Wednesday, February 21, 2007

House of Dark Delights by Louisa Burton

Otherwise titled...

Erotica vs. erotica?

Mrs. Giggles recently wrote an article ( and said that "we need more sex in romantic eroticas, romanticas, erotic romances, or whatever we call those books published by pretty much nearly every online publisher nowadays". The whole article has ideas I agree with or don't, and was an interesting read mostly because it got me thinking about...

There are different types of erotica, just like there are different kinds of romance. I read the whole spectrum of romance -- from mild romance to carnal erotic romance. I also read erotica and find stories that range from the character-driven erotica to sex-sex-and-more-sex erotica. (I hesitate to call hard-core erotica by the word "smut" because some people would insist that any story that involves more than a chaste peck on the cheek smutty.)

The book I'm reading right now is paranormal erotica -- House of Dark Delights by Louisa Burton. (This is the first in a series about the Hidden Grotto that sets the stage for this novel according to the author's website.)

It is definitely erotica. There is plenty of the "naughtiness going on" (from last line of Mrs. Giggle's article above). But, it is definitely a story that is meant to mentally stimulate.

HODD is written as stories within stories, with a handful of main characters that we get to know better while reading. All the stories have been interesting, but my favorite story has been the couple playing out their BDSM fantasies -- Darius and Charlotte. While reading I was so involved I found myself skipping ahead to find out what would happen. The sex was hot, but it was Darius and Charlotte that entertained me more than the sex they were having. Their story is definitely erotica and isn't romance, yet the ending was fulfilling and gave me hope for them in much the same way a romance novel would. Incidentally, Darius is a Djinni and the paranormal aspect intersted me greatly as well. (Another character Inigo the Satyr has his own myspace page.)

Anyway, thinking about this story and comparing to that article by Mrs. Giggles above struck me because I don't always read erotica because there is more sex. I read a story like House of Dark Delights because the book is an intersting read and the character's inspire emotion.

I have also read quite a few stories from the numbered series called Letters to Penthouse. No mental stimulation going on during those reads.