I would like to welcome author Joey W. Hill to the blog today, to talk about her new release, Unrestrained. I've had the pleasure of reading Unrestrained, and found it to be very thoughtful and very sexy. My review will be posting soon.
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: 12/3/13
From Joey W. Hill—author of the Knights of the Boardroom series—comes a novel of erotic games and power plays, in which an adventurous woman attempts to break down her own barriers
Athena is an accomplished businesswoman in control of every aspect of her life. But since the death of her husband, she’s had the desire to explore submissive cravings she’s had for some time. Unfortunately, Athena is known as a Mistress, because that’s the role she’s always played.
Her type A personality was strong enough to serve her husband as a Domme because that’s what he needed. It’s not until she meets Dale, a retired Navy SEAL, that she attempts to discover what her own submissive desires are. But letting go of her control is not so easy.
Fortunately, Dale is an accomplished Master who can help Athena live out her fantasies. And as she slowly surrenders to his touch, both of them will learn more about the nature of love between Dominant and submissive, and how it defies all expectations.
I’m not into bondage, but…
“I love your books, but I’m not into bondage or anything like that.”
When I first started writing BDSM erotic romance, I received many reader emails that started that way. And my response was always “that’s totally okay.” I’m a submissive myself, but there are a lot of things my characters do that would get a “Hell no” out of me in a heartbeat. Authors like to write about fantasies as much as readers like to read about them. That’s the really nice thing about fantasies - they’re a safe way to explore our desires and imaginations. I like using the example of a pirate ship to illustrate this. I loved reading historical pirate romances in the 80s. Who wouldn’t want to be ravished by a handsome and commanding pirate captain? In reality, did I want to be on a crowded, damp boat with maggot-infested biscuits and morally-compromised criminals? Uh, no (plus, I get horribly seasick on the ocean). But in my fantasy, pirates could be like the hero of Valerie Sherwood’s Bold, Breathless Love – that’s where my pirate fantasy started – wink).
But there’s a catch. To write really good erotic romance, you have to integrate emotional reality with sexual fantasy, because for women physical desire and emotional need go hand in hand. We want to be swept away by the pirate captain, but in the process, he has to cherish who we are, respect our needs and connect to us in a way that makes us fall in love with him. (Yeah, that would be a really tall order for Blackbeard.)
So here’s a little snippet from my December 3 release, Unrestrained, that integrates a little physical fantasy and emotional reality. Dale, my hero, is a retired Navy SEAL (and very hot Dom), and Athena, my heroine, is a Southern steel magnolia and widow seeking to embrace her submissive cravings. In this scene, he’s just rescued her from an attempted mugging across the street from their BDSM club. See what you think…
* * * * *
There was no shame in a Southern lady leaning on a handsome male rescuer, but even if there had been, Athena would have had little choice. Despite the odd calmness of her mind, her legs couldn’t support her weight. However, he did more than let her lean. When she expected him to open her driver’s side door, instead he bent, slid his arms beneath her and lifted her off her feet. He walked around to the passenger side, letting her down there before he opened the door.
Roy hadn’t been a weakling, but she could count on one hand the times he’d carried her. Worried he might throw out his back, she’d insist he put her down, even though she’d hold on to his neck as she fussed. When he did put her down, she’d compliment his show of manly strength, laughing at the mischief in his brown eyes. Lord, she missed that man’s sense of humor.
She leaned against the frame of the door, swamped by the feeling. A near mugging could do that, remind a woman of the practicalities she faced when her husband was dead and no close family lived in the area. No one was directly involved in her day-to-day well-being. Had she even updated her emergency contact numbers in her purse or at the house? If she’d been seriously hurt, would the emergency room have tried to find Roy?
Oh, for heaven’s sake. She wasn’t going to fall into this self-pitying drivel. She’d update it tomorrow, choose one of her many friends to be primary contact. None of those friends knew about this part of her life, though. They’d have no clue why she was pumping gas in the middle of the night in a part of town none of them frequented. It didn’t really matter, did it? If she needed an emergency contact, she expected discretion wouldn’t be high on her list of priorities.
She noticed her purse was on the edge of the seat, straps dangling to the floorboards, her lipstick a glittering tube of silver on the carpet. It suggested the other man had gotten no further than that in pulling her bag from the car. The one responsible for thwarting him stood at her back, close enough for her to feel his heat. His hand was just above hers on the frame as he waited her out.
She had a sudden desire to slide her hand up over his, hold on tight, feel that human contact. If he turned his hand to clasp hers, she’d experience firsthand the restrained strength he’d used when she watched him bring that cane down on Willow’s flanks, and then again when he’d slid his hand down her bare body, fingers decisively capturing her clit, pushing her over the edge. One more small step, and he’d be as close to Athena as he’d been to his bound submissive.
“I’d like to thank you properly,” she said, staring at that hand. “May I ask your name? Or do you prefer Master Craftsman?” She knew the club bartender had meant it as a joke, a teasing nickname for this man, but it was all she had.
“Hardly. Do you feel Lady Mistress is a good fit for you?”
“It was, once.” She spoke before she thought about the wisdom of saying so, but watching him had brought such thoughts to the surface, hadn’t it? Her legs were trembling again, and her grip slipped on the door frame. “Damn it.”
“Ease in there.” He moved the purse to the floor and folded her firmly into the passenger seat. She’d lost her shoes during the scuffle, but he had them. He placed them neatly by her feet. Her toes curled into the rug, the rougher fibers a contrast with the silk of her nylons.
He shut the door, then came around to the driver’s side. Reaching beneath the seat, he slid it back to accommodate his larger frame before he took the spot. Her keys were still in the ignition, so he turned the engine over, adjusting the air so a low heat began to fill the car. Though it was a warm enough night in New Orleans, she was shivering. Shock, she supposed, and watched him press the seat warmer for the passenger side. It warmed both the back and backside, and she couldn’t help a small sigh of comfort when it responded quickly. German luxury cars were a gift of the gods.
Her dashboard GPS came up, and he glanced at it, pressing the icon programmed for home. Just like that, he had her address. She wasn’t that concerned about it, because he didn’t feel like a threat. Not that way. Her gaze fastened onto his forearm, that dark sprinkle of hair. Lifting her attention to the silver hair at his temples, she reached out, touched it.
Those intent eyes locked with hers in a way that made her close her hand, lower it with only a brief impression of the soft texture. He held her gaze, unsmiling, until she put the hand back in her lap. She could almost hear the click, the connection made, a mutual understanding of their behavior. His wasn’t a surprise to her, not after having watched him in the club. But his reacting that way now told her he wasn’t simply a bedroom Dom, one demanding those terms in the boundaries of a defined session, a sexual scenario. Few men had the confidence to pull it off believably outside a structured environment.
That intel, rather than suggesting she might act with more caution around him, gave her far more unwise thoughts and desires.
If her reaction had surprised him, given that she was classified as a Domme, he didn’t show it. “I’m taking you home,” he said, “and then I’ll call a cab to get me back to my place. I came with a friend tonight, so I don’t have my truck here. Take a hot shower tonight and a couple aspirin. It’ll make you feel better tomorrow.”
“Voice of experience?” Her tongue seemed to be too thick in her mouth. “That didn’t seem like your first fis-fisticuffs.”
His lips quirked again. “Fisticuffs? Really? Are you a librarian?”
“Do I look like one?”
“Depends.” His gaze covered her, head to toe, and he took his time about it. “I’ve had some interesting fantasies about librarians. The kind where I bend them over a stack of books and discipline them with a nice flexible paperback for shushing me one too many times.”
Was he trying to steady her with the teasing? Giving him a silly smile, she leaned forward and put her finger to her lips, trying to summon a suitably stern librarian expression. “Shh.”
He closed his hand over hers and brought the one finger to his lips, brushing a kiss over the pad. They knew what type of animal they each were, and they’d met through a sexually focused club, so this type of flirtation was meaningless. Two Doms teasing one another with no intent to engage. Except as he continued to hold her wrist, his eyes became more serious, while her fingers loosened, becoming more pliant.
About the author:
I’ve been given more blessings in my life than any one person has a right to have. Despite that, I’m a Type A, borderline obsessive-compulsive paranoiac who worries I will never live up to expectations. I’ve got more phobias than anyone (including myself) has patience to read about. I can’t stand talking on the phone, I dread social commitments, and the idea of living in monastic solitude with my husband and animals, books and writing is as close an idea to paradise as I can imagine. I love chocolate, but with that deeply ingrained, irrational female belief that weight equals worth, I manage to keep it down to a minor addiction. I adore good movies. I’m told I work too much. Every day is spent trying to get through the never ending “to do” list to snatch a few minutes to write.
Despite all these mediocre and typical qualities, for some miraculous reason, these wonderful characters well up out of my soul with stories to tell. When I manage to find enough time to write, sufficient enough that the precious “stillness” required rises up and calms all the competing voices in my head, I can step into their lives, hear what they are saying, what they’re feeling, and put it down on paper. It’s a magic beyond description, akin to truly believing my husband loves me, winning the trust of an animal who has known only fear or apathy, making a true connection with someone, or knowing for certain I’ve given a reader a moment of magic through those written words. It’s a magic that reassures me there is Someone, far wiser than myself, who knows the permanent path to that garden of stillness, where there is only love, acceptance and a pen waiting for hours and hours of uninterrupted, blissful use.
If only I could finish that darned “to do” list. (from GoodReads)
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