Red Velvet and Absinthe- Paranormal Erotic Romance


I just finished reading this book! What an excellent read. This book was published by Cleis Press and edited by Mitzi Szereto. It features 15 twisted tales by various authors. The book includes a Forward by Kelley Armstrong and an Introduction by Mitzi Szereto. It also has an about the author and an about the editor section. The book is 225 pages.

This book promises 15 stories of supernatural lust. It features vampire, werewolves, ghosts and witchcraft. I really enjoyed the book. The stories include:

  • Snowlight, Moonight by Rose De Fer
  • Cover Him With Darkness by Janine Ashbless
  • A Rose in the Willow Garden by Elizabeth Daniels
  • The Blood Moon Kiss by Mitzi Szereto
  • Painted by Anna Meadows
  • Dolly by Charlotte Stein
  • Le Belle Mort by Zander Vyne
  • The Persistence of Memory by Evan Mora
  • Scratched by Ashley Lister
  • Bitter and Intoxicated by Sharon Bidwell
  • Tea for Two by Claire Buckingham
  • Milady’s Bath by Giselle Renarde
  • The Way Home by Carrie Williams
  • The Queen by Tahira Iqbal
  • Benediction by Bonnie Dee

I enjoyed the stories in this book. Although, some were more sexy than others. This book features mostly heterosexual sex except Milady’s Bath and does not give juicy details of the sex. It is definitely more of a romance compilation, but still an enjoyable read.

Painted is the story of a gardener who by chance gets the painting from his employers house. He falls in love with the woman in the picture and the story tells how he gets her all to himself.

Tea for Two was haunting to say the very least. The odd characters and language were a bit annoying until I realized they are not from the now that I know. This story features mutual masturbation but the characters cannot even touch each other, so it didn’t really deliver on the erotica I was hoping for. The Tea for Two part is unfulfilled as he can only enjoy Tea for One until they meet in death.

The Way Home is the haunting tale of a woman in love with a man she knows very little about. The story is not sexy, per se, but I was really surprised by the ending. She tells what she knows about the man, and then makes a choice about leaving him.

The Queen was probably my favorite about the end of one chapter of a Vampire Queen’s life and the beginning of another. It is sexy and full of promises for more. There are a few flashbacks in the story giving enough details to make me understand The Queen and root for her to love and war!

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. If you are unsure about authors but love the subject matter I think a compilation book is definitely the way to go. This book delivered in it’s promise of supernatural romance. Erotica, however, was only found in a few stories. If you are looking for hardcore erotica I would skip this book.


product picture
Book by Various Authors
Format: Flexi Cover
Publisher: Cleis Press Inc.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer.


  1. Thanks for the stellar review! So pleased you enjoyed the book!
    Mitzi Szereto would like you read..The Plight of the Harried Anthology EditorMy Profile

  2. Tahira Iqbal says:

    So very thrilled that you not only loved the book, but that you loved my story The Queen! Thank you for taking the time to review the book, all the stories are outstanding and Mitzi is a fab editor to write for. xxx

  3. Mel Gold says:

    This is an excellent book, very high quality! But if you’re familiar with the editor/author, you should know that she doesn’t do stroke books or smut. It’s refreshing to see something being published by this publisher that isn’t just more of the same old crap by the same old crappy people. Sorry but it has to be said.

  4. BlueKaren says:

    It had one story that had lesbian scenes, but it was too brief. I agree, kinda lame.

  5. Only heterosexual sex?! Way boring, even if it does have vampires, lol!

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