Received from the author
From the BLURB:
Belle Walker lives in a strict society where women are treated as property, sold to the highest bidder soon after their eighteenth birthday. But the auction isn’t the only danger. Though she’s never seen them, she knows monsters live outside the city. These creatures have allowed the humans a small area to inhabit with the promise to leave them in peace as long as they never cross the boundary. On the day Belle is sold, one of the monsters breaks that promise and enters the city, intent on having her as his own.
Set in an ambiguous future, humanity has left behind the ‘source planet’ and settled in a new and backwards world. Science and technology have regressed, books are artefacts and women are commodities once again. On her eighteenth birthday Annabelle ‘Belle’ Walker, along with other ripe young women, are being auctioned to the highest bidder. Under the pretence of redistributing city funds, nubile young women are put on the block and sold for a price – the lucky ones have family members and lovers who will buy them back and set them free. But for the unlucky sold it’s a life of quiet humiliation . . . or, as Belle is about to discover, something much worse.
Belle’s fiery spirit attracts the wrong sort of buyer – a monster from the city outskirts, a dragon-man with red skin and orange eyes, sharp teeth and an impressive wing-span. Belle is taken back to his cave, where she will pleasure both him and his blue-skinned brother, referring to them as ‘Master’ and ‘Sir’ respectively.
But will this monster be Belle’s end, or will he help set her free?
‘The Auction’ is a new novella from dark literary erotica author, Kitty Thomas.
I love Kitty Thomas. Honestly, she can do no wrong. I haven’t read a novel of hers that I haven’t loved, and ‘The Auction’ is another slice of perfection from her deliciously dark pen.
You wouldn’t know it to look at the beautiful front cover, but ‘The Auction’ is actually a sci-fi/dark erotica novelette. Although this gorgeous renaissance-feel cover doesn’t scream ‘sci-fi’, it actually leads into the world-building of ‘The Auction’. In this indeterminate future, humanity has had to relocate from Earth and in the process society has taken a giant leap backwards. Women are property once again – to be traded and sold according to the gavel of the auctioneer. Thomas does swift world-building and orientation for the reader with regards to this new-world/old-world society – almost conjuring the universe of Joss Whedon’s ‘Firelfy’.
We see this strangely regressed world through the eyes of Belle Walker. She is a young woman who has found fascination in the books of the past, and has come to articulate the auctioning of women as a barbaric and bizarre – likening it to virginal sacrifice and debutante balls. Belle has been dreading her auction and has been preparing for her day of sale. She has been strategically pleasuring the city’s richest sons; in the meagre hopes of gaining their coin and her freedom upon purchase. But she doesn’t count on an outskirts monster raising his hand for the highest bid.
When Belle is taken to the monster Master’s cave and introduced to his brother, ‘Sir’ (her other bed-mate) she is shocked, horrified . . . and aroused. These men are dragon-like, with wings, blue and red-tinged skin and reddened eyes. But they are also thoroughly masculine; lean and muscled to perfection. Belle cannot believe the way she wants them, and is willing to succumb to them. Her obvious arousal in captivity perverts her conscience and she wonders if she is losing a bit of her soul and dignity, bit by bit, every time she wantonly and willingly succumbs to these brothers . . .
He loomed, his shadow spreading over me like something that was separately alive and sentient, something that might want to do wicked things with my body. Something I might invite inside.“Come, now,” he snarled.
I loved the world Kitty Thomas created. It’s a little bit sci-fi, with a touch of historic slavery and plenty of dark erotica. I thought the inclusion of ‘monster masters’ was quite ingenious – so often in Kitty’s works the dominant (human) male is bordering on demonic (‘Comfort Food’, being a prime example). But in ‘The Auction’ the heroine’s sexual partners are, literally, monsters – and one of them even has a devilish resemblance. It’s a nice bit of fantasy to play with. And, this being a Kitty Thomas novel(la); the sex scenes are divinely delicious. This is a short story, 20000 words, but she takes the time to write languorous and decadently-detailed sex scenes that will leave readers sizzling.
My only complaint about ‘The Auction’ is that it was too short! I wanted more, more, more! I would love to read another novella set in this universe (perhaps revisiting the monster family?) or even a full-length novel set in the same world. ‘The Auction’ was another lovely bit of sexy-sinister writing from the darkly talented erotica author, Kitty Thomas.
Kitty's next novella is coming soon, and is mermaid-themed. I can't wait!