I know there are purists out there who like a straightforward romance with nothing more than a hero and heroine whose journey leads to a happily ever after, or at the very least, a happy for now ending.
I enjoy those books, too. However, it’s always a delight to read or see something that’s way different. Not what you expected and takes you by surprise. For example, The Handmaid’s Tale. Is it dystopian fiction? You bet. Futuristic? Uh-huh. A cautionary tale? Gawd, yeah. Mainstream? That too. It combines so many different elements into an unforgettable tale.
As far as films are concerned – have you seen Predestination with Ethan Hawke? OMG – Best. Film. Ever. I can’t call it scifi, or fantasy, or a cautionary tale. I’m not certain what it is except it was brilliant. At the end, my mouth was literally hanging open.
For my own writing, I like to mix things up and see what comes out. That’s what I’ve done with Return to Ecstasy, book one Her Master’s Pleasure. It’s contemporary, historical, and paranormal (reincarnation) all mixed into one lusty and unforgettable romance.
Here’s the cover art, blurb, some teasers, and an excerpt. Enjoy!
RETURN TO ECSTASY
Book One – Her Master’s Pleasure
A willing slave to possession, punishment, pleasure…
Dreams of a manor where submission and dominance once ruled draws Faith to hypnotherapist Colin Danes. Potently virile, he’s instantly recognizable as her most cherished master from a past life. Desire smolders in his eyes, proving he’s never forgotten her.
Their carnal dance continues in the present and leads to their past when she was known as Eve. Through hypnotherapy, Colin brings her back to the Victorian era, a hidden estate where she eagerly submits to whatever he and her other noble masters crave. The exquisite discipline of the strap. Being bid on and mounted each night. Displayed and used for the enjoyment of all.
Most will take her. One will try to imprison her. Only he will be her true master in that life and this.
The advertisement challenged: Are your dreams so real they seem to have come from another time?
Faith Montgomery gripped the mail circular. The paper crackled—a sound snapping ice made.
Frigid wind swept past, delivering more snow. Feverish and unsettled, Faith faced the medical arts building that catered to doctors, nutritionists, shrinks, and hypnotherapists. Unlike Seattle’s typical brick or glass structures, this place had a granite facade and steepled ceilings. Similar to a castle where dominance, submission, and punishment played out. Where men wore dated clothing while women were nude, defenseless, sighing then crying out their arousal and pleasure.
Her mouth went dry.
A horn blared.
Her pulse sprinted.
Traffic crawled along the slick streets. Headlights brushed past and illuminated the building directory. According to the circular, Dr. Colin Danes’ office was on the second floor, her appointment in a few minutes, made earlier in the week by phone. The first time she’d heard his voice yet not the first time.
Upon learning her name, he’d come straight to the point. “Why do you want an appointment?”
Something inside her had fluttered at his smooth baritone, enticing and strangely familiar, reducing her to silence.
He’d coaxed. “You’ve seen things. Felt things.”
He had no idea. Then again, maybe he did.
While he’d waited for her response, she’d indulged in his picture on the glossy flyer.
Several thick, wavy locks grazed his forehead, his hair raven-black, his strong, masculine features handsome as hell and decidedly aristocratic. He’d look at home dressed in eveningwear worn during the early Victorian era. A coat with tails, snug at the waist to accentuate his impressive shoulders. Dark trousers and a shockingly white cravat. Identical to heroes in romance novels Faith had read in high school.
He definitely had those guys beat.
His long-lashed eyes were a striking blue. Even from the picture, they stripped away her privacy and reached into her soul, the same as the promise of his full, rich mouth. Stubble graced his upper lip, chin, and cheeks, virile and tempting. Possibly early thirties, he was a man women wouldn’t forget.
Faith certainly hadn’t.
Before he asked if she was still on the line or had hung up, she’d answered. “Yes. I’ve had recurring dreams, flashes from another time.” He’d starred in each.
Rather than questioning her further, he’d given her the last appointment for today. Well past the time other professionals did business. His office windows were the only ones lit on the second floor. The golden glow spilled out into the night. Snow flurries, carried by the wind, twinkled like stars within the brightness.
Faith half expected, and fully hoped, he’d be at the window, looking down at her. Watching. Waiting. Anticipating as she did.
His absence stoked her stark need. If she knew him as she believed she did, he had no doubt she’d keep their appointment. Now, as before, he commanded and expected her to obey. More importantly, what they’d shared would make him crave her as she did him.
Edgy, she entered the building. Heated air brushed past. Polished wood, leather, and wool scents washed over her. In the absolute quiet, her high heels clicked on the floor, a dark-green marble veined with white.
Faith avoided slick spots made by others who’d come and gone, tracking in snow. She should have worn more practical shoes in this weather, pants rather than a skirt, but hadn’t, sensing Dr. Danes wouldn’t have approved.
Like one possessed, or commanded by a Master, she climbed the stairs to the second floor. Polished walnut paneled the walls. The wood gave this place the feel of a private club where men called the shots. Their decisions law. Their desires the only rule that counted, no matter what they commanded. A woman’s full surrender to their needs. Having her down on her knees before them, her lips parted to taste a thickened cock or to release a delighted whimper at the strap one held, eager for him to discipline her.
Lightheaded and breathless, Faith reached the landing. Danes’ office was the last one in the long hall, the door ajar. Amber light demanded she go inside.
No receptionist greeted her in the snug waiting room. Faith hadn’t expected one, sensing he’d want them to be alone. Exactly what she desired.
She inhaled as deeply as she could. The burgundy leather chairs perfumed the small space and claimed it for a man. Beyond the reception area was his office, its door open. He stood at his desk, his attention on a book he read.
Her legs went watery.
With indecent curiosity, she drank him in, the charcoal sweater and dark trousers that matched his ebony hair and fit his powerful frame so well. Broad shoulders. Muscular thighs. She trembled at the raw power in his strong hands. She’d dreamed of it.
And would do anything to experience those times again.
He closed his book. It snapped faintly. He looked up.
Time shifted. The past bled into the present. Faith stilled, trapped within his potent gaze, overwhelmed with recognition, irresistible and welcoming.
She knew him.
More importantly, he recognized her.
Unmistakable longing flared in his eyes, the same yearning she felt. Beneath it, lust smoldered.
They had been Master and slave once, lovers born for each other, as she’d suspected. His direct mailing hadn’t been a fluke but deliberate, to find and coax her here. Not only to help her relive their shameless past but to build upon it in this life.
Heat surged through her.
He advanced a step. “Faith.”
She softened at his commanding yet intimate voice. An awesome combination. “Dr. Danes.”
He smiled. “Colin.”
“Yes, Colin.” It fit him well, as Nicholas had. His name in their first incarnation. Of course, he already knew as much, and that he’d once called her Eve.