Tag Archives: Lust

Thin Walls by Christopher Golden

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: Thin Walls
Author: Christopher Golden
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Lust, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 15th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘I can sense those things,’ Diana said.

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Synopsis

Tim is on a farewell tour to remember his late wife. When he overhears people in the room next door to him, he realises how thin the walls truly are. And his wish to honour his wife is truly tested.

Thoughts

I figured that this short story would have something to do with succubus, or some paranormal element of that character. After all, it starts with a man alone in a hotel room, with a woody, listening to others have sex. And it’s in a collection of paranormal fantasy stories. It wasn’t exactly a big leap. But, it did end in a way that I wasn’t completely expecting. And I did appreciate quite a bit.

I really don’t love the idea of people ever being able to overhear me and my SO in a hotel room. It’s pretty ick. And I really don’t like the idea of overhearing somebody else. Luckily, at this point in life, it hasn’t actually happened to me. But this storyline… and what happens when Tim overhears certain things… yeah, it added an extra layer of ick to the whole storyline.

Aside from the many ick factors throughout this story, I did love that ultimately, the “vacation” is a farewell tour for a lost wife. It was incredibly sweet and cute. Something that I can imagine doing if I lost my SO… touring all of the places that were important to us and just… remembering.

<- The Perils of EffrijimThe Heart is Always Right ->

Image source: Amazon

Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers: Magical Tales of Love and Seduction
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Storm Constantine, Delia Sherman, Joyce Carol Oates, Tanith Lee, Edward Bryant, Garry Kilworth, Michael Swanwick, Elizabeth E. Wein, Pat Murphy, Ellen Steiber, Jane Yolen, Dave Smeds, Neil Gaiman, Doris Egan, Melissa Lee Shaw, Kelley Eskridge, Brian Stableford, Conrad Williams, Mark W. Tiedemann, Ellen Kushner, Wendy Froud & Bruce Glassco
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Lust, Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 6th January – 19th May 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: She abruptly saw herself as if from another’s eyes, toiling in dirty work clothes with the sharp blades, the mirror, the powdered remains.

Synopsis

Prepare to be seduced by powerful magic — the sorcery of lust, need, and sensuality. Multiple award-winners Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have gathered together twenty-two tales of unearthly temptations wickedly concocted by some of today’s most potent literary conjurers — including Neil Gaiman, Jan Yolen, Michael Swanwick, and Joyce Carol Oates. Here are stories of incubi and succubi, of forbidden fruits harvested in erotic gardens, of pleasures that persist beyond death. So heed the sirens’ song. Lie back, relax, and submit to the darkest delights you have ever experienced.

Thoughts

This collection isn’t quite toe curling, it isn’t quite horrific, but a nice mix between the two. It makes you think about the weirdness of sexuality. And the uniqueness of those things that go bump in the night. And thrive upon our sexual, deepest, darkest desires. I was honestly expecting this to be a little more of an uncomfortable read. However, mostly, I just found it intriguing.

This is a great collection of some very familiar authors, and some very new authors. It was a good way to depart from the realities of the world and be entertained by the imaginations of some very creative people. It wasn’t necessarily my favourite collection ever, the thread tying each of these tales together wasn’t as distinct as other collections. But it was a seriously enjoyable journey regardless.

This is definitely a collection that I’ll pick up again at some point in the future. It’s fun, light and easy. Also, there are a number of authors that I still need to hunt out books for… I enjoyed each and everyone of these stories.

<- ToadMy Lady of the Hearth ->

Image source: Goodreads

Persephone, or Why The Winters Seem to be Getting Longer by Wendy Froud

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Persephone, or Why the Winters Seems to be Getting Longer
Author: Wendy Froud
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Lust, Mythology, Romance
Dates read: 16th May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: I need to see him.

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Synopsis

Persephone is enjoying her husband a little too much… so the winters just keep getting longer and longer as she enjoys herself more and more.

Thoughts

For two pages of writing, this was actually quite intense. Very lustful, very emotional and seriously filled with some great imagery. Honestly, not what I was expecting at all from the title. And definitely not the intensity I was expecting from just two pages.

Although this is a lustful short story, it also made me hungry. The symbolism of pomegranates was rampant throughout this. And I really, really like pomegranates… Froud’s ability to describe pomegranates in such a beautiful, ruby red way was great… and seriously made me hungry.

There are so many different takes on the Hades and Persephone myth in the books that I read. Some are dark, some are about star-crossed lovers. I like that this was all about sexuality and lust. After all, the original Greek myths were more about that than anything else…

<- The House of Nine DoorsTaking Loup ->

Image source: Goodreads

The House of Nine Doors by Ellen Kushner

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: The House of Nine Dorrs
Author: Ellen Kushner
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Lust
Dates read: 13th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: You know how to help him get over that, surely.

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Synopsis

There are nine doors. Each and every one a doorway to your temptation. Your dreams. The things that make you want.

Thoughts

I really enjoy the little twists and turns that you find throughout Kushner’s short stories. Nothing is ever as it seems, and that intriguing, twiney journey always has a surprising ending at the completion. One that I always rush towards, because I like to be surprised.

Lust seems to be a pretty common occurrence in a lot of the books that I’m reading at the moment. So a story that is entirely based around a pleasure house. And entirely based around lust fits right into that theme. And no, I don’t know why it seems to be such a theme in my reading lately. It just kind of is. The secrets of lust and enjoyment in this story though feel almost pure… and made me love this short story even more.

Even the subheading for this short story is a great little hint in the subheading. The double entendre in this continues throughout the rest of the story, the dialogue, everything has a double meaning. Definitely the kind of short story that I think I’ll discover more and more each time I reread it.

<- Private WordsPersephone, Or Why The Winters Seem to Be Longer ->

Image source: Goodreads

Private Words by Mark W. Tiedemann

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Private Words
Author: Mark W. Tiedemann
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Lust, Twisted romance
Dates read: 12th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: He seemed to think about it.

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Synopsis

Conny and William have been happily married for years. But there’s a catch… Geoffrey. And the power of the pen.

Thoughts

I knew that this story was going to be a little different – it’s in a collection of daemon, lustful stories after all. What I didn’t expect was that it would be far more contemporary than all of the other stories in this collection. That although there was a bit of a fantastical element to the story, it wasn’t a strong one like the other stories. Rather, it was a great little commentary about the ways in which we love and experience love.

This is not a situation in which I ever hope to find myself. In love with one man, but involved with another. Because of the man that I’m in love with. It’s not exactly healthy. And this story definitely made me constantly wonder who it was that Conny loved more. But it was also a tale of love. Not the love that I imagine for myself, but one that I’m sure does actually work for others.

I think that my favourite aspect of this short story is the fact that all of the weirdness occurs through the act of writing. The confusion, the intricacy and the constant questioning of what each character actually feels is all completely driven by the fact that William (Conny’s husband) is writing… and it makes things feel even more confusing and trippy. Which is brilliant. The pen is definitely mightier than the sword.

<- The Light That Passes Through YouThe House of Nine Doors ->

Image source: Goodreads

Heat by Melissa Lee Shaw

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Heat
Author: Melissa Lee Shaw
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Lust, Poetry, Twisted romance
Dates read: 15th April 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: The letter bore no signature.

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Synopsis

A disturbing. And kind of beautiful poem.

Thoughts

This is a seriously intense and disturbing poem. And I am completely in love with it. Like obsessed, happy, insanely in love with it. Which is probably weird… because this poem is seriously wrong. Just in that happy, easy to read enjoyable way.

I think one of the things that I liked the most about this poem was that it was focused on the submission of a man to a woman. It was completely centred upon the needs and drives of the woman in this. And the fact that the poor man is left frozen and in a truly horrible position… well, it wasn’t nice. But at least it was something a little different.

Although this was an incredibly quick and easy read. It is one that has stuck with me long after I turned that final page. It is strong, intense and kind of unforgettable. The imagery that just a few words bought to life are seriously potent and I just don’t have enough words for how amazing this writing was.

<- The Sweet of Bitter Bark and Burning CloveThe Eye of the Storm ->

Image source: Goodreads

Tastings by Neil Gaiman

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Tastings
Author: Neil Gaiman
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling) & Smoke and Mirrors (Neil Gaiman)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Lust, Twisted romance
Dates read: 25th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: You’re very beautiful.

Synopsis

A male escort and a famous woman are spending one evening together. But what they want from each other is a little more than anticipated.

Thoughts

Any story that starts off talking about an escort and a famous woman is going to be a little interesting… especially when it’s in a collection such as Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers. Then you just know that there is going to be FAR more to this story that initially assumed… after all, it’s a collection about lust and romance in the shadier sides of the supernatural world.

As soon as I saw that this was a Neil Gaiman short story, I got quite excited. There is just something about his writing that I absolutely adore and it draws me in immediately. I didn’t expect the way that this story would go at all though. To start with a male escort who has the powers of mind reading and then switch that to the woman who then completely turns the tables on him… it was a very different approach. And one that I just completely lapped up. I was actually incredibly disappointed when it was all over. I wanted to keep reading about this incredibly weird sexual couple.

The use of a succubus was kind of expected for the collection that I read this in. But the double use of this power and the different ways in which it was manifested was something of a surprise. It was also intriguing when I’m fairly certain that one of the couple was killed at the end… it’s not outright stated. But that’s how I like to imagine the ending of this story.

<- A Wife of Acorn, Leaf, and RainThe Sweet of Bitter Bark and Burning Clove ->

Image source: Goodreads

Bird Count by Jane Yolen

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: Bird Count
Author: Jane Yolen
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Lust, Twisted romance
Dates read: 10th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: The thing about Lewis was that even when we were together I was alone.

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Synopsis

She’s stuck in a dead end relationship. One that is just easy and comfortable. With absolutely no passion. Until she finds the man… no hawk… of her dreams.

Thoughts

This was a kind of intense story. Which, considering what Yolen’s work is like… I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Yet, it also struck kind of a great cord with me. After all, it was about finding your own happily ever after. Not the expected one, but one which actually makes you happy.

The single minded obsession of a scientist is one that I recognise. It is intense and kind of terrifying at times. At least, I find it a little terrifying how single minded I can be when I fall down the rabbit hole of something that I love. It was interesting reading a short story which talks about the flipside of that coin. The partner and person who loves such a man. Someone who is an extreme of the example… but still eerily familiar.

If you don’t take the “romance” in this story too literally, then it’s incredibly beautiful. If you take it a little more literally… it’s not as beautiful, but still quite potent. Definitely the kind of story that got me seriously thinking… and contemplating. Again and again and again. I look forward to rereading this one in the future.

<- In the Season of RainsA Wife of Acorn, Leaf, and Rain ->

Image source: Goodreads

A Wife of Acorn, Leaf, and Rain by Dave Smeds

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: A Wife of Acorn, Leaf, and Rain
Author: Dave Smeds
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Death, Fae, Lust
Dates read: 18th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: But your word is enough as far as I’m concerned.

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Synopsis

He misses his wife, and a desperate attempt to get closure has him making a deal with The Outsiders. But will this beautiful doppleganger truly fill that whole in her heart?

Thoughts

I can’t imagine suddenly losing my other half. It’s actually what makes up my greatest fears – waking up one day to find out that he wasn’t part of my life anymore. So this story hit a little too close to home. And it took an interesting approach to getting over one’s grief. Hiring a fae doppelganger to take her place… it felt somewhat creepy.

Yet, as the story unfolded, I actually understood the man’s motivations WAY more than I would have liked. I can imagine wanting just one more moment with that one person that I love more than anybody else. I can understand needing just a few more moments to finally get that closure that you need.

As much as this story kind of started out creepy… it had a great sense of closure at the final conclusion. There was a sense of farewell and moving on that was healing and sweet. A great way to end a story that started out a little uncomfortably…

<- Bird CountTastings ->

Image source: Goodreads

In the Season of Rains by Ellen Steiber

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: In the Season of Rains
Author: Ellen Steiber
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Lust
Dates read: 8th March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: She reached a hand toward him and the scent of the datura became stronger.

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Synopsis

Enrique has always pushed women away. Always kept himself in control of the relationship. Until one dark night when the rain is thundering down on his garden… then everything changes.

Thoughts

This short story had a great… quality about it. There was the sense of another (non-Anglo Saxon) culture about it. Although, it was a little vague on exactly which culture was inspiring the mythical woman in this story. I also loved the imagery of the garden and the rain. There is nothing like having a beautiful garden. And the sound and scent of rain surrounding it? Also stunningly beautiful. It worked well with a random, half-dressed woman strolling through the plants.

I felt like I should have had a little more sympathy for Enrique. But, honestly, I felt like he kind of got his comeuppance. He constantly wanted to show that he was less caring than the women he bought home. So he kind of got his poetic justice for using people. Fine, he did tell them that he wasn’t into commitment… but honestly, that’s just a kind of insane way to approach any kind of intimacy.

Although this story had a slightly dark feel to it, it also had me smiling all throughout. Probably because I really appreciated the poetic justice in it. There was just something refreshing and enjoyable about the whole story. Kind of like standing in the garden after a fresh rain.

<- AttachmentsBird Count ->

Image source: Goodreads