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Red Velvet and Absinthe

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  286 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews

Red Velvet and Absinthe explores love and lust with otherworldly partners who, by their sheer fantastical nature, evoke passion and desire far beyond that which any normal human being can inspire. Although the greats such as Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, and Daphne du Maurier are long dead, these contemporary authors keep the Gothic spirit alive and well by interpreting it

Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Cleis Press
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You never really know what to expect when you go into a collection like this.  Well, I mean you know one thing to expect, but as for the quality of the actual storytelling, it's a gamble.  Fortunately this was a gamble that paid off, because I found myself consistently surprised with the quality of the stories.  Yes, each one revolves around some sort of otherworldly/supernatural (smutty) relationship, but for the most part, it seems like all of the authors chose to focus on layering their stori ...more
DNF @ 30%

Red Velvet and Absinthe is an anthology of short-stories that fall in the genre of paranormal erotic romance. In my opinion, erotica is the foremost genre though ... which is OK but it was just too much for my personal taste. I'm sure fans of erotica with paranormal themes will have fun with this collection though.
Romancing the Book
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: erotica
Reviewed by Stephanie O
Ebook provided by publisher

Haunting, Intriguing, Sensual, Curious, Lustful, Spellbinding, Hot. All words I could use to describe this collection of short stories.

Ok, so I didn’t get the chance to sit and read this one by candle light, with glass of wine. More or less, I was privileged to read it sitting in my car in the parent pick up line waiting for school to let out. A few times I wondered if I was blushing. At times I even had to set the Nook down, so I could let the s
Laurie Garrison
3 1/2

This book is full of short stories of wild monkey sex, each story around maybe 10 -15 pages long and each book filled with up to maybe 20 authors. Each book can have M/M, F/F, M/F, BDSM, cheaters etc.. because anything goes in these short stories. This is not a romance book, it’s a book full of erotica fun. I myself don’t too much connect with these type of books, basically I don’t like just sex I want a story and a romance connection between a couple but a few of these books leaves me ver
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: erotica, bdsm, lesbian
Wow, what a month this has been for short story collections – first I had my chance to get my hands on Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica (a 5 star read of transgender erotica), and now I’ve got Red Velvet and Absinthe (a 5 star read of gothic erotica). The fact that they're both courtesy of Cleis Press can't be a coincidence!

If I had to pick one word to define this collection, it would definitely be atmosphere. You can feel the condensation upon the cold, stone walls; you can smell th
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
originally appeared on:Bookshelf Confessions

Gothic Literature have never been this good!

Red Velvet and Anthology is a collection of supernatural, paranormal, gothic stories from awesome authors..Presented in celebration with Gothic Literature.

First and foremost the cover is stunning, it really pique my attention and urges me to request a review copy for it..well, I was not wrong, I was definitely engrossed with the book…

Plus a foreword by Kelly Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author of Bit
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of paranormal erotic romance
“The supernatural: Think vampires, werewolves, ghosts … eerie sounds in the night, impassioned whispers teasing at the depths of sleep … Think red velvet, flickering candles, love and lust with otherworldly partners who unleash passion and desire far beyond that inspired by simple mortals.” – excerpted from the back cover blurb

Let me just start off by saying that this anthology most definitely lives up to the above blurb. Next to Fairy Tale Lust, this has to be one of my fave anthologies from Cl
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-2011
I was very lucky to get an advance copy of this compilation and can tell you that it is a deliciously wicked read...

My favourites were Snowlight, Moonlight by Rose de Fer, La Belle Mort by Zander Vyne and The Persistence of Memory by Evan Mora.

Grace Troxel
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures:

Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance is a collection of fifteen erotic short stories featuring ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and things that go bump (see what I did there?) in the night. The stories draw on the gothic literary tradition, which at its heart has always paired romanticism with apprehension of the unknown. This is one of those books that I’m not sure I’d have
Super awesome read!!

Originally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on May 18 2012:

Wow! Just, freaking wow!! As you guys can see, this is my first time awarding the Bomy Award of Excellence – the bunch of butterflies that appears as a second rating under the 5 butterflies. If you guys haven’t had the chance to, take a looksie at my newly set rating system here. It’s like a 5++ sort of rating, the official fangirlism at large basically.

I debated with myself whether to award it or not, it’s a new rat
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This product was provided to me free of charge by Eden Fantasys in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines

For those of you that know me... and those that don't this is my little statement about short books.... I do not judge short stories on the rush of their relationships, because they are just that - short stories. So, yes the relationships always could have been drawn out more, yea it seems like they fall in love to fast and of course the story co
Roxanne Rhoads
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the best paranormal erotica anthologies I've read.

So many I've read are weird, off, and the paranormal elements don't mesh well with the erotic elements- or there's not really enough sex to consider it erotica.

Most of these stories were spot on. Creepy, sexy, naughty, dark, dangerous...this collection had a little bit of everything. There were two stories that I found odd and questioned what exactly the paranormal element was- I mean it was clear there was something "Other" going on but n
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Brought to you by OBS member Autmn

I had forgotten how much I love compilations and this one was no exception. Each short erotic tale will take you by the hand and lead you dreamily down the primrose path and the beauty of the journey is never knowing if you will come back alive.

I highly recommend this book to readers that revel in the lush prose of gothic and erotic romance and to those adventurous souls that enjoy a bittersweet story that doesn’t always end the way you would expect.

A few of my
Kat Black
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Intriguing, otherworldly, atmospheric and sensual. Quality storytelling from the talented likes of Janine Ashbless, Charlotte Stein, Ashley Lister (worthy of 5* each) and a host of others. Lots of great writing and lyrical prose - nothing in this prettily packaged anthology edited by Mitzi Szereto gets less than a 3* rating from me.
Varian Rose
One common problem with anthologies is that the stories often seem the same, especially if they are all of the same genre. In Red Velvet and Absinthe all the stories were from the same genre: paranormal romance.

What I liked the most about this anthology is that none of the stories seemed like clones of each other. I was interested in each story, and never skimmed.

Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! It was just what i needed ;)
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a lot to like in this fantasy collection. Overall the writing is excellent, the sex is hot, and the authors are very creative.

I purchased the book originally because I'm a fan of Janine Ashbless, and her "Covered in Darkness" did not disappoint. It offered clear nods to its antecedents in world mythology, but was its own story. I felt the longing of the heroine through every page. My one disappointment was that it ended when it did, although to take the story further would have taken i
CoffeeTimeRomance andMore
The darkness and desires enveloping the characters within these stories makes for an all together fascinating read. Whether it is a vampire, werewolf or spectral being there is something in all of them that you can recognize and sympathize. I love the broad scope of different timeframes, cultures and partner parings, and feel that there is something for everyone within these pages. Each of these authors will enrapt you with the depth of their characters and the complexity of their storylines.

Erzabet Bishop
Gothic stories are some of my most favorite reads. The werewolf that runs the moors at night, the lady who climbs out her window to meet her lover every month...or maybe the dark angel that seduces the young girl who is to care for him or the wife who haunts the halls of her home and strips for her husband-they are both trapped at other ends of the universe. One in the physical plane, the other a ghost. Not one story in this collection was wanting. Lusty and seductive, they capture the imaginati ...more
Dec 02, 2011 rated it liked it
"Snowlight, Moonlight" - Rose de Fer ★★★
"Cover Him With Darkness" - Janine Ashbless ★★★
"A Rose in the Willow Garden" - Elizabeth Daniels ★★★★
"The Blood Moon Kiss" - Mitzi Szereto ★★★
"Painted" - Anna Meadows ★★★★
"Dolly" - Charlotte Stein ★★★★
"La Belle Mort" - Zander Vyne ★★★★
"The Persistence of Memory" - Evan Mora ★★★
"Scratched" - Ashley Lister ★★★
"Bitter and Intoxicating" - Sharon Bidwell ★★
"Tea for Two" - Claire Buckingham ★★★
"Milady's Bath" - Giselle Renarde ★★
"The Way Home" - Carrie William
Karielle at Books à la Mode
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog
Sunlight, Moonlight by Rose de Fer: With gorgeous prose and a deeply sensual style, this untraditional werewolf love story revolves around an eccentric, but yummy, doctor and a sexually charged woman during her rebirth and transformation - 8/10

Cover Him with Darkness by Janine Ashbless: An account of the seduction of the young, naïve Milja by an imprisoned fallen angel. Disturbing as it is tantalizing, this story takes place in a rustic faraway land and has biblical notes. I found it absolutely
Mar 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, erotica, fantasy
Although this anthology of paranormal erotica blends the Gothic atmosphere of Bram Stoker and Edgar Allen Poe with the contemporary passion-filled fantasy of Kelley Armstrong-like writers, it was a blending that I could not get into. I had to ditch this book after a couple of stories.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Stories vary widely in quality between 2 and 4 stars. The strongest story being "Cover him in darkness" by Ashbless.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
A few of the stories were really good, but most of them were boring and forgettable. Especially the last 2. They had no main subject, just very long and boring sex scenes.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Zander Vyne has my heart, torn out and bleeding in her hands.
This collection sure has something for everyone, very gothic, not my normal fare yet still some were very thought provoking.
For the most part this was alright. Some stories were better than others.

Two introductions were completely unnecessary.

Look my lovelies in the world of Fanfiction (especially adult fanfiction)you are expected to tag your work to let your perspective reader know what they can expect. So they don't dive in and hit the shallow end of a squick factor. Adult Anthologies should do the same. Tag your work. M/F, F/F, M/M, ect. Warn a sister.

A good opening story.Lovely p
Goodness! Where to begin? *fans herself with her hands*

A surprisingly well-put-together collection! It's always a gamble when you pick up a book like this. It's an erotic romance, for one (always risky) and it's also an anthology, which is also a gamble, at least for me. I am either extremely happy or horribly disappointed with both aspects of what I knew this book to be. And so I stepped into it with a healthy dollop of trepidation. I was very pleasantly surprised! Very pleasantly indeed ;)

Feb 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Red Velvet and Absinthe explores love and lust with otherworldly partners who, by their sheer fantastical nature, evoke passion and desire far beyond that which any normal human being can inspire. Although the greats such as Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, and Daphne du Maurier are long dead, these contemporary authors keep the Gothic spirit alive and well by interpreting it in new and exciting ways. Red Velvet and Absinthe offers readers a collection of unique and original stories that conjure up ...more
Tishia (Paperback Opinion)
Red Velvet and Absinthe is a collection of dark and erotic paranormal stories. All of these stories are well written and have a gothic feel to them, but yet they are so different from each other. My favorites were Cover Him With Darkness by Janine Ashbless and La Belle Mort by Zander Vyne. Since these are all short stories, I feel like I can't say a whole lot about them without giving anything away. Honestly, most of these left me feeling confused. In a lot of these, there was so much mystery in ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Jennifer Spence Mill-Irving
This was a decent book. The first few stories were ok. Not great but I pushed myself through it. The first few seemed to have a hard time marrying the genre with the eroticism. It seemed forced. But, by the 4th story th book came alive. You could smell the forest, hear the sounds, taste the air and see the colors. You could feel your heart racing as the story unfolded and the supernatural being fought their way in (or out). The authors did such a good job bringing the characters and their surrou ...more
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Mitzi Szereto ( is an author and anthology editor of multi-genre fiction and non-fiction, has her own blog “Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog” (, and is creator/presenter of the Web TV channel “Mitzi TV” (, which covers “quirky” London.

More about Mitzi Szereto

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