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.”

 

 

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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