Thief was my first full length novel at Total-E-Bound and is available in print and e-book. I adored writing this story, the plot twists and turns as much as the characters relationship does. Also the couple on the cover look just like Kat and John did in my mind as I was writing it.
Here is an excerpt from about a third of the way through the novel that shows how the two characters bounce off one another...
Kat refused to ride the bike in her skirt so they sat in stony silence in a cab. She sensed John looking at her as if he was about to say something but then kept stopping himself. In the end, he bent forward and said a few hushed words to the driver.
When they pulled up, they weren’t on Oxford Street as she’d instructed. They were parked in a decidedly seedy looking backstreet. “Hey, why are we here?” Kat demanded with a frown.
“I thought I’d show you my type of shopping.” John leant over her bare thighs and swung open her door. “After you.”
Kat muttered under her breath but curiosity got the better of her and she stepped out over the foul gutter onto the littered street. “There’s no shops around here.” She tutted as John unfolded out the cab next to her.
“Over here.” He wrapped an arm around her waist and urged her to the left. They passed a row of rancid wheelie bins, a boarded up house covered in graffiti and a deep doorway with a hunched figure cocooned in a ripped sleeping bag. They came to a stop by a steel armoured door. A chipped sign read ‘Over 18’s only’.
Kat glanced at the window next to it. It was blacked out with rough strokes of thick paint and protected by solid steel railings. “What sort of shop is this?”
“The sort of shop I think you might just like, Pussy Cat.” He winked.
It made her mad when he acted all superior, like he knew something she didn’t. It was exactly how teachers and social workers had always spoken to her. Like she was missing the point, not grasping life, when she actually did. She got it better than most. Keeping her head above water was the name of the game. She wasn’t interested in the rest—that was superfluous. “Well, if there’s no Prada, I can’t see how it will appeal,” she huffed, feeling her mood tighten.
“Oh, I think it will.” He tapped his finger on the end of her nose and pushed open the door. “You just don’t know it yet.”
A tinny bell sounded as he shooed her inside. The air was musty and stale, the lighting subdued and she had to lift her feet over curled orange lino.
“Mornin’.” A deep, male voice came directly from her left. She spun and was faced with an enormous middle-aged man. He sat by an ancient malt brown till balanced on a grainy security screen. Sweat droplets hung on his forehead, and his shirt was unbuttoned way down low, revealing flushed red skin splattered with moles and grey curls. His gaze loitered down Kat’s exposed legs, and he swept his fat tongue over his lips.
John nodded at him, a muscle flexed in his jaw, then he tightened the hold on her waist and steered her past shelves stuffed with intriguingly shaped items.
“Twenty percent off lesbian DVDs today,” the obese man called in a wheezing voice.
“Bear it in mind,” John said through gritted teeth, before parting a heavy bamboo curtain and pushing Kat through it.
In the next room, each of the four walls were crammed full of DVDs, all highlighted by spotlights. The spotlights made it far too warm, and Kat felt her cheeks flush. “What are we doing here?” she asked again, finally stopping her forward momentum now John had removed his hand from her lower back.
“I thought we could do with some light entertainment.” He flicked his gaze around. “There’s not much on TV we both want to watch.”
“What are you on about?” she snapped.
“Well, you clearly couldn’t stand the war film last night.”
Kat shook her head incredulously. “You brought me here because of that?”
“No.” He lowered his head to hers. “I brought you here because I want to get to know the real Kat, what really turns you on. You choose a DVD and so will I. It will be very revealing about our deepest, darkest desires.”
Kat swallowed. He was challenging her again, daring her to pick a subject. Something that would get her hot then he would nag away at it like a fingernail on an insect bite.
“You never know,” he went on. “We might choose the same fantasy and then we’ll know we were destined to be together.”
“Oh, shut up, will you? This is a business arrangement, as well you know.”
“What’s that look for?” Kat demanded.
“Business partners don’t usually get quite as intimate as we have.”
“Have, that’s right, have in the past tense.”
He winked again, and before she could move away, he pressed a sharp kiss to her lips. “We’ll see. I’m going to have a look at the stuff in the front room. You start browsing.”
Kat slammed her hands to her hips and tutted. Why was he kissing her, and what the hell did he mean, ‘we’ll see’? She spun away from his retreating back; she didn’t want to look at his perfect, denim-encased rear.
Her gaze peeled over the titles in front of her. Lesbians lick Lilly, Cunts that Beg, and The Sailor’s Sperm Wails were just a few. She reached out and touched the frozen face of a woman on the cover of a yellow box. She had a similar look to Kat. Long black hair, generous breasts with dark nipples and green almond-shaped eyes topped with neatly arched brows. Kat moved closer.
The woman was bent on all fours, and the torso of a dark-skinned man could be made out behind her. He was clutching her hips with curled fingers and was also on his knees. Whatever he was doing had her mouth wide open in a scream of ecstasy crossed with something that looked scarily like agony. Her eyes were wide but glazed, her tongue flat on the base of her mouth, a droplet of sweat perched in the hollow of her neck.
Kat felt a rush of warmth to her pussy. Just looking at the woman’s face reminded her of how it had felt when John had fucked her wildly in the shower, when he had shoved his cock up inside her and his fingers into her back side. She beat down a delicious tremble of desire as she read the title of the DVD—Anal Virgin Takes It All.
That was her. She was an anal virgin. Did fingers count? No, she didn’t think so. Suddenly, she wanted that DVD. Not to show John what she’d chosen, but she wanted it for herself, to watch, to see what it would be like—the big taboo of sex.
She moved to the bamboo curtain and peered through a gap created by a missing string. John stood at the till, talking to the cashier. She glanced up at the security camera in the corner. It was facing her, but she reckoned it was worth the risk. The sales guy seemed pretty distracted. She walked back over to the DVD and, with lightning speed, dropped it in her bag. Just as John parted the curtain, she stuck out her hand and reached for another DVD.
“Found anything?” he asked lightly.
“No, but clearly you did.” She nodded at the bulging brown bag in his hand.
“Yeah, just a few essentials.” A half smile tipped his lips. “What’s that you’ve got?” He loomed next to her and twisted the DVD she gripped in her hand. “Seven Days and Seven Nights—Bound and Gagged.” His mouth broke into a full wattage grin. “Well, if I’d known that was what you wanted, Pussy Cat, I would’ve been more than happy to oblige.” He pushed his finger to his temple as if in deep thought. “In fact, I think I did suggest it.”
“You’re all talk and no action, John, so just shut up, will you?” Kat couldn’t believe the apt title of the DVD she’d grabbed in haste.
“I think we both know that’s not true.” His eyes glistened, and his voice deepened an octave. “You know full well I can provide the action, you've just got to say the word, baby.”
Kat slammed the DVD back on the shelf with a clatter. “Let’s just get to Oxford Street. That fat sweaty guy gives me the creeps.”
Thief has had some great reviews, but I would love to hear readers thoughts so feel free to drop me a line.
"The sexual scenes border from gentle loving to hot, take no prisoners, steamy. I loved each and every sex scene / I really enjoyed Thief and will miss the antics of John and Kat." - Just Erotic Romance Reviews
"This book by Ms. Harlem is the first for me, and she did a great job of spinning a tale of what can happen when you put together two personalities that clashed." - Literary Nymphs
"If you like your characters to fall in love but battle with one another every step of the way, you’ll love Thief. A cool plot, great dialogue, funny moments, and lots of sexual tension. What more could you ask for?" - Miz Love Loves Books