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In Praise of Italian Men

26 May

By Liz Everly

Sometimes I like to ponder the deeper things in life. What is love? What is the meaning of life? And what, just exactly, is the appeal of Italian men? Hmmm?

I grew up in a heavily-Italian populated part of the U.S. The “Sons of Italy” held fish fries on Fridays and were always participants in any kind of community food festival. For me, my love of Italian men might be traced back to my roots. They were so different from the blond, blue-eyed men in my family. (For me, being different from my family was an attractive quality.) They were dark, earthy, passionate men, bound by family and community. Yet, oh, so mysterious to me and very, very, VERY sexy.

I love their classic bone structure and deep-down love of good food. I love Thai food and Indian food and a variety of other kinds of food—but if I had to choose my favorite kind of “ethnic” food, it would be Italian. It tastes like home to me. In truth, so do Italian men.

Wouldn’t you like a bite of this?

Eduardo Verastegui

Eduardo Verastegui

And then there is the accent. Can you just imagine the sweet whisper and sighs between the sheets, punctuated with those sexy accents? Or maybe lovely Italian words “Bella…” (is there a language more beautiful?)

Fabricio Zunino.

Fabricio Zunino

Of course, Italy’s regions all offer up different kinds of food, traditions, and men (I suppose). When I was researching for the sixth installment of EIGHT LAYS AROUND THE WORLD, which is set in Italy, I focused on Tuscany because this is the white truffle region. I loved learning about the highly trained dogs and the methods of finding the very expensive nuggets. (I have a new Pinterest board Truffle Hunting, check it out.) Giovanni, the male character in this story, is a wealthy truffle hunter who is also, um, quite earthy and delicious. He has interesting thoughts about food. Of course.

“We stopped working at about 5 a.m. and I was tired and hungry when we stepped into the kitchen of the villa. The scent of frying butter and something else…earthy, musky wafted. When they sat a platter of it in front me, I nearly fainted from the richness of the butter, dripping off the truffles.

“This is the best way to have them,” Giovanni told me. “You can do all kind of things with them—dress them up, add special sauces, but those of us who know will tell you. Plain. In butter,” he said with butter dripping down his chin. “It’s like sex. If it’s good, you don’t need, um, embellishment.” ”

Italy Cover*

Click on the cover to go to Amazon and purchase for .99.

Another little bit of wisdom from Giovanni:

“We used to talk about food and cooking, You know, Marko used to say that cooking is about control,” he said. “Eating is about submission. He said that people who really enjoy their food are great in bed.”

So there you have it. Sexy-food wisdom from my hunk of a truffle hunter.

This series has been fun for me to write. I’ve learned a lot about other cultures in my research, and had fun creating my multinational cast of men. Two more installments to go in the series. Check out my Italian men Pinterest board. Yowzah. In the mean time, to celebrate the release of “Italy,” I’m offering the first in the series for free until Friday. Enjoy!

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Click to go to Amazon and download this freebie! Just until Friday!

Got Romance? It’s Hard Writing Modern Lurv

19 Mar
Yes, she goes there. Delancey Stewart's REDEMPTION RED has a former soldier hero with PTSD. Click here to see the book.

Delancey Stewart’s book REDEMPTION RED has a former soldier hero with PTSD.

By Madeline Iva

In romance we need our obstacles.  Our trials by fire, and other torments. It’s true other cultures–take India for example–do romance differently.  They’ll have the hero and heroine get together right away and then they enjoy adventures together…but our Western-style romance evolved to show us characters who prove themselves worthy by struggling through many an obstacle to wind up happy at last.

Some readers might ask: Obstacles to romance? What obstacles?

Exactly my point reader–Exactly!

Tracey Livesay's hero is going for revenge, pure and simple...until it's not.

Tracey Livesay’s hero is going for revenge, pure and simple…until it’s not.

Never before in the history of the world have people been allowed to happily marry so many (one at a time–or even in batches). And who even needs to marry? There’s every shade of Happily For Now going on out there.

Oh it was easy back in the 80’s–the main obstacle was sex.  He wants it and he wants it now.  She knows she can’t give it to him, but…maybe she does? Then there’s tension, temptation, etc. but in the end they do it, she tames him, gets a ring on it, and baby makes three.

Today it’s okay–even expected–that there’s gonna be nookie waaaaaaay before the wedding night. Some would say we’ve come a long way, baby.  But I ask you–what’s a romance author to do?

This is the topic of a romance panel happening at #VALoveFest at Virginia Festival of the Book on Saturday, March 21st at 12pm.  It’s called: THEY LIVED HAPPILY ENOUGH FOR NOW: Challenges to Writing Modern Love with Carey Heywood, Tracey Livesay, Kimberly Kincaid and moderated by Delancey Stewart.

Don't forget to read the story in the afterward. Click to buy.

Don’t forget to read the story in the afterward. It made me cry, cry, cry. Click to buy.

I first thought of this panel while reading two books: Heywood’s BETTER and Stewart’s REDEMPTION RED. Heywood’s afterwards made me cry.  Really hard.  I read it first and then I went back and started the book at the beginning — only to find more sad when a beloved aunt is dying. (Carey, you’re killing me here.)

Heywood is an indie author and so (because she can) she starts out her book sad and climbs up from there–whew!  Stewart’s book, meanwhile, has a ex-soldier hero with PTSD, which is curable, treatable, and I oh so badly wanted Stewart’s hero to recover quickly.

Some people might say there are still *plenty* of obstacles out there — AIDS, cancer, deformities, environmental causes, political corruption, vampirism — vast, serious, deadly, grim and awful things. Just pick one why doncha?

I remind the reader that romances are what Joanna Bourne coined *ahem* Happiness Machines.  I think she’s right.  We read for uplift, for time away from all the truly wretched and horrible, some of which may be going on in our own lives.  We need a break, people! We’re carrying the world on our shoulders here.

And what if you don’t want to read about vampires 24/7?

Well, here are some people who’ve figured out some alternatives to insurmountable obstacles:

You wanna talk sad? The real life story in the afterward of Heywood's book BETTER makes me cry, cry, cry...

Because she can. Indie authors have the ability to mess around with modern love — and with Heywood, it works.

THE NORA ROBERTS MAGIC TOUCH—The first Nora Roberts book I ever read was from her Brides Quartet series — VISION IN WHITE. VISION IN WHITE starts off in the beautiful garden of a beautiful house where some little girls are playing ‘here comes the bride’. Oh, the ironic twist–the little bride’s mother and father are just about to divorce, the perfect childhood is about to be lost for forever.  So sad! But let’s be real–not too sad.  Nora stays within the strict bounds of wistfulness and has laughed all the way to the bank as a result.

THE KRISTIN HIGGINS KILLER MOVES–I like Kristin Higgins romances! She’s a little funnier than Nora Robers.  Her sad stuff is also little bit sharper.  We’re talking family rejection here, big time.  Like your parents blame you for your sister drowning–and they never get over it.  Or your mother up and abandons you in your teens then when you meet her umpteen years later–she’s still not sorry.  It’s heartbreaking (sniff).  But wait–that’s what wins me over.  It’s in the past.  Higgins characters can’t have enough room in their hearts for forever love until they clear cut some of the old heartbreak. Which is hard to do — which is why it takes up a whole book.

Not sad, but mad.  Kincaid's book has a heroine getting over her asshat ex.

Not sad, but mad. Kincaid’s heroine is getting over her asshat ex. Click to buy.

THE JENNIFER CRUSIE SECRET SAUCE is simple.  There’s a mystery going on that must be solved/exposed to the light of day before we can get our HEA.  Okay, Jennifer Crusie readers–you and I both know that’s not really what the main obstacle is.  The main obstacle to any classic Jennie Crusie romance is the orphaned mongrel dog.  Abandoned, kinda ugly, and giving forth unconditional adoration–Crusie’s books are full of them–each one with big sad needy eyes that devour all the heroine’s attention.  Sure she’ll throw in a sick kitten from time to time, but it’s not until doggie is all better that the heroine can look up from knee height to discover the hero patiently waiting for her (because he gets it–he knows doggie comes first) so they can both fall deeply in lurv.

I happen to relish romances that show a bit of relationship ugly.  Or even some…revenge? Kimberly Kincaid and Tracey Livesay deal with the uglies in their books.  Kincaid has an asshat ex the heroine has to deal with and move on from, while Livesay’s hero wants to exact his pound of flesh.

Name the rising problems we face today: toxic bachelors, or serial monogamists married to their work –these are obstacles people face within themselves, not on the outside. So…why are there are no therapy couches in romance novels? Why no couples counseling? Is there an unwritten law for romance novel plots written down somewhere–Thou shalt not seek analysis?

THEY LIVED HAPPILY ENOUGH FOR NOW--is a panel on the challenges of writing modern love. Click to go to the website.

THEY LIVED HAPPILY ENOUGH FOR NOW–is a panel on the challenges of writing modern love. Click to go to the website.

Wanna know the answer? Come to Love Fest at Virginia Festival of the Book this weekend and we’ll tell you.

#VALoveFest, Saturday & Sunday at Virginia Festival of the Book = awesome sauce.

Meanwhile, follow us at Lady Smut and get our unconditional lurv.

Happy Thanksgiving! & A FREE READ-Cherries After Dinner

27 Nov

By Madeline Iva

IMG_2364Lady Smut wishes you and your family a warm THANKSGIVING holiday with all that your heart desires — food, family, and good spirits.

Or we wish you a rousing political protest against the celebration that led to a genocide of indigenous American people–if that’s more your thing.

Anyhoo, here are two treats for you — some popular blog posts from the past

AND

a free read! — A little vanilla romance story for all our dear followers. We’ll be back next week to bring you all the smexy smut that’s fit to blog.  xo, Madeline

Would You Get Out Alive? Bear Grylls Is the Survivalist of My Dreams

Seriously Stacked: Extremely Curvy Women

Mr. Unattainable: Icy, Emotionally With-holding Heroes–& Why I Love Them So

Fire Crotch: Curse of The Red Hot Red Head

Sexsomnia!

F*** My Brains Out: Why Smart Guys Are So Sexy

Last, but not least–here is FREE READ just for you.  Cherries After Dinner — ENJOY!

It’s My Birthday!

4 Aug tumblr_makp53eFHx1rp9f1z

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Today is my birthday. Commence the celebrations! And there was much rejoicing throughout the land.

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Was that too self-aggrandizing? Eh, sue me. I’m a Leo; we live for this center-of-the-universe stuff. There’s no humble pie on my birthday, just lots and lots of icing on the cake.

While I’m deliberately losing track of which number margarita I’m up to, you can enjoy a few of my favorite posts from the last few months…possibly even for the first time.

Looking…and Finding…a Whole Lotta Trouble With Victoria Dahl.

There’s still time to enter the giveaway for a free digital copy of Victoria Dahl’s new release, Looking for Trouble, by leaving a comment on this great interview with the lady herself. And you can double dip with this interactive review of her new novella Fanning the Flames too. Two for one!

Sexy Is as Sexy Does

I enjoyed writing this post about writing sex scenes. I’ll never have it down right–no writer is ever finished learning craft–but it was a good exercise in process. Plus I love posting the GIFs.

The Privilege of a Woman’s Pleasure

I’m gonna let you click through to figure that one out.

tumblr_mizbt3o5cq1qfwtcjo1_250Cooking Up Romance

I remain fascinated and constantly tempted by this great romance review blog where Elisabeth Lane reviews romance novels while cooking up either meals mentioned in the novel or a menu inspired either by the novels’ plots. characters, or settings. She takes a mean photo too as though you could lick her concoctions straight off the screen. Yummy.

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Beyond Everything

The Beyond series of erotic urban fantasy romance continues to entrap me in it’s pages. I regularly harass the writing team of Bree Bridges and Donna Herren who together make up Kit Rocha about when the next O’Kane book or novella will be available to consume. In this post, I tell you why.

tumblr_lnmfub1j8S1qhcv4fFeels Like the First Time

I’m working on the second book in my three-book series, but it feels like the first time for a number of reasons. Plus an excerpt!

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Follow Lady Smut. We’ll make you feel like every day is your birthday.

party

 

Postscript: Have some Gandy Candy. Because it’s my birthday! And I have a massive sweet tooth.

tumblr_m6er196Nas1ru-3 david_gandy-1582988

Cooking Up Romance: Q&A With Elisabeth Lane

30 Jun DSC_0008

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

I was on The Twitter the other day–Surprise!–and stumbled across a convo between romance writers Jeffe Kennedy and Amy Jo Cousins and a new-to-me reviewer Elisabeth Lane. Being naturally nosy to occasionally stalkerish-lengths, I glommed in and checked out Ms. Lane’s review site. And man, am I glad I did.

Elisabeth Lane writes a unique romance novel review blog called Cooking Up Romance where she matches romance novels with recipes from her archives, cooks ’em up, and describes the process in detail while including a review for the romance novel that inspired her in the first place. Pretty cool, right? I thought so and asked Elisabeth if she’d chat with me a bit about herself and her site.

Warning: The following interview could make you very hungry and possibly add a few pounds by association. It’s not our fault. Really.

How long have you been reading romance? Do you remember your first romance novel?

I picked up my first romance novel when I was in the 8th grade. I was reading a lot of fantasy at the time and I think I mistook a Julie Garwood novel with a kilted Highlander on the front of it for a book with magic in it. I was just too young to know any better. I don’t remember which specific novel it was, but I was hooked from then on. I read a lot of Catherine Coulter, Nora Roberts and 25 cent used Harlequins in those days.

Well, there’s magic in romance, right? Works for me! What is your cooking background? 

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Honey and Wine Poached Apricots for Lisa Hendrix’s Immortal Warrior. Click on photo to buy the book!

I don’t have any formal culinary training, but I started cooking when I was 8 years old. At first it was just oatmeal, muffins, and spaghetti, but by the time I hit high school, I was setting brandy on fire and working through 25-step terrine recipes. I guess I just have an aptitude for it.

I would say so! What made you start Cooking Up Romance? Were you inspired by any particular book or event?

I started Cooking Up Romance because I had been reading a couple of other romance blogs for about six months and just loved the community I saw there. Jackie Horne’s Romance Novels for Feminists is what inspired me most. I decided that I had to start my own blog just so I’d stop writing blog posts in her comments section.

What first made you connect cooking to romance novels?

My great-grandmother was one of those stereotypical Sicilian women who would ask us when we came to visit if we’d eaten. It didn’t matter what we said, the answer was always, “I’ll just fix you a little something,” usually resulting in at least a three-course meal. I understood very early on that cooking for people was how you told them you love them. I don’t write reviews of books I didn’t enjoy so each one I do is like a public mini fan-letter.

It’s also easy for me to get into cooking ruts. I never saw a recipe with bourbon, bacon, or salted caramel I didn’t like so picking foods from books forces me to branch out. Plus, I’m a Virgo so I need structure for my creativity. Choosing a food from a book gives me lines to color in and stretches my skills when I can’t find a recipe for something I’ve come across and want to reproduce.

What has been your favorite recipe discovery so far? Are there any funny failure stories to share?

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My favorite recipe thus far was probably the Nutella Crème Brulee I made for Ava Lovelace’s Lumberfox. It was the perfect combination of a food that actually appeared in the book with a twist put on it by an unrelated element of the story. Plus, Nutella Crème Brulee.

What’s not to love about that?

I used to have cooking failures all the time, particularly in the context of dating. The first time I cooked for my college boyfriend, I accidentally put a plate on a hot electric burner. When I touched the plate, it exploded and gave me a third degree burn. These days I have many fewer failures and they tend not to be quite as spectacular. Though about a year and a half ago I did ruin a pan the first time I tried to make caramel. And the second time, I caught the stove on fire. I’ve mastered that now though. I can make caramel half asleep and more than half drunk.

More than half drunk? There’s a story there for sure.

Not every book has a food theme, yet you don’t restrict your reviews to only food-related novels. What is your process for extrapolating recipes or choosing one from your archive for non-food related novels? Do you prefer/seek out food-themed novels?

The food-related books are easy. I’m working on a review for Jeffe Kennedy’s novel Ruby right now, which features the chef of a five-star restaurant. And Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Thief will be up soon too. Those two provide an embarrassment of inspiration. I could cook for weeks on those books. It’s rare that a book has no food in it at all, but for the ones that aren’t totally food-focused like those are, I can usually come up with something based on the time period or the setting. I mostly just use the books for inspiration in either case.

Today’s post, about Patricia Gaffney’s Wild at Heart, is a good example of a book with almost no food in it at all. I chose the scene where Michael gives Sydney a dead fish tied with a ribbon. I just imagined her handing it over to their cook. Since it’s a pretty high-class household, I pulled a menu from an old New York hotel’s website and settled on a standard French preparation for a white fish. So inspiration comes from all sorts of places.

What are your favorite genres? Do you have a preference?

I mostly read romance. I have a bias toward historicals, but since joining Twitter, I’ve met so many writers in other sub-genres that I just love. Even ones like New Adult and paranormals, which wouldn’t generally appeal to me, have their attractions thanks to the wonderful women I’ve met online. If I ever want to branch into M/M, for example, I know just who to ask for recommendations. Honestly, I’m like the virgin who just discovered sex: I’ve become a total sub-genre slut.  I still read fantasy too, but I’m much pickier about those and tend to confine myself to certain authors.

I learned about you on Twitter because I live there, so it was perfect to find your Twitter post and see your enthusiasm. How has Twitter and social media in general affected your reviews/blog?

I started up with Twitter at about the same time as I started the blog. It’s also how I learned about Goodreads, which has been revolutionary for me in terms of organizing my reading. I almost instantly met people like Shari Slade and Amy Jo Cousins who were crazy welcoming to the newbie. I felt like a part of the romance community straight away. Since none of my real-life friends read romance, it was awesome just to have a bunch of smart, funny, like-minded people to talk to. I was in marketing for years so it’s not like I was new to social media, but this was my first time forming anything like a real personal connection. It’s addictive! Also, great for book recommendations, as I mentioned in that post. I probably get 3 to 5 a day!

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Bourbon Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Buns before…

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…and after

Your photographs belong in a food magazine! They are so gorgeous and rich.* Are you an amateur photographer? How do you keep your kitchen so neat while cooking? While cooking is not my forté, I have a yen for kitchen gadgets. Do you have a favorite cooking gadget?

It cracks me up when people compliment my photos. My husband bought me a DSLR for my birthday last year so I do have a really nice camera. I also shoot with a lens that has a really shallow depth of field, which makes the backgrounds blurry. Hence why my kitchen looks clean! Basically I just wait for the sun to come out and then stand on a chair. That’s the sum total of my photographic expertise.

My husband is the only reason I ever have clean dishes. If he doesn’t come home from work to a sink full of them, he’s thinks I must be ill or something. Plus we make sure that the counters are clean and the sink is clean before we go to bed every night. It’s just a habit.

I’m not really a gadget person. I’ve internalized TV chef Alton Brown’s abhorrence for kitchen unitaskers. My favorite tools are probably my plastic Birki kitchen clogs and a little vintage brass box in the shape of a crab that holds my rings when I’m dealing with things like fish and sticky pastry dough.

beef pasties

Beef pasties from Elisabeth’s review of Hard Day’s Knight by Katie MacAlister, the book with which she hooked her husband on romance novels. Click on the photo to buy the book!

I loved the post of how you got your husband to read romance novels. Can you share a little more about any insight you’ve discovered now that you have a man’s perspective (and a positive one at that!) on romance novels?

My husband is a sucker for a good story and the best romance novels really deliver on that score. The only things that have annoyed him about the books he’s read are things like the character who is never seen working out having perfect abs. I think the biggest change I’ve seen is in my own reading habits. I’ve become a lot more critical of books that I previously just tore through and then forgot about. I’m very selective about what I give him and in the process, it’s made me more selective about what I read.

Food can be intensely erotic especially in romance novels. Have you ever found one particular food to have unexpected erotic qualities?

I think any food, lovingly prepared, has erotic qualities. Though things like whipped cream, chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne, and oysters have erotic caché, a grilled cheese sandwich when you’re hungry or a bowl of chicken noodle soup when you’re sick really spells true love.

Thanks to Elisabeth Lane for joining us on LadySmut! Be sure to check out Elisabeth’s amazing culinary creations and in-depth romance novel reviews on Cooking Up Romance.

 

Follow Lady Smut. We’re cooking with gas.

 

*All photographs are courtesy of Elisabeth Lane and can be seen, along with many other equally delicious images, on Cooking Up Romance.

Tied Up in the Tangled Web … and Loving It

30 Mar
In life, we all wear a blank nametag, to be filled in by those who come to know us.

In life, we all wear a blank nametag, to be filled in by those who come to know us.

By Alexa Day

If I’m doing my job correctly, my boss thinks that butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth.

It’s probably more correct to say that if I’m doing things right, he has no fact-based reason to think I am anything other than the competent woman with the frumpy clothes. I don’t know what he’s really thinking. I could drive myself crazy trying to figure that out, but I bet the trip would be as enjoyable as it would be brief.

Earlier this year, I had a little fun with the proper care and feeding of a secret identity. If I sit still long enough to really think about it, I have to admit that it is pretty cool to have a double life as an erotica writer. If I’m really looking for a good time on a slow work day, though, I start thinking about the secrets other people are keeping. That’s the sort of thing I do wherever I go — as a writer, I’m quick to make up a backstory for all the strangers who cross my path. My day job is a real gold mine for this sort of thing.

I’m convinced that my line of work is a magnet for folks who don’t fit the traditional career model, and I’ve met some fascinating people on the job. Truck drivers, former cops, musicians, you name it. We’re all doing the best we can in a conservative industry in a conservative part of the country. We’re all in this weird, gossipy, judgmental Petri dish of personalities, and we all spend a certain amount of time wearing our Competent Employee masks so that we can afford the secret lives we love so much.

Hell, some of us might even be wearing the Tough But Fair Boss mask to support a secret life as —

See? I was just trying to avoid thinking about that, wasn’t I? I need to be able to look at all the people in my web of command (we do not have anything as linear as a chain at my job) without wondering about what else they might be up to. I know my limits. Once I start thinking about what my bosses are doing outside the office, I know I’m going to have a hard time stopping, and that’s where awkwardness really starts. It starts in the mind, along with the struggle to keep it there.

Maintaining a double life isn’t all roses and cake frosting. (Or cake-frosting roses, which are the best thing ever.) It’d really be nice to tell an alumni magazine, or a job interviewer, or a date about my secret identity. It’d be nice to tell them about both my names or that the trip I took a few months ago was actually a conference with demonstrations. It’d be nice to use some of my publishing credits on my resume.

Maybe someday.

Today, I can keep my mind busy with making sure the boss thinks butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth. And maybe I can plan another one of those innocent trips. That always starts my work day with a smile.

Like Honey (eBook)

You want to add a little secret spice to your life? You need to check out Liz Everly’s Like Honey. It’s coming out on April 3, it features a hot hero with a secret, and it opens with some sizzling outdoor action at a masked ball. It’s enough to make you wonder about the things other people are keeping under wraps, right?

Have a peek at it. Get in line for it.

And get to following Lady Smut. We are full of surprises around here.

 

More, More, More in the Twenty-One-Four

5 Jan

By Alexa Day

I take a dim view of most New Year’s resolutions. Every year, I see lots of hoopla about what people are resolving to do, and then, about three weeks later, there’s a wave of shaming about how many people have already returned to their pre-resolution lives. But who can blame them? The average resolution sounds like a lot of work! Think of all the deprivation involved in losing weight, going on a budget, abandoning alcohol, smoking, fatty foods. No thanks! This year, I’ve decided I want more. More of everything, really.

That’s a tall order, I know. Let’s start with these three things.

M/M Romance. If you’ve been hanging out here for a while, you know that I am new to male-male romances. I confessed a little while ago that I had never read one and worse, that I had no real reason for not having read one. Well, C. Margery Kempe popped my m/m cherry (and if you can think of a less appropriate turn of phrase, please do let me know what it is) with MAN CITY: MARTIN, which I gobbled down just before the holidays. I usually shy away from the holiday stories because they tend to lean toward the home-and-hearth-and-2.5-kids themes, but Martin is a man after my own heart. He’s single during the Most Couples-y Time of the Year, and he does indulge in some sweet longing for a relationship like the one his friends Scott and James share. He’s also got some sexy thoughts about the two of them, and that’s where the real fun begins. Martin’s story is hot and playful and laugh-out-loud funny (I’ve been looking at nativity sets differently ever since). As I read, I felt the familiar inclination to choose between the two of them. Then I realized that not only could I have both Scott and James, but that Martin himself was in the sweet-spicy mix as well. A sexy story featuring not one … not two … but three tempting men — that’s the kind of abundance I demand from my 2014! I can’t wait to see what else the world of m/m (and m/m/m, of course) romance has to offer me.

You know, I'm not altogether sure it's even possible for pleasure to be guilty.

You know, I’m not altogether sure it’s even possible for pleasure to be guilty.

Swirl TV. Last year was definitely a hot one for the black woman/white man interracial action on TV. Olivia and Fitz have been smoldering away for three seasons now on Scandal, and now there’s an even less appropriate relationship between Candace Young and Jim Cryer on The Haves and the Have Nots. On top of that, I’m enjoying a healthy measure of sexual tension between Abbie and Ichabod on Sleepy Hollow. But deep in my rational mind, I’ve had to face that all three of these pairings come with a tiny little complication – the men are married. Sure, Olivia’s working around that, and Candace doesn’t seem to care, but I find I like Ichabod’s wife, Katrina, so much that I have mixed feelings about his getting together with Abbie. What to do? How about even more interracial hotness without quite so much of the adultery? I mean, I like the emotional workout generated by the moral situations we already have here. But in the spirit of more, I’d also like to just sit down and enjoy a more guilt-free sexy. Now, I admit that there may already be something out there that fits the bill precisely; I missed an entire season of Scandal before I found out about Olivia and Fitz. I’m counting on you, friends of Lady Smut, to clue me in if I’m clueless. I’m also quietly thinking about possible romances for Michonne on The Walking Dead, but that might deserve its own post.

Woman-friendly porn. Porn for women has been around for a pretty long time, I know. I know that it’s intended to fill the gaps (ha ha, heyo!) left vacant by “traditional” porn, so it’s got more storyline, more emotional content … which means more for some female viewers (okay, for me) to fast forward through. I’m not really coming to porn for a storyline, although, with apologies to Evelyn Beatrice Hall, I will defend to the death the rights of those women who do. I just think that porn is the fast food of sexual content. If I’m looking for an exquisitely sensual experience, 360 degrees of stimulation, I’m probably going to turn to a nice, hot book. If I just want the fries, I’m going for porn. I’m encouraged to hear about Dusk! TV, a Dutch television network dedicated to woman-oriented porn, or “porna.” (You don’t need me to say that all the Dusk! links are NSFW, right?) Dusk! relies on a panel of women dedicated to exploring and defining porna; the panel’s ratings determine what goes on the air. Alas, Dusk! isn’t available outside the Netherlands just yet, but I’m content to check out the Duskpanel’s research results (which indicate that I’m not the only girl fast-forwarding through all that storyline) until the network arrives here in the U.S. later this year. I imagine I could also pass the time with some gay porn; I’ve become convinced that it has more of what I like from porn and less of what irritates me. I’m not sure how long I’ll have to wait for Dusk!, and delayed gratification is, I think, at odds with this year’s quest for abundance.

What do you need more of this year? Let me know in the comments. And be sure to follow Lady Smut. We’ve got more of what you’re looking for.

Idle Penises and Hotel Sex: A Whirlwind 2013

29 Dec

By Alexa Day

Three months ago today, I joined the crew here at Lady Smut, and what a sexy whirlwind it has been! So far, I’ve been tempted by the lush pleasures of Liz Everly’s CRAVINGS and lost my m/m/m virginity to the holiday hotties in C. Margery Kempe’s MAN CITY: MARTIN. I can’t wait to see what seductive adventures lie under the covers in 2014!

I’ll be back with a shiny new post next Sunday. Until then, check out some of my favorites from the archives of my colleagues.

My year-end reflections reveal that I have been writing a lot of hotel sex lately. Madeline Iva describes its luxurious – or slightly scuzzy – appeal.

It seems to have all the things I like in porn and none of the things I don’t. Elizabeth Shore’s strong case for gay porn definitely has me curious!

Spicy hot with just a touch of sweetness ... Martin's just what your winter holiday needs.

Spicy hot with just a touch of sweetness … Martin’s just what your winter holiday needs.

You know what they say about idle hands? Yeah, idle penises get into more trouble. Check out C. Margery Kempe’s post. Then make sure your male loved ones aren’t sitting around with nothing to do.

The mission here at Lady Smut is to blend the sensual with the intellectual, right? Well, Kiersten Hallie Krum has two deep questions for you. Ever played against your type? And why would you choose the vampire when you could have the werewolf? Get to blending.

Cravings

Get your hands warm with Sanj and Sasha …

Liz Everly’s work is like that beautiful park in the traffic circle where food, sex, and exotic travel intersect. But since this time of year puts me in the mood for shopping (and toys), I can’t help but turn to this brief guide to embracing the inner Domme.

So what’s your pleasure? We’ve got plenty to choose from, but don’t risk missing out on something new. Follow Lady Smut now and get ready for a brand new year.

Seduction Served Tableside: Food Gets Sexy

8 Dec
Photo by Smathur80

Photo by Smathur80

By Alexa Day

On our way to Romanticon this past October, I pointed out a place called En Su Boca to my favorite road trip buddy, my mom.

“That place used to be a pornographic bookstore,” I said.

“Interesting,” she said. “Is it still?”

“No … although I guess it could be, couldn’t it? With a name like En Su Boca.”

Mom gave me the way-to-go-grasshopper look and went back to her book.

That sensual promise – in your mouth – lends itself equally to pleasures culinary and sexual. The mouth is central to four of our five senses; only sight is inaccessible to it. And yet our mouths water when we see something stimulating, no? A spectacular meal is the most sensual experience a woman can have with her clothes on. The fragrances and tastes, hushed conversation with a date, devouring both food and handsome companion with one’s eyes – it’s easy to elevate the basic dinner date to the stuff of legend. Today, as we kick off a week-long feast of sexiness celebrating the release of Liz Everly’s CRAVINGS, I’m looking at three ways to take seduction tableside.

Dessert first … or dessert only. If we’re focusing solely on the pleasurable things we can do with our mouths, then why do we need anything other than dessert? Dessert’s only purpose is to make you feel nice. I think that’s reason enough by itself to have dessert, but if you have to be responsible, then eat dessert slowly. Let it melt in your mouth. See what it tastes like with the wine or that nice, strong coffee. Play-fight over the last morsel of it. Good male friends tell me that they will only eat dessert if they’re on a date. So in a way, you’re doing him a favor by leaving a little room for something sweet.

Finger foods. A full meal, consumed without utensils, strips away all the formality that can keep two consenting adults from really getting to know each other. You’ll get to watch each other’s hands and each other’s mouths at the same time. I think that’s the real reasons oysters are such an aphrodisiac. After checking out his long fingers cradling the shell, the motion of his mouth as it embraces the oyster, it’s easy to start imagining his other talents, right? Plus the mingling of liquor and mignonette with the supple flesh of the oyster – yeah, don’t get me started. You’ll know you’re in good company if you feel okay licking your fingers. You’re in great company if you feel okay licking each other’s fingers.

Baking. I dated a baker once. You know how men used to invite women to see their etchings? This one told me that at any given time, he had bread dough ready for the oven. Any time was bread time. Then he showed me a picture of some everything bagels all ready to be baked, but honestly, he had me at sourdough. The oven kept the house warm and very, very fragrant, and of course, while all those wonderful things were baking, we had to find some way to occupy the time. What a wonderful time that was. In my mind, I can still see the dusting of flour on his beautiful hands.

Why fight CRAVINGS, when you could lie back and enjoy them?

Why fight CRAVINGS, when you could lie back and enjoy them?

If the successful seduction engages all the senses along the winding road to ultimate pleasure, then hot culinary romances make the best kind of sense! Be sure to score your very own copy of CRAVINGS. The blurb alone is making me hungry.

And do follow Lady Smut. You won’t go hungry.

Five Gay Men I Lust After

3 Dec

By Liz Everly

I confess. Like blog sisters Alexa and Kiersten, I don’t read m/m romances. But I love C. Margery Kempe’s writing—I will read Man City: Martin. It’s odd that I don’t read m/m. After all, there are so many gay men that I lust after. In my real life, I have several guy friends who are gay—all of whom are attractive, but we’re friends, so I don’t really lust after them. But there are several gay celebs that I’d not kick out of bed should the opportunity arise. Grin. Feast your eyes on my top five gay hotties way out of my reach–for more than one reason.

1. Ricky Martin. Who was not heartbroken when he finally came out? Oh. My. God.  I love to watch him move.

2. Andrew Scott. Sweet and naughty boy. Looks like he needs a spanking, doesn’t he? Me-ow.

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3. Matthew Bomer. Seriously perfect.

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4. Alan Cumming. Artsy-fartsy and very appealing. Okay, so he’s not “gay,” he’s very upfront about being bisexual. Which for some reason makes him even more appealing.

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5. Anderson Cooper. I ran into Anderson on the streets in New York City once and he is absolutely gorgeous. Left me breathless.

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While you’re lusting after these hot guys and before it gets too hot in here (fanning myself), hop on over to my blog for the Hungry Hearts Holiday Blog Hop. Fourteen culinary-romance authors are dishing up cookie recipes and fabulous prizes. And for you bargain hunters out there, my first romance SAFFRON NIGHTS is now only $1.99 at Amazon and B & N and EVERYWHERE. Saffron

But before you go, don’t forget to subscribe to Lady Smut.

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