Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
A Taste of Passion: Sweet Temptation Book 1A Taste of Passion: Sweet Temptation Book 1
By: Ashley Lister
HarperCollins Mischief
June 2014

Reviewed By: Sacchi Green

If you’re not burned out on novels about rich, powerful older men and naïve young women, you could do worse than give Ashley Lister’s A Taste of Passion a try.  Even if you think you are burned out—especially then, in fact—you may well find this variation to your taste. It kept me reading right along, not wanting to stop even when I had other urgent business (like going to bed.) When I’m reading with a review in mind, that’s a very good sign.

The setting is a city in northern England and its rural surroundings, modern but with a sense of history, which is refreshing in itself. The rich (but not overwhelmingly rich) older man is a famous chef, with his own three-star restaurant, while the young woman has a mind of her own, a brand-new degree with honors from a culinary institute, and a plan to start a new online pastry business with her two housemates. That she enjoys getting spankings as much as he enjoys delivering them is only one facet of their complex personalities.

Lister makes fine use of this food and restaurant concept to weave together the senses of taste and scent and sight and texture, intensifying the scenes of backstage gourmet cooking and those of sex as well. We get sound, too, in the chaotic kitchen, and, more to the point. when spatulas and wooden spoons play a part in the sex.

Wisely, Lister doesn’t overdo the food-sex connection, but I did appreciate such bits as the “rich and delicious sting” of a spanking that “echoed hollowly from the kitchen’s flat acoustics,” and the “slightly-sweetened saltiness” of an encounter of a slightly different nature. Very deftly done, as are many other sensual details, even those describing the forested area outside the city where the young woman runs for exercise. Maybe it’s just that I have a thing for forests and non-urban settings, but “the crisp intersecting ripples of bark” on ash trees delighted me as much as any tantalizing image of food.

The sex is abundant, to say the least, and since this is, after all, an erotica novel, I won’t quibble about some degree of repetition. Satisfying sex can be worth repeating.

I do, however, have a few quibbles, largely concerning editing that could have been better. I’ve enjoyed Ashley Lister’s writing in the past, and I did, on the whole, enjoy this book, but the level of editing seemed more lax than in previous books. Repetition of certain words and phrases bothers me where it probably wouldn’t matter to most readers. As an example,  “sultry” is used twelve times, which wouldn’t seem like much in a book of 278 pages if it weren’t concentrated toward the beginning, and in one case occurs twice on the same page—and in the same paragraph.

Another issue is that as the fairly complex plot works itself out, there are a couple of instances where the same significant statement is made twice, but seems to come as a surprise to the main character the second time. There are also plot elements that don’t make much sense except as providing the requisite difficulties and misunderstandings to be overcome, but this is so far from being rare in any work involving relationships that it’s hardly worth mentioning. 
My own naivité is responsible for my disappointment at the end of the book. I knew all along that this was Book 1 of the Sweet Temptation series, and that a series seems to be a requirement for books like this, but I thought that the following books might deal more with some of the other characters, or further developments affecting these main characters after the current problems were resolved. I should have known better than to hope for any resolution at all. It’s like a cliff-hanger at the season finale of a TV series.

Will I be tempted to read the next installment? Well, I did enjoy A Taste of Passion quite a lot, in spite of my editorial quibbles, and I do want to know what becomes of the characters, their hopes and dreams and erotic adventures. But maybe I’ll wait until the series is complete. Does that ever happen these days?

Death By FictionDeath By Fiction
By: Ashley Lister
Kokoro Press
ISBN: 1453800301
August 2010

Reviewed By: Steven Hart

If Ashley Lister is not aware of the late Donald Westlake’s work, he most certainly should be especially for the Dortmunder series of novels about a star-crossed Manhattan burglar and his hapless crew of professional criminals.  Westlake was perhaps the most successful and, I speculate, the most beloved mystery writer of the late 20th Century. His Dortmunder books are funny, fatalistic, good-hearted, atmospheric and utterly charming.  Every one of those adjectives might just as well be applied in equal measure to Mr. Lister’s murder mystery novel, Death by Fiction.  Reading this book about the fraught world of writing and publishing is genuine fun.  For younger readers, I would compare it favorably with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series for the same favorable reasons.

Ashley Lister writes for Erotica Revealed and so to those who feel this review is little more than a puff piece, I can say very little other than they are wrong.  That is because Death by Fiction deserves exactly the lavish praise I am about to heap upon it almost without reservation. Here follow my caveats.

As a point of interest, I have actually known several professional criminals after they resided as guests of the States of New York and New Jersey, so you know they were authentic if not always very competent. One of them, for example, insisted on using a large caliber rifle where a pistol would have done nicely.  The noise and bulk lead to his incarceration.  One should always use the right tool for the job.

As a life long student of crime and crime fiction, I would admonish him to consider shifting his focus at times from the moment of motivation (the inciting incident as it were) to the moment in which the criminal act actually begins.  It has more tension and it lends the character’s back story about how the actor got to doing what he or she is doing, a greater intensity. 

Secondly, I think the mechanics of crime – particularly guns -- though standard subjects in lots of crime fiction, are boring by themselves.  Professional criminals know their weapons and how they work.  However, a real professional is not friends with his gun.  He wants to be rid of it as soon as it has done its job.  It’s a tool to be used once. If you have to think about how it works, it’s not working properly. On the other hand, the choice of criminal technique and implements can be a reflection of character.  So you can work the gadgets and gimmicks in, they just need to have a narrative purpose in the storytelling.

Those two thoughts aside, Mr. Lister has a natural gift for character driven plotting.  The denizens of Death by Fiction seem sort of like rather psychotic versions of those you meet in Agatha Christie or the old game of “Clue.”  Their imaginary lives are often delightfully blood-thirsty, just as their erotic lives are plangent.

All murder mysteries allow the reader the pleasure of doing the murder they will not allow themselves to commit. To drive that point home to the potentially homicidal reader, the murderer almost always gets caught. In some cases, that takes the form of hard-boiled, edgy, pathological mayhem that Charles Willeford used to write. In others we are presented with a cozy killing that is decidedly less messy than the actual results of bludgeoning, shooting or stabbing each other.

Death by Fiction provides us with pleasing examples of both with a certain amount of sex to spice things up.  Surprising as it may seem, Mr. Lister’s characters are funny and frankly likeable, even when they are being diabolical.  That is what most reminds me of Donald Westlake.  It is that which makes you want to draw out reading Mr. Lister’s book.  It’s a pleasure to come back to with all its ironic kinks, characters and plot, much like the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, which are so rightly popular. A little playful perversity brightens one’s day in a world that has so clearly gone wacko. 

So as we all face the grimly saccharine specter of the Holiday Season before us, I suggest you take a pleasant trip through Death by Fiction for its leavening effect.  The real winter will be here soon, and we might as well get ready with some murderous hilarity.