Tag Archives: new release

A Cop, a Kleptomaniac, and a New Romantic Suspense!

24 May

NEW RELEASE!

After becoming the victim of a break-in, a kleptomaniac seeks the help of the cop and single dad whose heart she broke in the past…

 

Kim Xavier steals things. She can’t help it. Recovering from her shoplifting addiction has never been easy, but she’s giving it a shot. When she comes home to a ransacked apartment, Kim knows she’s finally taken the wrong thing from the wrong person. And she can’t tell the police–especially not the cop whose heart she broke months ago.

Scott Culpepper wants Kim Xavier. He can’t help it. Ever since he met the smart-mouthed woman while on patrol in New Haven, he hasn’t been able to get her or her red lips out of his mind. Unfortunately, she’s also got a police record, and the single dad has learned the hard way not to get involved with unpredictable women.

But when Kim is threatened by someone selling information used to harass women online, Scott steps up to keep her safe–even if it means spending more time with her than he should. The two work to unravel the case, which leads them from the dirty underbelly of the Ivy League to posh preschool parties to a drug dealer who can quote Kerouac. Though the biggest danger may be Kim stealing the very thing Scott can’t afford to lose: his heart.


Check it out now!

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Motor City Romance

10 Apr

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

In February, I had surgery and spent six weeks on short-term disability from the day job. Mostly, this time was spent staring lifelessly at the T.V. screen or buying needless crap online to off-set my ennui. I also did a helluva lot of reading, some of which was spurred by .99 offers here and there. So writers, if you’re wondering if those discount sales do you any good, as a reader, I’m here to tell you they do.

A couple of these offers led me to new-to-me series by authors not new to me but not on my auto buy list either. One is the Motor City Royals series by Jackie Ashenden.

Look! Three Blurbs!

Dirty for Me

Click image to buy!

Ezekiel “Zee” Chase has a complicated past. Born into a family whose wealth grew from the seedy world of big-time crime, he ran away as a teenager and made a home for himself on the streets of Detroit. By day, the mechanic works at a local garage. But by night, he throws down with the best of them in Detroit’s gritty underground fighting scene. With all those muscles, he’s never had trouble with women–until he meets one who challenges him to the greatest fight of his life. . .

Tamara Eliot is a hardworking corporate high-flyer who appreciates the finer things in life, from her expensive perfume to her designer handbags. More than anything, though, she likes to be in control–and when Zee explodes into her life, she feels anything but. He’s the definition of a bad boy: brash, fiery, and of course, irresistibly hot. And there’s a darkness about him that keeps her coming back for more. As Zee takes Tamara deeper into a world she never knew existed, she just might prove to be the one opponent he won’t be able to dominate–at least not without some pleasurable convincing . . .

Wrong for Me

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After eight years in prison, Levi Rush is finally out and back on the gritty streets of Detroit to claim the future he was owed. A future that includes the one woman he’s wanted for years—his former best friend Rachel. She’s the reason he went inside and if getting her to do what he wants means buying the building that houses her tattoo studio and using it as leverage, then that’s what he’ll do. Because if there’s one thing he’s learned inside it’s that if you want to win, you have to play dirty.

Rachel Hamilton is a tattoo artist and one hell of a tough girl. Detroit is her home, and she’s determined to make it a better place. But her plans are threatened when her old friend Levi reappears and gives her an ultimatum: she gives herself to him body and soul, or else she and her business are out on the street. Levi’s got no room in his heart for anything but anger and the lust he’s been carrying around for so long. But the only thing stronger than the secrets of their shared past is their fiery attraction to each other . . .

Sin for Me

Click image to buy!

It was anything but easy, but Gideon Black has finally managed to create a safe haven for himself on the gritty streets of Detroit. He worked hard to get on the straight and narrow, pulling himself up from an underground crime syndicate before it consumed him completely. But the past isn’t staying put, and now that it’s come calling, it’s not after him, but the woman he considers the closest thing he has to family . . .

Zoe James has always loved Gideon more than anything in the world. She knows he only wants to keep her safe, but his overprotectiveness has taken over her life and it’s got to stop. She’s sick of him treating her like a little girl, but is she woman enough to handle the truth when it finally comes out? As old enemies close in, a complicated but undeniable passion is growing between them. Gideon tries to hold on to Zoe and keep her safe, but he may have to let her go in order to save them both . . .

Okay, so there’s a lot going on in this series, that’s clear. And yeah, I inhaled the first two in as many days and paid full price for the third the day it was released (which, at agency pricing, is a BFD for me, but that’s a different post) and slurped it right up. This series has a couple of tropes that are serious catnip for me, but also a couple just slightly off the main path choices that intrigued me.

Here are the Top 5 things I dig about Motor City Royals:

#5 Those Covers:

Let’s talk about those covers for a minute. Ya know what? Let’s let ’em speak for themselves, because, holy hotness, are they saying a lot. Admittedly, in real life, they’re a little too young and a little too lean for my tastes, but as book covers, ya huh. Particularly digging that ink. Hard.

#4 Detroit

Perhaps given away by the series title, these books are set on the wrong side of Detroit. Now, pretty much the only thing I know about Detroit is from attending a wedding in the Detroit suburbs a gazillion years ago, Motown music, and news reports in recent years about the city’s dramatic decline. So my expertise is zilch. It’s definitely not a place I think of as a natural fit for a romance series, which is my bad, obviously. Ostensibly, there’s not a lot of flash and draw to that setting, but going by Ashenden’s series, that’s our loss for missing out. Ashenden stays away from easy Detroit stereotypes and shows the city through the love of its inhabitants, her characters, who are loyal to and incredibly protective of their turf.

#3 Super sexy times

Leading with those covers, it’s clear this is not a tame series when it comes to sexy times. But while those times are hot and drrrrty, there’s a whole lotta sweetness and charm deep down

#2 Family is what you make it

This series is rooted in the mechanics shop run by Gideon Black, the defacto Big Brother of the lot. Throughout all three books, everyone is rooted back to the garage, back to Gideon. For Gideon, for all six of them, each with a murky past and murkier blood families, this is the family that they’ve made together, and how their actions and decisions may or may not affect that family is a strong thread through all three books.

#1 Rich Girl/Boy from Wrong-Side, Reunited Lovers With a Grudge, and Friends to Lovers…this series has three of my absolute favorite Romancelandia tropes. Ashenden hits my trifecta and does it hard and dirty. This series runs with high emotional stakes coasting alongside life-changing decisions and rife with secrets and lies that could wreck any family, even one that chose each other.

Do yourself a favor. Rev up your engines and get your groove on by checking out the Motor City Royals

Follow Lady Smut. We know how to rev all your engines.

Let the Confessional Games Begin!

Have you ever had mad monkey love on a motorcycle? A three-way in an alley? Been tied to a tree and made someone’s sex slave? Have you never, ever, never done any of this? Be rewarded for your naughty or sweet past and win crowns, fetish toys, books and more at the Ladysmut.com special reader event, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. at the RT Booklovers Convention. Link: https://www.rtconvention.com/event/never-have-you-ever-ever-ever

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

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

9 Jan

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

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

Look! A blurb!

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

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

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

Click on image to preorder!

Click on image to buy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1st-3-covers-dkmc

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

How to be Wicked: A Lesson in Three Parts

1 Nov
Anyone want to guess what Lesson One is?

Anyone want to guess what Lesson One is?

The Wicked Theme Week continues as we celebrate release day for Madeline Iva’s Wicked Apprentice! Did you already preorder yours? Is it time for you to order right now, before you read another word? Go handle your business.

By Alexa Day

I often feel like the representative for the wicked lifestyle in my circle of friends and colleagues. It’s a great job, but it’s not without its challenges.

I do think people want to be wicked. They’re a little timid about it, which is kind of cute. I think they wish they could engage in recreational wickedness with a close circle of carefully chosen associates, all the while avoiding guilt and other unpleasant side effects.

But I don’t think people know how to ask about becoming wicked. Instead, they’re over on the sidelines, watching all the wonderful, wicked fun.

Well, I’m here to serve you. Let’s begin with a word about what wickedness is.

Wickedness is fun. It’s flirty. It’s mischievous. It’s kind of edgy. Unpredictable. It’s sexy, but sex itself is not required. I think of it as a hard-core whimsy.

Doesn’t that sound lovely? Let’s go there together with a hypothetical.

Let’s say that I’m enjoying this prelude to the holidays with a bottle of wine and two very good friends, Mark and Jason. You’d recognize Mark and Jason if you saw them. I mentioned them briefly in an old post.

So the three of us, Mark, Jason and I, are coming to the end of a bottle of wine, and Mark says he has a new car. Nice, luxuriant Jaguar F Coupe. It’s black, he says, and it has a surprisingly large trunk. Large enough that a person with an abduction fantasy could be swept away in it and driven to an alternate location for fun and games.

How does that sound?

Well, here’s how the wicked would approach such an invitation.

1. Stop caring about what Other People think. This is hard. A lot of people have spent a lifetime caring about Other People’s thoughts, and to some extent, participation in society demands that. This summer, I had a devil of a time evaluating my performance on a job interview because I’d gotten so used to not caring about Other People’s thoughts and feelings. I’m not asking you to abandon Other People altogether. I’m asking you to put them into perspective.

We can safely presume that Other People are going to get all pinched up about you volunteering to be manhandled into the trunk of the Jaguar, even it is by two hot, sexy male friends who know that’s what you want. It isn’t Other People’s business, to be sure. But here they are anyway. Are you sure that’s safe? Are you sure it’s what you want? Is it sending the Right Message?

If that doesn’t seem to be working, they will invoke still more Other People. I will never forget that on my last trip to Vegas, a friend of mine vetoed a return trip to see the Chippendales because “Certain People might think one is obsessed.” Unless Certain People can offer me some reason that a real lifeform is being harmed by my watching the Chippendales as often as I want, I don’t have half a f*ck to spare for their opinions. I don’t. I have so few f*cks to give. I can’t offer them to strangers at this point in my life.

Here’s the bottom line. If you want to be wicked, begin by distancing yourself from Other People who are not affected in any way by your wicked behavior. Let them get pinched up. Not your problem.

The only question that matters is this one: Is that what I want?

2. Cultivate the Right Relationships. It’s possible to be wicked by yourself, but it isn’t easy, and it’s not nearly as much fun. You’ll want to be with someone who will appreciate, facilitate, and expand your wickedness. How do you find those people, while avoiding Other People?

It’s not hard, once you stop caring so much about Other People. You can throw something like robot sex or abduction fantasy out into casual conversation if you don’t care about the objections of Other People. Try this icebreaker:

Hey, you know, Alexa is down with being manhandled into the back of a car for sexy fun and games.

Go ahead and use my name. I don’t mind.

Other People will respond with shock and resistance. No problem. Just let that go. That’s the price of wickedness.

There are some more people who think that means you want to get into their trunk right the hell now. Let those people go, too. First of all, they need to remember that you are talking about you and not offering to fulfill a fantasy for them. More importantly, it takes time to determine if you’re with people who will support your wickedness, and it takes confidence, too. The person who wants to go right to the car is afraid he’s going to lose his chance — and fear isn’t wicked at all.

Somewhere in the middle is the person who can have a long, intelligent conversation about the abduction fantasy, without judging anyone or putting pressure on you. Wicked people find the idea as interesting as they find you. By the time those people lead you into the trunk, it’ll feel like the best idea in the world.

Quick word to the wicked: If you are the wickedest person in the room, you just might be in the wrong room. Think it over.

3. Keep an open mind. An open mind separates the genuinely wicked from the poseurs. I hate to admit it, but it’s become necessary to test the wicked wannabe. We need to know if you’re Other People in disguise. We need to know if you’re really up for anything, within reasonable limits. Are you actually wicked, or are you just curious?

More importantly, though, your open mind grants you access to new dimensions of wickedness. That kind of growth is what makes life worthwhile.

Let’s go back to Mark and Jason and the bottle of wine. We’ve agreed to the Jaguar joyride, and now we’re moving to next steps.

What would I say to a little rope bondage? I say yes.

Wax play? I say yes.

A spirited game of I Never? I say yes. Don’t laugh. Have you ever played I Never while tied to a chair? Ever played with another person who was tied to the chair? Okay, then.

From time to time, we all have to say no. That’s just how the world works. Everyone’s got a hard limit somewhere, and I don’t care how often it shows up in books, I’m not down with someone pushing me beyond my hard limits because they know better. Hell, even the softer limits warrant the occasional no. Wicked people respect no; that’s what differentiates wickedness from evil.

But if you’re only saying no because of the perceptions of Other People, it might be time to try a little wickedness on for size.

There’s a wonderful, wicked world in Madeline Iva’s Wicked Apprentice! Of course you’re curious. Check this out.

wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_high_res_1800x2700Zephyr, apprentice of magical arts, is having a really bad day. Under orders to capture an uncanny creature for her mistress’s latest spell, she chains up a tall, gorgeous elf in a decaying castle, only to find out he’s really a wizard with potent powers over human women.  Uh-oh. 

Theo has suffered heartbreak and betrayal more than once.  He’s got a plan to escape, and when he does, he’s taking the curvy little apprentice with him.  Her seductive curiosity about all things elvish makes his heart race, driving him into a sexual frenzy. He’s vowed never to unleash his powers of enchantment upon a human woman—yet while she kisses and teases him, longing for an elf romance, his fae side is slipping out of control.

Their world overturns when Zephyr unleashes a curse involving two magic rings.  Under its spell, she becomes a mighty sorceress while the elf-wizard who loves her becomes her apprentice. As Zephyr works to turn the brooding, mistrustful elf into the hero the people need, Theo must find a way to contain Zephyr’s new powers before her wild magic destroys them all.

Are your buttons pushed? Good! Mission accomplished. Go get yourself a copy right now.

And follow Lady Smut.

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

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

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

By Rebecca Brooks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But first, they have to feel the spark.

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

Blurb:

She’s his…for now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more at rebeccabrooksromance.com.

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

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

 

Yes, Ma’am: Femdom Is Right on Time

28 Jun
If you like kinky stories with military heroes, click to preorder. Like right now.

If you’re about getting kinky with 22 men in uniform, it’s your lucky day! Click to buy.

By Alexa Day

She took his face in both hands and pushed herself just far enough away to breathe.

“That night, in the storage,” she whispered. “Did I imagine that?”

He shook his head. “No.”

She rocked her pelvis against his. “Am I crazy for wanting to act on that?”

“You don’t seem crazy to me.”

“Good.” She took a step away from him and traced a line down his chest with her fingernail. “Take off your shirt.”

— from “Passing Through,” in Hero to Obey

Yes, ma’am.

Two little words that make me a little fluttery inside.

I’ve never understood the objection so many women have to being called “ma’am.” The prevalent argument is that it connotes age. I don’t get the objection to that, either. I love aging.

What makes “ma’am” superior to its substitutes in my mind? It’s one simple thing.

It’s deference. In a world of catcalling, mansplaining, and twee pet names, deference appeals to me a great deal. That’s a big part of the reason femdom-themed stories are working for me right now.

But the popular wisdom suggests that romance readers are a little uncomfortable with femdom stories. Why? Isn’t the world more than ready for some femdom fantasy?

Women are under such tremendous pressure, even now, to be nice to everyone. I hear women apologizing for asking for the things they want. They don’t want to be selfish. I read about women trying to figure out how to get people who live with them to share in the housework. I think at one point there was some crazy system that encouraged rewarding spouses for doing household chores. I see women who seem confused about the boundary between giving of themselves and depleting their own resources.

All the while, I see the way our world treats women who are undeniably in charge at home and at work. The number one criticism? They’re unfeminine. And make no mistake: women are quick to jump on another woman who seems to be on top of things.

Femdom is not a cure-all, but a healthy dose of it can solve a lot of problems. Check it out.

1. In the world of femdom, women don’t have to keep asking for things. No more bargaining. No more constant reminders. Women need not even say please. They ask for what they want (actually, as you see at the beginning of the post, the heroine of “Passing Through” doesn’t ask so much as command), and then they either get what they want, or they deliver a consequence. It’s tough to say which is more refreshing. Is it the knowledge that women need not ask more than once, or the knowledge that their partners are listening?

2. In this world, giving is limited only by our capacity to receive. Megan Hart is more eloquent on this point than I am. In Beg for It, heroine Corinne remembers her boy, Reese, like this: “Other men might feign a brief interest in massaging away the pain, but only so far as it meant them eventually getting in her pants. Her boy rubbed her feet until they no longer hurt, even if they both knew she didn’t plan on fucking him. … Other men had claimed they wanted to please her, and some of them had tried, but in the end it had always come down to them giving her what she wanted as long as it was also what they wanted to give her. Her boy had taken care of her needs before his own, no matter what.” That works for me, friends.

3. Femdom calls on a different reservoir of male strength. In my story, the hero, Noah, finds that he enjoys the challenge of obeying Gigi, both in and out of bed. Delaying gratification and testing the limits of his mind and body — submitting to Gigi requires him to be stronger than himself. The male submissive is in no way diminished by his service to his Domme. If anything, submission makes him stronger.

It’s been said that the female submissive in romance is so popular because submission gives her the freedom, the permission to explore desires she would hesitate to approach without direction. The dominant woman in romance, speaking very generally, isn’t looking for the same permission. She’s comfortable with her desires and with the prospect of exploring them. She just needs the right partner to make that journey with her.

Is romance ready for femdom? Well, as we established last week, femdom has been here for a while. But I think this is an excellent time for it. I love to see a take-charge heroine drive her own sexual journey, and I’m all about seeing her partner treating her with the deference reserved for royalty. Women on top deserve a happy ending, too.

My novella, “Passing Through,” releases today, in the great big box set, Hero to Obey. You’ll find my story alongside 21 other novellas featuring super hot military heroes and lots of kinky sexytimes. I’ve got an excerpt up for your approval, but here are a few words about what you’re getting into.

The summer’s brought two surprises to bar owner Gigi Deane: the former Army Ranger she hired is the perfect barback, and he takes orders in bed as well as he does on the job. Noah Monroe’s told her that he’s just passing through, but as the seasons change, can she convince him to make their summer thing a little more permanent?

Click like the wind, friends! And follow Lady Smut. We’ll keep your summers as hot as you want.

Beyond Ecstasy by Kit Rocha: A Review

23 May
beyondbook8-683x1024

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by Kiersten Hallie Krum

We’re coming to the end of Kit Rocha’s bestselling “Beyond” series, a series I’ve been an avid fan of for some time now. Beyond Ecstasy is the penultimate installment in the series and the first book after the game-changing events of Beyond Ruin.

Look! A blurb!

The O’Kanes have a reputation for working hard and playing harder—except for Hawk. He joined the gang with one goal: to ensure his family’s survival through the impending war with Eden. It’s been years since he had the luxury of wanting anything for himself. Now, he wants Jeni. From the first moment he saw her, he’s been obsessed with making her his. Not for a night—forever.

Jeni’s been lusting after the former smuggler for months, but he keeps shutting her down. She’s almost given up on getting him in her bed when he offers her the last thing she ever expected—a collar. Accepting it means belonging to him, body and soul. It’s a reckless gamble, but Jeni can’t resist the chance to slip under Hawk’s armor.

The only thing more shocking than the dark, dangerous pleasure they discover is how right it feels. But falling in love is even more reckless when forever is far from guaranteed. Because they aren’t just at war, they’re out of time—and every breath could be their last.

Now that Eden has bombed the holy hell out of Sector Two, attempt to assassinate one sector leader and successful assassinated another, the O’Kane’s and their allies are shoring up their defenses and preparing for the inevitable worst: an invasion of the sections by the forces of Eden. Tensions are high, crime is up, and people are starting to despair, even those who are loyal to Dallas O’Kane. For the last several books, Hawk and Jeni have been circling around one another. Hawk hails from Sector Six, where massive farms produce the majority of the food that feeds Eden. Where other sections get birth control piped into their water, in Sector Six, fertility drugs are pushed so that the multiple wives of the farm owner’s can produce more workers on a regular basis. So Hawk comes with a host of stepmothers and half sisters and brothers, all of whom he left behind when he helped Finn and Trixie escape the tyranny of Sector Five back in Beyond Addiction, cinching his entrée into the O’Kanes.

Jeni is a dancer at the Broken Circle and one of the elite prostitutes of Gia’s famed house, the same house where Ace and Jasper both once plied their former trade. She has a picture perfect memory, so Dallas sets her to work unraveling and vetting coded messages to find out who in their sector might be betraying them to Eden. Sexually, she’s been playing with Dallas and Lex for a while as their submissive, but as she’s seen other O’Kane’s pair up to find happiness, with a front-row seat to Dallas and Lex’s own perfectly balanced union, she’s realized this is the kind of love and partnership she wants for herself, not to always remain an accessory of another’s pairing. She thinks she might find this with Hawk, who snagged her attention and interested from the moment he arrived, but she can’t seem to make it past his taciturn shields.

Hawk’s been holding out on Jeni for several reasons. While he holds no judgment, the free-wheeling sex fun of the O’Kane’s isn’t really his bag. He wants the real thing, and when Jeni finally gets him to admit how he feels about her, he warns that he’s not into her for a hook up, he wants her to wear his mark from the get go, a collar he’s already had made, because it’s the end of the world so why waste time, ya know? Since he has a point, and she’s been wanting him for a long time, Jeni signs on for a trial run.

Except this is Sector Four, so naturally, it’s not as easy as that. Hawk returns to his home sector as Dallas’s envoy–and takes Jeni with him to meet the extended fam–so he can advise them how to prepare for the coming invasion. It’s while they’re there that Hawk and Jeni begin their relationship, getting to know each other while exploring limitless lines of pleasure and pain together.

Jeni and Hawk are basically trying for one last chance at love and happiness before the world ends. Hawk needs to believe there’s a future to fight for while Jeni is looking to enjoy what time they have left, two philosophies that may not be able to coast along together no matter how much love they may feel for one another. And when Eden makes its forceful hand known, Hawk and Jeni get caught up in the aftermath, leading them to a heart-breaking, all or nothing situation from which only one of them will survive.

Beyond Ecstasy isn’t the calm before the storm, it’s smack in the eye of it. Each Beyond book widens the depth and breath of this world and this time around, we’re back to get more of Sector Six while there’s also a sprinkling of hints of what’s to come in the final clash between the O’Kane’s/the Sectors and the might of Eden. After the bedroom gymnastics to accommodate a union of four in Beyond Ruin, focusing on only two people in Beyond Ecstasy was a relief. Maybe this is why Beyond Ecstasy feels somewhat sweeter and less complicated. Or it might be because Hawk’s family farm in Sector Six is a more traditional venue with green grass and barns and extended family who are actually related to one another, as though the gritty, urban series was transported to the Heartland before it’s destroyed (or is it?). The world-building has all its usual sublime intricacy and all of the favorite suspects make appearances to check us into their statuses. All around, Beyond Ecstasy is another sexy and satisfying romp with the O’Kanes, chock full of heart-stopping action and shocking revelations, centered around a couple trying to hold off the end of the world by holding on to each other for just a little while longer…if they can.

Check out all our Lady Smut Kit Rocha coverage here

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

Walks Like a Duck? Probably a Swan

9 May

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

ugly duckling book

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Several years ago, (we’re talking decades here), I read a book by Iris Johansen called The Ugly Duckling. In it, a mousey woman with a domineering husband and a daughter she adores and to whom she is fiercely devoted, winds up being murdered…or at least appears to be murdered when her husband’s nefarious deeds result in the kidnapping of her and her daughter. In fact, she winds up being rescued by some James Bondish good guys. Being very close to death from being very nearly murdered, her entire body undergoes serious transformation, not the least of which is her face. She goes from a mousey duck to an exquisite swan.

Through her long convalescence, the woman revives mentally and emotionally by focusing solely on revenging her daughter’s death. She turns her body into a sleek weapon: muscles honed, legs strengthened, body slimmed down. By the time she convinces the somewhat nefarious man whose become her mentor/lover along the way, to send her back into the world from which she nearly didn’t survive, she resembles nothing of her former self, not physically, mentally, or emotionally. From the ground up, she has been transformed.

In fiction, people transform themselves all the time, but it’s a theme particularly well-suited in Romancelandia. Romance novels focus on the journey of the female protagonist (the exception being the M/M romance, of course), and that journey often involves some form of transformation, often externally, but more commonly, an internal transformation as old fears and perspectives are transformed to allow the woman to find and empower her true self. Historical fiction especially loves the idea of people transforming themselves into something else: the shy debutante who transforms into a powerful society wife, the poor gutter lad who transforms into a powerful financial wunderkind. The once lady of the evening who transforms into a respectable society maven. The tropes abound and we gobble them up because we love stories of people who succeed against all odds, even if it means transforming themselves into something else, someone else, perhaps, even, into the true selves they never thought they could be.

I’ve been undergoing a physical transformation of my own over the past year. I’ve entitled this period in my life as #BringingMeBack (Yes, I hashtagged it, because I’m a bit of a moron where such things are concerned.) As my external shape transforms, my internal once is realigning as well. It feels like this process hasn’t been making me into someone new so much as allowing me to reclaim who I was before life events made me focus on things and people other than myself. Almost every day, I recognize something old that’s new again and that is quite transforming…and supremely empowering.

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In our own Lady Smut blogger, Elizabeth Shore’s, new release, Desire Rising, Lucy Kirby finds her arranged marriage very much not what she was expecting. As a result of its horrible end, she transforms herself into someone new…and soon finds herself embroiled in all sorts of complications.

Look! A blurb!

An arranged marriage to a wealthy and titled landowner should have been a dream for Lucy Kirby but ends in a nightmare that could leave her falsely accused of murder. She flees to the safety of a family friend and like a phoenix rising from ashes, sheds her innocence. Emerging as savvy and sophisticated Catherine Sheffield, she is a woman who keeps her liaisons purely physical and her heart closely guarded.

Lord Miles Hawkins once knew love…and it nearly killed him. Yet he’s enthralled with the beautiful stranger he encounters at a ball, and a tour of the balcony turns into a heated promise to meet again. Passion ignites an affair with the sultry Catherine, one he’s confident will serve his physical needs while keeping his emotions at bay.

When an urgent summons threatens her identity, Catherine must choose between saving a life and sharing her secret with Miles, possibly losing him forever. It shouldn’t matter…except desire rising has resulted in matters of the heart.

Have you ever felt yourself at a transforming moment in your life, physically or otherwise? What spurred you into this transformation?

Follow Lady Smut. We promise to always give you a transforming experience.

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

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