Monday, October 31, 2022

Review Tuesday: Alien Baggage Allowance by James Helps – #Satire #ScienceFiction #ReviewTuesday

Alien Baggage Allowance cover

Alien Baggage Allowance: A Collection of Micro Stories from Outta Space
by James Helps

Second Edition 2022

They came from outer space...

How many science fiction books have been written about humans’ first contact with an alien species? Thousands, possibly tens of thousands, I’d guess. After all, there are so many different scenarios, so many different ways events could unfold. Imagination can scarcely encompass the huge number of possible forms the Visitors might take or what their motives might be. Perhaps even more of a question is how we, the human race, might respond.

Alien Baggage Allowance is one author’s rapid fire exploration of this huge space of possibilities. In mini-stories ranging from a few paragraphs to a few pages, James Helps presents a gallery of vignettes about what might happen “When they came”.

These bizarre tales are sometimes hilarious, sometimes satirical, often cringe-inducing. Though they’re very short, I could not read too many at one sitting, partially because some of them made me distinctly uncomfortable. This is clearly the author’s intention. As I proceeded to the end of the book, it became clear that these stories aren’t really about aliens, but rather, about us.

I’ll quote a few, to give you a taste of Mr. Helps’ off-beat humor and understated irony.

CB Radio

WHEN THEY CAME, they were so astonished with our advanced technologies — they couldn’t get enough of our hair dryers, microwaves and CD players — that it made us wonder how they had navigated across the galaxy and had located a life-sustaining planet such as our own. As they did not speak any of our languages, more of a guttural chunter, it took a while for them to comprehend our confusion. Through a series of charades and drawings they finally cottoned on. All they could do was laugh to one another, and then proceeded to answer our questions with equally crude methods.

The upshot being: a spacecraft had come from space to their planet; they thought the sun was attacking them; they killed the Visitors that emerged from the sun-god spacecraft with clubs and spears; took their clothes and in the ship there was a big button with a picture of a man on it, they pressed it, some of them hoping it would bring their Visitors back to life because they were feeling a bit guilty, yet others hoped it would reveal more of their Visitors to kill; but what it actually did was bring the ship here, to Earth.

So there was intelligent life out there but these weren’t them.


WHEN THEY CAME, we thought they were just so damned cool. What with their winning smiles, shiny space-clothes, their special anti-gravity boots, the swaggering bouncy walks, and to top it all off they give us all rides in their spacecraft. It almost made us forget they had enslaved the whole nation of Denmark.

Breaking Bread

WHEN THEY CAME, they were appalled at the way we enslave our sister and our brother species, fattened them up and then sacrificed them for our stomach’s sakes. “How barbaric,” they chastised.

See, there is intelligent life out there after all,” chorused the vegetarians.

And the servitude is even worse, keeping your fellow creatures alive just to make food stuffs for your bodies is even worse. At least your so-called meat animals are well fed and receive a swift death. Your product animals are held longer and in utter degradation.”

The smug vegans were about to pipe up, but before they had a chance the Visitors pointed their fingers once again, “and you. You,” they narrowed their eyes. “You are the most terrible of all humankind. Not letting life live naturally and freely. Creating field after field of the same uniform life for your base needs. And you should know that plants have the lowest intelligence index of all sentient things, and you pick on them. Shame on you. Shame and guilt upon the heads of your children.”

So what are we meant to do,” the vegans protested, “for our own ‘base’ needs. All living things need sustenance.”

With all your technology have you not yet invented synthetic nutrition? You know, something that you can create artificially and then inject into your system without destroying any life? That way no one and nothing dies.”

What? You don’t sit down and break bread with one another, share a meal?” we all asked together.

No,” our Visitors told us, offence quivering in their voices.

At which point humanity, as one, collectively agreed that it was they, not us, that were inhuman and if they didn’t like us mouth feeders they could bloody well bugger off back to their own up-itself, holier-than-thou, self-righteous planet.

Old Oak

WHEN THEY CAME they were made of wood. They had wooden faces, and wooden arms and legs. Wooden fingers. Wooden toes. They had arrived in three wooden spacecraft. And from what I can remember, they also had wooden clothes. Wooden computers. Ate wooden food. Moved in a wooden fashion. And talked in a wooden way.

But they wouldn’t tell us where they were from. Wouldn’t listen to us, when we politely asked them to leave. But most annoying of all, when we doused them in gasoline, they wouldn’t burn.

Actually, these stories would not be inappropriate for Halloween. Some of them inspire a sense of horror. Intentionally.

If you’re looking for laughs mixed with some intellectual and moral challenges, grab a copy of this quirky and original volume.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Halloween treats for you! – #FreeBooks #Halloween #ParanormalRomance

Halloween Celebration

Image by Łukasz Nieścioruk from Unsplash 

Happy Halloween! My favorite holiday is finally here, and I’m celebrating by passing out the treats.

Specifically, anyone who asks can get a free paranormal romance short from me today. Pick one of the books below (they’re all about 15K words), then tell me in a comment which one you prefer, and what ebook format. Oh, and be sure to give me your email address so I’ll know where to send the book.

That’s it. No tricks at all, just spooky magical erotic romance fun!

Hot Spell: Elemental Passions Book 1

The flames of passion are more than metaphor

Comfortable and at home in nature, Sylvie doesn't mind being alone in the wilderness. But she's not the only being haunting the glades and the trails.

As the city swelters in the grip of an unseasonable heat wave, Sylvie escapes to the pine-shrouded mountains to the east. A handsome stranger interrupts her plans for a midnight dip in the stream near her camp site. Hidden in the shadows, she can't help watching as he pleasures himself – or indeed, surreptitiously joining him in auto-eroticism. By the time she recovers from her climax, however, he has vanished.

Aidan finds her the next day as she sun bathes nude in a high meadow. Though his desire burns as fiercely as hers, he refuses to make love to her. The muscular, sun-bronzed fire warden is cursed with a power he fears will destroy her if they surrender to their passion. Can earthy, voluptuous Sylvie refrain from tempting him? Or will she risk being literally consumed by love?


Rough Weather: Elemental Passions Book 2

Destiny hides in the tempest’s heart

A fated encounter. A familiar stranger. A storm of passion. Can Ondine release her fear, surrender to Marut’s power, and claim her own?

Marine biologist Ondine Ambrose has always felt at home in the sea. Orphaned at birth and raised by her grandmother on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, she has never really questioned her extraordinary affinity for the watery world.

When she encounters an attractive but arrogant engineer on her private beach, surveying the site for a prospective off-shore wind farm, anger is her first reaction. A casual touch, however, transforms that emotion to incomprehensible, irresistible, terrifying lust.

Ebony-skinned Marut has his own talents—aside from his uncanny ability to swamp Ondine with desire. He can control the winds and summon storms. When he insists that they are both more than human, and that she is his destined mate, Ondine responds with skepticism. She tries to resist the charismatic Haitian, but ultimately she cannot deny the evidence of her senses—and her heart.


Fin d’Espoir: A Bisexual Vampire Romance

Their love may be his last hope for redemption

Bitter and alone, Etienne de Rémorcy haunts the forest around the ruined plantation of Fin d'Espoir. He has sworn to never again taste human blood. Then a fierce storm and a runaway horse bring a slender, raven-haired beauty to his lair. When she begs him to take her, he cannot resist.

Madeleine and Troy hope that a carefree vacation in tropical Jamaica will reignite their faded passion. On a mountain trail ride, Maddy's horse bolts, carrying her deep into the jungle. Injured and lost, she is saved by a giant of a man whose mere presence kindles unbearable desire. By the time she understands his dark nature, it is far too late for her to escape.

When Maddy returns, Troy finds her greatly changed : ravenous in bed, restless and disturbed otherwise. The elegant stranger he meets on the beach holds the key to her transformation - and soon has seduced Troy as well.

Tortured by his conscience, Etienne is determined to set the young couple free. But their love may be his last hope for redemption.


If you want to know more, you can find excerpts for all of these titles on the book page of my website:

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Charity Sunday for Democracy – #VotingRights #Elections #CharitySunday

Charity Sunday Banner

In a bit more than a week, Americans will go to the polls for midterm elections of senators, representatives and governors. I don’t want to wade into the muck of politics on my romance and erotica blog, but I do want to remind every one that ultimately democracy depends on you. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a country where you have a vote, then use it to help shape the future.

With this in mind, on this Charity Sunday I am supporting the League of Women Voters (LWV). Founded more than one hundred years ago, LWV is “a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to protect and expand voting rights and ensure everyone is represented in our democracy. We empower voters and defend democracy through advocacy, education, and litigation, at the local, state, and national levels.”

LWV works to educate and inform the voting public, and to fight attempts to limit the rights of voters. Voting is about making your own decisions; LWV tries to make sure everyone can do exactly that.

For every comment I receive on this Charity Sunday post, I’ll donate two dollars to LWV, to support this mission.

As far as my excerpt goes, I only have one book that has anything to do with politics, my erotic thriller Exposure. Here’s a bit from that novel.


Sex, blood and betrayal: it's all in a day's work.

Stella is just minding her own business and having a bit of fun, working as an exotic dancer at the Peacock Lounge. Through no fault of her own, she witnesses a double murder and gets pulled into a shady dance of deceit with political bigwigs, mob bosses, dirty cops and scheming widows. Now she's everyone's target; her only chance is to sift through the lies and expose the truth.


It’s past ten in the morning when I wake, stiff and for some reason groggy. The sun seems weak, half-hearted. It takes me a minute to remember what day it is. Then it hits me. Monday. The day of my debut as Francesca’s assistant.

I shower and dress, choosing my most conservative outfit for the afternoon’s ordeal. Even in a charcoal pin-striped suit, I don’t look exactly business-like. The skirt comes to mid-knee, the crisp white blouse buttons high on my throat, but my long, shapely legs and ample breasts are hard to hide. I put up my hair, twisting it into a complex knot at the back of my head, and apply only minimal makeup. I gaze at myself in the mirror and shrug. Sex appeal is hard to disguise, but after all, this was Francesca’s choice. Sorry, sweetheart, but what you see is what you get.

The doorbell rings. I slip into low-heeled pumps (it won’t do for me to appear taller than Madame Mayor-to-be), grab my purse, and limp downstairs.

Francesca, as I expected, is wearing black. The cut of her suit is so stylish, though, it hardly looks like mourning. I see approval in her eyes as she looks me over, but she has the good taste not to say anything.

She takes me to the restaurant at the William Penn Hotel, just around the corner from City Hall. The waiters seem as highly starched as the white linen table cloths. The silver fork is heavy and awkward in my hand as I nibble at the salade niçoise that Francesca recommended. The recessed lighting and the low murmur of the businessmen conversing at the tables around us are oddly soothing. I listen more than I talk.

This is a city of working people, Stella. They’re the people Tony wanted to represent, and I feel the same way. You might find it difficult to believe, but both Tony and I have working-class roots. Tony’s grandfather came over from Italy to work in the steel mills. Mine ran a grocery in Bloomfield, half a mile from where Tony’s buried. We were fortunate to have industrious, ambitious parents who knew the value of education. I remember my mother brushing my hair, telling me again and again that I needed to go to college or I’d never have any opportunities.

After Vassar, I was a freelance journalist for awhile. I was always fascinated by politics, though. When I met Tony ten years ago he already was planning to run for Mayor. He asked me to help him. As he built his businesses, cultivated his contacts, served on the City Council, ran the Chamber of Commerce, made deals, friends and enemies, I was always there behind the scenes. Planning, organizing, smoothing the rough spots. Giving him whatever support he needed.”

There’s a strange, somber expression on her heart-shaped face, grief tinged with bitterness.

I’m sure that he was grateful for your help.” I sense that I need to say something.

Of course he was. He told me so, often. And he made sure that I had everything that I wanted. Within the limits of his character.” Another awkward pause. Her fork is raised, halfway to her mouth, a lettuce leaf trembling in its tines. Is she going to cry, here in public?

And now he’s gone. But I won’t let our dream die with him. That’s why I need you, Stella. I need you to help me the way I helped him. To be my voice, my eyes, and my ears. To do whatever needs to be done.”

This sounds ominous to me. Her story has its inspiring aspects, but I still don’t trust her.

Her face softens as she looks at me. She seems almost girlish, and surprisingly needy. I have an almost overwhelming urge to reach out and stroke her cheek. I try to ignore it, along with the melting sensation between my thighs. This is business.

I try to read her, the way I read the customers at the Peacock. Of course I can’t give her the stare, but I gaze into her eyes with what I hope is a sympathetic expression.

I’ll do what I can, Francesca. Just let me know what you need.”

She feels the question in my eyes, and makes her face into a mask. I’m suddenly reminded of Mr. Clean.

I need to be mayor. That’s the last dream left to me, and I’ll fight like the devil to fulfill it.”

If this sounds interesting, you’ll find ebook and audiobook buy links, plus another excerpt, at

Don’t forget to leave a comment and support the right to vote. And I hope you’ll visit the other bloggers participating in today’s blog hop.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Off the grid, in over his head... #eroticromance #bookboyfriend #billionaire @cw1985 @victoriablisse

The Billionaire and the Wild Man cover


Flynn Gifford is enjoying a simple existence in a rural Derbyshire village when Caroline Rogers crashes into his life, barefoot and panicked.

Their lives could hardly be more different—she owns a successful luxury hotel chain, and he’s a penniless nomad who’s off the grid—yet neither can deny the attraction that burns between them. As Caroline reluctantly starts to open up to him, Flynn finds himself divulging some secrets of his own, secrets he thought he’d take to his grave.

But can a billionaire and a wild man ever make a relationship work, or will their secrets keep them apart?

PLEASE NOTE: This book has been previously published. This version has been re-edited.

Universal link:

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Excerpt: Chapter One

I’m busy minding my own business, clearing up litter in a field on the outskirts of Hartington when what can only be described as a crazy woman appears, seemingly from nowhere. She’s all wild-eyed, and her blonde hair looks damp. Her outfit is unremarkable, except for the fact she’s got nothing on her feet. Bright red toenails seem massively out of place in this rural village. She seems out of place. I’m not sure why I think this, but somehow, she just doesn’t appear to belong. So what the hell is she doing here?

Normally, I steer clear of other folk unless it’s absolutely necessary, but this woman looks like she needs help. If she’s crossed the road with her feet like that, then they’re going to be scratched to buggery, maybe even cut.

Taking a deep breath, I chuck the empty crisp packet I’ve been holding into my rubbish bag. Then I place it next to the tree I’m standing beside and step out into the woman’s path. I’m used to people not seeing me—or behaving like they haven’t seen me, anyway—so I’m not surprised when she lets out a shriek that could wake the dead and freezes in front of me.

Hey, hey,” I say gently, holding my hands up placatingly. “It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you. I just wanted to come and see if you were all right. I can’t help but notice you’re not wearing any shoes. You’re not hurt, are you?” If this chick is so desperate to get away that she’s gone without shoes, then something’s wrong. Seriously wrong.

I look around, half-expecting to see an angry husband chasing after her, or maybe even a shopkeeper. She could be a thief. Glancing at her again, I realise that can’t possibly be the case, unless she’s stolen something invisible. All she has are the clothes on her back.

She still hasn’t spoken, so I try again, attempting to make myself appear friendly, welcoming. Not an easy thing when you’re over six feet tall and pretty wide, too. Also, the tattoos, and the fact I haven’t had a change of clothes, shave, or a haircut for a while don’t help. I wouldn’t blame her if she ran away, to be honest. I must look a fright, but I haven’t peered into a mirror—or even a window—for a good few days, so I can’t be sure.

Please answer me. Are you hurt? Is there someone after you?”

She looks around, then back at me. Shakes her head. I’m confused—if there’s no one after her, why did she look behind her?

I crouch down. “Are your feet okay? Cut?”

Finally, I get a verbal reply. “N-no. I mean, yes. They’re okay. Not cut. At least… I don’t think so.”

She lifts each foot in turn, checks the soles. So do I. They’re fine. Now she’s answered another of my questions, too. Her accent doesn’t sound local. More like southern England. London, perhaps.

I suppress an involuntary shudder. The thought of London, the big, dirty, smoky city, does not impress me. Horrible bloody place. But at least it explains why the blonde doesn’t fit in. She’s not from around here.

Naturally, I still have a million and one questions, but I don’t know how to ask them without bombarding or intimidating her. Not to mention that really, I have no right to know the answers. I’m a total stranger. But there’s something about her, about her appearance—and I don’t just mean the lack of footwear—that makes me want to help her. Or at least get her back where she came from, which is clearly somewhere in the village. She certainly hasn’t come far, as otherwise her feet would be filthy and bleeding.

What the hell is she doing here?

About the

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight, and The Heiress’s Harem and The Dreadnoughts series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her and her writing at

Victoria Blisse (she/her) is known as the Queen of Smut, Reverend to the kinky and is the Writer in Residence at Cocktails and Fuck Tales. She’s also an angel. Ask anyone. She can often be found in a local BDSM club, running events such as Smut Market or asking mean people to be wonderfully mean to her. Mancunian Odd Duck, her northern English quirkiness shows through in all of her stories along with her own particular brand of humour and romance that bring laughs and warm fuzzies in equal measure. Passion, love and laughter fill her works, just as they fill her busy life. Find out more at

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Brand new erotica from Larry Archer! #MILF #FFF #HotWife #Discount @Archer_Larry

The Perfect Wife cover

My writing buddy Larry Archer has a brand new novel that just hit the shelves. The Perfect Wife follows one of his favorite themes, the initiation of an innocent into the “dark side” of swinging, girl-on-girl sex and general sexual mayhem.

One of the things I love about Larry’s stories is that everyone has a good time. There’s no guilt about pleasure, and no regrets. Despite the popular notion that smut is sexist, his work is also very pro-women. Every female character is free to pursue her personal satisfaction – wherever that leads. There’s no slut-shaming or negativity, and no coercion.

If this sounds like a story you’d enjoy, get yourself a copy today. The ebook version is on sale for 50% off at Smashwords.


The Perfect Wife – Larry Archer scores again with a Hotwife tale that is guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart. Our hero, Tony, is a troubleshooter for a large multinational organization and is constantly being sent to the far corners of the world.

The first day Tony and his wife Wanda are ensconced in their new condominium in Sin City, he is sent to London to fix an accounting software glitch that has brought their European division to its knees.

Wanda, shy and timid house frau, is abandoned in a strange new city with only the clothes on her back as their moving van is broken down halfway between St. Louis and Las Vegas. With no food in the pantry, she is forced to eat at the restaurant located in the exclusive Towers complex. Luckily, Foxy and Chrissy take her under their wings and introduce her to a lifestyle she could only imagine in her wildest dreams.

Without Tony’s protection, Wanda is forced into situations beyond her control and discovers that she loves it. Tony sees glimpses of his new wife over FaceTime as Foxy turns her into the MILF she was destined to be.

The Perfect Wife is a nonstop erotic adventure into the world of Hotwives and their cuckold husbands. This long 70,000-word story has twists and turns that Larry Archer is known for, with a HEA ending, as everyone lives happily ever after.


According to studies, it’s better to let your breasts go free for most women,” Foxy answered. “It’s like anything else; the muscles atrophy if they don’t get exercised.” Then she reached over and bounced Chrissy’s tits up and down, saying, “She’s had a little bodywork to help hold those big jugs up after encouragement from her ex before we knew her. I would havenever let Chrissy get pumped up if we’d known her when she was married.”

So, you were married?” Wanda asked as she watched Foxy twist one of Chrissy’s nipples,which resulted in a shudder running through the big redhead’s body.

Chrissy didn’t answer but kissed Foxy in a long, slow kiss that reminded her of two lovers being affectionate rather than two lesbians, correction bisexuals.

Wanda looked around to see if anyone was looking at them, and it dawned on her that their choice spot by the windows had a large potted plant strategically placed such that it hid the table from the rest of the restaurant.

Finally, they stopped kissing, and Foxy giggled, “Sorry, Wanda, it’s just that we get horny sometimes. I guess you noticed that they normally sit us in the corner so the other guests don’t get to watch?”

It’s sweet,” Wanda admitted. “I think it would be nice to have a girlfriend that I felt close to as I’m alone most of the time. I’m not complaining, but Tony is typically off solving the world’s problems.”

If your hubby doesn’t mind, I think you’d fit into our group?” Foxy asked. “Is he the jealous type?”

No, not at all. If it were up to him, I’d be dressed like you all the time. He’s always telling me to be sexier, but it’s embarrassing to have people stare at me!” Wanda admitted. “He’s never said anything about me having a girlfriend but maybe?”

Guys always love to watch,” Chrissy interjected. “There’s something about two girls getting frisky that turns all men on!”

Turning to Foxy, Wanda asked, “I assume Larry feels the same way since you two sleep together?”

It’s usually three or four of us sleeping together,” Foxy laughed. “Ever since Larry’s girlfriend moved in, I’ve been thinking about getting a double king-size bed.”

What’s she like?” Wanda asked as the thought of being in bed with these two smoking babes turned both her burners up to high!

She’s a tall blond with shoulder-length soft curls and blue eyes. She’s not as slender as I am and with tits almost as big as Chrissy’s,” Foxy replied. “Sherry is a television reporter on the Channel 12 news team. She’s a little bit of a tight ass, but I’m changing that.”

You don’t worry about the competition?” Wanda asked as she struggled to understand her new friend’s casual attitude towards sex.

You may think I’m naive, but I’m not stupid. I asked Sherry to watch out for Larry when I ran off to LA and make dirty movies. She’s the opposite of what Larry is attracted to, and I felt she was the safest choice for him,” Foxy admitted. “I could have asked his club manager, Linda, to do the job, but she might be a problem in the long run as she looks exactly like me.”

For Wanda, the only thing she heard was “dirty movies,” and the rest of the statement flew over her head. “Dirty movies?” she blurted out and immediately regretted letting her mouth get ahead of her brain.

Foxy and Chrissy burst out laughing at the remark. “Remind me at the pool, and I’ll give you the Cliff Note’s version or loan you a DVD if you’re interested?”

I’d like that,” Wanda replied as her mind boiled with questions about the curly-headed brunette sitting next to her. Has Tony ever seen Foxy having sex on video? She asked herself. 

I hear the pool calling us,” Foxy quipped. “This conversation is getting too hot for the restaurant!”

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Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Join us for Charity Sunday, 30 October 2022! #CharitySundaySignup #Altruism #Marketing


                      Image by Meghan Griffin from Unsplash

This coming Sunday, the 30th of October, I’ll be hosting this month’s Charity Sunday blog hop!

Charity Sunday is a meme designed to give authors and bloggers a chance to give back to the world—as well as, hopefully, to attract new readers.

How does it work? Each participant selects a favorite charity. Before Charity Sunday, you should prepare a blog post that: 1) talks about the charity and why you support it; 2) provides a link to the charity; 3) includes an excerpt from one of your books; 4) includes the code to show links to other participating blogs.

It’s fun if you can make the excerpt relate somehow to your chosen charity, but this isn’t required.

For every comment left on your post, you commit to giving some amount to the relevant charity. The specific charity and the amount to donate are up to you. You can set an upper limit to your donation if you want.

If you’d like to participate in the next Charity Sunday
on September 25th, just sign up using the Linky List below. Please be sure that the link you enter will lead directly to your Charity Sunday post, not just to the home page of your blog.

For more detailed instructions, go here:

You can get my
new 2022 Charity Sunday banner from here.

Monday, October 24, 2022

My Book is a Game! #Gaming #EroticFantasy #Menage

The Ingredients of Bliss game image

Quite a while ago, I agreed to sell gaming rights to my BDSM ménage erotic romance The Ingredients of Bliss. I just heard from the publisher Totally Bound that the game will be released soon. They sent me a copy of the game image (above). Isn’t it wild? It’s a lovely, sexy picture, but doesn’t seem to have much to do with the original novel!

Here’s the link to the game company, if you’re interested:

And here’s the blurb – and an excerpt – from the original novel!


One sexy French chef. One kinky American TV producer. One ambitious Chinese gal who thinks she wants them both. The ingredients of bliss? Or a recipe for disaster?

Accomplished cook Mei Lee ‘Emily’ Wong knows exactly what she wants—her own show on the Tastes of France food channel. But life is full of complications. First, her deceptively nerdy producer, Harry Sanborne, initiates Emily into the delights of submission. Then her boss, legendary chef Etienne Duvalier, begs her to dominate him. Emily just can’t resist—especially when Harry orders her to explore her inner Mistress. Suave and sexy Etienne will do whatever she asks—in the bedroom if not in the kitchen. And Harry, her lovingly diabolical Dom, adores pushing Emily’s limits.

When the network sends the trio to France to shoot a series of cooking shows on location, Emily knows her career is on the upswing. Her plans fall apart in Marseille as a Hong Kong drug syndicate kidnaps both Etienne and Harry. The Iron Hammer Triad mistakes Etienne for notorious gangster Jean Le Requin, who has stolen their drug shipment, worth millions. Emily realizes she must find the real Le Requin, retrieve the purloined dope, and bargain it for Harry’s and Etienne’s lives. The secret she’s been keeping from Harry might prove useful. Still, what chance does one woman whose knife skills are limited to chopping vegetables, have against the ruthless cruelty of two criminal organisations?



My culinary star was rising, as demonstrated by our ratings. Then there was this all-expenses-paid trip to France—quite a perk. All I had to do was control my libido, at least in public. It should have been easy. But the lovely Frenchman sitting across from me, so debonair and so vulnerable, was a terrible temptation.

I really am sorry.” I didn’t know what else to say. “I guess you must be jealous.”

Why was I apologizing to him? I was supposed to be the one in charge.

Less than you might think,” he answered, with an enigmatic half smile. “Far less than if you’d told me you played the mistress with him as well.”

My cheeks burned. We’d never discussed his passion for surrender before. Outside of one of our scenes, he acted the role of Gallic martinet with the same flair as always.

The change made me very nervous.

We’re fortunate to have hit such perfect weather,” I babbled. Indeed, the cloudless blue bowl of the sky and the mild, benevolent sunshine made the iconic scene look like some picture postcard. “Harry told me the cameras aren’t really intended for outdoor use…”

Mei Lee.” The severity I heard in his voice contrasted with the yearning I still read in his eyes. “Don’t change the subject.”

Chastened, I pushed the crumbs around on my plate.

May I come to your room tonight?”

Uh—tonight?” I searched frantically for some excuse that would not wound him too deeply. Tonight I was promised to Harry.

With the confusion of our arrival and the hectic preparations for our Paris show the previous day, I’d slept alone for the past two nights. Tomorrow we would move on to Lyon, but not until after lunch—no six am alarm like the past two mornings. My Master had guaranteed we’d have a special evening.

Or do you have other plans?” Etienne nodded toward Harry’s approaching form.

Before I could answer, Harry sank into the third chair at the marble-topped table, wiped his sleeve across his brow then signaled to the waiter.

Iced tea with lemon, please…”

The clean-shaven young man gave him a look of haughty incomprehension.

I stepped into the breach. “Thé glacée avec citron, s’il vous plait.”

The garçon’s eyes widened in surprise at my near-perfect accent. With a curt nod, he disappeared back into the shadowed interior of the café.

Harry chuckled. “Thanks, Emily. I’d be lost here without you.” Stretching out his long legs under the table, he tipped his chair back. “You two have it easy. It’s hot as hell out there in the middle of the square.”

Well, we are the stars,” I teased. “But I don’t find it too warm.”

Try lugging an ENG camera on your shoulder for half an hour and see how you feel.”

I thought that was Mack’s job. Anyway, if you think this is hot, you should try summer in Hong Kong. Thirty plus degrees and ninety-five percent humidity!”

Hmph!” Etienne pushed his chair away from the table and rose to his feet. “Not my preferred climate at all.”

You see, Grandmother? He’s not the one I should bring home to meet the family.

Excuse me for a moment.” The chef followed in the waiter’s footsteps, presumably seeking the toilets. I found myself straining to catch a glimpse of his crotch. Perhaps he was on his way to relieve himself in a different way than the obvious. However, he turned his back before I could gauge his level of tumescence.


I swiveled back to face Harry, feeling guilty as a kid who’d filched a pork bun behind his mother’s back.

What have you been up to, Emily? You’re blushing.”

For the ten millionth time, I cursed my pale skin. But then Harry could read me even in the dark.

Nothing. Etienne and I were just…um…just talking.”

About what?”

He didn’t touch me, but I felt the force of his implacable will. He crossed his arms over his chest—he was wearing a red polo shirt that was just tight enough to show off his delicious pecs—fixed me those espresso-brown eyes, and waited for me to succumb.

I stared into my empty cup. I really didn’t want to share the content of Etienne’s and my recent conversation. It seemed too intimate, too personal. On the other hand, I owed Harry at least the same honesty that I’d given to Etienne.

Ah—well, we were talking about you. About you and me. And about Etienne’s…uh…needs.”

Excellent! It sounds as though he’s becoming a bit more comfortable with the whole idea.”

I nodded. I found discussing the chef’s masochistic desires in the broad light of day to be deeply disconcerting, but most likely it was a healthy sign.


And he wants to come to my room, to ‘serve’ me. Tonight.”

Perfect!” Harry rubbed his hands together like some cartoon villain. If he’d had a moustache, he’d have been twirling it. “Tell him he can come. No, order him to come.”

But—what about us? You promised you’d come to my room tonight. Every time I look at the brass headboard on my bed, I get excited…”

I’ll be there, love.”

I didn’t like that evil grin of his at all. Well, I did like it—perhaps too much, because I remembered the other times I’d seen it decorating his kissable mouth—but it definitely had me worried. “Harry? What are you planning? I don’t want this to blow up in our faces. We’re stuck here with Etienne for the next two-and-a-half weeks.”

He swung an arm around my shoulder and pulled me into a smoldering kiss. I forgot my concerns, at least for the duration. “Don’t you trust me by now, Emily? Nothing is going to blow up in our faces. We’re just going to take the next logical step in our relationship.”

* * *

If you’re more into reading than gaming... pick up a copy of this entertaining and surprising romance.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

An Interview with Sarah Honey & Lisa Henry – #Interview #MMRomance #FanGirl

Bad Boyfriends Banner

I read tons of romance, and to be honest, it takes a lot to impress me. When I read the first book of the Bad Boyfriends, Inc. series by Sarah Honey and Lisa Henry, I was well and duly floored. It was just so good, on so many dimensions: creative, funny, literate and romantic. The second book was even better. Now they have a third installment in the series out (on my TBR pile). I found myself really curious about this writing duo, and asked if they’d do an interview with me.

So please welcome Lisa Henry and Sarah Honey to Beyond Romance!


How did the two of you meet? And how did you get started writing as a team?

Sarah — We ‘met’ through A03 and Tumblr, where I fangirled shamelessly over Lisa’s writing, and then she posted about how she couldn’t get a certain dog toy for her lab Daisy and I sent her some. And it kind of went from there. We co-wrote a couple of fanfics together and discovered that our styles meshed incredibly well, and Lisa suggested we co-write a book as proof of concept that I could write a book. My daughter , who was doing some art for Lisa at the time, made a throwaway comment about ‘a penniless scribe with a limp and a penchant for scarves’ and though a process of terrible jokes and discovering we both had a block of time off, Red Heir was born in a frenzied few weeks of writing. And it did stupidly well, so we wrote some more!

Lisa: Daisy still has a few of those toy elephants from the Reject Shop left! Yeah, we met through fanfic, and Sarah liked to say she wasn’t sure she could write a novel. I pointed out to her that she pretty much already was every time she posted a 60 000 fanfic. And then I bullied her into writing a novel with me to show her it was possible! And we had so much fun we kept doing it.

Tell us something about your writing process. Do each of you focus on writing a different character? Do you each do first drafts then pass them off to the other? What about editing?

Sarah— What normally happens is one of us (usually Lisa) will go “We should write this thing!” and I’ll go “Sure!” And then a doc will appear in my inbox. We write together and apart, depending on time zones and work commitments, but we both write both characters. Sometimes one of us will do a solid block of a chapter alone, and other times we’re in there together, bouncing off each other, while we chat in the comments and on discord about where the hell we’re going with this. (We’re both pansters by nature, so it can be a wild ride!)

There’s only one first draft, and 99% of the time I’m all for anything Lisa adds or changes, because she invariably improves on what I’ve done. I’m still a learner driver in the editing department, so usually I'll take a pass at it and send it to Lisa to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

Lisa: It’s very casual! We don’t write a character each or a chapter each. Depending on who’s online, we just jump in and carry on wherever we left off last time.

What was the genesis of the Bad Boyfriend series? Did you expect it to be a series when you started? After Tristan, are there more Bad Boyfriends waiting in the wings?

Sarah—Lisa thought it would be a fun, one off project to write about a guy who’s a deliberately awful date. And when we were, I want to say, 80% of the way through, we decided it would be fun to pass the mantle to the other housemates.

We don’t have any more Bad Boyfriends per se planned, but there have been mumblings about a series featuring the staff and patrons of the Palace, which is the drag bar/nightclub featured in Terribly Tristan.

Lisa: It was definitely one of those times when Sarah thought we were writing a single book, and I started yelling “trilogy!” at her. But the books were a lot of fun to write, so I’m pretty sure she didn’t mind too much.

Who is your favorite bad boyfriend, so far, and why? (I realize that Lisa and Sarah may have different answers to this.)

Sarah—I love them all for different reasons, but I adore Tristan, my glorious slutty butterfly most of all I think. His character evolved through the books and wedged himself firmly centre stage with no permission from us—which is Tris in a nutshell, really.

Lisa: I have a lot of fondness for Harry, because he’s adorkable. But my favourite has to be Tristan. In the beginning, he was just this slightly outlandish background character, but he started stealing every scene he was in, and it was pretty clear he had to have his own book, and his own turn at being a Bad Boyfriend.

One of the things I love about the series is its strong sense of place. Are the settings (for instance, Liam’s family winery) based on experience, imagination, or a combination?

Sarah—the winery was partly a throwback to my days picking grapes when I was younger and had better knees, but it’s also based on a real place in the Hunter Valley. I will say, Lisa is the queen of settings.

Lisa: I was just about to say I am terrible at settings, lol. I don’t know much about wineries, but I am very much a fan of their work!

Do you have any new book ideas simmering on the back burner? If so, can you share?

Sarah—we have ideas! There’s the series set in the Palace, and possibly a follow up to the Adventures in Aguillon series that follows the Callier Travelling Players on the road, and there’s a whisper involving werewolves. For me, I’m 90% of the way through writing a historical romp featuring a king, his irreverent groom, their secret affair, and a smidge of spanking, which I’ve penciled in for a January release.

Lisa: We have so many ideas, it’s just a matter of finding the time to get to them! I have a few solo things lined up, and some co-writing projects with J.A. Rock, and a couple of exciting shared world books with other authors, and I have just signed a contract for a three book Ancient Roman murder mystery series with a publisher. But I definitely want to write the Callier Travelling Players books, and also The Palace books, with Sarah!

Thanks so much for sharing with my readers.

Anyone who’s interested can read my review of Awfully Ambrose here:

And Horribly Harry here:

For a sneak preview of Terribly Tristan, see last Friday’s post.