Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review Tuesday: Fortune by Aurelia T. Evans


Fortune (Arcanium Book 1) by Aurelia T. Evans
Totally Bound, 2015

Be careful what you wish for. Someone may be listening, eager to twist your words in ways you can’t begin to imagine.

A careless wish uttered by her jealous, self-centered boyfriend traps Maya DeLuca in Arcanium, a traveling circus suffused with dark, perverse magic. Psychic jinn Bell Madoc presides over Arcanium’s assorted demons and monsters, plus the humans self-condemned to servitude as freaks or entertainers because of their thoughtlessly articulated desires. Devious, manipulative and devilishly attractive, Bell makes Maya his personal plaything. He teases, tortures and tests her, inflicting pain and evoking exquisite pleasure with equal frequency.

Irrevocably bound to Arcanium and to Bell, Maya struggles against internal demonsshame, anger, guilt, self-disgust—as she tries to avoid wishing herself into more serious difficulties. Gradually, coaxed or commanded by her jinn master, she sinks deeper into the luridly carnal atmosphere of the circus. The demons and the oddities become first her friends, then her lovers. When Arcanium is threatened, Maya rises to its defense like some avenging angel. Bell rewards her with a final, extreme test of trust and endurance, one which teaches Maya what she truly wants.

I loved this book, for a dozen reasons. Rarely do I find such originality and freshness in today’s erotic romance. Aurelia Evans makes Arcanium feel real—bloody, dangerous, uncomfortable and unbearably arousing. The horror and the eroticism balance perfectly, both conveyed in vivid, visceral detail. In Arcanium, violence and fear are the flip side of sexual desire. You can scarcely tell whether your heart is racing from lust or terror.

It takes talent and courage to people a world with freaks and monsters—bearded women, quadruple amputees, conjoined twins, giants and midgets, flesh-devouring clowns—and make the reader care about them. Fortune deals with philosophical and moral issues rarely considered in erotic romance: what it means to be an outcast; the limits of rationality; the healing powers of both compassion and of anger; the nature of good and evil. Bell and his fellow immortals do horrible things, killing, maiming, disfiguring, causing unbelievable agony. With deliberate cruelty, he uses his victims’ words against them. Yet he makes the case to Maya that he’s not evil, but merely an instrument of the chaos that underlies creation. By the end of the book, one almost believes him.

The pacing of this novel particularly impressed me. The narrative tension climbs steadily to three successive peaks, each one emotionally shattering. I don’t want to spoil readers’ enjoyment by giving away details, but it’s very skillfully done.

I have one complaint about Fortune. I found some of Ms. Evan’s descriptions rather difficult to follow. For instance, there’s one scene in which Bell’s knife-wielding previous lover chases Maya into the maze of trapezes, high wires and catwalks near the top of the circus tent. No matter how many times I reread the description, I couldn’t get a clear picture of how these physical elements were laid out and thus, what exactly was going on.

This problem arises only occasionally. Other scenes—for instance, Bell’s and Maya’s frantic coupling atop a tentacled beast on the whirling carousel—paint easily imagined pictures in the mind (very dirty pictures, in this case).

Fortune is the first book in a series. Upcoming volumes, I gather, will deal with relationships among other inhabitants of Arcanium. In general, I tend not to read series. I’ll sample one book, then move on to another author or fictional world.

In the case of Arcanium, though, I’m not sure I want to leave.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sneak Peek: Heavenly Desire by J.L. Sheppard

[This 300+ page novel is on sale for 99 cents at the moment. See details below! ~ Lisabet]



Heavenly Desire, Elemental Sisters III

By: J.L. Sheppard
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length/Pages: 324

Will he sacrifice his wings for a woman he loves but can never keep?

Jade Ashley has a past she'd like to forget and a destiny she isn't aware of. A stranger, Clyde, saves her from an attack and demonstrates extraordinary abilities she believed only she possessed. She soon realizes he's her guardian angel sent to reunite her with her long lost sisters, who like her are part of a new breed of immortals, Elementals, prophesied to determine the outcome of the upcoming war.

Clyde, an angel, battles the one thing he believes will lead to his fall from heaven—his new found emotions, forbidden among his kind. Nonetheless, the Angel Lords promise to promote him to warrior when he completes his last assignment—to find Jade. When he does, emotions he never knew possible arise. For the first time in two thousand years, he cursed his existence. Knowing she can never be his, will he sacrifice his wings for a woman he loves but can't keep?

Excerpt

He bent toward her, wrapped one arm around her waist, the other around her back, then buried his face in the crook of her neck and inhaled.

Relishing the feel of her body melded against his, he forgot the worries consuming him. She soothed his ache with a mere touch, with a mere embrace.

Exactly what he’d wanted, exactly what he needed.

She then pressed her full lips against his cheek, kissing him lightly.

An innocent kiss. There was no passion behind it, but an unconscious consuming need, one he’d never felt, swelled inside him—desire. It was exciting, overwhelming and terrifying, blocking logic and reason.

All he wanted now was a single kiss. All he could think about was how her soft lips would feel pressed against his.

Marvelous, he concluded.

It was absurd to want what he did and feel what he felt, for he was an angel. Carnal desires even as insignificant as kisses were for others, for all others except his breed, and yet he felt it so deeply it seared him.

The desire that gripped him didn’t release him even after she unhooked her arms from around his neck, and the warmth of her body melted away.

There he stood, immobile, battling the desire she’d sparked. He didn’t want to leave yet knew he had to before he’d acted out his longing.

He willed his body to move. Finally, he placed one foot behind the other, stepped back and strode away praying the yearning he had no right to feel for a woman who would never be his would soon subside.

Reviews

The author brings the story to life with well written scenes that capture the imagination while the suspense and drama draw the reader into the story and the characters are strong, bewitching and ensnare the readers from the very beginning.”
Night Owl Reviews, 5 Stars

“…Love this series… [Heavenly Desire] is full of romance, surprises and secrets… If you love paranormal romance, do not miss this series.”


Buy Links


Amazon:

B&N:

Kobo:

ON SALE - $.99 Cents June 26 thru July 9th!!

About the Author


J.L. Sheppard was born and raised in Miami, Florida where she still lives with her husband and son.

As a child, her greatest aspiration was to become a writer. She read often, kept a journal and wrote countless poems. She attended Florida International University and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelors in Communications. During her senior year, she interned at NBC Miami, WTVJ. Following the internship, she was hired and worked in the News Department for three years.

It wasn’t until 2011 that she set her heart and mind into writing her first completed novel, Demon King’s Desire, which was published in January of 2013.

Besides reading and writing, she enjoys traveling and spending quality time with family and friends.

Other Works:

Demon King’s Desire, Elemental Sisters I: January 2013
Burdened by Desire, Elemental Sisters II: January 2014
Awaiting Fate, Fated Immortals I: March 2015

Contact



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Snog #180: Celebrating Marriage Equality!

In honor of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on gay marriage, I’ve got a M/M snog for you today. This one’s from my sci fi erotic romance Quarantine.

When you’ve recovered from my snog, head back to Victoria’s place for more sexy Sunday kisses.



You look like you’re feeling hot, Rafe. Why don’t you take off the monkey suit? You know I’m not contagious.” Dylan kept his voice low and even, as though he were trying to reassure a frightened animal. “Make yourself more comfortable. Don’t worry, nobody knows we’re here together. I blinded the spy eyes. And there’s no electricity anyway.” He stepped forward again. This time Rafe held his ground.

Keep away from me, faggot!” Despite Rafe’s glare, this sounded more like a plea than a command. Dylan set the candle down on the rail separating the generators from the aisle. He closed the few feet of distance between them.

Let me help you,” Dylan murmured, pulling the zip on the suit down to Rafe’s waist.

Get your filthy hands off me!” Rafe yelled. But he didn’t move as Dylan opened the suit all the way down to his crotch. Dylan resisted the temptation to reach inside and stroke the erection he knew he’d find there. Instead, he pushed the garment off Rafe’s shoulders. The slithery fabric crumpled around Rafe’s knees.

Relax,” said Dylan. “Sit down.” He seated himself on the bench, the polished wood cool against his bare buttocks. Like an automaton, Rafe did the same. The black man kicked off the biohazard gear. For a moment they simply stared at each other.

Dylan felt his nipples tighten and his cock lift under the guard’s scrutiny. It really was lucky the guy was so attractive. It made everything easier.

He could read the emotions shuttling across Rafe’s face. Hell, the guy was an open book. The anger was mostly gone. Now fear, guilt and lust battled it out on those noble features. Dylan sat quietly, holding Rafe’s eyes, his cock growing harder with every passing second. Rafe’s nostrils flared. He breathed through his mouth, panting as though he was running a marathon. His gaze flicked down to the rod of flesh rearing up from Dylan’s groin.

What do you want?” he asked finally, his voice almost a whisper.

You know what I want. You.”

He leant forward, brushing his lips across Rafe’s. The other man started. Dylan seized the guard’s shoulders and pulled him into a fierce kiss. Rafe did not resist. In fact, he opened his mouth to allow Dylan’s questing tongue inside.

Exultation flared in Dylan’s heart. Still devouring the guard’s mouth, he slid his hands down Rafe’s massive biceps and then over his solid chest, pulling at the Velcro that kept the shirt closed. The guard’s skin was smooth, warm, and moist with sweat. Dylan’s fingers skimmed over the patch of tight frizz between Rafe’s breasts, then fastened on one fat nipple. Rafe gasped, grabbed Dylan’s head, and deepened the kiss.

This was almost too easy. Dylan cupped the huge bulk of Rafe’s erection, trapped inside the tight trousers. “I want to see you naked,” he said, close to Rafe’s ear. “Please, baby…”

Rafe abruptly broke the embrace. Damn. Had he moved too fast for the homophobic guard? Rafe turned his broad back to Dylan and shucked off his shirt. Dylan licked his lips at the sight of the muscles shifting in that sleek, chocolate brown expanse. Rafe kicked off his boots then yanked his pants down to his ankles. Finally he peeled off the gloves and tossed them onto the concrete floor.

When he faced Dylan again, his eyes were glowing coals. His cock rose like a pillar of basalt between his powerful thighs. His abdomen rippled as he sucked in breath. He was magnificent, like some ancient god. Dylan wanted to worship him.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Readers Make the Book

By Willa Edwards (Guest Blogger)

A lot of people ask writers where they come up with their ideas. For me, they come from all over. Sometimes I read a book and an idea from a secondary character or even a small description can send me spinning with a new idea. Sometimes it’s a movie or TV show that employed something that I can see ending up in a story or that gets my mind turning in a new direction. And sometimes it’s just random things that happen in real life, on the way to the grocery store or at work.

For Owned Forever, the idea to write this book came from my readers.

To really understand where this idea came from I have to start with first book in the series. When I first wrote Owned For Christmas I had no intention of writing another story. It was just a fun Christmas idea that came to me while watching a cheesy romantic comedy. In the movie a women went home for Christmas and ran into an old beau. By the end of the movie ex wasn’t in his title anymore.

I loved the idea. We all run into some awkward experience when we go home for the holidays, but to crank up the uneasiness of the interaction, I figured my heroine shouldn’t go to her own home, but someone else’s. And why would she be going there, well of course she’d be going home with her current boyfriend for the holidays. And what would she find…her ex-Dom. Pretty awkward, right?

But as I wrote the story it evolved. The conflict expended from the two guys to be more about Kate, my heroine, accepting her true submissive nature. As a result the scenes with her ex-Dom, Grant, expanded, and her time spent with the two guys or her vanilla lover, Daniel, diminished, caving to the direction of the story and the inner turmoil.

Unfortunately for a lot of readers, that meant they didn’t get to know Daniel well enough to love him the way I do (and I do love Daniel tremendously, he’s got such a quirk sense of humor and go with the flow attitude, not to mention ripped abs, I would have trouble not taking him home myself). When a reader mentioned she wanted to see more of Daniel and his struggle with joining in with a ménage relationship, the wheels in my head started turning, and Owned Forever was born.

Owned Forever delves into many of the issues and conflicts I didn’t have time to touch on in Owned For Christmas, and a few that didn’t even arrive back on that snowy Christmas night. This story highlights Daniel a great deal more, and his issues with their new relationship, while also showing of his funny sense of humor and devotion to his family and Kate.

At this point I have no plans to write another story for these three fantastic characters. But if the readers keeping giving such amazing inspiration, I may not have a choice. After all, I’m a slave to my muse and the reader. When they work together, I’m done for.

I hope you’ll check out my newest release, Owned Forever, now available with Totally Bound Publishing, inspired by my amazing readers. And to read the beginning of Grant, Kate and Daniel’s story, check out Owned For Christmas. While both books can be read on their own, just like most other things in life, they are better in twos.


Owned Forever Blurb

Two sets of in-laws, a Dom with the need to assert his power, a fiancée with an inferiority complex and a country chic wedding to throw. What could go wrong?

For the last six months, Kate, Daniel and Grant have been living blissfully in Colorado. But that’s all about to come to an end. They’re opening up the ranch and their relationship to outsiders—Kate’s parents. While her future mother-in-law has adapted well to their unconventional relationship, Kate knows her parents won’t feel the same. At her insistence, the whole Farrell crew agrees to keep the true nature of their relationship a secret—at least from her parents—for the whole wedding weekend.

Stretched thin, Kate tries to be everything for everyone. The enthusiastic bride, the good daughter, the diligent sub that’s always under the control of her Master and the affectionate fiancé that wants nothing more than to be married. But with everyone’s needs weighing her down, eventually Kate snaps under the pressure.

In one quick moment of need, their secret is out of bag, and it’s not just her parents that feel betrayed. Can Kate convince all the people she loves to accept and participate in this untraditional wedding party, or will her needs doom her relationships for good?

Who knew Happily Ever After would be this hard!

Publisher's Note: This story is a continuation of Kate, Grant and Daniel’s relationship from Owned For Christmas by Willa Edwards. It is best read in sequence but can be read as a standalone.


Excerpt

When are your parents arriving?” Gale spread a sheet across the prickly surface of the bales of hay set up across the open yard in a circle for seating. The better for their guest’s comfort.

Kate surveyed the field before her. It still amazed to her how much the place had changed since she’d first arrived. This field that had been covered with three feet of snow back at Christmas time, was now filled with swaying grasses and bright Columbines. It really was beautiful here.

This would be the perfect place for a wedding.

It may have taken a few months and the melting of three tons of snow, but Kate now understood why people loved living in this area—why her two men loved it here so much and felt so connected to this land. And amazingly, she felt the same. She couldn’t imagine ever moving back to Dallas. No matter what her parents said.

They’ll be here tomorrow at ten. They’re on the last possible plane coming into Grand Junction from Dallas before the ceremony.” Kate tried to keep the resentment from her voice, but she didn’t succeed. She loved her future mother-in-law. Gale was fantastic. Kate still had trouble believing she’d accepted her relationship with both her sons so easily. Not to mention all she’d done to help with Kate’s wedding to her younger son, Daniel.

She still wished she was picking floral arrangements, assembling favors and decorating pews with her own mother.

I got them a room at the Country Side Inn.” It was the best hotel for miles. Though Kate doubted it was up to her mother’s standards.

They’ll like it there.”

I hope so.” That’s the only way Kate wouldn’t hear about how awful the hotel was for the next ten years, like her parent’s trip to Maui seven years ago, that they always brought up at Thanksgiving.

Are you planning on telling them everything?” Gale looked up at Kate from where she arranged ribbons around the edge of the bales, creating an aisle down the center toward the arch Grant had built.

You mean about the fact that I’m really in a relationship with two men? That I’m marrying one and sleeping with both of them?” Kate looked over at the woman who was to be her official mother-in-law in only two days. “Are you asking if I plan to tell them that?”

Gale cast Kate a sour look. She had made her opinion obvious many times before, but she didn’t know Kate’s parents. Kate’s mother was ready to have her checked into a psych ward for giving up a good job in the city—though her teaching position hadn’t become a good job to her mother until the other option was no job at all—and moving out to the country for some hick. Kate could contemplate what her parents would say if they knew she hadn’t come out here for one country hick, but for two.

Not everyone is as understanding as you are, Gale.” Kate still couldn’t believe how lucky they’d been with Gale—how understanding she was, how accepting. From the moment she’d discovered their three-way relationship, Gale hadn’t ever made her feel insane or immoral for the loving both of her sons. It’s more than Kate would have ever expected. “My parents aren’t as open-minded as you are.”

I’m not that understanding, dear. I just want my boys to be happy. I see how happy you make them.” Gale looked up, her warm honey-brown eyes twinkling, and Kate smiled.

How every member of this family managed to make her feel welcome and included always surprised her.

I’m sure your parents want the same thing for you. Once they see how happy those boys make you, they’ll accept the three of you together too.”

Kate shook her head. A part of her believed Gale was right. That her parents really did want her to be happy. But they’d never conveyed it well in the past. And her wedding didn’t seem the right time to put them to the test.

She still remembered the way her mother used to talk about her teaching position to her high-society friends, the note of disdain in her mother’s tone. Teaching kindergartners was not the prestigious career Margo Baker wanted for her daughter. And she had no doubt Daniel wasn’t the high-society husband she’d envisioned for Kate either.

Kate didn’t care what her mother thought. She’d made her decision. She had no desire to go back—to Dallas, to the quiet desperation or to the need for more that had almost eaten her alive.

But she couldn’t stand the idea that her parents would berate Daniel with their undercutting words and quiet insults. Not to mention how they’d act if they found out it wasn’t just Daniel she stayed in Colorado for, but Grant as well.

You’d be surprised, honey, what lengths a parent will go to for their child. They might not always show it in the way you wish, but I’m sure they’re doing what they think is best for you.”

Kate nodded. They probably were. They just didn’t have any idea what was best for her. They always thought what was best for them was best for her. For twenty-eight years, she’d tried and failed to live that way too. She didn’t regret making this change for herself, even if her parent’s never approved.

One day, you’ll see for yourself.”

Kate rolled her eyes. Gale had been tossing off a lot of comments like that lately. But it would be a while before Kate had any serious experience with parenthood, no matter what Gale might desire.

Find me Online: www.willaedwards.com

Friday, June 26, 2015

Dared to Write…Again!

By Leigh Ellwood (Guest Blogger)

I’d like to thank Lisabet for hosting me today. I believe, since my first book was published in 2004, this year is my busiest to date in terms of writing. After joining a group of authors who are producing monthly box sets of sexy shorts, I find I’m writing more consistently than ever, which amazes me because recently I had entertained thoughts of slowing down.

For years I had written stories set in a series called Dareville. Couples, and the occasional triad, live in this small Virginia town and enjoy each other. In the last decade I’ve written five novel-length works and several shorts in the series, and after a while thought it had run its course. Sales for my most recent Dareville novel were quite disappointing, and I thought why not leave it there and work on other worlds.

Earlier this year, though, I was contacted by All Romance, who planned to publish stories for their Out For You series. They had many authors committed to write M/M, but they wanted stories that touched on all the letters in LGBT. Since I’ve written F/F and sold well at ARe in that pairing, would I like to contribute a lesbian romance?

I have to tell you, it’s flattering when a publisher invites you to be a part of something. Not only that, ARe had yet to publish a lesbian romance at that point, so I’d be a pioneer of sorts. I couldn’t resist, and made time in my writing schedule to work on a story. Then I had to figure out what to write.

I had just seen SUGAR RUSH, my F/F romance with Ellora’s Cave, published, and it reminded me of the Dareville stories I’d written that were centered around a character named Tish. Tish is a chocolatier and caterer and owns the local sweet shop. I had envisioned more stories with her, but as I had Tish hooked up with a hot mechanic and engaged to him I couldn’t suddenly make her a single lesbian!

Then I thought, if she runs a shop she needs somebody to help out. I hadn’t yet created an assistant to work at Tish’s Riches, so I took the ball and ran from there. Not long after accepting ARe’s invitation, I had mapped out the story for THE SWEETEST DARE. This story is about a young woman smitten with her new co-worker, only she’s gun shy about coming out to friends. Kit thinks if anybody figures it out, fine, but she’s not a showy person. Sidney, on the other hand, doesn’t care what people think but she would like to go out once in a while with her new girlfriend. This point of conflict tests their relationship until Kit realizes what she could miss if she’s not true to herself.

THE SWEETEST DARE is available at ARe and iTunes now, and is coming to Amazon and BN. If you like contemporary lesbian romance, I hope you enjoy it.

Please comment and I will award one person an eBook from my backlist. Don't forget to include your email address so I can find you!



About The Sweetest Dare

Sugar's sweet, but sex tastes better…

Kit Cheever is more than eager to welcome her new co-worker, Sidney Campbell, to Tish’s Riches, the best chocolate shop in Virginia. While the long days on the job hardly exhaust them for long nights of play, Sidney hopes for more in their relationship than candy-coated orgasms. Is dinner out too much to ask?

Kit would oblige, but she likes her privacy. The people of Dareville don’t need to know she and Sidney are anything more than co-workers. Why be “out” when it’s so much hotter and safer indoors?

Kit won’t even hold her hand in public, which upsets Sidney. She’s not asking Kit to march in a parade, just to acknowledge her feelings to the people she loves. What will it take to get Kit out of the closet and into Sidney’s heart?


About Leigh

Leigh Ellwood writes romance and erotica, particularly MM and FF pairings. She loves to read and drink wine, too.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Forbidden Fantasies -- Her Submission, by Vonna Harper




Kaci lives alone, dreams alone. Her traumatic past is behind her, her future faced one day at a time. Her nights are filled with fantasies of dark erotica about being under a shadowy master’s control. but no one will ever know.

Then she’s spotted by a scarred dominant who understands the look, smell, and taste of submissive need. Reno wants her and what Reno wants, he kidnaps.

Her Submission examines the appeal of capture fantasies complete with forced submission, power and weakness, strength and vulnerability, being owned and used. And ultimately—sexual fulfillment.

Her Submission and the other stories in the Carnal series aren't romance. They are intended for a mature audience and are fiction in all ways.

Excerpt

Chiding herself for not grabbing a flashlight, she pondered calling out for Bob, but late as it was, those in the nearby RVs might be asleep. Hoping she wouldn’t stub one or more of her toes, she put down the tool bag and headed for what she hoped was the front door.

Ma—am?”

She stopped and turned in the direction the male voice had come from. “Yes?”

Whoever it was didn’t respond. Near as she could tell, the man was near the rear of the deeply shadowed RV. He was probably looking at the hookups.

Do you have a flashlight?” she asked. “Sorry, I forgot mine.”

I’ve got—I think I have…”

He didn’t sound particularly elderly, just addled. Taking each step slow, she closed in on what she guessed was the side of the RV. She stretched out her hand, touched metal. Mindful of the angry waiting-for-a-shower wife, she didn’t speak. As she recalled, a number of closely bunched pine trees were at the back of this space, contributing to the lack of visibility.

Where are you?” she whispered. “My tools—I’ll have to go back—“

A form materialized, startling her. She sensed more than saw a human shape. Years of watching her back kicked in. No one was going to defend her, if she needed defending. She was on her own. She turned toward the shape, folded her fingers into a fist.

Then something slammed into her and knocked her backward onto the ground. Her head slammed against hard earth. A hand clamped over her mouth. A weight settled over her, knees grinding against her forearms and preventing her from lifting them. The man—that much she was certain—grabbed her hair and turned her head to the side with one hand while still gagging her with the other. The way his body rested on her chest, she couldn’t draw a decent breath. Much longer and she’d pass out. Terror lanced her, making it nearly impossible for her to think.

Maybe her attacker knew what she was experiencing because he let go of her hair and mouth. Before she could get her act together, something wide and sticky pressed against her lips. She tried to shake it off, but he stayed with her, hauling her head off the ground and wrapping the gag around her head. He wasn’t content with one wrap. By the time he was done, he’d looped her head a total of three times.

Step one,” he muttered.

Her heart hammered so she thought it might burst, and when he climbed off her and flipped her onto her belly, she did little more than try to squirm away. He grunted and pulled her arms behind her until her wrists were crisscrossed one over the other.

The splinted pieces of her mind came back together, and she bucked, screaming impotently into the gag. Again he sat on her and held her down, still holding her wrists in place with one large hand. This man knew exactly what he was doing.

A little risky,” he continued in the same low tone, “but I need to feel alive.”

She didn’t know what he was talking about, didn’t want to care, but her survival might depend on learning everything she could about her abductor. She wanted to fight. Every fiber of her being screamed at her to struggle, but he weighed a lot more than she did and all that weight was holding her down. With her arms wrenched behind her, she stood no chance of pulling them loose. She knew because she kept trying.

He was doing something, moving to the side a little and shifting his weight slightly. She bent her knees in an attempt to slam her heels into his back. No matter how much she strained, however, she couldn’t put enough force behind the effort to make any difference.

His chuckle chilled her.

Not the smartest thing you’ve ever done as you’ll find out. Now to prepare you for transport.”

Book Links:




Vonna Harper Links:



Bio

What prompts a mild-mannered mostly law abiding woman to write erotica and erotic romance, a lot revolving around BDSM and capture/bondage? Is it the complex issue of taking or giving up control?

Vonna Harper doesn't know and she has given up trying to find the answer. It's enough that many readers are drawn to what some call the dark side. All she asks is that readers understand she writes fiction--a brand of fiction she finds fascinating.

Vonna has lost count of the number of books, novellas, and short stories she's written. What she has no doubt of, it's a hell of a ride.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review Tuesday: Single-Syllable Steve

Single-Syllable Steve
By Sam Thorne

Excessica 2015

Celeste’s just trying to do her job as the accountant for busy nightclub, but she has to deal with innumerable distractions— brusque emails sent by her dictatorial boss, incessant high volume chatter from the barmaids, and the silent, seductive presence of the temporary bouncer, Steve. He’s a quiet, unassuming hunk who’s forced to change into his uniform in the same staff room where Celeste works (or at least makes the honest attempt to do so). She can’t keep her eyes off him, and soon he’s starring in her nightly fantasies. Her taciturn co-worker, though, seems immune not only to Celeste’s less-than-supermodel charms but also those of her more glamorous work-mates. When Celeste’s patience with her employment situation finally snaps, though, she discovers that Steve is an ally and more. In fact, the fruits of her lurid imagination pale next to the reality of making love to single-syllable Steve.

Single-Syllable Steve is a delight. The story showcases Ms. Thorne’s crisp, lively style and her ear for dialect:

“…and Rick turns round to me and says, ‘Tish, I can’t meet you at eight,’ which properly pissed me off, right? ‘Cause Friday nights are supposed to be like our ‘thing’, yeah?”

“Arse,” Sandra agreed. “Told you he was all about him.”

“So I says, ‘Rick, I’m not having this.’ Then he turns around and says...”

Could these speakers be anybody but a pair of modern-day British barmaids?

Celeste’s an appealing and believable heroine. She battles her insecurities, swallows her indignation at the way she’s treated, and slaves away at a job she hates in order to achieve a bit of independence. Then Steve walks into her life and she’s smitten with helpless lust.

And Steve—well, we don’t get to know him very well until the end of the story, but he’s clearly one of those massive guys who tries to slink through life hoping people will ignore him. Turns out he’s got a sweet disposition and a stubborn streak, along with the body of a human tank.

There’s only one sex scene in this tale, but it’s full of tenderness and heat. In erotica, the personalities of the characters all too often blur once they get into a clinch. That’s not the case here. The sexual action seems to flow naturally, a genuine expression of the individuals involved. Steve’s sexy as hell, but still diffident and respectful. Celeste’s no femme fatale, but she definitely knows what she wants. Throughout the scene, we never lose sight of the fact that this is the first time these two people have had sex. There’s always some awkwardness involved.

“Celeste, that's getting me a bit wound-up.”

Wound up? She was annoying him? God, how badly wrong had she got all this?

“Do you want me to go?”

“No! No, I mean—” he moved her hand from his chest to the fold of duvet over his cock and moaned at the pressure of her palm against him. His eyes closed for a moment. “I mean, I was holding back for your green light. And that stroking—I can't take too much of that unless that's you saying you want more.”

She answered him by pressing a kiss against his nipple and sliding her hand under the covers, curling her fingers around the hot bolt in his boxers. The moist patch was warm against her palm. He slanted his lips across hers and then kissed her hard, his thumb stroking her face, his fingers wrapping into her hair, massaging her as he groaned into her mouth. Her moans mingled with his as he stroked the roof of her mouth with his tongue, tasting her as hungrily as she tasted him.

She wanted to enjoy his ‘wound-up’ body, pleasure him with her mouth. Not as a favour or bargaining tool—just because.

The scene comes off as fresh and real, a plausible encounter between two people who have a strong mutual attraction but don’t know one another well. No romance stereotypes here about instant connection or natural mates—Celeste and Steve are feeling their way into a new relationship (having a fabulous time doing so, of course).

My only complaint about Single-Syllable Steve is that I wish it were longer. These characters have enough depth to support a novella, maybe even a novel. Ms. Thorne doesn’t have time to explore the issue of Steve’s hearing impairment, for example, and how it affects his personal interactions, or, for that matter, his sexual style. Celeste has a somewhat richer back story, but that’s mostly forgotten in the thrill of their initial connection.

Not that this should put you off from reading Single-Syllable Steve. In fact, I recommend that you do read it. Then lobby the author for more.