Grave Desires

in the middle of somewhere

Title: Grave Desires
Author: William Holden
Publisher: Lethe Press
Release Date: October 5, 2015
Genre(s): Horror, Erotica, Anthology
Page Count: 166
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

“Theirs smells of sweat, sperm, and blood. In short, to my body and my thirsty soul it offers devotion. It was because their world contains these erotic conditions that I was bent on evil.” – Jean Genet, The Thief’s Journal The imagination of William Holden is one that values sweat and sperm and blood. And shadows to hide the rivulets of these fluids as they descend and drip from the naked flesh of men. These tales of homoerotic horror haunt a reader long after the eye moves from the last words on a page. Stories of a lecherous carnival barker who deal in breath and souls, a town where Halloween has become more than playful tricks and sweet treats, the promise of desire at the razor’s edge of life and death.

You probably think, why she reads Haloween horror stories in the Advent season where everyone is supposed to read sweet romance books that smell of roasted almonds, cinnamon and glühwein, that are sweet and cute and… *sorry, mama!*.. sooo fucking predictable in their HEA and their foreseeable turns and twists and…soooo christmassilly similar…

There are two reasons…oh, actually there are more than one, but I don’t want to bother you with mathematics:

It’s William Holden. One of those numerous great authors that are still remained- unfortunately- undiscovered by the majority of MM readers. WHAT A SHAME.

It is William Holden, who is FOR ME one of the best authors of a historical gay erotica. But actually his home field is HORROR. And I NORMALLY don’t watch and read horror. I got used to this thought. BUT, on the other hand, as a teenager I was VERY fond of Stephen King. Why do I avoid the genre NOW?! Why not to try it again? Besides…*see above*

As I considered myself as a NON-HORROR and a NON-ANTHOLOGIE fan, I was positively surprised how I really enjoyed this horror collection. I think that EVERY single story could be a good basis for a long length novel. But on the other hand, I’m glad that they ARE short stories. What I LIKE most of all here: they all, really all, have an ending you won’t expect. EVERY SINGLE STORY is totally utterly unpredictable.

For every gay horror erotica fan, for every gay anthology fan and for everyone who LIKES to try something different HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

My personal overview:


Conclusion: Are you sure you can blindly trust your life partner?

The Midnight Barker

“I am everything you desire. I am everything you fear.” Vampires of another art. I’m safe. As a woman.


Eye for an eye.. That was very bloody. But without any sexual context. (I’d go up to the end.)


The porniest until now. Everyone got what he wanted or did I understand it wrong?!

The Pull

It was a proper revenge (in name of all hurt EXs). VERY BLOODY MESSY revenge.

The last train

Orgasm as an energy supplier. HOOOT.


An old regular vampire family. But a bit different ending. Why not?

The Dark One

An old acquaintance, but a different victim…

The Lustrum

Probably the best story of this anthology.

Skip Deep

That was pretty disgusting insecting!


Here’s the ANSWER why I don’t think pumpkins are tasteful!

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Advanced Review Copy

ARC of Grave Desires provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


A passionate reader from Germany. I learned to read at the age of 4 and never stopped since then, though my books from that time were very different from what they are now. English is my third language, and I'm sorry for all grammar mistakes I made in my reviews. But I assure you, that my reading English is much better than my writing English. I'm a seeker for the books that differ from mainstream, that provoke the reader or have very often very opposite ratings.