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.
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.
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….
Well it’s a week since launching The Painted Heart and a few reviews have come in:
“Officially the best book yet!! – Best book by Elsa Holland so far! I love how she can create a world that sucks you in instantly and never lets you go. I found myself reading this at every opportunity, and thinking about it when I wasn’t.” Amazon Reviewer . “Oh my! This book is so good that you just don’t want to leave the world that Elsa Holland creates. Its my favourite book so far, and I say so far because I think this author is going to keep surprising me and I can’t wait. Overall the book is a sublime mix of gothic, sensual and clandestine overtones – it’s a must read.” Amazon Reviewer . “This is a marvelous addition to the Velvet Basement Series. Each story captures your attention and the sensual journey to a happy ending makes these books a pleasure to read again and again. Enjoy!” Amazon Reviewer . “This is easily the best book of this series. The world of the Velvet Basement explores different areas of sexual interest. This book includes living canvases, living art – full body tattoos – that are owned and shown off to other wealthy collectors. The Painted Heart is the first book with a plot that extends outside the kink and the couple and the first book to include a mystery. Both are wonderful.” Amazon Reviewer
I have had a promotion for The Bound Heart running which is doing well and generating interest in both The Veiled Heart and The Painted Heart which is great. Best rankings so far have been:
The Bound Heart:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5 Free in Kindle Store
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Gothic <3
The Painted Heart: #16 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Gothic #17 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Gothic #21 in Books > Romance > Gothic
The Veiled Heart:
#17 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Gothic
#18 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Gothic
#22 in Books > Romance > Gothic
I think many readers felt here was a big difference in story type and focus between The Veiled Heart and The Bound Heart, with the release of The Painted Heart I think that distance has been narrowed and the three come together as a more cohesive group as we re-visit The Velvet Basement, the world of The Collectors and re-meet characters again.
The Painted Heart also launches the world of The Painted Sisters and is a prequel for my second series The Painted Sisters. It will be 4 possibly 5 books to be read in order with a touch more thriller / mystery than The Velvet Basement. I am excited to already be a long way through Painted Trust, Edith’s story as she flees the dangers of a fledgling Skinner and places herself in danger in order to uncover the members of the resurrected outlawed sect of Collectors. I have Pinterest boards that give a mood and feel of what’s to come in that series. For those of you who have read The Painted Heart. The leather wolf mask Blackburn and Evie are looking at in The Velvet Basement belongs to our hero in the next book in the series called The Fur Heart . The next three in The Velvet Basement series as sinking a little deeper and darker into the world of human needs and desires. The stories I think show that we are beautiful in our complexities and broken-ness, in our secret wants and needs. We are infinitely more beautiful and whole with them as a part of our lives than pretending they are not a part of us.
A big thank you to those of you who read my work and support me. The creative process demands that we release what we create into the world to have a life of its own, to have it witnessed. It is a very rewarding process to get reviews and emails about the books, thank you!
I am having a great couple of weeks putting writing first. The best thing about dodgy internet is that all those pressures to stay on-top of your regular responsibilities are forcibly removed.
I make it to a cafe every now and again with excellent internet like Clear – pictures below. ( Clear was burnt down a couple of years ago, no insurance and all the cash money in the safe was also burnt. They set up somewhere else as they saved money and prepped the site to build the new Clear cafe below. The fire also took out a Balanese family home behind the restaurant and I understand the owner of Clear rebuilt the family’s home before the restaurant. They have a motto, ‘what’s good for people is good for business’ it’s a tough call living that kind of mission statement as a business AND I am confident it works.)
My lovely man… has been taking care of logistics for me – bringing back food and drinks so I can skip group dinners as well as heading out so I have time to write in peace & quiet.
We went for a drive on the motorbike the other day and he showed me a secret track he’d found around the back of the Monkey Forest in Ubud. But before that, he stopped in front of a statue he found and loved; he wanted me to see it. (note the wonderful way the monkey is gazing at his woman and where his right hand is)
Love is an amazing thing. I find I write in a genre that is highly under-rated and often scoffed at, but at the heart of it, has assumptions that romantic love heals and gives hope and direction in peoples lives.
Sensuality and sexuality is not something I think can be taken out of that equation when writing about romantic love. The process of joining with another person when your feelings are deeply engaged rattles the cage of things deep under the surface.
I once read that ‘love brings up everything unlike itself in order to be healed.’ Over the years I have seen that unfold time and time again. It’s as if, when someone loves you there is a part of you that says ‘let me show you why I’m unlovable’ and ‘suff’ that is not easy for people to live with comes out. If they leave it just proves the point ‘I’m unloveable’ but if they stay….. if they stay and you have nothing left to throw at them to prove your unlovability, I think you enter a ‘state of grace.’ A place where you can trust at a deep enough level to simply be who you really are.
Jason Silva in his stream of consciousness style, talks of a kiss… “a Kiss is to be touched, touched in the most erotic and intimate of ways….” I have to admit, a kiss is my all time favorite of things to do.
Luckily, I am broken. I have been broken for most of my adult life.
They say your life runs in 3 and 7 year cycles, well I had a 7 year cycle from 15 – 22yrs which broke me three times. Breaks that each irrevocably shattered a chamber of my heart. I have written about a bit of that process HERE (there are three parts the links at the bottom of each post)
I have perhaps been overly protective of the forth chamber ever since. And having glimpsed people who have had the four chamber broken, I am not sure I am brave enough to walk that path.
Instead, much like the art of Kintsugi I have held the cracks and fissures together with gold. Valuing and allowing the beauty of those marks to shine as part of me.
When I run my hand over the past, over the raised scars, it still hurts. Yet that pain has brought with it some of the deepest wisdom and compassion to my character and life. It has given me a personal well to draw on, one that informs my life. And even more so my creativity. Ironically we don’t often write from the lighter happier experiences, more often we write from aches. We reach out into the collective unconscious and find the collective experience of that ache and work with it.
I don’t think I would write what I do without those breaks. I don’t think I would live with so much optimism while still seeing the darkness. The interesting thing is as veterans of these kind of wounds, you empathise with the wounds of others that are different. You can somehow step more readily into their shoes and feel with them their break.
Poets and artists have long known the windfall of damaged souls. This damage propels you into a landscape of shared humanity, of a shared vulnerability. As strange as it sounds, you start to worry the pain will leave and you will be left in a state of numb pleasantness that is the death to creativity.
‘Kintsugi is a Japanese craft that both repairs and beautifies broken objects using gold leaf. By accentuating the break rather than hiding it, kintsugi honors the history of the object.’ more HERE
This is taken from near the middle of the book where Blackburn, our hero, is having Elspeth / Miss James our heroine, sketched and measured in preparation for designs to be made to tattoo her body. Blackburn is entering the room after giving Elspeth time to get started and to display some sensitivity that Miss James may find it uncomfortable to pose naked if two men are in the room straight from the onset.
Blackburn gave them forty minutes before heading up himself. More than enough time for them to be well underway into the life drawing and for Elspeth’s nerves to have settled.
As he neared he heard her laugh. A relaxed sound that fluttered around him like a promise of happiness. A sound she never made for him.
His jaw tightened. He braced, like he had always braced when facing the realities of the world and they were usually that he wold never be given, if he wanted he would have to take.
Outside his upstairs parlor he stood at the door and listened, his heart, oddly beating faster than it should.
“Adam, you’re tickling me.” Adam? His body stiffened. And then that laugh again. A rich sensual ripple of… enjoyment.
Blackburn pushed the door open to find Mr. Patterson to be exceptionally handsome and with this hands around Elspeth’s waist, his cheek pressed against her soft white belly and a tape measure somewhere in the mix.
Mr. Patterson was now laughing, Elspeth had her hand on his head grinning.
Everything inside Blackburn stilled. The confirmation of her virtue not days past stopped him from doing anything dramatic. Years of training stopped him from doing what any other man from where he was born would have done. After all he was a tactician.
“Am I interrupting?” His voice was artic. “It seems I am in the wrong room for a rendering of my Canvas.”
Mr. Patterson hurriedly disentangled himself from Elspeth and stepped away.
Elspeth’s hand fluttered to her waist and then dropped. The softness in her face from just moments before replaced by a strained, tight look. The look she saved for him.
His brows drew together and tension pulled across his shoulders.
“Adam… Mr. Patterson was measuring me,” her voice challenged him to find the wrong in it. He had after all arranged for her to be sketched naked and measured by said Mr Patterson.
Mr. Patterson was at the rendering he’d done and began walking it over to him.
All Blackburn saw was her too fast breathing, the flush over her skin, the distended nipples. That soft line of her scar in the blond thatch at the apex of her thighs. Cold fury at the idea that Mr. Patterson now knew of that small scar pulsed behind his temples.
Blackburn looked at the rendering.
Elspeth shone off the page. And, it was complete, front, back and sides. An impossible task in the time they had just spent together.
“That was fast.”
“Well I took the liberty of starting at home. I know Elspeth… Miss James so felt confident to start the drawing without her.” It was clear that the young Mr Patterson was an idiot and was perhaps looking to be maimed. The thought of them as a possible couple, that Elspeth had wondered what it would be like to be the focus of Mr Patterson’s affections was again oddly flammable to his equilibrium.
“You were confident you could draw her naked from memory?” Blackburn stalked towards the young man. This was not about love or affection, this had to do with ownership and sexual access. Blackburn understood very clearly that had he and Elspeth established their sexual relationship these odd feeling would be less likely. Being possessive of his sexual partners had never been an issue for him but not having what he wanted and seeing someone else closer to getting it had always irked him.
“Oh for God’s sake.” Elspeth stepped down from the pedestal and grabbed a robe from the nearby chair. “You are being ridiculous.”
“Am I?” Blackburn watched as she covered up her skin, which by the way was his now. Every square inch of it.
He looked at Mr. Patterson who was scarlet. Elspeth, it seemed, was impervious of Mr. Patterson’s wayward thoughts. Or the implication of it.
“I just need the measurements and I am done,” Mr Patterson said.
Blackburn raised an eyebrow and shot Mr. Patterson a look that had the man stepping back. There were men in London, who for very little would break a mans fingers at every bone.
“Perhaps you could take the measurements?” Mr. Patterson hurriedly suggested.
“Perhaps you are done?” Blackburn took another threatening step towards the soft spined fop and the apparently not so brave Mr Patterson moved quickly to collect his things.
Elspeth huffed from behind him as if he was the oaf in the room and not the pandering Mr. Patterson. Well, she would be making very different sounds in a moment.
I am a great believer in the role of beauty to shift consciousness.
The impact of a breathtaking vista, the perfection of a fern frond as it unfolds, the prisms of light as they shine for the smallest moment through a drop of rain. Beauty acts on us like displays of the human spirt; which are profoundly moving, inspiring and highly charged. Beauty I feel, hits us as hard but deep under the surface. It’s like when you are in the presence of perfect form, when the mathematics align and the whole is at the same time so perfectly natural, something inside you aligns with it and starts to shift to that frequency.
Karin Weber writes:
Amid so many insecurities in the world today, Małgorzata Chodakowska uses the uncompromising nature of her works to arrive at a sense of a security. Her medium is wood. usually from uprooted trees. The wood grains from the tree trunks of basswood, pear. cherry and oak come alive and follow her as she removes layers of wood to reveal larger-than-life sized ﬁgures. neo-realistic nude ﬁgures. clad ﬁgures, and busts – a process whereby the wood seems to shed its skin. the wood itself appears to be turned inside out. The ﬁgures are a continuation of the growth of the trees themselves. sprouting ﬁrst from the earth and then ﬁnding themselves rooted within the artist and her dreams, expectations and demands. her self image and her personal experiences. Behind the daily passions which remain hidden for most of us. the artist reveals what really moves people. as she exposes the timeless beauty of the creation of a human being
Her works are a romantic phenomenon in our present time. a time in which countless artists reject beauty in the name of modernity and denounce it as a “bad habit”. And what a great mistake that is! After all, beauty is a most basic need for all of us. read more here
Naturally given what I write, I think love is a form of beauty and the body a form of art. In The Painted Heart and in the subsequent series of The Painted Sisters, the body as a canvas and a form of living art is explored. In The Bound Heart I touch on the dichotomy between nudity in art and in life, the grey zone of porn and eroticism. Chodakowska uses the human form often naked or clad in ‘the wet look’ to fully show form and shape. There is a deep seated sensuality that comes from nature, through the wood, and often encased in metal. Elemental as it shifts us into our own natures.
Tutt Arts writes:
Chodakowska lifts her craftsmanship in wood and bronze to the magical world of experience in which the balance between beauty and perfection delivers the most beautiful tension. Her angelic figures radiate an paradise type authority, intriguing and most irresistibly attractive. The suggestion of perfection, the challenging energy of an equally powerful as subdued seduction. Her work is obviously highly respected in nowadays top sculpture art market. Chodakowska studied sculpture art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (1985). She continued her study at the Art Academy in Vienna (1988). In 1991, Chodakowska completed her dissertation in Vienna (Bruno Gironkoli). She has been honored with the highly selective granted ‘Masterclass Award ☞’. Read more here.
‘Where do you get the ideas to write what you write? Why do you write about the topics you do?’
I hadn’t really thought much about it until I watched a recent interview with Kate Grenville and she said:- writers write to answer a question…. that they are by nature curious.
I thought about that, about my own writing process and I think it is true, I do ask myself questionsand I am curious about the things that I choose tow rite about.
It starts with something that captures my imagination. Something that makes me ask.. how does that work?
The Veiled Heart started as a writing exercise. I was given ” a teacher and mechanic meet in a shop buying condoms and end up having sex in a car’. We I had to rejig that a bit for a Victorian story but the question I had to ask myself was:- why would a normally reserved and respectable Victorian woman have sex in a carriage with a stranger?
It’s true, I could have just had a liberal promiscuous character but that wasn’t interesting to me. I wanted to know what would make anyone of us do something like that, what circumstances would make it a step we would take.
The start of the story gives insight into the culmination of life events that made her take such a dramatic and unexpected leap into the sensual world. The rest of the novel was seeing what would happen after that event and resolving the aspects of her past which drove her to take that leap.
The Bound Heart came from a character my writing friend threw out one night with a group of writers… Jamie, the bookbinder, who was into bondage. We all laughed but days later the idea of a bookbinder.. a man of precision and into rope.. I started to wonder what kind of rope, who he was, why he was the way he was, what he was looking for. It left me wondering where the passion for rope work might come from, what some of the underlying elements were, the philosophy, the beauty. I wanted a story that explored that. I wanted a story that would take readers who might have images of bondage as a dark act, one of pain and humiliation and show a world of rope that was all about beauty, about sensuality and connection, that had a deep sense of history.
I also wanted a story where it was not so much the heroine being drawn into a sensually dark world but a man being broken by a sensually light world. I wanted a story that showed the power of intimacy rather than what acts you do.
With both Novels I feel I answered those questions….to my satisfaction at least!
The Painted Heart, the next story coming out in The Velvet Basement series, is a beauty and the beast story. I’m looking at what the alchemy is that turns a beast into a prince… Why can we sexually want a man or woman he don’t necessarily like. And how sometimes getting what your heart really wants is the scariest thing of all.
Emmanuelle de Maupassant is surveying erotic writers and will be doing a series of articles on her findings. You can find her here if you want to watch out for them.
I thought I’d share some of my answers for those of you interested in my relationship with writing as I see it.
How would you describe your writing style and your choice of sub-genres?
I write Victorian erotic romance. It’s lush, sensual and has a darker underbelly than the usual historical romance. It boarders on gothic eroticism and dark romanticism, yet when the line is drawn in the sand it falls into erotic romance.
Have you written fiction or non-fiction without erotic elements?
No. Love, intimacy and sex are core themes in all my work. I don’ see that changing in the near future.
Do you have any major cultural influences (eg. in theatre/ film/art/music/theatre)?
Not consciously, no.
Conscious cultural influences I feel lie more often in the academic side of writing. Writing to express a point or explore an area/idea/topic with intent.
There are subconscious influences that drive us and come out in repeated symbols and themes, I certainly find them coming through my work.
I think by nature writers with a high erotic content tend to be sensualists and respond to mediums where that sensuality is engaged. I use visuals a lot and music. I watch a lot of films, I paint (badly) and I play music (poorly).
Do you tend to read works by other authors within the erotic genre?
What appealed to you about their work?
Make me feel it. I want deep point of view, immediacy and deep visceral responses… and I’m not talking about the fast flickering tongue or that hard thrusting… thumb, I mean the emotions. I want to feel a heart ripping out of its chest, a stomach churning and twisting with the fear of anticipated rejection and judgement, the deep slow burning of want from a distance. There are lots of ways to write sexy and turn people on, or be clever about the nature of sex and to show what’s behind it. But the writers who make me feel the emotional landscape leave me breathless.
How far does your writing reflect :
a) your own emotional/sexual history/experience?
Sexually it doesn’t. I write things I have done and things I haven’t. Thriller writers don’t kill to write well about murder.
Emotions and life experience including sex, create values and themes in your life, I think we gravitate to or receive themes and values that reflect us and our journey.
b) your own fantasies?
It doesn’t, I think readers would find my fantasies rather boring.
I write to reflect my characters and their fantasies. Stories take something and amplify it. Sometimes my characters and their journeys confront me and I am out of my comfort zone writing or publishing their stories – but I do, and will continue to do so in the future.
c) experiences you have read/witnessed/been told about second-hand?
It’s possible. We are bombarded with information and stimulation and when stories come who knows what has informed their crafting. Again this question speaks more to writing from the brain down to the page… get an idea, research & explore then write a story. I write from the gut out. I believe I experience the flow of the story from the formless to the page as a thread from the collective unconscious. Story and writing is a nebulous feeling that travels through me onto the page.
I think this relationship with the collective unconscious in the writing process and our role to translate it is part of the writer’s role. That we reach down into the archetypal waters and bring those waters back in the form of images, words and story. For me that’s writing which is alive. Each story is a quest of some kind given to the writer to transmute into words as free from their own filters, limitations and fears as possible. That process is a part of living writing.
What inspired you to begin writing fiction with erotic content?
I had no intention of writing erotic romance. But I shouldn’t have been surprised when it became a strong focus of my work; it’s an area of people and life I find the most interesting.
Have your motivations changed since first writing? If so, how? What do you primarily wish to accomplish through your writing?
When I started, writing was a vehicle to tell story. It still is but as I developed, the writing process became a profound vehicle of experience in itself, something to pursue in its own right.
Are there ‘taboo’ areas you are interested in exploring but feel constrained by current regulations / commercial viability / social conventions?
My motivations are not academic, I don’t consider that I write erotica or eroticism, all of which have boundary pushing intentions.
I write erotic situations as a consequence of my characters and their stories. I am not driven by the erotic landscape in and of itself. My characters may yet lead me to controversial boundaries but they haven’t yet.
It’s been a while. Working to push the books out in a 6-8 month window has drawn me away from my blog since mid last year. Apologies. I’ll start to share more of The Bound Heart over the next few weeks. It is a story I was worried about publishing, not sure my readers and supporters of The Veiled Heart, would make the jump with me. Thank you…you did.
The characters of The Bound Heart, Jamie Edwards a Shibari master with some particular sexual preferences and the persistent Olive Thompson, they are very close to my heart. Their emotional vulnerability and courage I found very moving. I love how they are who they unapologetically and that they recognise that in each other.
Hereis a sexy snippet from the start of the book. Jamie is leaving his job as a bookbinder, where he gets to see Olive every week. So along with it he is stepping back from Olive… but not before he has a taste. They are in the bookbinding workshop in the attic of the Bond Street Bookshop, Jamie has Olive siting on a work table, her skirts pressed up over her thighs and he standing between them. They have been kissing…it’s escalating…
“One more taste, Olive Thompson,” he whispered over her mouth.
Those soft lips pushed against his, her mouth open, and her warm, hungry tongue pressed against his.
Long, languid strokes and he was as out of breath as she was.
His fingers worked her jacket, loosened it as they kissed. Her breath hitched as his hand slipped down her chemise and over her breast. A hard nipple pressed against his palm.
She moved forward and pushed against his thigh, her hands pulling him forward. Her breath dragged through her mouth as they kissed.
He was going to lose control.
In this moment, he didn’t care if she deserved better.
He moved her hand down to his pants and pressed her against the aching need they contained.
She rolled her palm over him, bit at his lip. All he could feel was her. All he wanted was her.
Her hands worked at his trouser buttons.
A slight shift in posture and he reached down between them, found the opening in her drawers and pushed his fingers through.
The soft damp curls against his fingers, the wet folds a slick satin as he slid through them.