Cover Image: Marionette


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Member Reviews

An interestingly haunting tale that mixes erotica and the gothic genre. While I was intrigued by the concepts, the character building fell short for me and the relationship that we as the readers are supposed to feel invested in also felt somewhat flat.

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A wonderful paranormal horror novella. It’s marketed as erotic, and while there is romance, there’s nothing graphic or very descriptive for those encounters. I would rate 1/5 for spice. It’s a nice quick read. The length limited the potential for suspense and how much fear could be created. So it’s well worth reading if you’re more into paranormal fiction than horror. The horror level could be compared to a Doctor Who or Twilight Zone episode. Really fun quick read and well worth it.

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A decent horror/erotica novel.
I enjoyed the premise, just wanted more!

Check trigger warnings.

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An interesting dark twisted romantic horror. It was a quick read, which I believed, might have been better if it was a little longer. A lengthier novel would have allowed the characters to be develop fully. It was an intriguing story, which ended quickly.

This story is not for all readers as it has some triggers. I would suggest placing them in the beginning of the book instead of the end.

I want to thank NetGalley, Antonia Rachel Ward and Brigids Gate Press, LLC., Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles for the e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are honest, my own and left voluntarily.

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I think this would have worked better for me as a full length novel. I loved so much about it, especially the quality of the writing when compared to other similar books. Because of the length too many important plot points did not get enough devoted space. If you’re going to have a romance and then I want development of the relationship. And if you’re going to have graphic language surrounding your sex scenes then I want actual details of the sex. It wasn’t like it was a YA and the sex was danced around. If you’re going to say someone put a cock in their mouth before they fucked then just go for it, don’t just vaguely describe what sex is by passively saying well she climbed on top and he filled her up and they both experienced pleasure until orgasm. I would have loved more surrounding the Marthe storyline. Not just a few mentions of her. But again, all of that goes back to length for me.

SPOILER: My one actual complaint about this book is that the ending ends up taking away a lot of the feminine power of the book. Giving this a happy wrap up instead of leaving all the vengeance be and letting Cece feel empowered by Selena feels like Cece is just another female prop in a storyline where the male lead will save her. Maybe if the romance had been less one sided and was more developed I might feel less of this, but I would have rather her just let George go if it was going to have to have a cliche “happy ending”

Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC

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Curious and slightly disturbing erotic story. Not my cup of tea. I am unsure what made me download this. It was a unique storyline, at least as far as what I have read. Maybe there are other books out there like this, but if there are, that is also disturbing. Thanks for providing a copy of the book. I wish I was your target audience, so I could give a better review.

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The Book Cover

The Cover of this book is what originally caught my attention. I wanted to know what was going on and how this captivating woman on the cover was a part of it. Pretty much, I came for the cover but stayed for the story. When I am reading books solely based on their cover I like to go in blind not knowing much about the synopsis. I like to be surprised. And Marionette by Antonia Rachel Ward definitely surprised me in the best of ways.


Marionette follows the story of 2 young people in turn of the century Paris. George Dashwood is a young Englishman, who came to study art and painting. Before he even gets to make a brush stroke, he is swept up in the Parisian nightlife and the enticing women who frequent it. One of those women is Cecile Dulac, a rising starlet at the Palais Theater. Every night droves of men flock to her performance to catch a glimpse of her steamy performances; George included. Cecile is invited to perform at a private party of the infamous Monsieur Rossignol, known for curios and debauchery. Cecile, loving her life in the growing limelight, can’t refuse an opportunity to put herself on display. A night of sensuality and exhibitionism seems to have sinister consequences for all involved.


I went in knowing very little about this book or the author. I had no idea this book had horror elements. I typically don’t read the horror genre, however the author Antonia Rachel Ward did a great job weaving the horror and erotic elements together . It was done with such finesse that it made the horror aspects approachable to novices of the genre. I wouldn’t say that this book was scary; it was more along the suspenseful, thrilling, slightly disturbing vibes.

The pacing of the story was spot on for the length of this book.(100 pages) The author progressed the story well using suspenseful, evocative scenes and character interactions. There was never a dull period or an info dump. The author delivered the necessary plot, history and lore elements in an unique ,engrossing way. I finished this book in a couple hours because I had to know how things were going to turn out for the couple. I thought the author tied up the story threads in a manner that was not predictable or cliché. I did not foresee the direction that Marionette would take, but I enjoyed the trip immensely.

The bodily possession component made the steamy scenes extra hot. The author toed the line of consent. Especially with Cecile, who consented to be possessed but did she consent to all the sexual acts that the entity enacted with her body. I also thought it was sexy to explore elements of control, by way of hypnotism and even while under the control of the spirits.

The exhibitionisms was very sexy, especially the first performance at Monsieur Rossignol’s. The women pleasured themselves on stage while the audience sought pleasure in the shadows of the theater was top tier spicy. On the other hand, the voyeurism also added extra steam to the story. Whether it was the audience ogling the sexy women or George stealing forbidden looks as Cecile pleasured other men; it was super sexy. I definitely got hot under the collar. I appreciated how sexy and slightly sinister the sexual encounters were written.

Rating and Recommendations

Rating: 4/5

I gave this book 4 stars because it delivered a sezy taboo story that highlighted the characters and the storyline. It did so many great things in such a short book. The steamy scenes were intentional, well placed and progressed the story. The only reason this book wasn’t a 5 star was because of a castration scene. Not something you expect in erotica or romance.

I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy dark or taboo romance and erotica. I would also recommend this book to readers who enjoy romance with paranormal encounters, suspense and horror.

**Triggers and Warning**

**Trigger Warnings for:

-Sexual abuse
-Slight blood play
-Dubious consent
-Spiritual Possession

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Ward's <i> Marionette </i> is an intriguing, well-balanced blend of horror and erotica. The horror, erotica, and debauchery play well together without distracting from one another. Mademoiselle Cece Dulac is not like other woman, and <i> Marionette </i> is not like other novellas. I enjoyed this read, and I will be recommending it to others looking for a fresh take on a traditional folk tale in a delectable Parisian setting. 3.25 stars out of 5.

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Marionette" src="" /></a><a href="">Marionette</a> by <a href="">Antonia Rachel Ward</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">3 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Ward's <i> Marionette </i> is an intriguing, well-balanced blend of horror and erotica. The horror, erotica, and debauchery play well together without distracting from one another. Mademoiselle Cece Dulac is not like other woman, and <i> Marionette </i> is not like other novellas. I enjoyed this read, and I will be recommending it to others looking for a fresh take on a traditional folk tale in a delectable Parisian setting. 3.25 stars out of 5.
<a href="">View all my reviews</a>

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Hard to figure out if I liked the writing style or found it too mannered. What started out as an erotic love story took an unexpected turn into something completely different, almost leaving out the first one.
Wish I could say I enjoyed it more, because it was a really promising beginning.

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i liked the imagery and the rich descriptions, but i found the story a bit too simple for what it could be, or what i had expected. also i thought the gore would be extra since the sex was extra but i was let down.

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I don't feel like my review would be a fair one at this point. I think I've come to a point where historical reads are not my thing and I think it would be better to get someone else's point of view. Thank you for the opportunity though.

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First of all thank you so much to the publishers for letting me read this ARC. It was enjoyable. It wasnt my favorite and there were issues. But I liked it well enough and I would be happy to suggest it to others.

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"Looking at her was like staring into the sun."

Cecile is a sex worker in the turn of the century France, when she accepts to attend a seance hosted my the mysterious Alexandre Rossignol. But she didnt know her body would be possessed and used by a vengeful spirit, starting out innocent at first, but every time the spirit wants more, until Cecile herself isnt able to stop her.

I really liked this one, I was intrigued by the combination of a horror-erotica set in the 1800s and the added spirit possession sold this to me completely. The atmosphere was dark and gothic, and I loved the writing.

I was expecxting it so be smuttier since it being categorized as erotica but I'm not dissapointed, I would say the level of spice is moderate in this book. If you want to read something short but sweet and not like any other, then this is the book you should get!

TW: dubious consent, graphic sex, self harm,
Genre: romance, horror, erotica
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with this arc!

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Thank you to Brigids Gate Press, LLC and Netgalley for providing an e-arc for an honest review.
The Marionette is a horror erotica novella, that has spirits seances and prostitutes. The characters were decent, there wasn’t that much development which is okay but a bit disappointing. I mean it's a novella, I can't really expect that much development in a short 100 pages. The horror aspect was okay, I do think it could’ve been done a little differently. I enjoyed the idea of spirits possessing bodies and wanting revenge but I wish there was more to it, it personally didn’t feel like there was enough there.
The erotica aspect of the story was nice, but gory which didn’t bother me at all. { gory erotica isn’t for everyone so beware }. I do wish for a little bit more of the scenes, or at least them be longer. There was a decent amount but it feels like they were over in a few sentences. Overall the story was pretty okay and I would read another one of Antonia’s books in the future!

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Thank you, NetGalley, and Brigid's Gate Press for granting me an e-ARC.

Marionette is a story of shameless lust, obsession with pleasures of life and death, vengeance, and the cruel existence of men.

Antonia Rachel Ward did such a beautiful job at creating a gothic, erotic, supernatural novella. I was surprised at how the story unfolded, and how easy it was for me to get sucked in by the tale. It never failed to entertain me.

I enjoyed the gore, and chaos as well. Nothing could've prepared me for what Selena did at the end. It's always impactful, and satisfying to see women who were wronged eventually get a taste of revenge.

The only downside is, since it's a short fiction, the characters didn't have much opportunity to develop. Cecile and George lacked genuine interaction, and deeper connection with one another. The side characters were fun to have but they lacked substance. Though, that doesn't change the fact that I find them interesting, especially Selena. Nonetheless, it was still great.

If you're in the mood for a change of genre, an easy short read to increase your reading goals or just adore women and their wrongs, I recommend this book to you!

Don't forget to check trigger warnings.

Once again, Thank you, NetGalley, and Brigid's Gate Press.

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Ward crafts a compelling premise complete in this spicy supernatural horror. Cecile Dulac is a French prostitute turned dancer/performer who gets roped into a séance. A vengeful spirit is conjured into her body, forcing Cecile to fight for her autonomy. Meanwhile, the charming George Dashwood swoons over Cecile and is determined to play the role of knight in shining armor, but at what cost? Will Cecile and George survive the spirit's deadly intentions?

Cecile is a sex-positive character who falls prey to the spirit who overtakes the woman's body and uses it for lustful acts while Cecile is unable to stop the events from occurring. Since Cecile can't offer her consent, some readers will find the actions in this book a bit troubling, despite the woman's own love for intimacy. George is equality polarizing as some readers may find his attraction and attention to Cecile romantic, while others will reason that his connection is based largely, if not entirely, on her shapely body. His desire to be with her seems less about love and more about lust, which makes his motivations throughout the plot a little challenging to believe.

In spite of these hiccups, Ward weaves a quick paced tale of revenge and thwarted love. Readers looking for a spicy spooky read will enjoy this one.

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A short gothic supernatural horror novel - and i thoroughly enjoyed it!
A bit baffled at the present low ratings, but it happens a lot, we all like different things.
Marionette was a well rounded story set in the seedy Parisian society of the (1800s?). Atmospheric and sexy, the story flows easily with a great writing style. It felt well paced, and the characters well built. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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When I read the synopsis of this book I knew I had to read it. This is the first book that ive read by this author and I’ll definitely be reading more! The story and world building was phenomenal.

Women getting revenge will always ALWAYS be something I’ll read. I support women's rights and wrongs.

My only complaint was that its a novella and not a novel LOL, other than that I loved it.

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If I’m being honest I can’t even remember the story
It’s really short and not to memorable

I thought I would like it a lot more,
The cover is beautiful.
The erotica tag is abit much the sex felt brushed over.

Thanks for the arc netgalley

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I wasn’t super into the book in the first few chapters, however as it went on i found myself trying to guess what would happen next. The ending was a huge surprise to me (which I loved)!

I slightly wad hoping it wouldn’t have a happily ever after. But nonetheless the ending was still good.

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