Authors Emerian Rich and H. E. Roulo come together to bring you Rich & Roulo…
a fiction series harkening back to vaudevillian days where madness bordered on greatness, misery became wisdom, and beauty was found in even the most broken doll.
Volume 1: DESIRE pushes the boundaries between burlesque and grotesque, featuring a pair of twisted obsession stories and one very naughty poem.
A faded tome wrapped with a red velvet ribbon falls into your possession.
A note attached reads, “To my love.”
As you open it, the spine creaks. Spiders scramble out and skitter across your leg. Startled, you rise and the book thuds to the floor in a puff of perfume-scented dust. Picking it up, you find the velvet ribbon crumbling. It breaks. Where the ribbon had formed a cross holding the novel shut, the cover is still dark and gold leafing inscribed in whirls outlines sensual bare flesh but the rest has faded away, leaving only a hint of naked lovers once sprawled across the luxurious leather…
If you’re looking for a quick horror read, that’s at times erotic, this collection is for you. The beginning hooks the reader in because the narrator is speaking directly to us, asking us to stay for the “show”. These pieces are well-written and engaging and will have you turning the pages, and even hunting down the next installment. After all, this is volume one.
The two pieces that stood out for me were the short stories. “Stripping the Zipper” follows a narrator who somewhat reluctantly goes to a club to be part of a fetish fashion show. Her friend asked her to, so she talks herself into going through with it to keep her word. As the story progresses, something shifts. The peculiar mark on the protagonist’s body has always been covered with a bandage, but in order to look smashing in the latex dress on the runway, she frees herself from it. By doing so, she unleashes a whole lot more. I can’t tell you anything beyond that or I’ll ruin the story, but I can tell you that it gets weird and gory, right up to its conclusion. Horror element successfully achieved.
“The Vampire King” is not your typical vampire tale. Set in what feels like the past, some nebulous medieval place, we are immersed in a world where maintaining a royal rule over blood thirsty subjects is not an easy task, especially when one is driven by the lust for blood as well as the flesh. The descriptions and imagery are what make this story an enjoyable read. And, I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s also a commentary on gender roles as the king and queen of this realm are at each other’s throats (see what I did there?). The drive for power and survival culminates in a satisfying end, at least for one of these vampires.
So, grab a copy of this book, especially if you have Kindle Unlimited. If not, it’s still a mere $0.99. Well worth the investment.