Something a little different this week, I invited Totally Bound (yes our publisher has a new brand name) author Ashe Barker to take over my blog and tell us about her BDSM series The Dark Side. Let me tell you the excerpts are hot! Take it away Ashe…
Today I’m visiting Donna Gallagher’s blog, and it’s fantastic to be here. Thank you, Donna, for agreeing to host me today and let me share some of my random thoughts about The Dark Side. It’s especially timely, as the third book in the trilogy, Darkest, is on general release from Friday 18th October, and the first book, Darkening, emerged in print just a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve been pondering perspective recently. With the exception of the prologue at the start of Darkening, all three books are written from Eva Byrne’s point of view, in the first person, present tense. I wasn’t sure about that choice at first. I wondered if it might seem contrived. Would it be difficult to write convincingly? But from the first couple of scenes it seemed natural and right to tell the story this way, and the action just rolled onto the keyboard. It became effortless, the whole time I was writing I was seeing the unfolding events as Eva did. Which was a lot of fun.
The present tense makes the story more direct. It’s more immediate, and it felt to me that this was a way of engaging in Eva’s world. We can share her story, here and now, rather than hear about her experiences afterwards.
I hope readers feel that too.
This choice to write wholly in the first person has its limitations, the main one being that the story can only reflect what Eva sees, hears, feels and does, and all other points of view need to be filtered through her. But The Dark Side is essentially Eva’s story, as she meets and responds to all the other characters who cross her path.
Not least among these is Nathan, the powerful, dominant alpha-male who completely enthrals her. The story describes Eva’s reactions to Nathan’s increasingly sensuous demands, her fears, her anxieties, and her confusion, but also the overwhelming attraction she feels, her curiosity about his dark lifestyle, and her desperation to be accepted into his world. Told through her words, we can understand her reasons for making sometimes odd and dangerous choices, and for taking terrifying risks. And we’re there with her, ultimately, as she contemplates the greatest risk of all.
The Dark Side trilogy, charts the sensual journey of academic musician Eva Byrne as she struggles to overcome painful shyness, sexual inhibition, and personal tragedy. Lonely, unsophisticated, fragile, and desperately seeking love and approval, Eva is easy prey for sensual and experienced Nathan Darke.
He wants her submission, and he knows how to go about getting it. Eva is quickly caught up by the whirlwind of his effortless seduction, though she has her own reasons for agreeing to join him in his world of pain and pleasure, on The Dark Side.
Inexplicably fascinated and at the same time totally frustrated by his new submissive, Nathan is increasingly drawn to her as she opens up in his hands and he realises there is much, much more to his latest playmate than he ever could have imagined.
The Dark Side charts the turbulent relationship between Eva and Nathan as their mutual fascination builds. They both discover what surrender truly means as together they explore the fragile bonds of desire, trust, risk and reward, and the destructive power of betrayal.
Although The Dark Side is all told from Eva’s POV, I do have a free book, The Dark Art of Persuasion, available for download which takes a key scene from Darkening and re-tells it from Nathan’s POV. I found that fascinating to write, and here are TWO excerpts, the same event but described first through Eva’s eyes in Darkening, then through Nathan’s in The Dark Art of Persuasion, which can be downloaded from the Totally Bound website.
Me, the girl who can’t bear to be touched. Somehow—God only knows how it happened—I have just spent the last ten minutes spread out half naked on Nathan Darke’s kitchen table, his hands and mouth all over me until I totally lost control, and he watched me thrashing about in the throes of my very first orgasm, right in front of him. Christ! How wonderful, how intimate. How unlike me. And he’s achieved all this without so much as a button of his coming undone.
Raising his head to look into my eyes, which I’m sure must be still glazed from the enormity of what has just happened to me, he smiles tenderly, if that’s possible. He drops a light kiss on my lips, then stands and, still holding my gaze, he lifts the hem of my miniskirt to slide his left hand underneath, bracing his right hand flat on the table beside my head as he leans over me, his face inches from mine. He might be intending to kiss me again. Please.
Instead, after tugging down my opaque tights and briefs, he slides his fingers between my dripping folds to touch me, gently parting my lips and running his fingertips around the entrance to my vagina. It never occurs to me to protest. I think I might melt.
“Ah, honey, you are so wet, so ready for me,” he whispers, his eyes never leaving mine as he slips first one finger, then two inside me. I gasp and tilt my hips forward, parting my thighs instinctively to let him in. I can’t believe I’m doing this, that I’m letting him touch me like this.
“I want to fuck you. You know that, don’t you?” I can’t think of any sensible response to that apart from spreading my legs farther, but he apparently, incredibly, wants to talk! “Don’t you?” he repeats, sliding his fingers inside me to stretch and stroke the walls of my vagina. “Answer me, Miss Byrne.”
“Yes,” I manage to whisper, closing my eyes to savour the intense pleasure he is rekindling, the delicious helplessness as my body responds again, more powerfully still, to this even more intense stimulation.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you, Miss Byrne.” His voice is still quiet, but an edge of firmness has crept in too. He slides his wonderful, clever fingers out of my vagina, right out until only the tips are still there, gently circling my entrance, so lightly that I can hardly feel him anymore, before he plunges them back inside me, hard and fast. “Do I have your attention, Miss Byrne?” he asks softly as I jerk under him.
“Yes,” I whisper again, opening my eyes obediently. “What are you doing?”
“Am I hurting you?” His tone is low, gentle, the words whispered into my ear.
“No. No, that feels fabulous…”
“Mmmm, I think so too, Miss Byrne. You’re so hot and wet and tight, and I want to put my cock inside you, here…” A further deep and fast thrust with his fingers, to make sure I get his point. I do. I definitely do. “Deep and hard and fast, until you scream. I like it that you scream when I make you come. I want to fuck you until you can’t stand. With your permission, of course. Is that okay with you, Miss Byrne?”
God, yes, absolutely…
“Miss Byrne?” His insistent voice penetrates my pre-orgasmic haze. “I don’t think you’re listening to me. I said I want to fuck you, but only if you agree. Will you agree, Miss Byrne?”
“Ah, that’s good then. I’m going to fuck you hard and fast and deep, and then again, long and slow and easy. I want you under me, on top of me. I want to fuck you up against the wall, and I want to fuck you from behind, bent over a table like this one. I want you in lots of ways, Miss Byrne. There are so many things I want to do to you, and you’re going to love it. Well, most of it. I’m going to enjoy fucking you in every which way I want, Miss Byrne. Will that be all right with you?”
“Yes…” Almost oblivious to the crude words and wicked promises he is making, and between his fingers stroking me inside and outside, as he has now started to rub my clitoris with his thumb—oh, God, could this feel any better?—I am well beyond coherent thought. Certainly he’ll get no argument out of me.
“But not this table, not now…” Table? Oh, yes, I forgot. I’m stretched out topless on his kitchen table, my legs wide open as he finger-fucks me. I can’t think of anything now except his fingers and the sweet, wonderful things he is doing to me with them—to my vagina, my clitoris. I am going to come again, very soon.
“I want to take my time with you, all the time we need. So not here, not now, not with Mrs Richardson and Rosie hovering outside.” Who? What? “Come with me to Leeds. Come to the dinner, be wined and dined and spend the night with me. Say yes, Miss Byrne.”
“Yes, yes. I’ll come. Please, I need…”
“I know you’re going to come, very soon. Very hard. And you’ll scream for me again. Won’t you, sweetheart?” He’s moving his fingers faster, sliding them in and out, angled to hit my most sensitive inner spot, circling and stroking my clitoris with his thumb. Despite his instructions, my eyes drift closed as I tune out everything except the feel of his fingers inside me.
“Say you’ll come to Leeds with me. Say that too, sweetheart.”
“I’ll come to Leeds. I’ll come.” Mindless with desire now and reaching desperately for release, I can only plead with him, beg him to help me. “Please, I need…”
“I know what you need.” He bends to kiss my lips again, plunging his tongue into my mouth, in and out, mimicking what he is doing with his fingers between my other lips. That does it. I’m lost.
At last Eva’s desperate shudders subside, and he hears her barely audible moan of quiet satisfaction as he lowers her back onto the table. He glances up, and is gratified if slightly surprised to catch her expression of pure astonishment, as though she can’t quite believe what just happened. And is still happening. He’s nowhere near finished with her yet. He’s thoroughly enjoyed witnessing her unravel before his eyes, but he still needs her agreement that she’ll be coming with him to Leeds. There’s much more at stake here than a quick and sexy romp on his kitchen table, no matter how delightful that may be for them both.
Her expression is still slightly dazed, and he waits a few more moments for her senses to fully return. He doesn’t want her looking back on this and feeling in any way rushed. Or worse still, coerced. He wants her willing surrender, her genuine agreement to submit for him. Under him. Nothing less will do.
As her eyes focus, he smiles at her before dropping a light kiss on her lips. He straightens, and his eyes never leaving hers, he lifts the hem of her short miniskirt. He leans over her again, this time sliding his left hand under the hem of her skirt as he gazes down at her. He watches her eyes widen as he tugs down the front of her opaque tights and briefs, and wordlessly slips his hand between her legs. He slides his fingers between her moist folds, noting with intense satisfaction how very, very wet she is. He’s tempted to comment on what a good time she appears to be having but instead settles for simply parting the lips of her pussy and tracing the entrance with his fingertips. Her thighs widen as he leans in further, her mouth parting in what he decides to take as welcome.
“Ah, honey, you are so wet, so ready for me.” His words are whispered as he holds her gaze, and slips first one long finger then a second inside her. She’s tight, very tight, but hot and slick and so responsive, so very receptive. He’s rewarded by a faint gasp as she lifts her hips for him, silently begging for more. His instinct is to give her what she wants, to stroke and caress and bring her back to bubbling, explosive orgasm, but he has a mission to fulfil first. He needs her promise, and he will have it.
“I want to fuck you. You know that, don’t you?” His tone is firm, matter of fact, deliberately calm as he slides his fingers in and out of her tight pussy. He can feel her inner muscles clenching around his hand, and can sense her nervousness as this new and even more intense turn of events. He’s relentless though, pressing her for an answer as her eyelids drift closed. “Don’t you?” His tone hardens, and his fingers work inside her to stretch and caress her pussy. He wants her attention, her undivided attention. And he wants her response. “Answer me, Miss Byrne.”
Her eyes flicker open, and he hears her throaty “Yes” before her lids drift down again. So far so good, but he needs to force the issue now, demand her obedience.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you, Miss Byrne.” He deliberately hardens his tone, never raising his voice because he has no need to, but wrapping his words in that thread of Dom steel he’s managed to cultivate over the years, his clipped, unyielding tone which indicates to any sub on the receiving end that he’s deadly serious and she needs to obey. Now. The effect is not lost on Eva, especially when he slides his fingers out of her, right to the very tips, and hovers there. He uses his fingertips to once more trace the entrance to her pussy, parting the lips, circling the entrance before plunging them deep again.
He deliberately keeps his voice soft as he leans in to speak to her again. “Do I have your attention, Miss Byrne?”
Eva opens her eyes, gazing at him, her expression a truly delightful mix of uncertainty, confusion, a hint of fear, and a hefty dose of pure lust. Ah, Jesus, she’s superb. Absolutely fucking breathtaking.
Her body jerks as he plunges his fingers deep into her again and her eyes are now locked on his. “Yes,“ she whispers, in answer to his question, then, “What are you doing?”
He can’t help thinking it must be pretty bloody obvious what he’s doing, but refrains from pointing that out. Instead he opts to check she’s okay. He doesn’t think he’s being rough with her, but still.
“Am I hurting you?” he keeps his tone low, even, leaning close to her ear to whisper the words. Her artless response causes his cock to leap.
“No. No, that feels fabulous.”
He groans inwardly. Soon, baby, very, very soon…
No point beating about the bush now, so to speak. He continues to finger fuck her as he presses home his advantage. “Mmmm, I think so too, Miss Byrne. You’re so hot and wet and tight, and I want to put my cock inside you, here…” Another deep thrust with his fingers, fast and sharp. He angles and curls his fingers inside her, instinctively watching, measuring her responses to find the one sweet spot where her nerve endings coalesce and the sensitivity is highest. He finds it, rubs, and her pussy is clenching hard now, her breath catching as her body once more arches under him. And he knows she’s ready to come again. This time though, there will be a price.
“Deep and hard and fast, until you scream. I like it that you scream when I make you come. I want to fuck you until you can’t stand. With your permission, of course. Is that okay with you, Miss Byrne?”
She doesn’t answer, just continues to moan and squeeze her pussy around his fingers, seemingly beyond coherent thought. He’s unrelenting though. She’ll have her orgasm, and more besides, but first, he’ll have his answer.
“Miss Byrne? I don’t think you’re listening to me. I said I want to fuck you, but only if you agree. Will you agree, Miss Byrne?”
He waits, watches her expression closely, smiling to himself at her slight frown of puzzlement as she tries to make sense of what he wants. He’ll give her time, repeat the question as much as she needs, but he won’t let up the pressure. He will have his answer. And then, only then, will he let her come.
“Yes.” Her response is a whisper, but clear. He can do no less than be equally clear with her.
“Ah, that’s good then. I’m going to fuck you hard and fast and deep, and then again, long and slow and easy. I want you under me, on top of me. I want to fuck you up against the wall, and I want to fuck you from behind, bent over a table like this one. I want you in lots of ways, Miss Byrne. There are so many things I want to do to you, and you’re going to love it. Well, most of it. I’m going to enjoy fucking you in every which way I want, Miss Byrne. Will that be alright with you?”
He angles his hand in order to be able to lightly rub her clit with the pad of his thumb, and hears her faint “Yes” once more. He goes in for the final onslaught.
“But not on this table, not now. I want to take my time with you, all the time we need. So not here, not now, not with Mrs Richardson and Rosie hovering outside. Come with me to Leeds. Come to the dinner, be wined and dined and spend the night with me. Say yes, Miss Byrne.”
A moment more of confused frowning, then a groan of pleasure as he strokes her pussy again. That’s enough, the tipping point again.
“Yes, yes, I’ll come. Please, I need…”
His fingers are sliding in and out of her pussy slowly, a third one now inside her, stretching, stroking, the rhythm regular but not yet hard enough to provide all the friction she needs. She’s close though, very close. She’s thrusting her hips up at him, squeezing her inner muscles against his fingers, seeking to intensify the sensations. He slows the strokes, deliberately denying what she needs, but almost there…
“I know you’re going to come, very soon. Very hard. And you’ll scream for me again. Won’t you, sweetheart?” Another deep thrust, another flick of his thumb over her throbbing clit.
“Say you’ll come to Leeds with me. Say that too, sweetheart.”
She’s almost sobbing now. “I’ll come to Leeds. I’ll come. Please, I need…”
Satisfied he has his answer, he leans over her again. “I know what you need.” And he lowers his head to take her lips again in a long, sensual kiss. He plunges his tongue into her mouth, thrusting it in and out to the same rhythm he’s now picking up deep within her pussy, hard and fast and firm. And she shatters.
Until 2010 Ashe was a director of a regeneration company in Leeds, in the UK, before becoming convinced there must be more to life. She left to work as an independent consultant, and still does some of that though most of her time is now spent writing, as at last she’s been able to realise her dream of writing erotic romance herself. Ashe has been an avid reader of women’s fiction for many years, and still loves reading historical and contemporary romances – the hotter the better. But now she has a good excuse for her guilty pleasure – research.
Ashe usually draws on settings and anecdotes from her own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to her plots and characters, but her stories of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of her own lurid and decidedly smutty imagination.
When not writing – which is not very often – her time is divided between her role as resident taxi driver for her teenage daughter and friends, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, rabbits, tortoises. And a cockatiel. Ashe is a rural parish councillor, and she’s passionate about evolving rural traditions and values to suit twenty first century lifestyles.
Ashe has just completed her third trilogy in the Black Combe ‘family’ as well as a novella and a short story. All are due for release over the next few months.
Ashe’s books are available from most distributors