erotic version of the classic honors the wit, romance and sociological observation of the original. At the same time, it s as though Szereto knows the wicked thoughts that went through many of our minds went we first read Pride and Prejudice. Austen lovers will savor this hot Regency romance perhaps even your aunt who worships the PBS versions. And those who don t love Austen can enjoy this entertaining, smart and sensual novel. Polly Frost, author of Deep Inside: Extreme Erotic Fantasies and Sex Scenes
Mitzi Szereto s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is a mysterious and delightful uncovering of random sexual encounters among the landed gentry. You will have a ball! Nick Belardes, author of Random Obsessions and illustrator of West of Here

From the Foreword
"Whatever the setting or the time period or the elements chosen, all these stories embrace the emotional and sensory richness integral to the gothic tale. We don t just read words on a page. We feel the red velvet. We taste the absinthe. We smell the flower and sweat. We hear the whispers and cries. And we experience the thrilling danger, the looming apprehension, the exquisite passion. That is the core of gothic literature and this collection delivers."
Kelley Armstrong"
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Rating details

277 ratings
3.46 out of 5 stars
5 25% (68)
4 28% (77)
3 25% (69)
2 15% (41)
1 8% (22)

Our customer reviews

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 ***** 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 �mile 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!).show more
by Karielle
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