Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When Characters Demand an Encore

By Juniper Bell (Guest Blogger)

When I sat down to write a follow-up to my book, Training the Receptionist, I had a dilemma on my hands. Romances don’t lend themselves to sequels, per se. Usually series take place in the same world, with the same background characters, but with an entirely new set of hero/heroines – a new romance.

Should I change my main characters? Write a book called “Disciplining the Librarian”? “Auditing the Accountant”? (I don’t know why, but I have a strong feeling an accountant is going to show up in some future book of mine.)

I didn’t want to take that route. At least not yet. My heroine, sassy, streetwise Dana, was such a huge part of Training the Receptionist. I wasn’t ready to let her go. And a certain highly dominant senior partner was demanding his share of attention. Ethan Cowell would not be denied.

So my sequel, Restraining the Receptionist, takes the same characters and explores a different area of their three-way relationship. I love this approach because I got to go deeper into their emotions. I got to know all three characters more intimately – as did they. Their bond shifted and grew in intensity.

Among erotica writers, I’m not the first to take this approach. A.N. Roquelaure’s Sleeping Beauty stories all follow Beauty on her adventures. And what about the Emmanuelle movies? So I think I made a good choice. Dana, Simon and Ethan are providing lots of steamy material.

And if they simmer down, there’s always the Accountant.

Here’s the blurb and an adult excerpt from Restraining the Receptionist. The book is available now from Samhain Publishing.

Blurb

Every deal has a loophole.

Dana Arthur’s new job with the firm of Cowell & Dirk is going well. Translation: the occasionally kinky ménage with her two bosses, Ethan and Simon, has been several months of politically incorrect bliss.

Except the relationship feels unbalanced. While Ethan is the undisputed master, the partners’ iron-clad agreement stipulates that Simon must be present as she performs her “duties”. And she senses there’s a subtle, powerful tug-of-war developing for more than just her body.

Simon had agreed to share the firm’s fiery, sensually daring receptionist…to a point. With Simon out of town, Ethan plans a feast of erotic temptations designed to have Dana begging him to break the deal. He didn’t realize his heart would be a casualty.

Once she surrenders to his wicked demands, Dana realizes there’s no going back. It’s time for a three-way renegotiation…this time, all or nothing.

Product Warnings

NSFW!! Do Not Try This at Your Job. Contains highly inappropriate workplace behavior including m/f/m, m/m, bondage, creative use of office space and a high-stakes trip to Atlantic City.

Excerpt

My unpredictable number one boss showed up in a new mood the next day. I’d never seen him light-hearted before. Now that I had an idea about his history, not a big surprise. But that’s exactly how he seemed when he breezed into the office. He wore casual clothes, blue jeans and a light blue open-collared shirt that made his eyes look like summer without the smog.

“I’ve got no pesky clients today, luv,” he told me, without pausing by my desk to check my outfit, which he usually did. “I’d like you to order us a picnic lunch.”

“Huh?”

“Picnic. You have those in America, right? Or are they banned in the great state of New York?”

“We have them, but you can’t even spread out a blanket without kicking aside a stray used needle or two.” As soon as I said it I remembered the heroin. “I…I’m sorry,” I stammered.

But my thoughtless reference didn’t make him miss a beat. “A little local color will add to the experience, I’m sure. Handle the details and we’ll go around noon.”

Did a picnic violate the terms of our deal? Ethan and I would be doing something outside of work, just the two of us, something intimate. Almost like a date. But he hadn’t suggested anything physical. It was lunch. We both had to eat, right? It seemed perfectly harmless.

Since I was working from the company petty cash fund, I called up the neighborhood yuppie café where they served giant organic sandwiches. On my budget, I would have gone for a Subway footlong. But Ethan would no doubt demand something better.

We held our picnic on a concrete bench in a sweltering park a few blocks away from the office. Dog walkers and stroller-pushers, listless from the heat, wandered by now and then, but otherwise we were alone. The humid heat pressed on us like a steam iron. My hair stuck to my cheeks as I bit into my upscale sandwich.

Ethan didn’t comment on the slabs of free-range chicken that had probably been hand-raised and read bedtime stories before being slaughtered and inserted into a sandwich. He did remove the unruly mound of bean sprouts and toss it to a nearby pigeon. The pigeon pecked at the stuff, clucked scornfully and waddled the other direction.

I couldn’t help giggling at Ethan’s wounded expression. “I wouldn’t take it personally,” I told him. “He’s a New York pigeon. He’s used to eating dog crap.”

He chuckled. “Have you lived here your whole life, Dana?”

The sheer ordinariness of the question unnerved me. “Well, except for that semester abroad in Paris, and the year I spent in Fiji with the Peace Corps. I’m joking,” I added, when he didn’t laugh.

“Oh. Well, I’m certainly familiar with your sense of humor, but I confess I don’t understand the joke. You could have done those things.”

I let out a spurt of laughter that startled the pigeon. “I had other things to do.”

“Like what?”

“Like dodge my father’s fists after a drinking binge.”

“Ah.” Ethan didn’t show sympathy or disapproval or anything else. He chewed on his stack of multi-grain goodness. “And your mother?”

“No clue. My father always said she ran away, but for all I know he has her body dismembered in a freezer somewhere.”

That earned me a sharp taste of Blue Fury.

“I’m kidding. I have a dark sense of humor. My father’s not that bad. And my stepmother would have gone for poison instead.”

A crack of laughter from Ethan. “You really are something, you know that? You fascinate me.”

I filled my mouth with sandwich so I didn’t have to answer that. I was very much afraid the fascination was mutual. We settled into a munching, digesting kind of silence. He had one ankle crossed over the opposite knee, and occasionally his bent leg would brush against mine. Every time it happened, a little jolt of awareness zinged straight to my groin. Did he know it was happening? Was he doing it deliberately?

“Your knee keeps touching me.”

“Does it?” He didn’t move away.

“That’s against the rules.”

"So sorry.” But he didn’t look sorry. He looked entirely unconcerned, even though he moved his knee away. “One of these days we must write these rules down. For instance, is all physical contact forbidden while Simon is away, or only that of a sexual nature?”

Lord, why did he have to say “sexual” with that spark in his eyes and that slant of his eyebrow? It wasn’t fair, damn it.

“Another example. I’ve been longing to tell you how delicious you look today and how the shadow of your nipples through the fabric of your blouse keeps drawing my eyes. But is verbal praise also off-limits, since I’d be unable to keep it G-rated, I’m afraid?”

“You can’t see my nipples through my blouse!” I looked down to make sure.

“Oh, yes, I can. I know what they’re doing right now. They’re just beginning to stir to life. You’re probably feeling a pleasant prickling as they become engorged. I’ve realized something about you, you know. The sound of my voice has a powerful effect on you.”

So right he was. I tried to block out his voice. Might as well try to stop the Hudson River.

“In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I could bring you to orgasm just with my voice. I wouldn’t have to touch you at all. All I’d have to do is tell you what I wanted to do to you. I’d tell you how much I want to bend you over this bench and take you in the open air. Or how much I’d like to tie you to that birch tree over there, open your blouse and bring you to orgasm with my fist up your cunt. Sure, someone might see. For instance, those three fellows playing Frisbee over there. It’s entirely possible they’d start to notice when I tied your hands behind the tree and ripped off your blouse. Maybe they’d even come running to your rescue.”

His gravelly voice hypnotized me so I could practically picture the scene. My body melted into a shivery puddle of craving.

“And then, of course, I’d have no choice but to invite them to join us, either as witnesses or participants. They look like red-blooded, able-bodied, clean-cut gentlemen, nothing to fear. I’d have to convince them you were willing. More than willing. Eager. I’d have to show them how wet you already were, just from having your breasts exposed. You like being exposed, don’t you?”

“Stop,” I murmured. This was going into an area we’d never touched. Other men had had no place in our games so far.

As soon as I told him to stop, he did. And as soon as he did, I wanted him to start again. After all, what was the harm? He was going there in imagination only.

“Well…” I cleared my throat. “Would you let them touch my breasts?”

“I’d give them a chance, see how they behaved. Not just anyone gets to touch my Dana. Our Dana, I should say.”

I winced at the reminder of the absent Simon. But I was too caught up in Ethan’s hypothetical scenario to be bothered for long.

“Our Dana’s luscious nipples deserve nothing other than sweet tender care. Long, lingering suckles. Perhaps a man to each nipple, and one to jerk himself off as he watches. That should get you started, I’d say. You’d be making those adorable little whimpering sounds. But perhaps I’d begin to sense that you want more, that you need the grip of cold metal on your flesh.”

The image made my belly clench with need. My nipples were as hard as the bench we sat on. I thought I would suffocate if this went on much longer. I turned a pleading look on him. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of nipple clamps.

This was way over the line, totally against our rules, but I banished that thought from my mind. I nodded, biting my lip. I didn’t care who watched as he reached inside my blouse and fastened the silver clips to my nipples. The sweet pain of it made me sag against him and sigh. Exquisite relief flooded me. I leaned against him as if he were a boulder. When I looked down, the clips were clearly visible through my blouse. But I didn’t care. Ethan would take care of me.

[From Lisabet - you can read my review of Juniper's first book in this series here!]

3 comments:

bearaboo said...

I enjoyed the Training the Receptionist so much, I purchased Restraining the Receptionist the day it was released! I am almost thru Restraining...hope there are more whether it is with Dana or an accountant. Juniper, you are a tealented writer!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Welcome back to Beyond Romance, Juniper!

I've got Restraining... on my to-read list. I truly loved the first book (as I've told you!)

Warmly,
Lisabet

desitheblonde said...

the book sound good and very interesting

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