Pleasure Panel review by Angel R Rivera / gypsylibrarian
If you are looking for a little horror and a little erotica in your fiction, then Dark Desires: Love That’s Out of this World by Miranda Forbes may be for you. I do emphasize “little” because the stories are a bit light on both horror and erotic aspects, and this can vary from tale to tale. The book features some light horror and some stories do inspire a sense of unease. I found the erotic element can be sensual, but it is often pretty light; it can lack some good build up or moves through a bit too quickly in a tale or two.
This volume features 20 stories starring various dark creatures and those who are their prey (or very well could be preying on those dark creatures) such as vampires, ghosts, witches, spirits, and demons. The volume also features a variety of paranormal scenarios from seances to dark woods to nightclubs. You are bound to find something you like, though you may have to browse around a bit. This is a book to browse, find your favorite story and go from there. I say that because some stories are good, but others were barely memorable for me as a reader. This reveals a problem that often happens in anthologies: story quality is not consistent from one tale to the next. When the story is good, it is very good. When the story is less so, then not so good.
To provide an idea, let me highlight three of the tales that I enjoyed:
- Lucy Felthouse’s “Animal Attraction” was a fairly sweet tale of a female werewolf teaching a man who is discovering he has become a werewolf. It is a cute paranormal story with some nice sensuality in it. I think readers who like their romance with a bit of dark will like this one.
- “Familiar” by Sommer Marsden was another nice one. A young woman turns 25, and that is the age when she can access her powers as a witch. It falls to Cyrus, her cat and familiar, to help her figure things out. Turns out too that Cyrus can shift his shape, and this makes for some sweet sensual lovemaking along the way. It was another nice piece of erotic romance. I will add that I have read Sommer Marsden’s fiction before in other anthologies, and this one is consistent with the good work I have read from her so far. I think fans of this author will enjoy this one.
- “Something about Mary” by J.S. Black I have to share because this is one of the creepy, unsettling ones. It was a good example of horror with that ending that just leaves you a little unsettled in the way good horror can. In this story, Casey creates a life-sized doll, Mary, modeled after some woman from her past. Casey’s lover is jealous. And is the doll coming to life? Take it from there.
Overall, I did like the volume, but I did not “really like it.” You can think of it as it did not “wow me.” However, it does have some nice gems.
– Angel R. Rivera
You can also buy Dark Desires here at Amazon.com.
– Cara Sutra