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
To Rome With LustTo Rome With Lust
By: K D Grace
Xcite Books
ISBN: 178375592X
October 2014

Reviewed By: Sacchi Green

If you’ve already read the first two novels in KD Grace’s The Mount series, you probably don’t need to read this review, and have most likely already devoured this novel. I haven’t read them, and I even skipped the introduction section of the book out of a desire to let the main text reveal itself to me with no preconceptions except that of knowing KD Grace to be a first-rate erotica writer, so bear in mind that my early knee-jerk reactions were based on ignorance of the bigger picture. Still, there’s something to be said for knee-jerk reactions, so I’ll take you on this ride more or less the way I experienced it.

My first reaction: An olfactory superpower that lets her even catch emotions and hidden desires? Hmm. Well, okay, could be interesting, if done well. My second: Okay, with descriptions like, “There was no denying it was the primal smell of male. It was the smell of desert lightning, of sage and juniper and thick, dark night,” it’s being done well. In fact the most memorable parts of the book for me were the way the central character Liza describes what she smells. An angry stranger smells like “mustard and a wet dog.” Nervousness has a citric tang. Hot metal goes with a predatory nature. Curiosity is a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg, while coriander signals skepticism.  Cinnamon and vanilla figure strongly in sexual situations, along with various metallic tones, and so do honey and butter and tidepools and the ozone produced by lightning. Once in a while it occurred to me that in my experience some of the scents of human sensuality can’t really be compared to anything besides themselves, but what the heck, this is fiction, and if we readers can believe in the incredible sexual stamina of the characters, we don’t need to quibble about what’s possible and what isn’t. 

To say that sexual situations and their panoply of aromas figure prominently here would be an understatement of gargantuan proportions. Even apart from the sniff-fest aspects, the sex is varied, intense, and written with skill and style. The story’s plot line involves an elite perfume company in Rome creating an irresistible scent based on what Liza tells them about what she smells during sex, her own and that of others she monitors, so sex in all its various couplings and contortions isn’t just recreation, it’s research.

My third knee-jerk reaction: Just when I was getting really engrossed in the story, an apparently what-the-fuck ploy made me roll my eyes. Liza, arriving as a journalist writing a story about the perfume company, is sent to the depths of their building into the lair of the security officer, Fidelia, an over-the-top lesbian dominatrix (or at least she role-plays the part.) Somewhat later, cryptic references to The Mount and Fidelia made me roll my eyes—surely the story didn’t require a stereotypical secret sex club! If I had read the introduction, however, I’d have realized that The Mount was the central feature binding together a series of novels, and, as it turned out, was of importance well beyond its convenience for the aforementioned research.      

The plot also involves a business rival’s attempts to destroy the perfume company and incriminate Liza, a story line not by any means as interesting as the sexual and romantic and olfactory elements, or the lovely and striking descriptions of the beauties of Rome itself, but it does provide dramatic tension at almost the end. The very end, of course, is reserved for a tour-de-force of celebratory sex and scent that builds and then satisfies all the tension a reader could hope for. This reader, in fact, is downright envious of all the research the author must have done for such a scene. No fair skipping to it, though—it’s worth the wait.