Today please welcome, Helen Karol with her new release, His By Design.
Hi Helen. I'm so happy to have you here today. What's the scoop on this hot new romance?
Thanks for having me over today! I’m so excited about my new release, HIS By Design available for sale today. This is a great read. It’s a friends to lover’s romance and I just love the banter this creates between the lovers. Julian and Claire have been friends for seven years and Julian has been secretly in love with Claire for three of those years. He was able to maintain a pretense because she was away carving out her career niche in New York. When she returns to Los Angeles, he blows his cover and reveals his feelings on her very first night home. Claire welcomes his feelings and they embark on a romance that includes domestic discipline. My extract below joins them near the beginning of the book. Claire is interviewing Julian for her magazine in his profession as a Hollywood haute couture dress designer. She’s afraid she’ll lose her objectivity and not remain professional so she overcompensates by adopting a chilly demeanor. Julian is having none of it and soon takes her in hand.
Sounds wonderful. I'm thrilled you're sharing this with us. Let's have the extract.
Just as she had for her previous lapse, she compensated by becoming more impersonal and efficient. She thought she was succeeding quite well. Julian had seemed to accept her setting of the mood, because he maintained a distance between them and kept his answers as short and as professional as her questions. However, later, as they were observing the model some distance in front of them who was displaying one of Julian's prototypes, he broke off his explanations of how this was the final test of his garment when Claire favored him with a particularly cool look.
Moving around to stand behind her, he switched off her recorder and at the same time kissed her ear, employing his tongue in a particularly erotic manner that turned Claire quite red. She heard his low chuckle, the sound of it disturbing her composure even more.
When he spoke, satisfaction was evident in his voice. "Now that's much better. Come on, Claire, we're hardly strangers, so why act like it?"
Recovering her composure, she fixed him with what she hoped was a frosty glare, and said. "I'm aware of that, but I'm here in a professional capacity, kindly remember that."
The irritation in his eyes was very slight, mixed as it was with amusement. "I know you are, but you're overdoing it and it's quite dangerous."
She attempted to straighten further, but found it impossible. She was already ramrod stiff. She had to be content with increasing the frostiness of her gaze and tone.
"Yes, dangerous. I'm tempted to take steps to shatter your image completely."
He walked away from her, not giving her the chance to reply. An action for which Claire was quite grateful, considering she was speechless. Julian picked up where he’d left off in his explanations as if the incident had never taken place. Claire followed his cue, switching her recorder back on, but she ignored his warning, carrying her act so far that in the next few minutes she called him Mr. West.
She felt like biting her tongue as soon as it was out, Julian's look telling her she’d gone too far. She swallowed as he immediately dismissed the model, escorting the young woman to the studio door. Allowing her to make her own way across the hall to the storage and dressing room on the other side, he closed and quite deliberately locked the door after her.
To her dismay, Claire found it impossible to stand her ground as he advanced, purposely, towards her. He made no move to stop her as she backed away from him, but he moved steadily closer until they were only inches apart, Claire's retreat cut off by the drafting table pressed against her back. His hand reached up and she couldn't stop the exclamation that passed from her lips. "Julian, you can't!"
Instead of touching her, he reached behind her and flicked off the fluorescent light. His voice held the impersonal tone she’d struggled to maintain throughout the past few hours. "Oh, so its Julian now? He mocked with a quirk to his lips. “Can't what?” He continued conversationally.
Claire swallowed. Her gaze followed his hand as he lifted a flexible plastic ruler from the table.
Bending it, he looked squarely at her. “Well, Claire? Can’t what? Just what do you think I have in mind? Hmm?”
She winced when he began slapping the ruler rhythmically against his palm. It was pretty obvious what he had in mind. Trying unsuccessfully to avoid his fixed stare, she shrugged and lied shamelessly. “I don’t know.”
He shook his head. “Fibbing too? As well as trying to freeze me out?” He leaned in slightly and spoke in her ear. “You’ve been a very naughty girl, Ms. Fitzpatrick.” He straightened and gave his palm one final smack with the ruler. “Turn around.”
Claire stared at him open mouthed and challenged him with a shocked whisper. “Seriously! Julian, get real! You can’t. Not here.” She turned and looked furtively at the door to the reception office. “Delia will hear.”
“Nice try. Delia might hear if I used my hand.” He waved the ruler a little. “Hence this. It’s quite quiet, I assure you. Stingy but quiet. Just as long as you’re stoic and don’t squeal, no one will be any the wiser. Now do as you’re told and turn around.”
Claire glared at him and flounced before obeying him. “Fine!”
The quirk in his lips and amusement in his tone told her this was not going to be anything like the horrid punishment spanking he’d given her for leaving her keys in the apartment door. They were firmly back in the fun and erotic zone now. More erotic than fun if his tone and the slickness of her thighs were likely indicators.
“Pull down your panties and lift up your skirt, good and high.”
So much for staying professional. Claire emitted a strangled protest. “Julian!”
“Now, Claire.” His voice was stern, but its husky tone betrayed his desire.
Muttering to herself that she was only doing this to put an end to his nonsense, she reached under her skirt and lowered her panties to her upper thighs. Looking over her shoulder, she glared at him mutinously before lifting her skirt to high above her waist as he’d instructed.
“Wise choice sweetheart.” Then he snapped the ruler across the middle of her bottom three times in quick succession, each blow directly one on top of the other.
“Yikes.” She yelped and clutched her cheeks at the unexpected sting, annoyed at having reacted more than she wanted.
“Hands on the table. Bottom out.” Julian ordered to her deep humiliation.
She wanted to tell him to shove it, but knew that would only get her in deeper. Better just to take her licks and get this over with. Said licks landed swiftly. Three across her lower bottom and another three where buttocks joined thigh.
“All done.” Julian compounded her humiliation by running his hand over her glowing backside and squeezing her smarting cheeks before giving her permission to set her clothing to rights. Pulling up her panties and lowering her skirt with as much dignity as she could muster under the circumstances, she tried to ignore the insistent sexual pulse his calling her out on her cool behavior had aroused.
“I hate you. You’re a brute!” She threw at him as she turned to face him.
“That’s more like it,” he told her with a sexy smirk. “Good to see my sweet tempered woman back to normal.” His tone was sardonic as he moved to the side, extending his hand in a gesture that indicated she should precede him. "Shall we go to lunch, Ms. Fitzpatrick?"
Claire nodded curtly before walking quickly across the room to collect her purse. She tried not to flounce, fully conscious of him only a few steps behind her. She reached the door the model had left through, yanking at it, cursing herself for forgetting it was locked when it wouldn't budge. She heard Julian stifle a laugh behind her before she clicked the lock open and exited without as much as a backward glance.
The door passed only inches from his face before it slammed in front of him separating him from her. She was surprised when he didn't follow her out, hearing instead the click of the lock. When he didn't appear in the next few minutes, she began to wonder if she’d annoyed him in earnest. She hadn't even looked to see if he was close to the door or not. She supposed she could have hurt him.
Her guilt disappeared when he came out of the reception office. Silently fuming, she stabbed at the elevator button as he joined her. Lounging with one shoulder against the wall, he eyed her quietly while they waited for the elevator. Claire stabbed at it again when it didn't arrive at once, refusing to meet his gaze.
"You know your trouble, Claire, you can't take your own medicine." His voice was still amused holding no reproach.
She looked at him quickly. “What do you mean?"
"If you had come here today determined to flirt, you would have expected me to play along, but because I'm the one who initiated it, you're annoyed."
Claire refused to accept his assessment of the situation. "That's not why. It's because I'm here to work, not play. Besides, why should you bother to flirt with me when you're pretty, little secretary is so good at it?" The comment slipped out before Claire could stop it and she was grateful the elevator arrived at that moment, so she could step in to avoid his deep, knowing amusement.
He followed her in, leaning against one wall, pulling her towards him, telling her. "Honey, she's not even in your league when you put your mind to it," and then his lips came down on her own.
His comment and his slow, drugging kiss dispelled her annoyance and she participated equally in the embrace. The hand that didn’t hold her purse moved up to his shoulder and then to his hair, her fingers encurling the waves she’d wanted to touch in the studio. She was so immersed in the kiss, she didn't hear the doors open and she didn't part from him until she heard an embarrassed cough.
Blushing furiously, she walked between the two men who’d observed the kiss, Julian following. They were out on the street, the heat of the day hitting them, before she looked up to find him completely unperturbed. "You're not the least bit embarrassed, are you?"
"Why should I be? It was only a kiss.”
"You really don't mind being caught in a clinch like a couple of teenagers?"
He stopped and looked down at her face from which the flush was only now beginning to recede. "Foolishness is acceptable in others as well as the young. It's forgiven in three categories. Youth, fools...and lovers."
HIS By Design - Special Introductory Price of $2.99 for pre-order only! Will revert to $4.99 upon release.
The year a mutual friend introduces Hollywood haute couture designer Julian West to feature reporter Claire Fitzpatrick they are both grieving the loss of a loved one - Julian his film star wife and Claire her adoring father. Regardless, it is the start of an enduring friendship. A friendship where both comfortably forget the sizzling attraction that flared between them when they first met. Now, six years on, that attraction has re-emerged and Julian and Claire discover that the compatibility they share as best friends is echoed in their erotic preferences. When Julian spanks Claire on her first night back in L.A, she is surprised at how much his short, swift discipline arouses her. As there romance blossoms, it is not long before he takes her across his knee to deliver lengthier bare bottomed spankings both erotic and disciplinary.
However, after years of schooling the passionate nature that brought him such pain at the loss of his first wife, Julian is determined to make Claire his in a way designed not to lay himself open to the vulnerabilities of his first marriage. Likewise, Claire hopes to base this relationship on a firmer foundation than her past one. But neither of them is prepared for the deep love and hunger that grows between them. When Claire's ex-lover reappears on the scene and Claire suspects Julian has never stopped loving his late wife, their doubts and fears ignite passions that will either bind them irrevocably together or tear them apart. When they are finally faced with the release of overwhelming emotions Julian has spent years repressing, the couple must decide if they will go their separate ways or if theirs will be a love designed to last.
HIS By Design is an erotic romance with explicit sexual content. It has an independent woman, a hot alpha male Hollywood designer and a determined ex-lover. Expect hot sexy shenanigans, spanking, cuffing with leather restraints, domestic discipline, elements of BDSM including anal sex and punishment. All wrapped up in an exploration of grief, fear and the power of a love that has been brewing for years!
Thanks for stopping by, Helen. Folks, don't miss out on this great read by Helen Karol.