Shared was my first novel published at Ellora's Cave and released as an ebook in June 2010. Today this steamy menage hits the stands as a print book, which I just can't help but be excited about!!
Struggling artist Ariane Arlington flees the Welsh valleys after exposing her corrupt boss. But when the sun rises she finds herself jobless and homeless in Cardiff city with barely a penny to her name.
She responds to an advert in the local paper—Room to let, wanted, girl to share. What she doesn’t realize is that the two insanely gorgeous guys who live in the penthouse apartment really do want a girl to share, in every sense of the word. Fortunately for Ariane, rent is the last thing on their minds.
She discovers the men are bound together by a turbulent past. Liam, a computer whiz, keeps a painful secret hidden beneath his buff exterior, whilst Quinn, a pioneering neurosurgeon, wonders if he’ll ever meet a woman who can live with his controlling ways. They admit the one thing missing from their lives is a woman just like Ariane, who can handle them both in and out of the bedroom and who, together, they can keep satisfied, loved and most of all, safe.
I felt another surge of wetness as my internal muscles pumped around his wickedly expert hand, and then I was panting, desperate for air and looking up at his face silhouetted by the bright ceiling light.
He was staring at me, not smiling, just wide-eyed. “Stunning,” he said. “You’re so responsive, so delectably reactive I can hardly believe it.”
“It’s been quite a while,” I confessed, dragging in lungfuls of oxygen and becoming aware once more of my surroundings. The marble really was hard and very cold on my naked behind.
Suddenly another deep, male voice ricocheted around the kitchen and invaded our private moment. “Glad you two are getting on so well.”
I looked around Quinn’s shoulder at the kitchen doorway. Liam stood, arms folded, feet apart, as he surveyed us draped over the marble island he’d designed.
“Hey,” Quinn said, turning but making no move to take his fingers from inside me.
My heart leapt and I pushed frantically against him. Prickles of mortification swept through the very core of my being as I squirmed and finally rid myself of his invasion. I slid ungracefully from the island and tugged up my jeans. I heard a whimper of embarrassment escape my lips, squeezed shut my eyes and prepared to take flight.
“Hey,” Quinn said, reaching for me. “Ariane.”
“No.” I shrugged him off and sidestepped.
But it was no good. He was too strong and too quick. He scooped me against his chest and bent his head to my ear. “Ariane,” he said again, curling his arms around me in a vise-like grip. “It’s okay, really.”
“I have to go.” I twisted my neck away from where Liam stood. My heart was threatening to burst right out of my chest. He would think I was a tart, a whore, a slut. I’d been giving off serious signals of interest to him only hours ago and now he’d come out of his office to discover me sprawled wantonly over his breakfast counter being hand-fucked by his flatmate. “I can’t stay, not now, please, let me go. I have to go.”
I pushed against Quinn with all my strength and shoved backward, but something caught me. Not something, someone. Liam. Suddenly I was trapped between two rock-hard chests and surrounded by four determined arms.
“Don’t go,” Liam said into my ear. “I’m not mad at you.” He spoke with such softness that instantly my eyes filled with emotion. “I want you to stay.”
“We want you to stay,” Quinn added.
I felt a drip of shame spill over my lower lid.
“Why are you sad?” Quinn asked, tipping my chin. “I thought I just made you fly.”
“You did, but…” I dropped my head into the palms of my hands. “But I’m so embarrassed, you’ve been so kind, so helpful and you don’t even know me, somewhere to stay, clothes, food.” A juddering sob broke free. “And I’ve repaid you by behaving like a whore.”
Liam sucked in a breath behind me. “Don’t you ever say that about yourself again, Ariane.” He spun me to face him instead of Quinn. “I won’t stand for it and neither will Quinn.”
“Absolutely not,” Quinn confirmed. “What you just did made us both very happy and we won’t have you corrupting it.”
My mind was reeling. What on earth were they on about? I had just made them ”both” very happy with my terrible display of sluttiness? “I behave like a loose-moraled tart and that makes you happy?” I asked, stunned, taking my hands from my shame-stained cheeks.
“If you say that again, or anything like that,” Quinn said in a decidedly dangerous growl by my ear, “I will put you over my knee and spank that sexy little ass of yours, Ariane.”
My mouth dropped open in shock as my body trembled at the kinky suggestion.
Liam took full advantage of my open mouth and suddenly he was kissing me, gently and slowly but with a harnessed passion that had me opening for more in spite of my confusing predicament. He cranked up the heat, our teeth touched briefly and then he delved his tongue into my mouth and began devouring me like a starving man. He tasted different to Quinn’s dark, chocolate heat. He was lighter, fresher, like he’d not long since brushed his teeth. But he was equally delicious, equally sexy, equally hot.
Quinn brushed my hair to one side and began to rain kisses onto the supersensitive part of my neck, just below my ear. I groaned in appreciation and curled my fingers into Liam’s t-shirt to hang on. Two pairs of hands began to roam my body, dipping into my waist, smoothing over my butt and thighs, reaching for my breasts.
Quinn’s erection prodded at the small of my back at the same time Liam’s hit my stomach.
I snapped my mouth away. What was I doing? What the hell was going on? My sudden movement caught them both off guard and I was able to slip free.
“No,” I said, retreating at speed. “I don’t know what’s going on here but no…how can you both…?”
“Shh, it’s okay,” Liam said, taking a step toward me.
I backed away, throwing up my hands defensively. “No…” I said breathlessly. “I have to go.”
“But where?” Quinn said, shaking his head. “You can’t go back.”
“I don’t know,” I said, aware my voice sounded shaky.
A sudden manic beeping filled the kitchen. Loud and insistent it echoed like the shrill ring of a phone in an empty hall. “Shit,” Quinn muttered. “Worst timing ever.” He reached down to his pocket.
Liam raised his eyebrows at him. “Isn’t it always?”
“What, what’s that?” I asked as I pushed a damp strand of hair from my face.
“My pager,” Quinn said, narrowing his eyes at the small flashing screen. “I have to go.” He walked toward me. I backtracked and hit the kitchen wall. “Liam will deal with you,” he said through tight lips. “Anything he says goes for me too.” He looked across at Liam who’d folded his arms and tipped his head. “I feel the same way he does,” Quinn said.
“Don’t stop this,” Quinn interrupted. “Don’t stop this before it’s even begun, Ariane, please… I beg you.”
And then he was gone. His expensive leather shoes tapped over the wooden floor of the living room and then the front door slammed with a thud.
I wrung my hands together and rested my back against the wall. What had just happened? I’d kissed Liam with the same enthusiasm I had Quinn only moments before. How could I have generated so much passion inside my soul for one man and within seconds convert it to another? I’d always been faithful, I’d never cheated on Geraint, never even been tempted. Yet here I was getting mashed between two very aroused men and, I had to admit, enjoying it immensely. Thank goodness I’d come to my senses and stopped before anything else had happened.
“Ariane,” Liam said quietly, “you’re thinking about this way too much.”
I touched my fingertips to my lips, still tingling from where he’d just kissed me into oblivion. “What do you mean ‘this’?” I managed.
“Us, me and Quinn.” He paused. “And you.”
“I don’t understand.”
“What’s not to understand?” He stepped closer. “I like you, Quinn’s clearly into you, and from what I just saw and felt—you, Ariane, are into both of us.”
There, he’d said it, the disastrous truth. I was into both of them. How could I not be? Both were devastatingly gorgeous and both had an air of irresistible sex appeal. It was a different nature of sexiness—whilst Liam’s felt gentle, seductive, beautiful and to a certain extent nurturing, there was something about Quinn that felt fast and furious, perhaps even dangerous. There was an element of bad boy unpredictability about him. How could a girl choose?
There was only one option—I would have to leave and not have either of them.
“I have to go,” I said again. “Really, I’m sorry, I can’t stay.”
“No.” Liam frowned, creating a neat horizontal line between his brows. “Leave in the morning if you want, but not in the dark, and…” He had a distinctly sharper edge to his tone. “Leave because you don’t want us, not because you do.”
Reviews for Shared
"Ms. Harlem has written some truly fantastic characters... Shared is well-written and fast moving with a suspenseful back story that keeps you reading until the end."
This was a book I raced through and really enjoyed. It’s a stunning exploration of the joys of alternative lifestyles and should be on everyones read soon list!
Night Owl Romance
"From the first paragraph I knew I would enjoy reading Shared by Lily Harlem. Harlem's prose and phrasing is artfully wrought and shocker..."
The Romance Readers Connection
"SHARED, by Lily Harlem takes an interesting fresh turn in the land of erotica and ménages. I highly recommend SHARED."
Siren Book Reviews
"Please let me have a Quinn and Liam.
Ms. Harlem has a winner here in her characters. I was drawn into the story and felt the horror, the love and the heat between them all. Liam with his surprise in the middle made me cry and root for him, Quinn, the quintessential overworked Dr. made me angry enough to want to shake him, until the end. Ariane was fabulous.
I wanted to help her and be her friend. Shared is a book that you won’t want to miss from its passion and heat to its wonderful characters. I will read this one over and over."
The Romance Studio
Author Lily Harlem sets the stage for a romantic adventure that captures the spirit and heart of a grown up fairytale – filling the reader with the same joy and expectancy that will steal the reader's heart in a wondrous way. Shared is vibrantly refreshing and sizzling with sensuality and a depth of emotions that can't help but take the reader's breath away. The abundantly steamy sexual escapades in this enchanting tale keeps things popping along with a style that is sure to heat some fires.
Ms. Harlem seems to have the knack for depicting the events and her characters experiences in a way that captures the reader's imagination making them seem real. Ariane, Liam and Quinn are wonderfully portrayed that are engaging, appealing, complex and believable each complete with their own flaws that makes them readily come to life.
Ms. Harlem reaches into the heart of a relationship with this stunning tale.
You Gotta Read
Sultry love scenes that breathe off the page make 'Shared' a You Gotta Read for fans of the genre and those who may be looking to read something out of their comfort zone.
The Book Binge
This really is a lovely romantic tale and while the setting and some of the language is uniquely European, the themes and the points it makes are about the universal qualities which an open, caring, giving and receiving love can bring into all our relationships.
Miz Love Loves Books
As well as being an entertaining story, Shared has the potential to make you sit and think. I suspect this is a trait of Ms. Harlem’s. She doesn’t just write a book. She writes What Ifs that prod the mind long after the book has ended.
Sizzling Hot Book Reviews
Shared is a nicely rounded out story, not just an erotica, but a full romance. Liam and Quinn have an established history but Ariane is needed and needs them for everyone to be complete. The dynamics play out well and Shared ends up being a people story in the end. This proves that Lily Harlem can take a fantasy concept and give it enough reality for us to get into the story and enjoy the ride! I have the say that I loved the ending as well.
If you enjoy Shared, check out the sequel, Shared Too!
Have a great day :-)