Pirates of Pleasure, Book 1: His Bounty delectable snippet
Romantic Teaser from Betrothed
A delicious tango to send a buzz through your day…you’re welcome!
This is from the start of the book as Captian Jax is ensuring his crew knows who our heroine, Blue, belongs to.
Next minute Blue’s world tipped. Her new captor, a tall, tanned, and annoyingly good swimmer, picked her up and flung her over his shoulder. She growled and began her onslaught to have him put her down.
She’d been so close. Her knee thumped against his chest and he tightened his hold. The bounty hunter had found her standing on the country lane in the Lake District.
“Any man dispute my claim?” The captain’s growl rumbled against her legs which were held hard against his chest. His shoulder dug into her belly and pressed in with every step as he stalked around, sticking his face up close to the men gathered around them.
“Anyone?” The captain shout-growled and damn it if there wasn’t an unwanted ripple of pleasure at the possession. It had been so long since she’d felt that kind of a ripple.
The captain turned and in moments he bounded down stairs taking them below deck.
“Hey.” That shoulder bumped and bumped into her stomach and she gave his back a thump. “Hey! Put me down.”
He was impervious and continued to take long strides down the hallway, door opening. Then her world tipped back upright, and the blood rushed out of her head as her feet touched the floor.
“I thought we’d already met.” Came his tight reply. “I believe you climbed all over me at the time and wouldn’t let me go.”
“I was drowning.” she growled back.
Double bastard, she bolted for the door.
“Woe.” His arm wrapped around her. And blast it, heat washed unexpectedly across her chest as he drew her back against him, holding her close. Her heart gave exaggerated beats as he leaned them as one to close and lock the door. The air got caught in her throat. He was muscle, strength that encased her from behind and the side as he kept her wrapped against his chest. The feeling of being held like that triggered a longing so deep, so long pushed aside, her eyes almost welled up. Where the hell did that come from? She swatted at him.
“It’s not safe up there.” He hushed near her ear. “Trust me, you are safer down here. Take some time. Take stock.” The sound of his voice lulled her. The heat from his body amazingly comforting against her damp clothes.
Underwater Performance by The Beverly Hills Dance Company & GAL Photography
I thought I’d give you a sexy teaser this week for our snippet of HIS BOUNTY Book 1 in the PIRATES of PLEASURE Duet. This comes from the start of the book where our feisty minx of a heroine is in the captain’s cabin and about to find out what kind of reckoning Captain Jax has in mind for her.
The silence after her tirade, after the last article of her clothing had been removed, crackled. His all too handsome face made her skin burn and her sex throb. Her nipples hardened, her breasts ached, and she could feel all of her body at once…humming, vibrating.
And she wasn’t alone.
He had stilled, his eyes eating the sight of her left a burning trail over her exposed skin. The length of him pressed long and thick against his trousers, she knew exactly what that would feel like…
His hands were white as they gripped the edge of the desk making her heart suddenly lurch in her chest at the thought of what he held himself back from doing.
Every second, the intensity between them mounted. Her body sunk deeper and deeper into unbidden want, into a heat of desire that called…that begged for her to pound out that she was alive in the most fundamental of ways…with him.
So excited to announce that Russian Hearts and Pirates of Pleasure will be translated into Portuguese by my Brazilian publisher Leabhar Books!
Snippet from the start of His Bounty, Book 1 of Pirates of Pleasure
Each button took far too long.
The crew around them shuffled closer.
A peak of flesh at her neck, the shell of an ear, something…a marking of some kind. Patterns that could well be a further layer of fabric covering her.
She hesitated a moment, then swiftly pulled the fabric mask up revealing her face and a head of ink black hair about half an inch long.
The breath caught in his throat as lust punched through him, his heart raced, and his body tightened to move into action.
“Hold firm.” Jax barked out the order.
Oaths were sworn, mutterings, a barked nervous laugh, a low long whistle.
“No one move!” He growled, throat suddenly dry. He may have just made a big mistake, but there was no going back now they had all seen her face.
A delicious 3rd snippet from the upcoming Duet – Pirates of Pleasure
Here is a taste from the beginning of Book 1.
Our hero, the delectable Captain Jax, has just taken possession of our heroine, ‘Blue’, who promptly (in her true gutsy style), jumps overboard.
Her head resurfaced, the strange fabric face mask plastered wet over the contours of her face showing a mouth gaping open, the concave shape of the fabric echoing her frantic gasps for breath.
An unwanted spike of pity cut through him, a gut deep need to end it and save her, but he was a pirate not a compassionate man. Jax grabbed her shoulder and hauled her above the waterline and still there were no hands grasping for him. Damn her.
“Choose now, the bottom of the river or me!” His voice was harsh and loud. “Choose!” Then he let her go. Waited for her to grab hold of him like any rational person would.
Instead, she went under again.
“Fuck.” His heart pounded, the tension churned, and every instinct pushed for him to simply grab her and haul her back to safety. The Thames was a killer, it had dangerous and changeable currents and undertows like any body of water, but illness was the stealthy killer. London’s factory runoff, its sewerage, its garbage all ran into the river in addition to it being the graveyard of the criminal and poor. The longer both of them stayed in the water the more water she’d swallow, and the trouble wouldn’t stop once he got her safe, she could come down with something and have no body weight to see it through. That would be a big financial loss to him and his crew, let alone the fallout from Moriata after being trusted with his personal request to bring her back.
And yet he had to push her now, he felt it like a tangible press, her will against his. Her gamble was that he would not let another human drown, especially one with a wealthy bounty on her head; and his bet was that her human instinct to survive and the fear of drowning, would override any plan she was set on and have her concede, have her reach out to save herself.
Seconds passed like minutes. Every part of him focused on where she was in the water, watching shadows, swirls of fabric, making damn sure he could get her, could ensure the current wouldn’t suddenly tug her under and away.
He and his crew, men who lived on the water, could hold their breaths longer than most people. You learned to dive, to dive deep in their line of business. You chased sinking plunder, you chased sinking mates, you dived with the half-naked pearl divers as they swam like sea sirens for aeons under the water. But not this little pocket of life, she would only know how to hold her breath in the bath and yet still she didn’t reach for him. Fuck but he admired that as much as he cursed her for it.
A delicious second snippet from the upcoming Duet – Pirates of Pleasure
I have so enjoyed writing these two connected stories. Here is a taste from Book 1 following on from last week.
Meaks stepped forward and reached for her. The little spit fire swiped away his hands, growling and giving him a good kick; the crew laughed. And damn it if she didn’t look over to the rail again. Meaks once more reached out and she dodged his grasp, stepped back then sank into a fighter’s pose.
Of course the goading from the crew started as Meaks circled her to find an in.
Do you think you can take her Meaks or is she too much for you?
Step aside and let a real man have a go Meaks.
That growl something you’re scared of Meaks like the dark?
Jax held up his hand, Meaks stepped back, the crew stilled.
The Bounty straightened, shook out her limbs.
“You next?” she challenged.
And just like that he started to go hard. Her voice. The accent…unplaceable, the pitch, the lilt. If he was a decent man he’d want her to read a book out loud, recite the alphabet just so he could listen to it. But he wan’t, he wanted that voice to croon, to call out in need, to mutter a string of obscenities he intended to teach her if she was even passable under that face covering.
Seven minutes to break your heart…..
There is something fundamental about masks. We have worn them throughout the ages and we wear them figuratively every day. The work of Damselfrau, working name of artist Magnhild Kennedy, is a stunning example of the power and beauty of the Mask.
In Visual Atelier 8, Damselfrau was asked:
It can be argued that the mask exists as an art object, as an investured pseudo personae, as a hiding space, as a symbolic representation, or even as a simple cultural adornment. With this multimodality of meaning in mind, is the mask as everything here stated, and more, or might it in your view, possess one quintessential overarching quality?
In reply she said: The main power is transformative. Most of all it’s simply just fundamentally human, isn’t it?
I also think some things exist past our ability to fully articulate them. A mask belongs there. A part of me wants to know the what and how of them… but then I step back, step back and allow the magic to be there free from dissection and cognitive comprehension. Much like ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’, dissecting something magical robs it of its power and removes its mystery, it takes something wondrous and places it into the mundane.
For me, and it is very personal how creatives tackle this, the alchemy of creating stories and the writing process are in that same situation. I don’t want to dissect a story, I don’t want to disect why it has come to me, or why I am driven to create it; I simply want to be in the experience of creating it.
Damselfrau says something similar about her mask making, she says she doesn’t plan, she just remains present with the mask as it is made, following the journey the materials take her, not trying to plan or ‘design it’ as such.
In my stories, I specifically leave some of the aspects of character and motivation unexplained not only to the reader but to myself as the writer. As a reader and even as a the writer, its comforting to know, to ‘see behind the mask’ of a character. But by getting that insight into a character we categorize them, slip them into a box. Their magic leaks away. Stories and the characters in them need magic and power to make you love them, to have them resonate with their symbolic and archetypal lineage.
The other element of not fully explaining a character is that we are ostensibly hidden from ourselves. We don’t fully know why we do what we do and why we feel as we do, even if we think we do. When I write I don’t always look for answers so much as congruency, that sense that the flow of a character feels right to itself. I think a character can’t be fully revealed and consciously resolved to themselves. As we have our figurative masks in life they do too; they can be resolved to a satisfying level to the reader but not fully and most certainly not to themselves.
As a writer, I find the process of writing one that almost asks me to step into a character much like stepping into the mask, placing it on and looking through it, imbuing oneself with its world view and the world’s view of it.
Have a look at her work and see what you might wear ….. I have chosen some above that would easily part of Elsa’s world….
London docks, 1898
She stood defiantly even as she shivered in her damp clothes. The crew had gathered to look at her, a small soaked package, clearly female with soft lean curves, flared hips and breasts. It was the fabric covering her hands, face and neck ensuring not even a slice of skin was seen that was causing the restlessness.
What was she hiding? What was under them?
The bounty hunter had said she was not diseased. What then, maimed, grotesque, disfigured?
Then again, they’d all seen the women in the east, cloaked in their black full body coverings with nothing but dark luminous eyes to be seen. Whispers to foreigners questioning the practice was that the garment concealed some of the most beautiful women in the world.
Whichever related to the little bounty in front of them, it was something best known than kept a secret.
“Take off her face covering.” Captain Jax motioned to his First Mate, a ripple of unease curling in his gut. Trouble. This little package was going to be trouble.
Snippet taken from the start of Book 1 of the Pirate of Pleasure: His Bounty, due out in an Anthology called Secrets later this year.
Betrothed Launched globally 14th February and is #1 Best New Release in Russian Literature.
It was in the Once Upon a Christmas Wedding Anthology from Mid Oct 2019 – Mid January 2020 where it received reviews like this one from Estela on Goodreads that made my day!!
THE RUSSIAN BETROTHAL by Elsa Holland
Starring Miss Georgina Franklin and Prince Vladimir Demetri James Petroski.
Long time childhood betrothal…. in disguise trope.
Holy babushka, Batman… this story was so freaken hot…. and wowza those postcards!! I tooooootally ugly cried AF!! I loved everything about this story… and I loved every second that I spent reading about Georgie and Demetri’s road to HEA!!
Georgie is the kind of heroine that I love… she is strong and feisty and fights for what she wants. She had so many little defiant moments that I kept shouting “huzzah” for her.
Demetri is all kinds of delicious!! He has to choose between his growing attraction for Georgie and family obligations. Awww man!! Ya gotta love a tortured and conflicted hero… they are the yummiest!!
So many misunderstandings that they had to weed through, but these two couldn’t fight their attraction for each other. They were so beautiful together…. they made my toes curl!!
This is my first Elsa Holland story and I’m about to check out all her titles!! I’m putting her on my “New Favorite Author of 2020” list!! Can’t wait to read more books from her!!
That feeling of vertigo returned, the one she got when she stepped off a cliff, like going to The Velvet Basement, like showing him the image. She tentatively lifted her hand, like she might to a wild beast, not wanting it to shy away and not wanting to get bitten either, and let her fingers hover over his lips.
“Demetri?” her voice was a whisper. “Can I….?”
He made a sound, a beautiful pained sound she took as assent and lightly touched his lips. A quick glance up into those black pupils, he wasn’t shocked, annoyed or angry. Georgie took in a shaky breath and her touch deepened, a soft press against the fullness of hips mouth, a glide across its surface. It was much, much softer than she imagined, lips firm, full and soft.
Every nerve was suddenly alive, vibrating. A cacophony of communication as if she had swallowed a beehive. Rational thoughts had long left. What drove her was something far more primitive. And unbelievably delicious.
His hand came around her wrist, she stilled for a moment and when he didn’t stop her, she continued. Fingers traced the seam of his mouth, back and forth, and then she stopped, took a shuddering breath and pressed her finger between his lips.
The tip touched teeth which parted, dragged over the top of her finger as she gently and slowly pressed in and touched his tongue.
His hand tightened around her wrist.
Georgie held her breath. Her finger encircled and encased in the soft, damp, heat of his mouth.
The air between them so tight.
And then he sucked. Aching need blossomed between her legs. A throbbing want pulsed and lured her with all kinds of promises. Inexplicable feelings washed through her making her aware of everything…her nipples as they pressed against fabric, her breasts aching to be touched, the emptiness between her legs, especially there, at the hot center of her sex.