OhMy! #Rubenesque Heroines and #AlphaMales All Around!

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Welcome to the first revamped Oh My! Monday here at Behind Closed Doors. This week we have an extra special treat. My friend and fellow author Natasha Blackthorne stops in again to share another of her fabulous Regency erotic romances. Not only does she write about those Dominant Alpha Males, Natasha has them fall for the curvy girl. Since I can relate to that sort of heroine, I’m immediately drawn to Natasha’s stories. Long or short, I want to read them all! This time, she’s here to share a bit from A Measured Risk.  Sit back, relax, and let Natasha tell her tale.

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A MEASURED RISK features a shy, intellectual, strong-willed widow with real life curves (Rubenesque/BBW) and a protective, possessive Dominant, alpha male hero. This is a story of Dominance and submission with light BDSM, emotional healing, trust and love.

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 A Measured Risk is an Erotic Historical Romance. This means it contains graphic sexual language. It also means that there is a greater focus on the development of the romance through eroticism than in Mainstream/Traditional Steamy or Spicy Romance.

Blurb

 He is her most dangerous temptation and now he is demanding her submission. Dare she take the risk?

Emotionally scarred in the horrific accident that took her husband’s life, Lady Cranfield is imprisoned by her lingering terror of horses and carriages. She longed to be closer to the fascinating Earl of Ruel. She sensed intuitively that he could teach her how to overcome the terrors that held her in bondage.

And now she’s willing to risk almost anything-her reputation, even her virtue-to find out. But what he proposes startles her.

When the shy, studious and socially awkward young widow approached him, Ruel instantly sensed she would be the sweetest, most submissive experience of a lifetime-if only he can gain her total and complete trust. He makes her a non-negotiable offer. His help in return for her submission and obedience.

But Lady Cranfield grew up neglected by her ducal parents, raised by servants and then later ignored by her handsome, charming husband. She’s learnt to protect her heart at all costs and she trusts no one but herself.

How can the jaded Earl of Ruel break through her self-protective defenses and show her how to love when he has spent his lifetime avoiding that tender trap?

 

Adult Excerpt

ameasuredrisk_800risk“Why did you run away?” His deep voice settled in her belly, rich and warm, like crème brûlée on a cold winter’s night.

“Because I wanted you to follow.” She tried to sound sophisticated and seductive, but her voice choked off on the last word.

Ruel placed his hand on the shelf above her head and blocked her path to the door. His tall, solidly muscled body leaned over her, surrounding her with the sumptuous, sinful scents of tobacco, Scotch whisky and something masculine and undeniably dangerous. A slow, sensual smile stretched his hard mouth.

He appeared different. Softer. More approachable.

At the change, her insides seemed to flip over.

“Well, sweeting, getting us off alone was a very inspired idea.” He touched one of her fallen ringlets. “I am bored to distraction with endless hunting and fencing.”

As he slowly wrapped the curl around two fingers, he brushed her collarbone. Fiery sparks tingled down her spine, so intense that she shivered and her nipples beaded, pressing against her stays. By some instinct she hadn’t even known she possessed, she arched her back, presenting herself for his assessment.

His eyes shone so vividly blue against his bronzed face that they resembled cornflowers. She swallowed tightly and wished for a long drink of claret. This more personal side of him suddenly seemed far more hazardous than his usually fierce exterior.

Well, no matter. There was nothing to fear. She would allow only as much contact as need be to get to know him a little. Since being torn from her lonely yet secure life in Ireland and thrust into society at age sixteen, she’d spent her time allowing people only as near as was comfortable. She was an expert at emotional evasion.

It should be easy to regain her control.

But now, as late afternoon sun rays played over his pale hair, turning it to the colour of winter wheat, all her carefully rehearsed words flew away.

Say something—anything—else he will think you’re a bird-wit.

An intimate smile, one that invited her to play, tugged at his mouth.

“In a situation like this, alone with a gentleman, it’s perfectly normal for a lady to feel some apprehension.” His hushed voice, barely audible above the piano and boisterous singing from down the corridor, accentuated their isolation. He brushed his fingertips over her cheek and his gaze became so piercing that she had to lower her eyes. “She will invariably ask herself if he will try to kiss her.”

She jerked her eyes back to his face. God, he couldn’t mean to—Not yet, surely… Peculiar, heated chills swept over her. She tried to take a step back, but found her arse flush against the bookshelf.

He leaned closer; so close that his Scotch-scented breath tickled her face. “And just in case you are wondering, Lady Cranfield—the answer is most assuredly yes.”

She should demand that he put his arm down so she could pass by and leave. She really should. But she couldn’t stop looking at his hard mouth and wondering what it would feel like upon hers. He was so close to her, his breath blew on her lips. If she moved but a fraction, she’d be kissing him.

Kissing him.

Dear God. Her breath began to come very fast and short. Her throat went tight with a suppressed moan.

His eyes burnt as brightly as aquamarines. He looked so fierce. If he kissed her, if he dared… Oh God, it would be so harsh. That cruel-looking mouth could express itself no other way.

Excitement rushed through her, sending tingles to every point of her body, even her toes.

But no, he wouldn’t. Not yet.

He kept leaning closer. He didn’t close his eyes. Instead, he seemed to focus all the harder upon her.

Heart pounding and unable to move away, she braced herself for his assault.

His lips brushed hers, barely. A gossamer caress.

He lifted his head.

It was done.

Ended.

And it hadn’t even begun.

He held her chin, appearing so cool, so unaffected. His kiss had seemed to sear her. An urge to put her fingers to her lips arose in her. She resisted it, for it would give away too much of how she was affected.

Never show your feelings.

He traced his thumb along her lower lip, slowly, deliberately, as he studied her with eyes that now glittered with something powerful and predatory. Heat pooled in her pelvis, low and spreading even lower.

She went weak all over, as if she’d lain in a sunny window seat for too long. Her knees almost buckled. She forced them to lock. To be strong.

It should not have affected her so profoundly. It had just been a peck—not a true kiss at all. William had poured out all of his skill upon her and hadn’t garnered even a tenth of the reaction in her that this man’s peck had.

Ruel traced her jaw line with his fingertips. Unthinkingly, she leaned in to his touch.

“Of course, once he has kissed her, then it’s his turn to wonder…” His voice sounded unnaturally loud to her ears. “How will she respond? Will she withdraw, or can he ignite some hidden fire?”

She sensed that he was toying with her. She’d didn’t understand flirtation—why had she imagined she could carry this ruse off? Was he making advances in order to have a laugh with Francesca and her simpering friends later? Hurt blossomed in her chest. She resented him for that. She ought to feel indignant, superior, uncaring—anything but hurt.

“Please don’t make sport of me.”

She cringed. Was that quavering, pleading voice really hers?

An infinitesimal pause. “Now, why on earth would I do such a thing?” His voice was as smooth as velvet.

“To please your vanity,” she replied, trying to regain her wits.

“Here.” He placed her hand to his chest. The contours of his muscles were hard, powerfully developed. Even more so than she’d expected. His body heat radiated through the satin and, beneath her hand, his heart beat was rapid and strong.

“Is that vanity?” He put a finger under her chin, giving her no choice but to face him. “Is it?” He gentled his grip.

The warmth in his voice settled over her like luscious hot chocolate. Melting her insides to quivering burgoo, rendering her speechless, unable to move.

“My dear, lovely Lady Cranfield, I am going kiss you again.”

Then he touched his mouth to hers, more firmly this time.

Delicious, steady pressure. Her lips trembled and she clutched his lapels. He lifted his head. At the loss, a throaty, pleading moan sounded in her ears. Had it really come from her?

Clearly, now was the time for her to reassert some control over her reactions. To put him at a more comfortable distance.

“Kiss me back.” At the commanding edge in his voice, hot, sweet honey pooled in her belly.

No. Focus.

What had she wanted to ask him? Focus? Dear God, what rubbish. She could scarcely remember her own name, much less anything else. What madness had made her think she could maintain control over him?

He traced her mouth with his tongue. Deliberately; lingeringly. This time she couldn’t hold back a moan. She had grown to dislike it when William kissed her opened mouthed. It had always seemed such an overheated, messy thing. But where was her coldness now? She was burning to know what it would feel like to know Ruel’s full kiss. She had to know—just once—or she would surely die.

Just once. Certainly once wouldn’t hurt.

Tentatively, tremulously, she opened her mouth…

Copyright © Natasha Blackthorne, 2012

All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-E-Bound. 

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Wasn’t that fabulous? Do you want to read more? Here’s the links to get your very own copy of this book.

To Purchase a Paperback Copy
Barnes and Nobles | Total-e-Bound | Amazon USA | Amazon UK

The Ebook is currently available for 99 cents

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Grey’s Lady temptress opens up to Author Natasha Blackthorne

Grey’s Lady is the story of a wealthy New York merchant prince, Grey Sexton, who falls for a poor but beautiful seductress, Beth McConnell. Yet, for all their social and economical differences, at their most basic level, Beth and Grey are very similar. This story explores how these similarities threaten to tear them apart before love can overcome the fear of being vulnerable.

Both Beth and Grey suffered isolation and emotional neglect     in childhood. Grey grew up as a privileged only son, heir to Sexton Shipping, one of the fledgling nation’s largest mercantile fleets. Grey’s father was a stern businessman who did not understand his daydreaming son and held him at a distance. A child in this position might take solace in a closer relationship with his mother. However, Grey’s mother was chronically ill and unable to bear his childish energy. She kept to her chambers and died while he was still quite young. Later at age nineteen, Grey engaged in an emotionally scarring experience with a slightly older woman, something that is not covered in Grey’s Lady. All of these backstory issues and more are explored in more depth in the sequel, White Lace and Promises, which is scheduled for release Dec. 26, 2011.

     In contrast, the focus of Grey’s Lady is on the immediate interaction between two wounded and self-protective people who feel an overpowering attraction to each other but who do not want to admit it to themselves or the other.

I will let Beth tell her story in her own words.

Why should men always have the power of choice when it comes to sexual and romantic relationships? Is it right that we women have no choice but to sit and wait for a man decide to honor us with his declarations–usually uttered in the form of a demand? And all we as women may do is say “yes” or “no” and hope we have made a wise choice. The man still has the power to break his promises and it will be our good name and heart that bears the damage.

My mother fell into an adulterous affaire with an unknown man and as a result I was created. Her husband put her out of their house. I would have been borne in the almshouse if not for the kindness of her employer. After my mother’s death, I would have gone to the foundling home without my kindly benefactress. My unknown father also had his power of choice, the choice to abandon me. How fair is it that men have all the power of choice?

Oh, you ask what about the gentlemen? Ha! The gentlemen. They are the very worst.

A gentleman once declared passionate love for me. He said this so ardently, his beautiful brown eyes shone with sincerity. I was young. I was naïve. I believed him. I trusted him and gave my heart wholly into his keeping. And as went my heart, eventually so went my virtue.

Do you what happened next? Surely, I don’t have to tell you. You know how these maudlin stories go. He married someone else. A lady. Someone of his own class. His took his power of choice. He became a respectable family man and I was left being a soiled dove. I had a good cry over it. I may have drank a little too much at his wedding celebration. What a pitiful little fool I was. But I did not wallow in my self-pity for long. So men have needs and desires? Well, I also have needs. I also have desires. Why should men have all the power of ch
I take my own power of choice now. I chose whom, when and for how long and I select only the most handsome, wealthy, and powerful of gentlemen.oice? Why should they have all the enjoyment in life?

Yes, I know you are asking do I not fear discovery? This is a worry and I take it seriously. Truly I do. I live with my half-brother and his family now. He is very protective and very touchy about matters of honor. Our mother was not faithful to his father. Now he takes such matters so seriously. Too seriously. If he had his way, I would stay home all the time, working in the backroom of his cobbler shop with one eye on the children. But honestly, though I love my nieces and my half-siblings, life there is dreary. It’s all work, work and more work. Everything is shabby, everything seems to stay gritty and grimy no matter how hard I work to keep things clean. There are always more shoes to repair. I swear my eyes shall go crossed trying to sew by candlelight night after night. I never get enough sleep or time to myself. If I couldn’t go out and seek my adventures, I should go mad. I have my mother’s wild blood in me and my desires can run so high I fear they shall consume me.

I could marry a nice man and he would carry me away from all of this. I 

would have my own cozy home and hearth. My benefactress has introduced me to a nice young minister and to a nice young but struggling legal clerk and a nice young medical student who trembled all over and went pale when I said good morning to him. I have no interest in nice young men. It’s the wealthy, powerful, arrogant gentlemen who fascinate me. I know they will never desire me for a wife but they shall burn for me. They shall remember me.

How do I protect myself from discovery? I limit my liaisons to one single meeting. I never meet with my gentlemen again, no matter how desperately they implore me. And they do implore me. Though I am poor, the child of adultery by an unknown man and powerless in my society, I have something gentlemen desire. I have beauty, and thanks to my mother’s wild blood, I understand their hot lusts better than the women of their class. I do gain a measure of satisfaction out of leaving them burning for more. Burning for me. No gentleman shall ever forget the one afternoon he spent with me.


I don’t really deride gentlemen for their focus on beauty. I appreciate a handsome face and well-made masculine form. Well, if Mr. Sexton’s physicality matches his other attributes, then I shall be entertaining a gentleman today. In private. In his carriage. But only for today. Afterwards, he shall burn for me. He will never forget me.
 Today is a special day for me. Mr. Asahel de Grijs, otherwise known as Grey to his friends, is coming to my favorite bookseller to give a lecture on privateering. He is a New York man, the owner of Sexton Shipping which has a fleet of over forty sea going vessels. He is rumored to be the wealthiest gentleman in America. I know this is not true. I know exactly who is the wealthiest man in America. But Mr. Sexton is among the top three wealthiest men in our nation. He is also politically connected and quite powerful. He would be the brightest feather in my cap. I think I shall wear my shabbiest dress because it is always more thrilling when these gentlemen cannot resist the tattered, poor little bastard girl. They are slaves to their own greed for beauty.

Seeking sexual excitement and conquest, poor but beautiful Beth seduces wealthy merchant prince Grey Sexton, only to find herself the pursued as he seeks to own her body and soul.

In Philadelphia, PA 1812

Flouting the moral standards of Jeffersonian America, temptress Beth McConnell lets no man touch her heart. Her motto is love them once and leave them burning.

But when she boldly seduces Grey Sexton, a self-controlled merchant prince from New York, she finds herself too fascinated by his ice-over-fire nature to stay away. His possessive determination to own her, body and soul, threatens to expose her secret erotic life to public shame.

But Beth will only surrender her love to a man she can trust. And Grey’s materialistic approach to relationships leaves her little reason to believe he can ever give her what she truly needs.

For these two cynical yet lonely people, can deep sexual intimacy work a miracle and lead to the opening of their hearts?

Heat Level: EROTIC 18+

Here’s an Adult excerpt from Chapter One.  You can read the entire chapter here.

Shifting in his seat, he sensed her gaze. Lingering. Burning him. Against his will, he turned back to her. Those eyes seemed to reach across the room, directly into him, to touch his emptiness.

What a fanciful notion. His wits must be addled.

She didn’t drop her gaze, as a modest woman might. Instead, she appraised him, boldly weighing and measuring. A hint of her tongue flirted along the seam of her pink lips. Her eyes smouldered as if she’d read his every erotic longing and fantasy in his face. He shifted again, trying to adjust for the heated blood rushing into his cock. The corners of her mouth turned up and humour glinted in her eyes. Clearly, she found his interest amusing. She found him amusing.

By God, then, I’ll have her beneath me, writhing and begging me to fuck her.

Damned if he wouldn’t.

The fervour of his thoughts shocked him back to his senses. People were talking and laughing and moving around. The lecture was over. He got up to leave, but he found himself standing at the windows, transfixed by the rain sheeting down.

“My goodness.” The breathy, feminine voice hit him low in his gut and he didn’t have to look to know who’d spoken. Something primal pounded through his blood. An urge to turn, grasp her by the back of her hair and kiss her with such brute force she would run.

Shaken, he took several long, deep breaths before he trusted himself enough to turn to her. He looked down to where her head barely met his shoulder and suddenly he was drowning in those azure eyes.

“It’s so hard, isn’t it?” she said in breathy, bedchamber tones.

“Pardon me, Madam?”

“The rain. It’s coming down so hard today. Buckets and buckets full.” Her voice sounded sincere but her eyes glimmered with mirth.

“Yes, it is.” He kept his tone cool, polite.

She stood so close his arm almost touched her breast. So close her tangy, sweet gardenia-like scent became intoxicating.

“Pardon me, Madam, but do you have some question about investing in a privateer venture?”

“Oh, no, they answered all my questions in the lecture.”

“But how could they have? You came in after the part about investing.”

“I didn’t really have any particular questions—I come to all the lectures here.” She glanced at the chalk board on the opposite wall, where the names of the lecturers were posted. “You are Mr Asahel de Grijs Sexton of New York?”

“At your service.”

“Your middle name means grey…like your eyes. Correct?”

“Yes. It’s Dutch.” It had been his mother’s maiden name.

“And you’re here to invest in privateering voyages for the expected war?” She took hold of the curtain’s thick, gold, braided cord.

“I own some ships and take on investors. I also invest in other voyages. It’s a numbers game, for safety.”

She gave a soft sigh… No, it was more like a moan. A lush, bedroom sound that made his lower belly tighten.

“Well, I was wondering…” She caressed her fingers up and down the braided cord in a way that could only be described as suggestive. Sinfully so. Right here in the book store.

A tide of lust like he had never felt before swept through his blood and stiffened his cock.

“I—I was wondering…” She trailed her fingers one last time before she dropped the cord. A half-smile curved her lips.

“Yes, Madam?” The steadiness of his voice amazed him.

“Could you—” She drew her lashes down as she spread her lips in a slow, sensual smile. “Would you be so kind as to give me a ride in your carriage?”

Her inflection left no doubt what kind of ride she meant.

What true gentleman could disappoint a lady? He offered her his arm. “Come, then.”

She raised fine, pale-gold brows. “I cannot be seen leaving here in your company.”

“Then what?”

“Drive around the block and wait there. I shall come along presently.”

“It’s raining like the flood. You cannot walk in that.”

“Do you think I shall melt?” Her deep and throaty laugh resonated deep in his balls.

“I think a gentleman doesn’t expect a lady to walk in the rain.”

She laughed again. “Oh, but I am not a lady.”

“Don’t talk like that.” His harsh tone puzzled him. Where had it come from?

“Did my fine silk gown fool you?” She plucked her coarse woollen skirt. Her fingerless nankeen gloves revealed digits reddened as though they habitually spent hours soaked in lye. The sharp contrast with her refined loveliness made his throat burn and he swallowed tightly.

She sighed. He glanced up. Her eyes were sad again and her emotion seemed to touch him in places he’d forgotten had existed. Damn, she was beautiful. How many times had he repeated that today? God, he was making a jackass of himself. But what did she really want from him? She was bold, yes, but she lacked the hardened look of a girl on the town. Maybe poverty had forced her into temporary whoring.

“You need money?” The hoarse terseness of his whisper surprised him.

“I don’t want your money.” She turned her gaze to him. Bold, blue and full of unmistakable longing. “I only want a ride.”

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Be sure to stop in at Not Enough Time in the Day for more insight into Grey’s Lady from author Natasha Blackthorne.