Visit my Website for all the blurbs, excerpts and news!!

Visit my Website for all the blurbs, excerpts and news!!
Visit my Website for all the blurbs, excerpts and news!!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Transphobic and sexist... well! A Wyvern's rant.

Well,      I have never, until now, taken up pen (metaphorically) to comment on a bad review (even when they were extra venomous and got half the facts in the books wrong or sounded like they were written by orcs more than trolls) but I will have to make an exception in this case, because I feel these two are an appalling factual misrepresentation of Woman as a Foreign Language, and also an attack to my own identity and beliefs, as an author and a person.

I hardly know where to start. The style, I will not comment upon. It’s a matter of taste. If lyrical prose does not do it for you, you won’t like my books. Any of my books. Fair enough. POV changes, ditto. I had my reasons for my choices, but if it does not work for you, that’s ok. I knew I was risking a rebuke there when I chose to switch both tense and person, and took my chance. That's all ok.

But… almost everything else in this reviews is ... perplexing. Skip to the Epilogue, if it is all too much!

1) “Julia/n.” And, “S/he.” Yes. That is how Julia is referred to.” And “I’ll say, though, that the way Nina talked about Julia as if she were half male, half female, didn’t sit well with me at all.”
No! No, no, no. Julia is referred to as she and as a woman. Consistently. And Julian as he and as a man. There are exactly two small paragraphs in the whole book where s/he is used, when Julian’s female presentation is either incomplete or coming apart. And I do believe it would be truly difficult for an observer to decide which identity to address in that moment. S/he and Julia/n is also used once in the blurb to refer to both Julia and Julian (Julia/n) collectively. I could have used more PC pronouns perhaps. But the simple fact is that to most readers they convey nothing at all.
As for the half/male half/female comment, I find the attitude behind this comment righteous and disingenuous. Moving away from the binary stereotype means accepting that people may incorporate both female and male traits, both physically and psychologically. Julia is not a  transsexual, as is obvious from the narrative, but rather more of a “TWO SPIRITS”.

2) Labels. Ditto. Yes I steered clear of labels, within the story. I didn’t say if Julia was transsexual or bigender or gender-fluid or non binary or… whatever. Why? Because to the average reader these labels mean nothing at all. The Trans-jargon has exploded totally out of sense or control (and I say that as a gender queer person myself) and I didn’t set out to write a documentary but a love story, large parts of which are autobiographical.
And I hate labels. People are not boxes. You don’t NEED labels in this story. It is obvious from the story itself that Julian is pretty comfortable both as a man and a woman and that he/she (yes, you do need a double pronoun, duh!) presents habitually as one or the other, and quite openly. Julian is simply a crossdresser that does not give a damn who knows any more.
Another reason why I didn’t pick labels is that the characters themselves would not use them. Julian does not need to define himself. He is himself (and herself too), period. Nina would not even know these labels exist. Get real: for most people (including not a few transgender people) these “labels” are a waste of language.

3) Racism in the book? Julia thinks (doesn’t say out loud) of Nina one or twice as Gipsy-ish and exotic. For Julia, both descriptors are obviously aesthetically positive. What sort or political correctness gone crazy is this? I am sorry if Romani people would take this as an insult, but neither Julian nor Nina are Romani and I’m sorry, I am probably ignorant, but I never thought of it as insult either. I am liberal and left-wing, but this is really a case where PC talk is overreaching common sense.
The Italian stereotype? ***I AM Italian***. I have lived and experience Italy, its close mindedness, its suffocating family dynamics on my own skin. Part of why I wrote this story was to vent all that (it was cathartic). Don’t tell me that these are stereotypes. This is unfortunately the reality. Of all families? No. Of many, and of mine in particular? Yes, certainly. As an author, I believe I have the right to describe my own experience, even if, gasp, it confirms what some perceive as stereotypes. Perhaps there’s a reason why the stereotype arose in the first place?

4) ““We’re Italian, the only man in a dress we’ve ever seen is the Pope.” She’s not joking to lighten the mood, guys. That is her genuine thought process.”
Which is humorous. Sorry you missed the irony. It is also a rather true fact. I am Italian and I have lived in Italy for more than 30 years. I had a large number of gay, lesbian and otherwise un-cis friends. Yet, I only consciously saw one crossdresser in all the time I lived there. I was utterly astounded by how more open and vibrant things were when I visited London and Toronto. It truly made me feel how backward and Catholic Italy still is (I have now lived abroad for almost a decade… I can’t say if things changed in the meantime).

5) “She gets mad that her idol for womanhood is a man—yes, also the way the book puts it.”
No! No!! I have absolutely no idea where the reviewer takes this from. Is Nina thrown and flabbergasted when Julia turns out to be … Julian? You bet. You would be too! Is she mad? Certainly not. Except perhaps at herself for being so impercipient. Minutes after this revelation she hands over to Julian the present she brought for Julia, with no fuss whatsoever. 
***This particular point is an actual misrepresentation of the book’s plot, and I do resent it.***

6) “(Julia) split up with her ex, Linda, after Linda caught her in a dress. And immediately, we run into the first problem. Julia takes this all as her fault. She should have ‘warned’ Linda. She should have been more careful. It was her fault. Later, when she comes out to Nina, she does exactly the same thing. She apologises for coming out in the manner that she chose. No! No! This is not negotiable! However a trans person wants to come out, you respect that! Nobody needs to be warned that someone is transgender!”
This whole part of the book is based on many, many heartbreaking stories of crossdressers coming out to their spouses and partners I have read, and discussed, with real persons living in real relationships.
Do I believe you need to apologize for being transgender? Absolutely not. Do I think you must feel guilty about it? Absolutely not. But the reality of many crossdressers is that the sense of guild exists anyway. Not for being transgender, but for having kept a partner in the dark about some large part of their identity. Or for being unable to fulfill the gender roles they subscribed to (by convention, if not by explicit promise!) within an ordinary heterosexual relationship. Or for having handled the coming out in a way that was shocking and hurtful for the person they loved.  This is a very real situation for many people. High flown rhetoric about what a people should feel like or do, does not change that. I’d love to live in a world where no crossdresser has any need to feel uneasy about their role in a relationship (or its failure). But that is simply not the real world, for now, sorry.
And, I am sorry, but any transgender person who believes they don’t owe any respect to the feelings and sensitivity of those around them is every bit as selfish as a cis person doing the same! Being transgender does not absolve your from treating your partner with care and respect, from trying your best not to hurt them. Many married crossdressers I know are profoundly aware of this and considerably cut up by the pain they inflict on their partners if their partners are not fully onboard with their trans indentity. I am not saying if this situation is bad or good, right or wrong. I just described it as it is.
“This (need to apologize) should have been negated. Hard. Repeatedly. And it wasn’t.”
No, I chose not to embark into this rhetoric. I simply left it to Nina to say, “Whatever you chose to be it’s perfect for me.” And “I like you just the way you are.”
I don’t think the story needs anything else. ***This is not a social manifesto***. It’ a love story between two people.
“Can we please start getting some trans characters who don’t feel the need to apologise every ten seconds for who they are?”
We can. Write them yourself! But please, note that Julia is never made to apologize for what she is. She just feels she might have been more considerate in the way she communicated it. Which is a legitimate (and realistic) feeling.

7) “(Julia) takes one look at Nina and immediately ‘girlfriend projects’ her. This is when you start a relationship with someone with the aim of changing them. In this case, making Nina more feminine. Grow her hair out. Use make-up. Dress better. None of it is fuelled by Nina asking for it or saying she’d like to try it, all of it comes—without prompt—from Julia deciding she’d be better pretty.” And “We also see Julia thinking, more than a few times, how pretty Nina would be dressed up and wearing make-up. Because of course girls are only pretty if they’re wearing dresses and eye shadow – cue to me rolling my eyes in the background.”
This is the other point where I wonder what the reviewers are on about… Nina’s whole being is blatantly yearning to express her feminine side. Or at least try it out. She just doesn’t know how to do it (something I experienced on my own skin), and also she needs a safe space where to do this (something I wish someone had given to me). Julia provides that. How is that “shitty”?. Nina starts out being stuck into a sort of accidental gender limbo. And ends up as a complete tomboy, a tomboy by choice rather than accident, and a tomboy that Julia finds profoundly beautiful. Julia is not changing Nina. She’s helping Nina to come out of a shell.
Again, I am sorry, but this review is completely falsifying the plot of the story.
“To the extreme of saying a man’s job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, why hasn’t she pushed herself to do something better than welding, and she’d look much better with a bit of make-up and a blouse instead of her working overalls. Julia is a sexist, classist, intellectual snob, never changes, and thoroughly gets her own way about it.” And “Can we do away with the idea that there are jobs for men and jobs for women once and for all? Oh, and about the job, we get Julia thinking that manual labor is not a great career achievement”,
Julia never changes? Excuse me? Julia thoroughly reevaluates Nina’s choice of profession and simply tries to encourage her to express her creative side… And yes, for a man that often prefers to be a woman, it is quite natural to think that “a man’s job is not all that is cracked up to be.”
Nina is a completely autobiographical character, and I can assure you, being a welder, is not a great career achievement, despite being a beautiful job at times. I was a metal worker for 10 years. I loved my job. But the reality of it is that I was grossly underpaid, that I was often treated quite badly, and that the sheer physical fatigue and unhealthy working conditions almost killed me. The reality is that 80% of the time I was too tired to do anything. To live. To create and to think clearly. I am happy to have moved on to a more healthy and creative life! As someone who actually always did manual jobs (still do) I actually know both the attractions of them and their flip side.
And how often have you been in steel manufacturing and processing factories and workshops? Try it, and let me know how many women you see. Again, it may not be PC to say man-job, woman-job. But it’s how the real world is, in large parts.

8) “And the way Nina outs Julia to her family when they accuse her of being a lesbian made me see red.” And  “but outing Julia in the process—to Julia’s neighbours, so people very, very capable of causing harm with that knowledge!—was disgusting.”
Once again, I think something went lost here. One, that Julia herself said, tell your mom the truth. It might or might not have been in jest, but it hardly matters because... Two, Julian is at this point of his life, quite openly crossdressing. He comes and goes from her flat both in drab and en femme all the time. As is obvious if you actually do read the story. Only somebody as blind and house-bound as Nina’s mother and her accomplice could have missed it (and Nina, herself, of course, who, because of her working hours had never physically seen Julian before). Other neighbors are already aware of it!
And even ***if*** Nina made a mistake, in the state of turmoil she is? Fictional character are supposed to be perfect now? Again this book is not a manifesto. It's not a manual on how to handle a relationship with a transgender person. It’s a love story between imperefect, fallible people, who might occasionally do stupid things.

9) “And finally, if this was supposed to be a romance, I just didn’t buy it. They exchange “I love you-s” after three dates”
Yes. That’s why it’s called Romance.
“And please, for the love of whatever it is you believe in: condoms are a thing!”
Yes. I never said Julian didn’t wear one. I just didn’t mention it. The same way I choose not to mention in erotic scenes when someone farts or when a mess comes out of your ass when you extract a butt-plug (yeah, it happens!). It’s just unsexy to describe it. This is listed as erotic-romance. All my readers are 18 ys plus, and I don’t feel the need to educate them about safe sex. I have more respect for them than that.
“And someone that has never given a blowjob in her life swallows a cock in one go, and then swallows and doesn’t gag – not even a little?” Never said she swallowed a cock. Just that she sucked it deep. As for the swallowing, jeez, I didn’t gag the first time. Or ever. Although once I kinda breathed it up my nose (no idea how that happened) and sneezed and coughed for 15 minutes straight. It was very embarrassing and my partner thought I might die! If you'd like to read about it a will put it in a book.


“Basically this book is a mess of sexism, transphobia and ignorance.”
Ignorance? Very possible. There’s tons of stuff I don’t understand at all. I try to learn, and sometimes fail.
Transphobia? Certainly not. As I said elsewhere at length Nina is a fully autobiographical character, and her brand of gender queerness (which is extremely hard to label, don’t I know) is something I know first-hand. Julia/n is the most profoundly beloved character I ever wrote. I am immensely sorry if I failed to convey that love to you. I wrote this book as a genuine love-song to gender-fluid people (rather than outright transsexuals, whom I deeply respect, but simply interest me less, narratively, as a storyteller).
I do not believe in gilding lilies. I don’t think trans people (me included) are special snowflakes absolved by political correctness from all evils. Neither do I believe in righteous purism and poses (the hissy fits about pronouns for examples). I believe, profoundly, that this kind of high flown discourse is more damaging to the trans cause that anything else. I do believe also, that a more quiet, sympathetic form of address (on both sides of the left-right, trans-cis, call it what you like) would improve the dialogue immensely, and cause less of a backlash (a sometimes—dare I say it—understandable, if regrettable, backlash) from conservative circles. Less political posturing, more empathy.
Sexism? Certainly not. A disenchanted perspective on what are still, in a very real way the accepted gender roles in which many people are still stuck (or comfortably ensconced, why not, because being cis-gender--what a stupid word--is not a crime, any more than being transgender), that yes.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Tendrils of you - a poem

Tendrils of you
are like rivers of mist
like the dream of a dream
in my bloodstream

yet they linger
they cloud my world
light made into breath

they surround me
blinding white
and I am lost

Guest Post - New Release - Doris O'Connor - Her Best Friend's Husband

It's always a pleasure to host this grand lady, Doris O'Connor (she will hit me something for calling her a lady, quite possibly, but that's how we roll). She's here with her newest release today, and I let her do the talking!

"Dear KAtherine, thank you so much for having me on your blog today with my new release Her Best Friend’s Husband. Like so many of my stories the idea for this one was first sparked by a picture and the resulting tease on my blog.

The picture was a naked guy in bed, holding a wedding cake. How did I arrive from that to this story? Well, my muse works in mysterious ways, lol. The story slowly evolved and it was stuck in limbo for a long time, until I got the urge one day to pick up that manuscript, and the rest is history, as they say. 

I had such fun writing these three, and the intricacies of their relationship as they try to work out whether three is indeed better than two. So much so, in fact, that I’m planning a follow up to their story in due course.

For now, enjoy seeing Naomi struggle with her feelings for her best friend and his husband. To quote her. “Who does that?”

Naomi, for sure, and when she realizes the guys feel the same way…. Well… you might need a fan or a glass of water when you’re reading some scenes."

Your best friend’s wedding is not the time to realize how much you love him...

Wedding organizer Naomi Young is not only head-over-heels in love with her best friend, she lusts after his husband.

Which is all kinds of wrong—isn’t it? Maybe not. Especially when she discovers the attraction is not as one-sided as she thought.

Dom Dawson Monroe has never had a problem going after what he wants. Both he and his new husband Josh Garrison enjoy a woman’s soft touch, so who better to satisfy that need than the one woman Josh is madly in love with? Time to claim them both as his submissives.

Convention be damned. Happiness is to be found in the soft curves of Naomi’s body, as long as they can convince her that this is forever. Only time will tell if the loving twosome can become an even more loving threesome.
Be Warned: BDSM, m/m sex, menage sex (MMF), double penetration

Buy it from:


“Perhaps the boy’s timing was unfortunate, but he would only owe you an apology if you hadn’t enjoyed that kiss. And we all know you did. I’d wager you’re getting wet just remembering those kisses. I know I got hard witnessing it. You two look hot together.”

Naomi gasped and opened her mouth as though to protest, but one knowing smirk from Dawson meant she simply shook her head.

“Nothing to say to that, little one?”

That question, delivered in that deep, dark, gravelly voice—his Dom voice, as Josh called it—appeared to have the same effect on Naomi, as it always did on him. Her breathing sped up, and she tensed. While he couldn’t see them from his position in his back seat, Josh bet his next orgasm that her nipples were hard little beacons signaling her arousal as clearly as the moan she swallowed. It made him wish this infernal journey was over already. He couldn’t wait to see his life-long friend squirm in pleasure under his and Dawson’s hands.

His Master’s gaze dropped down to Naomi’s cleavage and Dawson’s grin turned positively sinful.

“Never mind words, your body gives you away. If I touched you now, I’d find you sopping wet for us, wouldn’t I? In fact…”

Dawson reached across and placed his large hand on Naomi's knee. She jumped but didn't stop him as he proceeded to pull up the hem of her dress, exposing acres of dark skin.  The contrast of Dawson's much lighter hand on Naomi's thighs was startling. Josh groaned, and Naomi crunched the gear again as the traffic started moving.

"Please, I … don't." She flung an imploring look at Master and gasped when his hand briefly disappeared between her ample thighs. Josh balled his hands into fists to stop himself from grasping his dick, because seeing Master's hand reappear seconds later, his digits glistening with the unmistakable evidence of Naomi's arousal … fuck, that was hot.

Dawson grinned, licked one digit, and then held his hand out for Josh.

“Here, have a taste.”

 His amber eyes darkened when Josh grasped Master’s hand. Naomi’s sweet, addictive taste exploded on his taste buds, made ten times more potent because it was mixed in with the familiar scent of the man he loved to distraction. Josh’s balls drew up in response, and he grunted as his dick jerked inside his pants.

“No coming without my say-so, boy. Besides, you make a mess in our girl’s car you’ll be cleaning it up.”

“Oh my God, you two are too much. I’m sitting right here, you know. Are either one of you going to actually ask me what I think?”

Naomi’s voice had risen to a shrill screech in her agitation. It served as an ice-cold dampener to Josh’s arousal, and he hastily released Dawson’s hand.

“Of course, we do.” He threw an imploring glance at his husband, and Dawson gave a sharp nod. Relief flooded through Josh, at that non-verbal confirmation that his Master was more than willing to step in.

 “None of this will work without your consent, and communication is vital. I just don’t appreciate you lying to yourself, or us, girl,” Dawson said.
Naomi tensed further, and Josh could almost see the steam coming out of her ears. Any minute now she would explode in anger. 
“Look, Naomi, what Dawson is trying to say—”

"Spare me, Josh." Naomi glared at him through the rearview mirror, and in a move that wouldn't have been amiss in a Bond movie, she pulled into the fast lane and put her foot down, as the traffic cleared. Dawson's hand braced on the dashboard again, and when he looked all set to say something, Josh put his hand on his Master's shoulder. Dawson glanced back at him, and his brows drew together in a frown at Josh's shake of the head. He heeded his request, however, and didn't say anything, as Naomi broke every speed limit in the land in her haste to seemingly get away from them all.

An awkward silence fell between them all, only broken by Naomi's soft curses when she had to slow down for the inevitable traffic, interspersed by Dawson's sighs.

Oh, Master was pissed and getting more annoyed by the minute. One of Dawson’s unbreakable rules was the need for his submissives to stay safe. Unwittingly Naomi was breaking that rule, and Josh knew he had to say something to calm this situation down.

“Slow down, sweet cheeks. Getting us killed will not get us there any faster. I’m sorry okay.”

Naomi gasped and glanced at him through the mirror. The sheen of tears in her eyes was like a punch to the gut, and he put his hand on her shoulder. He took the fact that she didn't immediately shrug him off as a good sign. "I'm sorry I sprung this on you, but I'm not sorry I kissed you. I'm not sorry this is out in the open. We should have probably had this conversation before I got married, but there never seemed a right time, and I'm a fucking coward, okay? I was too afraid to lose our friendship, but we could be so good together. All of us."

About Doris

Doris is a writer of sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get.  From contemporary to paranormal, Sci-fi, BDSM, M/M, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.

Stalk her in these places
              Amazon BookStrand Barnes&Noble

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Spice and Vanilla - WIP - a Teaser

Just a small teaser from Spice, which is growing in every direction like a crazy tree... to the point when I needed to take a break or my brain would overheat.

Well, here it is, all unedited of course... I hope you enjoy it.

"Nadia met Lucie at her place that Saturday. Or rather, she was supposed to meet Lucie, but when she got to the door, it was Raphael who opened.

“I am sorry I am so late,” he said, kissing her distractedly on the forehead. Nadia could tell that he was already half into Lucie-mode from the scrupulously chaste kiss. “Something came up, last minute, with work. On Saturday afternoon, can you believe it?”
“It’s ok,” she said. “It’s nice to see you, if only for a minute.”
He gave a slightly strained smile at that, and then kissed her again, on her lips, lightly.
“I’ll be ready in a moment,” he said, hurrying towards the bathroom. Then he stopped and laughed. “No, scratch that. It’s probably going to take a while. Make yourself comfortable.”
After he disappeared, Nadia wondered about aimlessly for a while in the empty flat, and finally opened the fridge. It was a dispiriting experience to open Raphael’s fridge. She honestly wondered what he ate when he was on his own. There was some orange juice, standing rather forlorn in the half empty white glare, and she poured herself a glass before going to look for some music to play on the stereo. Something called The Tempest by a Henry Purcell looked promising and she slipped the cd in the reader before flopping on the sofa.
She was two thirds through the cd before Lucie made an appearance.
“Oh my god,” said Nadia seeing her emerging. “Wow.”

Lucie was like something out of a catwalk. Absurdly tall, lean and ash blonde, beautifully made up, she could have passed for a top model in any clothes, but tonight she was especially elegant and provoking. Thigh-high, soft, black suede boots, nude colored stockings, a short black skirt (one of Nadia’s), and a champagne-colored turtleneck pull, with cut out shoulders. She wore a chunky vaguely tribal black necklace over the pull, and black bracelets at both wrists.
Lucie smiled. “How do you like the Tempest?”
“So so,” said Nadia honestly. She watched Lucie almost forming an answer and then shrugging and smiling. Nadia guessed that Raphael would have launched into a lecture on the topic, but that Lucie was more easy going.
“It is a bit of a bore. It’s not even really by Purcell, most likely. John Weldon’s, in fact.” She switched off the stereo and gave Nadia a hand to get up from the low sofa.
Nadia had to exercise all her self-control, not to touch and stroke her, on her bare shoulders, her stockinged legs, the blond hair that hung so enticingly all around her face, begging to be pulled back from her eyes. It was almost painful when Lucy put a knee-length pale brown coat, soft and drapey and a black scarf (also from Nadia) over all. But when she picked up her black tote bag and keys she was… perfect. A very, very beautiful, very tall, athletic woman, going out on Saturday night with a friend. There was just a hint of some delicious perfume around her.
“So, what do you think,” she said, standing by the door, “will it do?”
“Oh,” said Nadia, smiling, “it will do plenty. You are too gorgeous for words.” She actually felt physically dizzy, lightheaded, just looking at Lucie, and nearly walked into the doorframe while exiting the flat.
My god, I always assumed that only happened in the movies, she thought, trying to walk straight and succeeding only in part.
“You ok?” asked Lucie, with a small frown of concern creasing her forehead.
“Super. Never better,” said Nadia feeling every bit as unsteady as a teenager going out on her first date.
I don’t know what’s happening to me. I am going completely hormone-drunk over my own boyfriend (or girlfriend?)as if I had just met him/her for the first time.
Goodness gracious. I am in love with Lucie! I want to do all manner of things to her. And I want Lucie to do things to me.
By the time they got outside on the pavement waiting for their cab she had recovered enough from this realization that she could actually walk without colliding with potted plants and lamp-posts, but she still could not look at Lucie without blushing crimson. Gosh, this is really embarrassing.
Lucie watched her with another small frown.
“Are you sure you are really quite well? I could swear you are coming down with something.” She laid her long, cool hand on Nadia’s forehead and tut-tutted unhappily.
“Jeez, baby, you are burning. You are running a fever. I think we should go back home and put you in bed right away.”
Nadia giggled helplessly for half a minute.
“It is very tempting. But I am not sick. Just … somewhat hot and bothered.”
“Oh?” said Lucie, confused, and then she finally cottoned on to Nadia’s predicament and slowly smiled. “Oh! O-oh! I … oh my god, really?” She began to laugh softly, hiding her face behind her hand, and finally gathered Nadia in her left arm, holding her close.
“Ok, that is … unexpected. But very charming. Hold on to that thought, ok?”

Friday, 24 November 2017

New Release - Nicola M. Cameron - Lady of Thorns

Hello, Katherine, and thanks so much for having me on today! Lady of Thorns is the third book in a series that was never supposed to be a series. I’ve been describing it as “Lady Mary from Downton Abbey goes head to head with Alan Shore from Boston Legal—and hijinks ensue!” While I’ve resigned Danaë and Matthias to the background for now, fear not, Mattaë fans—book four will run in parallel to the events of Lady of Thorns and covers what happens when Matthias arrives in Hellas for his first official visit after the wedding.

In the meantime I do hope you enjoy the story of Amelie and Alain, and I can promise that they’ll make another appearance down the line as I now know where I’m going with this series. All I will say about that is: buckle up, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Mwahahahaha…

Love was never supposed to be part of the deal…

Lady Amelie de Clerq’s prickly demeanor and earth mage abilities have earned her the nickname “Lady of Thorns,” keeping potential suitors at bay and making her the butt of the nobility’s jokes. Determined to attract a husband who will love her for herself rather than her fortune, she decides to embark on a journey of sensual self-discovery.

Alain LaPorte, wily lawyer and toast of the capital’s social set, has been summoned to Lierdhe to oversee business negotiations with a neighboring earl. When Amelie asks Alain to tutor her in the bedroom arts, he agrees to introduce the virgin mage to pleasure. But lessons in lovemaking soon turn into a matter of the heart, forcing both Amelie and Alain to confront their fears about intimacy, loyalty, and love.



LaPorte returned with two goblets of wine and handed her one, the deep garnet of the liquid lit with reflected fire from the candlelight. “I’m glad you came. I must admit, I was afraid you’d changed your mind.”

Amelie took a deep sip, hoping the cool, tart wine would help soothe her nerves. “I had to persuade my maid that I didn’t require help getting ready for bed.” As it was, she wasn’t sure that she’d convinced Jeanette with her excuse that she planning on going back down to her office. “I apologize if I kept you waiting.”

“No apologies necessary.” He showed her to a pair of chairs set on either side of the fireplace and sat down. “You look lovely.”

She plucked at the light blue wool of her gown, wishing she had worn something more alluring, or at least with a lower neckline. Her mother’s closet was full of silky, clingy dresses with daring necklines, and she would have given a great deal to rummage through them. Instead, I come to him dressed like some awkward girl.

Which I suppose I am. “Thank you. You look very handsome.”

He smiled at that. “Thank you, my lady.”

A silence fell after that. She fidgeted with the goblet, wishing she didn’t feel like such a fool. The weight of his attention was tangible, causing her stomach to flutter. “I don’t know what to say now,” she confessed.

“You don’t have to say anything. Drink your wine and let me look at you.”

Her mouth dried again at that and she took a quick sip from her goblet. “I’m sorry about the plainness of my gown. I’m afraid I don’t have anything appropriate to wear to—” A seduction. “—something like this.”

His lips quirked at that. “I asked you to leave what you had on because I liked it. Pretty gowns make for lovely gift wrapping, true, but it all comes off in the end anyway. Besides, there’s a certain appeal to a gown such as yours.”

“I don’t see what that could be,” she muttered into her goblet.

“It’s what it represents. Youth, innocence, an unknown territory ripe to be explored. I suspect it’s the reason why so many men have a fondness for deflowering virgins—they relish being the first man a woman has known intimately.”

She tried to lock the question behind her jaws, but it popped out. “Do you like that?”

“Deflowering virgins?”



She slouched lower in her chair. “Oh.”

He held up a hand. “Not to say that I have anything against it, mind you. Everyone has to start somewhere, after all. But I don’t fetishize it to the degree that other men do. I see it more as a starting point on a very pleasant journey.”

She hadn’t thought of it that way. “And you don’t think less of me for my request?”

“Not at all, my lady. You know what you want, and you wish an experienced tutor to help you achieve it. It’s all quite reasonable to me.” He settled in his chair, sipping his wine. “As I’m playing tutor to you in this area, are there any questions you wish to ask me?”

There were, actually. “Will it hurt much?”

“It shouldn’t. If I make sure you’re aroused and open first, you should be able to take me without discomfort.”

Take him. Those simple words set warmth rolling through her lower belly. “So, no gushing blood or rending pain, then.”

He rolled his eyes. “That might be the case if a maid beds a huge brute of a man who’s only interested in his own pleasure. But that won’t be the case with you, I can assure you. I’m confident enough in my ability to couch a lance without causing you harm.”

Even if there would be pain, she was prepared to bear it for the promise of pleasure afterwards. She wondered how many women he’d taken to bed, but found she didn’t want to know the answer. “How do we do this? Go from sitting here to naked and in bed?”
Alain studied her, then drained his goblet. “Like this, my lady.”

Fantasy Romance, Erotic Romance, MF
Word Count: 75,000
Series: Two Thrones (Book Three)
Heat Level 4
Published by Belaurient Press
ISBN: 978-1-53-783376-7


Nicola Cameron is an expatriate Chicagoan who has lived in England, Canada, Holland, and Sweden, and keeps a confusing amalgamation of languages in her head as a result. Currently located in the clavicle of Texas, she has finally mastered the proper use of "y'all," much to her Chicago family's dismay.

Despite a healthy interest in sex since puberty, it wasn't until 2012 that Nicola decided to try writing about it. As it turned out, the skills she picked up during her SF writing career transferred rather nicely to erotic romance. When not writing, she wrangles cats, smooches her husband, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture...).