The Marquise and the Novice - Victoria Ramstetter.
This feminist writer presents an interesting take on gothic erotic novels, presenting her characters filled with the ennui of the turn of the century heroines, but with much stronger cores. She evokes scenes from Northanger Abbey and Jane Eyre, and the lilting and melodramatic prose is reminsicent of the Bronte sisters earlier works.
Her words are luxurious and dreamy, and she captures the sense of terror and humane drama encroaching perfectly. It’s sometimes hard to make the strong willed and self sufficient women fit into the mould of the 18th century gothic novel, but I think Ramsetter manages to do it well, culminating in explosive and delicious sexual encounters that make your fingertips tingle.
Acolyte Kathleen Thorn leaves the security and pent up frustration of the nunnery to become a governess for the only child of a wilful, beautiful and mysterious Marquise Annaliese. She becomes entangled in the web of mysteries surrounding the dark and seductive woman and the manor she inhabits, and finds her innocent and naive virginal self being led down a tantalizing and mysterious path, that may culminate in death, drama or something equally Gothic and thrilling!