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The Burlington Manor Affair by Saskia Walker (@saskiawalker)

The Burlington Manor AffairA legendary family estate.
A mutual longing.
A bargain struck.

Carmen Shelby wants what’s been left to her—the valuable estate that she once called home. Rex Carruthers is the heir to Burlington Manor, a ruthless playboy who enjoys playing games, and all he wants is for Carmen to surrender. There can be only one winner…

“Walker deftly spins a captivating tale that will have readers holding their collective breath until the last page is turned.”—Publishers Weekly on The Libertine

“Saskia Walker is one on the top erotic writers of the millennium.” – Alison Tyler


Buy links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Harlequin US
All Romance eBooks
Mills and Boon UK

“As the kiss deepened, her body trembled—which only made his grip on her tighten. He wanted to keep his little bird…make her sing out with pleasure.” –The Burlington Manor Affair, Saskia Walker



“The trouble with this arrangement,” Rex commented as he walked across the room, “is that I’m enjoying it rather too much.” He watched her reaction.

Carmen stopped dead, standing on the patterned rug in the middle of the room. “What are you saying?”

Rex sat down in a winged armchair.  “For a month you do everything I want, every weekend, absolutely anything and everything.” He paused, allowing his message to sink in. “And in return for that you get my half of the property.”

“I told you I’d pay.”

Those eyes of hers, such defiance. How delicious it was to see her fire.

“That won’t be necessary. You will have earned every tiny part of the property by the time I hand it over. Don’t worry about the money.”

She knotted her fingers together. “You’re trying to embarrass me. That wasn’t part of the bargain.”

“I don’t agree. Mostly because I don’t seem to have to try very hard before you get embarrassed. I think you’re embarrassment trigger and your arousal trigger are very close together.” He lifted his shoulders in a shrug. “I can’t help that, and neither can you.”

She pressed her lips together. She was clearly annoyed, and yet he could also see that she was acutely aroused. The hands-on treatment he’d given her out in the grounds had her poised for action. She was taut and watchful, barely waiting to be instructed.

Rex took a deep breath and savored the heady atmosphere of sexual anticipation.

When she noticed, she hissed as if in objection.

Rex lifted an eyebrow. She lowered her eyelids, but watched him from beneath her lashes. Rex laughed. Had Carmen Shelby always had these withheld submissive desires? It hadn’t been obvious before, of that he was certain. And the constant battle she was having with her needs—was that part of the package? Or was this dilemma of hers because she’d revealed her trigger to him, perhaps inadvertently? Whatever the reason, neither of them could put it back in the box now. No way. Now that he knew her little kinks and foibles he intended to play them out to their full extent.

“So what is the problem?” she demanded after he left her standing there in silence while he admired her.

“A month might not be enough.”

She glared at him.

“It’s day two and I’m loving every moment,” he continued. “Seems such a shame to put an end date on it.”

“You’re winding me up.”

“I’m being honest.” He was. This was too good.

“In which case you lied to me. If you don’t intend to stand up to your end of the deal, I’m walking out of here right now, and if I have to do that I promise you I will only deal with you through a solicitor!”

Angry Carmen was hellishly hot.

“Is this the ballsy businesswoman speaking now, or are you saying you can’t handle more than a month of this?”

Her eyes blazed.

“Seriously, aren’t you enjoying our time together?”

“You know I am, in some weird fucked-up way.” She folded her arms across her chest. “But I want a limit on it, for the sake of my sanity.”

Sanity? What did that really mean? He’d find out, all in good time. He knew he’d pushed her on the terms. “Fair enough. I suppose I’ll have to stick to my word.”

“It’s only sex,” she blurted, as if it was an afterthought.

“It is…and I must say I’m liking these kinky sex games of yours.”


“Yes. Yours. Okay, let’s begin.”

She rolled her eyes.

“I’d like you to prove to me how much you want the house and how hard you’d work to get it.”

“Now you really are trying to humiliate me.”

“Not at all. You said it made it easier for you when I took charge. Although I do think there’s a part of you that likes that…the humiliation.”

Oh, how her cheeks flamed.

Rex smiled. “Strip for me.”



Award-winning British author Saskia Walker first dreamed of writing her own stories when she discovered a handful of romance novels stashed away in her school library. An avid reader, she lapped up the adventures and the life-affirming emotion of these stories, but always felt dismay when the bedroom door closed the reader out. She vowed that in her stories all the passion would be right there on the page!

Saskia began writing in the late 1990s. By that time she’d traveled the world, gained a B.A. in art history, an M.A. in literature and the visual arts and she’d worked in several diverse careers—but the stories in her head simply had to be written.

It is the combination of potent eroticism and strong storytelling that has become the leading characteristic of Saskia’s work. Fascinated with seduction, she loves to explore how and why we get from saying “hello” to sharing our most intimate selves in moments of extreme passion. She writes across genres, often incorporating elements of history, the paranormal and the fantastic in her work. As well as many novel- and novella-length publications, Saskia’s work has now appeared in more than seventy international anthologies. Her debut novel received the Passionate Plume award for the Best Contemporary Erotic Romance of 2006, and two of her novels have been nominated for a RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award.

Nowadays Saskia is happily settled in Yorkshire, in the north of England, with her real-life hero, Mark, and a houseful of stray felines. You can visit her website for more info.


Caught between a Holstein and a Gander! by Karen Rock (@karenrock5)

His Hometown Girl bannerGrowing up, I looked forward to visiting my grandparents’ Century dairy farm every Sunday. A century farm is a farm that’s been owned, continuously, by the same family for over a hundred years. Mine had raised Holsteins on their land in Malone, New York, for over two hundred plus years. Although Malone is a small, rural town, it’s famous in a way that meant everything to me as a girl. Still does. As a fan of the Little House on the Prairie books, I thrilled at knowing that my family had known the Wilder family and that Almanzo, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s husband, had grown up in this beautiful countryside. It fired up my imagination to read Farmer Boy and see Malone through Manny’s eyes. Although I loved every book in that series, especially These Happy Golden Years, I reread Farmer Boy the most since it was so close to home.

Like Almanzo, I had my own set of adventures on the farm and though some didn’t end well, as the one I’m about to relate, they’ve all stayed with me and inspired me while writing His Hometown Girl. This particular adventure began while I was spending a summer weekend at my grandparents’ farm house. I loved any excuse to stay there since it meant I got to sleep in the guest room which had cream wallpaper with a pink rosebud pattern, slanted ceilings, a four post bed and a cherry vanity. It made me feel like royalty to stay there, especially since my grandmother always fussed over me and made my favorites like chicken and biscuits and shepherd’s pie.

banner Lola's Blog ToursBest of all, I got to spend time around the farm animals. I helped my Uncle Bob in the barn a bit, though I usually got up too late to do much with the morning milking. Nevertheless, I considered myself good at handling cows and their size and strength had never intimidated me, not with those large brown eyes and docile nature. So when my grandmother told me the goslings were learning to swim in the duck pond, I didn’t think twice about jamming my feet into sneakers and heading for that pasture.

It was a bright summer day, the morning air so crisp I could have taken a bite out of it. I raced down the long driveway shadowed by towering sugar maples and ignored my grandmother’s shout to be careful around the cows. She always said that. I did, however, look for a spot to get through the electric fence where there weren’t any around. I didn’t want them thinking I had carrots in my pockets (which I usually did but forgot in my rush). The black and white Holsteins were a bit of a distance off, their heads lowered as they nibbled at the shorn grass.

I ignored the urge that always had me holding on to electric fences to see how long before I let go, and ducked between the top and middle barbed wires. Immediately, a number of the cows’ heads popped up. I was about thirty feet from the fence before I few started trotting my way. Instead of the friendly lowing I heard whenever I entered the barn, I heard their stomping feet and angry breaths. My heart hammered. Where were the gentle creatures that tickled my fingers with their velvety muzzles? Suddenly the sun felt hot on my neck and a trickle of sweat ran down my back. I eyed the fenced in duck pond area then the electric fence along the driveway. Did I need to make a run for it? If so, the driveway was closer. But through the rushes, I glimpsed a pair of tall Canadian geese and their goslings swimming on the pond. I had to get a closer look.

I raced for the pond and the cows charged. I could hardly believe how aggressive they were. They knew me. And I thought only bulls charged… boy was I wrong! These gals were tough… terrifying actually. I barely made it to the duck pond before the cows stopped short and stared me down across the flimsy divide. My breath couldn’t be caught and it left me as I collapsed to the ground. I was glad to have made it, but frightened about getting back. Would the cows forget about me? Let me sneak away in peace after I got my fill of the adorable baby geese? I hoped so.

I crept to the pond’s edge and sighed in delight as I spotted them. They were so tiny as they paddled after their magnificent parents! As their feathers hadn’t come in, they were still covered with a fuzzy- looking beige and tan down. They kept calling to their mother and the din made me forget, for a little while, about the huffing cows that still hadn’t left the pond’s fence. Lost in that moment, I laid on my stomach and watched the water ripple behind the proud family as they circled the pond. I must have closed my eyes because I loud squawk made them snap back open. The gander had spotted me and he wasn’t happy to have an intruder near his children. I jumped to my feet, remembering times I’d felt the pinch of a beak on my hand when I’d fed overeager birds. Scrambling backwards as the male goose waddled faster than I could have ever imagined, I slipped and fell hard. His nip on my sneaker had me back on my feet and this time, I all out raced to the fence. Only… the cows that had chased me there hadn’t left. I was literally caught between a protective goose and territorial cows. What to do?

Since we didn’t have cell phones back then, and the farm house was too far away to call for help, I raced around the pond, the gander on my heels, honking all the way. I leaped on top of a small house we’d built for them, out of reach of his snapping beak. Hours passed, or at least it felt that way, as I sat on the roof, my knees clutched to my chest. Eventually, the goose returned to his family, but the cows never wandered far, essentially pinning me down.

At last, I saw one of my uncle’s farm hands driving a tractor up the drive and stood up to flag him down. He waved his hands up and down when he entered the pasture, and the cows shied away from him. I was so relieved that I hugged him when we were out of the pasture. Later, at dinner, he stayed to regal everyone with the tale about how I’d been held hostage by a twenty pound goose and a bunch of cows. It was hard not to laugh along with the story, but I never forgot to have a healthy respect for ‘innocent’ farm animals again! 🙂


his hometown girlBlurb:

He’d always managed to best her…

Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he’s not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that’s always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

You can find His Hometown Girl on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20501051-his-hometown-girl

You can buy His Hometown Girl here:

– Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1daYrXx

– Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1ktNqWq

– eHarlequin: http://bit.ly/KaSxKm


karenrockAbout the Author:

Karen Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. Since then, her first Harlequin, WISH ME TOMORROW came out in September, 2013 and her next novel HIS HOMETOWN GIRL comes out in March, 2014 with three more releases expected this year.

When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. For more information about Karen’s upcoming books, check out her website at http://www.karenrock.com, Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites or follow her on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5 . She’d love to hear from you!

You can find and contact Karen here:

– Website: http://www.karenrock.com

– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites

– Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5

– Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6761362.Karen_Rock

– Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karenrockauthor/


His Hometown Girl Grand Prize

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Interview with Portia Da Costa

I’m very (very, very) excited to announce that I have Portia Da Costa on my site today. Portia’s books were some of the first erotic books I ever read, and I’ve enjoyed her work ever since. I’m delighted that she’s here today to tell a little more about her writing career in general, and what other naughty goodness she has coming out.


Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed, it’s great to have you here. So here are a few questions to help readers to get to know you better.

Have you always written? How did you get started?

No, I didn’t start writing until I was in my thirties. I’ve always been an avid reader, but before that it had never occurred to me that someone like me could write a book or a story. But then, I started attending Star Trek and media conventions and I became friends with lots of lovely fan fiction writers there. I didn’t write Trek fiction myself, but I did try my hand at writing a short story to celebrate another fandom I was into at the time… and I was completely amazed to find I *could* actually write something. It was pretty terrible, admittedly, but it was a start. I went on to write more stories in that series, learning as I went, and eventually I decided that I’d try and get something published. The stories I’d been writing were erotic, but also romantic, so I set my sights on Mills & Boon initially. Getting accepted by Mills & Boon was as tough then as it is now, so after half a dozen attempts, I switched to submitting my work to erotica publishers instead. Last year however, Mills & Boon reprinted one of my HQN books in the UK. It’s only taken me twenty five years to get there! LOL

Did you write other genres before erotica and erotic romance?

Not really. I’ve been writing romantic erotica from day one, really, although I have also written a couple of sweeter romances since.

How did you start writing erotica and erotic romance?

I think I’ve pretty much covered that one in my previous answers. I’ve always written erotica and erotic romance. Many of my friends in fan fiction were writing the more erotic stuff, so it seemed natural for me to start there too.

What was the first piece you had published, and where?

It was a short story called THE MAN IN BLACK, and it was published in Forum magazine in 1991. My first erotic novel was published in 1992, and my first Black Lace novel, GEMINI HEAT, was published in 1994. Curiously enough, the hero of Gemini Heat is a gorgeous billionaire who’s into BDSM… so there’s nothing new under the sun, is there?

How did you feel about your first publication?

Elated! I found it hard to believe it had actually happened, even though I knew it had. I was still feeling that only ‘other people’ could be real writers, not me.

How did you come up with your pen name?

After I’d been writing for my first publisher for a little while, I had a book accepted for Black Lace and they asked me to come up with a new pseudonym. Fast! That evening, I watched ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ and the character of Archie had a daughter called ‘Portia’. The next day, I was watching some motorcycle racing on the telly, and heard the orthopaedic surgeon who looked after the riders referred to as ‘Doctor Da Costa’. Ta da!

What did you do before you started writing full time?

For many years I worked as a librarian, and then after that, I worked as a clerical officer in Local Government.

What inspires you?

It’s hard to pin that down. Ideas just seem to come to me out of the blue, but sometimes they’re prompted by something I’ve seen on the television, or in a film. Or something I’ve read in books, magazines, newspapers, or online. Or something I’ve seen when I’m out and about, in everyday life, or something I’ve overheard. It’s like a lot of little things gather in my subconscious and gradually blend together to make a story idea.

Who inspires you?

As a muse? Well, it’s usually some gorgeous actor or singer or other famous man that’s taken my fancy. My current inspiration is mainly Simon Baker, as the Mentalist, with a side order of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock. In the past I’ve written books and stories with heroes inspired by Vincent D’Onofrio, James Marsters, Edward Norton, Dean Cain, David Krumholtz and many, many others… oh, I’ve had dozens of crushes!

What’s next for Portia Da Costa?

Well, I’ve got THE ACCIDENTAL CALL GIRL out now, and the next book in that series will be THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS, which continues the love story of John Smith, an urbane, kinky, drop dead gorgeous multi-millionaire, and Lizzie Aitchison, the young woman he originally met in a bar and at first believed to be an escort! These two have a fiery passionate relationship, but they both have issues that stand in the way of them reaching ‘happily ever after’. They’ll get there in the end, but it’s not going to be an easy ride…

THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS is out in August, and THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDE, the conclusion to Lizzie and John’s love story, is out in October.

I’ve also got the second novel in my Ladies’ Sewing Circle series out in May/June. It’s called DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH, and it’s super-hot Victorian historical romance about two distant cousins, Adela and Wilson Ruffington, who have a thorny, difficult relationship, but who still can’t keep their hands off one another. As well as Diamonds, I’ve also got a Ladies’ Sewing Circle novella anthology coming out, called A GENTLEWOMAN’S QUARTET. This features all four of the Sewing Circle stories, originally published as Spice Briefs, and it’ll be published on the 15th March.

Bonus question: What do you think about “that book” and how it’s affected the erotica and erotic romance industry?

I’ve never read ‘that book’. When I’m writing, I always read mainly outside my own genre, in order to bring fresh and different ideas to my own books and stories. I’m very grateful to ‘that book’ though, because it’s generated a wider interest in erotica and erotic romance, and that’s brought my books to the attention of many, many more readers, ones who may not have discovered my work otherwise.


The Accidental Call GirlThe Accidental Call Girl

When Lizzie Aitchison meets John Smith in the Lawns Bar of the Waverley Grange Hotel she doesn’t realise at first that he thinks she’s “working”. The chemistry between them is dynamite from the very first glance exchanged across the room, and she can’t resist the allure of his fallen angel face and the way his lean body looks in a sharp business suit. Pretty soon, she’s playing a dangerous game with him. John’s a no nonsense guy who seems to be set on engaging an escort for sex rather than simply meeting a pretty girl to chat up in a bar, and if that’s the only way she can get this gorgeous, irresistible man, Lizzie decides to act the part. Over just one drink, she becomes “Bettie”, the high class call girl…

Read an excerpt of The Accidental Call Girl

Available from Amazon.co.uk, Kindle UKKobo and UK Nook


Portia Da CostaAbout Portia Da Costa

Portia Da Costa is a SUNDAY TIMES best-selling British author of romance, erotic romance and erotica, whose short stories and novels have been published in the UK and elsewhere since 1991. She loves creating stories about sexy, likeable people in steamy, scandalous situations, and has written for various publishers over the years, including Black Lace, HQN, Spice Briefs, Samhain Publishing, Carina Press and a good many others. Though her best known titles are mainly contemporary erotic romance, she also enjoys writing super?hot Victorian historical romance, and erotic paranormals. She’s even turned her hand to a bit of erotic sci-fi and horror on occasion.

Recently, her Black Lace contemporary erotic romance IN TOO DEEP, reached Number #5 in the Sunday Times paperback fiction chart, with only books by E L James and Sylvia Day outselling her!

When Portia isn’t writing she’s usually to be found loafing around watching the television or reading the works of Agatha Christie or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sometimes both at once. She lives in the heart of West Yorkshire in the UK, with her long suffering husband and their two beloved cats, Mork and Mindy.

Find out more about Portia at the following…

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PortiaDaCosta

Website: http://www.portiadacosta.com

Mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/planetportia/

Blog: http://wendyportia.blogspot.com

Guest Blogger: Rosalie Ash

Rosalie AshRosalie Ash, an author who has published more than 20 successful romance novels worldwide through the legendary Mills and Boon brand, has launched her first e-book on Amazon Kindle.

She has re-written MELTING ICE, her first novel, updating it from a world of 1980s shoulder pads to 21st century smart phone communications and re-published it as book one of a trilogy.

I asked her to tell us more about the book, and about herself.

What is the story about?

“The theme is of a cold, emotionally damaged man meeting a warm, impulsive girl, and their subsequent relationship.  Matt thinks Victoria is gorgeous but way too young, and he is averse to any kind of involvement.  Victoria is only 18, naive and a bit self-obsessed, when she falls in love with Matt during the first weekend they meet.

I like the idea that being with the right person can effectively change someone’s whole life and outlook.  Both main characters, Matt and Victoria, grow and change over the course of the story, and finish up more likeable and better balanced by the end.”

Do you fantasise about which actors would play your characters in a movie?

“Yes. While re-writing MELTING ICE I was thinking of Daniel Craig as the hero, MATT. I was visualising Liv Tyler as VICTORIA, Julia Roberts as JESSICA, and Scarlett Johansson crossed with a  young Sinead O’Connor as MEGAN.”

What made you want to re-write MELTING ICE?

“This was my first book, originally published in 1989. When I got the copyright back from Harlequin Mills and Boon, I could have just re-published it digitally as an 80’s Classic, but when I re-read it I felt the urge to give my characters a bigger story.

And then there were little things, like coming across an old 2001 5-star USA review of MELTING ICE on the internet. This reader had bought my book in a ‘thrift shop’, and wrote things like ‘an emotional trip’, ‘a refreshing break from the average cheesy romance’. She went on to say she’d tried to find other Rosalie Ash books but discovered most were out of print.

The hero and heroine in MELTING ICE, their love story, the location of rural Warwickshire, all felt very personal to me. I also wanted to bring them into the 21st century. At the very least, I wanted them to have the benefit of smart-phones, texting, email, I-pads, sat-nav, and to wear clothes that didn’t resemble the wardrobe of ‘Dynasty’!

I decided the book just needed a few more characters, a couple more plot twists, and it would turn very well into a longer book, and into part one of a trilogy.

The striking new cover was created for me by Birmingham-based illustrator, Gareth Courage.”

What made you choose the location?

“The village and farmhouse setting create an effective ‘crucible’ where the characters all live and work in a close-knit environment. Harbridge is fictional, but is typical of many small South Warwickshire villages, not too far from the border with the Cotswolds, where the farms and cottages are built of mellow stone. Warwickshire is where I’ve lived all my life. It is known as the ‘leafy heart of England’. The scenery is not dramatic, but timeless rolling English countryside.”

Tell us more about the hero

“Matt Larson comes from the classic ‘school of hard knocks’ background. He is tough, cool and sexy as hell! He had a tragic childhood and he’s a self-made multi-millionaire.  He seems cold and uncaring, but inside he is vulnerable, honourable, kind, caring, all traits that Victoria eventually discovers. He’s part Danish, with icy grey eyes, blond hair and olive skin – what’s not to love?!” 🙂

What’s the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to you?

“Eloping. When I got married second time round, we sneaked off to the Registry Office at 9:00 am one morning, then immediately flew to Florence for our honeymoon. We rang our families to tell them the news, on our way to airport. We felt like two naughty children playing truant from school.”

If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?

“I’d have a cottage in Cornwall and a villa in Italy.  I’ve recently discovered the Cilento region, south of Naples. I rent a stone-built cottage high on a hill, overlooking the Bay of Cilento and the Amalfi Coast.  It makes you feel almost literally ‘on top of the world’. You can see the sun set over Capri. The weather, the scenery, the food, the people, are all wonderful. The only downside is the death-defying Italian driving!”

Which author would you love to meet?

“I’d like to have a ‘girlie’ lunch party with Jilly Cooper, Katie Fforde and Jill Mansell. Their books are so warm and funny, I imagine they’d reflect their attitude to life in general.

What are your plans for 2013?

“Book Two of MELTING ICE is going well, and I’m making this my priority. But I obtained the copyright to three more of my early books, UNSAFE HARBOUR, LAW OF THE CIRCLE, and THE GYPSY’S BRIDE, and I intend to re-publish at least two of these original Rosalie Ash classics as e-books. THE GYPSY’S BRIDE was a top favourite of mine, though. Sex, horses, and a smouldering part-gypsy hero. What’s not to like? So, I don’t know, maybe I’ll feel driven to re-write and extend the story of sexy SAUL GALLAGHER and gorgeous CHESSY…”

Book two of the Roundwell Farm series, telling Jessica’s story, will be out as an e-book later in 2013.

Rosalie will be putting more of her 90’s classics on Amazon Kindle over the next few weeks.

To find out more, go to Rosalie Ash’s website  http://rosalieash.wordpress.com

Melting IceHere’s the book:

‘Men with those half-hooded eyes always look as if they’re inviting you to bed with them,’ Jessica gave an enjoyably exaggerated shiver, ‘But Matt is so deliciously detached. All steely reserve and suppressed passion. I think he’s gorgeous!’

Victoria hunched her shoulders in a casual shrug. ‘I’d hardly describe him as gorgeous.’

‘Decided that while you were gazing at him longingly on the terrace, did you?’

When Victoria meets Matt she is instantly infatuated with him. But he makes it clear that she’s not his type, and in any case she is far too young for him. But everything changes one night, forcing them both on a journey of self-discovery that transforms their lives forever.

One of the 5-star reader reviews already posted on Amazon for MELTING ICE:

By Jan  Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

Rosalie Ash is back and better than ever. Melting Ice is a well written, compulsive read. I admit I had the free download but I would have happily paid money for it and can’t wait for the second book in the trilolgy.’

And here’s an excerpt:

‘Will you please go?’ she said, ‘I don’t want you to come here again.’

Matt rose to his feet in a fluid, powerful movement, and the pale, lidded gaze was so scathing she longed to drop her eyes under the onslaught. Only pride and fury kept them level.

‘Don’t be so fucking ridiculous, Victoria.’ he said tautly, ‘I’ll go, but not before I’ve proved that you’re lying to me and to yourself.’

Before she could duck him, he had pulled her into his arms. He controlled her furious struggles with easy strength. His fingers were hard as he twisted her chin up until her mouth was beneath his, and then he kissed her.

In the midst of her anger, Victoria felt a wave of despair. She knew that her body was going to betray her. She wanted to fight and struggle and scream, but instead she circled his neck with her arms and ran her fingers into his hair, pulling his mouth down harder on her own and returning the kiss with a shudder of passion she had forgotten she was capable of feeling.

When their lips parted for a moment she drew in a breath that sounded like a sob, but her whole body was on fire, as if all her anger and resentment were transformed into heightened sexual desire.

In response he swung her into his arms and took her to the sofa in front of the fire, trapping her on his lap as he kissed her more deeply. Victoria couldn’t think any more. All she wanted was to be closer, closer, to surrender to this glorious melting feeling in her bones, and this fiery ache in her stomach. Her struggles to escape had changed to struggles to be as close to Matt as possible, and with a groan he pushed her full length on the sofa and responded to her urgent movements by flicking open the buttons on her jeans and pushing up the soft fabric of her jumper.

Then at last she felt his lips on her skin, her throat, and his hand could flick open the clasp of her silky lace bra and expose her breasts to receive the caresses they ached for.

She gave a choked cry of pleasure as she felt his tongue on her hardened nipples, and he drew back for a moment, his face shadowy and almost unrecognisable above her, the pupils dilated with desire.

‘Victoria,’ he breathed unevenly, stroking the softness of her with an almost reverent gentleness, his eyes narrowed as he gazed down at her, ‘Did I ever tell you that you have the most perfect breasts I’ve ever seen?’

‘No,’ her voice was muffled with emotion, everything melting into surrender, ‘You didn’t…’ Not even when she’d flashed them at him on their first meeting, she thought dazedly, almost finding the strength to giggle but dissolving instead into quivering desire.

‘And you’ve gained some curves,’ he said, ‘In all the right places. God, Victoria…’

He was peeling down her tight jeans and sending another convulsion of desire through her. Lost in sensation, she hungrily moved one hand up inside his T-shirt, felt the warm hardness of his abdomen and chest, trembled over the flat hard nipples and the coarseness of his chest hair, all her long years of needing and wanting pooling into one hot, liquid tug of desire low down in her stomach.

‘Matt, oh God…,’ she heard herself whispering against his mouth, as her body strained towards him. He slid the jeans down further, tugged them so that he could pull them right off her. He slipped his hand inside her lacy briefs and cupped her already damp sex with his hand. He groaned, sliding two fingers inside her until she whimpered with need.

‘You smell and taste gorgeous, I’ve never forgotten the scent and flavour of you,’ he said, running that same hand up the length of her body, putting his fingers into his own mouth and then into hers.

That was all it took. Something raw and elemental in Matt’s sexuality ignited a desire in her so powerful, so overwhelming she couldn’t stop herself, couldn’t fight it. She needed him, hungered and thirsted for him, in a mindless, blind way that had her fingers ripping at his white T-shirt, wrenching it over his head, allowing her hands the luxury of stroking and exploring the irresistible lines of his body.

In front of the fire, on the warmth of the sofa, he lifted her to straddle him, stroked the soft fullness of her breasts, moulded her small waist and the flare of her hips, his eyes dark as smoke as they hungrily scanned her body,

‘You’re stunning, but completely crazy,’ he murmured huskily, ‘I don’t have a clue what goes on in your head!’

‘Right now, nor do I,’ she whispered breathlessly, ‘I don’t have a clue how you do this to me, if I did I’d know how to stop you.’

‘Don’t. Don’t stop me.’ His voice was thick with desire and laughter. ‘If you knew how much I’ve been wanting to do this to you again, you wouldn’t be so cruel.’

She slid a trembling hand to the fastening of his Levis, moved her fingers over the long hard bulge under the button-fly with a rush of heat all over her. Slowly, she eased open the top two buttons, her eyes caught and held in his narrowed gaze.

The only sound was dull tick of the grandfather clock in the shadows, the hissing of the logs in the hearth, and their combined ragged breathing.

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My Day at The Festival of Romance

Festival of RomanceLast weekend was the inaugural Festival of Romance, at Hunton Park near Watford in the UK (a very posh venue). I attended on the Saturday to see what it was all about, appear on a panel, attend some panels and generally mingle, meet and chat with some like-minded people. I knew other erotica and erotic romance authors were going to be in attendance too, so I wasn’t going to be the lone smutter in the room!

To avoid rambling on forever, I’m going to break the day down into the panels/debates I attended and give my little commentary.

I got there in one piece, in plenty of time, despite my horrendously early start and having to drive through mile upon mile of 50mph restrictions on the M1. Luckily I had my music to keep me awake!

Registration was a whizz, and I quickly bumped into some people I knew and started chatting and checking out the venue. Soon, though, it was time for the first panel… and I was on it!

Panel: For Her Eyes Only

I was a tad nervous as this was the first panel I’d appeared on, but luckily I had Xcite editors Elizabeth Coldwell and Antonia Adams there to be all informative and interesting if I failed. The audience were gentle with me, however, and I had fun answering questions about the difference between erotica and erotic romance, pen names, how writing short stories and longer pieces differs, how I got into erotica, and much more. I emerged from the panel immensely glad I’d taken part, and much more comfortable about doing it again in the future, which is just as well really, as I’m doing one at Erotica in November. Details here.

The Big Debate: Men and Romantic Fiction

I went into this debate with the intention of sitting there quietly, rather than debating, which I managed very successfully. It was a great fun debate about whether men read romantic fiction in secret, whether they’re fans of romantic fiction, whether they should write it, and much more. The fact that there was a guy on the panel made it all the more interesting – Roger Sanderson, who actually writes as Gill Sanderson commented (this isn’t word for word, just my memory and hastily scribbled notes!) that men can write romantic fiction just as well as women, and that he doesn’t care what the press or other people think – he’s laughing all the way to the bank.

There was discussion on labelling, i.e. are the terms “chick lit” and “rom com” what put men off? Some members of the audience said that in some cases, if guys are told what the book is about then they’d be much more likely to read it, than if they were just told it was a romance. Girly pink and flowery covers were a big issue – raising the question about men reading romantic fiction on their eReaders because a) there’s no visible cover and b) nobody knows what they’re reading.

Overall, this was a good fun debate and raised some interesting questions about romantic fiction and the way it’s marketed, as well as the wonder – do men really read it in secret? I’d love to know, please leave me a comment if you have something to say about this!

Panel: From Chick Lit to Hen Lit

This was another good fun panel. It raised some similar questions to the debate about men and romantic fiction, about marketing, covers and more. But, most importantly, it discussed the label “chick lit” itself and how it came about. I don’t remember who said this, but apparently the term was originally “chic lit” but the press twisted into “chick lit” to be derogatory. Many people commented that the press still tend to be very down on the genre (whatever its label!), but the readers don’t care what it’s called – they’re buying and reading it in their droves. It was also commented that the term “chick lit” actually encompasses a huge amount of books. Many people’s conceptions of the genre are that it is light and fluffy reading – but this isn’t always the case. Many books deal with darker and more difficult issues, but are still packaged in those same girly, flowery covers, and they’re still purchased.

A majority of people disagreed with a recently made comment that “chick lit is dead.” People are still buying masses of these types of books, whether they’re dealing with darker themes or not – so the label should be reclaimed and twisted back to a positive slant. Love live chick lit, whatever you want to call it!

Keynote Interview: Mills and Boon

This is down on the programme as an interview, but was actually a presentation from Mills and Boon. It basically had tons of background on the company and the various lines of books it publishes. There were handy hints and tips on how you can get your work noticed and published by Mills and Boon, including a useful handout. It definitely changed my perception of the Mills and Boon brand – they know what works and they’re sticking to it, but they’re modern and constantly evolving. If I ever decide to try my hand at romance without the naughty elements, I certainly wouldn’t say no to them!

Keynote Interview: Carole Matthews

This was an interview, and a very good one at that. The microphone was playing silly buggers, but as I was sat within a couple of feet of Carole and the interviewer, I could still hear everything. The interview covered a lot of ground, from Carole’s personal experiences with writing, research, agents, publishers, titles, cover design and much more. It also touched on more general elements which would be useful to any other, irrespective of genre. Carole regaled us with a couple of very amusing anecdotes and was happy to answer questions and give out advice – even going so far as to say that she’d be around for the rest of the day and evening if anyone wanted to ask her any questions or have any more advice, which spoke volumes about her personality. No wonder she’s such a popular author! I’m amazed I haven’t read any of her stuff before, but I definitely will.

Indulge with Loveswept – cupcakes and gifts served by your favourite Loveswept hero

I’ve skipped meals out of the programme because they’re… well… meals. But this was a snack with a difference. A scantily clad young man had the pleasure of wandering around the room dishing out yummy cupcakes. He got less than half way before his open shirt was removed altogether, much to the appreciation of the women in the room. He was quickly surrounded by women who were just as interested in him as his cupcakes. I, for one, appreciated both. He was no Jared Padalecki or Philip Winchester, but he was offering me cake, so I was nice to him. He also came round and gave out bundles of postcards tied together, which included details for a free romance eBook download, which naturally I took advantage of.

Dotted in between these various events were chances to chat – hurrah! So I had the opportunity to catch up with some people I knew, talk writing, business, books, new projects and much more. Overall I came away from the day with some fab information, cemented relationships, some cool freebies and a few extra pounds (in weight – from the cake 😉 ). If I can get to the festival next year, I’ll definitely go and would recommend anyone else to, too.