I read the ARC of this collection of erotic short stories which I received from netGalley.com. This was my first ever e-ARC and I enjoyed that experience as much as I enjoyed the book. Most of these stories are based on fairy tales of fantasy motifs and they are oh so steamy. While I’ve enjoyed most of the collections that I’ve read by Alison Tyler this one is the best. Almost every story is a winner and the best are “The Three Billys” by Sommer Marsden, “Fool’s Gold” by Shanna Germain, and “The Broken Fiddle” by Andrea Dale.
Marsden’s “The Three Billys” a steamy retelling of The Three Billy Goats Guff set in a library. Sex and books and cute construction workers, it was really good. I also like the novelty of it. I read a lot of fairy tale retelling and this is the first retelling of the Three Billy Goats Guff that wasn’t a children’s picture book.
“Fool’s Gold” by Germain is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin the plays with bondage and the Master/slave relationship in a metal way by using the naming motif in the fairy tale.
Andrea Dale’s “The Broken Fiddle” is boxed tale, a story within a story. Set in Ireland, it rolls all the romance of far-off-places, storytellers, and fairy bargains into the story of a perfectly hot one-night-stand.
There were even a few based on tales that I wasn’t particularly familiar with. T.C. Calligari’s “A Taste for Treasure” had a very different voice from the other stories. I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it at first, but the vague sense that I’d heard the original before pulled me through it until end. Calligari’s tale was a good story, but I was more interested in the original.
I was teaching at the library the other day, so in the spare moments before the class started I flipped through the fairy tale picture books and stumbled across The Wishing Table by the Brother Grimm and illustrated by Eve Tharlet. I couldn’t believe that it was there. There were these delightful illustrations and enough similarities in story that I figured The Wishing Table may have been the basis for “A Taste for Treasure.”
Anyway, I digress, I really enjoyed Alison’s Wonderland. It will be published July 1, 2010 by Harlequin’s Spice line. I will be making this one a Staff Pick at work after its release.