Being as I’m reading absolutely anything set in the seventeenth century at the moment, it’s no surprise that includes a bit of erotica, as Sweet Alice by Leelou Cervant is. I don’t mind erotica, it’s not totally my cup of tea, but neither am I against it. If you find explicit sex scenes unpleasant or offensive, this book is not for you!
A young woman in the wrong place at the wrong time—or was she?
For years, Alice Groulart has watched her late cousin’s husband, Anthony Knotfeld-Groulart, from the shadows, longing for his kisses and his heart. Then one evening, after inadvertently interrupting one of his dalliances, she becomes a willing participant when he demands compensation—a passionate episode that will have surprising results for both the sweet Alice and the cynical Anthony.
Set in 1680 (during the reign of Charles II), we meet Alice, a young and pleasant woman who has always been enamoured of her late cousin’s husband, Anthony. He doesn’t think much of her, but a scandalous incident leads to his wanting her attentions. I largely enjoyed this story, which is a very short novelette that I read in 45 minutes, so makes for a quick and well, titillating experience.
There were a few things that I thought could have been improved upon. For one thing, Anthony takes Alice’s voyeurism really well – completely unrealistically in my opinion, but I think I was thinking about it too much. Next, Alice seems overly keen on the scent of marigolds. She finds “marigolds and snapped off one of the bright blooms from its stem. Sniffing the flower she closed her eyes in appreciation”. This perplexed me so much (given that all the marigolds I’ve ever been around have given off a foul, cat urine odour), and I wondered if marigolds were even used much in the seventeenth century. So, I looked through my books, and came across John Parkinson’s work from 1629, entitled, “Paradisi in Soli Paradisus Terrestris”:
The herbe and flowers are of great use with us among other pot-herbes, and the flowers eyther greene or dried, are often used in possets, broths, and drinkes.
Fair enough, but I still think marigolds stink.
Lastly, the story needed a proofread as there were some typos that could have been avoided if it had been read (examples: it read “bit” instead of “bite”, “drug” instead of “dragged”, etc). I don’t blame the author because typos happen and writers often aren’t able to see these, but a fresh pair of eyes can.
In short: a fun, sexy romp if erotica is your thing.