June 24, 2013

Dark Passions: Some Sexy Looking Horror

Skeeter was pretty hot in the campy movie SCREAM.
Skeeter was pretty hot in the campy movie SCREAM.

Do you like it when romance mixes with things that go bump in the night?

I love it when there’s a potentially untrustworthy yet smokin’ hot hero in the book I’m reading.  I adore that everything-seems-so-normal-so-why’s-it-kinda-spooky? vibe.

While full on horror isn’t my thing, tension tight enough to make a heroine spring into a guy’s lap is.  Campy horror is great because when a heroine’s scared and acts impulsively, she almost always immediately pauses to realize, Oh my! –the guy’s lap feels all muscle-y and good.  Soon enough she’s about to go further even when she knows she shouldn’t.

The book is great--the movie not so much.
The book is great–the movie not so much.

There’s something I really enjoy with watching a young female character slowly succumb to the funny feelings down there …I know it’s perverse, but I just love it when a good girl hates herself in the morning–if she lives that long. (Bwa-ha-ha!)

Quiet suspense is really good too.  I love it when sudden betrayal lurks just around the corner.  Ira Levin’s A KISS BEFORE DYING was good in that way…as are old scary Hitchcock movies, and the campy horror films SCREAM, etc.

I saw the premiere of that totally messed up TV show called BATES MOTEL, and it seemed to find tingly ways to swing from very suspenseful moments to sexual shame to sexual arousal and back again.  Did anyone one else see it? Or is it dead and gone already?
At Lady Smut we’ve been dabbling in a little shivery tension lately.

One sick puppy of a TV show.
One sick puppy of a TV show.

It’s fun–and there’s nothing like a hot summer night to get you in the mood for a little spookiness.  Not to mention what happens when you add in a touch of the uncanny.  So being in the mood for goosebumps, I was immediately drawn to these book covers from eKensington’s website.  They sounded rather…sexy.  My question is –just how much sex n romance do these horror stories contain?  Here are the books:

THE SORORITY: They are the envy of every young woman–and the fantasy of every young man. An elite sisterhood of Greenbriar University’s best and brightest, their members are the most powerful girls on campus–and the most feared. . .


She’s the perfect pledge. A sweet, innocent, golden-haired cheerleader, Eve has so much to gain by joining Gamma Eta Pi—almost anything she desires. But only a select few can enter the sorority’s inner circle—or submit to its code of blood, sacrifice, and sexual magic. Is Eve willing to pay the price?

Print copy is cheaper than the e-book. What’s up with that?


Ever since childhood, Merilynn has had a sixth sense about things to come. She’s blessed with uncanny powers of perception–and cursed with unspeakable visions of unholy terror. Things that corrupt the souls of women, and crush the hearts of men. Things that can drive a girl to murder, suicide, or worse. . .


Journalism major Sam Penrose is tough, tenacious–and too curious for her own good. She’s determined to unearth the truth about the sorority. But the only way to expose this twisted sisterhood is from within. . .

The review sez: “Tamara Thorne has an uncanny knack for combining the outrageous with the shuddery, making for wonderfully scary romps and fun reading.” –Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Wow.  I like the sound of “sexual magic”.  Then I looked at the price: $12.39? For an e-book? The Amazon version is cheaper than the publishers version, (which is just so wrong) and the print version is cheaper (10.00) than the e-versions. I’m scratching my head over that one, but c’est la vie.

Another eKensington book I lust for is DARK PASSIONS–HOT BLOOD XIII.  The cover is to die.  Who can resist a crimson corset? How smexy do these ‘tales of sinister passion’ get? Well, check out the description…

Dark PassionsNot all love is innocent. Some desires swallow you whole…

There’s more than meets the eye to the twenty twisted pleasures collected here, with death and desire lying in wait behind every corner.

One goth girl finds the man whose love can make her beautiful and whose body can bring her ecstasy—if she can stomach the price…

A zombie apocalypse destroys a man’s family, but “til death do us part” is a vow his wife won’t forget—even if she’s now more on the undead side.

A vampire hunter wakes up the morning after and has to discover what forbidden pleasures he indulged in the night before—he suspects they might involve the drop-dead gorgeous bloodsucker next door…

These and many more tales of sinister passion lie inside—if you aren’t afraid of the dark….

Is there such a thing as hipster horror?

Sounds pretty good, I say.  With words like ‘desire’ ‘twisted pleasures’, and phrases like ‘whose body can bring her ecstasy’, I would be rather surprised if there wasn’t some major boinking going on, at the very least.

But the uncertainty factor had me drifting back to Ellora’s Cave & Samhain.  They offer up some shivery horror too, and you can always count on the sex with these new-ish titles:

UNDONE BY THE UNDEAD by Isabelle Drake.  It’s a free read.  I read it and found it kinda cute, well written, and something of a prologue to her novel SERVICING THE UNDEAD.

FRANKENDOM by Robin L. Rotham  — I don’t know if this book is any good –and I kinda don’t care. Here’s some of the ‘product warning’ Samhain offers:

Cray-cray erotica--Yum!
Cray-cray erotica–Yum!

You should assume any Robin L. Rotham book contains BDSM elements, anal play, and every possible ménage à trois permutation. Additionally, FrankenDom contains mad scientists, real dungeons, whips, chains, spanking, a variety of taboo fantasies, electrical devices in uncomfortable places, humor, and an intimidating ratio of sadists to masochists.

Mad scientists, humor, and ‘every possible ménage à trois permutation’–all for the low price of $5.50. Now that’s what I’m looking for in a smexy horror novel. Love it!

What about you, dear reader?  What’s your sweet spot when it comes to books that makes you shiver?


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  • Elizabeth Shore

    To be fair, I love the straight out horror genre and since I’m also a Lady Smug blogger, it’s obvious that I love me some romance. So put ’em both together and oooooh Mommy, I’m a happy happy girl. 🙂

    I’m with you on the cover of Dark Passions. Who doesn’t love a crimson corset?! Her tat’s cool, too. I have to admit a teensy bit of skepticism about the content. Twenty stories makes me wonder how much character development I’m going to get. But hey, I’m willing to give it a chance. Certainly the snipets sound intriguing.

    I’m definitely a fan of the zombies, although I don’t know how much they really work with romance. That said, World War Z’s on my movie list. Zombies AND Brad Pitt? No complaints there. 🙂

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore
    • madelineiva

      Lady SMUG????

      Short stores ARE tricky to pull off in genre if you’re doing more than one thing at once like combining genre n horror. But the blurbs sounded enticing.

      Did you see that zombie romance movie–WARM BODIES? The previews looked good. I wanna check it out on DVD. There’s also this funny little book called BREATHERS that was satirical n had a nice little romance in it as well.

      Reply to madelineiva
      • LizEverly

        Alas, I am not into any of this at all–which is one of the cool things about our blog. We all come at it with different voices and opinions. Now, I do like a good vampire story–and love the Anne Rice vampire books. But I don’t get the rest of it, sorry to say. No mummies or werewolves for me. 😉 I don’t watch horror and I don’t really read it–yet I have two good friends who are successful horror writers. I’ve tried to read their books and I have horrible dreams. Sleep is a premium in my life. LOL. Great post, though, Madeline.

        Reply to LizEverly
  • madelineiva

    Some of my favorite suspense-horror novels don’t have anything you can see – -like Shirley Jackson’s Hill House. And Rosemary’s Baby has witches, but they’re all contemporary…not a pointy hat in sight.

    I like it when we see how the monster is just like us — or has a warped humanity, but very much a humanity we can relate to.

    The horror I least relate to is where the people seem to be evil in a random way, for no good reason. I like guilty horror where the people getting it have been worried about their various sins, and are conflicted.

    Reply to madelineiva
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