Time for another collection of stories by one of my favourite authors M.E. Hydra… Last week I reviewed his first collection called A Succubus for Christmas and Other Tales of Devilish Delights which you can find here on the Tale. He followed that collection with another holiday themed one called A Succubus for Valentine’s Day and Other Tales of Perilous Pleasures, which I will be reviewing today on the Tale…
- Title: A Succubus for Valentine’s Day and Other Tales of Perilous Pleasures
- Author: M. E. Hydra
- Publishing Date: February 11, 2011
- Length: 277 Pages
- ISBN-10: 1453701109
- ISBN-13: 978-1453701102
- ASIN: B004NEW16A
- This work in Paperback Format at Amazon.com
- This work in Kindle Format at Amazon.com
- This work at Smashwords.com
- Many Eyed Hydra’s Blog
This collection of stories is about:
Alluring, exotic, delectable, sexy…dangerous. M. E. Hydra returns with a second collection of thirteen sizzling stories featuring seductive succubi, amorous aliens and other sexy femme fatales. “A Succubus for Valentine’s Day” shows the perils of letting a succubus play cupid. Two tourists discover a dark secret of Amsterdam in “Venus of the Red Lights”. In “Knight vs. Succubus”, a knight battles for his life and soul against a cunning and seductive demon. A man finds out his pleasure planet of blue-skinned alien babes is not as it seems in “The Spiders of Thomisoidus”. And finally, a young man has a very special date in “A Summer Dance with a Succubus”. Prepare again to be both seduced and shocked by these and other tales of wicked, sensual predators. They’ll give you pleasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors beyond your darkest nightmares…
Again, as in the previous review, I will be reviewing the individual stories and then the work as a whole:
A Succubus for Valentine’s Day – The gift that appeared in the story A Succubus for Christmas is given to someone that can be best described as smitten for a girl in his office. The gift summons a Succubus and she promises him that she can get him his heart’s desire… But all gifts and promises come with a price. Initially the story has a lot of heart in it, but then the twist in the tail arrives and it becomes quite a bit darker. Overall I liked the story and the Succubus a lot, but the ending I expected wasn’t what I got and that was a little bit disappointing.
Initial Infiltration – Another trip into what the author has called “H-Space” for a group of soldiers. One of them discovers what appears to be a woman laying on a bed in the middle of nowhere and he investigates… and she investigates him too. Not a Succubus story, more of an alien one and in that vein what happens in the story makes quite a lot of sense really. Well written, and there is a place for the story to go to at the end of it that I didn’t expect when it started, but… it was missing something… I just found myself skimming over the work which bothered me when it ended.
Succubus Summoning 101 – A pair of students at a school for Warlocks decide to summon some Succubi for fun thinking that they know everything about them… turns out that they should have paid more attention to Succubus 101 in the first place. The author turned this short story into a much longer and detailed, and frankly, much more interesting story this past year. But as a teaser to the book called Succubus…. it really brings up all sorts of questions for me. An enthralling story with interesting characters and that makes the difference. At the end of the story, you just really want to know more than is told.
Puffed Up – A superhero faces a den of “evil” thinking that it is just another supervillian in town… he couldn’t be more wrong. The method the Succubus uses in this story to have her way with the hero of the story is one that I had never seen before and I thought that it was a unique means of action for her. The fact that it fit so well into a sub-plot of the story just made it work so much better still. I don’t like superhero stories all that much, but I liked this one.
The Spiders of Thomisoidus – Humans have found a new world, but there are spiders that are a threat and lots of sexy alien women around them… but there is a problem with that… and secrets to discover. I haven’t found a lot of erotic scifi stories that I like, but this one had a purpose and more in it I think. There is a reveal that links to the beginning of the story and when it comes it is, in a way, sad for how human beings can be and act when true horror is hidden from view. Well written and I really liked this story a lot.
Delivery Special Soap – A man suffers from nightmares and visions of a woman in black that calls to him over and over again. After getting some mental help, he is referred to a specialist who… helps him. Not a Succubus story, but the comparison of light and dark, pleasure and pain was fascinating to read. I honestly didn’t expect the ending of this story, and it actually made me smile when it came. Lovely read and a well done story and idea…
Knight vs. Succubus – A knight pauses in his travels and finds shelter… he also finds a Succubus waiting for him and they do battle. The underlying theme in this story is one of regret, of revenge, and how that can, and it always does, turn back on those that least suspect it. One of the better Succubi in this collection of stories who uses all of her powers, and more so her plots and plans to her own gains. Excellent read and I would like to see where this story would lead to someday…
Interrocution – The Don from the previous collection of stories returns with his Succubi, one of them in particular, and she has her way with someone that didn’t play by the Don’s rules. I really liked the first story in this setting and in this story the world is expanded a lot really. The Succubus in this story is… well. not so much sexy and in it for the sex as much as she is into being a Dominatrix… Another well written story and I thought that she was an excellent representation of the darker side of Succubi in all of their particular glory…
Crushed Between Her Breasts – A woman asks for revenge on a man that has wronged her. Two Succubi fulfill her request. One of the more… interesting powers of Succubi in this story. But there is a lesson to be learned by the end of it, which I think was well played by the author. Not my favourite story, but overall a good deal of revenge served to someone that deserved it.
Venus of the Red Lights – Some friends visit the rd light district of Amsterdam, and one of them is draw to a woman in a window… and is trapped by her. It’s mainly a horror story, and a well done one really. Not my particular like, and it was a little bit squeamish for me personally, but again well written and laid out.
The Soul Worm – A group of soldiers in H-Space arrive at a cavern where previous teams have been lost… and lost… and lost again. Not a Succubus story again, very much a horror story which seems to be the point of H-Space really now that I think about it. Didn’t personally enjoy it for the horror that overrode everything else in this work.
Foam Shower – A man is swimming in a public pool late at night and finds a woman watching him… and things move onto the showers from there. Very much a Succubus story, if with powers that I wouldn’t have expected one to have. The thing is, this story came to an end much too soon. Such a tease at the end of the story and I would like to find out more about what it was all about and where the story goes next.
A Summer Dance with a Succubus – Terry wants to go to a dance and he makes a date with someone very special that gives him all that he could ask and more. By far, simply by far, this is the story that I read over and over again for the beauty, caring, and love that is in it. Nicole, the Succubus that I adored from the first collection of stories returns and I couldn’t be happier. This story tugged at my heart from the beginning, and, when the reveal about Terry appears I couldn’t help but cry. What made the story perfect was that Nicole was, truly, an angel in this story to Terry and it proved to me that my first impressions of her are true. She has a soul, she cares, and she is, truly, what I believe is possible for a true Succubi to be. Pleasure, ecstasy, beauty and intelligence. It just took my breath away when the story came to its conclusion and to say it was wonderful isn’t enough by far.
I personally think that the author writes well. Their Succubi are interesting and have personalities that are unique and interesting in all of the stories that they appear in. But more so, I think that their real writing ability comes when they move away from a story that drives towards horror alone and into one that has meat in it, characters to care about, and an ending that has, if not hope, then some light in it.
There should be a bit of a change in what happens to most of the men that run into Succubi at least, the aliens and other creatures can take care of the horror well enough honestly. The erotic moments are wonderful, almost perfect in every way, but, going from the pleasure into pain is… well…
It doesn’t have to always happen… Nicole is a case in point, and while there is a bit of darkness in her, she is so much more than that…
And isn’t that the point of characters? To be more than we expect them to be?
I’ll give this work four and a quarter out of five pitchforks.
Just a few more stories that didn’t do much for me this time. At bit less horror, a lot more Nicole, and darn it all I really want to see one full book about her alone. That would be an amazing read…
There will be a review of the next work in this author’s series next Friday…