Featuring characters that traverse the edges of sexuality, seemingly mild plots that sink into deep horror, passions that lead from commuter trains to vampire lairs, dragon caves to hotel bars, book stores to fortuneteller’s tents, each setting is as distinct as the people we meet inside. Whether we are voyeurs with an all access pass, inside the twisted brain of a cold killer, or a broken woman finding new strength, each story extends the limits of erotic fiction.
Choices are made with irrevocable and surprising consequences. Disaster is courted or barely skirted. Amoral protagonists and antagonists swap roles, then fluidly swap back. The lush layering that gives Zander Vyne’s work such a strong sense of life is particularly apparent in the title story, which opens with a man waking in a lush garden, vines gripping him in possessive caresses. Flashing before his eyes is a storm of memories of his wife and his life, intertwined with love, sins, regrets, death and eventually redemption. Or . . . not.
These stories are freaks, much like the characters who inhabit them are misfits. They purposefully leave us with unanswered questions. Some of these stories are held together with a stone foundation of love. Others have had love—and any notions of happily ever after—surgically excised, leaving the reader raw and excited, if not aroused.