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
Oysters & Chocolate: Erotic Stories of Every FlavorOysters & Chocolate: Erotic Stories of Every Flavor
Edited By: Jordan La Rousse
Contributions By: Samantha Sade
NAL Trade
ISBN: 0451226828
May 2009

Reviewed By: Steven Hart

Reading Oysters and Chocolate edited by Jordan LaRousse and Samantha Sade makes me think of Paris.  The French have a peculiarly vivid understanding of how, why and when you should put things in your mouth.  These stories are bonbons, those being the plump round candies that are filled with assorted lush, sweet, mysterious flavors.  They are designed to surprise and intoxicate one a little. 

The bonbon – like each of these stories -- is made with French chocolate, which, unlike any other country’s chocolate, has a deeply complex, unique flavor invoking a wide range of tastes and senses.  It is not simply sweet, but arrogant in its defiance of the usual Nestle’s.  It is unapologetically a little bitter and can even bring a sensual sort of remorse for too much pleasure, while remaining inescapably delectable. Such is the nature of this book.  If you are not an epicure of sex, you might feel a little guilty for reading it.  If your erotic palate is cultivated, why then chow down, I say, with vigor.

Each story stands like a solitary oyster; it’s promise is discovered by the unraveling of its deep, moist, slippery folds.  They may have a familiar literary structure, but the saucy treatment is always unique.  The oyster at its best has the tangy bite of the sea and glides carelessly – if not recklessly – over the tongue on its way down the throat. Anyone cultivated in the eating of oysters will tell you that this unpredictable, slightly wild, eagerness adds greatly to the allure of consuming them.  These stories often finish with a fillip of unexpected spice.

The book is organized in a series of alternating narrative themes so that each presents itself to the reader as an unpredictable, but tasty erotic amuse-gueule of its own particular sort – gay, SM, lesbian even straight, what have you.  They all contain a highly charged level of genuinely artful sexiness which is made all the more appetizing by the presence of some small, subtle but powerful degree of irony.  The editors have made reading this book a delicious act of play very much like the experience of slow and patient dining with a lover.  Each heated thrust, spank, kiss and slurp is moistened by dewy grace notes of authentic wit.  Thus we may say of Oysters and Chocolate that we have here an offering for the erotic pallet that is truly for once, original.

One might venture to guess that part of that is the fact that the table of contents is populated by so many new voices in our sub-genre. Better still, we have what appears to be a new imprint on the scene in “Heat” from Penquin Books.  Those little well-dressed birds know what they are doing.