Bound in Moonlight Paperback – Dec 26 2007
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
About the Author
Louisa Burton is a painter, writer, and collector of rare books who travels extensively, but whose home is in New York. She is a lifelong devotee of Victorian erotica, history, and mythology. Of particular interest to Louisa are the beings known by demonologists and mythologists as Sexual Demons: incubi, succubi, satyrs, djinn, and vampires, among others. With the Hidden Grotto series, beginning with House of Dark Delights, Louisa is weaving those passions together into an epic work of erotic fiction.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Never in her twenty-four pampered and cosseted years among New York City’s privileged Upper Ten had Emmeline witnessed acts of such appalling lechery, nor supposed that people of her own class might stoop to indulging in them.
She was determined to find Lord Hardwyck and be quit at once of this shameless château. Surely her distinguished and urbane fiancé had not suspected the nature of this bacchanalian house party when he accepted the invitation.
Such were her thoughts as she opened the door to which she had been directed by the countess in the leather mask. Emmeline was further comforted upon entering the room within and discovering it to be lined floor to ceiling and wall to wall with bookshelves. No doubt his lordship had spent the weekend ensconced in a secluded corner with his nose in some dusty old tome.
Imagine, dear Reader, our heroine’s dismay when her gaze lit upon Archibald Dickings, Baron of Hardwyck and heir apparent to the earldom of Upswinge, atop a polished mahogany writing table with his nose, along with the rest of his face, planted snugly between the thighs of one voluptuous blonde and his turgid shaft between those of another.
“I’m coming!” cried the latter as she strained against the silken cords that bound her hands and feet to the four legs of the table. “Oh, yes! God, yes! Oh! Oh!”
Upon hearing Emmeline’s gasp of horror, Lord Hardwyck looked up and blinked at her. “Miss Woodbridge. Fancy encountering you here. I didn’t even know you were in France.”
From Chapter One of Emmeline’s Emancipation by Anonymous, first published in 1903 by Saturnalia Press and reprinted since then in innumerable editions worldwide. A rare first edition from the original eight-hundred-copy print run sold in 2003 for $158,000 at Sotheby’s in New York.
k January 17, 1922 Steamboat Springs, Colorado
No, no, a thousand times no, I will not marry you. I will, however, ride you like a cowgirl as soon as I see you again. I mean, the moment I lay eyes on you, so I suggest you don’t meet my ship when it arrives, unless you want us both to be arrested for public indecency. Or don’t they care about that sort of thing in France? Probably not. God, I love the French. You most of all, naturellement.
You can’t imagine what it means to me in my present wretched situation, hearing from you (most especially when you relate one of your deliciously filthy little fantasies, like the one about you making a stag film starring moi). I reread your letters with pathetic regularity, like some moony sixteen-year-old. Thank God for Air Mail. Every morning I sit in my wheelchair in front of this enormous picture window in the front room of the inn, my poor smashed leg in its plaster cast propped up on the window seat, waiting for the mail. It arrives via the strapping, ruddy-cheeked young Nils, who delivers it on skis after picking it up in town, except of course when the weather won’t permit the mail plane to land.
Nils, who hails from Norway, is a silver-blond giant. I tend to gape at him, because you just don’t see men that tall in France. You tower over most of your countrymen, and you’re at least an inch or two shy of six feet. I read somewhere that the reason most Frenchmen are on the short side is that Napoleon turned all the tall ones into soldiers when he was trying to take over the world, and of course most of them didn’t live to reproduce. Weren’t there something like twenty-five thousand French casualties at Waterloo alone?
This is the kind of thing I start ruminating on ad nauseam while I sit here staring out at the snow and wishing I were back in Paris with you. I know I can’t stop whining about how bored I am, but you can’t imagine what it’s like, watching all the other guests tromp gaily away every morning with their skis over their shoulders while I languish here with my shattered leg, cracked arm, and abandoned dignity. At least it was the left arm I broke, so I can still hold a pen. I’ve been polishing (actually over-polishing) the article about the Steamboat Springs Winter Festival that Hearst sent me here to write. And composing epic letters to you, of course.
I shouldn’t complain so much about being bored. Kitty is wonderful company, as always, and at least I’m not being held hostage in that ghastly hospital anymore. Dr. Horney (God, what a miserable boyhood he must have suffered) will not change his tune no matter how much I plead and cajole. He insists I must wait until both casts are off before I can travel. Kitty says she won’t go with me if I try to leave before he saws off all this plaster, and I couldn’t possibly travel solo in this condition, so it looks as if I’m stuck here for at least another four weeks.
Your last letter was a delight, mon amour, except for that rather tedious harangue about me being a reckless thrillseeker who got what she asked for. You know damn well that I can handle myself on a pair of skis, or you should, after Montgenèvre. You told me I was the most accomplished female skier you’d ever seen—or is that the kind of applesauce you sell to every fresh new skirt you meet? In any event, you know I’ve been keen to try my hand at ski jumping. Pretty much the only reason I took this assignment was so that I could learn to jump from Carl Howelsen himself—and, of course, to watch the best jumpers in the world compete against one another. For your information, I completed over a dozen successful jumps before that nasty landing, which only happened because I was exhausted.
On a serious note, about your campaign to make me Mme. Rèmy Binet:
Touched as I am by your heartwarming observation that I “look and fuck” like a woman ten years my junior (ah, you romantic frogs), a subtraction of a decade would put me at thirty-four, which is, need I remind you, STILL TWO YEARS OLDER THAN YOU. But that’s not the only reason I won’t marry you. We’ve only known each other for a year, and although I can’t argue with you about our “extraordinary rapport” and “the deep communion of our souls,” there is still much you don’t know about me, such as the reason I’m so sour on the institution of marriage.
Suffice it to say that Emmeline’s Emancipation is something of a roman à clef. Which is to say, the events I described in that book actually happened, more or less. I changed the names of everyone involved, of course, and altered some details to make it more entertaining and more difficult to identify me as the author. The most major change was the setting. It didn’t take place in Scotland. It was a castle in France called Château de la Grotte Cachée.
I did, however, show up to find my betrothed giving it to two women, although it was in the dining room, not the library. The women weren’t both blond, though, just the one he was banging (who really was tied to the table, but with ordinary hemp rope, not silken cords). He was holding himself over her with his arms braced, eating out a dark-haired woman in a black corset, black opera gloves, and tall boots, who was kneeling in front of him. She had a riding crop, and she was whacking him on the ass, really putting her arm into it, barking instructions as to how he should fuck the blonde. “Pound her! Ram it in! Harder, you miserable weakling. Put your back into it! Squeeze that ass! Squeeze it!” In the book, both women are tasty young tomatoes, but in real life, although the dark-haired one was pretty, the blonde was a little more . . . real. She sported quite the chunky chassis even by the standard of the times, and I remember she had a really ugly bruise on her thigh.
The faithless fiancé was Randolph Lytton, Baron of Hickley and now the eighth Earl of Kilbury, his old man having turned up his toes between then and now. I must admit, he wasn’t quite as unruffled when I walked in on him as was his fictional counterpart, Archie, but neither did he seem particularly distressed. He honestly did seem more perplexed than anything else.
The rest played out much as it does in the book, and yes, there really was a charming young satyr with a rolling pin between his legs who took me in hand, as it were, but his name wasn’t Tobias. It was Inigo. And when I say he was a satyr, I don’t mean he was a lothario. I mean he very well may have been a satyr.
I can’t believe I just committed those words to paper.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Tutelage - Emmeline goes to the Grotto in search of her fiancé only to find him in flagrante delicto with two women. Disillusioned, she promptly breaks her engagement, but the weather and her curiosity have her remaining at the castle for a few more days. She is taken under the sexual wing of the satyr, Inigo. Her story is told as she reminisces the time in letters to her current lover.
Slave Week - Caroline Keating has been disowned by her family and is now penniless and homeless. When she is rescued one night by Lord Rexton, he tells her of a scandalous event, giving her an option in what looks to be a hard life. In an act of desperation she agrees to auction herself off for a week of sexual slavery at the Grotto.
Magic Hour - the present day Grotto's administrateur brings his daughter to the house in order to prepare her for her role as adminstrateur when he passes on. It has been an Archer family job, passed down from one generation to the next, for nine generations. A role she is not ready, nor does she want to take.
Each erotic tale is as unique as the heroine it is written about. Each story saturates the reader in a heavy dose of the sensual and the sexual, and this erotica is detailed, explicit and titillating. Nothing is taboo in the Grotto, anything goes, and the stories are definitely not for the prudish. While I like to think of myself as an open minded and audacious kinda gal, there were a few scenes in Slave Week that were a little too much for me; they edged a little too closely on the Sadomasochistic side for my tastes. It did not, however, ruin my enjoyment of the story, or the book on a whole. I found I liked each individual story for its own merits and when the third one ended I was more than bummed that this sinfully sexy ride was over. I have gone ahead and ordered the first book and look forward to reading the third. Ms. Burton is a gifted story teller, for sure.
Cherise Everhard, June 2008
"Slave Week". In 1817 Caroline Keating, a rector's daughter ruined two years ago by a soldier, has no prospects as her father tossed her out or money so in spite of remaining an innocent she agrees to be sold at auction as a sex slave for a week. Lord Rexton outbids an irate Lord Riddell for a week to do whatever he wants to his sex slave. He behaves like the immortal monster he is, but she sees otherwise.
"Magic Hour". In the late 1980s when she was sixteen, her mom went on vacation with her latest boy toy while her dad invited her to spend Christmas with him and his associates at Chateau des Freaks as she dubbed the Hidden Grotto. She had not retuned for nineteen years, but Isabel Archer is back as her dad, the castle's adminstrateur, asked her to come; he needs to persuade his offspring to accept her responsibility as she will replace him as adminstrateur like he replaced his parent, etc. After greeting dad, the reason she avoided the castle Mon Seignor Adrien Morel says hello.
This sequel to the delightfully erotica fantasy HOUSE OF DARK DELIGHTS contains three well written heated tales of forbidden star-crossed love. Readers will enjoy the sexcapades of fully developed lead couples as Louisa Burton provides a strong follow up anthology that will have fans wanting another tryst at Chateau de la Grotte Cachée where your inhibitions are left in Paris.
The second story features a maiden (well, almost) in distress, who sells her body but not her heart, so she can use the money to open her own school for children. If she didn't know just how much of her body she sold, well, she'll find out. Despite harsh moments, this ends happily.
The third and final story has no real erotic content, except sometimes in the background. Burton has created a small but complex world of supernatural erotic fantasy, which can be seen from many angles. As in her first collection, I found the finish to be the weakest of the set.
Burton's second book strikes me as an improvement on her first, but similar in some ways. In particular, her erotic energy didn't last to the end of the book - or did some other vision of the chateau intrude into this writer's mind and redirect it? Erotic romance has a wide audience, as does romantic erotica. The two readerships don't always overlap, though.
Another excellent book by Louisa Burton. If you enjoy well-written erotica interwoven with a large dose of mythology that slips into the real world, both past and present, you'll enjoy this book. Written in three parts, from different perspectives, at different points in time, it will be a difficult book to put down. Interesting characters, use of language and description that provides a quality read. Highly recommended.
Tutelage is the story of Emily Townsend and her experience at the chateau, as told through letters to her long time lover, Remy. While the story is interesting, mainly due to the exploits of those at the chateau, some language and turns of phrase seem too modern for the 1922 time period, and Emily can be somewhat one-dimensional.
Slave Week is, by far, the best of this volume. Fleshy characters with interesting back stories and lovingly developed story lines make up this tale. A week as a sexual slave would have been the very last avenue for a rector's daughter to secure money, but for one young woman it seems to be the only choice she has left. Ruined by love, and disowned by her family, Caroline Keaton has decided to end it all on the anniversary of her lover's death - his life lost at Waterloo two years before. Thinking death is better than living in squalor, she throws herself off the newly built Waterloo bridge into the freezing Thames. As she is being hauled off to gaol she meets the man who will change her life, Lord Rexton, who saves her from the asylum and introduces her to the Chateau de la Grotte Cachee. After arriving to the chateau, Caroline is exposed to a world of sex she could never have imagined, a world that she is both repulsed and entranced by. Purchased by her savior to save her from the abusive Dunhurst, the young novice learns the ecstasy of absolute pleasures and the heartbreak of betrayal.
Magic Hour finishes this volume, doing so by answering any lingering questions regarding the Folletts, as well as treating the reader to one more intensely intimate scene. This story, however, seems incomplete and more like a vignette than something of flesh. The brevity of it leaves the reader feeling a bit off kilter, much like Caroline in the previous story when Rexton delivered the "first part" of his "punishment" to her.
The chateau itself is described in such detail as to transport the reader to its darkened corridors filled with heat and desire, but too much detail can feel a bit tiresome. While the reader is not overwhelmed with description, it does become a bit tedious in one or two passages.
Bound in Moonlight might best be approached like a sexual encounter for the mind; Tutelage, the foreplay, loosens the reader up, easing them into the mood with tidbits shared via letters to a lover, while Slave Week is the act of intimacy itself, long and sensual, and Magic Hour is the moment just after climax when the lovers are recovering from their fervent intimacy. Though the narrative is sometimes lacking, and the characters (mainly in Tutelage and Magic Hour) lacking depth, Bound in Moonlight is worth a read for anyone who enjoys the genre.