Threads of Desire
by Eleri Stone
E-Galley loaned by Carina via NetGalley Galley.
No remuneration was exchanged.
Except as noted, all opinions herein are my own.
Pub Date Jan 21 2013
Guild-trained weaver Ily is furious her rival Kal, a smug yet wickedly sexy rug merchant, outsells her at every turn. She knows her magically crafted rugs are far superior to anything he can produce, but can't compete with his charming personality.
When Kal fixes his lusty attentions on Ily, she is reluctantly aroused by his interest. She knows he desires her and against her better judgment, she wants him too. A chance encounter leads her to make him a scandalous offer: her body in exchange for enough money to leave the city. She sees their time together as a temporary erotic adventure…until Kal reveals that what he truly wants from Ily is more personal—and more dangerous—than bed play. And she must choose between taking her chance at a new life or risking it all for a man she never meant to love.
Eleri Stone's writing first came across my e-reader in her book DEMON CROSSINGS. I said then that I was hoping to see more new work by her. A definite departure from DEMON CROSSINGS, THREADS OF DESIRE takes place on a two-mooned world with a pan-theistic society with similar species to our own. Yet, the terminology, and language aren't too far out. I could pronounce the names ad understand what the societal structure was through Stone's clever story telling. By attaching the invented world to a cfamiliar framework it makes it easier to believe. In a short work of erotic fiction this is really important in making the story accessible. It also gives the story depth without adding detail.
The main characters are interesting and their relationship is challenging for both: they come from different backgrounds and Ily has a lot of animosity for Kal and for his position in society. He needs something from her and while wooing her keeps it a secret. Romance readers, you know what happens next. I liked Kal better than Ily; she was too mean, suspicious and hateful. He came off as a bit cavalier and seemed to make fun of her too much. I came to see why both characters were as they seemed.
While Stone's description of the artistic process here has to do with a magically gifted artist, I thought she perfectly captured the state in which an artist can find themselves in the midst of their creative process.
Inventive and believable intimacy, and a gradual progression into a caring relationship make this book a charming addition to the short-form fantasy erotic romance scene. It's really a delicious glimpse into another world familiar enough to make it easy to place ourselves in that landscape as a voyeur or a participant. Stone is prolific and talented; with DEMON CROSSINGS I said I would like to see Stone stretch her work into longer fiction and I still feel that here.
Do you like erotica to be short or do you prefer longer works of erotic fiction?
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