Smut Shelf Review: Whispers of the Flesh by Louisa Burton

Whispers of the Flesh by Louisa Burton

I picked up this book in the dreamlike frenzy of “OMG-how-much-off??” Borders closing sales, but that doesn’t make it any less of a good read. I had previously leafed through the next book in the series, In The Garden of Sin, and as such knew a little bit about the main(ish) characters, Elic and Lili – a gender-changing Incubus and a Succubus, respectively.

Ms. Burton manages to weave an eminently readable story, providing – in my opinion – just enough imagery, background and emotions to balance the sex scenes that are liberally sprinkled throughout the book. As with the previous installment in this four-book series, two different stories are in the book. The first covers a historical peek back in time, while the other fast-forwards to more-or-less present day. This provides a nice pair of tales set on the same stage – the lush French estate of the Grotto Cachee, rife with secret pathways, mysterious hot springs, magic and well-endowed satyr statues.

In the first tale, a Jesuit student arrives at the estate under the guise of performing landscaping duties. Seduced by the lovely Lili despite his religious beliefs and restrictions, their eventual romp is the satisfying product of a spirited teasing chase. In the second story, which is slightly more involved and may need more concentration from the reader, a love story blooms between two of the estate’s caretakers, interspersed with peeks back in time to a 1960’s orgy as well as the kink-ridden escapades of the Grotto’s resident satyr.

If you like your smut classy and supported by backstory, look to Ms. Burton’s works. Her biography-emphasized love of demonology and Victorian fiction comes through clearly, offering an end product that appeals to the mind as much as more scandalous parts. Letters to Penthouse this is not, although kink, dirty talking, and even drug use are eloquently addressed by various supporting characters as the story meanders to the last pages.

As an aside, if Whispers of the Flesh is NC-17, In The Garden of Sin was XXX. Select accordingly if you want to forge into this author’s excellent works.

Whispers of the Flesh can be purchased for $11.05 over at 

Leave a comment »