I’ve been so excited about the release of TEMPTATION’S EDGE, the third book in my ‘Edge’ series. I love writing about the intense dynamics involved in a BDSM relationship, and these two, Mischa and Connor, are my hottest couple yet! I love my heroines, but it’s always the hero that makes us swoon, isn’t it? And Connor Galloway is one swoon-worthy man! Six-foot-lotsa-something wall of gorgeous man—powerful, utterly confident, and the Irish accent doesn’t hurt. *G* But it’s really a certain air about him that gets me—his quiet command, the way he whispers to her at just the right moment…like when he’s got her hair fisted in his hand just hard enough to hurt, and he’s brushing his lips over her cheek at the same time…oh, yes, that’s when I really fall in love with Connor.
And today he’s here with us, allowing me to interview him, so let’s get started, shall we?
Eve: Good morning, Connor. Thanks for joining us.
Connor: Happy to oblige.
Eve: Er…would you like me to call you Sir?
Connor: Would I like it? I’m a Dom. The answer is always ‘yes’. But you’re no more a true little subbie girl than my Mischa is, are you?
Eve: No, Sir.
Connor: Ha! Maybe more so than I thought. (*grinning evilly*). Care to bend over, little girl?
Eve: I…hey! We’re supposed to be conducting an interview.
Connor: Best get on with it, then, Eve.
Eve: You’re so…unsettling.
Connor: And you like it.
Eve: Well…I do. : )
Connor: So, what do you want to know?
Eve: To start with, you have a bit of a tortured past…
Connor: Don’t we all? There are reasons why people like us turn to these extreme forms of pleasure and pain. Reasons apart from the incredible heights of sensation, the thrill junkie thing. All of us have something to work through, something to forget. It can be a kind of therapy, if done right.
Eve: And have you done it right?
Connor: I thought I had. Until I met Mischa. She made me see that I was still holding back, using this sensual sport as a means to hide from those things I needed most to face. She’s been good for me. Amazing, really.
Eve: What drew you to her initially?
Connor: The first thing I noticed was her mouth, painted a bold shade of red. Pure sex, that mouth. Perfect with her blonde bombshell looks. And her tattoos…I love ink on a woman’s skin. Sexy as hell. The fact that she’s a tattoo artist herself just about did me in. Something a little forbidden about it. And she’s everything her look and her art implies: strong as hell, independent, a real spitfire. There’s fight in her. Enough for her to take me on. I needed it, even if I would have rather cut my own throat than admit that when I first met her. But it takes a good woman to make a good man, right?
Eve: We like to think so.
Connor: Ah, it’s true.
Eve: You seem to have a lot of respect for women.
Connor: Well, they make the world go ‘round, don’t they? But maybe…I didn’t have enough respect before Mischa. Probably because I hadn’t met my match, a woman who could really challenge me. She makes me think. Hell, she kicks my ass sometimes. Metaphorically speaking, of course. When it comes down to it, I’m always the one on top. She likes it that way. (*winks*)
Eve: So do we! So—what now? What does the future hold for you two?
Connor: Well, I won’t say I was entirely untouched by Alec and Dylan’s wedding—after all, it was their engagement party where my girl and I met. And now Dante and Kara are getting married in a few months. Makes a man think, doesn’t it?
Eve: Does this mean you have your eye on a ring?
Connor: Maybe so. A woman like Mischa is worth keeping my hands on. Forever.
Eve: *girlish sigh* See what I mean? The man just does things to me…And he does plenty to Mischa! You’ll have to read TEMPTATION’S EDGE to find out exactly what I mean by that. *G* Meanwhile, I’ll give you a sneak peek here…
What happens when you let yourself fall…
Mischa Kennon isn’t one to take it lying down, at least not until she meets sexy Connor Galloway , a green-eyed Irishman with an air of authority she finds hard to resist. While performing duties as maid of honor to her best friend, Mischa indulges in a casual relationship with Connor. She’s surprised by the thrill of his dominance, and lusts for more feisty battles before surrender.
…over the edge
It’s all fun and games in the BDSM Pleasure Dome Club, until Mischa realizes Connor could master her heart.
…and into temptation?
If she gives in to desire, will it be too much to handle, or will it open her to a kind of love she never thought possible?
EXCERPT: (R Rated)
“Come sit by me,” he said.
She did, next to him but not too close. If they had serious issues to discuss, she’d have to maintain a certain distance in order to keep a clear head. Semi-clear, anyway. The man was still in the room. And she suspected up close he’d smell too good to resist.
“Do you want something to drink?” she asked him. “A glass of wine?”
“No alcohol when we play. No alcohol when we negotiate. Clear heads.”
“Okay. How do these negotiations go?”
“I have a list of questions. You answer. Simple in essence, except that you need to think your answers through, be honest with yourself about what you want, where your boundaries and fears are. And just as crucial that you’re honest with me. This will determine what we might do, and perhaps more importantly, what we won’t do. You’ll be telling me yes, no or maybe for each question. ‘Maybe’ means it’s something I can push you on in the moment, or bring up again later, if I determine you’re in the right space to approach it.”
“If you determine?” She crossed her arms over her chest. That didn’t sit well with her at all.
Connor leaned forward, his elbows braced on his knees. “Mischa, being a dominant is a great pleasure, but with it comes great responsibility. I know we’ve just met, but can you trust in what you’ve seen of me so far? Can you trust that I am Alec’s friend? We play in the same circles, by the same code of ethics. Are you familiar with the Safe, Sane and Consensual credo?”
“Yes. I’ve heard it at the clubs I’ve been to. And I’ve read about it.”
“Then you have some idea of what that code means to me. I take it very seriously. All right?”
She nodded her head. Her heart was beginning to pound. This was serious stuff. The few men she’d ‘played’ with at the clubs had been just that—play—but Connor was the real thing. It aroused her, excited her, so much more than she’d expected. But with Connor, every time she thought she knew what to expect, he surprised her. Including, right now, how quickly her irritation at his bossiness dissolved under the powerful force of his natural command. It was real—he wasn’t some wanna-be, which, she now realized, was probably what those other men she’d experimented with were. And somehow, that changed everything.
“I should also tell you,” he went on, “that when we’re done, if you still have any questions for me, you let me know, and I will answer as thoroughly as I can.”
She nodded again. Licked her lips.
“Remember: yes, no or maybe. Do you want to be spanked?”
She smiled, a little surprised at how quickly the conversation had shifted, how he’d gotten right down to business. But this question was easy enough. “Yes. Sure.”
Also easy. “Yes.”
“Hit with a flogger, a slapper, a crop?”
A lovely chill ran through her. “Yes. I’ve had a flogger used on me, but it was one of those soft suede ones. And frankly, he was far too tentative with it.”
“What about with a single-tail?”
“Is that like a short bullwhip?”
He nodded. “Yes.”
“I don’t know. I don’t know the level of pain I can handle, what I might enjoy past a certain point.”
“But you do enjoy the pain?”
“Yes. I always have. From rough sex to a good spanking.”
“But you have never felt that you were a submissive.” It was phrased as a statement, but she knew he was asking her.
“Not in the past. But…it’s different with you. Not that I’ll ever be truly submissive. The submission is part of the pain-pleasure thing. An off-shoot of that.”
“And you’re not entirely happy about it?”
She smiled again, a little wryly. “Not entirely.”
“But you are willing to explore these things with me?”
“What about anal sex?”
“Yes. I like it a lot.”
A slow smile from him at that. “Ah, good girl.”
There it was, those two simple words again that just made her melt into a pathetic little puddle.
Only for him.
She’d been telling him the truth. Although she’d been spanked, tied up, she’d never felt that sensation of going under, of letting go of control, handing that to another person. It had been more about seeking out extreme forms of sex. Having an adventure. The adventure with him would be something else altogether.
“How do you feel about being tied up? Handcuffed? Chained?”
“Being tied up has never really done much for me. I don’t get the fascination with ropes, and definitely not with silk scarves. That seems…amateurish to me. I love the handcuffs. Really love the idea of chains, although I’ve never used them before.”
“Ah, we are a perfect match, you and I. What about being blindfolded?”
“I…I don’t like it. Enough that I’ve never allowed anyone to try it with me. I don’t like that total disconnect from my environment.”
“You always need a shred of control to hang onto, is that it?”
She raised her chin. “Yes.”
“All right. We don’t have to go there right now. What about hot wax?”
“I’ve played with it before, but I wasn’t the one on the bottom that time.”
He laughed. “And?”
“I like the idea of it. We’ll have to see if I like the sensation.”
“Tell about the Kanji tattoo on the back of your neck—what does it say?”
She shrugged, trying not to squirm, although she wasn’t sure why now, rather than during all the questions about the floggers and chains. “It says ‘pain is love’.”
He raised one dark brow. “Do you really believe that?”
There was no hesitation before she answered this time. “Yes. Don’t you?”
He smiled a little, although at the same time he no longer looked quite so happy. “Yes. I guess I do.”
He paused, still looking at her. She stared back, watching as he rearranged his features, let the shadow there, a flicker of emotion, fade away. She wasn’t going to ask him about that. She knew the feeling well enough herself.
“Do you have any questions for me?” he asked her finally.
“Are the negotiations done?”
“Then yes, I have a question.”
“When are you going to take me to that club, the Pleasure Dome?”
He laughed again. “You like the public play, do you?”
“That’s the biggest draw of those places for me, or it has been in the past. More than the equipment, my partners.”
“You like to put on a show, do you? So do I. If you really want to go, then I’ll certainly take you. Not tonight. Maybe next weekend. If you’re still interested, that is. You might run from me again.”
“I don’t think so.”
“What makes you so certain of that?”
“I just…” How to explain to him, without saying more than she wanted to? Without admitting more than she was willing to look at herself? “I want to go. And I have a feeling this is going to work out. That we’ll be good together.”
“You’re not a shy one, are you?”
It was her turn to laugh. “Hardly.”
He stood, absolutely towering over her. He looked a bit intimidating, she could admit to that. The man was a wall. Big and dark, his eyes glittering with mischief. But she also loved it—his size, that shadowed side of him. His wickedness.
He held out a hand to her. “Shall we begin, then?”
She smiled, got to her feet. And was swept into his arms so fast it made her head spin. He turned her until she was face-down on the sofa, her robe gone as if by magic. He held both her wrists behind her back in one of his hands. She was panting instantly, shocked at how quickly he’d gotten her naked and into this submissive position. She also understood, in some distant way, that he’d used that element of surprise to break right through any walls she may have put up. It didn’t scare her. Little did. She trusted him, for all the reasons he’d stated. And it was working beautifully. There was nothing but that small voice in the back of her head that was trying to tell her to slow down, to regain some balance in the power between them. But she was turned on enough to overcome it.
He leaned over and whispered into her ear, as if he could see right into her head, “Just relax now. Give it all over to me. You don’t need to struggle. To argue with yourself about it. Just do it. It can be that easy.”
“It’s not easy,” she gasped, realizing only then that part of her was holding back, hanging onto some last shred of control. God, this really was a mind fuck.
“It’s as easy as you make it, Mischa.”
She tried to shake her head, but he pressed down on the back of her neck with one hand. Gently, but it was enough to press her cheek right into the cushions of the sofa. And he was still using the other hand to hold both of her wrists at the small of her back. She began to tremble all over. It was half nerves, half desire, which was shivering through her in a series of tiny sparks, like small electric shocks. How had he known she would respond like this, when she hadn’t known herself?
He leaned over her until he was whispering into her hair. “I know what you’re going through, Mischa. You’re fighting it. The fight makes it harder on you. I admit I’ll enjoy it a bit. But when you let go the fight, that’s when it can really begin. That’s when you’ll feel it all in some new, sublime way. That’s my goal with you, sweetheart. To take you there.”
“I…I don’t know…” Her anxiety was mounting as she squirmed, and realized she truly could not break from his hold on her.
“Ah, but I do. I can see it in you, the ability. The submissive response to even the most subtle tone of voice, the most subtle touch. It doesn’t have to mean you’ll ever be some kind of slave girl. There’s a world of difference there. Don’t you worry about that. Just be in the moment. Let it happen, as much as you can.” His fingers flexed on the back of her neck, the fingers of his other hand flexing on her wrists, a small reminder. “Breathe for me, now. Deep breath in, let it out slow. Like meditation. It is a sort of meditation, as strange as it may sound. As odd as it may be to think of being able to relax while I hold you down like this. But that’s exactly the point. You are in my hands.”
As soon as he said it—‘my hands’—she did get it. She did as he said, pulling in a long breath, letting it out a little at a time. Trying desperately to quiet the voice in her head that was telling her it was time to panic. But his soothing tone instructing to her breathe, over and over, was drowning it out.
Time passed. She didn’t know how much. Finally he said, “Very good.” And spanked her.
Copyright 2012 Eve Berlin
About the Author:
Best-selling and award-winning author Eden Bradley aka Eve Berlin has published a number of novels and novellas, both print and e-books, with Bantam/Delta, Berkley Heat, Harlequin Spice & HQN, Black Lace Books and Samhain Publishing. Her books have been translated into German, French, Romanian, Portuguese and Japanese. Eden appears regularly on Playboy Radio and conducts workshops on writing craft and writing about sex.
When not writing, you can find her wandering museums, buying shoes, and reading everything she can get her hands on. Eden lives in So. California.
Visit her websites: EdenBradley.com EveBerlin.com or her group blog (with fellow authors RG Alexander, Robin L Rotham and Crystal Jordan) Smutketeers.com
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