Shameless Selfie: Identity Crisis

 

 

 

We writers are never quite what we appear to be, and we don’t have to be because we can hide behind our computers
and create the world any way we like it. That means, however sometimes our readers expect us to be one thing when we’re really something else. Most writers of erotica and erotic romance get asked on a regular basis whether or not we do the things we right about. But poor Garrett Thorne, is really nothing like his readers think he is. They all think he is a woman — celebrated romance novelist, Tess Delaney. Just how far will Garrett go to keep Tess’s identity a secret? Enjoy the first chapter of Identity Crisis, book 2 of the Executive Decisions Series.

 

 

 

Blurb Identity Crisis:

Book Two of the Executive Decision Trilogy (Click Here for Book One | Book Three)

PR rep extraordinaire, Kendra Davis, is elated when she gets the chance to work for her hero, reclusive, romance novelist, Tess Delaney. Her elation is short-lived when she discovers that Tess is none other than Garrett Thorne, the bad-boy brother of business tycoon and eco-warrior, Ellison Thorne, who is engaged to her best friend, Dee Henning. Kendra blames Garrett for the comedy of errors that nearly destroyed their relationship. Garrett doesn’t like Kendra either, but he’s desperate. His alter-ego, Tess has been nominated for the prestigious Golden Kiss Award. No one knows who Tess really is, and he needs Kendra to play Tess for the awards.

When Tess is stalked by a rabid fan, the two unite to protect her identity. With Kendra, the body and Garrett the soul of Tess Delaney, is there room in this strange ménage for romance? Can a woman who doesn’t exist understand their hearts even better than they do?

 

 

 

Chapter 1 of Identity Crisis:

‘Excuse me.’ The man sidled in next to Kendra at the bar all casual-like. ‘I couldn’t help noticing you sitting here all by yourself, and I was wondering if I could I buy you a drink?’

Kendra lifted her barely touched rum and Diet Pepsi. ‘Thanks but I already have one,’ she said without looking up from her novel. ‘And I’m not alone.’ She nodded down to her Kindle. She was just getting to the good part. All she wanted the man to do was go away and leave her alone.

Honestly, she was so engrossed in her novel that she thought he’d done just that until he cleared his throat loudly and sat down on the stool next to her. ‘So, whacha reading that has you so enthralled?’

‘Tess Delaney’s latest, Learning the Business.’ She kept reading. Surly eventually he’d figure out she didn’t want to be disturbed. There was a time it would have embarrassed her to say that she was reading a romance novel, but now she didn’t think too much about it, not when it was a Tess Delaney novel.

But apparently the man wasn’t very bright. He scooted slightly closer as though he might read over her shoulder. ‘It must be really good. I mean this is the Boiling Point. Most people don’t come here to read.’

She heaved an irritated sigh and closed her Kindle. ‘Yes the book’s very good. Tess Delaney’s best so far. And no most people don’t come here to read.’ She downed her drink in one go and jammed the Kindle into her bag making no efforts to hide her irritation. It barely registered as she slid off the stool and headed out the door passed the mountain-sized bouncer that the man hadn’t been bad looking. He was in a nice suit like he’d just come from some office somewhere, and if it wasn’t for Tess Delaney, Kendra probably could have had him in the park on that nice little secluded bench behind the shrubbery if she’d wanted to. That would have been a nice kinky beginning to the weekend. That was what she’d come to the Boiling Point for, wasn’t it? She figured she’d dance a little, flirt a little and with a little luck get nicely laid. She hadn’t done that in a while. Was she losing her touch?

She cursed under her breath. Whoever this reclusive Tess Delaney was, her novels were ruining Kendra’s sex life with her damn romance and love and not settling for just having a tumble a handshake. What the hell was the matter with her? A fantasy, that’s all it was, just a fantasy. Nobody really got a happy ever after!

But when the man at the Boiling Point so rudely interrupted her, she’d left Lisa and David with the sexual tension sizzling between them, and she was pretty sure they were going to get laid even if she wasn’t. That being the case, she sure as hell didn’t want to miss out on their fun. She felt like a damned voyeur. She headed out across the park at a quick pace. It was a short walk back to Dee’s. She’d order herself some nice Chinese and curl up with Lisa and David for their boardroom romp. God, what was getting into her? Was she just getting old? Harris never let her forget she was the oldest of the Three Musketeers. By two months, she reminded herself. And Harris was joking. It wasn’t that she wasn’t horny. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to start out the weekend with a sweaty romp with some hot guy. It was just that, well she knew it would never feel like it felt when David and Lisa’s anger gave way to lust and they ended up humping each other’s brains out on the floor of his office. Oh it wasn’t that Tess Delaney didn’t write good love scenes, they were fabulous, in fact, hot and steamy and pulse racing. But that was just it, Tess Delaney wrote love scenes, not sex scenes. Lisa would have never had a one-night stand with some guy she just met at a bar, and David would have never gone looking. There was chemistry, real chemistry in a Tess Delaney novel, and though Kendra seriously doubted if such chemistry, such romantic feelings really existed, Tess Delaney had drawn her in and made her wish like hell that they did.

As she often did, she was house sitting for her best friend, Dee Henning, who had been in New York on business. Well she was probably back home now, but she’d be having a very steamy romp of her own with Ellis Darby over at his place. Against all odds, Dee and Ellis were a couple almost straight from a Tess Delaney novel. In fact, if she didn’t know better, Kendra would swear that Tess Delaney had been hiding in the closet or under Ellis’s desk taking notes for this novel. Wow! If this was what it felt like for Dee and Ellis, if this is what they experienced when they were together, then she was damn-well jealous. She’d never admit it of course. And as the Chinese food arrived and she scrounged in the fridge for the Diet Pepsi Dee always kept on hand for her, she found herself wondering if maybe she should stop reading Tess Delaney novels. It was pretty stupid really. It only made her want what she knew she couldn’t have. Dee was Dee. Dee had a way of pushing through, of never giving up, of never settling until she got what she wanted in the relationship department, or any other department. Sadly, Kendra wasn’t like that. She wasn’t an optimist where love was concerned. She never had been, even as a child. She knew better. But since her return from California, she’d found it really difficult to get back into the clubbing scene. That meant that the only sex Kendra was getting these days was sex for one.

Dee’s two red tabbies, McAlister and O’Kelly, heard the rattling of the bag from the Chinese food and came to investigate. Kendra handed over the bag to the felines and settled onto the floor in front of the coffee table to eat her spring rolls and kung pow chicken with cheap wooden chopsticks.

Just as David and Lisa clawed their way to the mother of all simultaneous orgasms, Kendra’s iPhone rang, and she dropped a spring roll into her lap, then grabbed it up with her fingers while David and Lisa quickly dressed, embarrassed by all the feelings that they shouldn’t be having. It was Harris on the phone.

‘Hi Ken. Surprised I caught you.’ She could hear the concern in his voice. ‘Weren’t you going to the Boiling Point? Are you alright?’

‘Fine,’ she said, ‘I’m fine, just having some Chinese before I head over,’ she lied. ‘What’s up?’

‘Just wondering if you can pick up some extra beer for tomorrow, maybe some soft drinks It’s supposed to be hot. Plus, with the guest list being what it is, well, I don’t want to run out of lubricant.’

‘In that case, better get some hard stuff too,’ she said. Harris, Dee and Kendra had been best friends from high school and that bond had grown stronger during university and beyond. After all those years, they were still the Three Musketeers. Tomorrow Harris was throwing a little bar-B-Q out at his lake cabin, sort of an informal engagement party for Dee and Ellis. She’d work up a lot more enthusiasm for that little soirée if Ellis’s jerk of a brother wasn’t going to be there along with that Stacie chick, with whom it sounded like the two Thorne brothers had quite a history. Kendra liked Ellis. She liked him a lot, and she’d never seen Dee so happy. However, Ellis’s brother and Stacie, well they were both trouble. The two of them had bumbled about until they’d nearly destroyed the relationship between Ellis and Dee before it happened. Though that had not been their intention and they had both been very contrite, Kendra didn’t place much stock in good intentions. It didn’t matter, though, Garret was still Ellis’s brother, and apparently he was coming with Stacie as his date, even though she was his ex-wife. A perfectly good bar-B-Q ruined. But she supposed if Dee and Ellis could forgive the two, she would have to at least try.

After she hung up she made a quick note to herself to pick up drinks and returned her attention to Lisa, who was now coming clean with her best friend about sleeping with her boss.

 

Pale morning light filtered through the bedroom window, illuminating the delicate curve of Amanda’s shoulder and the swell of her breasts, which rose and fell in the even breathing of sleep. For a second he wondered if he were dreaming, but then he reached out and ran a finger along her cheekbone and watched the twitch of muscles and heard the soft moan escape her lips. It was no dream and, as memories of the past night flooded back to him, he wanted her all over again.

 

‘Damn it. It’s not right. It just doesn’t feel right.’ For the third time in the last half hour, Garrett Thorne shoved back the chair from his desk and moved to pace in front of the French doors that led onto the balcony. It had not been a stellar day for writing, and there were deadlines looming. He was prolific. Tess Delaney was prolific. He could whip out the novels almost as fast as his publisher wanted a new one, but for some reason, there was just no flow, no chemistry between Jessie and Amanda, and fuck if he cared, to be honest! The last thing he really wanted to write was another billionaire story. But this one was an oil tycoon in Texas, his editor said. A unique approach, his editor said.

‘Think kinky Dallas all wrapped up in a black and grey book cover,’ Garrett grumbled out loud. ‘Yep, that’s unique alright.’ He’d been joking when he brought up the idea, just joking. But hell, he didn’t have any other ideas at the moment, and that was very unusual for Tess Delaney.

At the moment he just wasn’t thinking like Tess Delaney, that was the problem. He was thinking like Garrett Thorne, and Garrett Thorne wanted to kick back, have a couple of beers in front of the television and … well actually, Garrett Thorne wanted to get laid. But he’d only been in Portland just long enough to get settled into his new house. He didn’t know anyone here, and the truth was, he wasn’t into one-night-stands, and he certainly wasn’t anxious to put his heart out there again after what happened with him and Amy. She’d sent him a free ticket to watch her dance the lead role in Sleeping Beauty in New York, but of course he wouldn’t go. He just couldn’t ride that roller coaster again. Not for the first time, he found himself thinking that if he really were Tess Delaney, if there was such a person, she would just get on with it.

He sat back down at the desk and took a sip of the neglected glass of cabernet. Out of the stack of waste paper he saved up from read-throughs, he took a piece and began to write on the back with a fountain pen.

 

I’ve never really thought about what Tess might look like, other than to notice how deliciously comfortable she is in her own skin. And that makes her outrageously sexy. Tess doesn’t really think much about romance and love and struggles of the heart. She just gets on with it. Tess is more practical that Garrett is. Tess knows that sometimes you just need to get laid, that sometimes you just want it to be easy for a little while.

He chuckled to himself and drained his glass of wine.

Tess isn’t really my secret, so much as I’m hers. She can cover for me, and she does. She knows I’m the twit who wears his heart on his sleeve, and that I write all about it. Tess covers for me in a way that’s far more elegant and natural that I could ever be.

Sometimes I wish she were real. I suppose this is a testament to how neurotic I am, but sometimes I wish she were my lover, tough and strong and comfortable in herself and able to slap me around a bit when I need it. Jesus, what am I writing here, Tess Delaney, Bad-Ass Dom? No denying that thought gets my attention, even if it makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Still, I suppose Tess’s fans see her as far more straight-laced that that. She’s hardly the kind who would fuck the lesser Thorne brother, is she? Though she might beat me into submission from time to time, she’d definitely go for the hero at the end of the day. And when she catches the public eye, she’s the paragon virtue, the teller of tales of the heart. Ah! Tess Delaney! Where the hell are you when I need you?

Beneath it, he scribbled a heart with an arrow through it, then stood to pace again. He was just ready to sit down and try once more with Amanda and Jessie when his BlackBerry rang.

It was his publicist. ‘Damn it, Garrett, don’t you ever read your emails?’

Garrett plopped down at his desk and pulled up his gmail account. ‘Why should I, Don? I can always count on you to call me in a panic if I need to know something.’

Don cursed, not quite under his breath. He’d been Garrett’s publicist long enough not to be required to be polite, and certainly Garrett wasn’t at times … most of the time, actually. ‘Tess Delaney has just been nominated for the Golden Kiss Award.’ He didn’t wait for Garrett’s reply, but ploughed on, as he usually did, trying to get as much said as quickly as possible before Garrett hung up on him. ‘You do know what that means, don’t you? You do know what a big deal that is, what a coup? And if Tess wins, well, it could very well eclipse anything else she’s done up until now, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what it would do for sales.’

‘The Golden Kiss? Tess was nominated for the Golden Kiss?’ Garrett almost managed to let the excitement of such an honor sink in before Don was off and ranting again.

‘This year the awards banquet’s in Portland, well that’s right there for you, isn’t it? And frankly, Garrett, your agent, your editor and I, well we all think it’s the perfect opportunity to out Tess Delaney as a local boy gone romantic. And I think –’

‘No!’ Garrett said, feeling as though the bottom had just dropped out of his stomach. ‘There’ll be no outing Tess.’

‘Calm down, Garrett. Don’t hang up. Just listen to me, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s well worth considering. Outing Tess Delaney can’t do anything but help sales and if you win , well it would be –’

‘I said no,’ Garrett repeated, no longer listening to Don’s long litany of reasons. ‘I won’t out her, and you can’t make me.
And that’s final.’

He was just ready to hang up when Don said, ‘well, actually, we can. We can make you. Your publisher is riding your editor who’s riding me, and unless you’re dead or dying, Garrett, they want you at that award ceremony. I suppose you could go in drag, but then to be honest, I think you’d make a very ugly woman, and I don’t think you’d be keen on the chest waxing beforehand either.’

‘Goddamn it, Don, I don’t want Tess outed! I’ve told you before, I write better when no one knows, when everyone thinks I’m just Ellison Thorne’s worthless brother. I don’t mind going. But not as Tess. There has to be another way, or I’m warning you there’ll be trouble. You know I don’t have to write for Romancine.’

‘Well, actually you do. You’re under contract for three more novels.’

Garrett gripped his BlackBerry tighter. ‘I can make it miserable for all of us.’

Don’s huff of a sigh into the phone sounded like an explosion. ‘Jesus, Garrett, can’t you ever just do what you’re asked? This is a big deal, the biggest. It’s a huge honor to even be nominated, and it would be the perfect time to let the real Tess Delaney take her bows … his bows rather. Think how it would boost sales?’

‘Sales are already good, Don.’ Garrett made a desperate reach for his wine glass only to discover it empty and the bottle
was still in the kitchen.

‘Good, yes, but this could be better than even you, even Tess, could imagine. Garrett, we’ve thought this out, really thought this out and there’s no logical way for Tess Delaney to make her first live appearance ever without letting the world know that Tess Delaney is really bad boy, Garrett Thorne. It’s like a PR dream-come-true.’

In the kitchen Garrett refilled his glass spilling a trail of wine across the granite counter top before drinking back half the glass. ‘Come on, Don. What if I can’t write when everyone knows I’m Garrett Thorne? Then what? Did you think about that? I mean it’s no secret what a neurotic mess I am, just ask my brother. Don? I can always get another publicist, you know?’

‘All right! Damn it!’ The curse was loud enough that Garrett held the BlackBerry away from his ear. ‘All right.’ There was a long pause, and Garrett was perfectly happy to wait. Tess Delaney books were top sellers, and the mystery of the woman behind them was discuss in more than a few coffee klatches and girls’ nights out. He did have some weight to throw around where the issue of his outage was concerned, and throw it around, he would!

‘Okay, look. The solution is simple, then,’ Don said. ‘Find someone else to be Tess Delaney, I don’t know, an actress, a friend, someone you can trust. Then you go as her date’

Garrett gulped the rest of the wine and emptied the bottle into his glass. ‘You’re kidding, right?’

‘This is not my kidding voice, Garrett. I’m serious. The way I see it, this is your option. You either come as you are and out Tess Delaney as Garrett Thorne or you come as Garrett Thorne, Tess Delaney’s bad boy date. I mean we could get some serious PR mileage off that, Tess Delaney dating Garrett Thorne.’

‘How am I going to pull this off?’ Garrett said, as much to himself as to Don. He was already going down the list of women who might play Tess Delaney. The obvious choice was Stacie, but everyone already knew who Stacie was and

she had a reputation of her own to keep, as well as the fact that she was his ex-wife

‘Not my problem,’ Don was saying. ‘If this is how you want to play it, that’s totally fine, but you’d better find someone and she’d better be good or your ass is outed. I’m sorry, man. They want to break ground by having their big name romance writer be noted as a man. They figure women will eat it up. That’s what Romantacine wants. The way I see it, you hire yourself a Tess Delaney or you come clean. I don’t care which you do, but you have to do one or the other. Think about it. And read your fucking emails, for Chrissake.’ He hung up, leaving Garrett white-knuckling the BlackBerry to his ear.

 

Emmanuelle De Maupassant Launches Highland Pursuits

There are few blog series I’ve enjoyed more than Emmanuelle De Maupassant’s enlightening, thought provoking surveys of erotica writers and their lives. It comes as no surprise that she also writes brilliant erotica. I’m very pleased to have Emmanuelle on A Hopeful Romantic today sharing all the latest about her fabulous  new release, Highland Pursuits. Sexy stories set in the Scottish Highlands are always a treat, but even more so when written by Emmanuelle de Maupassant. Highland Pursuits is a definite must read.

 

Emmanuelle de Maupassant is thrilled to announce the launch of her saucy 1920s romance romp: ‘Highland Pursuits’.

 

  

 

 

1920s debutante Lady Ophelia Finchingfield is banished to wildest Scotland to come to her senses, having refused a proposal from the Earl of Woldershire. In the care of her eccentric grandmother, Ophelia is soon caught between rugged widower Hamish and the villainous Comte de Montefiore.

 

She’s ready to play with fire, but will she burn more than her fingers?

 

 

 

 

 

What readers are saying:

 

I can’t tell you how much I love this book. It was a true delight to read. The author has captured 1920s Britain wonderfully, and her detail is exquisite. – Rachel De Vine

 

As a comedy of manners, this is exceptionally well done. – Fionna Guillaume 

 

 

 

 

Highland Pursuits is a wry, clever, incredibly sexy romp… a completely engrossing, utterly enjoyable read. I can’t recommend it highly enough…fabulously fun – Malin James

 

The scene was set beautifully… I felt like I went back in time to high society Scotland – Christine of Sweet and Spicy Reads

 

 

 

 

Find ‘Highland Pursuits’ on Goodreads and for sale on Amazon

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

 

 

 

  

Emmanuelle sends enormous thanks to her editor, Adrea Kore for her help in bringing ‘Highland Pursuits’ into the world. She says: ‘Adrea is an incredibly talented writer, and a wonderful friend. Her editing skills helped bring the words alive. She is a marvel and I’m so glad that one day, forever ago, we found each other.’ 

Pssst…  if you enjoy Highland Pursuits, don’t forget to leave a review. Reviews make books more visible online, bringing new eyes. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, tag Emmanuelle in your review post and she’ll say hello.

 

 

 

 Find Emmanuelle Here: 

Explore Emmanuelle’s website here

Find her on Twitter here

and on Facebook here

or sign up for Emmanuelle’s newsletter here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Spot by Lucy Felthouse Now Available in Audiobook Format! #audiobook #romance #lesfic #sportsromance

Lesbian sports romance novella, Sweet Spot by Lucy Felthouse, is now available in audiobook format. Narrated by voice artist Xanthia Bloom, you can now listen to this sporty romance tale on the go!

Blurb:

Virginia Miller is an up-and-coming tennis star. She’s gone from a ratty tennis court in a park in south London, England, to the world’s top training facility—Los Carlos Tennis Academy in California. In awe of the talent around her, Virginia is all the more determined to make the most of the opportunity and show that she’s worthy of her place there. Her mentor, Nadia Gorlando, has every faith in her.

But Virginia finds herself distracted—Nadia, as well as being a top-notch tennis player, is seriously sexy, and Virginia’s mind keeps wandering where it shouldn’t. Will her crush get in the way of her career, or can she find a way to push the other woman out of her mind before it’s too late?

Audio links:

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2krSob8
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2kOHiOd
Audible UK: http://adbl.co/2kC3Mia
Audible US: http://adbl.co/2lB5J2u
iTunes UK: http://apple.co/2ko9C5I
iTunes US: http://apple.co/2kZOy7B

eBook available here: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/sweet-spot/

*****

Reviews:

“Oh how I enjoy a Lucy Felthouse title! When these two finally DO act on their attraction, their connection is incredibly sexy and hot, with the inset of Virginia’s thoughts and desires adding to the steam. A hot and steamy short that gives an insight into their lives and concerns, you don’t have to be a sport fan to enjoy this.” 4 out of 5, The Jeep Diva

“Sweet Spot was a fun ride. This is a great choice for anyone in the mood for a well-developed tale whose secondary story lines are nearly as interesting as the main event.” Long and Short Reviews

“The erotic aspects of this novella were very hot and tantalizing. It fit with the two characters and kept the story moving. Overall this is a very well-written erotic romance novella. I wish there had been more erotic scenes throughout it, but alas, can’t always please a young woman’s heart!” Inked Rainbow Reads

“There are a lot of little subplots within this novella, which usually this spells disaster for a shorter length story. But Lucy Felthouse is an experienced author who knows how to tell a story, and tell it well… for anyone who enjoys a hot lesbian story featuring tennis and two likable characters, Sweet Spot is a fabulous read.” 4 out of 5, Night Owl Reviews

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller) and The Persecution of the Wolves. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 150 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services.

 

My Angels are Such Jerks – A Guest Post by Janine Ashbless

“What more dangerous attribute could you possibly inflict upon a being of vast power than testosterone?”

In Bonds of the Earth

When I started writing Cover Him With Darkness and its sequel In Bonds of the Earth, the only thing I was sure of was that, even though this series is an erotic romance thriller, my angels were NOT going to be just hot dudes with wings. My job was to work out what they were.

I thought I’d cut it back to basics. My source material for the trilogy is the Bible and The Book of Enoch—which was basically ancient Jewish fanfic based on Genesis Chapter 6.

I established in CHWD that angels aren’t naturally human in form—they took human shape in prehistory to interact with us. What did they look like as spirits? Here’s a clue – the word Seraphim (“burning ones”) is mostly used in the Old Testament to mean poisonous serpents! So my angels are at the root of worldwide dragon mythology.

Having taken physical human form they found themselves unexpectedly loaded with human instincts and emotions: aggression, lust, an urge for independence, romantic love, anger, physical pleasure and emotional pain. It was all very hard for them to cope with! My angels have big emotions. These can seem almost childishly simple. They need love above all, and if cut off from the Love of God they have to have human love to sustain their lives. But they never had to navigate the complexities of growing up, so they have no subconscious insecurities or mixed feelings or social conditioning as to boundaries. No emotional intelligence, in fact.

Some stayed in human shape, took human lovers and Fell from Divine Favor; they taught humanity all sorts of stuff we weren’t supposed to know like magic and metalworking. Oh, and the women they slept with became what the Book of Enoch calls “sirens”— so that happens slowly to my heroine Milja too. The first sign is when she finds she can’t cry…

Not one of my fallen angels is what I’d call evil (not even Satan, who has a complex hidden agenda that Milja is starting to recognize in IBotE). But even the ones with the best intentions are the last word in entitlement. My fallen angels have been imprisoned since the Bronze Age. Human civilization and culture have changed beyond anything they could have imagined, and when they are freed they struggle to catch up. Sexual consent is a novel concept. “Human Rights” is pretty much beyond their grasp—why should humans, or anything, have rights?

So my fallen angel Azazel struggles desperately with his relationship with Milja, though he loves her crazily. She keeps asking him not to kill people, even when trying to protect her—Weird! She wants him to be monogamous, and he’s all, “Well I don’t see the point but if it makes you happy…” Which is fine until he realizes that she’s also in love with a human man. If there’s one thing that flips Azazel’s switches to rage, it’s hypocrisy…

I do love my confused, demanding, arrogant, hot-hearted angels. I just wouldn’t want to meet one!

xxx

Janine Ashbless

*****

Excerpt:

Wrapping the cheap cotton throw from the foot of the bed around my bare body, I padded through to the doorway. The Archangel Michael stood in the middle of my small apartment, looking about him at the book shelves and the pictures. A paperback copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo slipped from his hand back onto the low table.

“Hello, Milja. Nice place. Has he moved his toothbrush in yet?”

It was like waking to find a giant bird of prey in my tiny living room; he looked wildly unsuited to a domestic setting and way too big for it, even with wings furled. In fact, with that Roman nose and those unblinking amber eyes, there was something distinctly golden eagle-like about him. If he stretched out he could knock over walls, I thought.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I asked. “This is my home. You can’t just come barging in!”

“You’re right,” he said, looking startled. “I have to have your permission. No, hold on, wait…that’s vampires. Shame.”

I pursed my lips. “Well, God certainly did not hold back on the sarcasm when he made you guys.”

He smirked. If you’re that good-looking, even a less-than-warm smile can be a weapon of devastating charm. Turning to the couch, he sat down with arms draped over the back and knees spread. It was not so much an invitation as a claiming of territory.

“What do you want?” I kept my voice hard, even as I thought of the icon of Saint Michael that had stood guard over the key in my father’s church. That holy painting had always made me feel nervous as a child, and he was no less intimidating in the flesh. His piercing gaze rested lightly upon me, with all the gentleness of a sword-point.

“Nothing.”

His rigger boots were caked in dried mud, I noticed, and flaking on my rug. I wished he would blink. It still creeped me out, even though Azazel should have inured me to it. “Angels aren’t supposed to lie. What are you doing here?”

“Waiting.”

“So, what…you’re sitting guard over me until Azazel comes back? Is that your plan?”

“He’s too much of a coward to face me. Runs every time.”

“If that’s the way you want to call it.”

He looked at the kitchen door. “I see you have a kettle. You got any tea? I like that Earl Grey stuff. Tastes like flowers.”

“I know the rules, you know. You can’t actually do anything to me.”

“True enough. And I’m not stopping you leaving, if that’s worrying you.”

“I can move out. Get a new place.”

“That’s fine, I’ll find you. This apartment’s a bit small for the two of us, to be honest.”

I clenched my jaw, weighing my options. “Okay,” I said, and dropped my wrap to reveal my naked body, in all its post-coital salty glow.

That wiped the smile off his lips. “Don’t play those games,” he growled, sitting up and looking away from me.

Love is Azazel’s weak spot. Shame is theirs. They’re terrified of their own human flesh.

“What? Does this make you uncomfortable? That’s a pity, seeing as how it’s my house and I like to walk around it naked.”

“You are shameless.” His gaze was sliding all over the place, not daring to settle on me.

“I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.” I hefted my breasts and jiggled them. “They’re my tits. In my apartment. If you don’t want to see, clear out.”

“Put your robe back on,” he rasped.

“Oops,” I said. “Did I drop it?” Turning my back to him, I spread my feet and, straight-legged, bent over to pick the fabric up again. Nice and slow…

He moved so fast he’d launched me across the room and onto my bed before I even realized he was out of his seat. The abused mattress twanged in alarm. It knocked the wind out of me—and more than that, shocked me half to death. I wasn’t in the least bit hurt, not even bruised, but I hadn’t expected him to touch me at all, under the rules. Maybe the Boatman sailed closer to the wind than I’d bargained for.

“Don’t do that, whore!” he barked, leaning into my face. He looked furious. I knew why. It takes a human decades to learn how to deal with all the things that come with an adult body—all those hormones and instincts—without losing control. Angels never had the advantage of a gradual introduction.

I had two choices: surrender or fight. I bared my teeth and snarled right back at him, matching his rage and contempt. “Or what? You’re going to rape me? ’Cause I think that might just count as a fall from Grace, don’t you? And then you’d be royally fucked, Mister Michael.”

He recoiled, drawing himself up in undisguised horror. I took advantage of the gap between us to roll over and pull the drawer of my bedside cabinet open, pulling out the silicon rabbit sex toy I’d been given at my graduation party. I hadn’t used it in months, I couldn’t even remember if there were any batteries in it, and I certainly wasn’t feeling horny, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

“Wanna watch?” I asked, spreading my legs wide. “Because that’s what us girls do when we’re home alone these modern days. You can go into the other room if it squicks you out to see. Then you’ll only have to listen to the noises I make.”

He turned on his heel and stomped away, slamming his hands into the doorframe hard enough to crack the wood. But he didn’t leave altogether. He was just that bit too stubborn.

*****

In Bonds of the EarthBlurb:

“I will free them all.”

When Milja Petak released the fallen angel Azazel from five thousand years of imprisonment, she did it out of love and pity. She found herself in a passionate sexual relationship beyond her imagining and control – the beloved plaything of a dark and furious demon who takes what he wants, when he wants, and submits to no restraint. But what she hasn’t bargained on is being drawn into his plan to free all his incarcerated brothers and wage a war against the Powers of Heaven.

As Azazel drags Milja across the globe in search of his fellow rebel angels, Milja fights to hold her own in a situation where every decision has dire consequences. Pursued by the loyal Archangels, she is forced to make alliances with those she cannot trust: the mysterious Roshana Veisi, who has designs of her own upon Azazel; and Egan Kansky, special forces agent of the Vatican – the man who once saved then betrayed her, who loves her, and who will do anything he can to imprison Azazel for all eternity.

Torn every way by love, by conflicting loyalties and by her own passions, Milja finds that she too is changing – and that she must do things she could not previously have dreamt of in order to save those who matter to her.

In Bonds of the Earth is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy and the sequel to Cover Him With Darkness.

 

Buy links:

Ebook:

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Print:

Support your small publisher and buy direct

Waterstones

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Goodreads

*****

Janine AshblessAuthor bio:

Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Buyer beware! If you like dark romance and a hard-won Happily Ever After, try “Cover Him with Darkness,” “Heart of Flame,” or “The King’s Viper.” If you prefer challenging erotica, go for “Red Grow the Roses” or “Named and Shamed” instead. All her other books lie somewhere on the spectrum between.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology ‘Geek Love’.

Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and – for five years of muddy feet and shouting – as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.

Her work has been described as:

“Hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.” (Portia Da Costa).

You can find Janine on Facebook or at her website or blog.

Author picture credit to David Woolfall.

*****

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Shameless Selfie: Dream a Little Dream with Me

It’s Shameless Selfie time again, and I’ve been having some heavy-duty dreams of late, so it seemed like the perfect time to share a little snippet from The Psychology of Dreams 101. Everyone has had sexy dreams about someone they’ve crushed on, and those dreams are all the more sexy if the crush is someone they shouldn’t be crushing on. And, seriously, is there anything more sexy than thinking about the psychology of what happens when dreams turn steamy?

The Psychology of Dreams 101 is the story of Leah Kent, who takes an adult education class called The Psychology of Dreams 101, which involves keeping a dream journal. But when her dreams starts taking on a very sexy, sometimes chilly life of their own, and she finds her dreams tied to those of her professor, Al Foster, their joint exploration of the dream world goes from sizzling to chilling and back again.

The Psychology of Dreams 101 is an X-rated, fast paced novella in which nothing is what it appears to be, but then dreams are like that, aren’t they?

 

Here’s a little Shameless Selfie of an excerpt from Leah’s journey into the dream world. Enjoy!

 

 

The Psychology of Dreams 101 Blurb:

 What if there was punishment when you didn’t dream the right dreams? That’s the dilemma Leah Kent, and her professor, Al Foster must face—dream right, or take the punishment. The Psychology of Dreams 101 is a wander into the sexy and dark unconscious as Leah takes a Psychology of Dreams adult education class, only to discover that the required dream journal leads to some seriously kinky night journeys. But not all dreams are pleasant ones, and some have far-reaching repercussions in the waking world.

 

Excerpt — Dream Punishment:

Perhaps it was OD-ing on romcoms that caused her to have sexy dream about Al. In truth they were mostly just images, disjointed, arousing, sometimes shameful images – images of walking into his office and finding him masturbating, images of somehow ending up in the men’s locker room at the gym and finding him in the shower, steamy water pulsing over strong arms and a tight ass as he hunched over himself paying particular attention to the soaping of his junk. There was one dream, however, that she remembered vividly. Al sat behind his desk in the empty classroom clad in his usual polo shirt and jeans. He had asked her to stay after. “I’m not happy with your dream journal, Leah,” he said, looking her up and down. She suddenly felt naked, embarrassed, and dreams being what they were, well she had good reason. She wore only red lace underwear that was nearly transparent; certainly they did nothing to disguise her heavy nipples. “When are you going to learn that all you have to do is just relax and let it happen?”

“I try, Al, really I do, but I just can’t seem to dream about you.”

“Then perhaps you need a little encouragement.” He stood and pulled his belt from its loops around his waist all the while raking her with a critical gaze. “If I lay a few bright pink welts across your nice round ass, do you think maybe when you lie down in bed tonight, when your poor tender bottom touches those clean rough sheets, you might manage to remember me in your dreams?”

“Yes. Yes, I think that might help,” she said. Fuck! What was she thinking? How could she agree to such a thing? And yet, she did, most heartily she did.

Before she could say more, or rethink the arrangement, he yanked her around the desk, dropped back into the chair and pulled her over his knees. He all but tore her panties off her and she woke screaming and begging just as the first lash fell. For a moment she lay in the darkness gasping for breath, struggling with the strange mix of emotions that came from wanting the man to spank her and yet not, but certainly wishing she could go back to sleep and finish the dream. She was wet with sweat and, was she imagining it, or did her bottom actually hurt? She was definitely not imaging her state of arousal. There would be no returning to the dream world until she could make herself a little more comfortable, and that meant fantasizing about just what Al would do after he’d finished spanking her. It didn’t take her long to bring herself over the edge, and then she fell almost instantly back to sleep.

It was the morning sun streaming through the curtains she forgot to close that woke her, disappointed that Al Foster had not returned to her dreamscape, though he had, nonetheless, provided her with a good orgasm. Certainly she couldn’t’ write any of those dreams in her journal. She might have to start a private journal just for sexy dreams – assuming this wasn’t a one-off. God, she hoped this wasn’t a one-off.

As she sat up on the edge of her bed and stretched, she noticed the dream journal open with the pen lying across the page, which read:

You look beautiful when you dream. It was a good dream, the kind you don’t want to wake up from. At last, Leah, you’re doing it right! You can always tell when you do it right by the way your nipples bead beneath the sheet, by the way your lips turned up at the corners, slightly parted as though waiting to be kissed. And, take a sniff, Leah. Your scent is the scent of dreams well dreamed, luscious and ripe. Well done, Leah! Well done!

There was no doubt the writing was her own, though way neater than most of the scrawl she’d written at speed. The thing was, she had no memory of writing it.

Buy The Psychology of Dreams 101 Here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon CA

Amazon DE

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iBooks UK

iBooks US

Kobo

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© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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