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Her Secret Ingredient – M/F/M BDSM Erotic Romance from Lisabet Sarai

Available 15 November from Totally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/her-secret-ingredient

Buy from Totally Bound and get a sizzling extra chapter, available only to TB VIP readers!

Her Secret IngredientHer Secret Ingredient by Lisabet Sarai

Blurb

Stir in a pinch to stir up his passion

When the Tastes of France food channel offers Mei Lee “Emily” Wong a series of guest spots, she jumps at the opportunity to take her culinary career to a whole new level. Ultimately, she wants a show of her own, but first she has to prove herself to Michelin-starred network founder and effective dictator, Etienne Duvalier. A legend in the world of classic French cuisine as well as a domineering perfectionist, Etienne is sceptical about the culinary abilities of a woman from Hong Kong. To make things more difficult, the master chef is also so gorgeous that Emily can’t help being attracted to him.

Emily tries to solve both problems by spiking her luscious profiteroles with an ancient Oriental aphrodisiac. Unfortunately, Harry Sanborne, the low-key, bespectacled producer for Emily’s show, samples the delicacies she intends for Etienne’s consumption. His powerful reaction to her secret ingredient comes as a pleasant surprise to them both. Harry turns out to be far more impressive in bed than on the set. However, he can’t do nearly as much to advance her ambitions as Etienne. Emily tries once more to tempt the exacting M. Duvalier with her special cooking as well as her feminine charms. The outrageous results threaten to end her TV career forever – until Harry steps in to save her reputation and claim her heart.

 

X-Rated Excerpt

“Even our Monsieur le Chef can be swayed by great food. The desserts – oh, I’ve just got to try one of these…”

“No! Harry…”

Before I could stop him, though, he’d nipped a cream puff off the pile and popped it into his mouth. His eyes went wide as he chewed and swallowed.

“Unbelievable! Give me another…”

“Please, no…!” I grabbed at his arm, but it was too late. He’d already devoured a second choux.  “Those are supposed to be for Etienne…”

“Come on, you’ve made at least two dozen. He won’t miss one or two.”  Harry made as if to reach for a third puff. I hung on, trying to restrain him, but he was far stronger than I. Under that dorky clothing, I felt his muscles tense and shift.

He halted, his fingers inches away from its target, as if suddenly aware of my touch.  Turning away from the tower of pastries, he gazed down at me. Behind his glasses, his mocha-coloured eyes gleamed with powerful purpose.

“Harry?” My stomach did a somersault. My cheeks felt as though they’d just come out of the oven. Meanwhile he held me in that fierce, all-consuming stare.

My right hand still gripped his left arm, near the shoulder. He reached out to rest his on my shoulder, as if we were about to dance. “You know, I actually see something a lot sweeter right here.” He slid his palm down my back and pulled me to his chest with a decisiveness that sent my pulse into overdrive. When he leaned in close, I smelled the almonds on his breath.

“Harry…I don’t think…”

“Shh!” He enforced this directive by fastening his mouth on mine in an energetic kiss.

He tasted, unsurprisingly, of sugar and cream. His firm lips moulded to mine while his tongue teased at the seam, coaxing me to open. I shouldn’t have given in, but I honestly couldn’t help it. He might look like a bit of nerd, but this guy really knew what he was doing. Wet, but not sloppy – forceful, but not brutal – alternating between deep penetration and playful flickering – he kissed with consummate sensuality. All I wanted was to swoon in his arms, to let him take me over.  He seemed eager to oblige.

The hand on my back wandered down to cup my ass and pull my pelvis against his. I gasped at the size and rigidity of the lump pressed against my pubis. My nipples snapped into aching knots and moisture flooded my already damp panties. He laced the fingers of his other hand through my hair, using them to control the position of my head as he drank his fill of me.

His mouth slipped away from mine to nuzzle below my ear, somehow finding the precise spot that’s directly connected to my clit.  Meanwhile he groped my breasts, squeezing hard – harder than I usually like, but now I actually wanted more.

Apparently he did, too. He tugged at my blouse, trying to pull it out from the waistband of my skirt, and finally succeeding. The first graze of his fingertips along my naked skin sent a wave of arousal crashing through me.

“Wait – no – aah…oh…” My protests faltered as he deftly extricated one of my breasts and caught the nipple between his thumb and forefinger. He tugged on the taut node of flesh, twisted it, flicked it back and forth. I swear I felt him doing the same to my clit. At the same time, he caught my earlobe between his teeth, worrying it like a pup with a toy.

Oh God! He was all over me, fondling and caressing whatever flesh he could access through my dishevelled clothing – and it was glorious! Crumpling my skirt to the waist, he worked his clever fingers under the elastic of my panties to stroke my soaked fur. I jerked against his palm, wanting him to explore more deeply. He appeared happy to oblige, pushing into my channel with his fingers while strumming my clit with his thumb. I wormed  my way into his loose trousers and clung to his cotton-covered ass, feeling his gluts flex as he ground his astonishing hardness against my belly.

I’d never doubt my grandmother again.

 

Lisabet SaraiAbout Lisabet

Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – nearly fifty single author titles, plus dozens of short stories in various erotic anthologies, including the Lambda winner Where the Girls Are and the IPPIE Best Erotic Book of 2011, Carnal Machines. Her gay scifi erotic romance Quarantine won a Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention.

Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre.  She has traveled widely and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her creative writing.

For more information about Lisabet and her writing, visit her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com)

 

Lisabet Sarai Breaks the Rules with Her Genre-defying New Release, Rajasthani Moon

Fear of Flying

It would have been much faster to fly.

Alas, Cecily Harrowsmith—special agent for Her Majesty the Queen, expert in the martial arts of three continents, past mistress of princes, potentates and the occasional prime minister—was afraid of flying. She despised herself for this weakness, but not enough to board one of the Empire’s sleek, viridium-powered airships, strap herself into her seat and hope for the best.

Hence the current tedious journey. Cecily peered out of the window of herLisabet Sarai May post123rfDirigible-14428352_s carriage at the endless

expanse of russet-coloured desert stretching in all directions. The mere sight of all that sand was enough to make her throat burn. She sipped her tepid tea, wondering for the twentieth time why she’d accepted this bloody assignment.

Thus begins my most recent release, Rajasthani Moon, a book that deliberately defies categorization. It contains elements of the steam punk and paranormal sub-genres, plus quite a lot of moderately extreme BDSM and a M/F/M ménage. It features a kick-ass Rubenesque heroine, a billionaire Rajah and a sexy, deliciously disreputable bandit. It flirts with non-consensual fantasies and lesbian attraction. It has some funny moments, not infrequently associated with sex. Oh, and it’s a romance, with what I hope is a sublimely satisfying happy ending (although I won’t tell you who ends up with whom!)

Writing this book involved taking risks. I’ve observed how readers cling to their favorite genres. I’m breaking rules right and left with this novel. Will the market embrace my mash-up? Or will readers run away in droves, terrified of the unfamiliar?

Producing the same sort of stories, again and again, can be comfortable. It may help sales,  too. To grow as authors, though, we have to leave safety behind. We must step out onto that high pinnacle of creativity and let go, defying the fear that we’ll plummet ignominiously to the ground. We have to get over our fear of flying.

Rajasthani Moon is like nothing I’ve written before. Well, that’s not strictly true. Like most of my books, it has plenty of erotic content. What I mean is that I’ve never felt so free as I did writing this book. I gave myself permission to follow my imagination, no matter how wild its suggestions. I found this Lisabet Sarai may postrajasthanimoon_noquote_800difficult at first. The further I ventured out onto my self-constructed limb, though, the easier I found the process.

The result? Well, I’m pleased with it. I have no idea what other people will think. But I won’t worry. That’s out of my control.

And Cecily? She conquers her fear, too, eventually:

The passenger compartment was about ten feet long. Its walls were chest height. A canopy shaded one end, including the brass and quartz crystal control panel. The other was open to the sky, though the gas bag a dozen feet above them shielded them from the most direct rays of the sun. She was not surprised to discover that the floor was covered by multiple layers of intricately-patterned carpets and strewn with fat, multi-hued pillows. The Rajasthanis seemed to have little use for furniture.

Amir busied himself at the controls while Pratan lounged on the cushions, looking rakish and indolent. “Come here, Cecily,” he ordered. “Sometimes the take-off is a bit bumpy.”

Her heartbeat accelerated and her palms started to sweat at this reminder of what lay ahead. She gave him a sharp look. She could have sworn he was suppressing a chuckle.

Nevertheless, she reclined beside him, as he’d instructed. He slipped his arm around her shoulder and held her tight against his chest. His strength reassured her, but she still felt as though her stomach was turning somersaults.

A low frequency vibration hummed under them as Amir started the engine.

“Here we go,” called the Rajah. “Prepare to lift off.”

“Kiss me,” said Pratan. He took possession of her mouth without waiting for her acquiescence.

Amir released the tethers binding the dirigible to the roof. They retracted into their housings with a snap and the gondola swayed in reaction, springing upward a few feet. Cecily’s heart climbed into her throat. She gritted her teeth against sudden nausea. Pratan’s agile tongue wormed its way between her lips, urging her to relax and open, and the spell passed. Meanwhile, his hands wandered over her body, pulling her loose clothing out of the way so that he could stroke her breasts and belly.

His scent enveloped her, sandalwood and smoke superimposed on animal musk. The wolf had not returned since their encounter on Mount Abu, but Pratan still smelt like something feral. He burrowed into her, sucking on her tongue and nibbling her lips, while his fingers teased her nipples into hungry knots. Cecily moaned as the pleasure mounted. She lay back, cradled in the nest of cushions, and allowed him free access.

***

Rajasthani Moon is available now from Total-E-Bound, at a 10% discount, and will have its general release at Amazon and other bookstores on May 31st. But why not get your copy now and save? TEB can download direct to your Kindle or other e-reader.

About Lisabet Sarai

Lisabet Sarai may postlisabetFaceLisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – nearly fifty single author titles, plus dozens of short stories in various erotic anthologies, including the Lambda winner Where the Girls Are and the IPPIE Best Erotic Book of 2011, Carnal Machines. Her gay scifi erotic romance Quarantine won a Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention.

Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre.  She has traveled widely and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her creative writing.

For more information about Lisabet and her writing, visit her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com)

 

Lisabet Sarai Tells How You Can Help Vampires Save the World

Helping Vampires to Save the World

Let’s face it. Vampires are sexy. Something about the undead stirs up our juices. Perhaps it’s their irresistible power. Even when we know the danger, we’re so very tempted to surrender to their all-consuming lust. Maybe we want to comfort them, to save them a lonely, bloody eternity. Maybe we secretly crave immortality ourselves.

Vampires are frequently portrayed as evil or at least amoral, viewing humanity from the jaded perspective of centuries. Now, though, vampires are doing their part to save the world.

Coming Together: In Vein is a brand new collection of vampire-themed erotica and erotic romance edited by Lisabet Sarai. All sales of this novel-length volume support Doctorlisabet Sarai Drs without borders Coming together in veins Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). MSF works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation. Right now, despite being barred from the country, MSF doctors and nurses are in Syria, working with patients from both sides of the civil war. They’re performing surgery in caves and sneaking into refugee camps to distribute desperately needed medications.

You can help MSF in its life-saving mission, simply by indulging your passion for vampires. Buy a copy of Coming Together: In Vein in ebook, Kindle format, or print. Enjoy! Then help spread the word! Every copy we sell has the potential to save someone’s life.

The list of contributors includes many names you’ll recognize. Every one of these authors has provided his or her work free of charge, to support the charitable aims of the project. Furthermore, the editor is giving away a free copy of her short story collection Body Electric  to everyone who buys a copy of Coming Together: In Vein. (For details of this offer, click here.)

Sink your teeth into Coming Together: In Vein. Help our vampires save the world.

Excerpt:

From “Willing” by Xan West

I pull out my blade and show it to him. His eyes widen and he whispers, “My safeword is chocolate.” I am surprised. Most who frequent the fetish scene know nothing about real BDSM. That these are the first words out of his mouth shows that there may be more to this boy than I thought. I stand still, watching him. He is older than I had first surmised, at least twenty four. The little leather he wears is well kept, his belt clearly conditioned and his boots cared for by a loving hand. He is motionless, knees slightly bent, shoulders back, offering me his chest. His pulse is not rapid, but his eyes eat up the knife and his lips are slightly parted, as if all he wanted was to take my blade down his throat.

His brown eyes stay fixed on the knife as I move toward him. I tease his lip with the tip of it and then speak softly.

“How black do you flag?”

His eyes stay on the blade. He swallows.

“Very black, on the right, Sir.”

“Is there anything I need to know?”

“I am healthy and strong. My limits are animals, children, suspension and humiliation, Sir.”

“And blood, hmmm?” I am teasing. I know the answer. It is why I found him here, and not at the Lure.

“Oh please, Sir. I would gladly offer my blood.”

“Why?”

He takes a deep breath, closes his eyes a moment, and then opens them. The pulse in his throat starts racing, but his voice is calm, and matter-of-fact. I tease my blade against his neck.

“I have been watching you a long time, Sir. I have seen how you play. I see the beast inside you. I know what is missing. Those boys at The Lure don’t know how to give you what you really need. They don’t see that they are barely feeding your craving, and not touching your hunger. The boys here don’t see you. They just see their own fantasy. They are simply food. I am strong, Sir. Strong enough for you. I can be yours. My blood, my flesh, my sex, my service. Yours to take however you choose, for as long as you want. To slake your hunger. I would be honored, Sir.”

I take a deep breath, stunned, studying him. This boy who would offer what I never really thought was possible. He has surprised me again. That alone shows this boy is more than a meal. He just might be able to be all that he has offered.

 

 

Quarantine: The Story Behind the Story By Lisabet Sarai

The Story Behind The Story

It’s my pleasure to welcome the amazing Lisabet Sarai to A Hopeful Romantic on her blog tour for her stunning story, Quarantine. Welcome, Lisabet. Tell us the story behind Quarantine.


I don’t know if I would have written Quarantine if I’d been brought up as something other than Jewish.

None of my family members personally endured the Holocaust. They immigrated decades before the Nazis rose to power. Nevertheless, when you’re a Jew, even a non-observant one like me, the concentration camps and the gas chambers are part of your legacy. The notion that a government might systematically imprison and exterminate millions on the basis of their religious or ethnic background may seem far-fetched and difficult to believe to most people, but when you grow up Jewish, you know the truth. Humans have surprising capacity for evil.

I was an adult before I learned about America’s own camps, where millions of Japanese-Americans were detained during World War II. Of course these individuals weren’t slaughtered, but some did die, of disease or malnutrition, and many of those that survived lost their property, their livelihoods and their communities.

When I listened to the rabid anti-gay rhetoric of right wing politicians and religious figures in the United States, I realized that it wouldn’t take all that much to tip society in the direction of interning gays. (In fact homosexuals were among the victims of Hitler’s “final solution”.) The premise of Quarantine came from that realization, along with the vision of persecution we Jews seem to carry in our bones.

Dylan and Rafe first came to me as characters for a short story, in response to a call for gay BDSM erotica. I could imagine the power differential between a camp guard and a gay prisoner, in a world where being homosexual was a crime. I soon understood that this was far too complicated a scenario for five thousand words. As I started to work on the idea, I saw that the power dynamics could be far more nuanced than I’d initially imagined. In the final novel, Rafe is ostensibly the one on top, but Dylan controls much of the action through charisma and craft.

The final book doesn’t include any explicit BDSM, other than a scene where one of the villains kidnaps and binds Dylan for his own entertainment. At the same time, the book is about power – political power, moral power and erotic power.

QuarantineBlurb

When love is forbidden, the whole world’s a prison.

Dylan Moore will do anything for freedom. Seven years ago, a gay epidemic spread to heterosexuals, killing millions and sparking brutal anti-gay riots. The Guardians rounded up men who tested positive for the homogene and imprisoned them in remote quarantine centres like desolate Camp Malheur. Since then, Dylan has hacked the camp’s security systems and hoarded spare bits of electronics, seeking some way to escape. He has concluded the human guards are the only weakness in the facility’s defences.

Camp guard Rafe Cowell is H-negative. He figures the lust he feels watching prisoner 3218 masturbate on the surveillance cameras must be due to his loneliness and isolation. When he finally meets the young queer, he discovers that Dylan is brilliant, brave, sexy as hell – and claims to be in love with Rafe. Despite his qualms, Rafe finds he can’t resist the other man’s charm. By the time Dylan asks for his help in escaping, Rafe cares too much for Dylan to refuse.

Dylan’s plan goes awry and Rafe comes to his rescue. Soon they’re both fugitives, fleeing from militant survivalists, murderous androids, homophobic ideologues and a powerful man who wants Dylan as his sexual toy. Hiding in the Plague-ravaged city of Sanfran, Dylan and Rafe learn there’s far more than their own safety at stake. Can they help prevent the deaths of millions more people? And can Rafe trust the love of a man who deliberately seduced him in order to escape from quarantine?

Excerpt (Rated X)

Rafe rammed his prick into Dylan’s mouth, seeking heat and wetness. Meanwhile, he opened wide and engulfed his lover’s cock, sliding his lips down the length. The taut skin was velvety and smooth. He thought he could feel Dylan’s pulse against his tongue. He licked at the warm, ripe flesh. It felt so alive, so full, ready to burst.

He’d never tasted a man’s cum, but he wanted to now. He rocked his hips up and down, letting Dylan feast on his meat. Meanwhile, he suckled the other man’s organ, mimicking the tricks Dylan used, that he was using now in fact, to drag Rafe to the very edge of control. Pleasure welled up and threatened to overflow, but Rafe didn’t plan to come yet. No, he needed to hold on until he made Dylan shoot. It was a matter of honour.

The white guy was close. Rafe bore down, tilting his head back to lengthen his throat. Dylan arched in response, slamming his bulb against Rafe’s palate. Rafe fought the urge to choke. He knew how good it felt to let everything rip, to drive your cock deep, as deep as you could, to ravage someone’s willing mouth, holding nothing back, nothing…

Without warning, or at least any that he recognised, yeasty fluid filled his mouth. He coughed and swallowed. Dylan’s cock convulsed, spitting out more gobs of warm liquid. Rafe gulped down as much as he could, the remnants leaking from the corners of his lips. The odd taste, the unfamiliar sensations, and most of all, the knowledge that he’d sucked his lover to climax, all combined to take him over the edge. With one last thrust, he let go.

The pleasure was round and full, different somehow from his usual wild, jagged orgasms. It surged up from his depths, powerful, irresistible, sweeping away every thought in a blissful tide of satisfaction. For what seemed like hours, the waves rolled through him, pleasure swirling up from his balls and out onto Dylan’s tongue.

Rafe collapsed on top of his lover. Dylan’s cock slipped out from between his bruised lips. His face was sticky with jizz. His arms muscles screamed from exertion. He felt Dylan’s cat-like tongue, lapping the last drops of semen from his own dick.

He’d never been happier.

****

Thanks, K.D, for having me as your guest. This post today is part of my Quarantine blog tour, which will run  through the 24th of July. I’ll be giving away an ebook to one commenter at each stop on the tour. So leave a comment – and don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you!

I’ll also be choosing one commenter from the entire tour to win the grand prize – a $50 All Romance Ebooks gift certificate. Meanwhile, all comments at my own blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com) during the tour will also go into the drawing for the gift certificate.

You’ll find the schedule for the tour in my July newsletter: http://www.lisabetsarai.com/news.html

You can watch the sensational Quarantine trailer here. And if you’re interested in getting your own copy of Quarantine, just go to Total-E-Bound (http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?P_ID=1725)!

*****

Bio: More than a decade ago LISABET SARAI experienced a serendipitous fusion of her love of writing and her fascination with sex. Since then she has published four single author short story collections and seven erotic novels, including the BDSM classic Raw Silk. Dozens of her shorter works have been released as ebooks and in print anthologies. She has also edited several acclaimed anthologies and is currently responsible for the altruistic erotica series COMING TOGETHER PRESENTS.

Lisabet holds more degrees than anyone needs from prestigious universities who would no doubt be embarrassed by her chosen genre. She loves to travel and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her highly tolerant husband and two cosmopolitan felines. For more information on Lisabet and her writing visit Lisabet Sarai’s Fantasy Factory (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com).

 

Lisabet Sarai Shares the Story Behind Her Novella, The Understudy

It’s my pleasure to welcome the fabulous Lisabet Sarai to share with us the very personal story behind the story of her novella, The Understudy. Welcome Lisabet!

All authors use personal experience in their stories. How could we not? Any writer who claims that her characters and their conflicts are one hundred percent fictional is not being honest with herself.

On the other hand, it’s dangerous to make one’s work too autobiographical. There’s the very real risk of legal action by people who recognize themselves in your so-called fiction. A more subtle problem is the tendency for an author to write the same story over and over again- her own story. (I recognize that many authors are male. However, since I need to choose one pronoun, I prefer to use the female.)

I’ve incorporated bits and pieces of my life into my own work, of course. I’ve borrowed settings, character traits, and occasionally, specific erotic scenes. Normally, though, I mix everything up. A bit of this, a bit of that, all seasoned with plenty of fantasy, and no one’s the wiser.

My BDSM erotic romance novella The Understudy is an exception. Although the characters and the setting are fictional, the primary conflict in the book is based on my personal history.

Back when I was young, single and hormone-ridden, I had a D/s relationship with a fellow graduate student. I was totally new to the paradoxical delights of BDSM; I didn’t realize that I was submissive until my reactions revealed this truth – to him and to me. In contrast, he had done a great deal of research and also had some actual experience as a dominant.

Our explorations of power dynamics affected me profoundly. I’d never felt such passion, or such freedom, as I did when I surrendered myself to his will. We seemed to share a bond that went far beyond the physical. More than once I felt certain we were reading each other’s thoughts. I think we both believed in magic, that intense desire could create reality. Somehow I was able to trust my master completely, from the very beginning, though we really didn’t know each other well. He never betrayed that trust.

I fell deeply in love with this man. However, I believed that I was nothing more than a plaything for him. I knew that before he and I connected sexually, he’d had another lover who had also been submissive. I’d even met this woman at parties. She was gorgeous, confident, flamboyant – a sophisticated and elegant woman of the world. When she broke off their relationship, my master sank into a profound depression that lasted nearly a year.

He didn’t hesitate to tell me about what he and A. used to do together. I think he understood that I found it exciting as well as enlightening. However, our discussions led me to conclude that he was still in love with her. I figured that he and I had no future. I was happy enough to act the part of his slave in the present moment – indeed, I couldn’t resist him – but I always had the nagging worry that he was comparing me to her.

When I began working on The Understudy, I realized I wanted to transplant this situation into the story. The details and the setting are different, but the fundamental conflict is the same. Sarah Gladstone, pretty in a girl-next-door sort of way, gets her first real acting job at the Berks Summer Playhouse and discovers that she’ll be working with theater legend Geoffrey Hart. The charismatic actor initiates her into the dark delights of BDSM and she’s soon experiencing a level of intimacy and trust beyond anything she could have imagined.

According to the rumors, though, Geoff’s heart is taken. Renowned actress Anne Merrill, his long time partner and submissive lover, has severed their relationship and Hart has escaped to the Berkshires to lick his emotional wounds. Sarah knows that she can’t compete with the glamorous theater veteran and fears that she’s just a substitute for the real object of Geoff’s affections.

Writing Sarah was like revisiting my own insecurities in my relationship with my master. A number of reviewers have commented on the intensity of the tale. More than most of my work, the story reflects my own emotions. I stripped myself bare writing this book. I guess it shows.

Of course, one advantage of fiction is that I can give my characters a happy ending. The real world resolution of my relationship with my master was far more ambiguous. We drifted apart. I met and married my husband. Still, my master and I keep in touch and share a wistful fantasy life. (My husband is aware of this.) Only years later did I learn the depth of my master’s love for me, or understand that he had wanted a commitment but was too insecure to ask.

I sometimes wonder what my life had been like if he and I had been as skilled in communicating outside the bedroom as we were inside. I have no regrets. I love my husband and my current life and wouldn’t take back any of my choices. Writing The Understudy, though, gave me the chance to play with some seductive notions of what might have been.

I’ll end with a quick excerpt from the book.

EXCERPT:

The door to the Shays suite was half-open. I knocked anyway, swallowing my nervousness. Stop this silliness, Sarah, I lectured myself. Just be professional.

“Come in.” That voice, so full of music and power, sent chills through my sweaty body. Squaring my shoulders, I pushed the door wide and entered the sitting room, dragging the noisy bag after me.

Hart stood by the window with his back to me, appraising Mr. Higgin’s view. “Took you long enough,” he commented without turning around.

I should have been annoyed, but instead I felt embarrassed and guilty. “Sorry―the stairs―and it’s so hot today…”

“Never mind. Just put the suitcase on the bench next to the other bag.”

I hoisted the case up onto the luggage rack to the right of the door. He still didn’t turn around. I took the opportunity to get a good look at him.

He was tall―over six feet, I guessed―and the low ceilings typical of colonial buildings made him look even taller. Although he was relaxed and still, his lean, athletic body suggested unlimited energy. He had removed his jacket and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt. The tailored garment looked crisp and fresh despite the fact that the temperature must have been pushing ninety.

One hand clasped the other at the small of his back. His bare forearms were lightly furred with black hair, a touch of the animal that clashed with his aura of culture and sophistication. His trousers fit as perfectly as his shirt. I couldn’t stop myself from appreciating the swell of his muscular buttocks under the fabric. My nipples were swollen and painful. My jeans felt hot and tight.

The awkward silence lengthened. I took a deep breath and thought I caught a whiff of his cologne, something brisk and nautical, overwhelmingly male. My heart was a jackhammer in my chest. I looked around the room, trying to distract myself from the physical reactions Hart seemed provoke simply by being present.

It appeared he had already had time to do some unpacking. A stack of neatly folded shirts, all black, white or grey, lay on the sofa. Several pairs of shoes were lined up near the bedroom door. On the table near the window there was a fifth of Glenlivet, which I knew hadn’t been supplied by the inn, along with a pack of Gitanes, some books and a fancy-looking camera. A framed 8×10 colour photograph sat on the end table beside the couch, not far from where I stood.

I peered more closely at the photo. A pale, raven-haired beauty stared back at me. Her sultry dark eyes and enigmatic half-smile spoke of a passionate nature just barely held in check by convention. Luxurious curls tumbled over her shoulders but did not hide the ripe breasts swelling out of her burgundy velvet décolletage. Her delicate chin rested on the back of one hand. The graceful fingers were tipped with crimson enamel that exactly matched her lipstick.

I didn’t need to read the autograph to know who she was. Anne Merrill, Geoffrey’s long-time partner, the woman who, if I could believe Adele, had broken his heart.

My spirits sank even lower. It was easy to see how such a woman could captivate a man, even someone as bold and self-confident as Geoffrey Hart. When I compared myself to her―well, there was no comparison really. I was a short, unimpressive woman―a girl, Hart had called me―with plain brown hair too fine to curl and a B cup figure. I had no drama, no flair, nothing like this vivid, exotic creature who oozed sex appeal. So what if I had an MFA in acting from Columbia? I’d had almost no real world experience. I dreamed about Broadway and London’s West End, but this gig at Berks Hill was my first professional job as an actress. And what was I? Nothing more than a bit player, an understudy to the stars.

“You’re still here, Sarah.” Hart wheeled to face me, breaking into my bitter internal monologue. “Good. After all, I didn’t tell you that you could go.”

Amusement lit up his handsome features. He towered over me, close enough that I could feel the heat emanating from his body. Embarrassment washed over me but didn’t quite submerge the undercurrent of arousal. “May I leave?” I asked, my voice a weak quaver that disgusted me. Why was I asking, anyway? Who was he to tell me what to do?

“Not yet. I need your help unpacking. Go open the bag you carried up. It’s not locked.”

No, I wanted to scream. But I obeyed him anyway, pressing the chrome-plated catch on the sleek grey Samsonite case and flipping up the lid.

I gasped when I saw the contents. “It’s true!” I blurted out.

Hart came up behind me and looked over my shoulder. He didn’t touch me, but his mere presence was overpowering. “What’s true?” I heard laughter in his voice.

I pointed at the leather restraints and the rubber paddles, my hand shaking. “That―that you’re kinky. Into S and M, just like Adele said.”

“I prefer the term ‘D and S’. Dominance and submission. My focus is on the exchange of power, not the administration of pain. Though I’m not averse to using pain if that’s the right thing to do.”

“The right thing to do?” I turned to face him, hiding behind my indignation. “Are you joking?” He was close, too close for comfort, deliberately invading my personal space. I tried to step backward. I succeeded only in banging my shin against the luggage rack. “Ow!”

His eyes drilled into me. “I’m completely serious. D and S is not a game, despite the way it’s portrayed in popular culture. It’s not a fashion statement. It’s much, much more, a new way of being in the world. A doorway into a new kind of relationship, deeper and more intimate than anything you can imagine.”

“Right,” I muttered. I couldn’t bear to look at him. I stared down at my sandals, feeling the blush crawling up my cheeks and across my chest. “I’m sure that’s what all the perverts say.”

He caught my chin under his forefinger and raised my eyes to his. I trembled when his skin met mine. “I can’t pretend it’s not exciting, of course―trying new implements, pushing the sub’s limits, testing her devotion. But that’s not the main point.”

I burned in the heat of his stare. I felt myself begin to melt, the crotch of my jeans growing damper with every beat of my pulse. I didn’t want to listen but I couldn’t hide my fascination.

He stroked his thumb across my cheek. I held my breath, wanting him to stop, dying for him to go further. “Aren’t you curious, Sarah? Wouldn’t you like to drop your diligent, high-achieving, good little girl persona and find out what’s underneath?”

I couldn’t answer. How did he know these things about me, this man I’d met less than a half hour ago? Did he really understand the way I’d pushed myself in college and grad school, working for the top grades, following the rules, determined to succeed in my chosen path despite the odds? Did he know that I hadn’t had a lover for nearly four years? I hadn’t had time. Anyway, I’d been all too aware of the fact that everyone around me was both a colleague and a competitor.

I saw compassion in his chiseled face, mingled with lust. “I know you, little one. I know what you really crave. What you really need. Open yourself to me and I will fulfil the desires you don’t yet dare to admit, even to yourself.

The Understudy is available from Total-E-Bound (http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?P_ID=1175) as well as Amazon and other third party vendors.

More About Lisabet Sarai

A dozen years ago LISABET SARAI experienced a serendipitous fusion of her love of writing and her fascination with sex. Since then she has published three single author short story collections and six erotic novels, including the BDSM classic Raw Silk. Dozens of her shorter works have been released as ebooks and in print anthologies. She has also edited several acclaimed anthologies and is currently responsible for the altruistic erotica series COMING TOGETHER PRESENTS.

Lisabet holds more degrees than anyone needs from prestigious universities who would no doubt be embarrassed by her chosen genre. She loves to travel and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her highly tolerant husband and two over-indulged felines. For more information on Lisabet and her writing visit Lisabet Sarai’s Fantasy Factory (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com).

Thanks for stopping by, Lisabet, and sharing with us a bit about The Understudy. Definitely a must read!

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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