PJV Quickie: I hadn’t read a good erotic romance in a long time, so I was excited to jump head first into Xandra King’s erotica collection. No pun intended. The story is set in a historical setting, so I was unsure how much I would enjoy this, since my taste usually doesn’t sit well with historical romances because of the heroine’s tendencies to be lorded over by the hero. But, these two stories, Celestina and the Sultan and Celestina, Warrior Queen were a bit different then the usual historical erotica. I did enjoy reading them, King’s writing style is flowery and she puts a lot of emphasis on the dialogue, world and the characters, instead of the sex, even though everything is about the sex. Which has both a positive and negative effect on the entire story.

Review: The story covers a cloistered orphan, raised by nuns and then sold to the sultan. The young girl is taught the “erotic arts” and then married off to the sultan to take her place in his harem. Celestina is a very sexual character and her teaching isn’t anything that bothers her, even though she was raised to think of sex as bad. There is a lot of discussion of what goes on in the harem and Celestina being stimulated, but there isn’t a ton of description. King uses very flowery descriptions of the sexual acts which lends to the atmosphere of the harem and setting, but might leave a reader, who is used to more descriptive erotica, feeling let down. Sexy, but in that fade to black sort of way. This is very romantic erotica. More on lines with very sexual romance instead of the more, pornographic erotica.

Recommendations: For fans of the more “old school” types of erotica. This is a good transition from Romance to erotica if you are looking to test the waters.