Sex, Chaos, and Story

(From the archives)

I’m in the air over the Atlantic somewhere as this post goes lives. That being the case, I’m doing seasonal re-runs with a the screampost from the archives on one of my favourite topics — sex and chaos and their effect on story. Enjoy.

In my opinion, there are few things a writer can do to a story that will kick-start it quite as much as creating a little chaos. A calm and happy life in the real world might be just the ticket, but in story, there’s one word for it – BORING! A story is all about upsetting the apple cart, breaking the eggs, turning the bull loose in the china cupboard and — heart racing, palms sweating – seeing what happens, while we’re safely ensconced on the other side of the keyboard/Kindle/book. Oh yes we do love that adrenaline rush — at someone else’s expense!

One of the best tools for dropping the character smack-dab into the middle of the chaos – and the reader vicariously – is sex. And the more inconvenient, the more inappropriate, the more confusing, the more SO not what the character was expecting, the more delicious the chaos will be.

The thing about those big brains that I spoke of a few posts back is that they like to make us think we can control all the variables. The thing about the biological housing for those big brains is that it doesn’t always want to be controlled. Oh and that big brain, well that means there’s all sorts of stuff going on up there that can lead us down the havoc-wreaking road to sex and chaos. It wants what it wants. And the ole grey matter can be so damned stubborn at times. Oooh! I get goose bumps just thinking about what happens when the big brain gets a hankering and the biological soup starts overheating and sex happens.

If we look at Western history from the point of view of religion and its effects on culture, there are few things the religious powers that be have made more of an effort to control than sex. And in story, in myth, there are few things that have caused more chaos than a little rough and tumble in the wrong place at the wrong time. Troy lost war and was destroyed over it, King Author’s realm fell because of it, David had Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, killed because of it.

The resulting chaos that sex unleashes in a story can be nothing more than to create self-doubt in a cock-sure character, which is always a delight to see. Or the resulting chaos can be world-destroying, and anything in between. Sex can cause the kind of chaos that will make the reader laugh, or the kind of chaos that will make the reader say, ‘if only they hadn’t done that.’ However, the one thing sex should never do in a story is leave things the way they were before it happened. Can it be used for bonding? Of course! But the tighter the bond, the more chaos can be caused if that bond is tested or broken. I shiver with delight at the thought.

And because our big brains don’t give a damn if our sexual thoughts and fantasies are ‘socially acceptable,’ nor is it discriminating about who we might have those thoughts and fantasies about, the resulting internal chaos can be almost as delicious as the external – maybe even more so. That lovely mix of guilt and desire and self-loathing and arousal and denial and shear over-heated lust. OMG! It’s a total writer’s paradise there for the taking.

I’m sure I’m like most writers in that I analyse what I read for pleasure in terms of what worked and what didn’t, what I
would have done if I’d written it, and what I’ve learned from the author’s writing skills that can be used to make my own writing better. I have to say one of the biggies for me is how well the author uses chaos to move the story forward
at a good pace; and especially how effectively sex is used to create chaos. I’m sure I pay a lot more attention to how sex is used in a story (or not) now that I write erotica, but it’s the resulting chaos that fascinates me and keeps me reading Botticelli_Mars_and_Venusin almost any kind of novel. The world is not a static place, and especially the world of story should not be static. Happy endings are called happy endings because they are at the end. They follow the chaos and happen when the story is finished. There is no more story, or at least none the reader wants to follow. It’s the chaos that pulls us in and keeps us turning the pages, and when that chaos is directly tied to sex, hold on to your hat!

 

Out Now! Illicit Relations – M/M Erotic Romance by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985)

Illicit Relations, a M/M erotic romance by Lucy Felthouse, with coming out and almost-taboo themes, has been re-released with a stunning new cover and a lower price! Please note, however, if you’ve read it before, that the content hasn’t changed.

*****

Illicit RelationsBlurb:

Terry’s had a crush on his second cousin Justin for what seems like forever. He’s hidden it as well as possible, knowing that the other man is out of bounds, forbidden fruit. Second cousins getting together isn’t actually illegal, but for Justin the relationship is too close—he just can’t contemplate them being together.

But when some new information comes to light about Terry’s birth and his place in the family, the whole game changes. Suddenly the relationship isn’t so impossible, and things soon begin to get hot and heavy.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://mybook.to/illicitrelations

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/29L2JMc

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/29At2jv

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iBooks US: http://apple.co/29L3dBX

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/29BbODJ

 

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18741652-illicit-relations

*****

Excerpt:

Terry deliberately averted his gaze as Justin tugged off his T-shirt and dove into the pool. The last thing he needed was to see him topless. His libido was already in overdrive and he was having trouble not jumping Justin’s bones. In fact, the only thing that held him back was the fact that Justin was his second cousin. They hadn’t been brought up particularly closely, so it wasn’t as if he were lusting after someone he considered to be a brother, but still. They were related and it was weird. Or it would be weird if anything happened between them, which it wouldn’t, of course. It would be wrong and they both knew it.

Terry assumed that was the reason Justin was avoiding him, anyway. They got on well and there was an obvious spark between them, but nothing inappropriate had ever taken place. For the most part, they acted as cousins should. Every now and again, though, he’d catch Justin looking at him. Equally, Terry would drink his fill of his cousin when no one else was looking. Apparently it was getting increasingly difficult for Justin, too.

Right now, at the annual summer get together at Terry’s grandparents’ massive house in rural Warwickshire, the tension between them had never been higher.

What made the whole thing ten times worse was that neither of them had come out. So ending up together would be a double whammy for their families. He could see it now. Hey, everyone! I’m gay—and so is he. We’re together. Now as you were.

He didn’t know whether the reaction would be favorable or not.

He also knew that part of his frustration about the situation was because he hadn’t yet seen any point in coming out. His feelings for Justin ran deeper than he cared to admit, and for that reason he hadn’t been in a relationship with anyone—ever. Not a homosexual relationship, anyway. He’d had girlfriends back in the days when he hadn’t realized what his urges meant, but since then he’d been by himself and remained a virgin. He was surprised, actually, that no one in his family had asked whether he was gay. He could only assume that because he was so private generally, they thought he would only introduce them to someone when he felt it was absolutely right. That was his plan, in fact. To come out and introduce his partner at the same time. But until he got over this damn infatuation with Justin, he was never going to be any farther forward.

His thoughts ran on for several minutes until he was interrupted—and startled—by droplets of cold water falling onto his bare shoulder. He turned. Justin stood there, shaking his blond head and sending the droplets flying around. Apparently he wasn’t avoiding Terry anymore.

It was hot and he was wearing casual clothes, so Terry wasn’t bothered about getting wet, but for some reason, he snapped at Justin. “For fuck’s sake, do you have to do that here?”

Immediately Justin stopped and stared at him. They’d never had a cross word between them, not even when they were children. “Sorry, mate. I was just messing around. I didn’t think it would piss you off.”

His blue eyes were wide and Terry felt his irritation dissipating rapidly. He continued to rake his gaze down Justin’s half-naked form. His broad shoulders and wide chest, which was sprinkled with a handful of pale hairs. His toned stomach, the six-pack nicely defined but not too body-builderish. His arms were thickly muscled but suited his athletic frame. Deep-blue swimming trunks hid the area he most wanted to see but he relied on the glimpses he’d had over the years and his overripe imagination.

Thick thighs and calves and, unbelievably, nice feet—he didn’t generally like feet—finished off the package of perfection and Terry was suddenly extremely glad he had a book in his lap, because his cock was beginning to swell and press against the inside of his swimming shorts. He realized that a dip in the pool would be a pretty good antidote—the chilly water should take the heat from his cock. And if not, at least no one would be able to see the bulge unless they swam underwater.

It was stupid, really, trying to hide his erection from Justin. They both knew there was something between them, and he wanted to bury his hard cock inside Justin’s mouth or arse, not hide it beneath a fucking book.

He began to wonder whether they should just get together, and to hell with the consequences. It wasn’t illegal.

Justin sat down on the sun bed next to Terry and flashed him a smile. “Am I forgiven, then? I haven’t got your book wet, have I?” He reached out to grab the book, presumably to try to dry it, but Terry slammed his hand down quickly, catching Justin’s fingers beneath his in the process, not to mention giving his cock a bit of a smack.

“No,” he ground out, wondering how he’d managed to get even a single word to fall from his lips. As soon as their fingers had touched he’d felt a spark that had run straight up his arm and multiplied throughout his entire body. His ebbing erection had immediately jumped back to attention, lifting the book slightly. He hoped against all hope that Justin hadn’t noticed but he had no such luck.

The blond’s gaze dropped to their still-touching fingers and, presumably, to the book and the thing beneath it that had caused the movement. He stared for a few seconds that felt like hours, then looked back up at Terry’s face. He opened his mouth then closed it again. For the first time ever, it seemed Justin was speechless.

A huge splash and a series of laughs from the pool broke the spell between them. Justin snatched his hand back and raked it through his hair. He opened and closed his mouth again, but for the second time nothing came out. He let out a heavy sigh and stood up looking dazed. He appeared to have trouble putting one foot in front of the other, as though he were drunk or had just woken from a very deep sleep. Of course, only the two of them knew the real reason for Justin’s behavior.

Finally Justin got his limbs to cooperate, and he made his way across to the table that held food and drinks, sheltered from the bright sunlight by a large, green gazebo.

Terry watched him go, a tumult of emotions running through his brain. Disappointment, confusion, anger, lust…they all assaulted him, though admittedly the last was screaming the loudest, a fact certainly not helped by Justin’s damp and topless state.

Now a feeling of despair took hold of him. What the fuck was he going to do?

*****

About Lucy Felthouse

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) and Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 140 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 and Facebook. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

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OUT NOW! The House of Fox – An adult paranormal comedy by SJ Smith @sjsmithauthor @SinfulPress #paranormal #comedy #smut

HoFBannerwithslogan

SJ Smith gives us another glimpse into his warped mind with his latest novel. The House of Fox is a crazy paranormal sex-fest that some will love, others will hate, but everyone will remember.

2016-291 eBook The House of Fox 6x9Blurb:

The House of Fox is a paranormal comedy that contains scenes of a sexually explicit nature.

After a drunken night on the town, four friends awake to find themselves in the House of Fox, the ultimate brothel in the universe, where every sordid fantasy becomes reality. But all is not as it seems. The House of Fox harbours many dark secrets, and factions are plotting against one another.

The four newcomers must choose their friends carefully, and take care not to lose their minds on the thrill ride of perversion that will carry them to the ends of the Earth and beyond.

The Great Voyeur in the Sky is watching . . .

Buy links for The House of Fox:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Fox-SJ-Smith-ebook/dp/B01GF44M0S

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/House-Fox-Sinful-Comedies-Book-ebook/dp/B01GF44M0S

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-house-of-fox-sj-smith/1123824728?ean=9781910908044

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-house-of-fox/id1126014781?mt=11

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-house-of-fox

*****

HOF quote 3

Excerpt:

“Um, hello? I’m looking for someone called Pandora?”

“That’d be me,” replied a rasping voice.

“Oh, right. Hi!” He waved, and smiled his most charming smile. “My name is Dylan. Giovanni sent me down here to – um – escape?”

The woman came hobbling into the half-light. She was old – impossibly old – with wrinkles on her wrinkles and snow white hair hanging all the way to the floor. Her eyes, which were radiantly green and untouched by the years that had withered the rest of her body, twinkled with mirth at the expression he must have pulled on seeing her.

“What’s the matter, son? You forget what a real woman looks like?” She leaned her weight on a gnarled walking stick. “I’m ‘fraid to say, the magic that keeps all them girlies looking so damned good out there don’t work none in here. What you see is what you get.”

Was she fishing for compliments? God, women were so hard to understand sometimes. “You look lovely,” he offered, trying to ignore the obvious smell of piss.

“Ha!” Pandora came limping forward, reminding him of one of those crazy old fuckers he sometimes used to encounter in the Post Office. She sniffed the air. “So you’ll be the boy that wants to escape?”

Dylan nodded. “That’s me.” Something about her intense eyes unsettled him and froze him where he stood. He found he was scared of her for reasons he couldn’t quite put his finger on.

“Holy shit. Things must be a damned sight worse than I thought if you’re the best they’ve got to offer.” She shook her head. “Times call for a lion, and I get given a lamb. I can tell from the way you hold yourself you’re more suited to brushing out stables than carrying the hopes of a nation on your shoulders.”

Dylan stuck out his bottom lip. He didn’t like this mean old lady.

“Well, what’s the matter? Cat got your tongue? Sweet Mary Mother of Joseph, let’s hope you ain’t as dumb as you look, because truth be told you look dumber than a bag of hammers.”

Her insults prickled at his skin. “Are you going to help me or not?” he asked indignantly.

“Help you? Well, that depends entirely on your definition of the word.” She cackled, and grinned toothlessly. “I’m going to send you out of here, just like you’ve been wanting. Whether that’ll be of any help to you remains to be seen. It isn’t an easy journey, and frankly you’ll regret undertaking it after you’ve not gone more than a dozen steps. You’ll soon be wishing you were right back here in the House of Fox, getting that big old cock of yours sucked by all them lackey floozies and hoochies.”

Only now did he realise quite how naked he was. Giovanni’s tuxedo had disappeared, as if blown away by a breeze. He covered his groin with his hands.

Pandora laughed. “No need to hide it, son. I’m a little long in the tooth to be getting offended by the sight of a man’s ding-a-ling.”

Frustration throbbed in Dylan’s temples. This whole experience felt like it was shaping up to be a waste of time. If only he’d stayed in bed this morning. “Can we just get on with it, please?”

“If you’re sure you really want to go through with this, we can get started right away.”

“I’m sure.” Dylan puffed out his chest. He wasn’t afraid. Was he?

Pandora nodded sagely. “Cool beans. Get down on your hands and knees. We’re going to work ourselves a little witchcraft.”

He knelt on the floor and got on all fours as instructed. The old woman squatted down beside him, her knees clicking and creaking. She ran her hand along his back, then reached between his thighs and closed her bony fingers around his cock.

Dylan pulled a face. Could it get much worse than this? Getting wanked off by an old lady in a hovel was seriously not cool.

“We’re going to need a little of your seed, so try and relax.” Pandora stroked his shaft with cold, leathery palms. “Come on big boy, squirt me up a handful.”

Dylan closed his eyes and tried to pretend the rather unpleasant motion at his groin was being caused by the mouth and tongue of that lovely blonde girl from last night rather than the warty, withered hands of a geriatric. He finally got hard, felt the flutters in his balls and gasped as he shot his load.

“Bingo,” Pandora muttered.

HOF quote 4

*****

Author Bio:

SJ Smith is a neurotic recluse who lives in North Wales. It has long been his dream to become a full time filth monger.

Links:

Twitter: @sjsmithauthor

Blog: http://sjsmithrants.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SJSmithWriter/

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Hardened: A New Release from Ashe Barker

 

 

hardenedI’m really excited about Hardened. I’ve written quite a few M/f stories, and they mostly tend to start out with the male hero in a position of power or influence. Hardened is different. When we meet Jared and Molly he is a prisoner serving time for armed robbery and she’s a prison officer. The chemistry between them is off the scale sexy though, and even though it spells trouble for them both, but especially for her, they can’t keep their hands off each other. For a while I’ve been thinking about a story that starts out a bit different and this is it.

 

Jared is a bad lad (don’t we all just love one of those?) but he’s bright too, and talented, and can see where he’s gone wrong. He’s made some bad choices when he was younger but he’s determined to forge a different life for himself, though it’s not always that simple. I suspect the same is true for most ex-offenders – it can be hard to completely walk away from your old associates and as Jared discovers, the past has a habit of never being that far behind you.

 

 

HARDENED Blurb:

Despite the fact that he is doing time for armed robbery, Molly MacBride is drawn to Jared North almost from the moment she sets eyes on him. Even behind bars his confidence and dominance are undeniable, and soon enough she is willingly baring her bottom and placing herself across his strong thighs, surrendering to both firm punishment and intense pleasure.

 

When all hell breaks loose during a prison riot, it is Jared who saves Molly’s life, but she is so shaken by the incident that she quits her job and does her best to put him out of her mind. As the years pass, however, Jared never relinquishes his place in her heart—or her fantasies—and when she learns that he has been released on parole Molly cannot resist seeking him out.

 

Through a combination of hard work and natural talent, Jared has forged a career for himself as a world-renowned photographer, yet in spite of his newfound sophistication and wealth he is no less dominant than he was when she first met him. It isn’t long before Molly finds herself submitting to both his stern discipline and his masterful lovemaking, but can she truly risk falling for a man whose criminal past could come back to haunt them both at any moment?

 

Publisher’s Note: Hardened is an erotic romance novel that includes spankings, sexual scenes, elements of BDSM, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

 

Read Chapter One for free!

 

HARDENED EXCERPT:

“Do you want more?” Christ, I hope so, but for her first time this has already been quite an introduction to the not-so-gentle art of kink.

 

“Yes. Please.”

 

Her voice is shaky but clear enough. I’m happy to continue if she is. I intend to push her to her limit or as close as I can get. She’ll leave here sore, a bit confused probably, but still craving more.

 

“I’d like to use my belt. Is that all right?”

 

“Oh, I’m not sure…”

 

“Yes, you are. Remember, I’ll stop whenever you tell me you’ve had enough.”

 

“Okay then, just for a bit…”

 

I don’t bother to correct that. In truth, I’ll be the one deciding how much she needs, unless she calls a full stop to the proceedings, but I think that’s unlikely. I’ve never had a subbie safeword on me yet. I ease her forward slightly so I can reach the buckle of my belt. I slide it from the loops of my jeans and fold it into a double thickness, clasping the buckle within my hand.

 

“Ten strokes with the belt, okay? You can count them if you like.”

 

Her response is a breathy squeak, and she grabs my ankle again. I pull back my arm and take the first swing.

 

Molly lets out a yelp and her entire body jerks. I watch as the darker crimson line of the belt blooms across her right buttock, pausing to allow her to process the sensation and to settle again. It takes several seconds, then when she becomes still I drop the next stroke across her left cheek.

 

Molly flinches, but there is no sound this time. Neither is she counting, at least not out loud. I wait for a few moments, then deliver two more strokes in quick succession. This does elicit a sharp cry, and I half expect her to ask me to stop. She’s shuddering, and her grip tightens on my leg, but as the seconds pass there are no words of defeat or surrender from her. I allow her ample time to call a halt if she wants to, then I repeat the two strokes.

 

Molly manages to stifle a squeal, for which I am grateful. I suspect we are both mindful of the men milling about just on the other side of the cell door and neither of us wants to attract attention. Had I had longer in which to plan this scene I would have certainly opted for a more secluded setting, but we are where we are. Next time, perhaps…

 

I apply two more strokes with my belt, gathering in intensity now. Molly is absorbing the pain well, riding it like a natural. She is tense, still rigid across my lap, but if anything, she has lifted her cute bottom up for me to spank. I can only guess at what else might be going on in her head, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that she’s loving what I’m doing to her.

 

“These will be the last two. They’re going to be across the backs of your thighs and they’ll really hurt. If you think you might scream tell me now and I’ll find you a gag.”

 

“No, thank you. I’ll be quiet, I promise.”

 

“Good girl.” I spend a few moments stroking her flaming buttocks, the heat radiating up into my palm. Molly makes a sound deep in her throat, which I swear sounds like a purr to me. I continue the sensual caress, pressing my hand into her punished skin to better drive home the experience, to draw out for her that heady mix of pain and pleasure that will set the endorphins coursing freely through her system. This is why I didn’t want to rush.

 

“Are you ready?” I murmur.

 

“Yes,” she replies, pressing her bottom into my hand.

 

I draw my palm lower, down over the curve to stroke the backs of her legs, the crease where her bottom meets her thighs. This is the sweet spot I am about to thrash. I rub her there as I lean to my right, just enough to get a decent view of her pussy lips peeking out from between her legs. She is swollen, glistening, the moisture betraying her arousal. I trail my thumb along the length of her slit, ready to withdraw at the slightest protest from her. She submitted to a spanking, no more, and I won’t push her.

 

Molly gasps, but doesn’t pull away from me. Encouraged but still cautious I angle my hand so I can push my thumb between her folds to reach her clit. She parts her legs and lifts her bottom up. I require no further urging. Her clit is plump, swollen with her arousal. I take it between my finger and thumb and squeeze, gentle at first then firming up the pressure.

 

Molly is squirming on my lap, wriggling and writhing as she seeks to direct the touch to her sensitive tip. I know just what she needs, and have no intention of allowing her to set the pace now. I trail my fingertips around her clit, then flick the end. I swipe it from side to side, then from the bottom to the top. She is panting, thrusting her hips back, wordlessly begging me for her release.

She is there, right at the top, hovering at the edge of the precipice. I tease her for several moments, bringing her almost to the point of no return, then allowing her to slide back down. Her breath has been transformed into soft, sobbing gulps and her thighs are spread wide. When I am convinced she can take no more, I lift my hand from her.

 

“Close your legs, Molly.” I issue the command and wait for her to comply. She’s reluctant, but gloriously obedient even so. I transfer my belt back into my right hand ready for the final two strokes.

 

I thrash her across both thighs.

 

“Aagh!” Despite her good intentions Molly lets out a scream. I expected this, but even so, she did promise me that she would be quiet.

 

“Molly, I can still gag you.”

 

“I’m sorry, Jared, truly. I won’t make a sound next time.” She sounds so contrite I can’t help but smile.

 

“Good. Make sure you don’t or I’ll add on more strokes to help you learn that I mean what I say.” I keep my tone cool and clipped and the words stern because that’s what she needs. Molly MacBride is a natural submissive and she craves my authority and rigid control right now.

 

I drop the final stroke across her thighs, just below the first. She spasms hard, her entire body convulsing as she fights to absorb the pain. She shudders, her muscles softening as she lets it seep through her and away.

 

Even before she has finished processing the sensation I slide my hand back between her legs and rub her engorged clit. Her orgasm is instant, racking her body as I squeeze and tug on her sensitive nub. Her shudders, violent at first, subside but she is still trembling as I lift her from my lap and cradle her in my arms. She reaches up and locks her arms around my neck, her face buried in the dark grey fabric of my prison-issue T shirt.

 

I pull her in close and hold her. She is sobbing, her tears dampening my clothes. I rub my palm between her shoulder blades and kiss her short, sleek hair. It smells of apples, and something else. Cinnamon perhaps?

 

“You’re okay, I have you.”

 

 

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About Ashe Barker:

USA Today Bestselling author Ashe Barker writes erotic romance and spanking romance in a variety of genres

including contemporary, BDSM, paranormal, historical. ménage, gay romance and time travel. She is a #1 Amazon Bestseller and all her stories feature hot alpha males and sassy submissives, often with a lot to learn. Kink abounds, and there’s enough dirty talk to satisfy the most demanding smut lover. However dark and dirty the setting, love always emerges triumphant, and her stories never fail to deliver a satisfying happy ever after.

 

Find Ashe Here:

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Review Quotes

Wow! I was really surprised by this book… the story is about Jared and his choices and the consequences of those choices. The writing is very good and the story absolutely kept me turning pages until I finished the book. This book really earned its’ 5 stars.

 

This was a good page turner as I was keen to see where their journey took them.

 

Out Now! Grand Slam – BDSM Sports Romance by Lily Harlem & Lucy Felthouse (@lily_harlem @cw1985)

grandslam 

Everyone’s favourite dominant tennis player, Travis Connolly, is back! Grand Slam, a M/F BDSM sports erotic romance by award-winning authors Lily Harlem and Lucy Felthouse has been re-launched with a brand new cover, but is the same gripping book—so if you’ve read it before, be aware the content hasn’t changed.

*****

Blurb:

California had seduced me with promises of a new life working at Los Carlos Tennis Academy. What I didn’t expect was the dark, brooding number one seed, Travis Connolly, resisting my help. He wasn’t interested in my psychology skills. Instead his attention was drawn to the edgy, sharper corners of my desires, proving that they existed, setting me challenges and driving me crazy to the point of combustion.

I’m the best tennis player in the world—officially—so why would I need a damn woman full of psychobabble to get me on form? Despite my irritation, however, I can’t resist pushing Marie Sherratt’s buttons even though doing that shows her the darkest shades of my lust, the parts of me I buried deep. So I set her a challenge, one she rises to, one that has me rising too, and before long my game relies on her calling the shots, hitting the target and bending to my will. One thing was certain, being not just master of the court, but also of Marie is seriously good for my soul.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://mybook.to/grandslam

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/29hlQwU

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/29hEN1n

iBooks UK: http://apple.co/29hF4Bs

iBooks US: http://apple.co/2997niA

Kobo: http://bit.ly/298kRyG

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/29bspyg

 

Add to Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18212109-grand-slam

More sports romances from Lily Harlem & Lucy Felthouse: http://www.rawtalentseries.co.uk

*****

Excerpt:

I turned to the door. I always kept it ajar when expecting a client, to give the impression that I was open to whatever they needed to talk about. It was a subliminal thing.

Travis stood in the frame, his wide shoulders filling the space, the top of his head almost brushing the wood and his jawline holding a heavy sprinkle of black stubble.

Fuck, he should come with a warning. Hazard to the health of every female heart. He looked good enough to eat, or lick all over at the very least. Tasty.

“Knock, knock,” he said, slipping his gaze down my body.

“Come in. Take a seat.” I gestured to the couch and made a point of not letting my attention slide over his body. I didn’t need to look at soft blue jeans worn in all the right places or at his black polo top with a Nike logo just over his right nipple to imagine what was beneath them. I took a deep breath to stop myself doing just that. His physical attributes weren’t my concern, it was his mind I was after.

He shut the door and sat sideways on the low S curve of the black leather recliner, his long legs folding over and his knees coming up high.

“Please,” I said. “Lie back, make yourself comfortable.” I took a seat on a soft chair just to his left and crossed my legs.

Damn, I hadn’t realized how short this tight little red skirt was. Quickly I uncrossed, then started to worry there was a gap between my knees that would flash the top of my stockings or worse, what was between them. Hurriedly I pressed my notebook over my lap, resisted a squirm and forced a gentle smile at Travis.

“You wear glasses,” he said.

“Contacts usually.” I touched the black frames and pressed them up the bridge of my nose a fraction.

“You were in a hurry this morning then?” He frowned, as though irritated by me being in a hurry.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You were in a rush to get to work?”

“Not especially, it’s just the heat and being tired, it’s made my eyes a little sensitive. I thought it best to opt for my glasses when I left home this morning.”

“So you slept at home last night?”

“Pardon?” I creased my brow in confusion.

His fists were clenched and a muscle twitched in his jawline. “You slept at home then and not at…?”

I struggled to keep the surprise out of my expression. Bloody hell, was he getting at what I thought he was? Did he want to know if I’d slept at Peter’s?

His dark eyes were boring into me; they were deep chocolate-brown, almost black. Annoyance swirled in their depths, so did a curious certainty that I’d answer his question. He was definitely a man who was used to getting what he wanted.

Well, I supposed he would again now, because if he didn’t chill out we’d get nowhere and I had things to start work on. Plus I hadn’t slept with Peter. I wasn’t a to-bed-on-the-first-date kind of woman, so what was the harm in being truthful? “Yes, I slept at home last night.” I opened my notepad, clicked the spring on my ball-point pen and tilted my chin. “Alone.” I caught his steady gaze. Yes, I’d told him something he had no right to wonder about. But by telling Travis what he appeared to want to know, he owed me something in the confessing stakes.

He nodded slowly, then lifted his legs and did as I’d asked, lay back on the chair and settled his gaze over the L.A. skyline.

“And what about you?” I asked, watching as he unfurled his fists and rested his hands over his flat belly. “Did you sleep alone?”

He frowned. “You know I did.”

“No I don’t.”

“I was eating alone, Marie. You saw me.”

“Yes. I did. But you could have been heading out to meet someone or catching up with other players. I’m not a mind-reader.”

I waited for him to elaborate on our chance encounter or offer some information on the rest of his evening. He didn’t.

“In these sessions, Travis, it’s important for me to know who else is in your life, who you hang out with, who you share your thoughts and feelings with.”

“You have everything you need to know in my file.”

“Your file is full of facts. I’m more interested in the non-tangible things.”

“Like what?”

“Things like who your special someone is.”

He sucked in a breath, rolled his lips in on themselves and stared out the window.

“Have you left someone you care about back in England?” I asked gently.

“I think this is all very much beyond the realms of what we’re supposed to be doing here.” He’d fisted his fingers again and shifted his right foot irritably, as though kicking something away. I wondered if he was imagining it was my head.

“It’s up to us to decide what we want to do with our time together, Travis. We can talk about your accident or cognitive methods for keeping calm and focused under pressure, or you can unload all the stuff that fills your mind and stops you from being able to concentrate on court. Entirely up to you.”

“Great, in that case we won’t discuss my love life. It really is the last thing that plays on my mind when I’m beating an opponent into submission.”

Okay, now was the time to play my trump card. “Yet you feel it necessary to ask me about my love life.”

“You didn’t have to answer.”

“No, I didn’t, but you wanted to know, and since we’re stuck with each other for three hours a week for the foreseeable future I figured it would make sense for us to know a little about each other’s lives.”

“So now we do. I know you’re dating my coach and he wants to get into your knickers, and you know I sleep alone and have done for a long time now.” He paused. “Too long.”

Great, now we were getting somewhere. “And would you like that to change?”

“What?”

“Sleeping alone.”

He sighed and shoved his hand through his hair. I watched the black strands feather through his fingers and an image of myself doing that to him as he kissed down my sternum, onto my stomach, lower, suddenly stole into my mind.

I tightened my legs together. Felt a pleasurable little rush of heat in my lower abdomen. No. That was a ridiculous thing to daydream about. Travis Connolly was not only way out of my league, he was also a surly grump. Sitting here talking to him was stretching seconds into minutes.

“Are you asking me if I want to get married?” he asked, his gaze slipping to my chest.

Damn it, my nipples were tingling now.

“No, not at all. Simply wondering if you feel your career allows you to have a romantic relationship or if it’s something you’ve sacrificed in the name of tennis.”

“I’ve sacrificed lots of things to be number one seed.”

*****

About Lily Harlem

Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning author of erotic romance. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Pride Publishing, Evernight Publishing, All Romance eBooks, Stormy Nights Publishing, Tirgearr and Sweetmeats Press. Her work regularly receives high praise and industry nominations.

Before turning her hand to writing Lily Harlem worked as a trauma nurse and her latest HarperCollins release, Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse draws on her many experiences while nursing in London. Lily also self-publishes and The Silk Tie, The Glass Knot and Scored have been blessed with many 5* reviews since their release.

Lily writes MF, MM and ménage a trois, her books regularly hit the #1 spot on Amazon Best Seller lists and Breathe You In was named a USA Today Reviewer’s Recommended Read of 2014. Her latest MM novel is Dark Warrior.

Lily also co-authors with Natalie Dae and publishes under the name Harlem Dae – check out the Sexy as Hell Trilogy – The Novice, The Player, and The Vixen – and That Filthy Book which has been hailed as a novel ‘every woman should read’ and is available in book stores nationwide.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

Check out Lily’s website for details of her other books. Subscribe to her newsletter to get a FREE ebook and be the first to hear of new releases and free reads, and if you enjoy Facebook, hop on over there and say hi!

 

About Lucy Felthouse

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) and Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 140 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter and Facebook. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

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