Monday, 10 December 2012

Meet the Family Blog Hop!!

Welcome to the Meet the Family Holiday Hop, it is great to see you on my blog. I write erotic romance as many of you know, which means the romantic element of my novels is the driving force of the story, the difference being, since it is erotic, the reader gets to see exactly what goes on in the bedroom when the hero and heroine finally get together.

I love holiday reads, and also holiday movies, Love Actually being one of my very favourites. It doesn't feel like Christmas until I have snuggled up on the sofa and enjoyed seeing all of those different characters finding their happy every after.

I used to live in London, the setting for the majority of Love Actually, but now I live in a small village by the south coast in the UK. It is quite remote and we often get snowed in, the lanes become impassable. I don't mind in the slightest, I just make sure the fridge is full, the presents are under the tree and I have a good supply of mulled wine. Getting snowed in has become somewhat of a tradition, and the novelty of only being able to walk to the village pub, church and to nearby friend's houses is actually quite lovely. Also it means you have to slow life down a pace. No more rushing around the shops, what hasn't been bought, well, we just survive without.

I would like to share a sexy excerpt from Cold Nights, Hot Bodies, which is a Christmas novel and set in the very beautiful Cotswolds, UK. Here is the blurb...

All my life I’ve been the quiet bookworm, the office mouse. It hasn’t bothered me. Immersing myself in erotic novels has kept me wriggling on the edge of my seat at work and firmly entrenched in my own fantasy world at night.

Though one thing is bothering me—my damn virginity. If only I could find a sexy bedroom expert to introduce me to the delights of having a lover. Someone handsome and charming, who can rival the hunky alpha males in my books. I have a very vivid, very well-fed imagination—he’ll have to keep up.

Then, one bitterly cold night, thanks to a devious, conniving, so-called friend, the perfect opportunity to rid myself of this pesky virginity problem comes along. Before I know it, the heroes in my novels have come alive in the person of Shane Galloway, who’s pleasuring me with every trick in the book and wheedling into my heart in the hottest ways possible.

As we walked back through the near-empty dining room, Shane scooped up his jacket and I grabbed my purse. Derek and Ray sat in the corner, deep in conversation and deeper in a bottle of Bordeaux. I was grateful Derek didn’t look up as Shane and I slipped out.
“Do you want another drink first?” Shane asked, gesturing at the Champagne Lounge.
I glanced into the bar. It was empty except for staff. Did I want another drink first? First before what? Sex? No, I’d had enough alcohol. If I was going to have sex with Shane then I wanted to be compos mentis. I wanted to feel, experience and remember every tiny detail of our time together.
“No, I’m fine, thanks. I might just nip to the ladies’ though.” I pointed to the restroom opposite.
“Sure.” He shrugged and tossed his jacket over his shoulder.
I pushed into the bathroom, but didn’t use the toilet, instead going to the counter, leaning over the sink and staring at my own reflection. I hardly recognized myself. The lipstick had stayed in place perfectly and a matching rosy glow had settled on my cheeks. My hair was still bouncy and full around my head and it flowed over my shoulders in a soft river. The diamonds in my necklace glistened from the hollow of my neck and my breasts shifted up and down with each breath.
But my eyes had changed since I’d last looked at them. Not the long black lashes or the color of my irises, but the depth, the base. Staring some more, I tried to work out what was so different. And then it hit me. My eyes were filled with desire, real desire. They were brimming with lust for a man who wanted me. Not a fictitious hero in a book, the figment of someone else’s imagination, but a real, live flesh-and-blood man. They sparkled, clear and sure. Shane was exactly what I needed. There was no cause for nerves or hesitation. I’d been waiting my whole adult life for this night and finally it had arrived.
Standing straight, I skimmed my hands into the dip of my waist and over the soft rise of my hips. Red was so good for me, it symbolized my passion about to be unlocked, my female desires and my new “grabbing opportunities” mantra.
I pushed through the restroom door feeling sure of my decision and ready to embrace my night with Shane Galloway’s delectable body.
He was leaning against the opposite corridor wall, one leg bent and his jacket hooked onto his finger and hanging down his arm. He looked like a dashing millionaire waiting for the woman of his dreams, confident that his empire was being run smoothly while he saw to other, more carnal needs.
His gaze lifted to my face and he pushed away from the wall. “You okay?” he asked in his soft Northern accent.
Smiling, I dragged in a deep breath. “Yes, fine.”
His attention dropped down my body, unashamedly roaming right to my toes then all the way back up again. “Your room or mine?”
I couldn’t help the tremor in the center of my belly. His appreciative gaze was like a gentle caress, it was as though he was actually touching me all over.
“Mine,” I said quietly then added, “I got lucky and they gave me a suite.”
His face cracked into a grin. “Perfect. Absolutely perfect.”
We rode the lift in silence. I shifted on my heels and stared at the swirling brass motif above the lift buttons. My knees were a little weak and not quite my own. When the doors slid open, I was grateful for the arm Shane offered.
Stopping at the second room on the left, I slipped my keycard into the lock, pushed the door and walked in.
Shane stepped in right behind me and the door shut. “Wow, this is fabulous,” he said, blowing out an admiring breath. “You sure did get lucky with this one.” He walked to the sofa and dropped his jacket over the back. “You’ve got a fire and a plasma screen and everything. How cool is that? And I love that picture.” He pointed to a large abstract canvas above the mantle. It looked like a sunset, pyramids and a wonky camel but I couldn’t be sure.
As he admired the artwork, I glanced around. A maid had been in, tidied up my strewn-about clothes and wineglass and turned the fire on. The four table lamps cast buttery shadows on the floor and ceiling.
I moved toward the bedroom and peeked in. The thick bedspread had been turned back and there was a single chocolate on the pillow.
After placing my purse next to my laptop case, I turned to Shane.
“Come here,” he said, holding out a hand. “It’s warm in front of the fire.”
I forced my shoulders to relax. I didn’t want him to see how nervous I was about being alone in a hotel room with a hot guy.
Stepping toward him, suddenly my shoes didn’t feel so comfortable anymore. I paused, wriggled my feet out, first the left then the right, and abandoned them on the deep pile.
“Hey, you’re really little,” he said with a chuckle.
“You’re just tall,” I said, drawing up in front of him. The fire was warm, but heat from his body was more potent and more alive than any flame.
He reached out and cupped my cheeks in his palms. “They say opposites attract,” he murmured. “And my god I’m so attracted to you, you wouldn’t believe.”
Utterly mesmerized, I watched as he poked out his tongue and smoothed it over his bottom lip. His nostrils flared as though he was dragging in a deep breath then his lips parted.
I stood, arms hanging at my sides, knees buckled, as he lowered his head and pressed his mouth to mine.
It was a gentle kiss, not wet and not dry, the perfect combination of smoothness and maleness. I parted my mouth and held my breath as he delicately traced my bottom lip with his tongue, then I captured his taste—wine and water, man and musk. Pulling in air, I was treated to his gorgeous light scent again, which was now infused with a definite dose of testosterone.
“You’re so sweet,” he murmured, pulling back a fraction. “Like a little sugary doll.”
Pushing to my toes, I pressed my lips to his, wanting more of his taste and his desire.
This time the kiss quickly turned hotter and harder. Still he kept my face cradled in his hands, holding me just where he wanted me as he probed his tongue deeper, searching for mine with the hot, insistent tip.
I lifted my tongue from the base of my mouth and tentatively touched it to his. He gave a small groan of approval and slanted his head. Our tongues tangled and I reached up and curled my hands into the material of his shirt. Hung on as our breaths quickened and our mouths fed off each other. I became lost in his kiss, he was all I could think of. His taste, his smell, the way he was holding me was my entire universe. Bubbles of pleasure erupted deep within me. A crazy new need flowed like lava through my veins, settled in my breasts, seeped between my legs and spread over my skin.
He pulled back and dropped his hands from my face.
I opened my eyes.
His mouth was shiny from our kiss and his eyelids heavy. “Lose this,” he whispered, sliding his fingers beneath the thin shoulder straps of my dress.
I prayed my heart wouldn’t give out, it was beating so hard and fast. He wanted me to take off my dress. Of course he wanted me to take off my dress. We were going to have sex for heaven’s sake. The dress had to come off.
I slid down the zip and the material loosened around my ribs. He stooped, gripped the hem and began to lift. It smoothed up over my thighs and waist and air breezed over my buttocks, which were exposed by my thong.
He straightened, his face heavy with concentration as he carried on peeling the dress upward. I stretched my arms above my head and was blinded momentarily as the dress brushed over my face.
Shane didn’t drop the dress on the floor. Instead he shook it straight and laid it on the back of the sofa. Instinct made me want to cross my arms over my breasts, flatten a palm over the shockingly tiny piece of lace that made up the front of the thong Dawn had provided. But I forced my arms to remain still, hanging at my sides as he turned to me.
“Phew,” he said, blowing out a breath and scanning my legs. “I must have been a really good boy this year to get stockings filled so sweetly.”
I couldn’t help but notice there was a long, hard bulge straining against his fly. My stomach flipped and I quickly averted my eyes and glanced down at my legs, which were encased in black fishnet. The scalloped tops looked fine and dainty against my pale thighs. The flickering shadows from the fire caressed their outline and even I had to admit, they looked damn good.
“You think so?” I asked nervously, trying not to dwell on the size of the bulge I’d just seen.
“Hell, yeah.” He stepped back over. “I must have accidently found a cure for cancer or secured world peace to get such a great present.”
A small, apprehensive giggle escaped my lips. “You like the stockings then?”
“I’ve never liked stockings more than at this moment in time,” he whispered onto my mouth. “Promise me you’ll keep them on, even when you take everything else off. I want to feel them rubbing against my skin when you’re wrapped around me.”
I shivered in a breath at the wonderfully erotic image he’d just created. “I promise.”
He glanced down at my jutting breasts. “You’re beautiful, you know that.” He traced his finger over the soft curve at the top of my right breast and into my newly deepened cleavage.
A dart of pleasure shot to my nipples, as though the weight of my breasts had doubled under his touch. They were suddenly tingly and tight.
“You do know that, don’t you?” he said again as he traced over my left breast. “Of course you do, I’m sure you’ve been told by plenty of guys.”
“Er, no,” I said, pressing my palm over his shirt and feeling his hard pectoral muscle shifting slightly beneath.
“No, you don’t know it or no, you haven’t been told?”
His gaze captured mine and he tipped his head to the side. “Are you okay?” He stilled his finger.
“Yes, it’s just...” I slid my hand up to his shoulder and held on for support. I had to tell him. I didn’t think I could go through with “wrapping myself around him” if he thought I was experienced and confident. I’d be sure to disappoint or let him down somehow. He deserved to know. Besides, Saffron had told Tobias, so had Felicity in Lord Morton’s Maid and Skye had left a note for Ralph in Optimum Pleasure. All my heroines told their men it was their first time. It was the right thing to do.
“What is it?” Shane asked again, his eyes searching mine.
“I-I haven’t, you know, done it before.”
“Done what?” He creased his forehead into a frown.
“You know, it, had sex.” I stared down at my dark, stockinged feet. They contrasted sharply with the golden carpet. “I’m a virgin.”
His whole body snapped backward. It was as if he’d been electrocuted. “Jesus,” he said, shoving his fingers through the hair on the crown of his head and stretching his elbows out to the side. “What the hell?” He stared at me with wide eyes.
I crossed my hands over my chest. “I’m sorry.” A shard of fear sliced into my heart. He didn’t want me anymore. Now he knew I was a virgin he no longer desired me. He’d wanted an experienced lover for the night, not some naïve little girl.
“And you let it get this far before you told me?”
“What do you mean? We haven’t done anything other than kiss.”
He huffed. “Yeah, one hot kiss with you looking like the best damn Christmas present of my life.” He shoved his hands down his waistband and appeared to re- arrange the bulge behind his fly.
“I’m sorry. Partly for letting it get so far and...” I paused. “And partly because you look to be in physical discomfort.”
“There’s no need to be sorry,” he said, glancing at the door and pulling his hand from his pants.
“Well, clearly there is.” I was getting frustrated now. “If I wasn’t a virgin we’d be heading into the bedroom by now. Clearly my inexperience has put you off.”
“I had that in mind actually,” he said, pointing at the deeply cushioned sofa next to us. “It’s wide and soft and by the fire. It would have done just fine.”
I tightened my arms around myself. He’d wanted to make love to me on the sofa. Just the thought of it sent a tremble up my spine. It would have been so perfect. So sensual and sweet.
He rubbed his hand around the nape of his neck. His dark, tousled hair fell over his ears and he cast his eyes downward.
“I had to tell you,” I whispered, shivering despite the blasting heat of the fire.
“Thank goodness you did. Imagine if I’d just gone for it, not knowing. It would have been catastrophic.”
“What do you mean?”
“I haven’t been with a woman for a while,” he said, frowning. “And you in those damn stockings and with your sexy little body.” He pulled in a deep breath. “I was just about to lose control. It wouldn’t have been the gentle initiation to sex that you deserve, Ashley, it would have left you dazed and confused and wondering what kind of beast you’d invited to your room.”
He didn’t look like a beast, and he certainly hadn’t touched me like one. His fingertip on my flesh had been gentle and reverent. Although now he mentioned it, when he’d looked at my stockings there’d been a glint in his eye that had made me wonder how much control he had.
“Does it change things between us so much?” I asked quietly.
He sighed. “Of course it does.”
“But why?”
“Because your first time should be special, with someone you care deeply”
“I care about you.”
“But we’ve only just met.”
“But I still care about you more than any other guy I’ve ever met.” I swept my hands down the exposed skin on my body. “No one else has seen me like this before.”
His brows twitched as his gaze roamed my underwear. “Lucky me.”
I frowned. “Shane, I want to do this, with you. Tonight.”
“But surely you want more than...” He shrugged and clamped his lips into a tight line.
“Than what? Go on, say it. We’re both adults. We both know what we’re doing.”
“Okay, surely you want more than a one-night stand to give away your virginity to?”
My jaw clenched. Of course I knew that’s what this was. But having it said aloud hurt. Quickly I shoved that stupid bit of hurt way down deep. I had a more pressing matter to concentrate on and I wasn’t about to let this opportunity slip through my fingers. “I’m twenty-three, Shane, I’m still a virgin and I don’t want to be.” I pulled in a deep, determined breath. “I’ve chosen you over a bunch of losers who’ve chatted me up and asked me out over the years. It’s taken me a long time to find someone I want to have sex with. One-night stand or not, I want you to make sure I’m not a virgin when I wake up in the morning.” I put my hands on my hips and narrowed my eyes. “Do you think you’re man enough to do that?”
“Oh, I’m man enough all right. I’m also man enough to walk away and stop you making a mistake you’ll never be able to undo.”
“But how can it be a mistake if it’s what I want?”
“Because you don’t know what you want. Why can’t you see that?”
“How dare you.” I stepped up to him, poked out my index finger and pressed it against his chest. “You have no idea what I want or need.”
He looked surprised by my sudden rise in voice and stern tone.
“I’m a virgin not an idiot. I know about love and lust and I know there’s a difference. I also know I want to be initiated into the world of sex by someone handsome, intelligent, experienced and...and...”
“Expert?” He lifted his brows.
I tutted and lowered my finger. “Yes, that will do quite nicely, expert. I want someone who isn’t going to fumble and falter. I want someone who knows which buttons to press.”
“Buttons?” He gave a hesitant smile and a lock of hair fell over his right eye.
“This is not funny, you know.”
“Oh, believe me, there’s nothing funny about the ache in my pants I can’t do anything about.” He pushed his hair from his face.
“Of course you can.” I lowered my voice, gentled my tone. “I’ve been reading up and I know what you need too, I know what you’d like, Shane. It doesn’t have to be boring because it’s my first time.”
He twitched his thick eyebrows. “What have you been reading?”
I shrugged. “Stuff.”
“Stories about sex, men and women, things they do other than just the missionary position.”
A flicker of interest crossed his face. “Like what?”
“Things like oral sex,” I said quietly. “A woman taking a man into her mouth, sucking and licking until he comes down her throat.” I paused, sensing his heightened attention. “I want to try that.”
“Anything else you been reading about?” he asked, shifting from one foot to the other.
“Yes, tying up a lover and doing whatever you want to their body, making them squirm with pleasure and cry out for more.” I could hardly believe I was saying all this stuff.
“You want me to tie you up?” His eyes widened.
“Not my first time.” I silently congratulated myself on not blushing.
“Your second?”
“Maybe, perhaps I’ll wait ’til third though.” I reached for the first, fastened white button on his shirt.
Opportunity. Grab it like a terrier.
“There’s something else I want to try before that,” I whispered.
“And what’s that?” he asked, watching me undo the button. His voice had calmed, his body was still. He was no longer stealing glances at the door.
“I want to try it from behind.”
“What, in your—?” His eyes snapped up to mine.
“No, no, just from behind so I can find my G-spot.”
“Jesus, you have been reading up.”
I undid the next button and the next and reached for the cuffs. “Yes, I like to do my research.” I tugged his now-undone shirt from the waistband of his smart black pants. “If I’m going to do something, I like to do it properly.”
“Me too,” he said in a quiet, calm voice. 
Shoving the shirt over his shoulders, I stepped in real close and let my breasts press into the tightly coiled hair sprinkled over his chest. “Which is what makes you so perfect for my needs,” I said, sliding the shirt down his arms and letting it fall on the floor.
“Damn, you’ve nearly got me persuaded,” he said, lowering his head. His lips rested against my temple and I heard him swallow tightly.
I pulled back and looked up at his dark eyes, they were thick and velvety. I parted my lips and held them a whisper from his. “Will this persuade you?” I cupped my palm against the taut material of his pants and gave his cock a firm, confident squeeze.

I hope you enjoyed that steamy scene, it gets hotter!If you want to read the whole of Shane and Ashley's story you can grab a copy of Cold Nights, Hot Bodies here - 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Ellora's Cave

All Romance eBooks


Barnes and Noble

Reviews for Cold Nights, Hot Bodies

Guilty Pleasure Book Reviews

This was a great book that really showed two characters that had amazing chemistry and how the author was able to tweak them in just a way as to make the story different from all the others on the market today. The story of Shane and Ashley was great, not only in that it was very believable but that the story flowed so well that it didn’t even feel like reading to me. When the final page came I was sad to see it end, but also anxious to see what other works Lily Harlem had up her sleeve. If you are looking for a cute read with lots of great sex and a HEA than this is the book for you! 

Miz Love Loves Books

What a great concept! Well-written and highly entertaining, Cold Nights, Hot Bodies is a fantastic read for an evening on the sofa—or in bed! Who knows, you might find yourself getting inspiration for your own sex life!


I have read a good number of Lily Harlem books, but this might be my favorite. Sure, the cover is worth the price of admission alone (although I suppose there's nothing preventing you from staring at him on Amazon all day long). But I digress. Lily Harlem's characters are always fun and the sex is always white-hot, but I would say she amped things up in this one. I could totally identify with Ashley's reluctance to come out of her shell and how much she was rewarded when she finally did. Shane is super sexy, but has a heart of gold. I liked him from his first appearance on the page. The story pulled me in and didn't let go as it became apparent that their connection was not only instantaneous and physical, but deeper and quite emotional. Both characters risk their heart and I loved them for it. The ending is wholly satisfying. You won't be disappointed!

Thanks for visiting my blog today, have a wonderful Christmas and good luck with grabbing some great prizes.

Lily x

A big thank you to Terri Giuliano Long for sponsoring Meet The Family Blog Hop.


  1. Love Actually is our go-to, must-see Christmas Eve movie as well. Love the Hugh Grant dance. I hope you have a lovely holiday and hop.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sherry :-)

      The Hugh Grant dance is brilliant, I also love it when he offers to enlist the SAS to take out his love interests ex!! LOL

      L xx

  2. I still haven't seen LOVE ACTUALLY...must rectify that!


    1. Oh, you should! And now is the perfect time of year to enjoy :-)

      L x

  3. Your story is as spicy as your mulled wine must be! Very nice!

  4. Thank you so much for taking part in the hop, Lily, and for sharing your excerpt. I love the house picture you posted as well - stunning!

    My best,