Love, passion and sex . . . it’s all here in Darker Edge of Desire. Gothic literature has always possessed a dark attraction ripe with the promise of the forbidden and the sensual. In Darker Edge of Desire, Mitzi Szereto takes the sexualized Gothic and ratchets it up a few notches into the danger zone, opening a door into the darker side of lust and love that only the courageous dare to venture through. Venturing even farther into the world of mystery and romance than she did in the critically acclaimed Red Velvet and Absinthe, Szereto creates an atmosphere with a distinct Gothic flavor where we explore our more forbidden desires. In these tales, love and lust (and kink!) know no boundaries, and all nature of beings —vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, ghosts, and succubae — abound. Tread carefully, danger and desire lie ahead!
Review: I love anthologies of stories so short they are only a few pages long and can be read in five minutes or less. I can devour them during commercial breaks while watching TV, standing in line at the bank, or even on my coffee break at work.
Some of my favorites from Darker Edge are:
Sister Bessie’s Boys takes place in the South during the 1950’s. Lucas Jackson is a young man who heads off to the seminary after high school and is put up by Sister Bessie, a retired nurse. She ultimately schools him in the ways of the flesh and teaches him that love and sex are human and not necessarily wrong or a sin. I found this a sweet, loving story. It was set in the perfect time – I don’t know if it would have worked at any other period of time, present or past.
Moonfall is one of the truer Gothic stories in this anthology. A woman is sent to an Asylum for the Incurably Insane after wandering the woods at night and having no memory of it. She returns home with her hair disheveled and her clothes torn and, more amazingly, is able to heal herself miraculously. As a reader I could see the answer pretty quickly but the road to the ending was still dark and exciting.
Devoured by Envy is about a captivating ballerina men refuse to love. The city sees her as an angel from heaven and to spoil her virginity would be her ruination. Yet it’s that refusal to love her that becomes her downfall. After the one man she believes will love her leaves her for another woman, she turns to Envy.