There’s something about this time of year that always gets
me reading more—if that’s humanly possible. I love being curled up in front of
the fire with a glass of wine, a dog at my feet and a book in my hand. Ghostly
tales make that fire especially cozy, and Dale Chase’s collection, If The
Spirit Moves You, will warm you up for
other reasons as well.
One might expect a collection of ghost-themed erotica to get
a bit samey after a while, but Chase’s imagination is as active as her spirits
and not one story here sounds like another. The book kicks off with “Secondary
Spirits,” the tale of Victor and Alan and the ghost of Victor’s voyeuristic
Aunt Pearl. Not content to let sleeping queers lie alone, Pearl brings along
her Cousin Elmo for a little ghostly action, nearly breaking the couple up.
Next up is the library-haunting George Selvin of “Stacks,”
who enters into a torridly literary affair with Ethan, a writer and fellow
devotee of Henry James. Chase continues her winning streak with the housebound
spirits Edgar and Martin of “Homeowners’ Nightmare,” who dish—and scare the
bejesus out of—the people who inhabit the 1924 bungalow they can’t seem to
leave, even in death. But Edgar and Martin find their own relationship
threatened when the charming gay couple Bill and Mike move in.
But as inventive and entertaining as these stories are, they
don’t quite prepare you for “The Object of My Affection,” which finds
antique-hunter Cliff sexually obsessed by … well, a piece of furniture. A
haunted, green Biedemeier fainting couch, to be specific. How does one have it
off with a fainting couch, you may ask? Well …
out to finger the topmost scroll, I received a jolt that ran from
to shoulder to midsection to crotch and I stood prodding mahogany
now seemed hot to the touch as I worked my swollen prick. Much as
night before, pleasure coursed through the whole of me to such an
I thought my legs might buckle, so I sank onto the worn green
which set up a tingling in my butt cheeks and then the sensation
something prodding between them.
Obsession and addiction to the spirit world become an
underlying theme tying all these stories together into one, grand whole. The
stories are separate, yet all of a piece. Each of them has something unique,
however—a classy turn of thought or a skewing of your typical ghost yarn. From
the love affair interrupted by death then resumed in “Jack-In-The-Mist” to the
book’s closer, “The Muse,” in which a writer has a sexual and creative affair
with a ghost masquerading as his muse, these tales are creative, haunting and
hot. It’s the perfect companion on a chilly autumn night.
Unless you can find a Biedemeier of your own, that is.
Reviewed by Jerry Wheeler