Feature book: Summer Spectacles
A faery prince who hates humans, neighbours involved in a game of voyeurism, two fashion models who like to watch, and a place where all wishes and fantasies come true are the stories you’ll find in the Summer Spectacles anthology.
‘Illuminations’ by Maggie Nash had to be the stand-out of the four short stories included in the anthology. It is 1895 and Gemma is a young scullery maid who has no idea that the manor she is working at has a secret—women and men come from all over the country to learn how to please and be pleased sexually.
The virginal Gemma discovers what is going on behind closed doors by accident and is quite surprised by the reaction of her own body to what she witnesses. She is caught by Darius in a compromising position. Darius and his friend Jamie (and I suppose work colleague) decide to teach Gemma a lesson. Darius and Jamie are both younger sons and as such have no obligations, only to marry well. Darius is immediately entranced by Gemma and takes the opportunity to teach her about her sensuality.
The build-up was sinful; just as the plotline started to move forward the story was over. All three characters were interesting alone and together. I’m hopeful there are more stories regarding the characters of Maitland House. I’m particularly interested in learning more about Lucy and the Master.
The other story I enjoyed was Gillian Archer’s ‘Faery Seductive Escape’. Ashley, a trainee midwife, is kidnapped and kept as a slave to assist in births. The Faery prince, Tiarnan, despises humans and believes Ashley to be a faery disguised as a human for a festival. When the night is over and identities are revealed, can Tiarnan forgive Ashley for being human and can Ashley forgive Tiarnan for his treatment after learning she is human?
As someone who has not dabbled in erotica (I’ve just read two novels), I enjoyed all four stories—whilst having voyeurism as a common thread, they were all very different (historical, paranormal and contemporary) genres. I think this anthology suited my previous weariness for the genre and I will have to add some space to my ‘to be read’ pile!
reviewed by Aimee
A review copy of this book was provided by the author. All ARRA members who leave a comment will go in the draw to win the book. The giveaway closes 12 September 2012.