Fire-breathing dragons, princesses, court drama, the fate of battles and kingdoms… everything that epitomizes fantasy is here. Paint those landscapes and scenarios with the best that erotica has to offer, and you get something both epic and blood-stirring. In these lush and timeless landscapes, the battle for flesh can be as important as the battle for power. Myth and legend reside here and good is not always the most attractive or captivating choice.
Every now and again, I get a hankering for something short and naughty (read: requires little time commitment but is still engaging). This usually happens when I get bored or stressed or have had a string of dud books. I then find myself browsing Audible’s erotica category and lamenting the lack of fantasy stories. In my most recent foray, I discovered Thrones of Desire and It. Was. Perfect. In fact, if the rest of his work is as good as this, Mitzi Szereto may have just jumped to the top of my list of favorite romance authors.
Even though the stories were short, the characters were sexy, engaging, and intriguing. I found myself wanting to know more about them and their worlds. In fact, I’d love to see Ms. Szereto revisit some of them in full-length novels. Each story was its own well-contained sphere and while not described in great detail, made excellent backdrops for the stories. None of the sexual encounters felt awkward or overdone and they were all written (and read!) in a way that will leave the reader feeling scorched… but in the best way! And it gets even better, because Thrones of Desire wasn’t just a collection of random, vapid, meaningless acts of getting it on. There were some very interesting themes addressed as well, from gender identity to the stereotypical roles of male and female.
Mr. Haynesbridge was the perfect narrator for this collection. Since my husband made it clear a long time ago that he wasn’t gonna read dirty stories to me and I get bored reading them to myself, it’s always nice to find someone else to do it and do it well! This narrator was able to change his voice enough from story to story that it was at times easy to forget the same person was reading them all. On the flip side of that, I found the consistency of the same narrator for each story to be less jarring than a change-up might have been.
I can’t speak to typos, as this was an audiobook, but if there were any, then Mr. Haynesbridge handled them flawlessly. Either that, or I was too engrossed in the stories to notice. Either way, I am a happy, happy little reviewer.
Bottom line: Thrones of Desire was exactly what I was looking for; a collection of short, widely varied tales all firmly seated in the realm of fantasy and read by a narrator with a smoking voice. This is an author and a narrator I’ll go back to in the future.
Rating: A+ across the board
Click to purchase: Amazon
Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Magic, and Desire
by Mitzi Szereto
Narrator: Alastair Haynesbridge
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Cleis Press