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(The Carnal Staircase Trilogy)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A couple on the verge of divorce begrudgingly agree to an unorthodox marital retreat. Despite warnings and portents, Hilary and Jack travel to the remote Washington scablands, braving a strange religious demonstration to arrive at Balustrade, an oddly voyeuristic couples program.

Under the tutelage of Chantal, a harsh mistress, and Ludo, a brooding sex surrogate, the couple
ebook, 100 pages
Published May 4th 2014
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  49 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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L.A. Williams
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Erotica Fans
Shelves: erotica
James and Hilary's marriage is dying a slow death. Quiet resentment and irritation have eaten its way into her love and it's begun to rot. Her agreement to attend a couple's retreat to reconnect is a dutiful, perfunctory stepping-stone toward what she believes is inevitably the end. But far from being an emotionally touchy-feely program with primal scream therapy and talking sticks,the Balustrade resort has a sexual agenda with a barely veiled sinister feel.

"Believe me, Hilary, you'll want to b
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I read an uncorrected galley this morning, and it surprised me. I'm not usually an erotic fiction reader, but I have very much enjoyed Mark Henry's other books & stories, so I thought I'd give it a try. (Worse come to worse, I would have just not written a review or talked about it.)
But, oh my!
Yes, it is very dark and erotic. No surprises there. But it didn't embarrass me, as sometimes happens in "open-door" romances. No, it engrossed me.
I didn't mind the few typos, etc. - they didn't pu
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
It always makes me feel bad when I come across a book that everybody is touting as great and I simply found it as uninspiring. The premise as well as the cover of Balustrade is what initially caught my attention. I do so love dark erotica and was really in the mood for a nice juicy steamy dark read! A couple on verge of splitting up heading out to try an unorthodox marital retreat. Something dark and sinister will eventually happen. Oh yeah, that definitely perked my interest and I was excited t ...more
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't even know what just happened. I don't know what I just read. All I know is it was amazing. I've never read anything like this before. Erotic, paranormal verging on horror. This couple, on the verge of a divorce, agree to a couples retreat; at first I really disliked Hilary, the wife. I thought she was just a bitch, plain and simple. I felt so sorry for her husband Jack, who was doing everything in his power to make their marriage work, and she wasn't even appreciative. That first sex sce ...more
Annie Slasher (Booked & Loaded)
This is an original review from - I personally purchased this title and all opinions are my own.

Balustrade is Mark Henry's first installment in his Carnal Staircase Trilogy. Tagged as Paranormal Erotica, I think it was so much more. A great super sexy story about a married couple with a extra side of kink and paranormal. Bitch, please. This was a great story!

Although short, I did get absorbed into this naughty and dirty tale. Don't shy away because of the "erotic" tit
Dana Delamar
Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
A creepy, twisted, erotic horror story. I can't say that I liked the main character much, but I shared her misgivings and concerns, and I was compelled to find out what sinister secrets were waiting for the couple at the center of the story. Imagine "Rosemary's Baby" crossed with a really twisted episode of "The Twilight Zone," and you have some idea of what you're getting into. Yes, it's extremely explicit, so expect that too.

While this story does have a sense of completion, a number of big qu
Cyn Delia
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Be warned reader.... this book is EXPLICIT. It didn't bother me, but don't say I didn't warn you. This is perfect supernatural smut. If you read and loved those HOT BLOOD Series of sex/horror anthologies from the 80's/90's then Balustrade is for you. It's perfectly atmospheric, the pacing brilliant. For me the book, in all it's delicious depravity, made me think of some 70's/80's horror movies like,The Wicker Man, The Brood(uncut version) and even The Shining (if you've seem em, I hope you get w ...more
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review is from: Balustrade (The Carnal Staircase) (Kindle Edition)
Wow this book had my attention from the first page . Jack and Hilary are a couple on the edge of divorce . When they try an alternative weekend . Where they rekindle their sex life .which they do . This is a very sexual book which is very well written. The characters are sexually repressed and dark . The twist in the end will have you panting for the next book in the series . So if you like dark characters with lots of sex th
Synde Korman
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't want to give any of the plot away but, Mark Henry's dark tale about a couples sexual reinvention isn't what you think it will be..from the first pages you can feel both then heat and the tension start to sneak in. Before you know it you are in need of a cold shower and new locks for the front door. I absolutely loved this, dark and full of vivid descriptions!!!! LOVED IT!!!
Jun 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Although this is a good story, it's not one that I would ever willingly read due to the dark subject matter. When the request to review this story was presented, this is the blurb I read.

A couple on the verge of divorce begrudgingly agree to attend a remote and oddly voyeuristic couples retreat where they find their most intimate relations under discomfiting scrutiny. The therapy is ritualistic, sensual, wearing away their inhibitions to lush, orgiastic ends. But when time begins to disinteg
Shawna The Crazy Bookseller
I have read everything Mark Henry has written. What I love is that no matter what genre he writes he never holds back. His first book in the erotic genre hits every mark. But it's not just debaucherous sex, there is a story about two people who are trying to work on their marriage.

Hilary and Jack's marriage has fallen into a rut and they are giving this retreat to Balustrade to try to get their spark back. Little did they know that what Chantal, a harsh mistress, seems to focus on is sex, sex w
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Eerie, unexpected, literary smut.

A woman in a relationship that appears to be circling the drain agrees to go to a strange marriage counseling retreat as a last ditch effort to save the relationship.

But, before she even arrives at this out of the way location, she begins to have a bad feeling about the place - and not just because hordes of religious lunatics are trying to save her by stopping her car.

Something nefarious and dangerous and seductive waits for her inside the monol
Kimberly Wade
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! Balustrade packed such a big punch for a short read!! Mark Henry managed to satisfy such a multitude of enticing erotica with invigorating suspence. You get the feeling of something is just not right, but you get swept up in the smut you soon forget. Will be waiting anxiously for the next one to arrive.
Becca Sellers
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is my first time experiencing Mark's work and let me tell you, I'm hungry for more! This book is all about letting go of your inhibitions and embracing a sexual side of yourself you might not have known about! Just a warning, it is pretty explicit....but really good! Not my usual type of read, but I do recommend it and the twist at the end threw me!!!

A must read!
Denise Rand Huebner
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There are so many good things to say about this book. I read it in one sitting and can not wait for the next one. It is full of hot steamy sex and there is a plot twist that will make you want more. You will not to be disappointed.
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I usually do not read a lot of books like this but man talk about reading something that makes you blush! :)I felt like I was a little kid reading something I wasn't suppose to be reading. Good job Mark Henry good job! This is not my first Mark Henry book and most definitely not my last.
Jun 02, 2014 added it
I have read dark erotic books before and some of them i really liked, but this is beyond the pale! The story it's sinister at best.
Kevin Macias
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dirty....a-maz-ing!!!!! Excellent read!! More? I sure hope so!!!
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MARK HENRY traded a career as a counselor to scar minds with his fiction. In stories clogged with sentient zombies, impotent sex demons, transsexual werewolves and ghostly goth girls, he irreverently processes traumatic issues brought on by premature exposure to horror movies, an unwholesome fetish for polyester and/or witnessing adult cocktail parties in the swingin' 70s. A developmental history ...more

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