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Penelope Friday Tells the Story Behind the Story of Her Novella, Just Another Lady

The Story Behind The Story

The fabulous Penelope Friday is joining us today to tell us the Story Behind her hot regency offering, Just Another Lady, her novella from  the Secret Library anthology, One Long Hot Summer. Welcome, Penelope.


So, when you’re writing a story, you start at the beginning and move through the middle until you reach the end, right?


That would probably be a sensible way to do it. In fact, I know a lot of writers who write that way. But I’m not one of them. I mean, what am I supposed to do when I don’t actually know what happens next? Wait around hoping for inspiration to strike? Tidy the house? (Actually, that would probably make for a considerably more tidy house than I currently live in!)

Instead, I write another bit of the story. A bit which I do know. And then, when I run out of inspiration for that bit, I write another bit. And another. And another. And then… well, I suppose I ‘join the dots’. Because now that I know that – say – my heroine is going to meet her hero for the first time in chapter 1, but that they’re actually a couple by chapter 3, it’s easier to work out what happened in between.

Okay, I know that sounds odd. The scary thing is how long I’ve been writing in this way, though. When I was at school, I had a tendency to approach essays in the same manner – writing the bits I knew and then joining them up. In those pre-computer times, I had to ‘guess’ how much space I would need on pieces of paper, which was sometimes interesting: I ended up with quite a few essays which had little stars on the paper and another paragraph on a separate sheet which belonged in the starred place. Believe it or not, I was actually reasonably academic and ended up with decent marks, unusual methods notwithstanding 🙂

More surprisingly still, the ‘joins’ don’t seem to show too much in my stories, either. I would challenge anyone to spot the places where my sections have been joined: as I sometimes get inspiration for bits of conversation, the join may come part way through a scene, not just at the beginning of a chapter! If you think you spot one, feel free to email me – penfriday@gmail.com – and I promise to tell you truthfully if you’re right…

One Long Hot SummerBlurb

Regency lady Elinor has fallen on hard times. The death of her father and the entail of their house put Elinor and her mother in difficulty; and her mother’s illness has brought doctor’s bills that they cannot pay. Lucius Crozier was Elinor’s childhood friend and adversary; and there has always been a spark of attraction between the pair. Now renowned as a womaniser, he offers a marriage of convenience (for him!) in return for the payment of Elinor’s mother’s medical bills. Reluctantly, she agrees. But Lucius has made enemies of other gentlemen of the upper echelon by playing fast and loose with their mistresses, and one man is determined to take his revenge through Lucius’s new wife …


The feel of Lucius’s fingers running down her spine made Elinor want to shiver. Even though she was protected by layers of clothing, the knowledge that he was stripping her – that shortly she would be naked in his company – made every touch tingle with what Elinor had to acknowledge to herself was excitement as much as embarrassment. As he unfastened the final button, she wriggled impatiently and the dress fell in a pool at her feet. The petticoat she could divest herself; the corset, however, needed Lucius’s aid to remove. Elinor could feel his breath warm against her neck as he teasingly took his time to undo the strings. When at last it expanded around her, Elinor took what felt like the first decent breath since that morning, almost moaning her relief.

‘You looked beautiful in it,’ her husband (her husband!) murmured in her ear, ‘but even more so out of it.’

He pushed it off her shoulders, so that she stood dressed only in the light cotton shift in front of him. As he turned her to face him, Elinor was suddenly made all too aware of her semi-nude state compared to Lucius’s full dress. She could feel her nipples peaking against the cloth, almost begging for Lucius’s touch.

Penelope Friday – http://penelopefriday.jigsy.com; http://penelopefriday.livejournal.com

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Elizabeth Coldwell Shares The Story Behind the Story of Her Novella, One Long Hot Summer

The Story Behind The Story

I promised more heat and romance from Xcite’s fabulous Secret Library collection and today’s guest, back with her second fabulous novella with the title story from the anthology, One Long Hot Summer, please welcome back, Liz Coldwell.

Mmm, Toy Boys…

If there’s one thing I’m rather partial to, it’s a toy boy – in my fiction, at least. It’s not that men my own age (or even rather older) don’t have their charms; it’s simply that from a writing point of view, young male characters offer a wealth of possibilities. Unlike their older counterparts, they haven’t seen it all before and they don’t tend to come with a wealth of baggage. There’s so much they haven’t yet experienced, which is where an older woman is ideally placed to step in and show them the way…

Ashton KutcherOf course, the relationship between an older woman and a younger man is one that’s all too easy to turn into a capacious reticule of clichés. She can seem too desperate; he can come across as an improbably experienced stud. And the idea that this type of partnership can really last has taken a severe bashing, as the poster couple for toy boy love, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, who at one stage didn’t appear to be able to keep their hands off each other, have gone their separate ways. Though maybe their break-up should serve as nothing more than a warning not to post nauseating love notes and sneaky crotch shots of the missus on Twitter…

The reasoning why this works well as a pairing was always that men in their late teens are at their absolute sexual peak, and so are women approaching thirty. This theory may have been largely discredited, but the idea still lingers that the only reason women want much younger lovers is for sex. And while erotica thrives on what happens between the sheets, the best stories are always those which present the characters as rounded individuals, with lives that extend beyond the bedroom door. In which case, what does a young man really have to offer a woman who’s older and more mature than him, and is it really possible for them to turn lust and physical chemistry into lasting love?

One Long Hot SummerOne Long Hot Summer, from the Secret Library collection, is my latest tale of age gap romance. Not that Lily Metcalfe, the novella’s heroine, is looking for any kind of romance at the start of the story. She’s split up from her long-term partner, and the trauma of the break-up has left her with a severe case of writer’s block. In an attempt to cure it, she accepts her friend Amanda’s offer to house-sit for the summer, spending time on Dorset’s beautiful Jurassic Coast and (so she hopes) taking inspiration from her new surroundings. Her plans are thrown into disarray when Amanda’s son, Ryan, turns up, intending to spend the summer surfing and partying with friends. The last time Lily saw him, he was a gawky sixth-form boy, and now he’s filled out into a hunky young man whose presence in the house might just cure her block, but could also lead her into temptations she never expected. What happens next? You’ll just have to get hold of the book (which also contains stories by the very talented Penelope Friday and Shanna Germain) to find out more!

One Long Hot Summer is available from http://www.thesecretlibrary.co.uk


The Secret Library Blog Tour: Constance Munday

It’s my pleasure to welcome Constance Munday back to my site, here today on Xcite’s fabulous Secret Library blog tour. Welcome back, Constance! 

I loved writing Silk Stockings and was delighted it headed this fabulous little book of novellas by such talented authors.

It was a seed of a short story at first but I was thrilled to have the opportunity to develop it and I soon fell in love with my characters Imogen and Michael.  If possible I like to set my stories in different settings to make for a bit of interest and there was just something about Imogen and Berlin in the post-war years which really appealed.

Silk Stockings is not your average erotic story.  Yes, it’s very hot but it’s also a love story set against the odds.  I don’t want to give too much away but Imogen is caught in an impossible situation.  Scared and fleeing her dark past she has forbidden herself love until that is, she bumps into handsome American Michael Levenstein in a bar.

Michael seduced by seductive burlesque dancer Imogen, rapidly falls in love and will soon have to use his skills as a lawyer to save her.  As the heat grows and the two of them realise they’re in love can Imogen find the courage to tell Michael her dark secret, the one she holds closest to her heart or will she once again have to flee into hiding and deny herself love?  I hope you enjoy reading ‘Silk Stockings’ and just to whet your appetite there’s a little excerpt below.


Silk StockingsMichael returned to his stool at the other end of the bar and then thinking for a moment he dragged it closer to hers until he was almost within touching distance. Of course, it was essential he got closer so he could look at the silk stockings, which were gleaming enticingly in the dim light of the bar and which Imogen had now boldly crossed.

It wasn’t unusual to see a woman in stockings – but there was something about the way she wore them. It was as if she was made to wear a pair of hose in the way some girls are made to wear gloves or pearls. There was no doubt the silk stockings and the woman were a uniquely erotic combination and no other woman on the planet could carry off such a stunning partnership.

Imogen watched Michael for several minutes and before she realised what she was doing, she speared him with her cheeky gaze and raising her glass she invited a toast. It was something she never did and there was a steely determination in her glance, not unlike a whore’s invitation, but in a way she was a whore. She was, as Louis had so quaintly put it, the silk stocking whore – a cocktease in Cervin.

Michael smiled at her. She hazarded a guess he was doing what most men did, he was wondering if she had a boyfriend or if she was a high class whore waiting for a punter since she seemed expectant and her gaze kept continually darting to the door. The truth of the matter was, though, Imogen couldn’t get rid of the irrational fear which seemed to be mounting up inside her day by day, the fear Louis would walk right back in and blackmail her.

After awhile Imogen fished an olive out of her drink and popping it between her lips she dried her finger on her thigh. She didn’t mean to do it, but the action of the finger drew Michael’s attention to the silk stockings. She rubbed her finger up and down suggestively and then she drew several small circles on her thigh before hitching her skirt skilfully up her legs. She didn’t want to tempt him but she couldn’t help it, she liked him. She liked his wide-eyed innocent look and his slim sexy physique and narrow hips. He was American, she’d guessed that immediately because he talked with a bit of a twang like Jake, but Jake had a broad Brooklyn accent and Michael’s accent was soft and husky as if he’d just had sex and rolled out of bed. Even that voice was enough to get her going for some reason. It sent shivers all the way up her spine.


Constance MundayConstance first started writing and winning prizes when she was a child.  However, after taking a degree in economics and languages she was pressed into work first as a court room reporter and later translator and tutor.  An ardent book worm, books and writing were never far from her mind and in her spare time she wrote several novels just for fun.  It was only after a serious accident though and long periods spent in bed, that she turned to writing seriously and after accumulating loads of work was eventually convinced by a friend to send her first story in for submission.

She returned to university to study English and shortly afterwards when personal tragedy struck, she realised how short life was and that she had to follow her dream of becoming a writer.  Since then she has never looked back.  When asked about her writing she will say it’s more than just story telling.  ‘It’s a therapy, a constant challenge and a journey.’

Her move into erotica started in late 2007 when again a friend persuaded her to be brave.  She’d always loved hot passion and found a missing link when she started adding a pinch of heat to her stories and exploring other avenues.  She likes her stories to be fresh and new and always listens to the words of her fans, welcoming emails from her loyal little band.

Published first in Scarlet magazine, she rapidly moved on and writing under several names including Alcamia Payne for her erotica, has now had short stories published in over thirty anthologies; written novellas and novels and has recently had her story ‘Tango’ featured in ‘Diva’ magazine.

She’s delighted to be part of the beautiful ‘Secret Library’ collection, rubbing shoulders with a plethora of wonderful and talented writers and her next novel ‘Chickadee,’ a hot, sexy historical is out with ‘Ebound’ publishing in June.  Chickadee was the result of an intense interest in history and is set at the time of the Great Exhibition.

There’s loads in the pipeline and excitement abounds as she works on a three novel collection set in the world of mystery and magic.  She’s keen to point out though that she’ll never stop writing short stories as she just loves them.

Constance rates herself as a very ordinary girl with a hot melting centre who would have liked to be alive many centuries ago.  She loves many things, in particular delving into the arts and paranormal and her favourite pastimes are writing, reading, opera, studying, travel, vintage clothing and magic.

Look out for her shortly as she’s about to start her new blog and brand new website and will as usual welcome emails promising to answer every one.

Website:  http://alcamiapayne.web.officelive.com

My blogspot:  http://alcamiapayne.wordpress.com   


The Secret Library is a new range from Xcite Books which will appeal to the female romance reader market. Each book contains three specially commissioned novellas guaranteeing a satisfying and varied selection.

The story content is relationship led with a strong alpha male hero, a level of conflict and a climactic, explicit ending.

The covers are deliberately designed without visual imagery to be discreet. These books could be comfortably read in public, given as gifts and left on a bedside table.


The Secret Library contains six books with three erotic romance novellas in each:

Traded Innocence – Toni Sands, Elizabeth Coldwell and K D Grace

Silk Stockings – Constance Munday, Jenna Bright and Lucy Felthouse

One Long Hot Summer – Elizabeth Coldwell, Penelope Friday and Shanna Germain

The Thousand and One Nights – Kitti Bernetti, Primula Bond and Sommer Marsden

The Game – Jeff Cott, Antonia Adams and Sommer Marsden

Hungarian Rhapsody – Justine Elyot, Charlotte Stein and Kay Jaybee   


Guest Blogger Zara Stoneley Tells Us About Her New Novel, Forfeit

I’d like to welcome Zara Stoneley to A Hopeful Romantic. Zara is stopping by on her blog tour to tell us about her new novel, Forfeit


Wow, it’s so exciting to be here talking about my book. I’ve only been writing erotica for a short time and I’m a bit overwhelmed that I’m now published, and talking about it with such an amazing, established author!

I thought today I’d try and give you a bit of insight into the characters in Forfeit and where they came from.

Forfeit is very much about control, and relinquishing it, and I knew from the start that the story would only work if I had a heroine who knew her mind and was normally ultra controlled. This meant I needed a hero who could be dominant, knew what he wanted, and was determined but also very understanding. And so along came Cat and Brent.

In a lot of romances, erotic and non-erotic, it is the hero who is the damaged party, who needs the understanding and the love of the heroine to mend him. But I wanted to shift the emphasis away from this kind of relationship. This story is mainly about Cat, and it is Cat who has a real issue about being in control. And if you need to be in control it’s normally for a reason….

Cat has done what a lot of people do when they’ve had bad experiences in the past – they lock them away, bottle them up, build barriers so that no-one can uncover them and they can’t happen again. She’s not a loser though, her experiences have coloured her view on life but she’s realistic, she’s an independent career girl who has dealt with the past, locked it up and thrown away the key. But by throwing away the key she’s thrown away a part of herself.

So why is Brent the man for her? Because he’s not the kind of guy who will ever settle for second best, he wants all of Cat – mind, body and soul, but he recognises that until she accepts herself she’s not going to relinquish control and let him explore those deep dark corners.

I loved writing about Cat, loved the way Brent stuck with her even though it scared him a bit too and the only reason I hated saying good bye at the end of the story was that I felt I hadn’t really told much of Brent’s story. He’s got a bad boy reputation, but once he meets Cat he can’t help caring, which proves that who you really are wins out in the end… but maybe that’s a story for another day.


He raised her hand to his mouth, sucked long and hard on each finger in turn. ‘But then you turned all ice maiden on me and I never could resist a challenge.’ His voice had dropped to a husky drawl, and then he smiled, a lazy smile that turned up the heat from simmer to boil.

She swallowed, trying not to react to the sensations he was driving through her body. ‘So this is just about a challenge?’

‘Oh, I think it’s gone far beyond that, don’t you, darling?’

His hand was firm under her chin, tilting her face up so she met his gaze. ‘Do you trust me?’

She nodded wordlessly, already feeling that familiar tingle running through her body at his touch. He’d left her feeling awkward at the pub, making her raise questions that shouldn’t be raised. Now the softness of his gaze, the almost tender way he touched her, sent a shiver of unease mingled with a desperate need right through her body. She’d given her body permission to enjoy the pure, unbridled lust he inspired in her, but her emotions were different, and the want that tugged at her was more than just primal right now.

‘I don’t want anything you don’t want to give, Cat.’ His voice was soft as though he knew. He leant forward, his lips skating over hers, and then he was slowly unbuttoning her top. He eased back as he let the fabric slip from her shoulders, his eyes drawing her nipples to hard peaks that scraped against the lace of her bra. Two warm hands settled on her shoulders, then ran slowly down over her breasts, splaying out to her waist as though he was sculpting the body that stood before him. She felt the sigh that eased out of her taking with it any lingering unease. She loved the touch of his hands, the dark look that clouded his eyes; wanted just to be here. Whatever the cost.

There was the softest hint of a smile on his generous mouth, a slight parting of lips that drew her finger to them. His mouth closed instantly at her touch, his teeth holding her still, his tongue caressing the fingertip for a moment, and a thrill ran through her, sending her stomach muscles into delicious spasms.


Cat’s life is falling apart – her boyfriend’s dumped her, she’s lost her home and she’s about to quit her job. Her boss, Brent, has a solution: become his wife for a year, to help him land a big promotion. But Cat’s had a taste of Brent before, and she knows he’s a bad boy who loves women and leaves them. So she agrees to marry him, but tells him there’s to be no sex. He adds his own condition: if she as much as talks to another man in that time, she must pay, by acting out 12 of Brent’s kinkiest sex fantasies. When she breaks the rule, the forfeit is on: but opening up and letting Brent into her heart, as well as her bed, could be the most dangerous game of all …

Available from – Xcite Books, Amazon (UK), Amazon (US), Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and all other good e-book sellers.

About the author

Zara is a writer and lover of all things romantic, from the sensual to the sexual, who knows that naughty can be nice. She lives in the UK, but whenever she can she heads off in search of some sunshine and inspiration for her stories.

She love sexy high heels…good food….good wine….music…coffee (lots and lots of coffee)… and Italy. All things Italian from the countryside to the culture, the wine to the food…and of course the sexy men.

She’s been a consultant, a teacher, a mother, a wife, a lover… and has always been a writer and she’d love to hear from you.

Where you can find her-

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

Twitter: @ZaraStoneley

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ZaraStoneley

Email – zarastoneley@gmail.com


How Reviews Spurred Lily Harlem On to Write Stockholm Surrender

It’s a pleasure to welcome the lovely Lily Harlem back to A Hopeful Romantic with the story behind her sizzling novel, Stockholm Surrender. Welcome Lily!

Be they good or bad reviews are part of the territory when you’re an author. I am happy to say that the vast majority of reviews for my books are positive and it completely thrills me to know readers have enjoyed my stories.

One book however seemed to create a bit of a Marmite effect. People either loved it or hated it. It is a free short read that came out at Ellora’s Cave a couple of years ago called Stockholm Seduction. It is about a Penny Tipping, the British Foreign Ministers daughter, enjoying a gap year in Australia. She is kidnapped by a hunky surfer and…

Actually it’s probably easier for you to read the blurb –

I was having a fabulous extended gap year in Oz. Sun, sea, sand and seriously hot surfers rolling in on every wave. Mmm, what could possibly be better?

But then I was taken…taken against my will. Stolen like a prized object. I was tied up, held for ransom. I didn’t know if I would survive, if I would walk away alive. And then, to top it all off, I was tortured in the sweetest, most delicious, most sensual way imaginable.

That was when I realized my fun down under had only just begun.

To be honest I didn’t think much more about this story after it was released. It was just a taster for people to hear my voice and sample my style without having to pay for it.

Then about a year ago I was wandering around Amazon looking for something to read when I came across reviews for Stockholm Seduction. I was surprised to find that it either had the ick factor or the ‘more’ factor. Here are a couple of reader comments from either side of that spectrum.

“A woman is kidnapped, and decides to have sex with her captor? The message in this short story is disturbing on so many levels.”


“I was panting to know what happened when he found her next! I’ve read romantic short stories before, and they always left me hollow, but Lily’s left me craving. I would definitely recommend this e-book if you want a quick read with steamy scenes, hot men, and women that know what they want and are not ashamed to admit it. I get excited shivers thinking what the author could do with a full length book!”

This got me really thinking and I headed over to Goodreads to see what readers had said there. The overwhelming comments were to the effect of “this story is too short” and “where is the rest?”

So me being me, I got my naughty mind whirring and over the next few weeks waited to see if the characters would talk to me again. I wanted desperately to oblige the people who had taken the time to comment on the book and give them the rest of the novel.

Luckily Penny and Ty were desperate to have their steamy tale told and soon it was evolving in my mind and flowing from my fingertips at a rate of knots.

But like all novels there are stumbling blocks. In this case I had the basics of the plot already written, not only that those facts were published, out there in the world. There was absolutely nothing I could do to undo anything. The delete button was non-existent for that crucial first part of the novel.

So what I had was Ty Winters trying to free his friend James Hill from Thai prison by holding Penny Tipping to ransom. He wanted a better human rights lawyer and her influential father to help release him from a harsh sentence for a minor crime. From the word go Penny and Ty have a very strong attraction to one another that Ty in particular struggles with – that was never part of his kidnapping plan. What I did do in the original short story that helped immensely though was leave it on a Terminator-type line “I’ll be back.” So that was a nice springboard to leap off of in chapter one.

One of the reasons I enjoyed writing this so much was because I got to send Ty and Penny to Bangkok one of my most favourite cities. The colours, the vibrancy, the smells and the people really flooded my head again as I wrote this section of the story and I hope my love of Bangkok comes across in my descriptions.

James was an interesting character, who when I wrote the initial short story wasn’t someone I thought I would ever meet. He was just a name plucked out of the air and a reason for Ty to take Penny. But then, writing Stockholm Surrender, I had to meet him. I was very glad I did, he was quite a challenge. Why? Because I needed him to be a suitable best mate for adrenaline-junkie Ty, which meant he too had to have a streak of wildness about him, but at the same time having a death penalty hanging over his head and living in hell for so long had to have some effect on him. By that I mean physically, emotionally and sexually. Luckily Penny was incredibly empathetic to his vulnerability and masculinity and the scenes with James flowed deliciously onto the page.

So I guess, now that the novel to accompany Stockholm Seduction is out there I have to say a big thank you to everyone who asked for more from Penny and Ty. Because if they hadn’t taken the time to poke me into action this story would never have been written. And that folks, is the story behind the story.

Thanks so much for having me today KD, its always fun to come and hang out on your blog. Below are more details for Stockholm Surrender.

Blurb for Stockholm Surrender

My soul was in turmoil. Ty Winters had not only kidnapped me in Oz, my heartstoppingly gorgeous surfer had also stoked my darkest desires, bringing all my fantasies to the surface. So Oxford wasn’t going well. Until, that is, he creeped from the shadows—desperate, sexy, dangerous and wanting a piece of me, literally!

He teased me with a taste of his carnal skills, leaving me burning with frustration then forced to stand by as he fought for his beliefs using my lust-addled body as his most powerful weapon.

Oh, my kidnapper knew just how to get what he wanted, giving me just what I needed, while hiding our relationship from the British foreign minister and police. Because sometimes two people are meant to be, even in the most unconventional circumstances and twisted situations. We could fight the world, but we couldn’t fight our passion.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a steamy scene where Ty shares Penny with his best mate—lucky girl!

Excerpt from Stockholm Surrender

With my window letting in the sounds of the city, I spread my notes on my bed and tapped away on my netbook. The history of law was everyone’s most hated subject, but I knew the sooner I tackled it the better. Leaving it to the last minute would be crazy.

Eventually though, as darkness claimed the hall grounds and the lampposts flicked on, I decided to call it a day, or rather a night. Saved my work and flopped back on the bed. I would just stretch out for ten minutes before I got up to change and get ready for sleep.

But sleep wouldn’t wait, and before I knew it I felt myself drifting. Falling into a dark, dreamy world. My eyes were heavy, my breathing shallow. I let myself go—float into a world of thoughts and nothingness, white clouds and black sleep.


There was tightness over my mouth and pressure over the entire length of my body. Whatever it was had squeezed the air from my lungs and was pinning me to the bed. I opened my eyes, panicked.

“Shh!” Ty said, his eyes wide and his nose practically touching mine.

Hastily, I nodded. Oh my god. Was I dreaming or was Ty really here, lying on the bed with me?

He hesitated then lifted his gloved hand from my mouth just a fraction. “You are going to keep quiet, aren’t you?”

“Yes, of course,” I whispered.

This was no dream.

“Good, ’cause I don’t want that copper who’s stalking you to come crashing in.”

“He won’t. I promise.”

Ty lifted up, reached over and shut the window. With a snap, he drew the curtains then pulled off his gloves.

“Is that how you got in?” I asked.

He nodded.

“Really, up the tree, and…” Something was different. I realized what it was. “Why has the lamppost gone off?”

“I tripped it, didn’t want anyone seeing me breaking into the foreign minister’s daughter’s bedroom.” He grinned naughtily.

“And did they?”

“No, I shouldn’t think so, not at three in the morning.”

“Three?” I glanced at my bedside clock. Sure enough, it was three a.m.

He chuckled and lay back down next to me. “I guess you got carried away with your studies. I used to be like that.”


“Yeah, don’t look so shocked, I have a first in sports science.” He touched his finger to the bald patch of my scalp and a rush of heated desire poured through me. “I know all about the human body,” he whispered, “and exactly what it needs to stay healthy and happy and…satisfied.”

Unable to suppress a whimper of pure lust, I slid my hand over his shoulders and tugged him closer. “I wish you would damn well give me some of the satisfaction I need.”

“You’re always so demanding, and so…damn…horny.” He touched his lips to mine, soft and gentle, his tongue peeking into my mouth and past my teeth to tangle and turn and explore. “Oh Jesus, Penny, you drive me crazy,” he murmured. “You do know that, don’t you?”

“Good, because that’s how you make me feel.”

He stroked down the column of my neck, dipping his fingertip into the hollow of my throat and down my sternum. “I want you so bad,” he said, “but there is something we have to do before we can be together.”

“What?” What could he possibly need to do other than put on a damn condom? His erection was growing by the second against my hip. All I needed was for him to get inside me like he had before. Thrust and grind and do that thing to my clit he was so bloody good at. Just the thought of it had me shivering.

“Wait,” he said, reaching behind himself.

Suddenly a tight strip of tape slapped over my mouth. Gone was the luscious kissing of moments ago and in its place foul plastic stickiness.

“Mmmph!” I managed, trying to project massive indignation with my eyes.

“It won’t take long.”

I tried to reach for the tape, intent on pulling it off, but he had both my hands harnessed in just one of his.

“Sit.” He pulled me upright, tugging at my sweater. “We need this off.”

His breaths were rapid and hot on my face as he moved his hands quickly and efficiently, freeing my arms from the sweater before swiftly dragging it over my head.

“Ah fuck, white,” he said, staring at my pretty lace bra. It had delicate scallop details over the rise of my small, pert breasts and a tiny pale blue flower in the center between the cups. “White is my very favorite.” His voice was almost wistful.

“Mmmph!” I mumbled again. Why did I have this tape on? I said I wouldn’t shout for Roger. Why didn’t he believe me?

“Shh, shh, just for a minute, baby, just for a couple of minutes.” He stood, still holding my wrists tight, and nudged the straight-backed chair out from under my desk with his foot. “Up, come on, sit on here, quickly.” He glanced at the door.

As soon as I was on the chair he was behind me, wrapping what felt like cord around my wrists. I yanked but the binding was tight and attached me to the rungs.

“It’s okay,” he soothed by my ear, his breath warm and tickly. “It’s okay.” He slid his hand over my bare shoulder, tracing the strap of my bra right down to the cup.

I arched my spine, needing his touch so desperately. Ty in my fantasies would have his hands all over me by now. Ty in my fantasies would already be ravishing me until we were both desperately trying to muffle our screams and panting for breath.

But this wasn’t fantasy, this was real. Ty was really here, really tying me up again. And for god’s sake, why was this stuff on my mouth?

He poked his fingers into my bra and tweaked my nipple. I whimpered and fluttered my eyes shut. His caress sent sinful licks of wantonness raging though me.

“Damn it, Ty,” he muttered. “Think of James.” His body heat left me and the next thing I knew he was pulling off my jeans, exposing my tiny white thong. “Ah, fucking hell, what are you trying to do to me?” he groaned, wearing a very real expression of pain.

I couldn’t answer.

He reached back onto the bed for a small, brown leather rucksack. He delved into it and pulled out a newspaper and a camera.

“It’s yesterday’s,” he said. “But your father will still get the message.” He tilted his head and smirked lopsidedly. “The message that I can get to you whenever I want, wherever I want, bodyguard or no bodyguard.” Carefully he laid the newspaper on my lap. It was sort of folded up onto my belly so that the headline was visible. He took a step back and held up a small, silver digital camera. “I would say smile,” he said with a shrug, “but I guess it’s not appropriate.”


That was the goddamn understatement of the year. Dad was really going to flip at this one. Me in my underwear, gagged, tied to a chair in my room with Roger snoozing outside, just a few feet away. The shit was really going to hit the fan. Big-time.

I heard the camera click once then Ty was back next to me. He folded up the paper and shoved it along with the camera into his bag.

“Mmmph,” I said, shifting on the chair.

“I’m sorry, so sorry,” he said, bending over me and peeling off the tape. It tugged and stung as it pulled my skin. “Baby, I’m sorry, I just needed to do that.” He shoved the tape into his bag too.

“For fuck’s sake,” I hissed. “That stuff is foul and what the hell are you playing at?”

He stooped and pressed a soft kiss to my lips. “Sorry, I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”

I allowed my mouth to become pliant and open, let him in to search and gently tease my tongue with his in slow, languid movements. He tasted divine, like fresh water, a hint of vanilla and turned-on man. As he kissed me reverently, indulgently, my irritation with him dissolved as though it were a spoonful of sugar in hot tea. This was what I’d been waiting for, this moment with Ty. The man I shouldn’t want but did. The man whose tenacity and loyalty I admired even though everyone else thought he was a brutish thug who should be hung, drawn and quartered.

“Ty,” I gasped. “Please, untie me.”

“Mmm, in a minute. I kinda like having you at my mercy.”

“I’ve noticed.”

He smiled, slow and sexy. “It gives me all kinds of dirty ideas.”

Buy links:

Stockholm Seduction – FREE – http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8620-stockholm-seduction.aspx

Stockholm Surrender – http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9743-stockholm-surrender.aspx

About Lily Harlem

Lily Harlem lives in the UK with a workaholic hunk, a crazy cat and an old dog. With a desk overlooking farmland, she allows her imagination to run free and revels in being able to use the written word as an outlet for her creativity. She won the Lovehoney award for erotic fiction in 2009 and has been writing non-stop ever since and is now multi-published by both US and UK houses as well as featuring in numerous anthologies.

Where you can fine Lily Harlem

Website http://www.lilyharlem.com/

Blog http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.com/

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The Romance Reviews

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