For me, reading and writing take up a lot of the same time and brain space. Subtract the demands of a day job and family, and what’s left is immeasurably precious. Still, sometimes I have to get out of my own head, otherwise I get the writer’s version of cabin fever. Here’s where I’ve been visiting lately:
As usual, some stories are stronger than others, but the thing I’ve enjoyed about this particular collection is the beauty of the writing throughout most of the works. In some the paranormal element is overt, in others it’s much more subtle. Heavenly Shades, by Charlotte Stein and Riding the Ghost Train, by Chrissie Bentley are good examples of these, respectively, and two of the most evocative stories in the collection. Heavenly Shades is beautiful and enigmatic, and I found the sex scene in Riding the Ghost Train particularly immersive!
The stand out for me was The Slave of the Lamp by Janine Ashbless. I’ll confess it now, I’m a huge fangirl of hers. Her collection, Cruel Enchantments, was among the first works of erotica I ever read, and remains one of my favourite books of all time. Slave of the Lamp is very much in the tradition of her fantasy-themed erotica, and is about an arrogant djinn who gets his just desserts and ends up in, um, an extremely compromising position. I’ll have that image burned into my brain for a while. And I don’t mind at all.
Rating: four cherries