It’s a pleasure to begin the new year with Ashe Barker as my guest. Ash is here to tell us about her new, very steamy book, The Laird and the Sassenach. Be prepared for some Highland historical erotic romance that’ll definitely heat up your January. And while the holiday season my be over, Ashe is still in a giving mood, so be sure to sign up for the rafflecopter. Ashe is giving away a free ebook — reader’s choice — to three lucky winners, so don’t miss out!
Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Laird
She faces justice, truth, and a Laird’s vengeance
Hi K.D. and thank you so much for asking me over to chat about The Laird and the Sassenach. The book is set on the Isle of Skye in the Scottish Highlands in the 1400s, one of my favourite periods of history and in my opinion one of the most evocative and atmospheric. It’s easy to create a sweeping drama against such a stunning backdrop, and the scenery remains pretty much as wild today as it was when my hero, Blair McGregor walked those hills as chief of his clan.
It’s some years since I was on Skye, but I remember my visit there vividly. It’s an isolated, windswept place blessed with stunning scenery as this picture will attest. The landscape is truly spectacular, beautiful and dramatic certainly but also rugged and harsh in many respects. The climate too can be equally unforgiving. I have no doubt at all that the clans of the medieval age had a hard time dragging a living from the land, not just surviving but thriving there.
Skye’s four-legged inhabitants too are made of stern stuff too. I recall driving along a coastal road, and rounding a bend to be confronted by a huge highland cow. These look cute and cuddly, but they have horns that could disembowel a tank. The animal planted itself in the middle of the road and showed no sign of wanting to move anytime soon. We tooted a bit, then a bit more. It just stared at us. We considered getting out and doing a sort of shooing thing, but did I
mention those horns? He – or she – looked placid enough but in my view even the most docile of highland cows deserve respect. Eventually we lured the bovine roadblock to the side of the road with a rich tea biscuit and carried on our way.
Our next encounter with the local wildlife was less peaceful. It was dark, we were on our way back to the bridge linking Skye to the mainland and had to pass through a wooded area. Suddenly something huge hurtled out from the trees into the road in front of us. Two somethings in fact. It was a pair of stags, involved in what looked to be a fight to the death.
I was driving and slammed on the brakes. The battle raged on, caught in the headlights in front of us. If the cow’s horns had looked daunting they had nothing on these bad boys. No way was a rich tea biscuit going to help us now. Nothing would. We cowered in our car while these two slugged it out, quite oblivious to their audience. At one stage one of the stags was on our bonnet – we had the dents afterwards to show for it – before the pair of them disappeared back into the trees, still locked in deadly combat.
Give me an angry Laird with a score to settle any day.
Speaking of which, here’s the blurb for The Laird and the Sassenach.
After her half-brother attacks the kinsmen of Blair McGregor, Lady Roselyn of Etal is brought before the stern highland laird to answer for her reluctant, unwitting role in the crime. Once she has told her story, she throws herself at his mercy.
Blair soon realizes that Roselyn is as much a victim of her half-brother as anyone, but his people’s demands for justice cannot be ignored entirely, so he strips the young Englishwoman bare and chastises her firmly with a switch applied to her naked backside.
The painful, humiliating punishment both assuages Roselyn’s guilt and leaves her yearning to be even more thoroughly mastered by the handsome laird. Though Blair makes it clear that she is free to return home, she instead chooses to remain with the him in his castle… and in his bed. Their passion soon blossoms into romance, but can the highlander protect his beautiful Sassenach when the villain who caused them both so much pain tries to tear her away from him?
Publisher’s Note: The Laird and the Sassenach includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
… and an excerpt:
“Will you beat me again?”
“Aye, if you deserve it. For disobedience or disrespect. I am master here and that will apply to all. But you would not find me cruel. Indeed, I believe you would find pleasure in what I offer.”
“Pleasure, my lord? I do not quite take your meaning.”
“Will you not own to the slightest stirring? You may deny your arousal but your body betrays ye, Roselyn. Your nipples are swollen, your eyes have darkened as you consider my offer. I believe if you were to spread your thighs for me now I would find you wet.”
“Wet?” She drew in a shuddering breath. “My nipples… it is chilly in here.”
“Nay, it is not. I banked up the fire afore I woke you. Stop making excuses and open your legs for me, Roselyn.”
“I will not.”
“Yes, you will, and you will do it now.”
He trailed his fingers the length of her body, tracing a path between her breasts and across her flat stomach to her mound. There he teased the auburn curls which protected her most intimate place.
“Open for me.” He leaned in to whisper the words into her ear, his familiar male smell overwhelming her senses. He was spice, and he was musk, heather, pine, and something mysteriously unique, an essence which was only his.
Roselyn was lost, mesmerised. She rolled fully onto her back, even managed not to wince as her weight settled on her punished buttocks. Bending her knees a little, she allowed him to tease her thighs apart. His slid his hand between her legs and stroked her moist folds.
“Ah, so deliciously damp. Roselyn, you do indeed delight me.”
“My lord…” She was lost, her words buried under the waves of pure sensation. “What are you doing to me?”
“I am pleasuring ye, sweetheart. Be still for me, and open wider.”
As though in a trance, wrapped in fog of unaccustomed sensuality, Roselyn obeyed. She arched her back and let out a sharp cry as he slipped one long finger into her wet channel.
He paused. “Did I hurt ye?”
She shook her head. “No. It was… oh, please do that once more if you would.”
He thrust his finger into her again, then added a second digit. Unfamiliar sensations assailed Roselyn, both confusing and exciting. And intense. It was incredible, unbelievable. Her head whirled. She felt tight, stretched, yet at the same time she wanted nothing other than to spread her body open, to welcome this intrusion. He was right, this was about pleasure. It was a strange sort of joy, but she craved it nonetheless.
“That feels good, my lord.”
“My title is laird, not lord, but I believe we are on first name terms now. You will use my given name, most particularly when my fingers or indeed any part of my anatomy is lodged within your sweet cunt.”
“Nay, just Blair will do.” He withdrew his fingers and resumed stroking her outer lips. He found a spot which brought Roselyn’s hips right up from the mattress. “Ah, now I see I have your complete attention. Perhaps you might like to practice using my name.” He paused in his sensuous rubbing and Roselyn moaned her need.
“Say my name,” he urged.
“Blair.” She whispered it.
He resumed the torturous caress. “Again. Say it again. Louder.”
She raised her voice a little. “Blair.”
“Better. And you will scream my name when you find your release.”
He took that most sensitive nubbin between his fingers and he squeezed. Something clenched within, deep in her core, and Roselyn longed for his fingers to be inside her tight channel again. She yearned to be filled, stretched, owned.
“Could you…? Blair, I need…”
“I know.” He continued to roll her sensitive flesh between his fingers, whilst he used his free hand to open that most secret place and plunged two digits into her again.
It was too much. Roselyn could no longer speak, could not even form a coherent thought. She could only feel as irresistible shudders rocked her slight form and her inner walls clenched helplessly around his fingers. She arched further, lifting her hips, pleading for something, anything…
“Oh, Blair. Blair, Blair, Blair!” She let out a keening wail as the sensations peaked and her body convulsed, then, gasping, she stilled.
Remember, Ashe is giving away a free ebook — reader’s choice — to three lucky winners, so don’t miss out!
(runs until 7 January)
More about Ashe Barker
USA Today best-selling author Ashe Barker has been an avid reader of fiction for many years, erotic and other genres. She still loves reading, the hotter the better. But now she has a good excuse for her guilty pleasure – research.
Ashe tends to draw on her own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to her plots and characters. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea.
Ashe lives in the North of England, on the edge of the Brontë moors and enjoys the occasional flirtation with pole dancing and drinking Earl Grey tea. When not writing – which is not very often these days – her time is divided between her role as taxi driver for her teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, tortoises. And a very grumpy cockatiel.
At the last count Ashe had over forty titles on general release with publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, and several more in the pipeline. She writes M/f, M/M, and occasionally rings the changes with a little M/M/f. Ashe’s books invariably feature BDSM. She writes explicit stories, always hot, but offering far more than just sizzling sex. Ashe likes to read about complex characters, and to lose herself in compelling plots, so that’s what she writes too.
Ashe has a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keeps thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from her.
Ashe loves to hear from readers. Here are her social media links:
Or you can email her direct on firstname.lastname@example.org