Archive by Author

Romance Gives Back

20 Feb

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Today is President’s Day, a national holiday that while ostensibly is about celebrating our most notable presidents, Washington and Lincoln, it mostly means a day off from work. But many people see President’s Day as a day to give back, a day in which to service their community. With the current administration seeming to work hard to destroy all that is good and just about our country, I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on how writers and readers in Romancelandia give back. No, it’s not terribly sexy on the surface, but to my mind, there’s a sexy quality to being of service to those who can’t do for themselves.

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A few weeks ago, Lady Smut Blogger Alexa Day threw down the gauntlet to challenge us as readers to support diversity in publishing by turning the page and not just buying and not just reading but truly making sure that we act on what we read to make that difference.

It’s not enough any more to just buy that book. It’s wonderful and all, but just having that one book doesn’t make you an ally. It doesn’t make you an activist. You’re going to have to read it.

Read that book. Then read another one with a different author. Consider the way the heroines walk through the world — the billionaire socialites, the ancient queens, the 18th century doctors. Travel through ancient Africa and the American South still smoldering after the Civil War. Immerse yourself in the authors’ blogs as well as their books.

We serve each other by going beyond the mere gesture. Buying that book, in order to support that author and the call for greater diversity in publishing, is absolutely fantastic. But reading it — taking in the places where your viewpoints differ, where the author’s culture teaches you something, where you have something in common — benefits both you and the author. Reading it is where we go beyond mere talk and good thoughts and move toward real understanding.

Alexa Day, Walk the Walk by Turning the Page

Many authors in Romancelandia choose to give back in tangible ways, using their exposure and reader base to support causes often near and dear to their hearts. The romance community is well know for supporting and contributing to such charities and organizations that support literacy, autism, and women and children in need, to name only a few. In this vein, I invited writer Diana Crosby to share about her current project with Habitat for Humanity, an organization I too have been privileged to work with in the past building homes in Kentucky.

NOTE: This is *not* an official Lady Smut sponsored project. All contributions by readers or bloggers are made of their own personal accord.

Take it away, Diana!

Diana Cosby’s Romance Reader’s Build A Habitat For Humanity House of Love

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Romance Writer Diana Crosby

Romance readers are AMAZING!  And, SO is Habitat For Humanity, a charity that I love supporting and volunteering for.  So, I thought, why not pair the two and help a deserving family receive a home?  And, the Diana Cosby’s Romance Reader’s Build A Habitat For Humanity House of Love fundraiser was born.

I contacted the Habitat For Humanity office in Grayson County, Texas, where I’ve had the honor of helping with several builds and spoke with Laurie Mealy, Executive Director.  She embraced the project, and was thrilled at the thought of pairing romance readers, who love stories where heroes and heroines overcome challenges to make their dreams come true, with making the dream of home ownership for a deserving family a reality.

Goal:  Fund an entire home – $55,000. 

I kicked off the challenge by donating $200.  As I write this, we’ve raised $9,165.  Romance readers are amazing, and I have complete faith that as the stories they love, they will join together to raise the amount necessary to give a deserving family a home.

How it works:

As readers send donations to Habitat for Humanity of Grayson County for the “Diana Cosby’s Readers Build A House of Love,” the total contributions are updated below the house graphic on the upper right side of the homepage. Donations can be sent via PayPal by clicking on the house, which takes you to the donation page, or by mailing a check or money order to:

Habitat for Humanity of Grayson County

901 N. Grand Avenue

P.O. Box 2725

Sherman, TX 75091

**Please note on your donation: ‘For the Romance Readers Build A HFH House of Love.’

Thank you so much, Kiersten, for inviting me to visit the Lady Smut blog today and also to everyone who contributes for helping to make an incredible difference in a deserving family’s life.  For when a family walk into a Habitat For Humanity house, it’s more than mortar and wood, it’s a place they can finally call home.

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense.  Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated in five languages.  Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine. Book two in her Forbidden series, Forbidden Knight, will be released in June 2017. Learn more about Diana’s books on her website www.dianacosby.com.

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, is now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

The Devil Is Back in the Bayou

9 Jan

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Lady Smut favorite Megan Crane is back in the bayou with her Devil’s Keepers motorcycle club in Devil’s Mark. I took a look at the first book in the series, Devil’s Honor, last fall.

Look! A blurb!

Holly Chambless is tired of being the squeaky clean daughter of Lagrange’s holier-than-thou mayor. When her father is charged with corruption, she realizes that her whole life’s been a lie. Now’s her chance to do all the things she never dared, like scoring a job at a bar where reputations go to die, or reconnecting with the biker who sparked a secret hunger in her all those years ago. Holly isn’t a wide-eyed girl anymore—and this time she wants a taste of what has always been denied.

Killian “Uptown” Chenier has no time for stuck-up princesses. He likes fast bikes and wild sex. Sure, he remembers Holly. He sent her running with a wicked smile and a lesson about prying eyes. And sure, she’s grown up smoking-hot, with a body he’d like to personally desecrate. But Devil’s Keepers business is real and intense. Her daddy stole from the club, leaving his pretty blonde daughter a walking target. And when Uptown takes aim at what he wants, he never misses.

There’s a long game being played in this series, a game in which the fabric of the Devil’s Keepers is slowly unraveling. Allies are being outed as having worked against the club for some time. Other allies are dying out, leaving holes where once they served the club in significant ways. Whether the club remains a knotted mess or if these dangling strings can been sewn into something new and stronger on the other side remains to be seen as the series plays out.

Click on image to preorder!

Click on image to buy!

Against this backdrop of dangers club business, club members are having their proverbial hearts ripped up, down, and sideways. First up was Greely’s reunion with the one woman who rooted deep and sliced hard, the daughter of the club’s now dead back-door doctor. In Devil’s Honor, it’s Uptown’s turn as the Lagrange mayor’s pristine daughter in back in town after her father’s humiliating denouement as the righteous community leader secretly in the club’s pocket to lying scumbag with his own nefarious agenda, an agenda that’s put the club in jeopardy.

Holly is facing a life crisis. The entire structure of her house on the bayou mud is wobbly and weak. Everything she thought she new about her father–about herself–has been proven a lie. Sick of her Teflon-coated goody two-shoes reputation in Lagrange, Holly decides to explore her nearly non-existent wild side. First by strutting into the local strip club to ask for a job. And next, to finally indulge the temptation that has taunted her since her teenage years–Killian Chenier.

More than anyone, Uptown hates Mayor Chambless–and he has good reasons too. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had a hankering for the mayor’s daughter since she caught him banging a groupie in the graveyard years before. Ravaging Holly and thus destroying her reputation is Uptown’s perfect revenge all wrapped up in a tight, sexy package with a bouncy pony-tail that won’t quit. She has a sweetness that won’t quit even in the face of biker bitches and foul-mouthed degenerates. Holly might want to lose her inhibitions with a bad boy biker, but when it comes down to it, Uptown knows a good girl like her isn’t going to want trailer trash like him long-term. But the more he makes use of her, the more he realizes that while Holly might come from slime like the mayor, she couldn’t be more genuine. And that’s a problem for the man who is planning to break her in order to beat her father into the ground.

All her life Holly has play the role written for her. Now with her family’s reputation in shambles, everything that formed the buttress of her life has collapsed. Now she’s not only confused about who she is, but who she is meant to be. Strutting into a motorcycle club’s strip joint is the first step in her plan to blow up the stultifying expectations that no longer fit her life. Getting Uptown Sinclair to fulfill a dirty temptation from long ago is even better. But as more and more revelations of her father’s duplicity are revealed, Holly wonders if being bad isn’t exactly the best plan for a good girl.

Devil’s Mark is a fast read. It plunges forward with a quick pace that doesn’t allow for things like sleep. As club business gets messier and messier, Uptown’s conflict grows. He’s not going to stop using Holly for his and the club’s ends, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t start to have serious problems with it. He’s never forgotten her, not from the first moment when her wide-eyed shock at his open-air sexcapades made him want to do filthy, delicious things to her. Now she’s a woman at his mercy and as he claims her for his own–inside the club and out of it–for the first time, he wonders what he’ll do if the choice is his brothers or Holly.

Sexy, sweet, endearing, and the right kind of dirty, Devil’s Mark plunges more deeply into the dirty water of the Lagrange bayou. As things in the Devil’s Keepers club race to deadly conclusions, a good girl will find out if her bad boy is worth all his sexy promises…and if she’ll survive taking the risk.

Devil’s Honor and Devil’s Mark are available not and will whet your appetite for the upcoming Devil’s Own coming in May 2017.

Follow Lady Smut. We make great deals with all kinds of sexy devils.

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Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, will be available on April 14, 2016. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via  @kierstenkrum.

Take More

2 Jan

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Happy New Year, Lady Smutters! Welcome to 2017! I hope the new year has been AWESOME for you all. I mean, it’s only been 24 hours, right? What could’ve gone wrong?

Wait, maybe let’s not answer that.

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My New Year’s Eve head shot. Not quite drunk yet.

All over my social media feeds, people have been bemoaning the trials of 2016. And I get it. It was a brutal year for many people in many areas: personal, professional, political. There’s been a lot of loss. A lot of sadness. A lot of disillusion and lost hope. Overall, the coming of 2017 has been greeted with an overwhelming sense of relief. Not so much hope for the new year so much as feeling lucky to get out of 2016 in one piece.

I had a great 2016, I won’t lie. I made a vow to kick the crap outta 2016 and I did a damn good job of it. I decided to stop saying “I used to” and start saying “I’m going to” or “I did.” And I worked hard at it; I’m still working hard at it. Every day facing the same challenges, the same roadblocks, the same mental high jinks to get over myself and move forward, to even just move again after so many years of barely being able to walk. And though I didn’t reach all I’d hope to achieved, I notched a lot of watersheds on my proverbial post. So 2016 was pretty righteous…right up until I slammed right into the back end of the summer and down into months of familial drama, drama that led to major life changes.

I wasn’t relieved to begin 2017, but I can’t say I’m sorry to see the back of this past year. There’s something refreshing about crossing that line in the calendar. Moving through that hour into a new year. A new chance. It’s why we make resolutions, looking at the clean slate of a year yet unsullied. Unlived. Options are endless. The great unknown of time spreads before us unchallenged.

I try not to make resolutions. Somehow setting a resolution is the surefire way to not achieve those hopes and dreams. Because it’s hard, seriously hard, to stick to goals that are meant to change your life, make it better, make it stronger. Meant to make it feel more worthy, more fulfilling, more fruitful and edifying.

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That are meant to give us hope.

So if we fail to achieve those resolutions–as so many of us do–it feels like just that. A failure. As though it’s a character judgment because we weren’t able to make those changes that are dreams really, dreams of how we’d prefer to live our lives. Dreams of how we’d prefer we’d be. Thinner. Richer. Fitter. Healthier. More patient. More kind. More thoughtful. More fun. More desirable. Better at our jobs. Better at our lives. We make resolutions to fix what we see as defaults in our character. What we’re told are the failures in our selves. What we think we need to sacrifice, to give, in order to be better people. Better women.

I have a different idea for 2017. A alternative to giving up things to improve ourselves.

Take more.

Take more pictures. Take more chances. Take more trips. Take more dates. Take more drives. Take more days off. Take more time with your significant other, your children, your cat. Take more walks. Take more adventures. Take more risks. Take more quiet time. Take more books. Read longer. Read hotter. Read harder.

Take 2017 to the ultimate limit. However it turns out, you’re sure to have enjoyed the ride.

And stick with Lady Smut for another smexy year. We like to take it regularly. In a metaphorical way…of course.

Welcome to 2017. It’s a new year. Anything can happen.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities strait is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

 

Bikers for Christmas

25 Dec

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Wouldn’t *that* be something to find under your tree on Christmas morning? Alas, there was no bearded, growly, alpha yet somehow feminist-supportive, muscled, steaming hot biker stud awaiting me this Christmas morn. (Next year, Santa!)

Thank God for biker romance! Let me help you end your holiday of joyous over-eating and being nice to people you only see a few times a year with a taste of Megan Crane’s upcoming biker romance Devil’s Mark.

Look! A blurb!

Holly Chambless is tired of being the squeaky clean daughter of Lagrange’s holier-than-thou mayor. When her father is charged with corruption, she realizes that her whole life’s been a lie. Now’s her chance to do all the things she never dared, like scoring a job at a bar where reputations go to die, or reconnecting with the biker who sparked a secret hunger in her all those years ago. Holly isn’t a wide-eyed girl anymore—and this time she wants a taste of what has always been denied.

Killian “Uptown” Chenier has no time for stuck-up princesses. He likes fast bikes and wild sex. Sure, he remembers Holly. He sent her running with a wicked smile and a lesson about prying eyes. And sure, she’s grown up smoking-hot, with a body he’d like to personally desecrate. But Devil’s Keepers business is real and intense. Her daddy stole from the club, leaving his pretty blonde daughter a walking target. And when Uptown takes aim at what he wants, he never misses.

You can start your new year in the Lagrange bayou with the Devil’s Keepers motorcycle club when Devil’s Mark releases on January 3rd. Meanwhile, get started with this teasing excerpt and be sure to check out the first book in the series, Devil’s Honor, reviewed earlier this year here on Lady Smut.

Click on image to preorder!

Click on image to preorder!

Hope you had a happy and healthy Christmas day and start of Chanukkah celebrations! Be sure to check back with Lady Smut for a wild and sexy 2017!

“Here’s how this works,” Uptown said, very calmly, but being this close to him again made her a little bit dizzy.  She could see the way his dark chocolate eyes gleamed.  It did not exactly make her think of candy.  “You’re under my protection.  That’s what you tell anyone who comes at you or tries to cop a feel, okay?”

Holly bristled.  “I don’t need to be protected.”

“Baby, please.  They’ll eat you alive.”

“Well, so what if they do?” she demanded, glaring at him, that odd thing in her stomach that shouldn’t have been shame—because what did it matter what a biker thought of her—pulling into a taut, hard knot.  “What do you care?  And besides, Katelyn seems perfectly happy being consumed by the biker world.”

“You don’t want to be Katelyn.”

“I love Katelyn,” Holly snapped, because weirdness between them didn’t mean Holly should be disloyal.  “She’s been my best friend since we shared a coloring book in kindergarten.”

“This isn’t fucking kindergarten, babe.  Christ.”

“I’m sure that whatever makes Katelyn happy is good enough for me.”  She might have been talking from between her teeth, but she meant it.

“You know how your girl got her job here?” Uptown reached over then and took the end of her ponytail in his fist, tugging gently on it.  It should have been annoying, like a mosquito buzzing around her.  It wasn’t.  Instead, she could feel that faint pulling sensation… everywhere. “She blew Bart, right here in this office.  That was her warm up, but you know, nothing new for her since she’d been hanging around the clubhouse for a while.  Then she banged a couple of brothers on the couch to show her appreciation for being considered.  But we doubted her commitment because she always seemed more about the party than getting any work done, so the next night she came back and blew a line of brothers, then let Bart fuck her in the ass over the desk while anyone who wanted to watch hung out.  She started later that night.  Big tips all around.”  His head tilted to one side and she couldn’t have described that gleam in his gaze if her life had depended on it.  But she could feel it like a punch to her belly.  “That about what you had in mind tonight?  Because I should tell you, we already knew and liked Katelyn.  That was why we kept it mellow.  Some of the other girls who work here had a lot more to prove when they came in.”

Holly thought it was lucky that she couldn’t really process a single thing he’d said.  Because it was too much.  She remembered hunching over that coloring book with Katelyn when they were little, sharing their crayons even though they’d both wanted the green.  She remembered all their sleepovers over the years, lying huddled up in the same bed whispering secrets and dreams into the dark.  She didn’t want to think about her friend dispensing blow jobs or anything else.  Because if she did, she might have to pay attention to the things her body was doing, as if it was imagining her in all the positions Uptown had described so nonchalantly.  She felt… weird.  But she couldn’t let herself think about that.

“I thought Katelyn belonged to the club,” she said instead.

“Sure,” Uptown agreed, lazily.  Or maybe he was just amused at how little Holly knew about his world and Katelyn’s place in it, despite how close she’d claimed she and Katelyn were.  Worse, she was sure he could see exactly how red her cheeks were.  She could feel the crisp heat in them and had to force herself not to put her hands there and make it worse.  “She takes care of us, we take care of her.”

“And I notice that you left yourself out of that story.”  She ignored the flare of heat in her cheeks, particularly when his gaze seemed to sharpen.  “Is that a sudden fit of modesty?”

He tugged on the end of her ponytail, making her chin rise against her will.  But when he eased off the pressure, she didn’t lower it.

“Nothing modest about me.  You want to hear who I fuck and how?  I’m not shy, princess.  But I think you are.”

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A Few of My Favorite Posts

19 Dec

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

It’s that time again, Lady Smutters! The holiday craze has returned as it does every year. This year feels particularly frantic, with celebrities dropping seemingly every day (RIP Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Harry Morgan!) and each new announcement from Washington another episode of stupefying ignorance and terrifying crazy. It feel more important that ever to nurture hope, breathe kindness, and cultivate courage. Me, I like to watch David Gandy’s new Light Blue advert on repeat…

As is our holiday tradition here, we will be taking our holiday break next week, coming back to you in 2017 with all new sorts of smexy! Reflecting back on this year, I shared a lot of great books I’d read with all y’all and also ruminated on a bunch of pop culture issues and current events as they relate to and affect women. Here are a few of my favorite posts from 2016.

Women Who Make America Great

Imposter Syndrome: Do You Have It?

The Culture of Shame

His Name is Brock Allen Turner: This Week in Rape Culture

Friends for Now

The Shaming of Plus Sized Women

Navy Seals: Why They Turn My Crank

Sekrit Project No More!

Happy Christmas and Happy Chanukah to ALL our Lady Smut readers. May this holiday be filled with love and joy and hope for the upcoming year when Lady Smut will be back bringing you the smexy because we sure do know what we like.

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Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities strait is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

Do You Dig It In The Dark?

12 Dec

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the new TV show Good Behavior, calling it the dark romance you should be watching. Here’s what I said then about the dark romance:

Lately in Romancelandia, the dark romance has become a thing–or a thing again as some form of dark romance has been around since the late eighteenth century. In its current conception, these are romances where the hero is a mobster or something nefarious and comes into the heroine’s orbit through some criminal manner. He proceeds to do some pretty terrible things to the heroine, despite having feelings for her. Often, these terrible things are sexual and there’s a lot of explanation about how the heroine shouldn’t like what she’s doing and oh this is so bad but she can’t stop it or A Bad Thing will happen. Things proceed, bad guys often show up putting lives in danger, feelings grow, behavior is forgiven, lather, rinse, repeat. I’m blasé about this sub genre because to me, it smacks too much of the rapetastic, forced seduction, Great Misunderstanding historicals of the 80s and early 90s only updated from disenfranchised Scottish bandits and English roses to Russian Bratva and the daughters of their mortal enemy. That’s not to say I don’t like romances with heroes and heroines of dubious character and motivation. Done right, I *love* them, but I’ve yet to find a “dark romance” that makes me care enough to send my very best. Even after reading all of the Dark Mafia Prince books and Kresley Cole’s The Master, The Professional, and The Player series, both highly recommend dark romances series, yet I remain unmoved. Though I will add the caveat that the biker romance sub genre could absolutely be seen as dark romances and, as any regular Lady Smut reader will know by now, with those books I am totally on board.

I wanted to talk more about dark romances today, because I’m still doing the facial expression of “da hell?” when I read them. I can’t figure out why it’s not clicking for me. It should be my crack–bad boys struggling with angst about their feelings for the woman who’s making them question everything in their lives plus a bunch of suspense stuff thrown in for shits and giggles.

But it’s not.

First, let’s figure out what we’re talking about when we say ‘dark romance’. A quick Google search brings up a bunch of links to Goodreads list of dark romances, but few clear defining descriptions. I found this analysis of what makes a dark romance from romance writer Roni Loren:

“Now, the definition of ‘dark’ can vary widely from person to person. A really gritty romantic suspense could be considered dark if you focus on the fact that there is violence or murders or serial killers. But that’s not what I’m talking about today. For my purposes, a dark romance is one that has an anti-hero, a villain type as the lead guy, and/or completely mindf*cks you. The usual lines of morality are blurred. These are the guys who you really wouldn’t want to mess with in real life, but who are so interesting to read about…

When I read these, I have that thought–wow, I really shouldn’t be rooting for these people or liking this hero or wanting this person to get the girl. But I do. And I can’t help it…I love when an author can pull that off.”

Now, I dig me an anti-hero, no question. But I fail to see the pleasure in reading about mindf*cks making for relationship exploration. Roni Loren says she shouldn’t be wanting for this person to get the girl or rooting for these kinds of people, but she is anyway.

I very much am not.

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Click on image to buy!

I read the Mafia Prince series on the strong, strong recommendation of fellow romance writer pal. “Oh my God, how are *you* of all people not reading this yet?!” she said to me when I admitted to never having heard of the series. Soon after, I downloaded Dark Mafia Prince. Russian mobsters, check. Brothers split apart at a young age when their parents were murdered, check. History between the H&H that goes back to childhood, check. A blood feud with another mafia family, check. An actual prophecy, check, check, and mate. Sounds like catnip to me. Honestly, I should *love* this series.

And I don’t. It’s perfectly serviceable. It’s not a *bad* series. It’s actually really well composed and densely plotted. There are a number of aspects I found unique and gutsy–no clichés need apply here. There’s even a thoroughly three-dimensional series villain who reportedly is getting his own book later on (possibly next) and who has a particularly clever quirk that feels wholly original and organic. Even when this series is “out there” it’s believable “out there”. But I didn’t finish the books and want to read them again. I wanted to read the next one because I’m pathologically incapable of not knowing what happens next. But I wasn’t jonesing for a reread and I don’t much remember the particulars of either three books in the series.

My love for certain biker romance series is well-documented on this site, but I’ve read a lot of biker romances I haven’t written about because I didn’t have that same mad, crackalicious love for them as I do for, say, Kristen Ashley’s Chaos men or Megan Crane’s post-apocalyptic Vikings or bayou bikers. There’s an argument to be made that these “heroes” are just as anti-heroic as any dark romance mafioso (there does seem to be a prevalence of made men in these dark romances.)

I felt the same way for Kresley Cole’s erotic, dark romance series, the Game Maker series. Here again we have somewhat estranged, Russian billionaire brothers with variant mafia ties and a serious preference for control. Like, pathological preference. And yet, my general response was meh when not eye-rolling at specifics. Not pain and dominance isn’t my thing, in life or on the page, which makes some of my reading choices odd given their tendency for both these things. (I’m thinking my re-read of the Kit Rocha opus applies here). In my defense, it’s hard to find an erotic romance these days that doesn’t feature such proclivities.

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Click on image to buy!

One caveat here: I really liked The Player. I think that’s because it was the brother with the least megalomania tendencies, and likely because of the heroine’s modern-day, gypsy thieves family (a sub genre for which I’ve long had an inexplicable fondness, probably due to the Irish Travelers ties), but also for the Big Reveal at the end that, if not 100% a surprise (surely, at least 95%), was absolutely perfectly crafted and seamlessly woven from the start. Actually, like the Dark Prince books, each of the Game Maker novels are perfectly good novels in the dark romance genre. I’m just meh overall. But I don’t have the urge to return for a reread or stay in these worlds.

Which continues to perplex me, because, really, this should be right in my wheelhouse.

I think it’s because I see in these stories resonance of the rape-fantasies of the 80s heyday of historical romance. Perhaps this is simply because I just read the in-depth Jezebel article on the same (which I highly recommend). But, for example, in Dark Mafia Prince, the “hero” holds a gun to the heroine’s head while she gives him a forced blow job (which, eventually, turns her on, of course) while he films it with his phone. This is so he can send it to her father (she’s his hostage against his enemy) as proof of what he’ll do to her if said father doesn’t meet his demands. Hey, it’s better than the original plan, to cut off one of her fingers and send that instead. The guy’s not a total psychopath, obviously. He’s trying to preserve her finger! What a prince!

Guys, this is foreplay for our H&H. No. Just no. When I told my friend who’d recommended the series that I’d read it and didn’t love it, she immediately referenced the blow job scene as being seriously hot. I honestly couldn’t remember the scene until prompted. Guess I wanted to block it from my memory.

But, as I mentioned briefly in that outtake at the start of this post, how is such a scene any different from the forced seductions of those original 80s bodice-rippers? How is being forced to give a blow job at gunpoint to save a digit (and not his favorite digit either) any different? Look, there are a lot of books I’ve read with a lot of highly questionable and often potentially offensive activities that, safe behind the pages of fiction, I’ve found to be seriously hot. My feminism is strong and durable, but not so naïve as to be unable to acknowledge the fact that sometimes the strong attraction is because it’s forbidden. Taboo. That’s hardly new. But there’s taboo and then there’s “oh hell no!” and–sorry, not sorry–blow jobs at gun point are the latter.

Guess I’m not dark enough for the dark romance.

What do you think? Have you dabbled in the dark romance sub genre? Do you dig it in the dark?

Follow Lady Smut. We’ll show you all our dark places.

 

It’s the End of the World and They Know It: Kit Rocha’s Beyond Surrender

5 Dec

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

This is it. Beyond Surrender is the ninth and final installment in the erotic romance, dystopian Beyond series from Kit Rocha. The end of the world as they know it.

And everyone does not feel fine.

(For all of the Lady Smut reviews on Kit Rocha’s Beyond series, click here.)

Look! A blurb!

The final book in the bestselling, award-winning series…

She’s the heart of O’Kane liquor.

He’s the brains of the revolution.

They’re facing a war that could end their world. Again.

On December 13th, the Beyond series comes to its climactic conclusion with Nessa and Ryder’s story–and the final battle between the sectors and Eden.

Well, that didn’t say much, did it?

Beyond Surrender is structured around the final romantic match up of Ryder and Nessa. Nessa is the O’Kane princess, the one who brews the liquor that the O’Kanes bootleg out to other sectors and Eden–the booze that keeps the money coming in. Since he was a young man, Ryder has been raised by Jim Jernigan, the once-mighty, now dead leader of Sector Eight, with the sole purpose of someday being the blunt instrument of the inevitable revolution.

That day has come.

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After the rash of assassinations in game-changing Beyond Ruin (Book #7) that wiped out whole sectors and their leaders, Ryder is the heir to Sector Eight and the leader of Sector Five after years spent undercover for Jernigan as a lieutenant to the execrable Mac Fleming. Now that war has come to the sectors, he’s teaming up with Dallas O’Kane, leader of the revolution, to marry years of Jernigan’s precise preparation with Dallas’ ruthless ambition for freedom. Ryder has spent his entire life in the service of someone else’s ambition. As the conclusion to his life’s work finally plays out, he realizes he has no idea what life to lead when it’s over–providing he survives.

Nessa has known Dallas O’Kane her entire life. She arrived in Sector Four barely a girl and has been the kid sister of the O’Kane gang ever since. She’s been sheltered in Sector Four; though not ignorant, she’s spends most of her time with her casks, brewing and stewing about the next batch. She’s removed from the day-to-day struggles of life in Sector Four, removed and protected, rarely even needing to leave the safety of the compound, especially when the apocalypse is knocking. Although, when you have a gang full of growling, grouchy older brothers and murderously protective older sisters, getting laid becomes can be more than problematic, but finding a real relationship in the slums of paradise is near impossible. Nessa’s watched from the sidelines as members of her extended family have found their mates of the soul and body, sure she’ll never find a man with whom to share that deep connection. Enter Ryder, who never looks at her or treats her as anything less than who she is–a complicated, intriguing, sexy woman.

But this is Sector Four, so of course, it’s not that easy. Nessa keenly feels the responsibility that’s been on her shoulders all her life, that of keeping the O’Kanes in business and money. One mistake could wipe out their livelihood and plunge them back into the madness and need that heralded the early years after the solar flares. To make matters worse, everyone she’s ever known and loved is now in acute danger. She fears seeing who will and who won’t survive The War now that it is upon them. Drawn to Ryder for a number of complex reasons, she decides to cling to the pleasure and comfort he offers for as long as they have it–and the time in which to enjoy it. If it’s the end of the world as they know it, best go out with a spectacular bang. It’s the O’Kane way.

Ryder’s entire life has been planned for him, by his mother and by Jim Jernigan who made Ryder the tip of the paranoia sword for the war Jernigan saw coming decades ago. He aligns himself with Sector Four and the notorious Dallas O’Kane to keep on the front lines of the war; leading a sector was never his goal nor his training. Nessa is an unexpected if welcomed surprise, but as they cling together in the days before the final battle, living whatever moments they have left to the fullest, Ryder finds himself worrying what happens next. Any future he sees after the war is hazy: a cabin in the woods far from the complications of whatever is left over when the battle haze clears. Slowly he begins to realize this too was never his dream, merely a fixation to honor his dead father’s dreams. But when all his lifelong plans and strategies are no longer required, when the world he knows is no longer the world he lives in, how will he live in a future he never expected to see–and where might Nessa fit there?

For a while now, for me, the Beyond books have been less about the romantic relationships and more about the exceptionally drawn and deeply believable world in which they’re taking place. Rocha’s Eden and sectors with its complicated loyalties, interwoven alliances, and fierce allegiances has offered more layered and complex intrigue for me than who’s banging whom. Interestingly, in a series that’s featured enthusiastic orgies and polyamorous relationships, this final couple seems to be the sweetest–the most innocent of the O’Kanes (not an easy thing to find in Sector Four) falling for the most noble of spies. Ryder’s shown up in a number of previous books, most notably in Beyond Addiction (one of my faves) and the question of his true purpose and loyalties has been teased for a while. Nessa has floated on the fringes since the beginning, with her wild nail polish and multi-colored hair, and it’s fitting that this last book should be hers.

Beyond Surrender is a deeply satisfying conclusion to this series. I have great respect for an author who can put an end date on a popular series rather than drawing it out ad infinitum to keep the credits rolling. It’s hard to let go of something this all-encompassing and, even though there is more on the horizon for this world, leaving Sector Four and all its denizens can be no easy task and no easy decision to make. Which is why it’s extra sweet to see all the favorites return, some more briefly than others, in Beyond Surrender to take their curtain calls while two people, whose lives were planned for them one way or another, decide to fall for one another literally as the end of their world approaches, and it’s that hope, that gentle push of burgeoning love, that gives them the courage to plan for a future.

I *highly* recommend re-reading the Beyond books and novellas from the beginning as a refresher course in who’s who, who’s where, and who’s doing what to whom. It’d do a body good to refresh yourself before diving into Beyond Surrender. This series has a lot of players and they all show up for the final reckoning. And there is loss; seems like an apocalyptic requirement. Plus, Gideon’s Riders, the heroes of the upcoming eponymous series, make an appearance, including the couple of the first book of that series as Ashwin, that twisted, superior killing machine takes another step toward possessing or destroying Doctor Kora.

With Beyond Surrender, Kit Rocha ends this best-selling series with all the fucked up madness and fun and sexy times that define the world of the O’Kanes. It may be the end of the series as we know it, but you’ll feel more than fine.

O’Kane for life.

Follow Lady Smut. We’ll mark you for life.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities strait is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

Brutal Game: Sexy Sunday Snippets From Cara McKenna

4 Dec

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

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It’s another installment of Sexy Sunday Snippets, and boy, howdy, are we pulling out the big guns today

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the mind-bogglingly, amazing erotic romance Brutal Game (now on sale), by wunderkind author Cara McKenna. Today, you can get a taste of one of the most deeply layered, complicated, emotional reads of the year.

To jog your memory: Look! A blurb!

The long-awaited sequel to Willing Victim.

Eight months ago, Laurel walked into an underground boxing gym and found herself mesmerized by a stranger named Flynn—a man who fights hard and loves harder. Since then he’s taken her places where fear and curiosity clash in exquisite pleasure, where trust is the price of ecstasy, and in time their brutal games have become her kink as much as his.

But when real life intrudes and hard decisions demand action, will these two whose bond is rooted in fantasy take shelter in each other’s arms, or discover that lust is no substitute for a lasting commitment?

The following excerpt is one of the intensely emotional, almost too-real feeling scenes from Brutal Game. It reveals a major plot point of the story, so SPOILER WARNING.

EXCERPT OF BRUTAL GAME, by Cara McKenna

At long last, a hmm, a yawn. A dozy groan and Laurel turned onto her side, eyes blinking open to find him there.

“Dinner smells good. Is it ready?”

“It is.”

“What time is it?”

Flynn looked to the microwave. “Ten twenty-one.”

“Whoa. What?”

“You were beat.”

She sat up. “Jesus. I napped for three hours?”

“Hungry?”

She looked down at her stomach as though conferring. “Very.”

“Good. Me too.”

Beyond hungry, in Flynn’s case. He’d only eaten a fistful of cheese and a few slices of sausage since before his workout. His gut was packed with butterflies, but they weren’t particularly filling.

Laurel moved to the couch and he loaded a couple bowls with dried-out casserole. He made it a whole minute before the clinking of forks drove him to blurt, “You buy a pregnancy test?”

Pausing mid-chew, she studied him with still-sleepy eyes. She swallowed. “No, I didn’t.”

“Not to sound paranoid, but when’d you get your period last?”

She frowned, thinking. “Oh—it was New Year’s morning. I remember I had a champagne hangover and that showed up on top of it.”

“That was almost two months ago.”

“I know, but like I said, sometimes they don’t come at all on the Pill, or just a mini one.”

That didn’t do much to slow his pulse. “Maybe I should go out and get one now. Just so we can rule it out.”

She nibbled her lip.

“Just ask me to. I don’t mind.” And I’m fucking dying inside. No news was not good news. Whoever’d come up with that saying was so full of shit.

“It’s after ten. And it’s snowing.”

“Someplace’ll be open. Star Market.”

“What, in Dorchester?”

“Wouldn’t you sleep better?” He would. He might sleep at all, in fact. “Seriously, it’s no big deal. I’ll get you some Nyquil while I’m at it, in case it’s the flu. I’ll go right now.”

“Maybe…”

“I’m going,” he announced, setting his bowl on the coffee table and reaching for one of his boots. “And I’ll grab tampons, in case it’s just PMS. And Kettle Chips.”

She smiled, seeming to surrender. “You know, there’s something surpassingly manly about a guy who’ll pick tampons up for you without batting an eye.”

“Your pussy doesn’t scare me, honey.”

“No, I daresay it doesn’t. I could come—”

“Nope, you couldn’t. Eat up. Stay warm. Back soon.”

She smiled and shook her head, watching him lace his boots and pull on a hat, something simultaneously soft and fierce about her expression. Or maybe that was a fever brewing.

Twenty minutes later, Flynn was unloading his basket onto the checkout conveyer belt. The young clerk passed his purchases stoically across the scanner—tampons, Nyquil, potato chips, pregnancy test, plus a bottle of red wine. It wasn’t until he handed over the plastic bag that the kid showed any sign of life, saying flatly, “Party time.”

Flynn was tempted to meet the snark with a verbal backhand, but he didn’t have it in him just now. Instead he muttered, “You know it,” and headed for the door.

Pregnant. Pregnant. The word had grown larger and larger over the course of the drive, thundering now, echoing and huge. He let it tumble around his skull as he started the trip back home, windshield wipers batting harmless fluffy flakes aside.

What if she was pregnant? He’d been preoccupied with the thought all day, but it changed now, with the test in his possession. With an actual answer at hand.

Plus that’s not really the question, is it?

The real question for Flynn was, what would she want to do about it if she was?

It wasn’t his decision, but if she asked what he wanted her to do… Shit, be honest? Or refuse to say so she wouldn’t feel pressured? But refusing to say, was that supporting her choice or was that forcing her to make it completely on her own? He thought he knew what he’d want her to do, but it felt so goddamn delicate, the question of whether or not to say.

She might not be pregnant. Probably isn’t. Some cramps and hot flashes could be anything, and feeling exhausted after waitressing all day was to be expected. The female body was like a car with no manual, a mystery designed to confound and bewitch the simple male brain. A man was lucky to get invited to dick around under the hood and go for a spin, but fuck if any of them knew how to service the thing.

He pulled up behind his building, yellow streetlight making the steadily fattening snowflakes glow like gold. The plastic bag felt monumental in his grip, as though he were lugging a bomb, not a couple pounds of snacks and feminine hygiene products.

Not a bomb, he corrected. A pregnancy was scary and profound and life-altering, but that was a metaphor too far. Still, his hand was shaking unmistakably as he unlocked the door.

“Honey, I’m home. Got you booze and chips and a stick for peeing on. You on the rag yet?”

A laugh answered that crass greeting, loosening his chest, if only by a fraction. “No, I am not.”

He flipped the deadbolt, rummaged in the bag and pitched the box toward the bed where she was lounging. “Best pee on a stick then, woman.”

She’d changed into her pajamas—or rather, her pajama bottoms and one of his tee shirts. Why was that so fucking sexy? Though he was grateful to register any reaction apart from anxiety, he set the thought aside. Answers first, then depravity. We can fuck to celebrate, if it’s negative.

Laurel knelt and picked up the box, studying it. She opened it while Flynn peeled off his layers.

“Thanks for doing this.” She unfolded the instructions. “Going out in that.”

“It was nothing. Go pee on a stick,” he repeated.

“The snow’s picking up,” she said, still reading.

“Go pee on a stick.”

She met his eyes, smiled dryly. “I guess I’ll go pee on a stick, then.”

“What a good idea. How long does it take to get the answer?”

She scanned the paper. “Three minutes. Wow, that sounds really fast and like forever at the same time.”

Well put. “There’s chips and wine, while you wait.”

She smiled. “Classy. If it comes back a plus sign I better spit the booze out, huh?”

There was a joke in there, but he barely heard it, caught too completely on plus sign. Plus sign. How could one shape—two fucking little perpendicular lines—possibly be so powerful?

Then he thought of the cross, that symbol that had dominated his childhood and bullied his psyche, and somehow it made perfect sense.

Fuck you, lines.

At least these lines would bring answers. The other kind had done nothing but torment and confuse and contradict.

Right. Now, to survive the longest three minutes of his entire life.

About Cara McKenna: Since she began writing in 2008, Cara McKenna has published nearly forty romances and erotic novels with a variety of publishers, sometimes under the pen names Meg Maguire and C.M. McKenna. Her stories have been acclaimed for their smart, modern voice and defiance of convention. She was a 2015 RITA Award finalist, a 2014 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award winner, a 2012 and 2011 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee, and a 2010 Golden Heart Award finalist. She lives with her husband and baby son in the Pacific Northwest, though she’ll always be a Boston girl at heart.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities strait is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

Have a Taste of Wild: Simply Sinful Giveaway

25 Nov

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Black Friday may be winding down, but it’s about to get wild here at Lady Smut as our Simply Sinful Giveaway continues with a taste of Wild on the Rocks.

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And I do mean a taste as last weekend, at my request, a master mixologist concocted an original Wild on the Rocks cocktail and lemme tell you, it was lush. What’s in it? Oh how I wish I could tell you…and be able to recreate it myself. But il maestro refused to divulge his secrets–though he did reveal several of the ingredients were no longer available in the United States.

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The makings of Wild on the Rocks, the cocktail.

Instead, to satisfy your new sprouted craving for wild–and whet your appetite for more—take a sip of some of the sexy you’ll find in my novel, Wild on the Rocks. In this very sexy excerpt, divorced couple Quin and Jasper are having a bit of emotions-free, ex-sex–or at least, that was the plan…

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Bottoms up!

Be sure to remember to comment on any (or all) of the excerpts today in order to be eligible to win our dangerously sinful Black Friday “Basket of Sin” giveaway basket. Check back in tomorrow (that’s Saturday, in case you have shopping blackout and lose track of the days) when we announce the winner!

 

 

WILD ON THE ROCKS

Wine comes in at the mouth

And love comes in at the eye;

That’s all we shall know for truth

Before we grow old and die.

I lift the glass to my mouth,

I look at you, and I sigh.

—W.B. Yeats

A Kindle exclusive. Click image to buy!

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

I missed you too.

Not since he’d received his trident had four words meant so much to Jasper.

“Quinn,” he said but she kissed him before he’d finished her name. He expected the push and pull of her usual aggression, couldn’t wait to suit up for that hot battle again, but she surprised him, licking her bottom lip so her tongue slipped sweetly against his, teasing him with a taste of her. He groaned and felt her lips tip up before he took over, kissing her deep and wet and long as he lifted her off her feet and backed her up. He put a knee in the bed to lower her back down to the mattress, back again beneath him, all the while kissing her like he’d never get enough.

He’d been wrong earlier. This first time, they were going to take it slow after all.

His mouth trailed down over her chin to nip playfully at her throat. He chuckled low when her breath stuttered over an exhale. “You always were sensitive here,” he remembered.

She swallowed hard. “Not only there.”

He shifted down to the valley formed by the opened buttons of her top. “Here too,” he agreed, brushing his mouth over the mounds of her breasts that plumped up out of her bra. Swiftly, he unfastened the remaining buttons until he could spread the panels of her tuxedo shirt wide.

Beautiful.

He slipped his hands to the middle of her back to arch her up like an offering so he could tug her bra aside with his teeth. Her neck stretched back on the pillows and she moaned deep and long when his mouth engulfed her nipple.

It was better than any memory. She was better than any dream, even the ones he’d had of her, and boy, had he dreamed of Quinn. Hot, filthy, body-draining dreams that’d woke him in the middle of the night with so rigid an erection, even jacking off couldn’t ease the pain.

As always, Quinn was game for it. Greedy hands roamed up and down from his skull to his back to his waist, every inch she could reach while he paid homage to her breasts. “Here, baby,” she coaxed, pulling down the left side of her bra. His eyes flickered up to meet hers, hot and hungry with demand. He released her nipple and rolled it between his fingers, leaning over to suck the other one deep. “Jasper,” she moaned, her legs shifting and tangling with his, restless with need.

He ducked his head to drag his mouth down her belly and over that strip of skin she’d left bare for any man to see. “This has been driving me crazy all night,” he admitted hoarsely. “Knowing every guy who saw you wanted his mouth right here. But only so he could get it here,” and he slipped a finger past the band on her trousers and between her legs.

Jasper!”

“Right here, baby.” He unbuckled her belt and had her jeans and panties down and off in the next second. Jasper paused for a moment to take in the vision sprawled out before him. Her tits were propped up on display for him, her legs spread wide so he could see her wet with want for him.

“Christ, you’re gonna go already, aren’t you?”

Frantic, she shook her head against the pillow, but pushed her groin into his palm. “No,” she lied. “I don’t want it to end so soon.”

“If it does, we’ll start it up again.” And with that, he crawled between her legs and put his mouth on her.

If her kiss was narcotic, then the taste of her was the nectar of gods. Nothing compared. Not the first beer after a successful mission. Not his first bite of real food after days of living off MREs.

She shrieked on contact and again when he sucked on her clit. She ground her pelvis into his mouth and her fingers into his skull, clutching him to her as though afraid he might stop. But he had no intention of stopping and licked and sucked and ate at her until the first orgasm ripped her apart.

He knifed up as she came down, tearing at the release to his shoulder holster and setting it and his weapon on the night stand seconds before a rousing Quinn yanked his shirt out of his pants and up without bothering to unbutton it. He raised his arms to help her and then reached for his wallet while she went after his buckle, pulled down his fly, and freed him.

“Quinn,” he groaned when her hand wrapped him up. Her thumb cruised over the weeping tip, and Jasper’s head dropped back. “I want your mouth,” he growled, but when he felt her breath on his flesh, he snapped up and pushed her back into the bed. “But I want you more.”

“Oh my God, yes,” she moaned, notching her legs into the groove of his hips. “Now, Jasp. I need you now.”

She’d just come and already needed it again. She was a marvel, and tonight, right now, she was his.

His again.

“You’re gonna get me, baby. Put this on me first.” He pressed the condom wrapper in her hand before his fingers skated up her arm. “I’d forgotten how soft your skin is.”

She didn’t reply. It took another moment for him to realize she wasn’t gloving him up.

“Quinn?”

She glanced up through her eyelashes with uncharacteristic hesitation that sent a bolt of apprehension coursing through him.

“I’m on the pill,” she quietly reminded him. “And there’s been no one since you.”

He felt her words like a blow to the gut, and God, God, the sweetness of her gift nearly unmanned him.

So he gave it back as he shoved his pants off, shifted up, notch himself in place against her, and slid inside, bare as the day he was born. “No one since you, sweetheart,” he promised, and she finally wrapped him up in her arms and her legs and took him deep in her body until there was no space left between them.

“Kiss me,” she demanded. He ducked his head to comply while pulling out so he could thrust right back into her.

Christ, she was so snug around him, he almost lost it on the second go. She pulsed against him, and he took the cue and thrust out and in again, quickly building to a rhythm that had her clawing his back and making familiar noises of frustrated need in her throat.

“Wildcat,” he praised. Jasper lifted his chest to watch it come over her so he’d have that memory to relive when she was no longer around for him to fuck. She took that as invitation to bite his nipple, which quickly sent him right to the edge. “Hurry up, wildcat,” he urged, thumbing her clit, but she was already there, the spasms of her orgasm clenching down on his dick until he shouted her name and lost his rhythm, plunging and thrusting until he shot deep inside her.

Spent, he kept moving, easing them both back from bliss as he searched and found her mouth with his. “My wildcat,” he murmured against her lips, shoving in her one last time to stay put. “My wild lady.”

Mine.

* * *

“What is that God-awful noise?”

As strangely as it had begun, the piercing beep slicing through the sleepy fog in Quinn’s head stopped. An arm clutched her waist and then released. Cold rushed in at her back as the warm body that’d been curved around hers all night rolled out of the bed. She murmured sleepily when the sheet was pulled up and around her. A body dropped to the floor, and Quinn heard the once familiar sounds of Jasper’s morning routine pepper the air.

She cracked her eyes enough to make out the alarm clock across the room. “It should be illegal to be awake at such an ungodly hour of the morning.”

“Unless you stay up for it, right?”

She didn’t have to look to know he was grinning.

“That’s something else entirely,” she groused, snuggling back into the fluffy pillow.

“It always is.”

He went back to manly grunting his way through what she rightly guessed was a regimen of sit ups.

Back when they’d been married, they’d done this almost on a daily basis, or at least on those mornings Jasper was home. He needed far less sleep than she, especially if she was working into the wee hours, and too many years in the armed services had made the concept of “sleeping in” an anathema. He’d wake, she’d complain without meaning it, and he’d do his first group of calisthenics there in the bedroom while she kept sleepy watch.

Quinn had loved those mornings. Loved having that private pocket of time with Jasper before his world intruded and dragged him away from her. She adored watching his strong, mouthwatering body work through the exercises that kept him that way. She thrilled at the knowledge that he’d use that strength and ability to defend and shelter their nation and to shower her with protection and pleasure every chance he got. And she loved that he let her see this, this immense physical and mental strength, but more in those rare moments when he let her catch a glimpse of the rare vulnerability he kept carefully locked away. The fear that he’d fail his men. The worry that he wouldn’t bring them all home; the rage and sorrow when he didn’t.

When they were in bed, one of her favorite things to do was run her hands over all that muscle and sinew and hold him close and treasure him and the knowledge that he was hers in a way he’d be to no other. She’d been so proud of him and humbled to call him hers.

It had been a wrenching pain the first morning after she left him to realize she’d never do that again, that she no longer had that right.

The chorus of grunts and low-voiced swearing went on for another ten minutes through which Quinn lightly dozed until he shifted into pushups. She roused with interest. If she remembered right—and she was pretty sure she did—Jasper lifting and flexing his way through pushups was a sight worth seeing. She rolled onto her belly into the warm pocket left in his wake and, after a Herculean effort to lift her eyelids, peered over the edge of the bed.

Totally worth it.

Dim sunbeams seeped in through the blinds, cutting the floor into bands of light and dark. Jasper’s long body stretched down through one beam, head at the nightstand, feet a good four inches past the end of the bed.

Damn if the man didn’t glow.

His shoulder blades met in the center of his back on each down stroke, throwing his spine in sharp relief. Quinn shifted on one hip and propped her head on a forearm to get a better vantage point to trace the defined groove from the base of his neck all the way down to where it disappeared beneath the waistband of his black boxer briefs. The sheet slipped to the small of her back as she spent a few moments in intense study of his firm, clenched ass.

His back was a thing of sculpted beauty matched only by his literally bulging biceps and delts as he lifted up into a precise, even plane from toe to knuckle then back down to hover half an inch above the bedroom floor before lifting up again into a push up stand. Quinn’s heartbeat accelerated as she watched, riveted by the wonder of form and discipline, tracking each flex and ripple as if mapping the secrets of the universe.

And that was before he switched to one hand.

Quinn bit her lip, but not before a low moan managed to escape.

“What was that?” he asked without looking up.

Mesmerized, she counted thirty repetitions before he switched hands. “Sorry?” she croaked.

“You said something.”

“Hardly. I’m not even in my body yet.”

“Give me fifteen minutes, and I will be.”

She narrowed her eyes, but declined to retort given he probably wasn’t wrong, especially if he kept up with that, and focused on the show he was bent on performing.

He held firm in a push-up stand, then bounced back a few inches on palms and toes before lowering prone to the floor. Crossing his arms under his face so his fingertips nearly brushed each elbow, Jasper extended upwards, legs in an X formation, hands crisscrossed beneath him, one above the other, wide shoulders rounded so his triceps bulged out all along the outside of his arms. Without pausing for rest, he powered on through another set.

Quinn caught her breath and slid a hand down her belly.

“That one’s new,” she noted, a little breathless.

He grunted through three more. “Forearm to triceps extension.”

The tip of her index finger strummed along her slippery folds. “Do tell.”

There must’ve been something in her voice because this time, when he held the push up stand, his chin lifted and those green-gold eyes zeroed in on her.

Quinn licked her lips and watched heat chase the question from his face. “You like that.”

He wasn’t asking, but she held his gaze through lowered lids and let him see her answer.

She liked it. She like it a lot.

Balancing on one hand, he reached out to tug the sheet from her body. “Show me,” he rumbled, voice hoarse.

Without losing his eyes, she rolled to her back and spread her legs wide, setting her thumb to work so she could slide two fingers inside. Automatically, her hips lifted toward the pleasure. A low groan rolled up from the floor. Her free hand cupped her breast. She plucked the nipple under his avaricious gaze.

“Wider,” he ordered, chin jutting toward her legs.

“Baby,” she whispered while she complied. “Get up here.”

“You got your show,” He levered up from the floor and stretched out across the bottom of the bed, head in hand right between her spread feet. “This one’s mine.”

Fair enough. Quinn settled in to giving a show that would drive him wild. She moved her hips against her hand, working herself on her fingers as she watched Jasper watching her. Twin spots of color ran high up on his cheeks. His beautiful mouth pulled into a thin rigid line. Sweat glistened on his chest from the workout and she lick her lips again thinking how next time she was going to taste him from stem to stern and everywhere in between.

Quinn glanced down and saw the tip of his erection popping out from the top of his boxer briefs. Jasper caught her direction and pulled himself free in the next second, stroking his length almost leisurely without looking away from her busy hands.

Quinn’s efforts sped up.

“That’s it, baby,” he coaxed. “Show me how much you want it. Let me see how wet you get for me.”

“Jasper,” she moaned, fingers flying between her legs, her nipple pinched so tight, pain mixed with the intense pleasure. She wanted to close her eyes and let the orgasm roll through her, but she couldn’t look away from Jasper. He’d shifted his hand to stroke her calf while his cut forearm kept steady rhythm. “I love arm porn.”

He barked out a laugh, then leaned over to kiss her thigh. “Go over hard,” he urged. She felt his breath on her fingers and tripped over a new high. “Give that to me, sweetheart.”

She scratched her nail over her nipple and that tipped her past the edge. Her neck stretched back and she lost her view, but Jasper jacking himself for her was already burned across her mind’s eye. “Oh yes,” she moaned as it crashed over her, her head full of Jasper’s hands and Jasper’s face and Jasper’s body.

She was still in the throes when he bumped her thighs wider, knocked her hand aside, and shoved deep within her.

“Holy fuck,” he swore.

Jasper!” she screamed. She grabbed him by the neck and wrapped one leg around his thighs, one high on his back. “Don’t stop, Jasp,” she begged. “Don’t ever stop.”

He turned his head and sucked her wet fingers into his mouth, curving his tongue to lick her taste from them, and, Lord love a duck, it was so hot, she nearly passed out from the spasm that spurred through her. Jasper lowered his forehead to hers as he rocked in and out. She stared up into his eyes while the sound of their flesh slapping together filled her ears. Dark stubble covered his cheeks so he looked like some pirate intent on pillaging her until she felt him for a week. He’d shave it before going to work, but she wished he wouldn’t. Scruffy Jasper was the man who was all hers, only hers, and she hated knowing soon, she’d have to give him up.

“Come on, wildcat. Come all over me.” He palmed her breast and ducked his head to slip the nipple between his teeth, biting down until she shrieked. She felt the orgasm building again and knew this one was going to be harder that the last two, wild and out of control the way Jasper made her feel every second she was under him.

His hand replaced his mouth at her breast. She reached up to bite his bottom lip as that wild inside her cinched tighter and tighter and tighter until it burst. Her neck arched back; he took hold of her throat and pounded away.

“Fuck, how you squeeze me when you come,” he grunted. “Spectacular.” His hand slid up to her jaw, yanking her face down so they kissed deep and wet and long as he fucked her even harder until finally he came with a hoarse shout.

Panting, they lay in place, Jasper’s face in her neck, Quinn’s mouth at his ear, spent, joined, and savoring that connection in the delicious haze that followed amazing sex. Quinn shivered when his tongue teased her earlobe. Slowly, languidly, her hands mapped his back, tracing the muscles he’d worked that morning first on the floor and then on her.

“You’ve always been my best adventure,” she whispered.

He went rigid and she froze as her words penetrated.

Oh crap, did she really say that out loud?

Jasper raised his head. Going by his look of intense triumph, yup, she definitely said that out loud.

She opened her mouth to backtrack, but was saved the effort by a loud knock on her apartment door.

“Queen!” Twist’s dull voice sounded through the apartment and the opened door of the bedroom. “I’m not standing out here while you bang Quinn again!”

Quinn and Jasper stared at one another with shared shock, and then Jasper’s head dropped to her shoulder.

“I am going to kill him.”

Quinn laughed. “No you’re not. He’s your best friend.”

“Not for much longer. You wouldn’t believe the shit he pulled yesterday. It was a frickin’ sewing circle on coms with my sex life the main gossip topic.”

She rubbed his head in mock sympathy. “Poor baby,” she teased. “I had no idea you alpha boys chattered so when left to yourselves.”

“We don’t, but Twist is a rare breed. Got a psych degree and left a practice behind to join the Navy. Makes him more emo than ten other guys put together.”

He nuzzled her neck. The skin there rippled under the caress. “Man’s got a calling,” he added quietly. “Feels more than most. What you see of him is how he protects that.”

“So it’s all an act?”

“No, he really is that much of an annoying idiot.” She laughed again at his wry frustration. “But I’d trust no one more at my back,” he finished on a serious tone. “Or with my secrets.”

Quinn felt a shard of disappointment that he didn’t feel the same way about her, but shoved it aside. She was enjoying this light, affectionate aftermath with Jasper. He’d be leaving in a few minutes. She didn’t want old wounds opening up before he did.

So she wrapped him up and gave him a light squeeze with her arms and her legs and her still throbbing sex. “He loves you,” she noted while Jasper groaned.

“I know it.” He brushed his thumb over her mouth. “But can we not talk about Twist when I’m hard inside you and have to go in 5 minutes?”

She nipped at his digit when it made a second pass. “Deal.”

His eyes and face softened, and Quinn lost her breath. “Been waiting a long time to see that look on your face again,” he said in a low, warm voice that made her vibrate in all the right places.

“What look?”

Eyes open, he captured her mouth with his and slowly, sweetly slid out of her. “Satisfaction,” he growled and kissed her again. “Gotta go, babe,” and now there was regret in his voice too.

“I know.” She ran her hand over his stubble. “Wish you didn’t have to shave for the job,” she admitted. “I like this look.” She kissed the edge of his scruffy chin. “Pirate Jasper.”

He chuckled low and deep, making her nipples rise up against his hard chest. “You like it, I’ll keep it while I’m here.”

The gesture surprised her. Jasper never went against regulations. “Really?”

“Sure. There are no regs on McBain’s detail, and I don’t have the Navy to adhere to for a couple of weeks.” He bent to rub his rough cheek against her puckered nipple. “Already I can see the benefits.”

“Mmm. You’re giving me ideas.”

His tongue sneaked out to lick sensitive flesh. “Good. I’m already a big fan of your plunder.”

He was doing it to her again, revving up her hunger. He thought she’d been satisfied when the truth was, she could never get enough of him, not if she had him for a hundred years.

“What are we doing here Jasper?” The words escaped before she’d registered them in her brain, or else she would’ve stopped that shit right away.

He looked up at her without moving away from her breast. “We’re enjoying each other, Quinn. And some seriously explosive sex. Why does it have to be anything more complicated than that?”

“Because we’re us. Because it’s always complicated when it’s us.”

“Maybe that’s our problem. Maybe we need a little easy for a change.” He brushed a wisp of hair back from her face. “I’ve missed you. I’ve missed fucking you. I’ve missed talking and laughing with you. You’re a seriously good time and an amazing lay. Why can’t that be enough?”

As painful as his choice of words was, he made it sound so achievable, but Quinn wondered how long they could actually stick within those parameters. How long she could live with having only Jasper’s body and social company and nothing of his soul.

“What happened with the Navy, Jasp?”

“Who are you afraid of, Quinn?” he shot back. She rolled her lips together to keep her mouth shut. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” His eyes filled with a hint of mean. “You can have my cock. I’m happy to give you more orgasms than you can handle, take as many as you can give me. And we’ll eat and drink and have fun together for as long as we’re both here. But you’re gonna have to share your own secrets before you get a shot at mine again, baby. You gave up the right to know my heart when you gave up on our marriage.”

It hurt and hurt deep, but he was right and it made her voice small when she agreed. “Okay, Jasp.”

He studied her. Quinn figured her easy capitulation came as a surprise. But she was saved again by Twist’s shout. “Let’s go, Queen! Or I’m gonna tell all the boys why we were late to the briefing this morning.”

“Shit. He’ll do it too,” Jasper muttered and Quinn found her good humor restored.

“Maintaining that badass rep must be a rough gig.”

“You’re not kidding.”

He kissed her hard and quick, then knifed up and off the bed to grab his clothes from the floor. He dressed quickly, barely bothering to button his shirt before strapping the shoulder holster over it and shoving his feet back into his boots. Quinn tangled herself back into the sheet and shifted up on her hip to watch him.

“I’ll shower back at the resort after the briefing.”

“They set you up in one of those posh villas by the sea?”

He snorted. “We’ve got rooms in the employee section, but once we’re done with this job, we’ll move into the resort proper. Discounted rate, or we’d be shacking up next door to you.”

“Hibiscus Court’s not that bad.”

“Babe, I jimmied the lock in two minutes.”

“Bragging is unattractive even in a bad ass, super SEAL.”

He grinned and leaned over the bed so they were nose to nose. “SEALs don’t brag. We don’t have to. But if I was bragging, it’d be about how I got you off twice in less than twenty minutes.” He kissed her hard if quick. “But I’m too much of an officer and a gentleman.”

“I’ll remind you I got to the first one on my own.”

He kissed her again, slipping his tongue in her mouth this time. “Sure you did, sweetheart. Now, you need me to set an alarm so you can go back to sleep or you gonna get up?”

“The wedding’s not till one, and Willow got Clancy to hire a temp to help him cover the breakfast and brunch runs.”

“So you’re gonna sleep.”

“No, I need to pick up some supplies in town. Then I thought I’d hit the beach until I have to start set up.”

“I get a window, I’ll come find you, yeah?”

She thought of Jasper in swim trunks, his delicious body wet with ocean water. “That’d be good.”

He read her face and his eyes softened. “Yeah,” he repeated. Then with a final kiss and a resigned glare in Twist’s direction when he shouted again, Jasper headed for the door and left without looking back.

Quinn rolled to her side again and stared at the window blinds. She heard the front door shut behind Jasper and the muffled exchange between the two men. She kinda missed not hearing their banter. Probably more than worth the price of the ticket.

What kind of price was she about to pay to have this time with Jasper? Sure, there was something to be said for having an affair with a man who knew exactly how to get her off. There’d been good reasons for her year-long dry spell and only some of it had to do with her broken heart. When you had the best, settling for a runner up was so far from enticing as to not be worth the bother. Jasper was the best lover she’d ever had—he’d ruined her for other men—and it hadn’t even taken an entire day before they wound up in bed together again. Why shouldn’t she capitalize on the fact that fate or divine providence had dropped them both in paradise at the same time?

You gave up the right to know my heart.

Oh God, how she wanted his heart again. His heart and his secrets and the right to claim him as hers with as much ferocity as he’d once claimed her. She wanted to reach deep and pull out the wild he’d only ever shown to her and keep it close, keep it safe. But Jasper had named his price and it was a cost she was unwilling to pay. Because this time, when Quinn left him, she knew it wouldn’t be by her choice.

She might not be alive to make it.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities strait is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

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Basket ‘o Sin!

Next up in the Lady Smut Simply Sinful Reader Event is Elizabeth Shore at 9 P.M.

 

Good Behavior. The Dark Romance You Should Be Watching

21 Nov

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

That’s right, I said watching. Good Behavior is a television show, newly debuted on the TNT network last week and holy cats, is it a doozy. It’s like the best dark romance we’ve never before had on TV and didn’t realize we were missing, with an unlikable heroine you wanna root for despite the jail time and the drugs and the booze, and a villainous bad boy with potential alpha hole tendencies you want to climb like a tree despite, ya know, that whole pesky hit man thing.

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Also, it’s *seriously* hot. They are seriously hot together, and they’re not even sure whether they like one another yet, but they’re stuck together and, holy hopping snot, do they spark.

Lately in Romancelandia, the dark romance has become a thing–or a thing again as some form of dark romance has been around since the late eighteenth century. In its current conception, these are romances where the hero is a mobster or something nefarious and comes into the heroine’s orbit through some criminal manner. He proceeds to do some pretty terrible things to the heroine, despite having feelings for her. Often, these terrible things are sexual and there’s a lot of explanation about how the heroine shouldn’t like what she’s doing and oh this is so bad but she can’t stop it or A Bad Thing will happen. Things proceed, bad guys often show up putting lives in danger, feelings grow, behavior is forgiven, lather, rinse, repeat. I’m blasé about this sub genre because to me, it smacks too much of the rapetastic, forced seduction, Great Misunderstanding historicals of the 80s and early 90s only updated from disenfranchised Scottish bandits and English roses to Russian Bratva and the daughters of their mortal enemy. That’s not to say I don’t like romances with heroes and heroines of dubious character and motivation. Done right, I *love* them, but I’ve yet to find a “dark romance” that makes me care enough to send my very best. Even after reading all of the Dark Mafia Prince books and Kresley Cole’s The Master, The Professional, and The Player series, both highly recommend dark romances series, yet I remain unmoved. Though I will add the caveat that the biker romance sub genre could absolutely be seen as dark romances and, as any regular Lady Smut reader will know by now, with those books I am totally on board.

I DVRd Good Behavior because TNT advertised the crap outta of it for the last two months and that usually annoys me enough to either tune in to see what all the hype is about or tune out completely (which is what I did with that Animal Kingdom show despite the fact that it features the great Ellen Barkin). It took me till midway through the second episode to realize I was basically watching a dark romance, and, this time, I was loving it.

Given the lack of a comparable “blurb”, here’s the gist of this show: con artist, meth head, alcoholic, Letty Raines (Michelle Dockery, late of Downton Abbey) has just been let out of jail early for good behavior. She’s trying to stick to the straight and narrow, as ugly as that often becomes, in order to get back her parental rights to her son. But she can’t keep from her thieving ways, ways that include robbing high-end hotels (and that also involve ever entertaining costume and wig changes). While she’s robbing one hotel room, the guest returns early. As she hides in the closet, Letty overhears a hit man planning a murder with the soon-to-be victim’s husband.

Eventually, Letty makes her escape, but she can’t stop thinking about the woman who is about to be killed. She goes back to the hotel in a different disguise and tracks the hit man to a nearby club. After manipulating their version of a meet cute, she and Javier (for such is his name) proceed to have the best date ever, during which Letty gets totally hammered. They totally lie to each other nonstop through the entire date, but they’re both also having an outstanding time, sparking off one another second by second on multiple levels. They are totally into each other.

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Dinner leads to some smoking hot sex, as it so often does, thank sweet baby Jesus. In the morning, Letty manages to sneak a peek at the information for the hit. She tries to warn the woman who is to be killed, but Javier (Juan Diego Botto) is right behind her and, when she and the victim confront him over a shotgun, he tells the victim that she knows why she’s been targeted even if he doesn’t. It’s here that the victim grabs the shotgun from Letty and holds it on Javier. So clearly, she definitely does know why she’s been targeted. By now, sirens can be heard as they called the cops before confronting the hit man. Javier, mostly unruffled by this chain of events, orders Letty to take the car out front, along with the money in it, and go. Letty, still a work in progress, goes, leaving the other two to whatever will play out.

Shaken by what’s happened, Letty decides to do a swan dive off the wagon, buying up a bunch of meth and washing it down with vodka. First though she calls her parole officer and leaves him a broken message about how she’s giving up and giving in. In the middle of her bender, Javier finds her (making a wildly dramatic entrance). He flushes the rest of her meth down the toilet and tells her that, since she took his money, she now works for him.

That’s just episode one.

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In episode two, Javier forces Letty to play his wife at an exclusive hotel in the Smokey Mountains. He’s on a job and he needs her to play the role. Role-playing is what Letty does best–both on the job and in her life–and she can’t escape the siren song of all the wealthy trappings that surround her, waiting to be plucked. Plus, there’s the fact that Javier will kill her if she tries to run.

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And he absolutely will do this. He might not want to and he might hate doing it, but make no mistake, Javier is more than capable of killing Letty. She knows this and believes this, but she’s also deeply attracted to him and not just sexually, though that continues to flare. It’s like once the light goes on and Javier realizes she’s a thief and a con artist, all the pieces click for him and he really likes the puzzle that falls into place. He doesn’t like the drugs and self-destructive behavior, but he does like the woman he sees is there once Letty gets over and past her own shit. She genuinely wants to be a better person, she just keeps giving up. Javier doesn’t pat her hand and placate by saying, “I know you’re trying,” he tells her “Try harder. You could do if you’d just stop screwing up.”

Javier gets her. He gets all of her. By the time he catches up with her, he knows her entire past, her rap sheet, her sentencing, what made her lose her parental rights, even how many abortions she’s had, for crying out loud. The guy’s information is damn thorough. And when he reads down the laundry list of her crimes, ticking off her life in one line item after another, the despair that engulfs Letty to hear her life encapsulated like that is palpable. When, seconds later, Javier points the gun at her forehead, Letty closes her eyes, waiting to die because, after that list, what really does she have to live for?

Initially, Javier does seem to plan to kill her, but in that moment, he sees something in her that stops him. I think he sees how broken she is and just can’t put her out of her misery. Because he also sees (as does her parole officer, ironically) that she has immense potential to live an extraordinary life if she’d just stop screwing it up. So instead, he kidnaps her and forces her compliance in his next hit.

Letty is drawn to him. She disgusted by and terrified of him, but she’s also keeps coming back to him. She could’ve seen him go to the club and, knowing he was out of the hotel, go back to his room and find the information on the hit. But she follows him instead and forces a meet, then goes to dinner with him and then to bed. She feels that pull too and despite ongoing attempts, can’t shake loose of him. Part of this is because Javier knows she’s a runner and is constantly in her path. He doesn’t want to kill her and more doesn’t want to lose her, and so he puts in considerable effort into keeping on top of her. But this is still a seriously scary dude.

Established as a couple on the 10th anniversary trip, Letty makes friends (as ordered by Javier) with the wife of his mark. She can’t keep herself from lifting a necklace from the woman’s friend, though, and later models it for Javier. They commiserate over the gullibility of the woman and sink more deeply into their role play, spinning out the fiction of how they met ten years prior and how he won her. This leads to some sexy times–like, uncomfortably sensual without being exploitative or extraneous–in the middle of which Javier whispers, “Happy Anniversary, baby,” with a wicked grin. And Letty laughs, full and unabashed, no calculation, because in that moment, they’re still role-playing their fiction, but yet there’s a level on which it’s deeply real, and they both know it. They get it. They get them. (This was also the moment when I was completely done and totally in.)

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Afterwards, he again orders her to return the necklace and he gets pretty damn scary about it too when she bucks, all while still inside her. Yeesh, it’s awful but still so sexy. It’s the dark romance!

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This is Letty’s last straw and she finally bolts, but she’s waylaid out the back of the resort by the mark and his wife who are sneaking a joint. Forced by the role-play to smoke with her new friends, Letty’s still there a moment later when Javier comes around the bend. He immediately hauls Letty in and kisses her, a hard kiss of genuine relief, and tells her sincerely, “I’m so glad you didn’t leave,” which manages to bewilder Letty even more.

Look, I don’t know if or how the show is going to maintain and expand this initial premise going forward, but even if it winds up being Letty and Javier pulling of con jobs and arguing and struggling with each other and with themselves to be better people and what that might mean in the kind of lives they’re leading, I’d totally watch that. Their chemistry alone is compelling, but there’s also the complexity of their characters. We’ve already been given hints that Javier’s murderous business may have a noble patina (though murder for hire is bad! Bad, I say!) and while Letty is an adept thief and grifter (and Meth is bad. Bad, I say!), she often displays an emotional fragility and vulnerability at odds with her history and felonious bent. She wants good things, she wants to do good things, she wants to be a better person, she just has no idea what that means in real life. It’s possible, Javier could help her find out.

The romances–dark or otherwise–that compel me the most as a reader and are at the core of what I want to create as a writer, are ones where the heroine and hero “get” one another like no one else can, and where they love one another not in spite of what may be their worst traits, but almost because of them too. They’re the romances where they ultimately make one another better people (and that being better might have dark tints to it depending on the story) and that intimacy that grows between them enriches who they are and who they can be together. I see those things Letty and Javier in Good Behavior. I can’t wait to see more.

To sum up, here are some quotes from behind the scenes videos on Letty and Javier from their portrayers.

Juan Diego Botto on Javier: When Javier looks at Letty, he sees a beautiful, smart, intelligent, sensitive woman, and he’s absolutely fascinated by her. He’s fallen in love with her. We’re, all the time, fighting. I like you but I hate you. I want to be with you but I want to be alone, I’ve always been alone. That is happening all the time.

Michelle Dockery on Javier and Letty: Him being a hit man is in some ways irrelevant to Letty. She’s not attracted to him because he’s a cold-blooded murderer. It’s not about that, in fact she wants him to stop doing that. It’s more about this connection that they have from the get go that makes him want to be a better person.

Juan Diego Botto on Javier’s role in Letty’s sobriety: He’s very on top of her not to drink, but I think the main role that he plays in her being sober is confidence; I think I make her feel better about herself, and that’s, I think, the bigger role that I play in her recovery.

Good Behavior is on Tuesday night on the TNT channel. Check your local listings. Past episodes are available at TNT.com.

Follow Lady Smut. Dark, light, or in between, we got your romance right here.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities strait is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

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