Morning, Noon and Night: Erotica for Couples, edited by Alison Tyler, is out November 13, 2012 from Cleis Press. It’s an anthology with a nifty concept: one story for each hour of the day (plus one more for lagniappe). My story is the 8:00 pm one, and I was really pleased that the story immediately following mine was by Kate Pearce.

Kate and I have actually met, you see, and we chat a bit online. Though many of the other authors with whom I share anthology pages are familiar to me from their work, or their blogs, I’ve met very few of them in person (for this anthology, I’d only met Kate, and once I very briefly met Alison). It feels very homey to be snuggled up next to Kate! Virtually, that is.

The other thing about Kate is that I love her books. I have many writer-friends, and some of their books I admire, some aren’t to my taste, and some I pre-order in print as soon as I know about them. Kate is in that last category; I love her series of erotic romances set in the English Regency. My favorite is Simply Sinful, which I refer to as “the blue one,” because all of the titles begin with “Simply” and I get confused. A quick check for online editions tells me you can get the first three in that series bundled for Kindle and Nook at a discount (Simply Sinful is in the bundle).

But back to Morning, Noon, and Night. Alison, the editor, suggested that the contributors write up mini-reviews of other stories in the anthology, so of course I immediately chose “9 p.m., Victoria Coach Station” by Kate Pearce.

Kate’s story is a really nice piece of work.

She sets a mood that’s a bit scary and uncomfortable as the female point-of-view character waits, in the dark and cold, for a bus to arrive. Since this is erotica, you’re expecting her to have sex at some point, and she does, but it’s clear the entire time that the sex for this particular couple means many, many different things, most of them emotionally painful. Looming over it all is a third character, whom we never see but who is a vital part of the on-screen interaction; that’s the aspect I liked most.

“9 p.m., Victoria Coach Station” is one of those stories that is a lot more than it appears to be on the page. I was left wondering about these three characters’ relationships and lives, and what would happen to them next, and how their web of tensions might be resolved, or if there would be an explosion. It’s a thought-provoking story, and a great example of how erotica can be used to illuminate characters. Even the characters who aren’t even present.

Thanks for writing it, Kate, so I could read it!