M/F Erotic Romance
Catriona’s life is spiralling out of control. One minute she’s a successful investment banker with a flat by the Thames and a healthy bank balance; the next she’s a famous author. Well, sort of famous. She’s written a femdom novel under a pen name, so nobody actually knows it was her. Her publisher has gone marketing crazy, lauding her book “The Next Big Thing”—much to her bewilderment. Especially since she hasn’t done any of the things she wrote about.
On launch day, curiosity gets the better of her and she goes into a busy London bookstore to queue up for her copy—despite the box of author copies stuffed into the bottom of her wardrobe. There she meets Elijah. When idle chit chat leads to him admitting he’s interested in female domination, everything changes, and their chance meeting leads to a whole lot more, giving Catriona the opportunity to experience the things she’s previously only fantasised about—not to mention the inspiration she needs to write the sequel her publisher is clamouring for.
Note: This story has been previously published in an anthology.
Word count: 9,849
Heart pounding and palms clammy, Catriona forced herself to put one foot in front of the other and walked into the bookshop. It was bedlam. She’d never seen a bookshop so busy in her life.
She paused just inside the door. What the fuck was she doing? If someone saw her, recognised her—
She shook her head sharply and clenched her fists until her fingernails dug into her flesh, the nipping pain bringing her back to her senses.
No one would recognise her, she reminded herself, because no one knew who she was. Well, people knew who she was, obviously—but not in relation to the reason she was here.
Taking a deep breath and attempting to behave like a normal person, she continued through the shop, trying to figure out where she needed to be. Not that she even needed to be here at all. It was insanity that had drawn her out of her Thames-side apartment and into the bowels of the Tube, and finally into the huge Piccadilly bookstore.
What else but insanity would make a person head into central London to buy a copy of a book on the same day it came out? Especially when one already had a large box of copies of said book stuffed into the bottom of one’s wardrobe. Complimentary author copies, according to the note from the publisher.
Maybe it was curiosity, she thought, as she joined the back of the queue snaking across the ground floor of the shop. Nobody nearby was holding a copy of the book yet, so she assumed that somewhere between here and the till there was a stack of the paperbacks, ready to be picked up and paid for. And presumably read. Christ.
Surreptitiously, Catriona pinched the back of her hand, then let out a wince. Ouch. This is real. She had to get her head around this situation, and fast. It was only going to get bigger and crazier—or so the publisher’s marketing team, a bunch of young, attractive and scarily glamorous people, had told her.
She’d already seen plenty of evidence of their expenditure on the way over—billboards, bus shelters, ads on the Underground; all displaying huge versions of her book cover, proclaiming it a bestseller, quoting stellar reviews and even lauding it “the next big thing” and “the next Fifty Shades of Grey.” One strap line even said “Who needs Christian Grey when you’ve got Eliza Dickinson?”
It was the fact that her book had even been compared to the first big thing that she couldn’t quite grasp.
The Fifty Shades phenomenon had spawned merchandise, sex toys and films. But it was just a one-off, wasn’t it? Something that couldn’t be replicated, shouldn’t be replicated.
Catriona certainly hadn’t set out to write a book to appeal to the same readership. All she’d done was take out her real-life frustrations—both sexual and otherwise—on the keyboard of her laptop. The rest had simply been a freak of nature.
How could it appeal to the same readership, anyway? Her characters were the complete opposite of E.L. James’s—her lead female, Eliza, was a dominatrix, and Leon her willing sub. Or he was by the end of the book, anyway.
It didn’t matter. None of it mattered. Her book was out, today, and what happened next was completely out of her hands. She should just relax and go with the flow. Though she still couldn’t get over the fact that people were not only buying her book—they were queuing to buy it. Patiently, too, despite the glacial speed at which they were moving forward. Did they only have one till open, or something?
People had joined the line behind her as she’d been ruminating, and she shuffled around slightly to see how many more were waiting. Shit—there were loads! She couldn’t even see the end of the queue.
Her surprise must have shown on her face, because the man behind her let out a chuckle. “It’s crazy, isn’t it?” he said. “All these people waiting to buy a book when we could have purchased online—probably cheaper—and had it delivered directly to our doors. Or in a single click, have it appear on our eReaders.”
Catriona hadn’t even thought of that. So, not only were people here, in the bookstore—and presumably stores all over the country, too—they were buying online, loading up eReaders… all for her little book!
“Uh, yes,” she replied, before the man thought she was rude, or a mute. “It is, but I like to buy from bookshops wherever possible—you know, give them my support. The supermarkets and the internet get enough of my money as it is.”
The man nodded thoughtfully. “That’s wonderful. An idea I shall subscribe to, as well, as long as you don’t mind me stealing it. I’d hate to see high streets robbed of bookshops. Still, in this case scenario, I have to admit I’m surprised to see so much interest in an unknown debut novelist.”
“Nobody’s more surprised than me,” she shot back before she could stop herself. “But then, it’s not every day a book is claimed to be the next Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Also available in Spanish, title La novedad mas esperada:
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“Yay Felthouse! You just keep getting better & more diverse! I love this writer, & I know you will too. Once you start with her, you’ll want all her books. I only wish this one had been longer.” 5 out of 5, Manic Readers