Hot new excerpt – French Blue

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With barely weeks to go until Publication Day for French Blue, here’s a sneaky peek at French Blue. Enjoy Book #2 in the Study in Seduction Series!

Copyright © 2014 Natasha Bond
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication 

Lisa hung on the fringes of their conversation, suddenly unsure what to do with any part of her body, hands, feet or brain. She’d been thrust back to the gauche, shy girl that had emerged from her boarding school, not the woman who was almost as sought after—if Mimi was to be believed—as the man now looking at her with intense interest. The tall, lean man with jet-black hair curling onto his collarless white shirt. The man with the black, buttoned waistcoat that emphasised his broad shoulders and slim waist. The man with the fleur-de-lis pendant hung around his tanned neck. Olivier Lemaitre, artist, renowned patron of the arts and gallery owner.

And to the privileged few in the know, the most desired Dom in Paris.

Mimi tucked her arm under Olivier’s. “We can do business later, but I have something even more important than parting you from fifty thousand Euros for my latest good cause. This is my friend, Lisa Archer, to whom I promised to introduce you.”

“How did I guess? Bonsoir, Lisa.”

Lisa expected the double kiss. She’d worked in Paris for six months now, but the brush of Olivier’s lips on each cheek, though fleeting, still made the skin tingle all over her body. His greeting was customary, expected and not in any way threatening, but it still didn’t stop her heart from thumping, now she’d finally met—and touched—the man she hoped would fulfil fantasies she’d kept hidden for so long.

“So. You’re a fan of the French impressionists?” Olivier nodded at the painting next to them on the gallery walls.

“Who isn’t?” said Lisa, painfully aware that every word she uttered might be a test. “I know some people think they’re unfashionable and populist, not that anyone would admit that at this launch.” She tried to keep her tone light, but the smile on her face was so forced, it almost hurt her face.

“No one would dare upset Roman after he’s loaned his private collection to the gallery for this charity exhibition,” said Mimi, tucking her arm through a smiling Olivier’s. Mimi had said she and Olivier were just old friends, but Lisa wasn’t so sure, judging by the chemistry she detected between them. Did it bother her that Mimi and Olivier might have been lovers? It shouldn’t concern her at all, because a no-strings and, more importantly, limited-term arrangement was exactly what she was looking for with Olivier.

“Lisa is being modest. She’s a true Monet connoisseur,” said Mimi.

Lisa laughed. “I do like Monet and Renoir, but I wouldn’t say I’m a connoisseur. Mimi will give you the wrong impression about me.”

Olivier’s eyes sparkled. “I hope not.”

When he spoke, Lisa felt as if she was shimmering inside, just like the beautiful Asian girl’s dress.

“Oh, Lisa just loves the Impressionists, and she’s very eager to learn more, aren’t you?” Mimi’s innuendo was so heavy-handed that Lisa wanted to dissolve into the marble tiles, and then Olivier smiled again.

He was old-fashioned handsome, as her grandmother used to say, with eyes the colour of darkest caramel, backlit with a wicked charm. He reminded her of a classic French movie star, laid-back yet effortlessly sexy. As for his voice, Lisa had lived in Paris for the past six months, but she still found his blend of French and English accent mouthwatering. He was the epitome of unself-conscious male allure and, she reminded herself, a Dom.

The moment she framed the word in her mind, her composure crumbled. If he was a Dom, that meant he enjoyed dominating and disciplining women. Mimi had said he wasn’t into the Paris fetish-club scene and preferred short-term private arrangements with a very select few women.

Wasn’t that what she wanted too? To abandon her desires and needs to this man? To be stripped of the outward shell she had built up, and become the sensual being she really was? To experience the fantasies that both terrified her and set her on fire with need?

As her mind struggled to work out her response to Olivier, her body answered loud and clear. Her nipples hardened, nudging the thin fabric of her dress, and the sudden urge to touch herself shocked her. A chill skittered along her spine. If he was as experienced as Mimi claimed, surely he could tell how she felt, no matter how cool she acted?

“Shall I get you some more champagne? Your glass is almost empty,” he asked, still perfectly at ease and polite.

“That would be good.” Damn, was that her voice? It sounded higher than usual. She’d trained herself to lower it and suggested many of her female clients do the same. It made you sound calmer, added gravitas to your words and ensured that people took you seriously, both men and women.

Bien. Mimi?”

Mimi popped her hand over her glass. “No, thanks. I’ve reached my limit, and I need a clear head for the rest of the evening, unlike Lisa, who is most definitely off duty tonight. And I see a Paris banker over there who I’ve been trying to persuade to sponsor my medical foundation. Olivier, can I leave Lisa safely in your hands?”

Olivier raised his eyebrows. “Maybe I’m the one who should ask if I’ll be safe in her hands?”

Mimi laughed and toasted him. “I doubt it, but you can have fun finding out. A bientot.”

All she needed now was for Mimi to give a theatrical wink, thought Lisa, but what had she expected? Mimi knew what Lisa was looking for, or thought she did, and it was too late now. Olivier was next to her and no doubt assessing whether he wanted to take her on—or not.

Realisation slammed into her. He had to take her, no matter how badly her head warned no, she needed this. She wanted him.

He pointed at Lisa’s almost empty glass. “So, shall I get some more champagne?”

“Thanks.” She let him take her glass, feeling as if she’d just handed over more than a glass to him.

He swapped the glass for a full one from a passing waiter and gave it to her. “Then I think it’s best if I put you out of your misery, don’t you agree?”

Wow. Lisa ran a tongue over her dry lips and then realised he was watching her intently. If she’d thought she was a good student of body language, this man was a native speaker.

“I don’t normally do this kind of thing, you know…” she stammered.

“What kind of thing is that? Drink champagne? Come to a gallery opening? No one is forcing you to do anything, and if you want to back out, then say so now. I won’t take on any partner who doesn’t know fully what she’s getting into.”

“I do know what I’m getting into,” Lisa said, stomach swirling at the idea he might walk away as much as at the sudden bluntness of his words. “I’m just…unsure.”

His gaze seared into her. “Unsure as in unwilling, or unsure as in curious?”

“Curious,” she shot back. Wow, that was emphatic. Maybe it was the wine making her bold, or maybe she’d finally decided she wasn’t going to lose this chance.

“Then, let’s lay our cards on the table. I want you to know how I operate and if what I’m offering is truly what you want.”

 

 

French Blue – Valentine’s Day cover reveal!

So, what better day than Valentine’s Day to reveal the gorgeous new cover of FRENCH BLUE – the second in the Study in seduction series.

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Here’s the blurb – don’t say I didn’t warn you!

The past can color the future…or wipe the canvas clean.

Study in Seduction, Book 2

In public, hotshot communications specialist Lisa Archer presents a perfectly polished image. Privately, she harbors a secret desire to shed her restrained exterior—and her business suit—to explore the world of discipline and domination.

She can’t risk being seen in a BDSM club, but when she’s introduced to the most sought-after Dom in Paris, his powerful presence makes her feel like she’s treading on safe ground. Even better, he has no interest in falling in love, which fits right in with her three-month break between contracts.

Bored with the club scene, Olivier favors private arrangements with one sub at a time. This keeps anyone from getting too close to emotional scars that run so deep he’s lost the will to paint—or to love. A temporary liaison, staying well within his boundaries while pushing hers, suits him perfectly.

Lisa’s first visit to Olivier’s apartment is deliciously shocking. Yet as they begin to strip away the layers guarding their souls, the pain and the pleasure could be too much to keep things strictly business…

Warning: Contains a smart, sassy heroine who thinks she’s in control—and a gorgeous French Dom who knows he is. Lots of gettin’ naked, in private and in public. A bit of voyeurism, a bit more spanking, and more hot sex than you can shake a riding crop at.

French Blue is  out on June 3rd 2014 and available to preorder now from Amazon US and Amazon UK and Nook.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! I have a hot dinner date with Mr Bond tonight – and after he handed over a bouquet of red roses first thing this morning, I’m looking forward to it.

 

Natasha xxx

New Year – new book on the way

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I can’t believe it’s been over two months since I last posted and that Christmas has aleady come and gone. I hope your holidays were happy and peaceful and that 2014 has started well for you. The reason for my absence is sinple: I’ve been busy writing books. I also write under other names for other publishers but as far as Natasha is concerned, I’m delighted to report that FRENCH BLUE, the next in my Study in Seduction series is finished!

Yes, I sent the edits off to my Samhain editor this very afternoon. Publication is scheduled for June 2014 and the art team are working on the cover right now.  I’m hoping to share it and the blurb soon but briefly, FRENCH BLUE features Olivier Lemaitre , who is the younger brother of Alex Lemaitre from DARK BLUE.

Olivier makes a brief appearance in Dark Blue and Alex pops up in French Blue which tells the story of high-powered PR specialist Lisa Archer, who meets Olivier on his territory – Paris. The French capital is such a glamorous, sensual place to set a novel and I love visiting there.

Until I can share more, have a happy and healthy new year!

Night Owl Top Pick (and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey)

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Every romance reader has one thing in common: she (or he) will have their own mental picture of the hero in their mind – and he often bears no resemblance to the author’s physical description of him. I’ve learned this from reviews and comments on my own books. I never fail to be surprised at the reader’s often very different interpretation or image of my heroes, even when I’ve mentioned a specific actor.

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So I guess there are several million different Christian Greys out there, and it was interesting to see the reaction this week when Jamie Dornan was revealed as the replacement for Charlie Hunnam in the 50 Shades movie. Having read the first two  novels, I must admit that Jamie is probably closer to my view of Grey than Charlie was. I’ve also heard that the writer, Patrick Marber, has been brought in to help tweak the script – and by a weird coincidence I was at a dinner with him in August, but I didn’t have the nerve to go up and chat to him. Wish I had, now! 😉

In other news, Dark Blue has been out there for a month now and has just been chosen as a Night Owl Top Pick 4.5 star review. The reviewer said:

“The chemistry between Carla and Alex is blistering hot. The sex scenes were hot and spicy…. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.”

 

 

Now, that’s the way I like to start a Saturday morning!

The 100 Sexiest Movie Stars

Okay. This post has nothing whatsoever to do with books or writing. I suppose you could say it has a connection to my writing inspiration – because I always need a muse for my heroes.

But then again, what the heck?

The film magazine, Empire, has just released its list of 100 Sexiest Movie Stars, both male and female. I think the choice for #1 is slightly unusual and there are some surprising names on the list. I also think the list only goes to prove that it’s charisma and personality, rather than conventional ‘handsomeness’ that makes a man truly ‘sexy’ rather than merely attractive.

I do wish they’d found a better picture for #18 Richard Armitage than a Hobbit and  don’t see my muse for Professor Alex Lemaitre from Dark Blue on that list – he’s French hotty, Gregory Fitoussi, star of the crime drama, Spiral.

But I’m not complaining. 🙂

PS Thank you to everyone who has bought Dark Blue which stayed in the Samhain Top Ten for a week and made number 3.

Featured on USA Today – and a big ‘thank you’

So, the book is out there and I’d like to thank everyone who has bought it, or tweeted or Facebooked about it because launch day went way better than I could have dreamed. Dark Blue peaked at around 2,000 in the US Amazon charts, was in the top 600 on Amazon Canada, made the Amazon Spain English language chart and sold on Amazon UK and Germany.

To be honest, I’ve not had time to do a blog tour, or much promo because I’m so busy writing another project – so I’m thrilled with the response.

Today, Dark Blue has also been featured on the USA Today blog, along with two other Samhain erotic romance releases. It’s going *really* well so far so thank you to you all. 🙂

PS There is nothing better for an author than readers tweeting things like this “Just reached the 1/2 way point (had to go to bed…long day of work) & I’m LOVING it!”  Thank you, Tassia!

PPS This has encouraged me to crack on with my edit of the next book in the Study in Seduction Series, French Blue (featuring Alex Lemaitre’s younger brother, Olivier.)

Dark Blue – out tomorrow!

Can’t believe it has come around so fast – tomorrow is Publication Day for Dark Blue!

 

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The hottest lessons require the strictest discipline…

Study in Seduction, Book 1

Five years after losing her husband, Carla Jonas has finally decided to go for her dreams—all her dreams, from studying literature at Oxford to exploring a secret desire to be dominated and disciplined. A desire she never knew she had until six months ago, when a mysterious masked man pleasured her at a fetish party.

She’s stunned when she meets her new college professor. Not only is the gorgeous French academic, Alex Lemaitre, notoriously strict, this isn’t the first time they’ve met. She’d know that exotic accent anywhere—he’s her masked lover. Except he won’t even admit he was there that night.

There’s no mistaking the sexual attraction smoldering between them, and when he issues her a challenge, she’s more than up for it. Even when his unique tutoring methods drag her far beyond her comfort zone.

But as he leads her on a journey of sensual discovery, she’s not sure if any degree of submission will find its way into his guarded heart, or if she’ll end up with her own heart broken.

Warning: Contains an intense relationship between a hot French professor and a smart woman who knows what she wants from him. Also features desktop discipline, fantasies fulfilled, secrets revealed, and motorbike sex.

Buy from Amazon UK HERE

Buy from Amazon US HERE

Meeting Samhain eds & authors at LBF

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I had a little jaunt away from the keyboard on Monday when an invitation to dinner for ‘London Area Authors’ dropped into my inbox from Crissy Brashear, the President of Samhain Publishing.

Well, I live 130 miles from London but thanks to the West Coast Train Line, I can be there in 90 mins – and I don’t get out much and I couldn’t possibly resist the chance to finally meet Crissy and Samhain Publisher, Lyndsey Faber, so off I went.

We were scheduled to meet on the steps of Earl’s Court, venue of the LBF, at 6.30 but I’d arranged to meet my agent for drinks first. What an education it was, watching all those bright young things and bookworld fashionistas exiting the fair. I bumped into the ed of my mainsteam books for a quick chat while I waited which was a bonus, before heading to the nearest pub with my agent and it seemed, half the book fair.

Then it was into an Italian restaurant. Four other Samhain authors were there, three of whom I met for the first time – and three of whom write M/M erotic romance. So hi to Barbara Elsburg and KJ Charles and to  Imogen Howson, samhain ed and YA author . It was a thoroughly entertaining and enlightening evening and I left with new friends. The jaw dropping cover of Dark Blue was also shown around and greatly admired.

Thanks to Crissy and Lynsey for a lovely evening and their generosity.

I’ve also managed to keep my bum in seat long enough to get half way through the draft of French Blue and now I’m taking a short break to mull it all over.

Bum In Chair Hands On Keyboard

Yes, BICHOK. That’s what I’ve been doing – and for those of you who don’t know what it stands for, it means Bum in Chair, Hands on Keyboard.

I’m now about one third through the first draft of my second Study in Seduction series. It’s called FRENCH BLUE and it features Olivier Lemaitre – the artist brother of Alex from DARK BLUE. I’ve taken a slower, steadier pace with this book and it’s really in the past few days that the deeper conflicts between the hero and heroine are gradually emerging. In an erotic romance, the emotions are more intense, not less. The characters are instantly attracted to each other and very quickly start their sexual journey, but just like any romance, there needs to be tension on every page.

I’m not there yet with FRENCH BLUE, but it’s my tenth book and I’ve learned to at least trust that by writing and exploring what charcacters would and would not do, the right path will reveal itself.

And I have a deadline of July: always a good motivator!

Guest Author Christina Phillips with Betrayed

What a week it’s been. I’ve launched one of my mainstream novels and I’ve seen the cover of Dark Blue, my September Samhain romance. Whew, I can’t wait to share it but first, I’m delighted to feature my first guest on the blog.

It’s Christina Phillips with a very hot extract from her  new Ellora’s Cave release, Betrayed. I must issue an Over 18 warning with this, so enjoy…

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BETRAYED

Excerpt:

Still holding her in his arms Tacitus lowered his head toward her, no longer caring of the open tent flap, the proximity of the legionary or the fact he was still on duty. All he could see, all he could feel was the woman nestled so seductively against his chest, her breasts pressed against him while her palm caressed his jaw.

Her lips parted and her breath was sweet, like incense. Blood pounded, pulses hammered yet with rigid restraint, he brushed the most chaste of kisses across those tempting lips.

So soft. So full of promise. So deliciously responsive. She lifted her head and instead of breaking contact, he captured her lips once again. Nothing chaste about this kiss. Their mouths clung together as if nothing else in the world existed.

She wound her hand around the nape of his neck. Her fingers speared through his hair, scraping across the base of his skull. Desire spiked through his groin, her touch as potent as if she had grasped his cock, and restraint splintered.

He slid his tongue inside her open mouth and she sucked on him, sudden and hard and unbelievably shocking. He withdrew, a slow slide against her wet flesh then thrust into her again, teasing the roof of her mouth, and claimed the strangled moans that vibrated from her throat.

Fingernails dug into his scalp, primitive and wild. His hand closed over the mound of her breast, filling his palm. Her nipple was hard through the material of her gown, and with a primal growl, he rubbed the tips of his fingers over the erect nub. Backward and forward. Increasing the pressure. She squirmed in his arms, her muffled moans of pleasure stoking his need.

He needed to lay her down. Rip off her gown. Explore her writhing body.

The exhilarating vision of her laying naked on his bed hammered in his mind. She was willing. She did not know she was a slave. He could fuck her, make her come, give her such pleasure that when she discovered the truth she wouldn’t feel as if she had been used at all.

Her sweet taste slid insidiously into his senses, heady and somehow illicit. The tips of their tongues touched; clung, and it was mindlessly erotic.

Somehow, he stumbled to the bed. Curse this primitive camp. He wanted his own bed, but this makeshift one would have to do. Carefully he lowered her, his mouth still claiming hers—or was she claiming his?—and as he laid her down the light diminished.

He scarcely noticed. Tearing his mouth from her, he panted down into her face, relishing the jagged gasps of her breath, the way her fingers dug into the back of his neck, the way her breasts heaved beneath her soft gown.

The way her left arm was immobilized in a sling.

For a moment he stared, uncomprehending. She was injured and he had been about to fuck her?

“Roman.” The word was scarcely above a whisper, and wrapped around his reeling senses like a seductive embrace of purest silk. Her right hand slid from his neck, over his shoulder and along his arm. It was a light caress and yet as arousing as if she slid her naked body along him instead.

Gods. What was he thinking? Marcellus had warned him not to have her tonight. She was injured. She was under the influence of opium.

She was his slave.

Still, he couldn’t move. He remained kneeling on the floor beside her as her hand curled around his wrist. The light was oddly dimmed and yet he could see her delicate features and the fragile outline of her enticing body. And still he could not find the strength of will to stand up and leave.

“Are you man enough for me, Roman?” Her words were heated, provocative. A blatant challenge. “I’ve never had a barbarian before.” She smiled, as if that thought gave her great amusement and he battled against the renewed lust that thundered through his blood at her taunts.

“You will lie here and rest.” It was an order. Any other woman—any other man—would have instantly quailed. But this Celt, this slave—who did not even know she was a slave—merely offered him another sultry smile and pulled on his hand.

He didn’t resist.

She dragged his hand between her thighs and pressed him against her slick core. Air hissed between his clenched teeth as her feminine dampness caressed his fingers, as she rolled her hips and a breathy sigh escaped her lips.

“Don’t you want me, Roman?” She increased pressure on his hand and of their own volition his fingers pushed against her soft gown, seeking and finding the wet opening of her welcoming pussy.

Primal need thudded through his veins, tightened his rock-hard balls. This was madness. Feverishly his fingers bunched up her gown, exposing her thighs, until he gripped the material and wrenched it up to her waist.

Honey-blonde curls crowned her glistening lips, her flesh plump and pink and deliriously tantalizing. Mesmerized by the sheer eroticism of how she angled her hips toward him and by her evocative musky scent that caused his cock to thicken, he couldn’t remember why taking her was such a bad idea.

He trailed the tips of his fingers over her belly and then lower, teasing her soft curls. She sighed in evident pleasure and collapsed back onto the pallet as if she no longer possessed the strength to entice him. But he needed no additional enticement.

Everything he needed was here, between her spread thighs.

She was wet and hot. His finger slid along her cleft, her soft folds promising a wild, unforgettable ride. Breath rasped along his throat, need pounded through his groin, sanity sank beyond the fiery horizon.

She was willing. She was ready. And she was his.

You can find Betrayed HERE and visit Christina’s website HERE.