Lust in Winter is a quirky sort of a book. It's a collection of four paranormal erotic stories: the first starring Greek gods and their subjects, the second adult Christmas fairies, the third winter ghosts, and the fourth a romantic vampire.
Sugar and Ice, the first story with the Greek gods, was my favourite. I feel it got the balance of sex and story just right. In this story, Candy, a young hypersensitive bohemian woman who copes with her emotions by cooking, finds herself infatuated with Hawk, a high powered bank president. But unbeknown to both of them, Hawk is a frost giant, who the Greek god Loki is trying to provoke into anger for his own purposes.
The story undulates through their tribulations and keeps you interested by not revealing which information is relevant to the core plot. For example, I kept expecting the cat to have a bigger role in the conclusion. I also enjoyed how the two main characters connected in the dream world.
The next story, Dark Christmas Wish, was the most obscure and explicit. A team of Father Christmas's "Adult Wish" fairies set about fulfilling the sexual wishes of an insatiable vampire and his clan. For me, it was a bit too extreme and too raw. It seemed like the result of dominance and submission fantasy with plot filling in the gaps between sex scenes. It could be that reading about dominance is tiring for me because, being male, it is the role you're expected to fill in real life.
Desires of the Winter Women, the third story, held my interest to the end. It is set up as a conflict over a man between two ghosts, Yuki and Tsurara, who are sisters. The addition of a vengeful demon, Tariaksuq, escalates the conflict. Tariaksuq has a long grudge with Yuki, who has a long grudge with Tsurara, who turns to Tariaksuq for help. The sex scenes range from romantic to abusive, making for a expansive read.
I enjoyed the final story, Dreamwalker, despite feeling on occasion that it was a little cliché. Zach, the vampire and love interest in the story, is both dominant yet pandering and vengeful yet friendly, depending on what the situation requires. Either he is too perfect, or he is confused. Apart from that though, I thought the characters we very good. Leona, who is blinded by her sociopathic ex Bobby, and her friend Zoe make for very believable BFFs. Bobby is also uncomfortably realistic. The story is basically about how Leona builds trust with Zach, how Zach resists his urge to feed on her blood, and their ultimate resolution to this problem.
Lust in Winter took me outside my usual genre of reading, and made me appreciate the elements that make up a good story regardless of genre. If you're into erotica and like short, easy reads, Lust in Winter could be worth a look.