Disclaimer: The author is [personal profile] oracne, a pal of mine.

On the eve of WWI, English chemist Lucilla, who has been working in Germany with mostly-unfriendly male colleagues, gets trapped in suddenly-hostile territory. She teams up with Fournier, another scientist, a French man ten years younger than her, in order to escape. They end up in a room with only one bed. I’m sure you can guess what happens next, and is repeated periodically during their escape to France. While I had trouble suspending my disbelief that there would be quite that much sex when their time would be better spent running for their lives, the romance between two misfit geeks is very sweet and sexy.

Meanwhile, a number of English soldiers, with secrets ranging from being gay to being a werewolf, arrive in Germany to fight. They, Lucilla, Fournier, and others get enmeshed in a complicated tangle of romantic relationships, spy missions, battles, and a quest to take down a German scientist’s secret werewolf laboratory.

This unusual erotic novel reminds me of really excellent fanfic from some alternate universe in which there’s a TV show about werewolves in WWI. As fanfic, it would make complete sense: plotty, well-researched, and full of sweet character moments, interspersed with sizzling m/m, m/f, and m/m/f sex scenes.

As an original novel, it’s oddly situated in terms of genre: much more sex than one would expect in fantasy, and much more plot than one would expect in erotica. But taken on its own quirky terms, it’s highly enjoyable. The characters are likable and rather diverse (first Jewish hero I’ve ever encountered in erotica), the sex scenes are hot and varied, and I absolutely loved the werewolves.

The early scenes with Lucilla and Fournier turned out to be the only time when I didn’t really believe that anyone would have sex – the other scenes take place either when the characters get a break from the action anyway, or it’s psychologically plausible that they’d make a desperate grab at feeling alive when they think they might get killed at any moment. (My favorites, for the record, were the threesome and the foxhole frottage.)

I wish the book had been longer, and had a higher ratio of plot and character to sex, as it sometimes felt rushed and breathless. But I applaud the “everything and the kitchen sink” approach to story and character, and it’s better to be left wanting more than wanting less.

Since I know the author, I will take advantage of that to ask a question, since I got quite fond of the characters: they all miraculously survive the war, right? More or less in one piece? Right?

The Moonlight Mistress
oracne: turtle (moonlight mistress)

From: [personal profile] oracne

They totally all survive in one piece. They all survive WWII as well. Take that, tragedic historical novels!

From: [identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com

*nod* I set it aside during that early portion because I couldn't quite buy their reasons for sex, but I will have to pick it up again. All else was highly enjoyable, but I had trouble making the mental adjustment.

From: [identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com

LOL! Oh I knew good stuff was coming. I think the mixture of the situation (major tense time) and the readiness to leap into sex disconcerted me. I think I still have trouble with the two compartments==either erotica, or a plot story. Like that one Spymaster's Daughter, that one I couldn't read at all because I couldn't believe the dangerous situation while the two were steaming over each other. But that one also wasn't nearly as well written as yours is.

From: [identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com

But that one also wasn't nearly as well written as yours is.

*blink* Thank you! Today is a good day to be complimented.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

I think I still have trouble with the two compartments==either erotica, or a plot story.

Me too, actually. I think I do best with "action action action/okay now we are holed up but not expecting an attack, let's have post-adrenaline rush sex!/action action action..."

From: [identity profile] red-anastasia.livejournal.com

"Foxhole Frottage." This needs to be a band name. ASAP.

From: [identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com




*assumes professional tone*

I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

There's going to be a Spice Brief about Hailey. She's actually going to end up with someone different, but there will be a menage scene as well, with Gabriel and Crispin.

I think the story's odd situation is one of the main reasons it didn't take off, saleswise. It was very fun to write, though. I felt very free during the process.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Ah, thank you for the reassurance.

Is the Spice Brief (as opposed to Boxer?) ;) going to be available on Kindle?

From: [identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com

I assume so; at least, currently there are Briefs available on Kindle, anyway. Mine isn't due until September 1, so it'll be a while until it's out.

If it isn't on Kindle, Something Can Be Arranged.

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