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Bang-able Villains

12 Apr

Hello Lovely Readers! Elizabeth Shore is away today. Instead, we have a happily edgy post from the amazing and kick-ass Saranna DeWylde here.  I asked Saranna to do a guest post after I saw this exchange on facebook:

Yes! Exactly!

So I asked Saranna to talk to us about why we women are sometimes (often?) a bit more interested in a really good villain than they are the hero.

I absolutely love a well-constructed villain. I don’t mean an anti-hero, I like them, but this post is all about the E-ville. Is that a misspelling? Not at all. Say it out loud, roll it around in your mouth. You’re not a good villain unless you have the mustache-twirling pronunciation. Maybe even a bit of goatee stroking. You know what I mean?

No, I didn’t. 

When I first think about favorite villains, Hannibal Lecter comes to mind, but he’s not really a villain anymore, is he? In the television show, he’s more of an anti-hero.

 

Is he??? I haven’t seen this show, but I’ve heard so much about it…Check out the preview above.

What especially interests me about villains and their bangability is societal reaction and what we deem acceptably attractive in people. No one thinks anything about me saying I’d like give Darth Vader a run for his money except to say that maybe his parts don’t work in that suit. I maintain he could probably give really great orgasms with The Force. A little breath play, and pretty much whatever else he wanted you to feel. (Is it getting hot in here, or is just me?)

Old Darth does it for Saranna, Kylo Ren is all tortured and interesting to a new generation.

If I say I thought Paul Spector was hot from The Fall, I’d be one of those twisted girls into serial killers. But I know real serial killers. I was a prison guard. I hung out with them for eight hours a day, sometimes sixteen. None of them look like Jamie Dornan. And none of them were ever the least bit attractive to me.

Which is not to suggest that because someone is physically handsome in real life he’s NOT a serial killer….Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha

(Incidentally, I didn’t crush on Jamie Dornan until The Fall.)

Fictional evil is attractive. There’s a nod to everything that’s not the ideal. That’s not a princess. That’s not perfect. And part of us wants them to win because that means we can too. A charismatic villain makes so much easier to acknowledge our own sins, see our own dark places, and we can empathize with him in fiction, because we don’t have to own our massive flaws for real.

I find when a hero holds up his virtues it’s much harder for me to say, yes…that’s me too. The writers of Luther posited through show dialogue that women specifically were attracted to evil men because we were able to claim some of their power for our own. There might be something to that.

While we’re at it, I kind of have a type. The Devil. Almost anyone can play The Devil, and that’s an insta-girl boner. Hell, this could probably comprise most of my list. Apologies to Tom Ellis in Lucifer, though. He’s hot, but he started out an antihero so he doesn’t make my list. So pretty, though.

Tom Ellis as Lucifer

With that said, let’s open our Slam Books to

Top Eleven Villains I’d Bang.

Not ten, because I’m being contrary in honor of our villains. (After, you better share yours, too, or I’m not going to share my slap bracelets.)

In no particular order:

Darth Vader– As I said before, he could do some crazy shit with The Force. I just keep thinking about that choke hold. Amirite?

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), American Psycho– That might actually be bad sex. I’m not so much down for the coat hanger and he’s so arrogant, he’s probably terrible in bed. I think I really just want to pet his shoulders and his hair after we eat at Dorsia.

Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), The Fall– Well, I mean. C’mon.

Paul Spector in The Fall, aka Jamie Dornan

Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek), From Dusk Till Dawn– Everyone wants to let her bite them. Everyone. She’s single-minded in her approach to food and any other pleasures. I support this wholeheartedly.

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), The Wolf of Wall Street– I’m not sure if it’s the part where he says, “the book, motherfucker) or if it’s because he’s unrepentant about what a piece of shit he is, and I don’t know if I’d think the real JB was attractive, because he did actually hurt people. But his characterization? Yeah, I’d hit that.

Lizzie Borden (Christian Ricci) Lizzie Borden series– Here’s a woman who isn’t taking shit from anyone. She knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to take it. Whatever the cost.

Viggo Mortenson, The Prophecy– His portrayal of the Big D is one of the best ever. He’s not meant to be attractive, yet, somehow still is. He’s horrible, and awful and I love every second of it. “Little Tommy Daggett. How I loved listening to your sweet prayers every night. And then you would jump into bed, so afraid that I was under there. And I was!” Really, do you promise? Please?

Gabriel Byrne, End of Days– Gimme. (I also dug him as the priest in Stigmata, but he was sort of a hero there. Kinda. It doesn’t count.)

Mark Pellegrino, Supernatural– He’s almost an anti-hero. But not quite. Just enough… I love his character so much.

Sam Neil, The Omen Part 6400-I don’t know. I just can’t help myself.

Bradley James, The Omen TV series-He doesn’t want to be bad, he just is. And when he finally owns it? Boo yeah. Bring it, handsome!

Anyway, those are my eleven for the moment. My list is ever-changing, but I’d love to know which villains you’d like to lock in your bedroom. Tell me in the comments below.

Want more Saranna? Check her out on facebook, or sign up for her newsletter at her website. Tomorrow I’m responding more to Saranna’s post — check it out!

And follow us at Lady Smut where we’ll happily explore your dark side all night long.

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

Anything and Everything We Want: Rebecca Brooks Examines Surprising Desires in Make Me Beg

21 Mar

No need to beg for it. Click right here and buy it!

By Rebecca Brooks

When it comes to desire, books and movies can make it look easy. You see the one, and you know.

Unless you have no idea.

Or you know what you want, sometimes, but then other times it’s not so clear. Or part of you wants something and the other part says, “No way.” Who wins the battle of head versus heart? Should you listen to the voice that’s shouting, “You can’t have that!” Or is it better to lock Lady Responsible in the basement for the night? And why do we say no to ourselves so much, anyway?

In Make Me Beg, bartender Mackenzie swears up and down that she’s never going to fall for the ripped and rugged chef she’s worked with for three years. Connor may be gorgeous, funny, and smart as a whip, but he’s the love ‘em and leave ‘em type, and Mack’s got her reasons for staying away. She sticks to her guns—until the two are given the opportunity to design their dream bar/restaurant, and late nights working together make it hard to remember why she’s so determined to say no.

Early on, an explosive argument leads to some of the hottest sex of their lives. In the morning, they both decide their transgression can be chalked up to stress, hormones, and too many hours at work. It’s never going to happen again.

But then Connor proceeds to blindfold Mack, bind her wrists, and feed her a picnic. Yeah, I know, that’s not where you thought that sentence was going. But the scene really does start off—I won’t say innocent, because everything between these two is crackling with sexual tension. But the point is to get Mack to taste his proposed menu for their new bar/restaurant without letting other distractions get in the way.

But it turns out that no matter what they tell themselves, desire doesn’t fit into neat little boxes, easily compartmentalized and pushed to the side. It’s not long before Connor moves from feeding Mack to putting…other things in her mouth. Mack, blindfolded and bound, hears him undo his belt buckle. Then the sound of him unzipping his pants. She licks her lips, and that makes Connor lose it. He commands her to get on her knees. Mack hears the edge in his voice and thinks:

Oh, fuck, that was hot. Was she allowed to find that hot?

Could she be independent, wear shut-the-fuck-up boots behind the bar, and still be slayed by such a command?

It’s a question I’ve asked before, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one. Mack is strong, independent, capable, and not at all passive. She certainly doesn’t hesitate to give Connor a piece of her mind the rest of the time, which is why he has to hogtie her for a picnic in the first place. So is it “okay” for her to be turned on by Connor’s command?

In other words, can she be strong, independent, capable, and sexual? Is she allowed to be excited by something that could be thought of as passive or degrading, i.e. being commanded to get on her knees? Could that be empowering instead? And is it okay if she likes it, no matter what the answer is?

I wish I could say exactly where these questions come from, so I’d have a better idea of how to move past the limitations they stick us with. But it’s hard to discount a lifetime of social pressure women face to be good but not too good (a prude), and to please men but not too much (a slut). We’re supposed to make ourselves sexually available, but we have to be careful not to act like we like it too much. Really, are women allowed to enjoy anything guilt-free? (According to television, the answer is salads, non-fat yogurt, and doing laundry. Thanks, but I’ll pass.)

Mack has to work twice as hard to make it in a male-dominated field like bartending. She practically raises herself after her mother dies, finds her own way in the world, and has now worked her way up to become a co-owner of her own bar/restaurant. Mack survives by being smart and always staying one step ahead. She’s pretty much kicking patriarchy’s ass in her killer black boots.

So no wonder it throws her off to get on her knees for this man. She’s not just worried about the usual BS that she’ll be judged or denigrated by society, her friends, and most importantly, herself, if she winds up another notch on Connor’s belt. She’s wondering whether she’ll still be the same powerful woman she aspires to be if she submits to him and likes it.

Anne Calhoun’s Liberating Lacey is a great book, but Lacey’s genuinely upset after she and Hunter role play a forced-sex scene that she specifically asks for. It’s totally okay to want to try something and then decide it’s not for you! But what would happen if Lacey actually loved living out a taboo fantasy? And why does good girl librarian Sophie in Victoria Dahl’s Taking the Heat feel her naughty side has to be secret? Sure, it’s fun and sexy to have such a prim little lady be full of surprises. But the whole reason that storyline works is because everyone expects her to be proper and prudish in the first place. Can you think of a high-heat romance novel where the fun and surprise is that the strong, sexy hero turns out to also have a naughty side? Of course not, because it’s already assumed!

Mack is ready, though, to take charge of her sexuality and own what she wants. She has a very inspiring man to work with, and she goes on to make it very, very clear how much she wants him. Being bound and told what to do paradoxically winds up unshackling her. It gives her permission to let go and do what she wants—not what she thinks she’s supposed to do or has convinced herself she’s not allowed to have. By pausing and having that gut-check, she allows that sex and sexuality can be complicated and gives herself permission to break a few rules and discover what she enjoys. Especially since those rules aren’t necessarily ones she deep down agrees with in the first place.

And she’s not a different person because of it. What we do in the bedroom (or in this case, by a lake) doesn’t have to translate into the rest of our lives; it doesn’t even have to mean anything outside of the particular pleasures of the moment. Mack can consent to one command, now, but that doesn’t mean Connor gets to tell her what to do the rest of the time. Or even at the picnic—the whole time, he’s still very clearly reading her body language, checking in with her, and making sure that sex is something they’re doing together. Mack may be on her knees, but she’s by no means powerless.

Mack isn’t less of a badass because she’s turned on by Connor’s command. She can absolutely wear her shut-the-fuck-up boots behind the bar—and when she’s kneeling in the grass. She’s not a different person for doing it, and she’s not giving anything up. She’s complex, and multifaceted, and human. And isn’t that a good thing?

I like that Mack asks herself whether she’s allowed to want what she does. I’m also glad she decides the answer is yes. She’s all the better for listening to her desires and allowing herself to go for it, even—or especially—when those desires surprise her. I think it’s a good lesson for the rest of us, too.

More about Make Me Beg:

“Intensely sexy and packs and emotional punch!” – #1 New York Times Bestselling author Lauren Blakely

He’ll bring her to her knees.

Bartender Mackenzie Ellinsworth has always gone it alone. So when she has a chance to open her own bar and restaurant, she’s got a plan for how it should go. Not in that plan: a ripped and rugged playboy stepping in to take over. Mack doesn’t do players, and she doesn’t do one-night stands. If Connor wants to work with Mack, he’s going to have to keep his strong, sexy hands to himself.

Connor Branding is determined to prove he’s not the directionless playboy Mack thinks. But opening a place together causes more problems than it solves. The two of them can’t agree on anything—except how scorching hot their chemistry is. Connor may be ready to indulge every desire Mack’s been denying herself…but turning business into pleasure is likely to get him burned.

 

Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Sign up for Rebecca’s newsletter at www.rebeccabrooksromance.com/newsletter to get a free novelette and a monthly email about Rebecca’s adventures.

 

I Love You, iBooks!

27 Feb

This week’s guest post comes from Lyla Bellatas, author of The Real Fling series, standalone, saucy vacation romances that begin as a fling, but end up as the real thing. Lyla was a hard convert to digital books and is here today to tell us why. Welcome Lyla!

I was born a reader–loved the feel, the smell, the look of books from the beginning. It was always my escape. I could get lost in a bookstore for hours looking for my next adventure. I’d reverently pick up a book, sniff it, let the feel of the pages soak into my skin. They were presents waiting to be opened. I adored looking at the covers and yes, I’ve judged more than one book by its cover.

deeper

Click on image to buy!

When my brother got sick we took him to many hospitals chasing a miracle. I’d sit at his bedside while he was asleep and read. I read to flee the horror of watching his young life fade away. Reality was too cruel to deal with, so I ran away, mentally. I remember the books I read during his last six months, vividly. I devoured them and they seared into my soul, ever so thankful they kept me company during the most awful time of my life.

When I was on bed rest during my pregnancy I was incredibly anxious. Bed rest is not as easy as it sounds. I’d get daily deliveries from Barnes & Noble and I’d be good for a little while, but it was never enough. More times than not, I’d open a book to find it lackluster, and I’d be crushed for the day.

I remember the joy and relief on my husband’s face when I got Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was huge at 870 pages. My husband thought it would keep me busy for a week. Yeah, he underestimated me. One of the few and probably the last time he did. By the time he got home that night, I was done and jonesing for my next fix. The look of disappointment and horror on his face was comical, now. Not then.

When Amazon introduced the Kindle, I balked. I kicked and screamed. No! How could I enjoy reading without the accompanying sensual pleasures? Ha! This time I underestimated me.

What I didn’t take into account is my obsession with books. It’s the stories that I couldn’t live without. The escape.

I can’t say I’ve ever been a collector of anything but books. Every trip to a bookstore would have me leaving laden down with a stack of new prizes to explore and a lot less money in my pocket.

hotter

Click on image to buy!

I’d slip my latest read in my pocketbook to sneak a page or two throughout my day. When I was traveling, books were always the hardest things for me to pack. I’d sit on my bed with them spread out before me trying to choose which ones would make the cut. How many I would be able to read in the week or so I’d be gone? The worst was deciding which would go in my carry on. What if I got on the plane, cracked open the book and decided I hated it? Then what? So, I’d over pack and my back would pay the price.

Today, with more than 4,000 books in my iBooks and a few hundred in my Kindle app, I don’t have to choose anymore. They all come with me wherever I go. It’s amazing! I can read without stuffing books everywhere you could imagine. My back thanks me!

I’m still a collector but now I browse Goodreads, Amazon, and blogger sites looking for new books to add to my collection. And, as such, I’m reading more. I read when I’m waiting online or when I take a break. I can read at night without turning on the light. I LOVE that! I read at red lights or when stuck in traffic (shh, don’t tell anyone). I don’t freak (well, almost) when the doctor’s office keeps me waiting. What a revolution! I love you iBooks.

head-shot

Romance author Lyla Bellatas

Born Armenian American on Long Island’s Gold coast, Lyla has defied convention and morphed too many times to count. Beginning her career as an engineer, she swiftly made the move to marketer then drifted to digital design, printing CEO, and tarot enchantress, collecting stories along the way. As with her career, Lyla’s passions have also led to many outlets. She’s a high performance race car driver and driving instructor, poker player without the face, loves to shoot pool and although she hates being away from home she does enjoy exploring new places.  She was gifted her first tarot deck during a chance encounter in an elevator. Innately empathic and claircognizant, tarot unlocked the natural witch within. Lyla has taught tarot, pessomancy (reading stones) and reading junk oracles. She’s read tarot, stones and junk professionally for decades and still reads with or without a deck when the moon shines just right. Swept off her feet by a handsome Greek she met at the race track Lyla finally found her happily ever after as a wife, mother to a beautiful, spirited daughter, and writer. They live in the NYC suburbs and love the fast-paced brutal honesty, great restaurants, arts, and energy that define New York City. And they never fail to light a new/full moon candle charmed now by three.

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Real Life Christian Grey Talks BDSM & Fifty Shades

15 Feb

Hello readers!  We have a guest post for you today from A.C. Rose–an interview republished TheThreeTomatoes.com. Find out more about A.C. Rose’s writing and her book about 50 Shades at her website. Check out her facebook group 50 Shades of Grey Fans.unnamed

Shades of Al Daltrey: Talking About BDSM with a Real Life Christian Grey

As “Fifty Shades Darker” plays in theaters around the world women are once again thinking of Christian Grey, BDSM and sexually dominant males. I felt it my journalistic duty to bring you an interview with a man who knows about it all, first hand.

Al Daltrey is a real life Dom who lives the lifestyle and also writes strong BDSM erotica. His books come with a warning label and are not traditional erotic romances, yet he has gained a following of female fans that appreciate his unapologetic peek into the world of BDSM. You might even say it brings some of them to their knees.

By day, Daltrey dons a suit and tie, and works in marketing. In 2014 he opened his laptop and somewhat accidentally launched a second career as an erotica author, penning his first book, Testing the Submissive. He admits it is “more extreme” than anything he would ever consider doing with a real life submissive, yet readers say the story makes them tingle in all the right places.

There is a line in that book that, to my mind, sums up why women love to read about powerful Alphas. “Experienced and mature dominants always have an understated confidence,” he writes. “There is no need to flaunt their power.” There is something very sexy about men, real and fictional, who own their power.

His second novel, A Condo With Two Views, is written from the point-of-view of both the Dom and the Sub. His most recent books are, Pain, Pleasure, and Purpose: Pleasure (Book One) Pleasure) and Pleasure, Pain or Purpose: Pain (Book Two).They tell the story of three best friends who help each other navigate life, loss and love…and lots of kinky sex. “I poured everything I had into this story,” says the author.

It’s not often you get to pull up a chair and talk to a real life, happily married, sexually dominant male, so we appreciate Al taking the time to answer some of our burning questions.

AC ROSE: What exactly is a male dominant?

AL DALTREY: First, let me say: definitions are not always universal.  Ask 25 people the difference between a liberal and a conservative and you will get 25 different answers. All my answers in this interview are my personal opinion based on my personal experiences. Others in the BDSM lifestyle may disagree, and that is fair.  For this question, I assume you mean a sexual dominant. The simple definition is: a person, male or female, who takes control during consensual sex. The submissive of course, relinquishes that control.

And what is exactly vanilla sex?

Vanilla sex is simply regular, normal, healthy non-BDSM sex.  Or, even more simply…non-kinky sex. It is a term that became popular within the BDSM lifestyle to describe sex between those who are not in the lifestyle.

So from your perspective, can a sexually dominant male enjoy both?

Absolutely.  Personally, I have always loved great vanilla sex. I may practice BDSM, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy vanilla sex too. BDSM became the icing on the cake.  In a good healthy sexual relationship, there are nights where a couple wants the lovemaking to be soft, tender and romantic.  Another night, for kinky fun, they might employ bondage and spanking.  The point is, it’s not all or none. There is room for both.

How did you find yourself on this path, personally? And are you currently in a power exchange relationship?

I was born with it. I know that for a fact. Growing up, the fantasies and inclinations were there. That said, for me, consent is key. I do not believe in force, and do not find force arousing in any way.  Today I am very happily married to my beautiful wife.

Female sexual submission is a controversial topic. Some see female submission as a weakness yet many women find role play satisfying and they obviously like reading about it too.

During my lifetime I’ve been lucky enough to meet my fair share of submissive women. And don’t for a minute think these women were weak. Outside the bedroom they were confident, opinionated, gregarious and self-assured. In fact, many of them were successful executives or professionals. At the workplace, they kicked butt. However, inside the bedroom (so to speak) they wanted to feel the strong firm hand of a dominant man taking complete control.

What got you started writing erotic books?

I started writing because of an interest in BDSM, not because of an interest in writing. One day, I flipped open my laptop and starting writing a kinky BDSM story, not really thinking about where it would lead. Soon I had 20 pages, then 40, then 60 and I knew I was on my way to my first novel.  I heard about self-publishing, so cleaned it up and uploaded it onto Amazon. The reaction seemed positive, and soon I had a Street Team on Facebook helping me promote the book.

Erotic romance is a huge now. Do you find as many readers who just want to read about kinky sex for arousal?

In my view, the market for erotic romance novels is far bigger than the “kinky sex for arousal” market.  The latter market scours the internet for sites such as Literotica to get their fix.  There are exceptions of course.  Some novels do well.  But generally, I believe the kinky sex market is remarkably small.

Since you are writing as a sexually dominant male, what do think women hope to learn from your books, and from you?

I worry about that. My books are not intended to “teach” anything about the BDSM lifestyle. They are intended simply as fiction. A story. I worry when people read my books hoping for a glimpse into the real BDSM lifestyle.  My books have a lot of stuff that I don’t condone.  Just like action movies are exaggerated, so are BDSM novels.  People should read my books for fun, not for education.

Is the sex in your novels rough because that is what your readers want?

It’s not that I’m trying to cater to what the reader wants but in storytelling almost everything is exaggerated for dramatic effect. In a cop story we see these wildly spectacular car chases where 10 Police cars chase a car through crowded streets at speeds of 200 mph. In a medical drama the Doctor heroically saves countless lives.  In a sports movie the athlete scores the winning goal with two seconds left.  Think of every single Hollywood movie you know. So, with a BDSM novel, the same applies. The tasks that the submissive must perform are exaggerated for dramatic effect. It’s fantasy. So, in my books, the sex scenes are intensified as is the case in every other genre.

Your reading audience is primarily women. Some would like to turn their vanilla mates into dominant males, or at least get them to experiment. Any advice on getting guys to try new things?

To answer a question like that would take pages, and even then, it varies by person/couple.  I’m not sure I can provide a succinct answer.  There is some information on my blog.  As I say in my blog: not all men are born with a dominant gene. With those men, I’m not sure that there’s any hope.  Those men who have the underlying qualities – at least there’s hope. Someone could probably write an entire book on this, lol.

Do people call you master?

As mentioned, I am happily married and have been for some time. My wife does not call me “Master” no. Nor do we discuss our personal lives in any kind of detail. I can tell you that I have been called “Master,” and it’s actually a lovely feeling. Obviously it is commonly used in a scene, but also it can be a nice endearment among two people who live the lifestyle.  He might say, “Sleep well my little pet,” and she might say, “Goodnight Master.”  Like anything, if terms of endearment are overused they become goofy.  We’ve all been around couples who make us gag because they are so lovey-dovey.  But used properly “Master” can be a great word. I’m not sure if your question was poking fun at the term…but I hold it in high regard.

Learn more about Al Daltrey.

Find Al Daltrey books.

Visit Al Daltrey’s Erotica BDSM virtual community.

A.C. Rose is a love, romance, and entertainment columnist and author of steamy romance books. Her Latest book is AROUSAL

unnamed-1

Only .99. Click to buy.

 

Allison Monroe just got kissed on an elevator.

But she has no time to be distracted by this gorgeous man, with his panty-melting glances and sexy accent. She’s headed to the most important event of her career—a launch party for the new “My Fantasy e-Reader” at Club Kismet, high atop a Manhattan Skyscraper.

She’s determined to forget about the amatory elevator ride.

But Nicolai Petre has other ideas. That kiss confirmed what his grandmother’s vision had already told him—that Allison is his destiny.

He’s determined win her love but has only six days to prove they are meant to be. So he must keep her in a state of… AROUSAL.

Insta-Attraction in Romance … and Life: Guest Post by Rebecca Brooks

4 Oct
Rebecca says her heroines *always* get what they want. Click if you're down with that!

Rebecca says her heroines *always* get what they want. Click if you’re down with that!

By Rebecca Brooks

I still remember the moment I laid eyes on my now-husband over eight years ago.

It was in a meeting that was totally unremarkable except for the man sitting across from me. I can picture what he was wearing, the bag he was carrying, the way he held his pen. Most of all, I remember his smile, bright and genuine, the way he lit up when he talked about teaching, research, and writing—the things he cares about most.

If my life were a romance novel, he’d be a billionaire vampire fated to protect clumsy, unassuming little me and we’d have immediately left the meeting to bang against the glass window of a penthouse conference room—as soon as he had me sign a contract dictating when and where I was allowed to come per his commands.

Alas, dear reader, we met for tea. Then beers. Falafel. Shared our favorite chocolate shops. At some point six months later it dawned on me that our marathon hang-out sessions at bookstores and bars were different than the time I spent with friends. I never wanted them to end.

But when I’m reading a romance novel, I don’t want to read about those first six months between spark and follow-through, months in which everyone is busy with work and life and sometimes forgets to text back and who has time for dating, anyway?

I want to read about the moment when the heroine locks eyes with the hero and her mouth goes dry. Her pulse kicks up. She can feel her heart racing, feel the world around her slow. It may not be a good idea. Scratch that—it’s definitely a bad one. But she knows what she wants. And my heroines always get what they want.

I want the hero to think, This is the one. Not the one for forever—it’s way too soon in the story for that. But the one for a night. And then another. As these improbable instances string together, we start to see a relationship grow.

I know some readers don’t like insta-attraction because they think it’s unrealistic. But people meet at clubs, find each other on Tinder, hook up in all sorts of situations that start with a glance, a touch, a moment that can’t be explained. Note that I’m not talking about insta-love, but the sizzling hot attraction characters experience right off the bat. Love, as romance novels teach us, is something different altogether.

Think of Lacey and Hunter in Liberating Lacey (Anne Calhoun). Olivia and Jamie in Bad Boys Do (Victoria Dahl). Katie and Cameron in Instant Attraction (Jill Shalvis). I just watched episode 1 of Luke Cage on Netflix last night and he and Misty Knight make all the eye contact at a bar—and then go home to have all. the. sex. And this is after Luke has turned down another woman, making clear he doesn’t want to take just anyone home. Was I complaining about the unrealistic timeline as Massive Hot Man unzipped her slinky blue dress? No, I most certainly was not.

Austin, the hero in MAKE ME STAY, is an Olympic skier and racing coach. Have you seen those ass-tight racing skins that skiers wear? As the heroine Sam says of herself when she first spies him on the slopes, she’s a red-blooded woman. She’s not falling in love with him on sight alone. But she’s definitely checking him out.

Sam doesn’t expect anything to happen. In fact, it would be a whole lot better for her billion-dollar company if it didn’t. Only that initial attraction leads to more. Flirting. Banter. A kiss in the falling snow. A surprise detour to a shelter on the mountain where things get hot and heavy. The realization that one very delightful afternoon together isn’t going to be enough, and everything both Sam and Austin thought they knew is changing.

That build-up from first glance to full-on romance never fails to make me giddy. It’s why I’m a sucker for insta-attraction, the catalyst that sets the whole story in motion. It sets up a promise I get to spend the whole book looking forward to: when the hero and heroine get their hard-earned HEA.

But first, they have to feel the spark.

Hey, it’s Alexa. Ready to hit the slopes? Me too. Check out the details and grab your copy!

Blurb:

She’s his…for now.

Samantha Kane is about to solidify her father’s legacy by developing sleepy Gold Mountain into the most profitable ski resort in the country. There’s one man standing in her way though. One very sexy, rugged man. When she shows up to convince Austin Reede to sell, she has no intention of hiding her identity. But with a body like his, she’ll take a few risks to get closer.

Austin was the fastest skier on the U.S. Olympic team, until he shattered his knee. Gold Mountain became his refuge—and now Kane Enterprises is threatening that home. When he meets Sam, he has no idea she’s the one to blame, he just knows the attraction between them is one he hasn’t felt in years. A scorching hot one-night stand is just what he needs. Little does he guess that it will change everything…

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Make-Stay-Men-Gold-Mountain-ebook/dp/B01LWI5U6W

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/make-me-stay-rebecca-brooks/1124588844

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/make-me-stay-5

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/make-me-stay/id1153572279

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30169610-make-me-stay

Read the first chapter: http://entangledpublishing.com/make-me-stay/

Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind in order to try something new—and find the passion, excitement, and purpose they didn’t even know they’d been missing.

Find out more at rebeccabrooksromance.com.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebeccabrooksromance

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/beccabooks

 

Would You Like Me To Ravage You?

23 Sep
Click to buy.

Click to buy.

by Madeline Iva

She’s baaaaaaack! You liked her Madame X post so much that we’ve asked Thien-Kim Lam to come back for another guest post.  Happy Friday!

A couple of months ago, my husband interrupted my animated retelling of the sex scenes in Tessa Dare’s Any Duchess Will Do. (The scenes are quite creative, and the power dynamics between the main characters heighten every movement.)

“It sounds like a fun book. Can we read it together?”

I was shocked. He had never expressed interest in reading any of my romance books.

We’ve read books together before, in audiobook form. Most of the books we’ve listened to have been thrillers: Girl on the Train, The Girl with All the Gifts, and The 500. Books with action and adventure that move quickly. Books that mirror his favorite kind of movies. Coincidentally, those three books are being made into movies.

For the past year or so, we’ve been listening to the same audiobook in tandem. Even though I listen at faster speeds, we try to stay within a chapter of each other. He has more time during his commute and work day to listen so I’m usually the one playing catch-up. After the kids go to bed, we talk about what’s happened so far in the book. It’s become our couples book club.

Reading together has given us something to talk about that isn’t related to work or our children. Our television habits are different, save for handful of shows. We didn’t use to read the same books. I read widely across genres, while he gravitated towards graphic novels, his magazines, and Neil Labute plays.

After my shock wore off, we agreed to read Dare’s first Spindle Cove book A Night to Surrender since I was almost done listening to Any Duchess Will Do. I still couldn’t believe he wanted to read a historical romance book with me!

Click to buy.

Click to buy.

I was nervous the first day we started A Night to Surrender. Outside of the a couple of scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey that I read aloud to him, he’s a newbie to romance and erotica. Would he like it or hate it? What would I do if he hated one of my favorite sub genres?

Earbuds in hand, he kissed me goodbye and left for work. Time to queue up the audiobook. As I listened to the first chapters, I analyzed each scene. Would my husband think the main characters’ meet cute too contrived? Would he understand the nuances of clothing in this period? How could he react to the arrogant alpha male hero?

As soon as my husband stepped through the door that evening, I attacked him. No, not that way. I asked him what he thought about Tessa Dare’s book. “It’s cute. I like it.” He was actually grinning! I was relieved.

Over dinner we discussed the attraction between feisty, independent Susanna and arrogant but adorably clueless Lord Rycliff. He compared the novel to the romantic comedy movies we love to watch. Over the next several nights we discussed the comedy of errors of the couple’s first kiss and the first time super sexytimes. He even quoted seductive lines from the book–partly in jest, but partly to try get in my pants. Try keeping a straight face when your husband gives you a seductive look and says in a British accent, “Would you like me to ravage you?”

Ladies, my husband has still got it. And he’s all mine.

Click to buy.

Click to buy.

Since then, we’ve listened to other romance books, most recently Maya Banks’ Forged in Steele. Her KGI series contains everything we like: suspense, action, explosions with plenty of romance and sex. Forged in Steele’s high drama and cheesy dirty talk has elicited a flurry of texts between us throughout the day. Mostly us cracking up over the dirty talk.

After fourteen years of marriage, I’m glad that we can find new mutual interests. I should not have assumed that he wouldn’t be interested in reading romances. The past year I’ve forced him to listen to me as I debate on which sex toy I should pair with certain erotic romances when I curate my Bawdy Bookworm Boxes. I guess I finally made him curious enough to jump into the romance world.

Now we need to pick our next romance audiobooks. Please share your recommendations!

Do you read romances with your partner?

Thien-Kim Lam cut her teeth on historical romances and they will always have a special place in her heart. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check 5 Steamy Book & Sex Toy Pairings for Your Pleasure Chest for buzzy recommendations.

 

 

From Naughty to Nice: Following My Muse Across Genres. A Guest Post From Jackson D’Lynne

12 Sep

There seems to be a misconception among romance readers; once an author has written in a specific genre, they are locked into the genre, and therefore spice level, until they give up ghost.

What a load of shit.

Guest author Jackson D'Lynne

Guest author Jackson D’Lynne

Most authors are driven by their passion, their muse, and the money they make from writing, which means that while one genre birthed their careers, they are in no way shackled to it. The market dictates what is popular and therefore what readers are buying.

Lots of authors change up their genres to fit the market, and I’m all for that as long as you can do it while still staying true to your muse.

I began writing fiction in elementary school, and I have been writing bits and pieces here and there over the years. But I didn’t begin writing books until 2012. I published my first book in March of that year, and guess what? It was a book of Christian poetry and short stories.

How then did I end up on this website, you ask?

Click on image to buy!

Click on image to buy!

Well, in 2014, I switched it up and wrote and published a deliciously smutty time travel paranormal novel, The Diva and the Duke, the first book in my The Three Goddesses Series. While I am a born-again Christian, not every story idea my muse conjures up is SFC (safe for church), and the idea for that particular book series plagued me until I gave in and wrote it.

I officially switched up genres, in a big way.

The Diva and the Duke was so unlike what I’d written before that my mother-in-law refused to read it. Her right, her loss. While my MIL didn’t like it, someone did because it reached the Amazon Bestseller’s List twice.

In 2015, I wrote and published my second smutfest, The Rancher and the Renegade—it was full of smexiness, filthy language, and an utterly deviant villain. It was longer and naughtier than the first book, and therefore even further from the squeaky clean book I’d written in 2012.

Now, were in 2016 and my muse is no longer happy with just writing paranormal romance. She wants adventure, she wants dark tales, she wants clean, sweet romantic tales that would make fans of Little House on the Prairie sell their last pail of milk to own it.

Click on image to buy!

Click on image to buy!

My muse, who I lovingly call “Ellari, Sorceress of the Pen”, is now conjuring up story ideas for several YA Sci-Fis and thrillers, a sweet fantasy standalone, a bloody and suspenseful adult thriller, a time-travel pirate trilogy, a dark medieval fantasy, a series of erotic novellas set in space, and the book series I am currently writing for Dragonblade Publishing: Dry Bayou Brides.

As someone who lives and dies by her muse, I’ve never been one to tell her no, and so I’ve decided to give her the lead. She’s told me to write a brand new sweet western romance series, and so I am. The first book in my new Dry Bayou Brides series is The Shepherd’s Daughter (set for release September 27, 2016), and it is so far from what I’ve written before that I am petrified at what fans of my naughty books will think.

Will they like it? Do they expect me to sneak sexy bits in between the pages? Will they think I’ve turned my back on spicy books?

Coming September 27, 2016!

Coming September 27, 2016!

As an author, readers are my bread and butter, and without them I am left with lots of words to write and no one reading them. But because writing is my passion, and my muse and I are a team, I am taking a chance at writing outside the box in which my career began.

I’m taking a chance on my new genre, will you?

Jackson D’Lynne is one of the pseudonyms of a hardworking mother of four trapped in rural Pennsylvania. When she isn’t writing naughty paranormal romance, she is writing sweet historical romance as Lynn Winchester. When she isn’t writing at all, she is reading, playing Diablo III, having long conversations with her cat, Nix, or watching Netflix and chilling with her husband of 12 years.

You can catch up with Jackson on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow Lady Smut–we’ll be super nice to all your naughty.

Madame X & My Book Hangover: Guest Post by Thien-Kim Lam

2 Sep
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Click to buy.

Hello Dear Readers! Madeline here.  I am exceptionally excited to have Thien-Kim Lam guest post on our blog today. 🙂  Alexa Day was bemoaning declawed alpha males earlier this week, but I think Thien-Kim has found a ringer here—check it out, Alexa!

When I first pick up a romance, it’s the heroine I fall in love with first.

It doesn’t matter who she is, I root for her. Sometimes she’s funny or ambitious (or both!). She doesn’t need a man in her life, but she’ll glad take him for a hard ride. (Maybe more than once.) I love her because she chooses her own path and expects to be treated equal to others. I adore that romance authors give my (our?) heroines agency in their lives.

Agency is what makes all romance heroines feminists.

Then I met X. That’s Madame X to you.

In opening pages of Jasinda Wilder’s Madame X, our heroine is calculating and demanding. Her confident tone would be heralded if she had a penis between her legs. Despite her expertise, the recipient of her reprimand refuses to accept her instructions. She’s unwavering in her demands and he eventually accepts his reality: Madame X won’t take shit from her man-child client.

I loved Madame X mere paragraphs into the novel.

Who is Madame X? It might be easier to define who she is not. She’s not a prostitute. Nor is she a dominatrix. She teaches spoiled, affluent clients how to exude confidence and control inside the boardroom and out. She uses great skill to force these young men into (psychological) submission. Madame X always succeeds. Thus, her services are in high demand.

She is one badass woman who’s not afraid to take control. I want a friend like X. Someone I could drink some 12-year-old single malt scotch with and talk about everything: men, work, sex, and definitely orgasms.

My heart stopped when Caleb entered X’s apartment. Suddenly her personality changed. Around him she spoke softly, acted demurely, and instantly responded to his command to strip. He takes what he needs from her: her mouth, her breasts, her sex. She feels she has no choice but to give Caleb what he demands. He saved her when she had no one else to take care of her. He’s given every material thing she touches and every memory she has. Even if her heart and mind tries to stand up to him,her body responds to his touch. 7e7bd95b7d149c15b55241f1f5d75dd3She never fails to reach her peak under his hands.

Madame X submits to Caleb’s dark eyes and roving hands while wishing for the freedom to choose what she wants. A freedom that Jasinda Wilder’s opening pages led me to believe that X had. A freedom that I wish for X as badly as she wishes for herself.

As a reader, I expect an emotional roller coaster ride, but Jasinda’s novel was more like Space Mountain than the Seven Dwarves Mine Train. I had no idea where she would take me but I blindly–and happily–hung on for dear life. She had me hooked. I was determined to keep my eyes open during the thrill ride, even if I could only see tiny little lights ahead.

It’s been almost a month since I finished Madame X and I cannot stop thinking about this book.

Did she fit into my idea of a feminist heroine? Her lack of freedom, the options available to her, and the choices she made said no. More confounding to me was the desire she had for Caleb. How could a strong woman like X need approval and affection from cold, calculating Caleb?

I relive X’s journey in my head over and over. Why did she make the choices she did? Caleb held the key to her gilded cage, but surely she could have stood up to him the way she stood up to her clients. Maybe he wouldn’t give her complete freedom. Maybe she could ask him to let her decide when and if she would submit to his sexual demands. Why didn’t she just ask?

Then it hit me. I’m projecting what *I* would do onto Madame X.

c666b4943fc8ee0ee370f1b4b6a93198X makes the best decision based on the information she has. Even though the novel is written in first-person, I–the reader–feel omniscient. I see how Caleb is gaslighting X. I see the cyclical signs of emotional and verbal abuse followed by remorse. X’s circumstances have not given her the knowledge bank to realize Caleb may not have her best interests at heart.My knowledge and background are different from hers so my choices are different from hers.

Madame X may not be the feminist heroine that I envisioned when I first met her, but I never got the impression that she was weak. I had to have faith that Madame X would choose what she felt was best for herself even if I didn’t like her decision.

I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, but it fits for this dark romance. Just like my personal journey, X’s intense emotional journey can’t be told in just one book. I’ve fallen in love with X, and I want her to be happy. I’m not ready to let her go. Madame X caught me tightly in its web. I’m ready to take deep breaths and buckle in for the next two books in the series.

If you haven’t read Madame X yet, be forewarned that you’ll have the biggest book hangover ever.

Just make sure you’re buckled in for the Jasinda Wilder roller coaster ride.

Thien-Kim Lam is a feminist who loves erotica and romance. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries are always included. Check 5 Steamy Book & Sex Toy Pairings for Your Pleasure Chest for buzzy recommendations.

Fantasies and the Married Woman: A Guest Post by Karen Booth

22 Aug

by Karen Booth

Note from Kiersten: It’s theme week here at Lady Smut as we celebrate the release of Lady Smut blogger Elizabeth Sa Fleur’s novel Perfect, the newest installment in her Elite Doms of Washington series.

Click on image to buy!

Click on image to buy!

Isabella Santos married the wrong man. After her husband’s death, fate gives her a second chance to connect with her perfect Master—Mark Santos, the brother of her late husband.

To herald the arrival of Perfect, we’ll be talking this week about second chances, committed relationships, venturing into new (sexual) experiences, and lots of other tasty treats served up Lady Smut style. Author Karen Booth was game to join us this week and delve into the fantasies of married woman–because they’re married, not blind or dead. Welcome Karen!

If you read and believe Cosmo magazine, even we married women spend our day sitting around, mulling over our sexual fantasies, and then when nighttime comes, we just say, “Hey, honey. You know what I’ve always wanted to do?” And our partner says, “Hell yes. Let’s do THAT. Now.” And he takes off his clothes and has perfect abs and we do it in the front yard in front of the neighbors and start a sexual revolution in the suburbs.

Except I know for a fact that it doesn’t work like that.

A few years ago, I wrote an erotic novella called Love Plus One. It’s about a couple that decides to start pushing boundaries in the bedroom after nearly a decade of marriage. Olivia, the heroine, is frustrated as hell. Between kids and career and the house, sex has taken a back seat. Being a sex kitten, a wife, and a mom is hard—I don’t know that men realize what a difficult mental shift that can be. A little help, please. Sex with her husband, Brian, used to curl her toes. Now he’s hardly mussing up her hair.

I wrote the book in part, because I have lived this frustration. Lots of people have. Let me just put KIDS in all-caps because that’s where things really started to go south for me, as much as I love the (now not-so little) buggers. It’s next to impossible to feel sexy when you’re exhausted. The only thing you want happening in bed is sleep. Your body is mushy in new places. Your spouse has seen your body do amazing, impossibly unsexy, things. Things like breasts, which used to be strictly for fun, become utilitarian.

Making things new and exciting after that is not easy. We want to connect with our partner. Walls have been torn down. We have a new closeness. I know how to fix this! Talking! Now is the time to really tell the other person what you want, quite possibly the thing you’ve always wanted but never had the guts to admit. You love each other. You care about each other. This will totally work.

Yeah. Not so easy. Especially if you’re like me—shy.

But Karen, you write sexy books.

Yep, yep. I know. Still shy.

Unless I’m writing a book or over-sharing with my girlfriends after one too many cocktails, being verbal about sex does not come naturally to me at all. I’m a writer. Show, don’t tell. Show me what you want. I’m not talking. Much. Dems da rules.

I know for a fact that I’m not alone. And it’s not just women who have a hard time asking.

Which led me to the second reason I wrote this book. Brian has a fantasy he’s never shared, something he has kept locked up in his handsome head for years. He might never have shared it, but Olivia has forced the issue. That’s what we do, right? She wants him back in charge and she told him so. She wants to know what he wants. The answer? He wants to watch Olivia with another man.

Now, I wouldn’t describe Brian as shy, but there’s a real reason why he never brought it up and I think it’s one that a lot of us can relate to. What happens if you divulge your deepest, darkest fantasy and your spouse or partner is abhorred? Disgusted? And you have to look at them every morning over coffee for the rest of your life?

The other part of the equation is that he doesn’t quite understand why he has this fantasy. Luckily, Olivia has reached the point where she just wants to tear down walls left and right. You can only push a woman so far. They talk about it, and he eventually sorts out what it is about this scenario that is such a turn-on, and it’s not what Olivia thought.

Fantasies are like snowflakes. Most of us don’t know why we’re turned on by certain scenarios or situations, we only know that we are. It’s one thing to acknowledge these fantasies in the first place. Oh wait, I do want to do it with four guys at once. For example. It’s quite another thing to be vocal about it.

It’s tough to admit a fantasy, especially in the context of a relationship. At what point is it okay to bring it up? At the beginning, when you really like someone, you’re worried about looking bad or bringing about the end of your time with this amazing person you found. You know what she wanted? She wanted to do it with four guys. For example.

As things get more serious, well, they get more serious. There’s more on the line. You’re terrified you’re going to mess up. And then there’s just the practical side of things—after ten years, you’re telling me you want to try THAT? Where did you even learn about that? Have you been thinking about this the whole time we’ve been together?

It’s a Catch-22 unlike any other. The closer you get, the more time you spend together, the more you trust and (hopefully) love each other. It should get easier to share your deepest, darkest desires. But at that point, you love this person more than anything, and it feels risky. What if this is the one thing that crosses the line for them?

It’s scary stuff. And if it’s not scary for you, and you are the Sir Edmund Hillary of sexual exploration, that’s awesome. The rest of us are still figuring this out. The point is, the person we love most might not be as open as we need them to be. Or…they might be. So, maybe it’s best to take the leap, hope to hell that love gets us through it, and try to get what we want. The rewards might be pretty spectacular.

Click on image to buy!

Click on image to buy!

Karen Booth is a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ‘80s music, Judy Blume, and the films of John Hughes. She writes sexy contemporary big-city romance. Love Plus One is one of three erotic romances included in her new erotic bundle (not a euphemism), Hot Nights, Big City. Learn more at her website http://www.karenbooth.net and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you, Karen, for joining our theme week here at Lady Smut! Be sure to check out Karen’s new novella Love Plus One in the erotic romance novel bundle Hot Nights, Big City.

Love Plus One
Eager to reclaim a passionate past, Brian Saunders whisks his wife, Olivia, off to Manhattan to pursue the fantasy he’s never revealed—he wants another man to pleasure her while he watches. Olivia never imagined her husband was concocting this scenario in his handsome head, nor did she imagine he’d choose Michael, their mutual, smoking hot friend, to help him out. Venturing into uncharted waters, Brian must contend with a heady mix of envy and arousal while Olivia surrenders to a man who’s fired up to have his chance with her. When three becomes two again, Brian’s only desire is to reclaim his stake on his wife and Olivia can’t wait to give him everything that’s his.

Follow Lady Smut. We’ll give you all the fantasies you can think of…and some you never would.

 

 

Favorite Trends in Romance: A Guest Post by Michele Mannon

15 Aug

by Michele Mannon

The Romance Writers of America conference this summer held a discussion about hot trends within the romance genre. For this post, I decided to address this topic and share five trends I think are both prevalent in many new releases as well as trends I gravitate toward as a reader.

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Guest Poster Michele Mannon

Bikers, Mobsters, Criminals, and Hit Men

I’ll be the first to admit, I love a bad boy hero. I love reading them. I love featuring them in my books. These mega Alpha heroes typically run against the grain of society, are often defiant, violent and like to be in control. Ever since Kristen Ashley released Motorcycle Man, with a surly bad ass biker hero named Kane “Tack” Allen, I’ve been hooked. Another book I recently read is Dark Mafia Prince by Annika Martin. The hero is a mobster…a hot as sin Russian bratva, and man is he naughty.

Tattoos

What began as bad boy heroes with tribal tattoos seems to have morphed into an entire subgenre within contemporary romance. Laura Kaye has a great series, The Hard Ink Novels, which are set in a tattoo parlor. And authors are getting creative with what their hero’s and heroine’s tats say and where they’re located. The best example of this is in Molly Joseph’s Diva. Sorry I can’t give it away but let’s just say you’ll feel like you’ve been struck by lightening after the author so expertly reveal it.

Dirty, Filthy Sex

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Remember when in almost every romance you’d have to wait until page 100 for the characters to get it on? Just like the pacing in stories is changing—becoming much more like television, fast and always moving forward—sex within romances is happening a lot sooner, and with much more yummy, explicit detail. Spankings, rough, dirty-talking heroes, and a whole lot of intense foreplay seem to be the norm right now. And I really love a good, dirty sex scene. Yet crafting one where love sex that drips off the pages and that has the right balance of angst, love and sexual tension is hard work. I recently had a reviewer comment about my new release, Rogue, the first book in The Deadliest Lies Series: “Mannon really knows how to craft a love scene-scintillating and yet tender.” A comment I love, of course. The truth is I write scenes I want to read. And hopefully, you do too! (BTW, I featured an excerpt below. Warning: heat level high.)

Crossing the Border

Scenes, and stories, set outside of small town America seems to be an “up-and-coming” trend. In The Professional, Kresley Cole took us on an amazing, and highly erotic, journey to Russia. There’s a great scene inside a banya that I love. In case you’re wondering, a banya is an outdoor sauna the Russians favor. Inside, visitors escape the cold and partake in the custom of smacking each other across the body with bound twigs and leafy branches dipped in cold water. See, there’s something new to be learned in these globe-trotting stories.
And characters are also taking on more of an international flavor. Ilsa Madden-Mills, Dirty English, features a British street fighter. In my book Hit Man (coming 11/16), Diego is Mexican/Danish…with a filthy, Spanish-speaking potty mouth. 

Mercenary Promo Image

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Man Buns

Okay, I haven’t read a single romance with a hero with a man bun. And I’m talking about the curled up ponytail kind, not buns of steel. But I’m giving everyone an official heads up. If you read The Deadliest Lies series, the ruthless CEO of this group of hit men has a man bun. You’ll see it described through the main characters eyes in every book. But I promise you, when Hayden’s story is revealed, great things are going to happen to that man bun.

So what are trends you’re reading in romance? Which ones do you like? Are there any driving you crazy? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading!

Blurb for ROGUE

My lover is dead.

And they think I killed him.

I’m running rogue. Hell bent on both revenge and redemption. Whatever it takes, I’m going to finish a job that began nine months ago. An unauthorized assignment that turned horribly, devastatingly wrong.

My miscalculation.

My fault.

My heart left shattered into incomplete pieces which will never wholly fit back together again.

But first I have to outsmart my former organization and the hired killer they’ve sent after me; a ghost from my past who knows my every move, who’s been inside my head, my heart, my dreams and memories: Jaxson.

I’m the traitor, Kylie. The rogue mercenary, Jaxson’s newest assignment.

And this is our love story.

Rogue Promo collage

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Excerpt from ROGUE: Warning ~ Spice Level HOT

Kylie and Jaxson are on the run and things get a bit wild.

Terrific. He’s going to flirt with me and tease me to death.

“You up for a challenge?”

“It depends on what it is.”

“Smart girl. How about I give you a play by play? Then you can either tell me to fuck off or to go for it.”

“What if I tell you to fuck off right now?” I sweetly ask.

He chuckles. “It’s your dime, fireball. Your call.”

I arch my eyebrows. He’s got this naughty, devilish look in his eyes and, God knows, not only should I resist him but I should roll myself out of our hiding place and run as fast as my legs will carry me into the woods.

“If this will help me survive Hell Camp, I’m up for a challenge,” I hear myself say.

“Believe me, it’s going to be a lesson in restraint for me as well. So here’s the deal. I wanna tease that sweet pussy of yours. Fuck you with my fingers. See how quiet you can be, how still you can be, how in control you can be when all hell is breaking loose around you. A shame I can’t lick you like I want. We’ll save that for a better time.

What do you say?”

What do I say? I open, close then open my mouth. Nothing comes out. Not “Yes, make me come beneath this decomposing tree while Hayden’s hellions run amuck around us.” Not “No, how about courting me with a few flowers first? Or at the very least, getting me tipsy on a bottle of good wine?”

I swallow hard. “I say this is you being unpredictable. Go figure.”

His hand slides downward and across my belly.

“Don’t you dare,” I whisper.

“Oh, I dare. But . . . do you?”

“Seriously?”

“I’ve been thinking about this for days. Fuck, since you sank that knife into my thigh.”

I squeeze my eyes shut. Hating that memory.

Jesus. He’s lost his freaking mind right along with me losing mine.

“Listen. You think I haven’t noticed the way you’ve been eye-fucking me? Damn, I love the way you bite then lick your lip while you think I don’t know that you’re watching me.” His hand moves across my lower abdomen, the tips of his fingers sliding beneath the waistband of my sweatpants and my panties.

“Jaxson who?” I reply. Yeah, right. I’ve had eye-gasms over him for weeks.

This is crazy. Beyond crazy . . . insane. My whole experience at Hell Camp, the fights, the knives, is surreal. One adventure after another. Nothing prepared me for him. The pad of his pointer finger flickers over my nub, tempting me. I think, Why not give into this wild need to go a little nuts? Besides, I’m with the right man to push me over the edge—literally. Just looking at him . . . oh my . . .

He’s curled a finger inside my folds.

The bony part of his palm rubs across my sensitive hood.

And I’m wet, and growing wetter with each subtle caress.

“Bend your leg and put it up on my outer thigh.”

I stare at him like he’s talking gibberish.

“I need this as much as you do.” He grins like a madman, a daredevil, a man who can steal your breath away then have you begging he steal more of it. And just like that, I’m a goner.

I bend, lift my leg, and anchor it on top of his thigh. “Stop . . . talking. Or they’ll hear you,” I whisper, my tone hoarse with excitement.

Naughty. Oh so naughty, and I want it.

“Fireball,” he murmurs, “I’m going to be struggling right along with you not to give our hiding spot away. I promise you that.”

“Misery loves company,” I add, then moan as he thrusts a digit into my slick channel.

“The best kind of misery.”

Slowly, so very slowly, he slides his finger in and out, and I’m in heaven. I feel his thumb pressing into my nub as his finger drags along the walls of my channel.

“You’re wet but tight,” he breathes into my ear, “I’m going to work another finger inside. Nod if that’s okay.”

“Do it,” I demand.

As promised, he pushes a second in alongside the first. Slowly at first, then quickening the pace. I can’t help but tilt my hips along with each stroke. It’s not long before I feel the climax building up inside me.

I moan.

“Coming,” he whispers so quietly, I barely catch his question.

“Almost. Sweet Mary . . .”

“No. They’re coming. Footsteps.” He winks at me, rolling his thumb once again over my sensitive hood while his fingers plunge into me and withdraw. Once. Twice. Three times. Until my body is shaking with need.

I jerk at the sound of a voice close by. “The trail Jaxson left behind was goddamn amateurish. Like he wants us to find him. He’s around here somewhere.”

My eyebrows lift high enough to touch the tree overhead.

His smirk is full of mischief.

And, holy sweet Mary, if his tongue is anything like his fingers . . . I clamp my lips shut, holding back my moan. Yes, oh yes.

“Check around.”

No, oh no.

“Over here,” someone shouts at the same time I arch my hips toward Jaxson and pray that the mewing sound going off in my head doesn’t work its way out of my mouth.

I struggle to keep quiet, to still my movements, to not give us away. And I curse Jaxson for putting me in this situation, for masterfully bringing me to the edge, to make me want to shout out my climax, only to have to dig deep not to do so.

My eyes meet his, and without my making a sound, I crest. My pleasure clear as day in what has to be the most blissful expression known to womankind. Which, I silently gasp, is reflected in the hottest look known to mankind that crosses over his face.

Sweet mother of God. This man is going to be the death of me.

“That was fucking beautiful.”

I blush. “Shhh. They’ll hear you.”

“They’re gone, off on a wild-goose chase. I ran ahead and planted a few less-than-subtle trail marks. Still, we better head back.” He removes his hand from beneath my sweatpants, shifts my leg off his thigh, and rolls out from beneath the tree. I squeeze my eyes shut, briefly, disbelieving what I’ve just done, then slide out after him.

He offers me a hand up.

“You’re insane,” I mumble.

“And you’re beautiful.” 

ROGUE is now available to buy from all major ebook retailers (click image above for direct link).

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Michele Mannon creates characters who are far from perfect; who are likely to be knee-deep in trouble, heart-first in love and at wits’ end when life unexpectedly, unequivocally turns to hell. Her debut series, Worth the Fight, received two Romantic Times Magazine Top Picks. Her new sexy romantic suspense series with St. Martin’s Press, Deadliest Lies, releases in August 2016, beginning with ROGUE, a story about what happens when your own organization sends a hit man after you mistakenly, heart-wrenchingly kill your lover. Michele lives in Pennsylvania but likes traveling to exotic places, including the NJ shore. She’s fond of skinny cinnamon dolce lattes, quick-witted, Irish-accented men, a good story, and lots and lots of laughter.

For more information about Michele, please visit her website: http://www.michelemannon.com.

 

 

 

 

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