I’m delighted to welcome my fellow Secret Library author Toni Sands to my website today- Toni, it’s over to you…
It’s a huge privilege to appear on Kay’s blog to talk about Traded Innocence. When Xcite Books invited me to submit to The Secret Library imprint, my first reaction was of course a big fat YES. Inevitably then came the downer. What story would fit the criteria?
Passionate. Powerful. Provocative. These three words are still written in neon lights inside my head. Could I ratchet up the smuggling tale forming part of my dissertation? My characters Rebecca and Jac demanded a meatier story. But they existed back in 1830. Would a historical novella snuggle up beside the other stories? A swift email exchange gave me the green light and my own Mr Big thought up a title I’m proud to see enveloping my fellow authors, Liz Coldwell and K D Grace.
The cove where Rebecca and Jac first meet existed in my imagination before I actually visited it though I knew it had to be on Wales’ fabulous Gower Coast. Standing on top of the cliffs and looking down on the golden sands, I noticed a rider cantering along. The pounding of the sea, the plaintive cries of the birds plus a ruined castle added to the timeless feel. On beginning to write, the characters told me their own story, something which, when it happens, is thrilling and empowering. Plus, it helps achieve the word count!
Rebecca’s pending marriage to a hateful poser prompts her to beg bad boy Jac for help. The well-bred maiden and the sexy smuggler strike sparks off one another but I needed to keep the lady chaste until the end. No mean feat! I described some of Jac’s former saucy exploits, also allowed the reader into Rebecca’s bedroom to share in her intimate quality time as she fantasises about delectable Jac.
There’s a scene where, disguised as a boy to fool her would-be husband, Rebecca has to plunge into the ocean with Jac. As soon as they reach their cabin … well, let my heroine explain in this flashback after she awakes next morning …
‘Get your clothes off,’ he ordered once they were alone.
She’d stood there, teeth chattering.
‘I’m trying to keep you alive, sweetheart,’ he’d whispered.
Her numb fingers couldn’t achieve much but he’d help rip off her clothes, turning his back as she stripped naked. When she wrapped her bare body in a thick grey blanket, he’d stood behind her, massaging her back and her limbs through the material, making her tingle as blood rushed to her extremities.
He’d taken her hands in his. Held them to his lips and blown on them. Taken each finger in turn and pushed it inside his mouth, warming and revitalising her. The sensation disarmed her. Her nipples pushing against the coarse blanket spoke her arousal. At one point the blanket fell away, revealing two fully awoken breasts.
She’d heard the gasp interrupt Jac’s breathing …
The Secret Library is a sumptuous mix of writing styles, each collection edited by the amazing Antonia Adams and wrapped in a luxurious cover that could double as a boutique chocolate box. These books are keepers. Enjoy and thanks for dropping by.
Once again, I’d like to extend my thanks to Toni for taking the time to visit today- The Secret Library really is a wonderful collection of delicious erotic romance- I can’t wait to read them all!
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The Secret Library is a new range from Xcite Books which will appeal to the female romance reader market. Each book contains three specially commissioned novellas guaranteeing a satisfying and varied selection.
The story content is relationship led with a strong alpha male hero, a level of conflict and a climactic, explicit ending.
The covers are deliberately designed without visual imagery to be discreet. These books could be comfortably read in public, given as gifts and left on a bedside table.
The Secret Library contains six books with three erotic romance novellas in each:
Traded Innocence – Toni Sands, Elizabeth Coldwell and K D Grace
Silk Stockings – Constance Munday, Jenna Bright and Lucy Felthouse
One Long Hot Summer – Elizabeth Coldwell, Penelope Friday and Shanna Germain
The Thousand and One Nights – Kitti Bernetti, Primula Bond and Sommer Marsden
The Game – Jeff Cott, Antonia Adams and Sommer Marsden
Hungarian Rhapsody – Justine Elyot, Charlotte Stein and Kay Jaybee