Tag Archives: Adriana Anders

When All Else Fails–Find Love: Rogue Desire

10 Aug

Hey political vaginas! If you’re still seeking refuge from the news but wanna romance hero who will fight the good fight–ROGUE DESIRE is the political anthology for you.  I read Adriana Anders’ story in which a young woman fighting for the community approaches that big spooky house on the block.  Lurking within it’s shadowy rooms is a recluse.  Major hacker geek hotness ensues. You should check it out —

Here’s a blurb:

Eight brand new romances for fans of the West Wing, fired-up #resistance fighters, and everyone who ever had a crush on that guy at a protest…

Whether you’re into reclusive hacker heroes, secret billionaire park rangers, or a healthy bout of hate sex, there’s a story for your heat level—from sweet to scorching hot.

$2.99 — buy it now!

ROGUE DESIRE anthology buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vlOOok

B&N: http://bit.ly/2umuu62

iBooks: http://apple.co/2uxymlq

Google play: http://bit.ly/2urDuaY

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2tQWvCl

Authors: Stacey Agdern, Adriana Anders, Emma Barry, Jane Lee Blair, Ainsley Booth, Amy Jo Cousins, Dakota Gray, Tamsen Parker.

STILL HESITATING: Okay, well check out this story by Ainsley Booth and see if that convinces you.  It’s free right now–but grab it today before it’s gone!

Check out a peek at Tamsen Parker’s story here.

 

 

Sexy Snippet: Resistance romance anthology Rogue Desire

31 Jul

Today Lady Smut is thrilled to bring you an excerpt from a hot new ebook that’s right up our alley: Rogue Desire: A Romance Anthology.

Rogue Desire has all the resistance romance you crave!

Here’s more about Rogue Desire, which came out earlier in July and is a perfect romance read for these politically charged times:

When all else fails, find love.

Eight brand new romances for fans of the West Wing, fired-up #resistance fighters, and everyone who ever had a crush on that guy at a protest…

GRASSROOTS

by Adriana Anders

Veronica Cruz is in the fight of her life for a seat on the city council. Meeting reclusive finance genius Zach Hubler should be a stroke of good luck—he has the power to sway public opinion. But when Election Day comes around and things don’t go as expected, Veronica has to know: just how shady is the man of her dreams?

DEEP THROAT

by Dakota Gray

He’s an escort, but that’s not his biggest secret. She’s a maid at the hotel he uses “for business.” When their worlds collide, everything is put on the line. But indulging every secret desire comes at a cost, and the sins of the past won’t be forgotten.

RESISTANCE

by Amy Jo Cousins

All Kaz Shamsi wanted to do was get his college students to and from the DC protest without losing any of them. Getting caught up in the fringes of anarchist violence was not on the agenda. Neither was a motorcycle escape, messing around with a bandanna-masked antifa protestor, or figuring out that guy was one of the students he was supposed to be chaperoning.

Now he’s got a ten-hour bus ride back to campus ahead of him, with a stupidly cute student who makes terrible decisions trying to talk Kaz into making one more.

KISSING AND OTHER FORMS OF SEDITION

by Emma Barry

When a global crisis threatens to go nuclear, the world tips upside down and spills out Graham Wilcox’s unspoken feelings for Cadence Martel. Cadence is equal parts shocked and delighted by his confession, but one night of passion isn’t enough. So the new lovers set out on a road trip to save the world.

TRUTH, LOVE AND SUSHI

by Stacey Agdern

When First Daughter Caroline Crosby finds herself in possession of the one document that can bring her father and his administration down, she turns to a real life social justice warrior for help. Max Wilcox isn’t sure what to make of Caroline: is this an elaborate hookup or a political conspiracy? But he has to make up his mind fast because the information and their chemistry could change the world—or break their hearts.

MY DELIGHT IS IN HER

by Jane Lee Blair

When Leonard West chose the pastorate, his college girlfriend chose a life without him. But not wanting to be a pastor’s wife didn’t mean Kim Jones didn’t want to work for the greater good. Now, her resistance work has led her back to Leonard, and they must grapple with their old pain. Can they trust God and each other enough to try again?

PERSONAL DISASTER

by Ainsley Booth

Marcus Dane left the tech world and joined the National Park Service a decade ago. Now an intrepid reporter has tracked down the park ranger-who-could-have-been-a-billionaire and, even worse, she has a theory that could blow his quiet life to smithereens. He needs to send her packing. But he’s already tumbled head-over-heels in insta-lust with her flippy ponytail and smart mouth, and he just can’t seem to let her go.

LIFE, LIBERTY AND WORSHIP

by Tamsen Parker

Paige Robinson has been working out her angst about the new administration in spin class, until a handsome stranger with maddening politics harshes her mellow. Now she’s determined to get even…in the bedroom. Always awkward Carter Cox is shocked when his crush propositions him, but there’s no way he’s turning her down. Will their filthy assignation provide the catharsis Paige has in mind, or can they truly cross the aisle to find more?

And this hot scene is from “Life, Liberty and Worship” by Tamsen Parker.

Paige Robinson didn’t hate people. Disliked them, yes. Disagreed with them, certainly. Could live a long, happy life without ever seeing or speaking to certain people, of course.

But the man she’d come to think of as Dick? She loathed him. Also wanted to f**k him into next week, but that was beside the point. Mostly she hated him. A lot.

Spin class was supposed to be her three times a week respite from the pressures of her busy job, her demanding boss, and her never-ebbing tension of working for an administration that would be delighted to put her out of a job and destroy everything she and her colleagues had busted their collective a**es to build. It was supposed to be an hour of nothing but sweating through her clothes, letting the pounding music beats silence her worries, and following her drill sergeant of an instructor’s orders. That’s what spin class had been, until about two months ago when he had showed up.

Wearing the dude spinner’s uniform of cycling shoes, commuter shorts, and a T-shirt, he’d walked in, set up at the bike in front of her, and never left. It would have been fine. Better than fine, really, because he was just Paige’s type with his casually in-shape body—slightly veined forearms, muscular calves, and, okay, an a** to die for—and his beginning-to-thin-at-his-crown sandy hair. There was one thing that had transformed him from three-times-a-week eye candy and potential date to nemesis.

His goddamn T-shirts.

Why the man had to use himself as a walking billboard for his politics, she didn’t know. It’s not like she walked around wearing her Bartlet for President tee. Often anyway. At the farmer’s market? Sure. Doing laundry or chilling at her apartment on a quiet Sunday night? She’d have her HOPE shirt on, or one of her A Woman’s Place Is in the Resistance tanks. But here where it felt as though they were almost a captive audience, she wouldn’t shove her politics in other people’s faces.

Dick felt no such compunction. Today it was Stop the War on Small Business. Monday it had been Keep Calm and Fight Socialism. God knows what he’d be wearing to make her blood boil on Friday.

Paige could’ve moved, but this was her bike, dammit. It was the perfect distance from the speakers and the fans, she could see the instructor, and still beat the rest of the class to the showers when the sweat-fest was over so she wouldn’t be late getting to work. No way was she ceding ground to Dick.

She’d take the rage that still lingered from last week’s What Would Milton Friedman Do? shirt, and channel it into a hell of a workout while she fantasized about grabbing him after class, dragging him into a broom closet and making him service her on his knees, his curly hair between her fingers, face pressed between her legs, and explained to him why he was so very, very wrong about everything he believed.

If she wasn’t careful, she’d come on the bike.

Buy Rogue Desire for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks or Kobo now!

A Dirty Job Calls For Dirty Sex…Heroes Who Drive a Tractor

6 Jul

Click to buy.

by Madeline Iva

Men who drive tractors kinda get me hot.  I like their competence combined with patience and persistence.  I’ve worked on a farm. I’ve shoveled shit, stacked hay bales, emptied ice out of water buckets with a hammer.  Hard muscles come from daily physical labor, and a soul-aching beauty from the quiet surroundings. Yet ripping treasure from the soil is never easy. There’s a psychological hardiness men on tractors require. A serious weather event at the wrong time can ruin an entire crop in a matter of hours.  The farmer must resign himself to fate, bow his shoulders before mother nature, and plow on.

There’s a whole new generation of men and women in their twenties and thirties who are junking the city life and headed for the fields.  Will they stick with it? What happens to us all if they don’t? In the real world only 1% of the U.S. population farms now.  I think I read somewhere the average age of farmers in America is, like 67, or something. We need a new generation of young farmer heroes more than ever.

Sarina Bowen’s book BITTERSWEET and Adriana Anders book IN HIS HANDS both contain hot men who drive tractors. Here’s more about them–plus some extra goodies.

I found out about Sarina Bowen’s book after Adriana Anders wrote this HEA blog on BEGINNER’S GUIDE  TO DARK GRITTY SEXY READS. “…if you like rugged, hard-bodied farmers (and Lord knows I do), then Bittersweet will be your poison.”

Okay then!  Ya hooked me, Adriana.  I just started the book myself–here’s a blurb:

BITTERSWEET

Farmers make the earth move.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous cider-making lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

Oh, hey: Read the first chapter!

I also found this on Sarina Bowen’s website — a breakdown of all her books by their tropes.  Hilarious–but useful too, if you’re looking for a certain kind of read. (Ooooh look: virgin heroes!)

Click to buy.

Adriana, meanwhile, has quite the farmer-boy hero: he’s burly, beardy, and brooding.  I love a romance that starts off with that kind of desperate feel, and a hero guy who’s doing his own thing and just wants to be left alone. Luc is also French and grows grapes.  So, you know, sexy and sophisticated.  And dirty.  Yum!

I buzzed straight to the part of her website that said:  Need some sexy winemaker hero inspiration to tide you over? Check out Luc’s Pinterest Board here!

So, um, that’s where I’ll be for the next hour. ; >  IN HIS HANDS has gotten a **lot** of good reviews.  You can’t go wrong with the other books in Adriana Anders’ series either — a fav of mine is BY HER TOUCH.  Another super-broody hero–this time, he’s got tattoos, a motorcycle,  a secret, and bad men out to find him.

[BTW, even though it’s a series–cause it’s all taking place in the same area with a few cross-over characters–the books really stand alone,  I swear. So feel free to start with book three or book two if you want.]

IN HIS HANDS

Blank Canvas #3
He is Her Salvation…
Abby Merkley has been a member of the Church of the Apocalyptic Faith since she was a child, and there’s no way out–except death. She will fight the odds to survive, but there’s no one in the world she can trust, nowhere she can run that the cult can’t find her…until her handsome, brooding neighbor takes her into the safety of his arms.

Luc Stanek craves a quiet life. But he doesn’t hesitate when a desperate woman lands, bloodied and branded on his doorstep. Soon he finds himself drawn into her chaotic world, caught in the center of an apocalyptic war…and determined to save the fierce beauty no matter the cost.

Oh. My. God.

Hot beardy goodness and lots o Gerard Butler on Adriana’s Pinterest page. Click to go there.

Out August 1, 2017 

Follow us, dear readers, and we’ll pour the luscious fruits of our blogging labors in your lap every day.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sexy Sunday Snippet: Under Her Skin

9 Oct

51vpkreolrl-_sx303_bo1204203200_by Madeline Iva

Hey readers–here’s a snippet of Adriana Anders’ forthcoming novel UNDER HER SKIN.

A darkly possessive relationship has left Uma alone and on the run. Beneath her drab clothing, she hides a terrible secret-proof of her abuse, tattooed onto her skin in a lurid reminder of everything she’s survived.

Caught between a brutal past and an uncertain future, Uma’s reluctant to bare herself to anyone, much less a rough ex-con whose rage drives him in ways she will never understand. But beneath his frightening exterior, Ivan is gentle. Warm. Compassionate. And just as determined to heal Uma’s broken heart as he is to destroy the monster who left his mark scrawled across the delicate tapestry of her skin.

Praise for Under Her Skin:
“The perfect romance…a hint of danger, a whole lot of spice, and an HEA you believe in.” -Anne Calhoun, award-winning author of Under the Surface

Excerpt:

“Come closer,” he said. So Uma could see him better? So he could get a clearer look at her? So he could touch her? She wasn’t sure she could take him touching her, but she gave him three small steps.

Still a ways from the rumpled bed in the corner, he stood beside his anvil, shirtless in the half-light. She wished he’d pick up the hammer and make the sparks fly again. She wished for bared teeth to go with the dark smattering of fur across his chest and arrowing down into his waistband. Uma wanted him feral, a beast she could tame. Would he bite her if she let him?

Her gaze slid down his body—taking in the long lines marred by gentle whorls of dark hair and the occasional scar. Thick thigh muscles wrapped in white, white skin. Their heft excited her. Her nostrils flared with some strange animalistic desire to bite him.

Oh, that. That notion was right.

“Will you take your shirt off?” he asked.

She shook her head. “No.” It didn’t even sound like her voice—harder, surer.

A strangled little half sigh escaped his mouth, and Uma felt for him; she really did. Only she wanted so badly to see him that she couldn’t let him off the hook. So she waited.

And then he did it. Throwing his head back to look down his nose at her in that defiant way that big men have—professional athletes in the stadium, soldiers on the battlefield—he curled his fingers around the elastic clinging to his hips.

Without blinking, Uma stared, panting lightly. Nothing could have pulled her away.

For once, she wasn’t the self-conscious one. For once, she was in the position of power, the watcher instead of the watched. Was it wrong to enjoy it? Probably. She nearly put her hand out to stop him. She shouldn’t demean him like this.

He smiled. A strange hybrid of a smile—a perfect mix, much like the man. The kind of smile a gentle monster would give. Half-sweet and half utterly wicked.

51vpkreolrl-_sx303_bo1204203200_Pre-order by clicking on the cover.  And follow us at Lady Smut. We promise to always get under your skin.

About Adriana Anders:

Adriana has acted and sung,worked for start-ups, multinationals and small non-profits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, and two small children in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Visit Adriana: www.adrianaanders.com

Read more: www.booksmarttarts.com

Facebook/adrianaandersauthor

Twitter/adrianasboudoir

Instagram/adriana.anders

Goodreads

The Cross-Dressing Duke: UNTAMED by Anna Cowan

15 Oct

Corset guyby Madeline Iva

I’ve always thought androgyny is hot. And call me crazy, but given the right circumstances, I find a cross-dressing man is also a really sexy turn on.

So it should be no surprise to you that I just adored this historical called UNTAMED by Anna Cowan.  Adriana Anders recommended it to me, I pounced on it and snabbled it down in one day, enjoying it prodigiously.

What’s so cray-cray gender whack about this historical romance? We start off with an unfeminine heroine who has rough hands to go along with her crooked nose.  She’s stuck in a ball room, hating life.  Things are tense back at her London residence for her younger sister’s brute of a Scottish husband is on the warpath.  Baby sis has been sleeping with a duke, and husband is not pleased, to say the least.

Her sister, meanwhile, is trying to hook Katherine (Kit) up with all the eligible men on one hand–men that our heroine could care less about–while trying to keep her from meeting the enchanting, unhappy duke.  But they do meet and Duke Darlington is really just our heroine’s cup of tea.  They end up striking a bargain.  Kit will take the duke back to her house in the country where her mother and brother rough it, if the duke stops sleeping with her baby sister.  The duke breaks it off with the sister, and away they go…

Heh-heh-heh.  No, it’s not at all that straight forward.

I mean, it is, but there are a few little complications that gum up the works:

  1. The duke goes off into the country dressed as a woman named Rose, posing as a cousin to the duke.
  2. Rose is afraid of the dark, (seriously, the duke has issues with being alone in the dark) so Kit, our heroine, must share a bed with her.

A cross-dressing duke! Be still my heart.  I loved this book.  I found it to be wild, and sometimes not as historically authentic as one might wish, but compelling nevertheless.  (Note: cross-dressing DID happen in the 18th century from time to time.)

Click to buy.

Click to buy.

I liked the twisty relationships of Kit’s family.  I liked those “I really see you” moments of passion and romance between Kit and her duke. (Alexis Day was speaking about just this “I see you” thing earlier this week.)

I haven’t read any historicals in a long while (that friends didn’t write) and I’m very, very, very picky. But there’s even more gender-f*ckery that happens later on in the book, and when it did, I wanted to stand up and clap my hands, shouting ‘bravo.’

For anyone who enjoys romances and all their sometimes silly tropes, but occasionally frets that

  • so many heroines are meekly self-sacrificing
  • the hero must be a foot taller than the heroine and hung like a horse
  • there must be alpha-male hero ass-hattery where he’s ordering everyone around/knows best, etc.
  • everyone is rich
  • dukes are littered across England like cows in a field etc, etc,

— this book is kind of a way to have your cake and eat it too. Yes, there’s a duke.  And in this book, yes, the heroine is totally focussed on saving her sister’s marriage–at first.  But it has that thing where the hero and heroine are able to navigate pathways into each other’s souls where no one else has ever tread before.  There are a few more big surprises along the way, but that pathway into another’s heart is at the juicy core.  And that’s, I guess, to me, is what romance is all about.  Everything else is totally negotiable.

Judy Davis and a star studded cast rock it in the highly entertaining if historically dubious IMPROMPTU

Judy Davis and a star studded cast rock it in the highly entertaining if historically dubious IMPROMPTU

I mean, sometimes I worry: who is this reader who likes the 6′ 5″ alpha man and the skinny heroine who just wants to please others? Is this me? Kinda.  Yeah. But do I need that kind of thing to enjoy a romance? Because I do enjoy it. UNTAMED proves to me I do not need it to enjoy a romance.  Whew!

Romances don’t have to be conventional or follow conventions to be great.  (Though it usually helps sales.) Also they’re such fantasies–being so cray-cray makes that as clear as if they were written out in day-glow ink.

Do you like any cray-cray romances? Do you have any to suggest?

Follow us on Lady Smut.  We’ll bring bizarre fun right into your email box, six days a week.

Cara McKenna—Rockin’ My World!

9 Jun

By Liz Everly

images Okay, so by now you know how I am about my reading. I tend to be hard to please. But when I find a writer I love, I simply must sing praises. It helps when you have a friend who has very similar reading tastes. (I’m looking at you Adriana Anders.) She posted on Facebook that this book, AFTER HOURS, was reduced in price. She also mentioned that, in her opinion, this book is everything an erotic romance should be.

Adriana did me good. Yes, indeed. This book is indeed everything an ER should be, but also, it’s everything a good book should be–McKenna is a masterful writer.  Her character are finely drawn, setting is fascinating and realistic, and the romance, lovely. But the sex??? It sizzles, baby.

So many times, I can’t get through a whole sex scene. We’ve discussed this here, right? How some of us will skip right over the sex scenes. Sometimes I like the first few, then get bored. Sometimes I hate the sex scenes from the get go. Not every writer can write sex scenes. Not even every GOOD writer can write them. It’s an extra gene some writers are born with. Or they have worked extra hard at sex scenes. Maybe it’s a little of both.

This book offers up one of the best sex scenes I’ve ever read. One sex scene is two chapters long–about 40-50 pages. This maneuver would usually bore me. But, I was riveted. I wanted more.

I read it during two very busy days in my life, where things would have gone much more smoothly for me–if I could have put the damn book down. But I couldn’t. No way. That’s how much I loved this book.

This book is a lesson the the best form for erotic romance writers everywhere—and a sheer pleasure for erotic romance readers. It’s on sale still, for .99. Grab it while you can.

Here is the blurb about the book:

A dangerous infatuation with a rough and ready man… 

Erin Coffey has been a nurse for years, but nothing’s prepared her for the physical and emotional demands of her new position. Needing to move closer to her dysfunctional family, she takes a dangerous job at Larkhaven Psychiatric Hospital, where she quickly learns that she needs protection—and she meets the strong, over-confident coworker who’s more than willing to provide it.

Kelly Robak is the type of guy that Erin has sworn she’d never get involved with. She’s seen firsthand, via her mess of a sister, what chaos guys like him can bring into a woman’s life. But she finds herself drawn to him anyway, even when he shows up at her door, not eager to take no for an answer.

What Erin finds even more shocking than Kelly’s indecent proposal is how much she enjoys submitting to his every command. But he can’t play the tough guy indefinitely. If they want to have more than just an affair, both will have to open up and reveal what they truly need.

Check it out–I promise you won’t be disappointed. Also, don’t forget to enter our Goodreads giveaway for the Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires.

DarkDesires

Click on the cover to hop on over to Goodreads to enter the contest.

Friday Roulette

20 Mar

thepinkbow_msrby Madeline Iva

Hello readers! In search of your Friday romance fix?

Here’s a new feature at Lady Smut: it’s called FRIDAY ROULETTE.

Each Friday we try to bring to you a new author–someone who can rock the Lady Smut vibe and tell you all about her latest smexy obsession.

In case you missed our last several Fridays — here’s a recap of who’s been by on the blog recently:

Jackie Horne: No More Slutty-Slut Shaming pt. 1

Jackie Horne: No More Slutty-Slut Shaming pt. 2

Wendy LaCapra: Lady Vice: The Historical Scandal Behind LaCapra’s Debut Novel

Isabelle Drake: Tie Me Up, I’ve Been Bad

Kel: Fan Fiction 101

And here are some of our other recent distinguished LadySmut visitors — just ’cause they’re cool.

Madeira Darling: Dominatrix Princess Turned Writing Bitch

Shari Slade/Robin Covington: It’s All Part Of My Rock N Roll Fantasy

Geneva Decroix: The Open Door

dealershipElizabeth SaFluer & Adriana Anders: Tormented & Tortured–Books You Can’t Forget

A “Reader”: Hungry Like the Wolf, Sexy Paranormal Recs

Geneva Decroix: Erotica, Invention, and Living the Dream

Kemberly Shortland: Beardy Goodness

Adriana Anders: XXXMas Wishes

Megan Morgan: How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Fall in Love with Love

Isabella Drake: The Nicer Side of Naughty

Enjoy! Don’t forget to follow us at LadySmut.com — where we satisfy your sexy romance cravings 24/7.

Tormented & Tortured: Books You Can’t Forget

8 Jan

By Madeline Iva

Picture me drinking cocktails, lit neon red, crunching on spicy fried green beans &coconut rice (heavenly!) celebrating the anthology launch with two romance buddies. (Haven’t heard about our Lady Smut anthology– where have you been? Check it out HERE.) The talk turns to erotic romance books that were AWFUL–by which it turns out that my friends mean books that are no-holds-barred Dark Erotica. No offense dark erotica folk, you know I love you, kiss-kiss.

By which we usually mean books that are/and/or display misogynistic stuff, full of no-no sex or themes that most erotic rom. publishers won’t touch–but at the same time, we can’t forget. Books that aren’t PC. Books that make the feminist inside you wring her hands, BUT YOU CAN’T FORGET.   Why? Why?????

What are they doing so right that makes shaking them off so hard?

For your pleasure, I’ve decided to interrogate these ladies on the dark arts practiced in these books. I’m curious; does it matter how twisted and tiny the hero’s icy heart? Is it a unique pair bond that grips readers by the hair?Will we still follow that romance path through the scary woods full of sex practices that make most of us squeamish? Are we tempted by our heroine being tortured if her man is ultimately tamed? I’ve written about Dark Erotica HERE before, and these books are definitely that. Most of Lady Smut fans aren’t dark erotica readers–so hold on! These book descriptions are like car crashes–you just can’t look away.  

Here’s what Adriana Anders had to say:

Because I’m new around here, here’s a little background. First of all, good writing, good sex and a HEA pretty much sum up my happy place. Secondly, I am not a fan of violence.

Which leads me to a book that I couldn’t put down and can’t seem to forget—Heat, by R. Lee Smith is… hmmm, let’s see, what do you call a book that brings two aliens to earth in a life-or-death chase, where the good alien falls in love while the bad one beats, kills, rapes, copulates, fornicates and… falls in love, too? What do you call that book when, by the very end, you’re rooting for both of the aliens to win?

On Goodreads, folks have labeled it as everything from Science Fiction to Horror to Erotica, with a few tagging it as Sociology->Abuse. Whatever its genre, (Dark Erotica probably pegs it best) it was utterly un-putdownable. Much like VC Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic, this book kind of rocked my world. I was fascinated by the way the author dragged me in, against my will. You can’t blame the aliens for their actions, not entirely. They can’t help it that they arrive on earth in the midst of a massive heat wave, which sets off their mating cycle. These poor guys must copulate or they’ll die.

There are scenes (I remember one in particular) that are so utterly degrading, so sexually violent, so painful to read that I nearly gave up. Something, though, kept me going. One of the heroines is kidnapped, raped, beaten, forced to do unspeakable things and, yet, when she eventually sides with her aggressor, it doesn’t feel like Stockholm Syndrome. Oh, no. It feels right, a messed-up sort of justice. Her life goes from bad to worse when she meets her alien, but eventually—and this is the best part—she saves him. And, no matter how upsetting the themes are, the writing is so convincing that, despite wanting the good hero to win, you also want the bastard’s salvation. At least I did.

In the end, I’m still not sure if I loved it or not, but I don’t regret reading Heat. Because, along with a wonderfully rocky ride, pushing through to the end brought me that most satisfying holy grail of romances, the best possible reward: a perfect double HEA.

Worst cover ever?

Original Cover. Worst cover ever?

Adriana then shared with me how funny it was that this awful/amazing book got the full treatment from Dear Author—including a review and the quotes below. I almost died laughing.

Dear author review: http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/overall-b-reviews/b-plus-reviews/review-heat-by-r-lee-smith/

Quotes from this review:

Heat is probably the best independently published book I have read, and one of the best books I have read in a long while. It is also one of the most graphic, and most disturbing books I have read in a long while.”

“PS – Your website is awful and your book covers almost as bad.”

Meanwhile, Elizabeth SaFleur goes down into the depths of erotic romance hell and comes back up reeking of brimstone with two books to talk about:

Sometimes damaged souls worm their way into our psyche, never to be forgotten. “M” in TOPPING FROM BELOW by Laura Reese is one. Ben O’Callahan in HOSTILE TAKEOVER by Joey W. Hill is another. One I’d like to strike from my nightmares, while I hope the other lives in my bones forever.

ToppingIn TOPPING FROM BELOW, “M” is a sadistic, forty-ish music professor. Journalist Nora Tibbs is convinced he killed her sister. Nora enters in an S/m relationship with “M”, allowing herself to undergo tremendous psychological and physical cruelty at his hands. Her idea is to outsmart him and get him to admit the murder. Instead, she finds a darker side to herself, becoming more and more erotically charged by his practices, which includes being nailed into a coffin, extreme bondage, whipping, and even bestiality.

(Bestiality? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW! Sorry readers.)

But even as I cringed as each scene grew harsher and the emotions more intense, I fell a little deeper into this well-written story. Beautifully-developed characters engaged in OMG-activities kept me turning the pages. I simply couldn’t believe what I was reading. At the end, I was so disturbed by the level of “M”’s extreme handling of Nora and his utter lack of remorse, I had to physically leave my house and go take a walk to calm down. I wish I’d never met “M.” Yet I can’t deny this story’s power for eliciting such a strong reaction from me. It felt real. And Ms. Reese’s courage to just “go there” and explore some of society’s most taboo sexual practices, is admirable. I recommend this book to friends who like dark erotica—and who don’t mind sleeping with the lights on afterward. It’s that good. But “M,” please leave my head.

HostileTakeoverSwitch to Ben O’Callahan of HOSTILE TAKEOVER by Joey W. Hill. Corporate attorney and sadist, Ben had a rough beginning in life: foster care, abuse, street living and petty crime. When we meet him, he’s the epitome of success—good job, friends, money. But he’s damaged from his past and his internal life remains a mess. When masochist Marcie sets her sights on him, Ben decides to show her just how wrecked he is. Certain, darker scenes could be alarming to some readers, such as the CNC (consent non-consent) whipping scene or the use of breath play and punishing bondage. But instead of disturbing me, the darkness drew me closer to the characters. For the first time, I understood how and why extreme play can bring people together and cause healing. Marcie’s ability to take Ben’s rough handling feeds her strength and increases her resolve to love him like he’s never experienced. Ben finds his center of gravity in Marcie and accepts he’s worth loving. I rooted for them—especially Ben. In fact, I kinda fell in love with him, damage and all.

Why did these troubled heroes have such a different impact? Perhaps it has to do with their level of self-awareness. Both were unapologetic about themselves, but I understood Ben and his motivations, and so did he. I cheered for him. Still do. “M,” is off the Christmas card list. He remained cruel, unrepentant and disinterested in changing. “M” doesn’t get off easy at the story’s end, but I still want to take a baseball bat to his thick head. On the other hand, his unapologetic stance and confidence in who he was, compelled me to him, like Nora. Dammit.

In the end, “M” raised my anger while Ben touched my heart. I won’t forget (or forgive) “M” but I forgive and love Ben. And I want to love my characters, warts and all.

There you have it, readers. Discuss amongst yourselves in the comments section below. And follow our Lady Smut blog. We won’t take you down into the lower depths very often—unless you beg nicely.

XXXMas Wishes: Guest Post with Adriana Anders

18 Dec

strewn-w-lightsHeigh ho! Madeline Iva here. I’m off for the this week, but Adriana Anders is ready to get down and dirty with you about illicit holiday fun.  Here she is — 

What is it about the holidays that gets our blood boiling? Is it the eggnog or the mistletoe? Perhaps that end-of-year kiss or the pressure to get ‘er done before the apple drops? Whatever the case may be, when it comes to holiday reads, I want them steamy. Actually, let’s make that filthy.

I’ve always had this illicit sex fantasy—stemming, perhaps from early games of spin-the-bottle or seven minutes in heaven?—in which I’m not entirely responsible for my actions.

whn_3dA languorous morning, a half-asleep kiss, where you’re not yet all there and dreams wend their way into reality. And the best part is that the holiday season demands it. When else do heroes and heroines find themselves trapped in a snow-bound cottage, with nothing to do but snog? What other occasions warrant stripping down to warm up by the fire? And there’s the mistletoe! Mistletoe, for goodness’ sake—it’s hanging right there, lewd and ripe with suggestion, begging us to slip some tongue.

But what about summer romance? Three months of warm lovin’ in the surf must surely trump one hot night in a remote chalet? Languorous lays on the beach, full of sun, sand and sex. Well, yeah, but you’ve got all summer—that’s what long, slow seductions are for. But, baby, it’s cold outside! There’s nothing dirtier than a little coercion—if you don’t do it, you’ll die! The storm made me do it!

ridingI recently had the pleasure of reading Meg Maguire’s fab Holiday novella, Playing Games (Wild Holiday Nights Anthology), in which an unexpected Christmas Eve blizzard forces two unlikely people to share a car—and eventually a bed. (Madeline Iva recommended this book here). And, man, does that storm heat things up. It’s more than tight spaces, though, that the characters share, and that’s really the secret to a great holiday romance. Maguire’s couple drags out hidden foibles, hurts and past insults. As always, their intimacy brings so much more than just orgasms. She’s an expert at this scenario, by the way, which might be one of the reasons I can never get enough of her books—see Thank you for Riding, in which a man and woman are locked in a train station over night.

I also read a wonderful, fluffy little bon-bon of a Christmas short, Snow and Love, by fellow Virginian Callie Russell. The couple was forced to spend the night together in a sleeping bag—their survival depended on it—and boy did that make for some sexy times.

With the threat of death hanging over your head, why everything is heightened… What if this is your last opportunity? Oh, the chills! The holiday chills! Whatever the excuse, I love these stories, adore the premise and, even better, enjoy that it only comes once a year.

Give yourself the gift that keeps on giving: follow Lady Smut. 

 

%d bloggers like this: