Lucy Felthouse Tells the Story Behind Off The Shelf

I’ve had the pleasure of watching this nasty author grow from someone who trembled at the thought of a story of 10K to someone who tackles a novella with gusto and … er … well nastiness. Lucy Felthouse is not only one of my favourite guest authors on this site, but she’s one of my favourite people, full-stop, and a woman of MANY talents. Her fab novella, Off the Shelf,  is in Xcite Book’s new Secret Library series. Please welcome the fabulous Lucy Felthouse to tell as about her super-heated novella, Off the Shelf, from The Secret Library anthology, Silk Stockings. Welcome back, Lucy!

Off the Shelf is my first novella, and as such holds a special place in my heart. It came about when one of the editors from Xcite Books asked if I’d be interested in writing something for a new range of books they were releasing, called The Secret Library. After reading the brief, I decided I was definitely interested, and was determined not to let the required word count put me off. I said yes, then immediately panicked. What was I going to write about? What if the story didn’t have enough backbone to meet the minimum word count? What if my story was boring? What if they hated it?

Thankfully, none of my fears were realised. After thinking about what my story was going to be about, my Muse finally came through for me. In fact, it was the hero of the piece that came into my head first, and when I thought about what his background was, where he worked, and so on, the rest of the story fell into place.

Damien isn’t your typical romance hero. He has long curly hair, glasses, is slim (though certainly not scrawny), and he works in a bookshop. That’s kind of where the idea started for me – I wanted a cute, intelligent guy who worked in a bookshop as a hero. Then, to make it a little different, I decided that he would work in an airport bookshop. From there, other snippets started coming to me. If he was working in an airport, he’d have the potential to meet lots of different people from varying walks of life. So who would wow him?

Enter Annalise. She’s a travel writer and the airport Damien works in is the one she uses when she’s flying somewhere on assignment. She’s been single for a while, and although she hates it, she struggles to meet men because her job is so demanding, and the ones she does meet may be suitable for naughty encounters, but certainly not for anything long term. Annalise wants someone that shares her interests and passions, and who is intelligent. So when she meets Damien, it looks as though her love life is on the up.

The trouble is, Damien is shy, and Annalise is terrified of rejection. And then there’s the fact that Annalise is busy jetting off all over the world. There are plenty of obstacles in their way, but can the pair overcome them and take a chance on what could be a meaningful relationship? There’s only one way to find out… 😉

Once I had the outline to this story drafted out, I loved writing it. I adore both main characters (and I admit, I fancy the pants off Damien) and it was great to get words down and explore their story. There were a couple of occasions where the pair of them deviated from the plan, but I figured it was their story and I should just let them get on with it. And, I’m pleased to say, I’m delighted with the end result. It was a huge learning curve for me in terms of length, as I’m so used to writing short stories, but by the time I got to the end I was relieved to finish, but also delighted with my achievement. This probably sounds crazy to accomplished novelists (such as the lovely lady hosting this very guest blog post) but the whole experience has boosted my confidence in writing longer stories, and I’ll definitely be doing more of it in the not-too-distant future.

And now, since I’ve waffled on enough, I’ll share some of the opening scene of Off the Shelf and hope you’re intrigued enough to add the book to your to be read list, or even place an order for the paperback or eBook edition!

Happy reading!


Pushing the ‘on’ button, Annalise moved the vibrator down between her parted legs and eased it inside her eager pussy. As the ears of the Rampant Rabbit slid into position on her clit, she groaned with pleasure and rolled her hips, desperate to get more delicious friction. Then she pressed another button on the toy’s control panel to ramp up the power another notch. As much as she’d prefer a slower build-up to her orgasm, she just didn’t have the time. She had to leave for the airport in a couple of hours, and she hadn’t even packed her case. A quick knee-trembler would have to suffice.

As the vibrator buzzed away between her thighs, Annalise closed her eyes and tried to empty her mind of anything but the pleasure she was experiencing. After a brief flirtation with the thought that she’d much prefer a hot man between her legs bringing her to orgasm, Annalise simply enjoyed the feeling of her impending climax. The busily-vibrating bunny ears pressed tightly against her sensitive flesh soon had her pussy fluttering. Then, without warning, Annalise was quickly yanked onto her pleasure plateau and immediately pushed off, leaving her writhing and shouting on the bed as a powerful orgasm overtook her body.

Annalise arched her back as waves of pleasure crashed over her, and her cunt clenched and grabbed at the toy buried deep inside. Her swollen clit throbbed, quickly becoming too sensitive for the unrelenting stimulation from the vibrator. Switching it off and pulling out, Annalise dropped the toy onto the mattress by her side and gave a satisfied moan as she rode out the remainder of her climax. Finally, when the twitches and spasms had abated and her heart rate and breathing were almost back to normal, Annalise grabbed the Rabbit and rolled across to the side of her bed where the toy box was kept. She made short but thorough work of cleaning it, then reluctantly put it in its case, popped it into the small bedside cupboard and shut the door.

Annalise hated leaving her favourite toy behind when she went away, but she just wasn’t brave enough to take it with her. She usually only took carry-on luggage, and the very thought of the distinctive shape of the Rampant Rabbit popping up on the screen of the airport scanners made her shudder. It would be bad enough for the staff to see it on their monitors, knowing what it was and giving her knowing looks; imagine what would happen if they decided to check inside her bags! She would want to curl up and die of embarrassment, she just knew it.

No, it was much better off staying here. She could make do with her right hand for a few days. Even better, she might even meet someone. Annalise smiled. She’d had some pretty steamy encounters on her travels. The desk clerk in Dubai, the gym manager in Turkey, the waiter in Corfu…

Annalise shook herself. This wasn’t the time to let her mind wander down that path and get herself all worked up. She had to go and get ready now. There’d be plenty of time for daydreaming later, when she was in long and boring queues, and on the flight.


At 35, travel writer Annalise is fed up with insensitive comments about being left on the shelf. It’s not as if she doesn’t want a man, but her busy career doesn’t leave her much time for relationships. Sexy liaisons with passing acquaintances give Annalise physical satisfaction, but she needs more than that. She wants a man who will satisfy her mind as well as her body. But where will she find someone like that? It seems Annalise may be in luck when a new member of staff starts working in the bookshop at the airport she regularly travels through. Damien appears to tick all the boxes; he’s gorgeous, funny and intelligent, and he shares Annalise’s love of books and travel. The trouble is, Damien’s shy and Annalise is terrified of rejection. Can they overcome their fears and admit their feelings, or are they doomed to remain on the shelf?

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Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story – so she did. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, House of Erotica, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Summerhouse Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour and Seducing the Myth. Find out more at Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at:

5 thoughts on “Lucy Felthouse Tells the Story Behind Off The Shelf

  1. Hi, Lucy,

    Congratulations on breaking the novella barrier!

    I love bookish, shy guys – in the real world and in fiction – so I’m looking forward to reading this!

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