Tag Archives: The Secret Library

Inventing Herself by Sommer Marsden

Inventing HerselfSophie Calhoun has a good job writing for a hot women’s magazine. Her latest assignment is to do an article about how a strong, confident woman can look deeper into herself to find her centre. The only problem is Sophie feels lost. On a whim one morning, looking for the answers to her unwritten article and the silent turmoil in her heart, she takes a hike. In the wilderness she finds a very large man sitting alone, calm and still and smiling – everything Sophie wants to be. When he opens his eyes and that smile is directed at her, Sophie begins to find herself…

Available from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US



‘Now we move into downward dog.’ Joel’s rich caramel voice smoothed over Sophie.

If only she could feel gooey and bendy like caramel. Instead, she felt awkward and clumsy. She pushed back with the heels of her hands as she’d been instructed. Tried to “sink” into the stretch with the heels of her feet.

All she could think was what if I slip? What does my ass look like? And, of course, who farted?

Turned out that wasn’t so much of a myth. Someone had let one go and everyone was acting as if it was no big deal at all.

Which, technically, it wasn’t. It was just a fart, after all. Everyone had gas at some point in their lif –
‘You’re drifting,’ Joel said, his voice very close to her. So close it made Sophie go rigid. ‘Let me help you straighten your pose.’

He stepped up between her spread legs and settled his hands on her hips. Then he proceeded to move her a little here, a little there, until the stretch blazed up her calves and the backs of her hamstrings. It blazed somewhere else too, Sophie noticed as he lingered, tweaking her pose.

When he stepped back from between her legs, his hand stayed on her lower back for a beat before being removed. ‘Good,’ Joel said.

He was big and tall and obviously fit. A shock of dark – almost black – hair and grey eyes. His voice was as smoky and sensual as his body.

Sophie felt colour come to her face that had nothing to do with yoga or being inverted. The class lowered slowly to a plank pose and her muscles started to tremble. In her mind’s eye it was easy to put a face to it now. This man, down between her legs, his mouth on her. His fingers separating and skating over her nether lips. Finding her slick opening and plunging deep, curling to tease her G-spot until she gasped. Then taking her own juices, running up to find the needy swell of her clitoris. Circling and circling until plunging back into her cunt to stroke her most secret places again, his mouth sucking, his tongue nudging, licking, licking, licking until …

‘Now lower down into cobra pose,’ Joel said.

Sophie did, but as she did a noise burst out of her. Her body, on the verge actually coming, supplied the small blip and flutter deep inside of an almost orgasm. The sound was half sigh, half moan, and very, very sultry. Way too sultry for muscle stretching.

Joel chuckled softly. ‘Glad to know you’re enjoying class, Sophie. We’re glad to have you.’

She counted the heartbeats until class was over, she was so mortified. When Joel finally told them to stand and everyone gave what seemed to be the customary “Namaste” a woman in green leggings and a bright blue pullover whispered, ‘Don’t feel so bad. He has that effect on most of the newcomers. Once he touches someone … they’re toast.’

Sophie tried to smile and waited to self-combust.

She nearly set a record changing back into her work clothes, but when she came out Joel called out to her.

‘I was wondering –’ he said, sort of grinning at her.

Sophie caught the gaze of the green-legging woman. She was smiling, her look knowing.

‘Could I … call you? Take you out? Bring you wine and woo you with wild yoga tales?’ He smiled at her and the lust that smile inspired struck right down through the centre of her like a lightning bolt.
‘Um, yeah … sure. In fact –’ She broke off, thinking maybe she shouldn’t say what she was about to say. But fuck it. This whole “finding her centre” thing had taken her very close to thinking she was nuts. Might as well act nuts, right? Maybe Joel was that missing something. ‘How about you come to my place tonight. Bring that wine you mentioned and I can make a nice steak or – wait – do you eat meat?’

He nodded, eyes flashing with amusement. ‘I do. But thank you for asking.’

‘Good,’ she hurried on. Yes, this was it. This was a good thing. Maybe she was just in need of a date. Maybe she was just horny. ‘And maybe a salad and whatever. We can just … we can talk. Get to know one another.’

‘It’s a date,’ he said. He gave her his number so she could text her address.

‘Yes. It is a date,’ she said and hurried out of the studio. Kate was going to kill her!



Sommer Marsden’s been called “…one of the top storytellers in the erotica genre” (Violet Blue), “Unapologetic” (Alison Tyler), “…the whirling dervish of erotica” (Craig J. Sorensen), and “Erotica royalty…” (Lucy Felthouse).

Her erotic novels include Restless Spirit, Boys Next Door, Big Bad, Learning to Drown, Wanderlust and the Zombie Exterminator series. Sommer currently writes erotica and erotic romance for Xcite Books, eXcessica, Ellora’s Cave, Pretty Things Press, Resplendence Publishing and Mischief Books. The wine-swigging, dachshund-owning, wannabe runner author writes work that runs the gamut from bondage to zombies to humor.

Sommer’s short works can be found in well over one hundred (and counting) erotic anthologies. Her short stories have also been included numerous adult and romance magazines–both in print and online.

Danger Warning from Sommer Marsden

Today I’m happy to welcome back Sommer Marsden with another fabulous offering from The Thousand and One Nights anthology of Xcite’s Secret Library collection. Sommer is here to tell us about her hot novella, The Highest Bidder. The Highest Bidder is also available as a stand-alone novella on Kindle.

Danger, Danger, Gentle Constant Reader…

This will be a bit different than my normal goofy, slightly flighty blog posts. This one has a bit of, dare I say, emotions wound into it. Read at your own risk.

I’m supposed to discuss The Highest Bidder today, one of my favorite things I’ve written in the last year or so. Funny and intense with lots of sex. But so romantic I even set my own little (very repressed) girlish heart going pitter patter. I almost always have romance in my work, but not to that degree.

I think a lot of the romance and sizzle stems from  Casey having lost her husband and how much she needs to heal. My man was diagnosed Type 1 Diabetic about three years ago. Odd for a 40-something year old man, yes. But due to a birth defect that left his pancreas compromised it finally gave up the ghost. He went from ‘normal’ to insulin dependent pretty much overnight.


I think of myself then and how scared I was to hear his diagnosis and how it’s still sinking in to me how he must have felt. I cannot imagine his internal reaction even though I have been with him all but seven days or so days for the last 17 years (you heard that right. we’ve spent *maybe* a week to ten days apart)

I chose to spotlight diabetes in The Highest Bidder because it hits close to home. It also allowed me to write my way out of the fear box. I admit, there are times when I still get very afraid and my brain goes to what I would do if I didn’t have my better half. Not to be icky, stick and gushy, but the man makes me whole. If I didn’t have him, I’d be lost.

I certainly can’t imagine ever falling in love again. Ever. I think I’d roll up the dating carpet and buy a cat. I can’t fathom ever experiencing again what I have with him, but I could certainly give that to my heroine. Because I’m generous that way 😉

Casey Briggs is funny and kind and sexy, she has a humongous heart and she also had a big-big love with her husband. But it’s time for Casey to experience something she hasn’t in a long time. Attraction, connection, and even lust. Good old fashioned, bone rattling lust.

It doesn’t hurt that Nick Murpy is a good guy. So good that he wonders if he can even live up to what it is Casey’s trying to accomplish—a big donation to the aide research of the disease that took her husband. It’s a bachelor auction, but clearly no one is going to bid big bucks on an average Joe like him.

So he thinks, anyway.

I just love when two good hearted people connect and fall in love, don’t you?

As for writing my way out of the fear box, I think I did an okay job. My mother lost my dad when he was 26. I can’t imagine. Not only losing my partner at such a young age but being left with a four year old. Death is hard to understand at four. It doesn’t’ get any easier as we age, though, in my opinion.

36 years later and I still miss my dad. And so does my mom. But she was lucky enough to meet someone who made her happy. They started a whole new chapter of life together. And over 30 years later, they’re still together and happy.

I took the fear I was working through at the time to start the story and then gave Casey the happily ever after that my mother got—because they both deserve it, don’t you think?

As for how a writer’s mind works…which is sort of what this blog was meant to illuminate…well, I could sit here all day writing and still never manage to explain it. I guess the best way is this: however it works and cranks out that story, is how it works. I’m just grateful every time it does its thing and leaves me with a new piece of work to show off and take credit for!


Where to Buy :

Amazon UK







Best selling author Sommer Marsden has been called “…one of the top storytellers in the erotica genre” (Violet Blue), “Unapologetic” (Alison Tyler), “…the whirling dervish of erotica” (Craig J. Sorensen),and “Erotica royalty…” (Lucy Felthouse for Blog Critics Books).

Her erotic novels include Restless Spirit, Big Bad, The Best of Sommer Marsden, Hard Lessons, and Angry Sex. Sommer currently writes erotica and erotic romance for Xcite Books, eXcessica, Ellora’s Cave, Pretty Things Press, Resplendence Publishing and House of Erotica. The wine-swigging, dachshund-owning, wannabe runner author writes work that runs the gamut from bondage to zombies to humor.

Sommer’s short works can be found in over a hundred (and counting) erotic anthologies. Her short stories have also been included numerous adult and romance magazines–both in print and online. Visit sommermarsden.blogspot.com to see what she’s up to.

Kitti Bernetti Dishes the Dirt Behind Her Novella, The Thousand and One Nights

The Story Behind The Story

It’s my pleasure to welcome Kitti Bernetti to a Hopeful Romantic to tell the story behind her hot novella, The Thousand and One Nights, the title story of another one Xcite’s fabulous Secret Library anthologies. Go ahead, Kitti! Turn up the heat!


The Thousand and One NightsThe whole world is going on about Fifty Shades of Grey. But erotic literature has been around for centuries, and has simply seen a revival with electronic devices. But, the 50 shades phenomenon has a different angle. It is primarily erotic fiction for women, written by a woman and has at its central core an all-consuming love story.

That was also the main brief for those writers asked to pen a novella for Xcite’s Secret Library. Mine, ‘The Thousand and One Nights’ which comes with two other brilliant stories is first and foremost a hot and passionate love story. (It will also be available as a FREE Kindle promotion as a single title called ‘Dark Nights’ from 15 to 19 August). My tale concerns Sebastian Dark, multi-millionaire who is being swindled by Breeze, a girl with a past. When Sebastian discovers Breeze’s treachery, he exacts his own special revenge – she must entertain him each night to save her skin. They start out hating each other but soon discover how much they have in common. Here’s an extract where they are getting it on up in the deserted balcony of the Albert Hall (yes, the Albert Hall! She has to come up with some seriously inventive places to make love to please an alpha male like Seb Dark):

‘… He opened his mouth and cried out as he felt the spunk forced up inside him shoot into her as she pumped mercilessly, opening her eyes and connecting with him, looking into his soul as she drove him, rode him, forced him to mind-blowing orgasm just as the drums thumped, the cymbals crashed, the might of the whole orchestra filling the Albert Hall drowned out his yells of orgasmic fulfilment.

He felt sleepy, exhausted, fulfilled. If the world ended in that second he would be a deliriously happy man. The bed was superb, gilded, over the top. The beautiful Albert Hall, rich and red, was extravagant, echoing the way he was beginning to feel about Breeze lying next to him. Ice Queen, she was not. He turned towards her supine beside him and noticed goose bumps. “You’re cold.” He gently covered her over, pressed the warmth of his body close to hers. A sudden rush of protectiveness engulfed him…. He didn’t want her to be cold, didn’t want her to be hungry or unhappy.’

Find Kitti and her book:



Link to ‘Dark Nights’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Nights-Xcite-Romance-ebook/dp/B0087G44XS

Link to ‘The Thousand and One Nights’ http://thesecretlibrary.co.uk/?page_id=8769

Off the Shelf – An Erotic Romance Novella – is FREE on Amazon!

Off the ShelfYes, you heard right! Lucy Felthouse’s erotic romance novella, Off the Shelf, is FREE on Amazon for a limited time.

From 11th – 15th July ONLY, you will be able to download this hot erotic romance to your Kindle without spending a penny.

Already convinced? Grab it here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Need more convincing? Here’s more about the book:

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?

And a saucy excerpt to get you going…

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.

So go on, what are you waiting for? Bag your copy quick, while it’s FREE! And if you like it, be sure to leave a review for others to read.

Amazon UK

Amazon US


Lucy FelthouseLucy 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, Decadent Publishing, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Summerhouse Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

Kay Jaybee Tells Us About Her Sticky Situation

The Story Behind The Story

It’s my pleasure to have one of my favourite erotica authors, and one of my favourite people, Kay Jaybee, back on A Hopeful Romantic. Kay’s here to share the naughty story behind her novella, A Sticky Situation, which is her tasty contribution to Xcite’s Secret Library anthology, Hungarian Rhapsody. Welcome, Kay!


I was extremely flattered when Xcite asked me if I would like to write a novella for their exciting new Secret Library collection. I jumped at the chance to be included in this new venture, which brings three erotic romances per volume, into sumptuous velvet touch hardback books.

Included within the Hungarian Rhapsody volume, my story, Sticky Situation, introduces us to marketing whizz, Sally Briers, and her brand new boss, “Bloody Cameron James!”

If there is a paving stone to trip over, or a drink to knock over, then Sally Briers will trip over it or spill it. Yet somehow Sally is the successful face of marketing for a major pharmaceutical company; much to the disbelief of her new boss, Cameron James.

Forced to work together on a week-long conference in an Oxford hotel, Sally is dreading spending so much time with arrogant new boy Cameron; whose presence somehow makes her even clumsier than usual.

Cameron on the other hand, just hopes that he’ll be able to stay professional, and keep his irrational desire to lick up all the accidently split food and drink that is permanently to be found down Sally’s temptingly curvy body, all to himself.

It could be a very long week- unless Cameron can find a way of making Sally slop so much of her after show champagne, that he has no choice but to march her off and relieve her of her sodden clothing… He is sure that, if he could find a way to stop Sally resenting him taking her previous bosses job, then they could enjoy no end of sticky situations together…


Hungarian RhapsodyNow, I have a confession- when Xcite asked me to do this erotic romance novella, they felt they had to stress that in the Secret Library the whips and chains had to be left firmly in the drawer! I couldn’t help but laugh- it seems my reputation for extreme kink made it necessary to stress the lack of ‘pain in the pursuit of pleasure angle’ to my novella!

I can’t deny it- they had a point! I had never written an erotic romance before. Anyone who has read any of my stories, whether short or novel length, will know that love stories are not something I am known for! A happy ending in my stories is not always guaranteed! I couldn’t help thinking Xcite were very brave even asking me to do this- and I really didn’t want to let them down.

For the very first time, I approached a new story with a sense of nervousness! What if I couldn’t write romance? And for that matter- what would I write about? The answer came to me in a most unexpected fashion.

I make no secret of the fact that every day I write in my favourite local cafe. Each morning, as I attempt to order my brain into some sort of workable frame of mind, I munch on brown toast and marmalade. It is also no secret that I am incredibly clumsy- if there is a doorframe, I will walk into it- fact!

The week before I had planned to start writing my Secret Library story, I was still unsure about what to write. I was sat in the cafe as usual, about to tuck into my toast, when I accidentally knocked the edge of my plate. My breakfast instantly soared through the air in majestic style, only to land, marmalade side down (of course!), onto my jumper- prompting the cafe’s owner to laugh heartily as he dashed over with a handful of serviettes, saying ‘Bit of a sticky situation here then!’

Eureka! My mind latched onto the phrase ‘sticky situation’, and the novella was underway only minutes later… (well, after I’d had a quick wash and taken off my jumper!)

Buy Hungarian Rhapsody: Amazon UKAmazon US