by Lucy A. Snyder (with Kaysee Renee Robichaud)
Creative Guy Publishing (2013)
I first discovered Lucy A. Snyder's writing through her urban fantasy series, which features Jessie Shimmer, a young and rebellious wielder of magic. A pretty sexy character, but I don't recall Jessie Shimmer getting so unabashedly down and dirty as she does in the first story of Orchid Carousals. This isn't your grandmother's urban fantasy, folks. This is some seriously erotic fantasy, and if your grandma is into that, then she must have been really fun at parties back in the old days.
Orchid Carousals is a collection that works as a bit of an after-hours glimpse into the worlds of Snyder's imagination. "At the Royal Orchide" is a two-parter, starting off as an exploration of two friends becoming way more than that, then transitioning into an exploration of a different sort among three friends. There's as much humor as there is hot, steamy sex with that story, which suits Jessie Shimmer just fine.
"Biscuit", co-authored with Kaysee Renee Robichaud, goes a different route with a little more romance, and even more magic, as a young man picks up a beautiful mage shortly after a botched heist. The former roommate of Jessie winds up not just having a wild ride with the woman, but her magical talents give him a literal out-of-body experience.
Then things switch into a more sci-fi vibe with "Fall of Darkness" and "In the Wilderness." After that though, the stories become much shorter, almost aperitifs more than anything else. A couple poems and the rest being flash fiction that is little less explicit and more brief than I would have liked. That said, it's the first two-thirds of the book that really carry the reading experience and make Orchid Carousals worth reading.
I'm not done reading all of the Jessie Shimmer novels, so I have a hunch that I'll see a stark difference in just how hot and heavy things get in those novels compared to what's inside this book's pages. I don't remember any demons doing it in the first novel, Spellbent. But, with Snyder the one doing the writing, I'll know it'll be entertaining all the same.