WHISPERS OF THE FLESH
Burton's third book in the Hidden Grotto series offers two sexually charged tales of mortals and immortals. At the beginning, readers new to the series will be lost, and what follows is a weak story with little plot and minimal heat. The second tale is hot, hot, hot, and has a strong narrative with a mini-mystery, rekindled passions and an impending death, despite its confusing time shifts and point-of-view hopping.
A chaste British Jesuit just short of his final vows comes to France in 1829 to investigate stories of hedonism and demons at the castle Grotte Chachee (Hidden Grotto) in "Certain Devils." Confronted by his own hidden desires, he is exploited by beautiful immortals.
Time shifts to the present day in "Satisfaction," when the daughter of the chateau's dying administrator returns to
be with her father in his final days. Her father's friend also is on hand and recalls his days at the hedonistic valley in 1972. His past actions are at the root of a mystery that will lead to a wedding and a miracle. Meanwhile, the ever-lustful immortals cavort through a human cast of characters, exploring a range of sexual taboos. (Bantam, Oct., 320 pp., $13.00)