Incantatrix Press, $5.99, ISBN 978-1514627891
Historical Paranormal Erotica, 2015 (Reissue)
Alastair de Vere has the hots for Jude Leveson, but alas, he is courting Alastair’s cousin and shows no sign of swinging Alastair’s way. In a time when homosexuality is prohibited, poor Alastair believes that he is going to be lonely for a long, long time. It won’t be so bad, though, if he didn’t have to keep seeing Jude in family events and such. Oh, the pain of blue ba – er, unrequited affections.
In Pure Folly, Alastair and Jude accept a dare to spend the night in a temple-like building said to be haunted, which is not a good idea considering that the last thing Alastair wants is to be pressed up against Jude for warmth and what not in a platonic way. The husband bump in the pants can be hard to keep hidden, after all. But things become interesting when Jude gets possessed by the ghost of that place, and all kinds of body fluids – the fun ones, at least – start to fly all over the place.
This one has some nice, well done, almost tender build-up, and the sexy parts are certainly fun, but I have to warn you guys: the whole “I will use my poopy chute to save my beloved from evil!” thing is cheesy beyond belief – no, that is not a dirty sentence, believe me. It’s been a while since I’ve come across stories of women using their magic hoo-hoo to save the world… or at least the hero, and it’s no different here even if we switch the sex of the person receiving the love – it’s still corny as can be.
Also, the romance is very superficial, as this is a short story, and I also am not too keen on the fact that the wronged party – Alastair’s cousin, whom Jude intends to marry and make her his beard – is portrayed in an extremely negative light while Jude gets off scot-free. On one hand, I like that the happy ending has a pragmatic ring to it – the author doesn’t magically make homosexuality legal in England just because true love has been found, let’s just say – but on the other hand, it also means that the author resorts to the eye-rolling trope in gay romances: making that straight woman the villain just because she is an interloper who doesn’t have a penis.
Then again, even if the romance is lackluster and the characterization could be better, the sex is hot, and perhaps that is the most important thing when it comes to Pure Folly. It is, after all, marketed as an erotic romance, so who knows. If you read this for the erotic happy times with both ghosts and human blokes, you may just be fine. Just set your expectations accordingly.