m/m reading challenge, book #3

Which is:

Like an Animal: Erotic Tales of Werewolves, an anthology published by Circlet Press containing the following stories:

LUNACY by Elizabeth Reeve – f/f

THE MOON IS MY MISTRESS by Vicka Corey f/f

CAROLINA JASMINE by David Hubbard – m/m

CARNIVAL OF THE GROTESQUE by A.D.R. Forte -m/f

DARK DIVINE LIGHT by Becca Ovadia – f/f

LUPINE HOUSE by A.N. Cortez – m/m

AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN BUDAPEST by Joe Nobel – m/f

OK, I freely confess that I don’t really like erotica, and also that I really don’t like werewolves.  Werewolf erotica?  Brrr!  No thanks!  So I wouldn’t have normally bought this book at all.  However it contains the debut story of a friend of mine – A.N. Cortez, and I (a) wanted to show solidarity, and (b) already knew that she wrote beautifully.  So I knew at least one of the stories would be worth it.

I didn’t realize until I started reading it that it was a mixture of m/m, f/f and m/f erotica.  M/F erotica squicks me out (that is, I have a strong, irrational feeling of discomfort when I read or see it.)  In fact, I have to look away from m/f kissing in films and TV, it’s that bad.  Again, I might not have bought it if I’d known I was going to be reading m/f.

So, with all of that as a background, I think it’s remarkable that I enjoyed this as much as I did.  The standard of writing in the entire anthology is very high indeed, and I loved (as I expected I would) A.N. Cortez’ Lupine House with its fairy tale/high fantasy setting where werewolves and nobles compete with each other in cruelty and decadence.  Gorgeous writing and a very interesting concept.  I personally could have done with less sex, but that’s just me missing the entire point of erotica!

I enjoyed the set-up of Carnival of the Grotesque as well, and the interesting pagan look at the world in Dark Divine Light.  In terms of writing quality and the imagination of the set-up, I felt Carolina Jasmine was the weakest of the bunch – lots of ‘was’ sentences, (and I say this as a defender of the word), and not much to make the story stand out from any other ‘boy meets werewolf, falls in lust, they shag’ story.  But having said that, I’ve seen many a worse story.

Lunacy was a very interesting start, with me wondering why one of the lovers getting her throat torn out was not a dampener on the relationship.  And The Moon is my Mistress took my breath away with its absolutely gorgeous writing.  From what I can tell of An American Werewolf in Budapest (I couldn’t look too close, it was very m/f and very erotic) it packs an awful lot of punch and if you liked slightly dark, rough het sex with an edge, you would think it was wonderful.

So altogether – a really good book that’s simply not my cup of tea.  If you *did* like werewolves and you *did* like erotica, and you don’t have hang-ups like me, then I think you would love it.

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