‘Weekend at Wilderhope Manor’ Launches Today

Congratulations to Lucy Felthouse on the launch of her hot new story, Weekend at Wilderhope Manor. Here’s a steamy peek.

 

Blurb:

When Stephanie and Jenny go to a Murder Mystery Halloween weekend at Wilderhope Manor, they’re expecting fun and games. But following creaky floorboards, spooky noises and an alarming encounter in the Manor’s grounds, the girls begin to wonder if there’s more to Wilderhope Manor than meets the eye. As they find frequent comfort in one another’s arms – and their bed – will the girls discover what’s causing the bumps in the night, or will they run scared?

Excerpt:

The car trundled up the long driveway, the crunching of gravel beneath tyres the only sound as Stephanie and her girlfriend, Jenny, peered out of the windows at their surroundings.

Even at dusk the tree-lined driveway was impressive with perfectly maintained parkland, spanning for acres on either side of it. As Stephanie steered the Fiesta around a bend in the track, they both gasped. Their destination, Wilderhope Manor, had come into view and it was stunning. The Tudor style property was huge, with no less than three frontages visible from where they were. Chimneys with intricately built patterns jutted into the darkening sky, with tangles of ivy climbing parts of the manor, giving the place an appearance that was both beautiful and foreboding.

Presently, the driveway opened out into a gravelled area, which as far as Stephanie could tell, doubled as a car park for the weekend. Stephanie manoeuvred into a spot between two vehicles and killed the engine. As she turned to Jenny, she jumped, startled. Her girlfriend had leaned in close, making a scary face with her hands mimicking claws.

“Are you ready to be scared out of your wits, young lady?” Jenny rasped, wiggling her eyebrows and fingers theatrically.

Stephanie shoved her playfully, laughing. “Come on, you silly cow. It’s a murder mystery weekend, not a monster hunt. There will be no ghosts, ghouls or vampires involved.”

Stephanie got out of the car and closed the door. She’d already popped open the boot and started unloading their bags before Jenny appeared alongside her, pouting petulantly.

“But it’s Halloween tomorrow,” Jenny insisted. “Anything could happen. The veil between the living and dead will be at its thinnest, and this place is meant to be swarming with ghosts.”

“If you say so, sweetheart,” she replied, rolling her eyes. She was used to Jenny’s crazy beliefs by now. “Grab your bags and let’s get inside. It’s cold. You got the tickets?”

Jenny nodded, brandishing her handbag in response. Jenny picked up her overnight bag as Stephanie slammed the boot lid before locking the car, then followed her toward the grand entrance to Wilderhope Manor.

* * *

A little while later, they were installed in their room. They’d each been handed a “Welcome Pack” by the staff member who had attended to them at Reception, which consisted of their itinerary and instructions for the weekend.

As they unpacked, she voiced one of the thoughts that had run through her head. “Have you ever noticed how places never bat an eye at two girls sharing a room, and yet, if it’s two guys, they automatically assume they’re gay?”

“They’ll soon change their tune when they see your outfit for tonight!” Jenny replied, grinning cheekily at her. “It screams ‘lesbian’ with every stitch!”

“Whatever do you mean, you saucy wench? Someone with girl parts dressing as a distinguished gentleman does not a lesbian make.”

“True, but I wonder what it’ll do to you? Perhaps it’ll work in reverse and turn you straight!”

Buy Links:

http://summerhousepublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_book_info&cPath=23&products_id=84

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-weekendatwilderhopemanor-607598-140.html

http://www.bookstrand.com/weekend-at-wilderhope-manor

*****

Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story – so she did. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Summerhouse Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour and Seducing the Myth. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Maxim Jakubowski Shares How NOT to Write a Sex Scene

I’m very excited to welcome The King of the Erotic Thriller,  Maxim Jakubowski, who has stopped by on his blog tour for his fantastic new novel, Ekaterina and the Night. Maxim is going to share very intriguing details about how NOT to write a sex scene.

I have the honour of partying with Maxim this Friday night in London in the big launch extravaganza at Sh! Hoxton. Ekaterina and Pets will be launching together, and there’ll be double the fun! You won’t want to miss it.

Welcome, Maxim! It’s fantastic to have you on A Hopeful Romantic!

 

I don’t plan my novels, let alone my short stories. They all begin with the germ of an idea, a title and an opening line, and then it’s in the hands of fate and my imagination as I improvise my way down the sometimes rocky and winding road, serenaded by the flashing cursor on my screen. A bit like a journey into the dark, although I sometimes have a glimpse of the finishing line, a sentence, a feeling, something I’m moving towards.

Sometimes, I take up a challenge when a friendly editor asks me to contribute to a themed anthology: hotel rooms, nudity, particular cities, vampires, voyeurism, a historical setting (the latter almost defeated me and I came up with a tale featuring Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, unable to go back any further through time…); it gives the writing journey a focus of sorts. But if the theme doesn’t connect with me, I’m unable to conjure anything up: fairy tales, female domination, spanking, bondage are just not ‘me’ somehow and I have regularly drawn blanks when it comes to those themes (and books).

In essence, everything I write is erotic. Even when I used to, so many years ago, write science fiction and fantasy and later crime thrillers, I was often criticised for introducing sexual scenes critics and readers often objected to. I just couldn’t see what the fuss was all about. After all, even in a genre setting, you have to come up with credible characters, men and women made of flesh and words, not just cardboard cut-outs. And what do men and women do in real life, they have relationships, contact, sex. So why should that important component in their lives be automatically excluded from the story, even more so when the sex became not just an act of titillation for the reader but an integral part of the plot insofar as it determined the characters’ psychology and action?

Eventually, I just gave up and pared my writing down of genre tropes and stuck to what I knew, enjoyed and wrote best: the erotic. Even today my crime thrillers are openly labelled as erotic and no doubt the strapline on my tombstone or my urn will read “by the King of the Erotic Thriller’ (the Times or Time Out, take your choice, I can’t remember who used the expression first)…

But even today, every morning while I stare at the white screen and see my story progress in leaps and stutters I always feel surprisingly wary when the moment comes for my characters to intersect, for sexuality to rear its head; the dreaded sex scene (although some of my critics would question that, insofar as they see my books and stories as an unending, continuous sex scene…). How am I going to describe the waltz of bodies, shedding clothes, embraces, sounds, colours, feelings yet again and do it well, play the right note. After all, I’ve written and published 11 novels and almost a 100 short stories and here I am having to uncover yet another variation, not repeat myself, another way of ordering the words in the right order to evoke something so wonderful and private and universal without repeating myself? Will I manage it again? My initial instinct is negative, fearful I am that I will this time come up with cliches and, worse, vulgarity. It’s my daily Rubicon.

So, I close my eyes, I evoke personal memories, the way my heart and my genitalia and the pit of my stomach once felt and, like a miracle, the words always come. OK, so some times the same words become over-employed (but that can always be put right in the later editorial revisions/process) but once the feeling overtakes me, the sex scene just flows, I’m floating on air again, sometimes I even shamefully must confess I get hard (an odd form of narcissim, I know). In most cases, I initially feel it’s going to be tough to extend the scene over more than a couple of paragraphs but invariably I end up up with a whole page or more and have to cut things short for fear of the sex scene taking on too much importance in the general balance of the story or the chapter.

In every sex scene I seem to pen, I imagine myself, like a deep sea diver, in the mind and skin of the protagonists. Whether they be male or female. I feel what they feel, I hurt when they hurt, I come when they come (metaphorically-speaking), I sigh when they sigh, my breath accelerates or slows down as theirs does. I am making love with myself (spare me the joke…), I’m fucking and being fucked, I am in love.

It works for me, that’s all I can say.

It feels real, and that is of paramount importance; makes it believable instead of yet another set of hydraulics and cliches, or wishful thinking. And the truth I have tried to inject into the sex scene illuminates the characters and becomes an integral part of the plot.

In my new novel, EKATERINA AND THE NIGHT, I have an ageing English film critic (did I mention I run an annual film festival, in civilian life?), a young Italian trainee journalist, an immortal female killer, the cult, French writer Boris Vian, a black jazz musician high on drugs, and sundry other men and women waltzing through the whirlpools of lust and love. And every time their clothes come off (or even if they don’t, let’s not be so literal…) I was them, fucking and being fucked, touched by the divine presence of sex, but I hope that when you read the book, you will not see me, unshaven and unkempt typing at my keyboard in a room overlooking a large green London garden with squirrels and pigeons on the lawn, but you will see Ekaterina, Emma and Alex Ballard, and they will have real faces and bodies in your mind. If they do, then I will have succeeded in bringing them to life in their sex scenes and between the lines of the novel.

Blurb:

Lolita meets Story of O, another memorable tale of love, sex and feelings from ‘the King of the erotic thriller’

When Ekaterina meets Alexander a shockingly sexy but tender romance develops.

She is a young Italian trainee journalist, who dreams of wild sexual adventures. He is the older Englishman who she believes can fulfill her fantasies. When Ekaterina is sent to interview the ageing writer Alexander in London, she is blinded by his charm and experience. Their relationship explodes in a sensual orgy, which defies society’s acceptance.

When a mysterious angel of death who calls herself Emma enters their lives, Ekaterina and Alexander know their days together are numbered.

A shocking climax set in Venice in winter brings the three protagonists together.

A tale of sex and tenderness that ranks alongside Jakubowski classic The State of Montana.

 

MAXIM JAKUBOWSKI worked for many years in book publishing as an editor (including titles by William Golding, Peter Ackroyd, Oliver Stone, Michael Moorcock, Peter Ustinov, Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Paul Ableman, Sophie Grigson, Marc Behm, Cornell Woolrich, etc…) and launched the Murder One Bookshop, which he owned and ran for over 20 years. He now writes, edits and translates full-time in London.
*****
COMMENT TO WIN!
Courtesy of Xcite Books, three lucky winners can get their hands on a copy of Ekaterina and the Night in their choice of paperback or digital format. (International entries welcome)

Simply leave a comment on this post to win. Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in the tour, because the more comments you make, the more chance you have of winning! Go here to see the blog tour schedule.

PLEASE leave your email address in the body of the comment. No email address = no entry. Winners will be drawn and contacted on the week ending 11th November 2011.

Ekaterina and the Night buy links:

Paperback (available in the US slightly later than the UK)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ekaterina-Night-Maxim-Jakubowski/dp/190800696X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315316359&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Ekaterina-Night-Maxim-Jakubowski/dp/190800696X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315316363&sr=8-1

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Ekaterina-Night-Maxim-Jakubowski/9781908006967

http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/maxim+jakubowski/ekaterina+and+the+night/8396851/

http://www.whsmith.co.uk/CatalogAndSearch/ProductDetails.aspx?productID=9781908006967

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ekaterina-and-the-night-maxim-jakubowski/1102213975?ean=9781908006967&itm=1&usri=ekaterina%2band%2bthe%2bnight

eBook

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ekaterina-and-the-Night-ebook/dp/B005PQIJ1Q/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1317114839&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Ekaterina-and-the-Night-ebook/dp/B005PQIJ1Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317114887&sr=8-1

http://www.erotica-romance-ebooks.com/ekaterina-and-the-night.html

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-ekaterinaandthenight-598651-144.html

http://www.bookstrand.com/ekaterina-and-the-night

 

In London with Stella

Less than a week until my Pets party hearty in London! And just in case there is ANYONE left on either side of the pond who hasn’t yet heard The big launch date for The Pet Shop is October 14th, 7:00 pm at Sh! Hoxton. And I won’t be throwing the party alone this year. Maxim Jakubowski will be partying with me as he launches his new erotic novel, Ekaterina and the Night. He’ll be talking more about Ekaterina on Wednesday when he stops by on his blog tour, so you won’t want to miss that.

Last week, I gave you excerpts and a tour of the secret world of The Pet Shop, the place where Tino feels most at home. This week I’m taking you to our workaholic, Stella’s London, which is the perfect place to end The Pet Shop Tour, just in time for the big launch party!

 

The Gift

‘You can’t be serious,’ O’Kelly said, dropping her fountain pen to bounce on the polished wood floor and leave a spatter of black before she could manage to corral it. ‘You can’t really mean to give Stella James Tino for the whole weekend. Wouldn’t a nice gift voucher from Selfridges (find out details) be more appropriate?’

The Boss offered her a tolerant smile. ‘Didn’t she tell you she thought an occasional shag wasn’t too much to ask for doing such a demanding job?’

‘Yes, but she was joking, I’m sure she never meant that she expected –’

‘Well, she’s right. It isn’t too much to ask. She’s a very dedicated employee.’

‘Yes but –’

‘Hasn’t she met and surpassed our expectations since she’s joined Strigida?’

‘Yes, but — ’

‘You said she wasn’t in a relationship, right? And we would all agree she doesn’t have time for sex.’ He didn’t wait for her to respond. Instead he heaved a sigh and shook his head. ‘Sadly that’s the way of the world these days. All work and no play. Very sad. Very sad indeed.’

‘Yes, Sir. It is sad, but, Sir, Tino?’

‘Yes Tino.’

‘For the whole weekend?’

‘Yes, for the whole weekend, O’Kelly, from Friday night till Sunday evening. Every last second of it.’

O’Kelly sighed. ‘It’s not that the woman doesn’t deserve a weekend of blow-your-brains-out sex. God knows she does, but…’

‘But what, O’Kelly. Get to the point.’

O’Kelly squirmed uncomfortably in her seat. She found the whole thing a bit embarrassing, actually. ‘Well, sir, she’s just so..’

‘So what, O’Kelly?’

‘She’s just so tight laced, so prim and proper. I don’t know, all business. I can’t picture her being the kind who could appreciate or even be able to handle a weekend with Tino.’

‘Prim and proper? Really? You just told me she was joking about the company providing sex as a fringe benefit for its overworked employees.’

Stella Learns about The Pet Shop

She helped herself to a glass and found the gin. ‘Remember I told you my therapist said that with my relationship issues, before I got involved with a man, I should start with a plant?’

Stella nodded, ‘And if you didn’t kill the plant, work your way up to a gold fish, than maybe a cat or dog. Yeah, I remember. So?’

Anne plopped an ice cube in her glass. ‘What if I don’t like goldfish? And maybe I’m allergic to cats and I’m afraid of dogs? Well…’ She nodded toward the lounge where Tino was.

‘What? Is the RSPCA adopting out men these days?’

‘Even better. There’s a site called The Pet Shop. They set people up with Pets, and we’re not talking cats and dogs here, Stell. It’s temporary, only for a night, a weekend at the most.’

‘You’re kidding, right?’

‘Hon, I wouldn’t joke about something as yummy as Tino.’ She offered a wicked giggle. ‘Anyway, if I had to venture a guess, I’d say having a Pet occasionally would probably suit people like us much better than having a relationship. Our conversation the other day made me think a Pet might be exactly what you need.’

Stella had lamented to Anne that with the demands of her job, she had no time for a relationship, but someone working as hard as she did surely deserved a good shag once in awhile. They had been walking along the Serpentine at the time. Anne had laughed around the mango ice lolly she had been practically fellating. Stella had assumed that meant she had realized it was a joke.

Stella grabbed the gin bottle and poured herself a double.

Falling for Tino

She got out of bed and carefully slipped into the blue silk robe that hung over the chair next to the window, tying the sash loosely around her waist, then she tiptoed to the door, placed her ear against it. Somewhere deep in the city she could hear a siren wailing, but otherwise the flat was silent. Slowly, carefully, she opened the door, and caught her breath. There on the floor in the moonlight in front of her door lay Tino, curled around himself, his breath, the deep, even breathing of sleep. Very carefully she lifted her foot to step over him. She had just planted her foot safely on the other side of him, when he jerked awake and sat up suddenly causing her to lose her balance and land squarely astraddle him. He let out a deep grunt at the impact and she yelped and would have tumbled backward if he hadn’t caught her and pulled her to him, protecting her from the impact of the hard-wood floor with his body, his delicious, hard body.

‘Tino, I’m sorry,’ she gasped. ‘I didn’t know you were there. Did I hurt you? Oh god, I hope you’re okay. Too late she realized her robe had fallen open and the Pet’s gaze was locked on her breasts.

Rescue from a Near Assault

Then Tino bounded to Stella’s side, encircled her in a strong arm and half dragged half carried her away from the alley. He had her safely settled into a cab headed back to her flat before it hit her that in the midst of all the chaos Tino hadn’t uttered a single word.

Then the shakes took over. She tightened her grip around him and buried her face against his chest relishing the strong steady beat of his heart next to her cheek. He lay a warm kiss on the top of her head and pulled her closer.

The ride home didn’t take long. There wasn’t much traffic. Tino held her possessively as they climbed the stairs. Not entirely sure her shaky legs would hold her upright, she was thankful for his support. Inside the flat, she made straight for the kitchen and a G and T, then decided to skip the T.

She plopped down on the floor next to him slopping her gin. He licked the droplets from her fingers, and his eyes locked on her. ‘You need something stronger than water too, after tonight, don’t you, sweetheart?’ He continued to lick her fingers, then flicked his tongue up the edge of the glass still holding her gaze. She pressed it to his lips, tipped, and he drank. He drank until it was gone.

She stood long enough to grab the bottle off the counter and refill the glass, then dropped down next to him, sipping, and alternately holding the drink for him. ‘I know it’s against the rules. But I think our little outing calls for an exception to those rules. Just this once, don’t you? She sat the glass down and pulled him close until his large body curled around her. ‘I’m so sorry for what happened, Tino. But I’m so thankful you were there for me. I can’t even think of what might have happened if you hadn’t been.’

 

 

 

 

The Story Behind The Story: Taken By Surprise by Nichelle Gregory

The lovely Nichelle Gregory is my guest today on A Hopeful Romantic, and she’s sharing the story behind her sizzling paranormal romance, Taken by Surprise. Welcome, Nichelle!

 

Every story I’ve ever written has a backstory and Taken By Surprise is no different. This steamy erotic paranormal romance was originally penned for a submission call. I knew my heroine’s name would be Zori from the start. I’d had this name rattling around in my head for awhile to use. The name Zori has always evoked an image of a gorgeous, exotic female in my mind.

When I started working on Taken By Surprise, I knew I needed a unique heroine name that was memorable with a totally feminine feel. Finally, I was working on the right story and the right character for the name!

The Greek translation for Zori is: “Golden Dawn.” Beautiful, no? And so fitting for my wickedly beautiful heroine!

So, I had a name, but what exactly was Zori? I knew my hero would be a werewolf and I needed Zori to be just as fearsome. She had to be a supernatural being, but which one? I wanted to pick a female creature to write about that hadn’t been overly done. I wracked my brain for the perfectly fierce heroine. She had to be tough, yet sexy, scary, yet completely relatable to female readers.

And then it hit me! I would incorporate my love for Greek mythology and select one of my fave mythological creatures to base Zori after! Once I knew what Zori was, the rest of the story flowed. Taken By Surprise was one of those tales that literally wrote itself! The submission call I was crafting this tale for only wanted short stories of 5,000 words or less. Taken By Surprise ended up being just short of 4,000 words.

I was very pleased with how my edgy erotic tale came together. It was the first story in which my heroine actually died in the end! I submitted it and waited to hear if it would be selected for inclusion in the anthology.

Insert a *sigh* here.

My story wasn’t selected. I was a little bummed, okay, a lot bummed, but I’d told myself if my story wasn’t selected, I’d flesh out the rest it. I gave myself a new deadline and challenged myself in expanding the original work.

No longer needing it to be a dark erotic tale, I had to reshape the ending. We can’t have the heroine dying in an erotic romance! I took my time adding in parts, filling in scenes and making the story and characters pop with energy. The finished story ended up being almost 17,000 words and was even better than the original!

Taken By Surprise surprised me! I wasn’t certain I could truly broaden the story without disturbing the feel of it and I definitely didn’t expect it to be as long as it ended up being.

Lesson learned? Don’t let a rejection make you stop believing in your story. Do take another look at it, rework it if necessary, but pass it on to someone else who might just treasure your tale as much as you do!

Blurb:

Zori revels in the control she exerts over the opposite sex; no man has ever challenged her in the bedroom or out…until she meets Greyson. 

She’s beautiful, intelligent and sometimes deadly to the men who enter her bedroom. For Zori, voracious appetites for sex and food reign supreme. She’s never known rejection, romance or love…her life and heart has always been her own. The moment she sets eyes on Greyson, Zori makes it her quest to have him in her bed, but she’s finally met her match. Can two lovers with secrets face the truth and trust their hearts?

Excerpt:

“Can I buy you a drink?”

“No, thanks.” Zori barely flicked a glance towards the handsome blond ogling her body as she walked by. Men could be so pathetic. She looked across the sunken dance floor to the bar against the back wall to see her target tilt back a bottle of beer. Her talons scrapped against the smooth floor as she waded through sweaty dancers along the wall to reach the other side of the club. As she approached, he turned around and their eyes met. A zing of anticipation raced through her blood as she moved next to him at the bar.

The thrill of the hunt always excited her.

She leaned against the counter, fully aware of his dark gaze running over her body as she pretended to inspect the bottles of alcohol on display in front of her. With a casual toss of her ebony tresses, she turned her face to see arresting brown eyes staring at her with interest. She moved a little closer to him with a practiced shy smile. “I’m Zori.”

“Greyson.” He offered a slight grin before taking another sip of his drink.
Up close, her guy was taller and bigger than she first estimated which pleased her. She felt sorry for the expensive suit straining to give way to the hard muscles concealed underneath. “Happy Halloween.”

Greyson lifted an eyebrow. “Back at you.”

The sexy smile curving his full lips tempted her to pounce on him right then and there, witnesses be damned.

“Are you here alone?”

He turned his body towards her, his deep voice carrying easily over the loud music.

“Yes.”

“Really…wow.”

His eyes moved from her folded wings down over the rest of her body.

Zori smiled, pleased, even though she’d heard enough compliments to last a lifetime. “Dance with me?” She began to move her hips to the seductive rhythmic pull of the DJ’s house mix which was tripling her desire to get him alone.

Greyson looked down at her feathered feet. “Can you dance in those?” His gaze lingered on her sharp claws.

Zori laughed. “C’mon.” She led him to the dance area and was even more impressed to discover he was a great dancer.

He pulled her in tight as she closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of his strong body moving against her own. She wrapped her arms around the thick column of his neck and drew in a tempting whiff of his sexy cologne. Dancing was nirvana. This was the one time she allowed her male partners to take the lead which Greyson did so masterfully. Their bodies swayed and dipped to the music as one and Zori enjoyed every minute of it.

“Can I buy you a drink?” Greyson asked several songs later when both of them were breathless and laughing.

“Absolutely.”

She took his hand as he manoeuvred them back to the bar. He stood out with his good looks and in his fine suit and females noticed him, eyeballed him, to Zori’s annoyance. She flashed one chick who had the audacity to step in the way of his path a venomous look that clearly said: He’s all mine, lady.

And she could hardly wait.

 

Taken By Surprise is available now with Total E-Bound Publishing!

 

Buy Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1281

Author Bio:

Nichelle Gregory has been in love with books and writing since middle school. A lover of the arts, she enjoys anything that embraces the creative nature within us all. Bringing believable characters to life that thrill and excite her readers is a challenge that continues to push Nichelle. She loves creating stories involving super sexy alpha heroes with divine heroines in magical, exotic, and fantastic scenarios. So, gone on . . . Indulge your secret fetishes and desires in one of my simply sexy stories!   Visit her website http://www.simplysexystories.com and blog http://www.simplysexystories.blogspot.com

 

Thanks, Nichelle! As a lover of Greek mythology, and a lover of hot romance, I’d say you have a scorcher on your hands!

 

The Secret World of The Pet Shop

Less than two weeks now until turn my Pets loose on London! And though I might  have mentioned it once or twice in passing,  The big launch date for The Pet Shop is October 14th, 7:00 pm at Sh! Hoxton. And I won’t be throwing the party alone this year. Maxim Jakubowski will be partying with me as he launches his new erotic novel, Ekaterina and the Night.

Last week, I gave you a tour of tree-hugging, reclusive, richer than God Vincent Evaston’s world. This week it’s time to take a tour of the secret world of The Pet Shop, the place where Pets hang out when they’re not with keepers, and the place where Tino feels most at home.

First Impressions of The Pet Shop

Stella had no idea how long the journey had been nor where to. From the Pet carrier in the back of the van she could see nothing. But when she was helped from the cramped space, she could make out the shape of a large country house, a high brick wall, and lots of trees. The woman, whose name she learned was Audrey, fitted her with a simple leather collar, then snapped a lead into the attached D-ring.

 The Boss Takes Stella to Tino

The Boss led Stella out into the night, back along a narrow pavement, down a steep set of stairs and through a heavy wooden door.

Before she had a chance to get frightened, he flipped on a light switch, and a cavernous room emerged out of the shadow into details she failed to notice. Her whole attention was drawn to the pallet on the floor in the corner where Tino lay naked, blinking hard at the bright invasion on light-deprived pupils. He yawned and stretched and wiped sleep from his eyes. When he saw her, he came to his feet expectantly. As always, it was impossible for her not to notice his lovely penis, already at half mast and rising. He laid a hand against it, not like he was about to masturbate, more like he was taking the reins of a powerful animal.

The Boss chuckled softly. ‘I can almost hear your fear and anger, Stella, and I assure you there’s no need for either. This is where Tino sleeps whenever he’s here. Not sure why he prefers the dungeon to far more plush places a Pet of his status could sleep. Perhaps because he spends so much time down here anyway being punished for bad behaviour, and I assure you, he gets far less than he deserves. He unhooked the leash and nodded toward the big Pet. ‘Go on. If the two of you were magnets it would be easier to keep him from you.’

It was all she could do to keep from crying out his name as he scooped her into his arms. Any further slippage of speech was stopped by Tino’s insistent mouth startling in its familiarity. Her throat tightened and her eyes welled, as he took her face between large hands and kissed her repeatedly, ravenously, as though he would never stop. But when he did, it was because they had both become once again aware that the Boss was still standing there, arms folded across his chest, watching.

Discussing Stella’s Future

They were walking along a path that offered lovely strolls through a woodland of predominantly beech that surrounded the Pet Shop. It offered privacy for the Pet Shop as well as privacy for the Pets who wanted to have a little space away from the group activities. Alan brought Vincent here partly because he knew no one would appreciate it more, but mostly because he wanted to keep their meeting a secret.

It was a lovely day and any other time, Vincent being who he was, would be lost in deep appreciation for the chorus of bird song and the variegated blanket of woodland flowers. Alan knew only too well that his distraction wasn’t a good sign. He figured he might as well press the issue and end the suspense. He forced a chuckle. ‘Anne’s worried that you’ll tell Stella about your relationship to the Pet Shop.’ It was a lie, but he couldn’t very well say what Anne really feared, what he feared.

‘Why would I do that?’

‘Oh, I’m sure you wouldn’t,’ Alan waved away a couple of gnats.  ‘But you’ve got to understand, Anne’s dreamed about opening the North American Pet Shop for a long time. She just doesn’t want anything to go wrong. And frankly, you showing up unexpectedly here of all places makes me a bit nervous too, Vincent.’ There it was, honesty at last, and suddenly Alan felt like the friend he used to be.

Vincent turned to face him, and offered that half-smile that always put people at ease. Well most of the time anyway. He rested a large hand against an ancient beech tree, and in spite of everything, Alan’s cock squirmed in his trousers with other memories more recent, more complicated than watching hawks quarter the fields, but any thought of arousal fled when Vincent spoke. ‘Alan, I know I promised Anne the North American Pet Shop, and that’s a promise I have no intention of breaking, but I don’t want Stella running the Pet Shop here. You’ll have to find someone else.’

Next week I’ll be giving you a peek of the London that Stella shares with Tino.

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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