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Sick, Sick, Sick: Men Who Take Care Of Others Are HOT

26 Sep

by Madeline Iva

We’re celebrating Kiersten Hallie Krum’s latest novel SEAL’d WITH A TWISTSEAL’d… features a hot doctor named Grant who was in the first book in the series.  He takes care of others–and when in Book 1 he can’t heal a buddy and that buddy dies–he becomes totally tormented.  So I wanna talk about THE BIG SICK and guys who care for those who hurt.

Which brings me to a new obsession of mine: the whole hurting/caring trope in fan fic.  Lurv it so hard.  I get the ovary spasms over it the way other other women almost die looking at a super hot guy holding a baby.  This is why women go so crazy for doctors, of course.  Nothing new here.  But I’ve always felt a leetle removed from the doctor thing.  After all, it’s usually the nurses who do the tending, isn’t it?

Matthew Fox’s hotness on LOST was 95% the doc/healer thing.

I will confess to two exceptions to this rule. (They’re weird–don’t judge.) One is the doctor who removed my wisdom teeth.  That guy was nothing super to write home about, but I’d delayed getting my wisdom teeth out because I didn’t have the money and then I got a massive infection.  My obnoxious roommate at the time pointed out that having a really bad infection near your brain isn’t good.  Ya think? My maxillofacial surgeon had this amazing bedside manner.  “There there, it’s gonna be okay,” was the gist of his reassurances, but something about how he conveyed that to me in my distress just had me crushing out on him for about a week.

I know it’s ridiculous–but Clemens would give this close attentive look at Ripley, and then give her a ‘tincture’ and my ovaries would implode.

The other doc was (wait for it) Charles Dance in Aliens 3.  Yes…Charles Dance is a fabulous (now somewhat elderly) British Actor.  in Aliens 3 he played Clemens a “medical officer” who treats Ripley. Basically he tends to her wonky health from all the deep space time and other issues she’s experienced.  He gave her these little tinctures, and was just kind of attentive to how she was feeling.  It’s really just a tiny break from all the alien biting mayhem, but he’s an amazing actor, and that bit of a role was very well written.  The whole Ripley thing–a woman trying to save humanity when the other humans around her are most often just not being very helpful — and then suddenly someone actually cares about HER — not in some overt soppy way, but just kind of peering at her and then “making it better” — well, it really got to me.

Which brings me to THE BIG SICK.  Omg, I was almost crying to death just hearing about the movie–just watching the previews.  Why was so deeply affected? I think it goes so deep with me that it goes back to the trauma of watching my mom when she was 34 and just really ill.  She needed someone to step in and just sure things were going to be okay.  No one did–and she died.  (I know, I know, it’s very sad.) The prospect of a romance hero stepping in to care for someone who’s sick and needs someone to ‘make it better’ just undoes me to the f*cking core.

So anyway–my sweetie and I go see THE BIG SICK and…while it was a good date night movie, for sure.  But ultimately I was let down.  I mean, there’s much to rejoice about in this based-on-a-true-story, and I enjoyed it as much as any other semi-rom com I’ve seen in a while.  There are critics out there as well for the movie.  All of their stuff has to do with race.  I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about my fav hurting/caring trope.  There was much hurting…In the movie, Emily gets really sick really fast and is in a coma in less than 24 hours. But we don’t see a whole lot of tending to from the “hero” Kumail Nanjiani.  He’s funny, he’s a good actor.  It’s great to see someone raising themselves up by their own bootstraps vis-a-vis creating a movie that others aren’t writing with East Asian leads.  Huzzah to all that. I think at one point before the coma, Emily’s ankle hurts and he’s solicitous.  At one point when she’s in a coma, he urges the family to make one decision and not another.  Like…that’s it.  Other than that, he’s sitting around and waiting with her family. Which is what you do when someone you love is in a coma…true.  But I guess I was expecting more after-care when she comes out of the coma…I mean, I can easily see there’s a kind of feminist “I can take care of myself” and “I don’t need a man to take care of me” kind of thing maybe going on.  But come on–this is just basic humanity we’re talking about here.  We’re not talking about opening a door. We’re talking about being on the cusp of death and it’s all hands on deck.

After the coma, Emily’s got PT, she’s not all together for a while.  And he…anyway, he tries showing her his devotion and commitment–but as she points out–that’s all fine and good.  “Only all that happened while I was asleep.”  And in the audience I’m saying the next line I would have written, “But what have you done for me lately?”

Again, in the movie, he basically is forced to choose at one point between his family and his true love– and he chooses her.  That’s romantic. That’s a big deal.  But in my heart, I also would have preferred him to help her with the groceries.  Because this is Chicago — groceries, a cane, and no car — these three things do not go well together.  You know what I’m saying?

A caring partner to help you out just when you need help the most.  The very idea makes my heart do intense crunches…We leave behind the realm of women who are afraid to take a big shit in a potential love interest’s apartment.  We enter the world where you look like sh*t–and he doesn’t care.  Because he loves you.  You are not great company because you don’t feel well–and he feels badly–not because you’re not funny and charming at the moment–but because you’re hurting, because he loves you.  For some reason we have accepted hand in hand the idea of not needing men and at the same time performing for them a lot — getting out of bed to put on make up before he wakes up.  I find this appalling.  Utterly appalling.  I think women fear they’re not somehow worthy of being so deeply loved that their humanity and flaws don’t really matter.  So maybe that’s why I’m all about this kind of a trope–because I think we need to march in the opposite direction.  I think that a lot of good men out there who would excel at nurturing and caring–if given the chance.

I may have a write a story or two about this in the future.  And because germs and feeling punky in general are not the hottest thing when it comes to sex–they may have to be on the sweeter side of the heat spectrum.  They may have to live in the more squishy comforting side of romance.

In the meantime,  Kiersten’s really got talent at portraying that heavy throb of hurting and the need for some deep romantic connection. In her book, I find that the scorching sex to make it all better–at least for me.  Please go check out SEAL’d WITH A TWIST! (Don’t you lurv the cover? I think it’s crazy hot.)

Surviving the Sadness

24 Sep

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Welcome to Theme Week here at Lady Smut. This week we’re celebrating the release of my new book, SEALed With a Twist.

Look! A blurb!

In the follow-up to the wildly popular, Library Journal starred review, RONE award finalist, Wild on the Rocks, a fan favorite returns to Barefoot Bay…

Debutante. Heiress. Lady. 
Skylar Thornquist has been called them all. But when her family insisted she stand as bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding to Skye’s ex-fiancé, she rebelled, drowning her public humiliation in tequila and a one-night stand of carnal debauchery with Grant Sisti. To escape her family’s iron grip, Skye now hides out cleaning toilets at the Casa Blanca Resort & Spa, masking her breeding and identity under a dye job, heavy makeup, and a smattering of fake tattoos while she tries to discover which label sticks to her best.

Doctor. Joker. Warrior.
Navy SEAL Grant “Twisted” Sisti has been them all. But since he failed to prevent the violent death of his teammate six months ago, Grant isn’t sure he can be any of those men anymore. He’s back at the Casa Blanca Resort & Spa for his best friend’s wedding, but Grant knows he’s reaching the end of his rope. A state that isn’t improved by finding the help swimming naked in his private villa’s pool.

Skye never thought she’d get caught skinny dipping by the man who got her through her worst night. But this Grant is a different man than the one who lit up her world back then. And though it takes him too long to remember her, Skye is drawn even more to the wounded warrior than she was to the charming lover.

Grant is fascinated by the puzzle Skye presents, the debutante who cleans toilets and speaks like a queen. She’s the first thing he’s had any interest in since his friend’s death, the first woman in a long time to see the man before the SEAL.

They never expected to find each other again on Barefoot Bay, both hiding from who there were, both wondering who they should be. Until Skye’s identity is compromised and the Thornquist iron grip gets a stranglehold on her new life…only this time there’s a Navy SEAL by her side.

There’s a lot about SEALed With a TWIST that is sexy and fun and it’s full of flirtatious banter. Grant and Skye are on similar journeys, but they’re at different locations on the path. They’ve both lost someone and that loss has rocked their foundations and made them question and reevaluate key components of their makeup. They’re both reconciling pieces of their past and learning to make peace with themselves about it.

This book was very difficult for me to write. In the beginning of the SWAT, Skye learns about the death of her grandmother who raised her and that, because of the choices she made, Skye wasn’t with her at the end. My mother died rather suddenly in the beginning of this year. She had lived with me since 2003 and I had been her 24/7 primary caregiver since 2008, so her loss has had an enormous impact on every aspect of my life.

While I had already written the death of Skye’s grandmother before that happened, fleshing out those scenes in the months afterward became very personal for me, much more than I’d anticipated.

Anyone who deals with grief walks the five stages, but the way in which we take those steps is always unique. No one can tell another how to do it or when to stop or how long it will take or what it will entail. Every grief journey is different. One day, you’ll realize that last breath you took wasn’t quite as hard as the one before it. A few months or years later, you’ll realize that breath wasn’t as difficult as the other one. The only thing you have to do is keep breathing.

Skye’s grief journey is just beginning in SEALed With a Twist. She’s in the very early stages, before the full impact has had time to take root, but even now, she wonders how she’ll survive the sadness. Into these early moments. the man who was once the only good thing in a horrendous, publicly humiliating situation has suddenly show up in her life again. Not only that, but Grant is on his own grief journey and has been since just before he met Skye for the first time six months ago–and he isn’t handling it well at all.

I hope you’ll walk along with these strong and flawed and hurting people as they walk this journey together and discover any journey, however difficult and rocky, is easier to endure when the right person is by your side.

 

 

Kiersten Hallie Krum writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. She is the author of the prestigious RONE award finalist, Wild on the Rocks, and its follow-up, SEALed With a Twist. She is also a past winner of the Emily Award for unpublished novelists. 

A member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Long Island Romance Writers, Kiersten has been working in book publishing for more than twenty years in marketing and promotion. At other times in her career, she’s worked back stage for a regional theater, managed advertorials for a commerce newspaper in the World Trade Center, and served as senior editor for a pharmaceutical advertising agency.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. Born and bred in New Jersey (and accent free), Kiersten sings as easily, and as frequently, as she breathes, drives fast with the windows down and the music up, likes to randomly switch accents for kicks and giggles, and would be happy to spend all her money traveling for the rest of her life.

Of Men, Masquerades and the Monkey Trap: Naked Snctm is a Surprise

13 Sep

By Alexa Day

(Strong and Sexy Week continues to celebrate colleague Elizabeth SaFleur’s new release, The White House Gets A Spanking, a fabulous and timely novella up for preorder right this second! But I couldn’t wait until October to go after Snctm again. I don’t do delayed gratification all that well. You know, sorry.)

The morning I discovered the email announcing that Snctm had a television series airing on Showtime, I began preparing to hate-watch it. I haven’t been terribly shy about my feelings when it comes to the Beverly Hills-based sex club. I figured a TV show was just another way for founder Damon Lawner and his inner circle to congratulate themselves for building this emporium for the male gaze.

After watching the first two episodes, I decided I was right about it. I only watched the third because I had something in the oven and my craptacular cable package didn’t have any better ideas.

Because of my chicken and rice casserole, I’m now writing a very different post from the one I thought I’d be writing.

But let’s start at the beginning.

I hesitate to call Naked Snctm a reality show. It has some of the trappings of the reality show, leading the viewer along with Damon as he goes about his version of a normal day. We even have those little confessional-style clips with his staff and some of Snctm’s members. Despite all that, Naked Snctm feels more like a documentary. It doesn’t feel cheap. It doesn’t even feel exploitative, really. And while I can often sense the producer’s hand at work in the typical reality show, Naked Snctm looks like it was assembled by a storyteller.

I have a LOT to say about this show, and I know you all have limited time. Everyone is busy these days, what with pumpkin spice lattes and the holidays swiftly approaching. I understand. I’ll keep this to two highlights per episode, for four episodes.

Near the beginning of the first episode, we meet Damon’s ex-wife as they sit down for a drink. Melissa explains to us in the confessional that she and Damon met when she was 18. She was raised to think of marriage and relationships in a relatively conservative way, and he … well, he wasn’t.

At the bar, Melissa tells Damon that their twelve-year-old daughter came home from school in tears. Some of the boys in her class have been giving her a hard time. They found Damon on Instagram, followed the breadcrumbs back to the Snctm website, and then did what the average twelve-year-old boy would do in a situation like that.

Damon’s response to this bothered me.

The only way to protect his daughters (he and Melissa also have a nine-year-old) from Snctm is to get rid of it altogether, he says. He isn’t going to get rid of it. It represents his only income stream, he says, and “I don’t have a Plan B.”

I’m not a parent. But I have lost my only income stream without warning. I’ll admit that it’s a little scary and would probably have been more scary if I had human dependents. Wanna guess what I did?

I fucking created a goddamned Plan B.

If I knew that my job was causing my daughter pain — and I think we both know that at 12 years old, this is probably not harmless teasing — I would quit that job, unless my job were critical to the continued existence of Planet Earth. Damon’s job is not critical to the continued existence of Planet Earth. I hope he’s not going to try to convince his daughter that it is.

This exchange takes place early in the first episode, right as we’re getting to know Damon. I can’t help but wonder why. Why tell us this now? Why tell us at all?

Damon (left), with Nicolas, making an important business decision

We don’t have much time to think about this before we’re spirited away to Damon’s place for Diner. Nicolas, Snctm’s operations manager, is on hand for the event. Nicolas — a bright-eyed, clean-shaven, briskly accented opposite to Damon — explains that his job is to make sure everything on the premises is running smoothly. He keeps his eye on the multitudinous candles. He keeps glass off the floor. He isn’t all that interested in the erotic theater himself because that would detract from his job performance. He’s like the security guard at the museum, specifically chosen because he isn’t interested in the art.

Nicolas also reviews the written portion of the Snctm applications. He gave someone a thumbs-down because her essay was “pretty pathetic.”

Nicolas is now the most interesting person I have encountered thus far, in all my dealings with Snctm. Snctm people, take note: had you put me in touch with Nicolas, I might have been a little nicer to you. A little. Let’s not get crazy.

I am a little surprised to find that the artistic director at Snctm is a woman; the club strikes me as a little tone-deaf when it comes to what women would want. Still, Alina arranges the performances for Snctm events. At Diner, the performance is two women going down on each other, on the dinner table, before a third woman in a maid’s costume spreads cake frosting on them both for the consumption of the guests. Alina says this isn’t “some sloppy porn thing,” but where was the last place you saw two women eating each other out on a table where people were having a meal just moments before? It was porn, wasn’t it? Nothing against porn, but wasn’t it?

And if you answered this question, “Actually, Alexa, this sort of thing happens every night at the table for me, you plebeian clod, and no one cares that the wooden surface soaks up emissions like a sponge,” then I apologize. Sorry.

One of the second episode’s highlights is Osa. Osa is the first black woman I’ve seen in any of my writing on Snctm. At her audition to become a performer, she explains that she’s into fetish, including the fart fetish.

I have never heard of the fart fetish. Even the unflappable Nicolas seems flapped by it. Osa assures us that it’s on Wikipedia. It is, but it’s just on a list. Check out this article on eproctophilia from Psychology Today instead. Go right now. I will be here when you get back.

In gratitude for teaching me something I honestly did not know about the world of fetish, I will withdraw exactly one mean-spirited thing I have said about the Snctm people. I’ll let you know when I decide what it is.

The other highlight is a little less pleasant.

The Snctm audition.

There are two dudes auditioning for roles at Snctm as well. One of them is dressed like Nicolas, in a suit with his shirt open at the throat. Like he’s looking for a job. Nice. The other is wearing a blue tank top and a pair of pink shorts. This one, Robbie, takes the top off for a moment to show his interviewers what he looks like in a state of undress. As soon as they get a look at him, that shirt goes right back on. Maybe that’s normal for a man’s interview. Everyone felt Osa up during her audition, so I guess it’s hard to tell what normal is.

Robbie is sent upstairs with the other hopefuls to wait for the next stage, whatever that is. While he’s up there, he’s generally making an ass of himself. “Can I get a kiss?” he asks one of the women who hasn’t auditioned yet. “Should we fuck so you aren’t so horny later?”

Word gets out that Robbie is going to be a problem. Damon and Nicolas send security upstairs to have him removed at once. They are adamant that this kind of thing doesn’t fly at Snctm, and indeed, the Snctm people have always taken that position with me.

Security is Johnathan, one of the performers. Sometimes, he wears a military-style uniform, and he was a cop stripper before Snctm. Evidently this qualifies him to be security at Snctm. Something to keep in mind before dropping money on a base membership.

The third episode takes us to New York and an East Coast Snctm masquerade. Two highlights from this episode as well.

First, as she’s auditioning performers for that night’s party, Alina says the performance has to be more than “two girls in lingerie making out because you can see that everywhere.” I will gently remind the reader that Alina was kind of excited about two girls in lingerie making out in the first episode. Just a reminder, no judgment. Reminds me of the time, also in the first episode, when Damon said Snctm members came from all walks of life and then in the next breath said the base membership cost $15,000. That, to me, excludes some walks of life, but again, that’s just an observation.

The other highlight of the third episode? The IV Doc. Something else I’m learning about for the first time from Naked Snctm.

After a night of overindulgence, Damon is quite unable to get out of bed. Nicolas and Alina need him to get up; there’s business to handle before the masquerade. Nicolas suggests that this happens more often than he’d like. He even seems a little annoyed. What’s a guy to do?

Enter the IV Doc. The IV Doc will come to you, wherever you are, and administer an intravenous pick-me-up that will help you get out of bed to face the day. You can choose vitamins or other supplements, depending on whether you need hydration, detox, or even recovery from food poisoning. It’s actually kind of reasonably priced, when you consider how much it should cost to have a medical professional come to you and give you anything at all.

I had to go onto their website to learn all this. I have a little bit of an issue with needles, so I wasn’t about to watch Damon take that IV, even for you all. There is no way I personally would volunteer to get an IV because I can’t get out of bed. We would just have to write that day off. Perhaps the IV Doctor has a discount package where they open the packet containing the needle and you leap, rejuvenated, out of bed in order to avoid it.

The fourth episode reunites Damon with his mom.

Damon and his mom don’t see eye to eye. It feels personal and not totally appropriate to go into it here. I’ll say that despite Melissa’s suggestion in the first episode that Damon’s parents lived a carefree lifestyle that makes him who he is, I think Damon is actually trying to break free from the world his parents created for him in childhood. Snctm is his world, and at first blush, it does look like a traveling orgy. But in reality, the Diners and the masquerades and all the rest of it operate in a very structured way. Membership comes in tiers. Certain people are allowed to do certain things. There are rules upon rules upon rules. The sex is choreography, designed to entice invited guests.

When Damon ultimately reconciles with his mother, I don’t get a theater vibe from their embrace. He’s made himself open and vulnerable, and he owns that moment completely. I think that if Damon and his mom had ended the conversation by cursing each other out, he’d have owned that, too. This is what I meant when I said that Naked Snctm didn’t feel like reality television. We are in a space with Damon that feels intimate. It’s just unclear whether he considers it intimate. It’s unclear what intimacy means to him, which makes it harder for us to find our footing with it.

Also in the fourth episode, Damon goes on a date.

He’s been set up with a lovely woman named Violine. They’re enjoying a glass of wine and some conversation, and Damon tells us in the confessional that Violine has no idea what he does. He says the experience is refreshing. I know that feeling all too well. I’ve been on that date myself, before the guy across the table knows I write erotica. I treasure the moment when he looks at me and sees the girl he met at Petco or the attorney who works downtown, the one with the weird sense of humor and an unfortunate taste for disco. There is no way to know, without telling him, whether that guy would date a woman who writes erotica. So I know Damon’s desire to preserve the bubble, where he’s just Damon, a guy Violine met through a mutual friend.

But then Damon tells Violine what he does. On the first date, just after telling us how wonderful it is just to be Damon. He explains to Violine about Snctm and his role in it. He asks if she could date a man who did that for a living. Violine touches the napkin to her lips, and I know the answer is no before she says it.

Did you forget the preorder? Don’t forget the preorder. Click here!

I am reminded here of the monkey trap.

In the historically problematic miniseries Shaka Zulu, Edward Fox’s character Francis Farewell describes the monkey trap to Henry Cele’s King Shaka, leader of the Zulu nation. The trap is a gourd with a narrow neck, baited with something monkeys find tempting, like a piece of fruit or a shiny object. The monkey can reach into the gourd with no problem but he cannot withdraw his closed fist. To escape the trap, all the monkey must do is surrender the bait and open his hand. But monkeys won’t do that. Indeed, I saw a film the other day in which a trapped monkey frantically yanked at the gourd, desperate to flee the hunter but unwilling to relinquish his shiny prize.

I’ve come to realize that Damon is caught in a monkey trap. He himself observes that Snctm has cost him dearly. He’s lost his marriage. He’s leaving messages to speak to his daughter. It’s complicating his love life. He needs an IV to get out of bed.

But he won’t let go of it. While the club’s revels seem like the heights of sexual abandon to an outsider, Damon explains, “for me, it’s how I understand love. Sex is love.”

Snctm is Damon’s answer to some deep-seated question. It is the proof to some equation locked within him. It feels like a purpose and a solution to him, and with so much of himself wrapped up in it, I’m not sure what would remain if he let go of it.

He’s at home with his choice, and you all know that I stand for respecting a man’s choice. But I can’t help but see a gourd with a narrow neck, baited with something shiny.

Follow Lady Smut. We’re full of surprises.

I want to give you a hug for getting this far! Instead, I have two announcements.

I will be moving to a monthly post starting this month. Look for me on the first Friday of the month, beginning in October, and I promise to look for you, too. You’ll still get everything you’ve come to know and love from me — whatever that might be. You just won’t be seeing me as frequently.

Also, we at Lady Smut will be starting a new feature this week: Throwback Thursday. As we settle into this sophisticated new format, we’ll be featuring some of our greatest hits every Thursday! Tune in and get yourself a history lesson.

On Fire Week Continues with a Femdom Twofer Tuesday

18 Jul

Click and get your copy right now — today!

By Alexa Day

We’re celebrating the release of Rachel Kramer Bussel’s anthology, On Fire, all week long, but today is extra special. This is the release date for the electronic edition of On Fire, so if you’ve got a Kindle, you could be reading right now. While you’re clicking, On Fire Week continues with a glimpse of one of my favorite subgenres: femdom.

As my colleague Rachel Kramer Bussel promised yesterday, the On Fire anthology contains a femdom story, entitled “Dreams Made Flesh.” The couple featured in the story is just starting to explore the world of female domination together. The protagonist must overcome his fear of revealing his particular submissive inclinations. He revels in competition with other men for his lover’s attention — my favorite analogy pairs the male submissive with the knight riding in the queen’s service, and author Lawrence Westerman does the same here. But the story’s sensual core lies with the protagonist’s willingness to own his submission, with his lover and with others, until he finds the pleasure he most desires with the dominant woman of his fantasies.

“Dreams Made Flesh” is an enchanting story about two people learning to acknowledge their own needs and meet their partners on their journey to pleasure. A great story to leave on your partner’s pillow if you’re struggling with that tricky conversation in real life. I love stories like that, don’t you?

Click here and get your very own copy of On Fire right this second. When you’re done, I’ve got another surprise for you all.

Ready?

No shirt? Mo’ service! Stay tuned to hear more about this hot military femdom story!

That’s the cover for my own, newly expanded femdom story, Passing Through, which first appeared in last year’s Hero to Obey box set. The novella pairs bar owner Gigi Dean with former Army Ranger Noah Monroe. As Gigi’s best employee, Noah should be off limits. She should do the right thing and refuse to act on the immense attraction between them.

But that wouldn’t be much fun, would it? Seriously, does that sound like the sort of thing I’m going to advocate in the fabulous world of erotic fiction?

I’ll have more to share about Passing Through next week, just in time for its release. Right now, build on the summer heat with your own copy of On Fire.

And follow Lady Smut.

“Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?

15 Jun

by Madeline Iva

I do.  I do feel lucky.  I’ve got two new TV actor obsessions this summer.  AND WE’RE CELEBRATING Elizabeth Sa Fleur’s new book release LUCKY. (See more below.)

Todays post is about two weird punks, among other things. Thankfully people rarely toss around the term ‘punk’ anymore.  Some older man or jock would toss around the term as a way of picking on or at least intimidating one of those non-alpha males hanging out in the high school halls, usually minding his own business. My two latest TV actor obsessions would fit that outdated term. They’re lurkers. They’re the guys the jocks are dying to pick on.  Let’s herald the fact that TV has come such a long way that the ‘weird’ guys are now our heroes.

Isabelle Drake has already talked about her fascination with RIVERDALE.  I couldn’t agree more; it’s a more wholesome, more CW teen drama version of Twin Peaks.  The only thing that kept me from gagging on all the wholesome was –as Isabelle rightly points out — the scandals, secrets, and subversions.  Meanwhile, the show is narrated by one Jughead.

ALL HAIL JUGHEAD!

He’s the “weird one” on the show–the writer, and the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Sensitive and not into sports, cars, bands, or anything at all guy-like.  He just wants to hide in a corner and write about it all from a loner-safe distance. Just the kind of guy I would have fallen for in high school.

THE SHY WRITER GUY ROCKS MY WORLD

Betty draws him out of his corner to get on the school newspaper where she’s the editor and then he and Betty sleuth together. YES.

And he has a tortured relationship with his father who is (gasp!) Skeet Ulrich, still looking pretty damn good, I must say, and working that tempting bad boy vibe.  I totally crushed out on him in SCREAM and man, I don’t quite get why the girls in Riverdale aren’t crawling onto his face — that he doesn’t have a love interest is just wrong wrong wrong.

But I digress.

Another face slap moment while watching RIVERDALE is that Cole Sprouse who plays Jughead was, like, Ben – BEN!!! Ross’s son from Friends era.  So very very wrong.  Also it seems wrong that a child we’ve basically watched grow up on TV (don’t forget The Suite Life of Zach and Cody) is so cool and has got it together.  That said, for all the twin-cest stuff they play with on Riverdale it should be noted that Cole himself is an identical twin (the happy twin).

YAY JUGHEAD THE A-SEXUAL!

Okay – it’s so old, but I wonder if you heard about the controversy with Jughead’s sexuality? Well, the deal-i-o is this: Archie comics were already revamping their image and making themselves relevant for the modern age. Looking from today’s perspective at Jughead who remained free of all relationship entanglements and who loved to eat – we have here a classic a-sexual kind of character. Great! The comic ran with it –but they got into trouble when it came to the TV show on the CW.

Parents don’t want their kids having sex – but neither do they want their kid being asexual it seems. Cole Sprouse fought for it, but too bad, Jughead gets his romance on with one of the other Riverdale characters. I’m on the fence with this one. I liked the romance–a LOT–but I also like the idea of a (young and hot) asexual character. I want to have my cake and eat it too (a very asexual joke, btw.)

Anyway, I liked the character and I liked Cole all the more for him fighting for asexual Jughead. Without him there would have been no one relatable for me in the Riverdale reboot at all… not even creepy twincestuous Cheryl Blossom…

Many people were excited that all these actors from the 80’s and 90’s shows up as parents in the show, but I was rolling my eyes (except for SKEET!)

Damn, Skeet!

And Jughead is not really weird.  He’s what passes for the school’s intellectual.  He’s a teen who wants to avoid other teen’s penchants for drama and mess.  (Yes!) But eventually, Riverdale really focusses on Jughead’s own attempt–despite himself–to transcend his trailer park background and become one of the Riverdale scooby gang.  Forces pull him back, but Betty rallies everyone to pull him forward, and I just can’t tell you how happy I was to have his character — the writer, the outsider — become the heart of the show.

Final hot mention for Riverdale goes to Rob Roco who plays a hot GAY biker dude. (Swoon!)

HOW MANY HOT SWEDISH SKARSGARDS ARE THERE ANYWAY???

Anyway, moving on to the *real* “weird” dude in high school type –

He’s got to be the tallest guy on the show and, like, 27, but who CARES? Billy Skarsgard is the creepy high school rich boy Roman in Hemlock Grove.

Billy Skarsguard (brother of Alexander, son of Stellan) plays Roman in Hemlock Grove. The rich kid (and devil’s spawn????) –hey I don’t know, cause I just started watching the show—-in the town, Roman seems born to sin. He smokes, he drinks, gets high, and pops pills all the live long day and this is perfectly okay with his mother. (Because that’s what a devil’s spawn needs????)

Disturbed–in the *best* possible way!

But he’s got a good heart – in his own a way. In a very weird way. He’s interested in the neighbor teen boy who lives in a trailer. He’s interested in a cheerleader who was killed.  There’s a sense of pathos about him.  He takes his female cousin out for a good time. He’s definitely a good brother, and likes his sister’s freakish qualities.  He seems to indulge his we-think-she’s-evil mother with a fair amount of politeness.

He also boinks all the girls and THEN some. There is this one scene – ooh, it’s gonna squidge you out, but okay.  Roman is into blood. Like licking it. So when this girl in his class has a tampon sticking out of her purse and needs to go to the bathroom, he’s right behind her. Next scene – you can hear in the bathroom they’re having sex.

NO – WAIT – it gets gorier than that. Flash to the bathroom and you can tell behind the bathroom door that he’s going down on her like CRAZY. And she’s groaning and having an amazing time of it.

YES–it’s that kind of show.

My ultimate stance on this scene is….I love it. She’s having a VERY good time, he seemed to be too. That’s the definition of good sex in my book. Teens of America–take note.

(Side bar: Where are we going in our culture with period sex? It doesn’t seem to be really changing much—we regularly get these mentions dropped into the culture. It’s just the mentions seem to be getting bigger and more public. I remember finding this book by Erica Jong on the shelves while babysitting—not Fear of Flying, but maybe her second or third book? The character takes a younger lover, and she’s having the Red Sea of all periods but that doesn’t stop him. He just goes to town on her, triumphantly pulling the tampon out with his teeth and maybe even chewing on it, before getting back to bizness. (!!!) Of course, that’s the only scene I remember from the book at this point and I think it scarred me for life in some way I’m not sure of. Then there was Endless Love. Skip ten years. That thing in the pilot of Entourage where when Eric says to his friends that his he didn’t have sex with his girlfriend cause she said she was on her period. The guys are like, “She’s cheating on you.” And indeed she was. When is a period just a period anymore? IDK. There was that scene in 50 Shades when he visits her during her vacation home and she’s on her period. And finally, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend had that scene that hinted at a song called “Period Sex“.  The YouTube video Period Sex is even MORE out there.  I guess we’ll know it’s a real thing when it becomes a romance subgenre.)

WHO DOESN’T OBSESS OVER THE TORTURED HOT WEIRD GUY TEETERING ON THE EDGE?

Back to Roman: I have a feeling this is one of those roles that breaks our hearts. He’s a character teetering morally back and forth – like Jughead, only the stakes are far higher.  He could so easily go evil on us. But he’s not there yet. (I’m about maybe four episodes in.)  So of course you/I want him to not go over to that horrible side. But I think we can see from the gif below that he does. I’m just suspecting…it’s gonna be creeeeeeepy!

Okay, enough of the weird and grotesque today.  We’re especially happy that Elizabeth Sa Fleur’s latest LUCKY is out in time to take to the beach for that ultimate sweep-you-away summer read.  Here’s a blurb and some links.  Buy it! Buy it NOW!

LUCKY is Book #4 of the Elite Doms of Washington series

Entertainment investor and resolute bachelor Derek Damon Wright and dancer Samantha Rose are unprepared for their mutual attraction to one another, especially since she wants a baby and he wants … anything but.

Billionaire, entertainment investor and resolute bachelor Derek Damon Wright and dance studio owner Samantha Rose are unprepared for their mutual attraction to one another. Family doesn’t match Derek’s sophisticated life of private jets, vacations in the Caribbean and his BDSM activities. Yet a magnetic passion draws them closer—at least until their past mistakes arise and threaten all hope of a real future.

 

 

 

 

Wild Excerpt for Wild Week

18 May

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Hope all you readers have been enjoying Wild Week here at Lady Smut. Whether it’s Alexa Day’s Praise of the Wild Man or Elizabeth Shore hunting for ethical porn, it’s a wild time day by day to celebrate of the nomination of my novel, Wild on the Rocks, for InD’Tale’s Magazine‘s prestigious RONE award in the Suspense/Thriller: Short category. Voting goes all week, and I’d love it if you’d head on over and show some support for Wild on the Rocks, which is now on sale for $.99 exclusively from Amazon!

Vote today!

Wanna know what you’re getting into? Keep reading to see how, a year after their divorce, Jasper and Quinn find each other again in the most unlikely of places. Of all the joints in the world…

Enjoy this excerpt from Wild on the Rocks!

 

 

Casa Blanca, Barefoot Bay, Florida.

“Toldja. Beaches, babes, and booze. The unholy trifecta. Praise sweet baby Jesus.”
Twist’s voice sounded through Jasper’s ear pierce as he scanned the patio area where the rehearsal dinner
cocktail hour was under full swing.
He had to admit that, for once, Twist had got it right.
The Thornquist wedding—or the Thorny Wedding as the security team had taken to calling it—was as
opulent as advertised. Jasper stopped trying to count the number of recognizable faces from notable Washington
families after the first hour. Not that he knew a lot of them on sight. Twist had a better take on the Who’s Who,
given he came from some seriously old money, a secret he kept close and actively hid from their team.
“There’s definitely enough booze,” Jasper agreed. “We’ll be fishing women in formal wear out of the
pool before the bride gets down the aisle.”
“Ah, the wet gown contests. Nothin’ like a dirty debutante.” He sighed with such exaggeration, Jasper
fancied he felt an actual breeze. “Sometimes, at night, I can still hear the screams…of pleasure.”
He absolutely would not smile at Twist’s ridiculousness. “We’ve been here twenty-four hours and your
degenerate side is already at full throttle.”
“Brother, it’s my best side.”
“How ’bout we try to be professionals for a while. Did you tag the congressman’s daughter?”
“Your four o’clock. She’s on her third drink and laughing with the bartender.”
“Spectacular. That’s what we need: a horny bartender.”
“The bartender is a woman, and if she’s horny for the congressman’s daughter, then I’m moving in for a
ringside seat. Shee-it, she is hawt.”
At the mention of a female bartender, Jasper’s head instantly filled with the image of Quinn, her whole
body shaking with laughter at something stupid he’d said before she leaned her elbows on the bar to get closer to
him as if even the air between them was too much distance to bear.
Until she’d run out on him six months later while he was OUTCONUS and put all the distance of the
world between them for good.
Annoyed, he shook off the memory like he longed to shake off the woman. That’s why he was here, right?
To exorcise the taste and feel and haunting memories of his wife on a willing woman.
Ex-wife.
A short-term, holiday affair was the perfect way to end the self-enforced abstinence he’d endured since
his divorce. Jasper was normally careful who he fucked, his career and his family history enough that he didn’t
treat sex as casual even when having casual sex. The one time he’d taken a chance on a wild lover, she’d
quickly become his wife and soon after broken his heart but good.
This temporary fantasy away from his shattered life was the perfect place to learn from his mistakes. And
make a few new, short-term ones.
“Was it ‘hot’ or ‘horny’ where we lost you, Queen?”
Twist’s voice held more than a thread of humor in it. If he made one comment over coms about Jasper
being hard up, best friend or not, he was going to kill him.
“Sit rep,” he snapped.
“You’re not CO on this op,” Twist reminded him with no small amount of glee. “Man, you should see this
bartender.”
Jasper rolled his eyes behind his aviator shades. “We’re on a job, Twist. Not on vacation or the prowl.”
“We’re on a job on vacation, Queen. And I take my wingman duties seriously for both. Relax. You can
count on me to Set. You. Up.”
“I’ll relax when you stop yapping in my ear while I’m getting paid to look after people who could buy or
sell small countries with their pocket change.”
“You better have more than change in your pocket, brother. Not kidding, Queen. You need to come over
here and check her out. She is smokin’ hot.”
“Happy as I am to hear you appreciate the staff, maybe you could spare the rest of us the play by play,
Sisti.”
Luke McBain’s terse voice made Jasper grimace. Thanks to Twist, he was getting chastised over coms.
Soon as they were off duty, he was gonna kick Twist’s ass.
“I could do for a little play by play,” one of the other guards admitted. “These political fuckers are boring
as hell.”
“These political fuckers are our well-paying clients,” McBain reminded everyone. “Try not to disrespect
them to their faces.” A series of “yes, sirs” flooded the com line. “Rehearsal’s over. We’re headed back to the
resort.”
Along with five of his guys, McBain was down on the beach guarding the principals—bride, groom,
attendants, and parents—while the rest of them babysat everyone not in the wedding party. That McBain’s wife
and her wedding planning partners were on the beach probably had a lot to do with his hands on approach at that
vector. “Queen, report.”
“Guests are bugging out from the patio, moving into the dining room. Got ten lingering.”
“Hustle them along. I want everyone under roof in five. Rocco, Johnny, and Marlowe, you three are in
Junonia’s main room covering the dinner. It’s a sit down, so stay out of the way, but remain visible. The rest of
you patrol the perimeter. Sisti, meet up with Queen on the patio. The two of you take position inside the
restaurant at the bar.”
“Sure you want Twist close to the hot bartender?” Jasper asked.
“I’ve seen the woman. If he hits on her, I’ll want a ringside seat. I could use a good laugh today.”
Jasper wasn’t the only man chuckling over the channel at that one.
He moved from his position at the back corner of the patio from which he could see all the way down to
the beach. Table by table, he gently urged people into the restaurant proper, waiting as the women gathered the
whatnot women everywhere seemed to cart around with them no matter the occasion. His go bag had less to it
than some of these women’s purses.
He felt Twist at his six as he helped an octogenarian to her feet and transferred her surprisingly strong
grip to the arm of a waiter. The old dame patted his ass before shuffling off.
“Please tell me you’re not that hard up,” Twist begged, and Jasper heard him in stereo; at his back and
again through the coms.
Damn it.
“Fuck off,” he muttered.
“Oh ho!” Twist chortled with an elbow to Jasper’s gut. “Queen’s losing his cool! Is the world ending?!”
“Keep it up and yours can be.”
Twist snorted, and Jasper would’ve been happier to see his friend up to his old tricks if only he wasn’t
the target.
“I can do you better than a biddy,” Twist promised.
“For the love of my sanity, don’t help me.”
“Gotta look out for my boy.”
“Try doing that by not discussing my sex life on open coms.”
“What sex life? You haven’t gotten laid in months.”
“You know wingman and stalker mean two different things, right?”
“Rumor has it, you’ve got the bluest balls on the team for a man without a pregnant wife or girlfriend. The
boys have bets on how long it’ll take you to nail someone this weekend.”
“I’ll take that action,” Ryan, on the perimeter, piped in.
“Me too,” added Rocco from inside the restaurant.
“Done,” Twist confirmed. “We’ll settle up after the dinner.”
“I’m not hitting on the bartender,” Jasper vowed. “Leave me out of this little clique.”
Twist slapped a consoling hand on Jasper’s shoulder. “Ladies like it when you know how to find that
part.”
Laughter rang on the coms again while Jasper shook his head. “I can’t believe this shit,” he muttered.
“Believe it. Consider Operation King Me underway.”
Jasper’s gaze hit on McBain, who waited for them at the patio door to the restaurant. “Shut it,” he ordered
even though he knew McBain already heard Twist’s nonsense in his ear.
“When Nick gave me your names, I had no idea we’d be getting security and a show,” McBain gibed.
Jasper bit back a grimace. McBain eyed Twist with a peculiar gleam that made Jasper uneasy. “You know, don’t
you?”
That nagging sense of trouble that had been prodding the base of Jasper’s skull all day finally burst.
“What did you do?”
But Twist looked equally confused. “Swear Roy, I have no idea what he’s on about.”
Boss or not, Jasper raised a brow at McBain in silent demand. He jerked his head in a “follow me”
motion and led the way from the patio into the restaurant’s bar.
“I thought it was coincidence or a joke. But my guys only finalized her background check this morning.”
Her? Alarm snaked up Jasper’s spine. Oh, hell no.
“They gave me the final report this morning,” McBain continued. “Not hard to see you share the same last
name.” He gestured toward the bar where a woman worked to fill cocktail orders. “Don’t suppose she’s your
cousin?”
Jasper watched her move, the dance of her motions unchanged from a year before, a sinuous weave that
only hinted at the flexibility she’d brought to their bed. He’d told her once he’d never seen anyone make pouring
a glass of wine look so sexy.
This was still true.
Her dark-brown hair hung past her shoulders now to the middle of her back, long layers that fell forward
to brush her sharp cheekbone when she bent over the bar to serve a drink. He knew how those strands felt when
gripped in his hands, or scraping down his belly as her wide, lush mouth mapped its way down his body to her
target.
She wore the standard server’s uniform of white top and black bottoms, but her collared, tuxedo shirt was
fitted to her impressive rack, emphasized by the two buttons she left undone to show the tempting gulley in her
cleavage. The shirt nipped in at her waist and what little of her black trousers he could see clung to her hips. A
long pearl necklace was twisted into a knot to dangle down her front and Jasper knew, he knew, she’d be
wearing her motorcycle boots, even to this kind of wedding. When she stretched for a bottle off the top shelf, the
banner of skin left bare at her midriff came into view and Jasper proceeded to completely lose his shit.
“You already know she’s not my cousin,” he snarled while rage flooded his body and instant arousal made
him hard as a spike. “She’s my wife.”

* * *

Nettie’s tray clattered onto the bar. “Holy shit,” she gasped, eyes fixed on the restaurant’s entrance. “Is it
Christmas already?”
Quinn glanced over her shoulder as a trio of men crossed the threshold. The last rays of sun shined
through the door behind them, blinding her and making the men little more than shadows. Large shadows with
broad shoulders.
Hoo. Shah.
She shielded her eyes and turned back to the blender. “We should send God a fruit basket.”
“Full of gold.” Nettie nodded toward the man on the end. “That’s Luke McBain. He does the resort’s
security. Very married to one of the wedding planners.”
“So looky, but no touchy.”
Nettie grinned. “Exactly.”
Quinn checked the men out again from the corner of her eye. All three wore black collared shirts tucked
into belted black trousers and topped with aviator glasses they removed almost simultaneously as they came
fully into the bar and approached the women. As classic a uniform for their job as her black and white get-up
was for hers. Standing nearly at the same six-foot plus heights—though the one on the opposite end from McBain
was an inch or two shorter—they were all armed, two with weapons in hip holsters while the guy in the center
sported a shoulder rig.
To Quinn’s mind, shoulder rigs were the sexy, Mad Men version of gun holsters. In a good way. Intensely
masculine but minus the infuriating sexism. So her eyes lingered on that man, skimming over his wide, muscular
chest framed within the holster’s leather strips while she absently noted he alone of the three had his sleeves
rolled up to the elbow. His thick throat rippled as she watched and sharp hunger spiked deep in Quinn’s belly,
the likes of which she hadn’t felt in more than a year. What looked like two days’ worth of scruff covered his
scarred chin, surrounding lips she’d bet were full and a shy short of too fleshy when not drawn into their current
tight line. Coasting past raised cheek bones, the hair on the back of Quinn’s neck lifted and her nipples
contracted into painful points as her avaricious gaze met eyes she already knew were a stunning golden hazel
when not darkened with swelling rage that made his pupil expand until the color was a mere glowing rim.
“Can you imagine having that in your bed every night?” Nettie said.
“I can, actually.” Quinn replied on little more than an exhale. The bottle of wine in her hands trembled.
She set it down on the bar with extreme care and deliberately laid her hands on either side of it before looking
up into the breathtaking, hard-set face of her husband.
Ex-husband.
“Fuck, Roy, but you can pick ’em,” the third man said as he settled onto a stool, seemingly oblivious to the
heaving tension.
Quinn ignored him. She knew better than to look away from the seething powder keg that was Jasper.
“You look like a recruitment poster for Badasses ’R Us.”
He stepped toward the bar as though seconds from yanking her over it. “You look like you’re on your way
to try out for the Coyote Ugly sequel.”
His friend split a grin between them. “Okay, now I believe she’s your wife.”
Ex-wife,” Quinn and Jasper snapped simultaneously, which made the man crack up.
“Cut it out, Twist,” Jasper growled.
This was Twist? She risked taking her eyes off Jasper, fascinated to finally meet his closest friend, though
it escaped her why it could possibly mattered after all this time.
Twist’s grin didn’t falter, but it didn’t reach his eyes, either, and the frank animosity there scorched her
skin.
Okay by her. Not like she was trying to make friends.
“Luke McBain.” The other man introduced himself with a warm smile. She tore her eyes from Twist and
reflexively accepted his proffered hand.
“Quinn McQueen,” she replied without thinking and immediately regretted it when Jasper’s entire torso
recoiled.
The tailored shirt rippled over his muscled chest, mesmerizing Quinn so that Jasper startled her when he
leaned those bare, cut forearms on the bar and got right back in her space.
Holy crap, arm porn. She was in no way prepared for her ex-husband’s delectable arm porn.
He glared at her hand still caught in McBain’s until she tugged it free. “Come again?” The sibilant
whisper coasted over her skin. Quinn caught her breath.
Even though his arrival right now, right here, and all that might mean scared the holy shit outta her, even
after all the bone-crushing, lonely days and weeks she’d spent without him, even now, that deep rumble of his
voice raised goose bumps on her arms.
“Jasp,” she whispered with absolutely no idea what to say beyond that or how to justify being Quinn
McQueen again without telling him that simply having his name was a comfort when she felt more lost than ever
before in her life.
His eyes flared with heat. They were close enough now for Quinn to see that ribbon of green gold around
his pupil glow bright. She locked her knees and clutched her hands together beneath the edge of the bar to keep
from grabbing him.
“You’re using my name again? Since when?”
“About a week ago,” she admitted, her voice small.
“For hell’s sake, why?”
Because I’m on the run from the Russian mob and the only place I’ve ever felt safe was with you.
Yeah, like either of them was prepared to detonate that cans of worms.
She forced herself to shrug. “I like the cadence.”
His hands spread wide on the wood. She half expected him to vault right over the bar. “You like the
cadence?” he hollered back, practically in her face.
She huffed out a breath. “It’s not like I expected you to find out about it! What are you doing here
anyway?”
He tossed an incredulous glance at McBain as though the answer were obvious. And to be fair, it kinda
was. “Searching for buried treasure.”
Despite his dry tone, Quinn’s eyes went wide at the thought of such an adventure. “Really?” she breathed.
“Jesus, no. I’m working security for the wedding.” He shook his head with familiar exasperation. “Christ,
you look ready to abandon everything to go buy shovels and rent a trawler.”
“Ah, is this gonna be a problem?” McBain asked.
Slowly, Jasper eased back from the bar. “That remains to be seen.” Quinn could see he was already
locking himself down, pulling those pesky emotions back under his control. He’d always been able to get over
her so easily when she’d barely been able to let him walk out of a room without her.
Guess nothing had changed on that front.
“What are you doing here, Quinn?”
Irritation quickly replaced her shock, and Quinn reclaimed her attitude along with it. “Uh, working.
Obviously.”
“And I’ve no doubt my wife would appreciate it if your impending domestic didn’t upset her high-society
wedding,” McBain warned without heat.
Quinn zoned back in on the unfinished tab before her. “Shit. Nettie, I’m sorry. Let me get you sorted.”
The waitress eyed her with rampant speculation. Quinn expected she and Jasper would be tasty fresh meat
for the locals when this got out. Say in five minutes. Or however long it took Nettie to speed dial the whole
world as she knew it.
Charity would have a cow not to have had first dibs.
“Don’t worry about it, hon,” Nettie reassured her, but Quinn was already dumping the trio of cocktails.
“These margaritas have settled. Take the wine out while I whip up a fresh batch.” Running the blender
would hold off Jasper’s impending interrogation, too, maybe long enough for her to come up with an explanation
that didn’t involve the words “Russian mob” and “murder.”
Because there was no way he was letting it go that easily. Jasper McQueen did not quit until he got what
he wanted, be it answers or his ring on her finger or her ass in his San Diego condo.
“Queen, you and Twist stay here for the duration of the dinner. Rotate out with one of the boys in the
dining room on the hour,” McBain ordered. “Time for me to walk the perimeter.”
She threw a look at him over her shoulder in time to see him give Jasper a shoulder clasp of male
solidarity.
Great. He had reinforcements.
“More bartenders are coming tomorrow with the catering staff for the wedding,” she explained needlessly
after McBain exited and Nettie toddled off. “But I’m it for tonight’s dinner, so I don’t have time for a chat.”
“I’ll wait,” Jasper promised.
Of course he would. “Ho-kay then.”
Since she couldn’t budge him and had zero hope of ignoring him, Quinn focused on the work. She finished
the margaritas as Nettie returned with a new order, all the while feeling Jasper’s accusing gaze locked on her,
his eyes tracking her every move as though she’d disappear if he blinked.
God, he looked good enough to eat.
Down girl. He wasn’t hers anymore, and while she might still look, not being able to touch would
probably kill her before the Russian mob did.
* * *
“So!” Twist broke into the charged silence with his usual delicacy. “How’d you crazy kids meet?”
“Vegas,” Jasper growled. “The last time you forced me on vacation. And no, it did not ‘stay there’.”
Twist’s disbelieving gaze switched back and forth between Jasper and Quinn. “That was only a long
weekend. You’re telling me you met and got married in four days?!”
Said like that, it sounded as nutso as it was. But Jasper had taken one look at Quinn in the bar of the
Bellagio that first night and knew there was no one else for him.
Shockingly, she’d felt the same.
For a little while.
Betrayal battled with rage for dominance and beat down the fuckin’ thrill that’d ripped through his chest
when he’d first realized Quinn was within reach again. He barely stifled the urge to drag her over the bar and
handcuff them together before she could leave him again.
He reached for his frayed control and found it in tatters. That had been the case with Quinn from the start.
The moment he laid eyes on all that was her—tits and ass and so much infectious attitude, she nearly vibrated
with it—he’d been wild for her.
Christ, two minutes around her and already she was driving him mad.
And he didn’t need an audience for that madness.
“You’re not being paid to guard that bar stool,” Jasper pointedly reminded his friend.
“Jeez, bring a guy to paradise for a vacation, and all he wants to do is work.”
“Vacation starts after we’re done with this job. A job that has to pay for that vacation given we’re on
enforced leave without pay.”
“You’re on what?!” Quinn said, pausing in her drink mixing to gape at him and Twist.
Jasper stifled a wince. Quinn had a rabid curiosity streak and tended to dig in exactly where he didn’t
want her. “Leave it.”
“Whoops,” Twist taunted. “Cat’s outta the bag.”
“You can cut that shit out at any time.”
“It’s hardly top secret intel. Unlike your marriage, apparently.”
Quinn grabbed a bottle of triple sec and shot him a look. “I know, right?!”
Jasper’s head tipped back so he investigated the ceiling. “And now you’re bonding. Spectacular.”
“Hey, pal, you’re the one who went to Vegas, married a superhot chick, and hid it from everyone you
know, including me. Inquiring minds wanna know.”
“I wanna know.” Jasper heard the anonymous mutter in his ear piece and realized with embarrassed shock
that he and Twist were still on coms. Christ, they were all a bunch of gossiping women.
He ripped the mechanism out of his ear and threw it across the room where it shattered a vase so
violently, Twist jumped. “Maybe you could do me a solid and hold off until after I find out how the wife I
haven’t seen or heard from since she ran out on me a year ago winds up in Barefuck Bay the exact day we do!”
That brought Quinn’s chin up. “Ex-wife,” she reminded him, unruffled by his uncharacteristic display of
temper. “And you left me first.”
Jasper’s hands curled into fists. The gall of the woman! “I was on a mission,” he gritted out between
clenched teeth, blood on a fast boil. “For my country.”
“Yeah, well, next time have the courtesy to let your wife know you’re leaving before you disappear for six
weeks!”
He set his feet and crossed his arms and practically read her mind when she swept him up in a glance and
smirked. The Patented Jasper McQueen Stubborn Stance. “Terrorists aren’t known for giving advanced notice,
babe. We go where we’re commanded to go, and when the intel comes in or the embassy is attacked or the
hostages are taken, we go fast. And it was eight weeks, which you would know if you had bothered to stick
around!”
Her eyes narrowed. “Maybe I would have, sweetheart, if I hadn’t found out from some reluctant secretary
at the yard when I called trying to find you that you didn’t even bother to tell the Navy you got married!”
Jasper’s retort was stymied by the beep of his watch alarm marking the hour. He hit the off button and
ordered Twist, “Go relieve Rocco.”
“We don’t switch out for another thirty.”
“Find something to do,” Jasper snarled. “Somewhere else.”
Twist made a show of getting up. “Sure I shouldn’t stick around in case you suddenly need an alibi?”
“Don’t need an alibi, ’cause when I kill you, it’ll be justified.”
“You love me. You know it.” He winked at Quinn, and then scuttled back as Jasper took two menacing
steps in Twist’s direction. “Calm down, Queen, I’m going. Gotta line up a bridesmaid anyway now the hot
bartender is off the market.”
“You should go with him,” Quinn advised after Twist had cleared the doorway, shutting the wooden
panels behind him to close them off from the party.
But Jasper had just realized this was the perfect chance for him to find out what the fuck went so wrong in
their marriage that she scuttled away like a fugitive without so much as talking to him. Had he pushed too fast for
too much? Had he frightened her? Or was it merely that he’d been her next wild ride and she’d never loved him
in the first place? It’d torn him up for months, wondering what he had done that was so wrong he chased away
the love of his life.
But now she was here. Now, he would know.
He planted his feet again, hands on hips. “Not going anywhere till I get some answers.”
It helped that the rehearsal schedule worked in his favor. The rehearsal guests had finally tucked into their
entrees making a break from cocktail orders. The wait staff made similar use of the lull and efficiently prepped
tables for the next course in the other room, which meant he and Quinn would be effectively alone in the bar
until the dinner ended.
He saw the moment Quinn realized he had her trapped.
She took a step back, grabbed the ledge behind her, and leaned back against her hands. The position thrust
her chest forward and lifted the edge of her blouse even further away from her low-slung trousers.
Rock, meet hard place.
Jasper knew she was too pissed at him to be deliberately trying to arouse him, but that didn’t reduce the
size of his reaction.
“Oh yeah?” she replied and fuck him, her sneer was such priceless Quinn attitude that, in spite of himself,
he had to fight off a grin and get a tighter rein on his hard on. “Like what?”
“Like why you’re using my name again when you told me—through the lawyers, because God forbid you
should talk to me—how eager you were to shed every trapping of being married, including my name.”
She shrugged. “I changed my mind.”
That ratcheted up his simmering rage so fast, he almost put his fist into the bar.
His narrowed gaze swept her from top to bottom. Her cheeks were flushed, enough that he could see the
heated flesh even in the dim light of the bar. She dodged his eyes too, which was a very un-Quinn thing to do…
unless she was trying to hide something from him. “Cut the crap, Quinn. You in trouble?”
His jaw clenched when her face went blank. That quick, she’d shut him out. If not for her body’s reactions
—reactions he suspected she had no clue she was giving him—he’d have thought her unmoved by his return.
“It’s really none of your business.”
“Bullshit.”
That cracked her mask. Irritated, her shoulders squared off. “Where the hell do you get off?”
“Where do I get off? Are you fucking kidding me?”
“No, Jasper, I am not fucking kidding you,” she said with an exaggerated patience that ramped him up
even more. “We are divorced. Dee-vorced. Who and what I am is no longer your concern.”
That did it. Jasper could practically hear the tether of his control snap as he vaulted over the bar, locked
his hands on her hips, and yanked her against him.
Her hands flew up on a gasp, but he was too fast for her to push him away, and they got caught instead
against his chest. Jasper took advantage of her open mouth and swooped in.
Her taste was narcotic. His mind fogged over and the burn in his chest exploded as he drank deep.
Somewhere along the way that day, she’d indulged in a shot of rum. He licked the spicy flavor from her lips and
dived deeper.

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Caught by surprise, Quinn had no time to put up her shields, shields she’d held fast even when he’d been
deep inside her, so he owned her mouth from the start and rubbed his tongue against hers in a slow rhythm that
belied his raging lust. She always wanted to rush to the finish and never more than when they were having sex,
laser focused on her orgasm and ready to get on with it. So he would bridle that instinct and instead prime her
with slow teases of what she’d get when he had her naked and spread for him. Blissful torture that only his
brutal training to become a SEAL had allowed him to endure, but she’d always, always, made it more than
worth it.
This time, slow was going to have to wait for round two.
Or three.
He lifted his mouth to give them half a second to catch a breath, nipping once at her bottom lip because he
couldn’t stand to lose her taste even for that long. She exhaled loudly through her nose and then took the
offensive, and it was her tongue in his mouth staking claim and filling Jasper with exultant satisfaction.
My wild lady.
One of her hands slid under his pit to grab his lat while the other plunged up into his hair to hold him to
her. The movement put them chest to chest and Jasper groaned as the hard points of her nipples poked him
through their shirts. She lifted her lips, tilted her head, and kissed him again, the new angle deeper and
astoundingly more intimate.
Crushed between them, her necklace rattled against his chest until it gave up the battle and split apart,
crashing pearls to the ground like scattered hail. He felt her back-of-the-throat whimper in his dick and squeezed
the bounty of her hips. She followed his silent direction by boosting her ass up onto the ledge so he could bump
her knees wide and finally, finally, shove his hard cock into the cradle of her covered pussy after being denied it
for twelve…fucking…months.
His arms crisscrossed the small of her back, brushing the edge of those low-slung pants so that his thumbs
skirted the top of her ass. He held her tight enough to make breathing a chore, and he didn’t care, he didn’t care
one damn bit, they could suffocate from kissing and that’d be fine by him, because he knew the second he set her
free, she’d be gone.
And he would not lose her again.
And then, as suddenly as it began, the kiss was over. They stood there, clutching each other, mouths as
close as possible without connecting, breathing heavily in shared astonishment, each unwilling to be the first to
shatter the moment and bring hard reality back to crash around them.
I missed you. The words ripped through Jasper’s soul. He’d missed her mouth, her tits, her pussy, her
deep brown eyes, the scar on her chin, her sharp tongue, and her ridiculous sense of humor. He missed how she
held him and how she took him and how she got him better than anyone, even Twist. He’d hear a pun and think to
text it to her knowing she’d never met one she didn’t like, only to painfully remember he’d blocked her number.
He’d go to a bar and expect to see Quinn behind it, so he stopped going out except when called to untangled a
teammate, and that immediately put Maverick back in his mind, and fucking hell, he did not need that right now.
She’d turned his world effervescent so that it fizzed with joy and laughter, like one of her drinks,
showered him with wild beauty and then wrenched it all away to leave him feeling utterly abandoned, something
he hadn’t experienced since his adoptive parents returned him to foster care only to keep his two younger
brothers as their own.
I missed you.
But Jasper knew better than to say that to Quinn. And that hole she’d left behind that had ached in his chest
for twelve long months rang hollow with renewed loss.
“You still kiss like a wet dream,” he muttered instead.
It was a mistake. Quinn immediately went stiff with insult and tried to yank free of him, but she’d never
been a match for his strength—though always more than a match with her tongue—and he braced to get the edge
of it and not in the way he wanted.
Instead, when his arms locked her in place, a deeply wounded look seeped into her dark brown eyes, eyes
that yet shimmered from their kiss. It pierced past betrayal and abandonment to stab Jasper right in his aching
heart. “You’re a son of a bitch, you know,” she whispered.
That was truer than she could realize. His hands cupped her jaw. I missed you. “What trouble are you in,
Quinn?” he asked again. His thumbs brushed her racing pulse, coaxing her to capitulation.
Not that it made a dent in his determined wife. She blinked, erasing any hint of that rare vulnerability, and
said, “Honestly, it’s none of your business,” and Jasper was done.
Enough fucking around. His fingers dug a bit deeper into her skin, enough that her mouth popped open
with an invitation he’d bet she didn’t realize was on offer. “Everything about you is my business, and you’re
gonna stay my business until one of us stops breathing no matter what goddamn name you’re wearing when we
do.”

In Praise of the Wild Man

16 May

Be honest. Are you really that attached to civilization?

By Alexa Day

Civilization. It’s a nice place to visit, but living there has its ups and downs. So many rules. Conventions. And it’s insidious. You might not think you play by society’s rules, but if you have an opinion about the man bun, you are closer to society than you suppose.

Enter the wild man. The unprincipled savage. He might be a little unkempt — hell, sometimes, he’s downright filthy. But he can be a breath of fresh air.

You guys thought of Daryl first, didn’t you? Don’t lie.

Daryl Dixon, of The Walking Dead, is proof positive that the wild man has a hold on civilized lady viewers. Daryl doesn’t even exist in the graphic novels upon which the show is based. Indeed, he all but admits that his life before the zombie apocalypse was basically non-existent. No job. No purpose. And yet we threaten to riot if harm should befall this person with no history.

Daryl’s an unrepentant redneck, in the best possible way. While others whine about the quality of canned food post apocalypse, he’s good with a squirrel or a snake or half of a rabbit from a few days ago. And he takes some measure of pride in being filthy. Avoiding a long overdue shower in Alexandria gave him some pleasure, I think.

But we love the Dirty South’s dirtiest representative because he’s genuine. His code is his own. He’s not one to just say something to make a person feel better. (He lied to Carol once, sure, but he did it because he was the only one to recognize that she was too vulnerable for the truth.) He can relate to civilization without being swayed by it, so when he makes a moral judgment, people listen to him. And he has so little regard for polite society that it’s heart-squeezing to watch him getting attached to anyone. There might not ever be a place in our civilized world for Daryl. But when he makes a space in his loner’s heart for someone, it’s a pretty big deal.

Wilder than Daryl and yet inexplicably clean is the ultimate wild man, Tarzan. Unlike the redneck with the heart of gold, Tarzan was once part of high society. He’s chosen to spend his life away from civilization, both European and African, and make a solitary home for himself in the jungle. For the women of his day — well, for some of them, anyway — Tarzan presents a potent lure. He’s an attractive, virtuous man who won’t force them to respect civilization’s restrictive rules because he doesn’t live that way himself. He lives far from anyone who would judge, shame or diminish him, and his chosen mate would share that world with him. Everyone — well, almost everyone — wins with Tarzan.

Because Romancelandia is, above all things, a world of abundance, many species of wild men populate its pages. Bearded mountain men. Tattooed bikers. Bare-knuckled fighters. Shifters of all kinds and varieties. All guys with both the will and the ability to carry us away from the many, many pointless worries and concerns that fill our everyday lives, despite our best efforts. Once the wild man’s gotten hold of us, we’ll forget all about that nail appointment, or whether we might have worded that email differently, or if the chicken breast is going to defrost by the time we get home. Okay, he’s not the sort of guy to arrange for top-shelf bottle service at your local high-end strip club, and I definitely want to make that happen at some point. But once your savage boyfriend makes all those frivolous distractions disappear, who knows what wild ideas might take their place?

Might I suggest a little nude photography? One of my wilder adventures.

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Speaking of wild adventures, this week is Suspense and Thriller week for the RONE Awards with In D’Tale magazine. My esteemed colleague Kiersten Hallie Krum is among the finalists for this year’s awards, with her book WILD ON THE ROCKS. Pop over to vote for her this week, and be sure to score your own copy of this hot story about a beach bartender and the SEAL who loves her. It’s only 99 cents. Isn’t that wild?

And because I want you to win something, too, make sure you collect our various wild confessions this week for a chance to win $10 in spending cash over at Amazon. You like spending cash, right?

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5 Ways Millionaires & Billionaires Aren’t Like Us

11 Feb

By Elizabeth SaFleur

bizmeetingAccording to the latest Fifty Shades Darker movie, Christian Grey makes $24,000 every 15 minutes. Possible? Yes. Over the years I’ve met a few billionaires and lots of mega millionaires in my day job. Not sure what they make in fifteen minutes, but I can tell you these super-magnets for wealth exist.

Christian Grey is young, hot, and tormented.  He’s not like you and me with his anti-relationship contracts, and crazed need for control.

Okay, this is really just an excuse to post more pics of Jamie Dornan.

Okay, this is really just an excuse to post more pics of Jamie Dornan.

While your average mega-rich guy may not be like that, neither is he like us ordinary folk. Here are five things I’ve observed about the super rich.

  1. NEVER ENOUGH.  You worry about money.  I worry about money.  The uber-wealthy worry about money too, but not like you and me. As long as I’m paying the bills, taking a nice trip or two a year and someone comes to clean my house once a week– I’m golden. That’s enough. Millionaires and Billionaires worry about losing their super-wealthy status, and they worry about it all the time. They’ll always have money, but it’s having “enough” that’s troublesome.  Their version of “enough” is in the seven figures–for a while. Then they need more…and more…
  2. CHEAP IS CHEAP. The super-rich have odd ideas about what’s expensive. Watch them recoil in horror that a Frappacino at Starbucks costs six dollars.  However they’ll approve that 60 grand for the new pool in the third house with the swipe of a pen. (Or a phone call. They have people who handle that stuff for them.)
  3. RICH MEN DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE. It’s usually someone calling for money. Their voice mail is perpetually full. Their people will get back to you.  Maybe.
  4. RICH MEN DON’T RUSH. They walk. Other people can run–and should run, because rich men despise tardiness in others. So don’t be late for meetings with them.
  5. RICH MEN SAY NO. If a situation doesn’t suit them (like they don’t like the restaurant you pick or that company they thought they might buy), they walk away–even if they leave you hanging. Is that rude? Well, yeah.  Sometimes. Do people around them point that out? Well, no.
Thinking important business thoughts. This is what the super-rich do.

Thinking important business thoughts. This is what the super-rich do.

Ultimately, there are two kinds of super-wealthy men: those that buy their way into everything and those that buy their way out.  Is this nature or nurture? Are they rich because they have these traits, or does being rich change them? One thing’s for sure–you and I will probably never know. ; >

Includes massage oil, candle, lip balm, and soap. Continental US only, please!

Includes massage oil, candle, lip balm, and soap. Continental US only, please!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Lady Smut and be entered in our Valentine’s Giveaway

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary erotic romance and she’s not afraid to get graphic about it  — “it” being the sex, the BDSM or Washington, DC society, which she regularly features in her series, the Elite Doms of Washington. Join her Sexy, Saucy, Sometimes Naughty exclusive reader’s group or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

A Few of My Favorite Posts

19 Dec

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

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

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

Women Who Make America Great

Imposter Syndrome: Do You Have It?

The Culture of Shame

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

Friends for Now

The Shaming of Plus Sized Women

Navy Seals: Why They Turn My Crank

Sekrit Project No More!

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

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

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