Just out, Sexy as Hell, a new BDSM trilogy to light your fire! I say light your fire because although for us in the UK at the moment we're sweltering under a heatwave, Sexy as Hell is actually set in a wintery London to begin with, it then moves on to Tuscany in the New Year and then Venice.
I've co-written these novels with Natalie Dae and we've published under the name Harlem Dae. When we first started on book #1 The Virgin, it was a few weeks before Christmas so I guess that is why the book took this wintery slant. We were full of thoughts of sleet hitting the windows and a chill wind stinging our cheeks, also the first pretty lights of Christmas twinkling in the evenings.
Tuscany came next in book #2 The Player and since we were starting to long for some sunshine we used this picture as inspiration for the location our characters Victor and Zara visited.
We loved the isolation and the grandeur of this villa, it offered loads of potential for all the naughty kinky things our characters could get up to! And let's just say, they certainly make the most of it.
Finally we headed to Venice for #3 The Vixen. I've been there once, loved it, and my visit was also out of season, which meant it wasn't too busy, nor too hot (or smelly from what I've been told) and Mr H and I had a wonderful time strolling down all the narrow alleys, sampling the local dishes and mooching in and out of small boutique shops.
In Sexy as Hell Venice proves to be a very healing place, here's a short extract, Victor and Zara are just heading back from a masked BDSM ball -
The driver held out his hand. I didn’t take it; instead, I let Victor support my elbow and together we stepped onto the slightly unstable deck and sat on the soft leather seat that spanned the stern. Victor slipped off his jacket and laid it around my shoulders. I didn’t bother to protest, letting his body heat infuse into me and his faded aftershave fill my nose. He pulled me close and gave a quick instruction in Italian to the driver.
The boat hummed to life, a front light flicked on, and we pulled away from the mooring into the still water on a purring glide. Venice was eerie this time of the night. The grandeur and gaiety of the day had been switched to a ghostly, almost surreal scene, one you couldn’t run from because of the canals and warren of alleys, all of which led to more cold, murky water.
A bluish mist hovered all around, and we seemed to sit within it, as though we had become part of the vapour. Our headlight sliced a path ahead but it was a smoky illumination, unhelpful, and if anything it added to the spooky thoughts I was having about lurking spirits below the surface with reaching, stretching hands searching for something to grip.
I shuddered. Victor noticed and held me tighter, his fingertips squeezing into my upper arm and his thigh pressing into mine.
Stately buildings loomed over us, tall and dark, their eyes shut for the night. What was going on behind those shuttered windows? Pain and pleasure-play? Were memories being purged all over Venice? Was it a city of rebirth?
As we passed a church, angels, standing like weeping widows, bent their heads over praying hands and stared into the blackness beneath them. I could make out their stone toes, peeping from their heavy, sculpted gowns. I wriggled my own toes, cold now, and wondered if those angels had ever had anyone pass them by who was as fucked up as me. Sure, they’d been there hundreds of years, but still, I really was a seriously messed-up case.
“You’re quiet,” Victor said, a huff of air billowing from his mouth and adding to the damp mist surrounding us.
“Just taking it in.”
“Do you like Venice at night?” he asked.
“I agree. Without human noise, just the slosh of the water on the foundations of the houses, it really does feel deathly still.” He kissed my temple, my cheek and then my ear. “I’ll be glad when we’re warm and cosy in bed.”
Thanks for reading and do spread the word about Sexy as Hell, plus why not head over to our website and read the Sexy as Hell Magazine and learn about the secondary character spin-off stories coming soon!