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Out Now—Unconventional by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #bdsm #spanking #romance

UnconventionalBlurb:

Penny was caught out in the wrong place, at the wrong time. As a recently graduated law student, the brush with the law could put an end to her career before it’s even begun. But thanks to her lawyer daddy’s contacts, she’s been given a second chance. A chance to redeem herself and make her stupid behavior go away.

Which is how she ends up working in a soup kitchen, preparing and serving meals to those who are having a rough time of it. She’s not keen on the idea, and when she meets Maddox, the guy in charge, she’s even less keen. A tall, skinny, mad-haired, tattooed guy, Maddox is the sort of person Penny would normally cross the road to avoid. But once she gets to know him, she starts to see things differently. He’s had a checkered past himself, and has now put it behind him and enjoys a glittering, prosperous career as a top chef.

Maddox may have unconventional looks, but Penny quickly grows to like him, and, much to her surprise, finds herself attracted to him. He’s a lot older than her, and their lives are at completely different stages, but in spite of this, there’s an undeniable connection between them.

When Maddox makes Penny an unconventional offer, will she have the courage to take him up on it? And if she does, where will it lead?

Buy links:

Totally Bound Publishing: http://bit.ly/2l2XaJg

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/LFunconventional

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2l8WiDy

Google Books: http://bit.ly/2l0b12S

iBooks: http://apple.co/2m8or1P

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2l0mGP1

 

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33398214-unconventional

*****

Excerpt:

From the very second I laid eyes on him, it was clear he was unconventional. If I’m being truthful, I thought he looked like a complete nutter—someone I’d probably cross the road to avoid. Even in the daytime. He was tall and skinny, with a shock of black hair—still apparent under his hairnet—and pale skin. Kind of like Edward Scissorhands. Only—mercifully—without the scissors for hands part. A vine-looking tattoo began at his left wrist, worked its way up his arm, then snaked beneath the sleeve of his T-shirt…to who knew where?

Oddly, even though I mentally kicked myself for thinking it, I found myself wanting to find out. Did it stop at his upper arm, his shoulder? Did it continue over his back, his chest, twine its way around a pectoral, sneaking in toward the nipple? Or even farther south, perhaps?

Even if you took Mr. Unusual out of the equation, there was nothing normal about the situation I found myself in. After all, what recent graduate of law school finds themselves volunteering in a soup kitchen? A recent graduate who lost her head—and heart—over a bad boy, that’s who.

Most people seem to think that those who study law are smart. Super smart, actually. There’s a reason for that—folks who study law are smart. If they pass all the exams, that is. And I did—with distinction. Which makes me clever on paper, I suppose, but apparently lacking in common sense, or perhaps I just have severely poor judgment. Or both.

However you want to look at it, I fucked up. Big time. I fell for the wrong guy, trusted him, and ended up caught up in something that got me arrested.

It could have been the end of my law career. Before it had even started, and after all those years of education—not to mention a rather large chunk of my parents’ cash. Fortunately, they’ve got plenty of it, due to my daddy’s successful career. He works in law, too, which, luckily for me, means he’s got friends in high places.

So it was less voluntary work, more community service. Otherwise known as do-this-or-you’ll-get-a-criminal-record-and-kiss-your-career-goodbye.

Fixing my potential glittering career in my mind, I took a deep breath and crossed the industrial-looking kitchen, heading toward him. He looked utterly at home chopping carrots—he was like one of those chefs you see on the telly, his hand and the knife he gripped moving so fast they were almost a blur. I cringed at the thought of trying such a thing. Never mind the end of my career, it’d be the end of my fingers.

Approaching cautiously—I didn’t want to startle him and cause a horrific accident—I waited until he’d finished his carrot before speaking. “Um, hi.”

Turning quickly, still with his knife in his hand, he smiled. “Ah, hello. You must be Penny.”

For a moment, I was so caught up in his eyes that I couldn’t reply. Fortunately, I managed to get a grip before I was the one who was a nutter. “Um, yes, that’s right. I’m here to help out.”

As though suddenly realizing he still held the knife, he glanced at it in his hand, then quickly put it down on the counter. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to greet you with a blade! I’m so used to using the things that it’s like they’re an extension of my arm.”

Hmm, so maybe he’s Edward Knifehands. I suppressed a shudder.

Those stunning eyes—such an unnatural yet beautiful blue—twinkling, he held out his now empty hand. “I’m Maddox Black. Pleased to meet you. And very pleased to have you here.”

We shook. As we did so, the heat that had sparked inside me when we’d made eye contact began to intensify.

Christ, no, Penny. You just ditched one bad boy. The last thing you need to do is swap him for another one.

*****

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 organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Shameless Selfie: Identity Crisis

 

We’ve all had the experience, when you get well and properly stuck into a good book. When the experience becomes far more than just reading. It becomes an obsession. It becomes an experience. In so many ways it feels like you’re right there with the characters on the pages. Time goes completely away when we spend time with our favourite authors in their latest novels. And who hasn’t wondered about those mysterious people inn the shadows behind the computer screen tap, tapping away at the stories we love. What are they really like? What really inspires them? How can they write such amazing stories. I don’t know about you, but I have fantasies about what my favourite writers must be like, about fan-girling majorly with them one-on-one.

But what happens when you find out your fave author isn’t the person you thought they were, but in fact they’re exactly the person who irritates you most, and they need your help. Identity Crisis is the second of the Executive Decision novels and a case of way more secret identities than can truly be kept secret for very long. Here’s sizzling except, in which Garret and Kendra go for an unexpected swim.

 

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?

 

 

 

An Unexpected Swim — Identity Crisis Excerpt:

 

‘You look poorly slept with’ Ellis said, giving Garrett a hard slap on the back.

‘Can’t say the same about you,’ Garrett said. ‘Either one of you.’ He gave Dee a hug and took the bottle of Sam Adams his brother offered him. He leaned back against the deck railing, glancing out over the golden mid-day glow of the Water Hole, as Harris’s little private lake had been dubbed.

Stacie came to his side. ‘It’s friendlier on this half of the deck,’ she said nodding over to where Harris and Kendra huddled around the grill with Wade Crittenden. Ellis and Dee’s secretaries and their spouses along with several other people Garrett didn’t know, people he figured were friends of Dees milled around down by the water.

‘Give them some time,’ Dee said, following her gaze. ‘They’ll warm to you.’

Garrett’s gaze came to rest on Kendra Davis dressed in a baby-blue bikini top and a pair of shorts that made her legs look like they went on forever before they joined her luscious bottom up under what he could imagine was nice soft cotton. Damn, it would be easier to dislike the woman if she didn’t look so good. Garrett’s jaw still ached in muscle memory when he recalled the hard slap she had given him down in Wade’s office back on the day when no one was really sure what would happen between Ellis and Dee and everyone was waiting and nail-biting to see how the two would deal with the sharks of the press waiting to accuse Ellis of sexual harassment. Falsely accuse, of course, but that never stopped them. Garrett still felt awful about the role he and Stacie had inadvertently played in that nightmare. One more item to add to his guilt list where his relationship with his brother was concerned. Dee and Ellis had forgiven them, and it was clear all was well in paradise, but Dee’s friends didn’t seem nearly so willing to forgive and forget. In spite of being closer to his brother than he’d been in a very long time, he still wished there was a way to make things up to him and Dee.

He watched as Kendra put her arms around Harris from behind and gave him a tight squeeze from where he leaned over the grill, tongs in hand. He’d been told they were just friends, but if that wouldn’t make a man stiff, he didn’t know what would. Garrett had given himself a hard-on several times thinking about Kendra Davis’s enthusiastic slap. How pathetic was he? Of course in his fantasies, what followed the slap was a lot more fun for him than what had actually happened. Still, he would have liked it if she at least loathed him a little less.

‘So what’s up, Bro?’

Garrett turned his attention back to Ellis, but before he could say anything, Stacie spoke up. ‘Tess Delaney’s been nominated for the Golden Kiss Award.’

‘Really? That’s fantastic!’ Dee threw her arms around Garrett and gave him a proper bear hug. Ellis had obviously told her about the lesser Thorne brother’s secret life.

Ellis gave him another hard slap on the back. ‘Congrats, Tess. You must be all aflutter.’

Garrett gave a quick glance around to make sure no one else was close enough to overhear.

‘So,’ Ellis continued. ‘If Tess has been nominated for such a big honor, then why do you look like you’ve had an encounter with a freight train?’

‘They want to out him,’ Stacie said, sipping daintily at her Margarita. ‘Tess, I mean.’

‘Shut up, Stacie,’ Garrett said between gritted teeth.

‘Out you, what do you mean out you?’ Ellis asked, and he took the stance Garrett was too familiar with, the one that said he wanted the straight answer and he would have it one way or another.

 

 
Once he was finished with the whole tale and starting on a bottle of something from one of the local micro-breweries he’d never heard of, he was pretty sure he wasn’t happy with the way everyone else who’d just heard his sad little story seemed to be smirking.

‘Why don’t you ask her?’ Stacie nodded to Kendra, who was now engaged in conversation with Wade Crittenden as though he were the most fascinating man in the whole world.

And in spite of himself Garrett couldn’t keep from offering her an admiring glance.

Ellis laughed. ‘Not sure he could survive a date with her, incognito or not.’

Dee elbowed him in the ribs, but even she couldn’t hold back a snigger.

‘All joking aside,’ Dee said, ‘PR is Kendra’s forte and this is sort of a PR task, specialty, no doubt, but still, Tess Delaney needs someone who knows her work really well and is really comfortable around big crowds, someone who could move with the movers and shakers and blend right in. Surely that’s what Tess Delaney would be able to do.

‘Tess Delaney? What’s this about Tess Delaney?’ No one had noticed Kendra until she stood in their midst. Her blond hair slightly wind-blown, her bright eyes at least a couple of shades bluer than the sky, and Garrett so did not want to be thinking about the way she looked.

‘Nothing.’ Garrett gave them all a warning glare, grabbed Stacie by the hand and practically dragged her away. He knew Ellis and Dee would be the epitome of discretion. Stacie he was never too sure about.

‘Apparently Tess Delaney is looking for some specialty PR help,’ Stacie managed over her shoulder before Garrett could drag her away. Damn it, the woman had a big mouth. He was sure she’d done it on purpose.

As he escorted her briskly off the deck, he overheard Kendra ask Ellis, ‘Do you know Tess Delaney?’ But he couldn’t hear his brother’s response because Wade was suddenly asking him how he liked his new house.

 

‘Ellis, do you know Tess Delaney?’ Kendra asked again. ‘If she needs help with PR I’m her girl.’ She lifted her glass in a toast, way more excited about any lead that would give her a chance to meet Tess Delaney than she cared to admit.

Ellis and Dee shot each other a meaningful glance, and whatever the meaning was, Kendra had every intention of getting it out of her friend the first chance she got.

‘I know her, yes.’ Ellis spoke as though he wasn’t overly willing to let the words out of his mouth. ‘I don’t know the details of what she’s looking for, Garrett didn’t exactly say.’

‘Garrett knows her too?’

He shot Dee another glance, then shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot. ‘Better than I do, really. Maybe you should talk to him.’

Talking to Garrett Thorne was not something that Kendra really wanted to do, and for someone who was so good at giving nothing away at the negotiating table, Ellis certainly was not good at keeping his discomfort to himself when it came to talking about romance writers. ‘What is Tess Delaney an ex-lover or something?’ She asked.

Ellis nearly choked on his beer. Dee pounded him on the back and Kendra could tell she was trying hard not to laugh. He shook his head. ‘No, nothing like that. Honestly, she’s much closer to Garrett than she is me. Why don’t you talk to him?’

            She looked over the deck railing to where Garrett was now chatting with Wade. He was the last person she wanted to talk to, but it would be really something to spend time working with Tess Delaney. And the truth was, she was bored with being a lady of leisure. Though she was set for money for a long time to come, even had the funds set aside to buy a house whenever she got round to actually looking for one, a bit of interesting work, a chance to pick the brain of the woman who created such tantalizing tales would be the perfect distraction. She waited until Garrett was alone, down on the dock. He’d stepped aside to answer his cell phone. She’d just catch him when he hung up and ask him a few basic questions, then leave him to his ruminations and that would be that. It couldn’t take too long.

 

‘Now’s not a good time, Don,’ Garrett hissed into the phone. ‘I’m at my brother’s engagement party.’

‘Tell Ellis congratulations for me,’ his publicist said. ‘This’ll only take a minute then you can get right back to the party.’

Garrett gave a gargantuan shrug. ‘What do you want?’

‘I just wanted to let you know that I’ve put it out among some of my close friends and more respected colleagues that Tess Delaney is looking for a PA.’

‘You did what?’

‘Well, I didn’t know what else to call it. I thought I could maybe screen the candidates for you. I also know some folks who have connections with the actors guilds and they may be able to send some possible candidates as well, I mean we have to get on this, Garrett, that is if you’re absolutely sure you won’t just go to the award banquet as yourself.’

‘I already told you, no. Let me do the screening. If this woman is going as my date, I need to at least like her and trust that she knows enough about my work to pull it off.’ Though in all honesty he was finding it very difficult to imagine how he’d ever find someone who would understand Tess Delaney on a level that could convince people she was the woman that lived inside Garrett Thorne’s mind. But then, he wasn’t the one she’d have to convince, was she? She’d just have to convince Tess Delaney’s fans, and writers were often quite different than their loyal fans imagined them to be.

‘I insist.’ He interrupted Don’s list of reasons as to why he should choose the future Tess Delaney rather than Garrett.

There was a moment of silence and for a second Garrett thought they’d lost the connection. ‘Alright then,’ Don spoke at last. ‘I’ll send you the resumes of the candidates. But remember what I told you. She’d better good, or you’re outed. It’s not my call. That’s just the way it is.’

Garrett hung up without saying good-bye. ‘Asshole,’ he growled, as he stuffed the BlackBerry back in his pocket.

‘So tell me about Tess Delaney.’

Garrett jumped. He hadn’t even seen Kendra until she was right on him.

‘Jesus,’ he said. ‘Do you always sneak up on people like that? Were you listening to my conversation?’ The minute he said it he realized his mistake and the phantom burn from her hand to his left cheek flared with a vengeance.

She thrust her hands on her hips and glared at him. ‘I wasn’t sneaking, and why the hell would I be listening to your conversation?’

He thought she was going to turn around and leave, but instead she took a step closer. ‘Ellis just told me that you know Tess Delaney. Is that true?’

‘Why?’ He stepped back dangerously close to the edge of the dock.

‘Well Stacie said she needed some kind of PR help and PR’s my specialty.’

‘She doesn’t need your kind of PR help,’ he said.

‘What the hell’s that supposed to mean? And how would you know anything about PR needs. I’m damn good at what I do, and if anybody could solve her PR problem, I could.’

‘Oh I doubt that,’ he said. Another big mistake.

She took another step closer, folding her arms across her chest, and if looks could kill, he’d have been well dead and buried. ‘Why don’t you let her be the judge of that,’ she said.

‘Trust me on this, you’re not right for the job,’ he said. ‘I know Tess Delaney, and she’s looking for someone way more cooperative than you are.’ Jesus, why the hell couldn’t he keep his mouth shut?

The smile she offered him had no humor in it at all. In fact the curl at the edge of her luscious lips was down-right dangerous. ‘Oh I’m very cooperative with my clients. I promise you Tess Delaney will be very happy my work, and you know why that is, Thorne? It’s because I keep my nose out of other people’s business and do my job, something you wouldn’t know anything about, would you?’

He felt her words like a slap, and yet, even as he was regretting it, he still couldn’t keep his fucking mouth shut. ‘So what are you going to do for Tess Delaney, Huh? Slap her around? Throw your drink at her?’

The words were barely out of his mouth before she gave him a hard shove. He waved his arms wildly, teetering on the edge of the dock, then just before he went over, he grabbed her around the waist, and they both went off the end hitting the mirror bright water of the lake with a huge splash while Ellis and Dee and all the rest of the guests looked on.

 

 

 

 

Available from:

eBook:

Xcite Books
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble
iBooks UK
iBooks US
Kobobooks.com

Print:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
The Book Depository

 

 

Reviews:

 

risquereviews“Outstanding! Marshall weaves together a wonderful and brilliant story. With so many twists and turns, the author keeps you on your toes from the beginning right up to the very end. What I also loved is that even if you did not read the first book in the series you are not completely lost in this book. Overall, this was a fabulous book! I can’t wait for the next book!” 5 out of 5, Risque Reviews

 

 

“…I enjoyed this book very much, with its fascinating mix of love, hate, passion, violence, mystery and action. The outcome was a page-turner that I whizzed through even faster than its predecessor. Definitely recommended for hot romance fans… I’m now eagerly awaiting book three.” Erotica For All

“A great romance novel with a good out lined concept to keep you turning the pages of this book. Highly recommended to all lovers of Woman’s fiction, Romance with heart thumping passion and a good dash of suspense.” 5 out of 5, Lynelle Clark

“I have absolutely fallen in love with Kendra and Garrett. The tensions in the book perfectly transitions from hate to sexual and finally fear. The emotional highs and lows keep the reader intrigued, and the mystery keeps them hooked. I have been unable to put the book down until the momentous revelation at the end. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Ms. Marshall changes all the rules.” 5 out of 5, Coffee Time Romance

“This book pulled me in and had me on the edge of my seat with all the mystery, suspense, and hot, hot, loving. It was refreshing to read about a very romantic bad boy with a protective streak. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.” 4.5 out of 5, The Jeep Diva

“All in all, I found Identity Crisis to be one incredible read and cannot wait now to finish off with the third book in The Executive Decision Trilogy, The Exhibition. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of diverse, hot, steamy reading that will have you clutching the bed sheets for all the right reasons.” 5 out of 5, Blood, Lust and Erotica

 

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: 

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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.

 

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*****

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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