Happily Ever Before By Jaye Valentine
Featuring the White Queen and Red Knight from Lewis Carroll’s "Through the Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There," this erotic short story by Jaye Valentine incorporates Carrollian elements of nonsensical comparison and White Queen-specific time distortions, all wrapped up in a pretty, gender-bending package.
[I love the font on this and the sand castle but the weird pink color is just.. weird. I also hate that red band on the top of all Noble books. I don’t mind branding their books but just not a fan of the red band.]
In the same tradition as Lewis Carroll’s classic where time is not exactly linear, Valentine expands on that idea while adding a heavy dose of erotica. Happily Ever Before throws time into question – does it run backwards, forwards, or stop altogether – while showing appearances can be deceiving. Not an easy story and one that is likely to have readers confused or putting it down early, but stick with it. The story makes more sense when read entirely and it’s short so it won’t take much time or energy to indulge.
Here the White Queen is introduced in all her incredible glory. Yet right away the story takes a twist when the Queen is not what she seems. She is actually a he and having an affair with a Red Knight. As if the fact that White Queen is actually a man and still married to the White King isn’t controversy enough, but the Queen is also in love with the enemy. The story is not perfectly linear and time moves fluidly but the connection between the Queen and the Knight is vivid and delightful.
The play on the Queen is clever and I had to read it twice to really get the story. This is definitely an m/m erotica piece, so don’t be turned off by the mixture of pronouns. The witty dialogue evokes a strong Alice in Wonderland theme but with a whimsical touch. There are subtle hints of emotion and a deeper connection between the Queen and Knight, which gives the sexual encounter a warmer edge to the explicit language. However the raunchy, naughty romp will entice as an aptly named nibble.
As something completely different yet reminiscent of a classic, Happily Ever Before is weird, mind bending, and very sly. Fitting in well with the movie release, I definitely encourage readers to check this out and see what they think.
Get it HERE!