Erotic fiction by Baroness Bentinck from Lewes enjoys new lease of life

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A Lewes author is emerging at the forefront of the sexual revolution in literature.

Long before Fifty Shades of Grey sparked a dozen copy-cats in the realms of erotica, there was Louise Pennington.

Now her carefully crafted fiction, spiced throughout with lustful encounters of the flesh, is enjoying a new audience.

Two of Louise’s novels have been re-published in eBook format by Hodder and Stoughton as a result of the so-called “erotica wave”.

Jessica’s Lover and The Stalking of Eve are no mere bodice-rippers. Here are intriguing storylines, atmospheric settings and believable characters – plus the mastery of one of the most difficult of subjects to convey in the written word. Intercourse. All sorts of it.

Louise, Baroness Bentinck, of Market Street, Lewes, worked in advertising for five years before deciding to write full time.

Her other novels include The Dreambreakers, The Diplomat’s Wife and Sins of Angels.

Jessica’s Lover was first published in 1994. To give you a flavour, Jessica’s marriage is on the rocks and her husband is seeking solace in the bed of her sexually obsessed sister.

Into this doomed triangle comes a stranger. “He is fatherless, homeless, a traveller and a true pagan – a charming exotic boy with a beautiful body and a mouth that promises everything. Things happen when Zak is around.

“And Zak is destined to become Jessica’s lover, whatever the cost ...”

The Stalking of Eve followed in 1996. “James Sanqui was thirty-one when he seduced his sister, Eve. She was fifteen.”

The central character is “adept at suppressing not only her dark and haunting past, but also the terrible all-engulfing ecstasy of which she was capable”.

Louise said she was not quite sure how she felt about the books being re-published on the back of the “erotica wave”, but “it’s nice to have them out there again”.

She said: “Neither was written with erotica in mind, in fact they’re both thrillers with a dark edge and just happen to contain a healthy amount of sex!”

Now Louise, who is divorced and has a 24-year-old daughter, is taking on an exciting new project.

She has adapted Jessica’s Lover as a short film entitled What If. The shooting date is currently set for July, with filming to take place locally.

It will be only 10 minutes long and auditions for the four characters involved are due to take place next month.

“Finding an actor to play Zak could present a problem,” she added with a laugh.