Always Cambridge

Always Cambridge
Follow the saga from the beginning... Always Cambridge

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Meet the Villains - Lisabet Sarai's The Ingredients of Bliss Blog Tour and Giveaway

The Ingredients of Bliss by Lisabet Sarai
Contemporary BDSM Ménage
Totally Bound, 2014
Blog Tour & Giveaway


Introducing the Villains
By Lisabet Sarai

Although I've been writing all my life, and publishing for nearly fifteen years, I'm still learning how to write effective villains. It's all too easy to go off the deep end, to make them so loathsome that they're boring.  Pure evil is just too predictable.

When my crit partner Chris read my first attempt at a serious villain, Teodoro Raphael Remorros in my Mayan-themed paranormal  Serpent's Kiss, he commented diplomatically, “He's a bit of a mustache-twirler, isn't he?” And Chris was absolutely on target. In version one of the book, Remorros was a cartoon. He oozed cruelty from every pore.  Despite his magical powers, readers would understand immediately that Remorros didn't stand a chance of vanquishing Jorge, the hero. And that removed a significant source of suspense and excitement.

Chris taught me that villains need to be ambiguous, with some flash of brilliance or beauty to balance their darkness. Even more important, villains need a reason to be bad. Their evil deeds must make internal sense, given their situation, goals or history. The most memorable villains believe their actions are justified.

In the most compelling stories, the villain in some way mirrors or resembles the hero (or heroine). The  two characters have some fundamental traits in common. This sets up a tension, keeping the tale a bit off balance, because there's always some possibility that the hero or heroine might slip over the line and be lost to the dark side.

The Ingredients of Bliss features two villains. The first is Jean Le Requin, a notorious French gangster who physically resembles Etienne Duvalier. Indeed, that resemblance is the reason that Etienne and Harry are abducted. The Iron Hammer Triad mistakes Etienne for Jean, who has stolen a drug shipment from them. Emily is forced to ingratiate herself with Jean in order to search for the purloined narcotics. It's a difficult task at least partially because Jean looks and even smells like Emily's lover Etienne.

Jean shares something besides his appearance with Etienne: a monumental ego. However, while Etienne has impeccable manners, Jean is crude and violent. Even after he assaults Emily, though, he still merits a bit of sympathy. We learn that he is a product of his environment, not bad by birth. And he does end up risking his life to help Emily rescue Etienne and Harry.

The other villain is the Chinese mob boss Zhao. Once again, he's not 100% evil. He's pragmatic, a businessman, albeit one accustomed to using bloody means to resolve his problems. And he mirrors Emily in several ways – not only in his Hong Kong background but also in his characteristically Chinese approach to negotiation.

The Ingredients of Bliss is intended to be a light-hearted tale, not entirely realistic. The notion that a female chef could win in a conflict with a group of professional criminals is pretty silly. Still, I wanted my villains to be sufficiently three dimensional to be seen as a palpable threat.

You'll have to decide whether I've succeeded or not.


One sexy French chef. One kinky American TV producer. One ambitious Chinese gal who thinks she wants them both. The ingredients of bliss? Or a recipe for disaster?

Accomplished cook Mei Lee “Emily” Wong knows exactly what she wants—her own show on the Tastes of France food channel. But life is full of complications. First, her deceptively nerdy producer, Harry Sanborne, initiates Emily into the delights of submission. Then her boss, legendary chef Etienne Duvalier, begs her to dominate him. Emily just can’t resist—especially when Harry orders her to explore her inner mistress. Suave and sexy Etienne will do whatever she asks—in the bedroom if not in the kitchen. And Harry, her lovingly diabolical Dom, adores pushing Emily’s limits.

When the network sends the trio to France to shoot a series of cooking shows on location, Emily knows her career is on the upswing. Her plans fall apart in Marseille as a Hong Kong drug syndicate kidnaps both Etienne and Harry. The Iron Hammer Triad mistakes Etienne for notorious gangster Jean Le Requin, who has stolen their drug shipment, worth millions. Emily realizes she must find the real Le Requin, retrieve the purloined dope, and bargain it for Harry’s and Etienne’s lives. The secret she’s been keeping from Harry might prove useful. Still, what chance does one woman whose knife skills are limited to chopping vegetables, have against the ruthless cruelty of two criminal organizations?

Get your copy today! 

The special VIP edition of The Ingredients of Bliss is now available from Totally Bound. This version contains a sizzling bonus chapter not available from other retailers. Totally Bound has the most advanced book selling site of any independent publisher on the web, with new One-Click ordering and direct delivery to all e-reader platforms.

Blog Tour Prizes

First prize: $30 gift certificate to Sur La Table (

Second prize: $20 gift certificate to Whole Foods Market (

Third prize: Three-pack of ebooks from my back list, including a copy of Her Secret Ingredient, the prequel to The Ingredients of Bliss.

I'll also be giving a PDF copy of my own original cookbook, Recipes from an International Kitchen, to everyone who leaves a comment. AND I have a bonus $10 Totally Bound gift certificate for the tour host who gets the most reader comments.

To enter, simply leave a comment that includes your email address. You can enter once for each spot in the tour. For the full tour schedule, go to:

R-rated Excerpt

“Eh bien. How about that appetizer?” He nibbled my ear lobe. “I’m starving.”

His mouth locked to mine, demanding my surrender just as he had on the grandstand. I had to encourage him. For the moment, I gave him everything he wanted, wrapping my arms around his neck and sinking against his solid chest. He’d opened the top three buttons, enough to expose the red-brown hair scattered over his pectorals. He hadn’t changed clothes since the races. Now the funky, masculine scent of his sweat overwhelmed the dwindling traces of his cologne—a scent that was dangerously familiar.

I struggled against my autonomic reactions, reminding myself that this man wasn’t Etienne, no matter how similar he looked. Jean was a vicious criminal who wouldn’t hesitate to kill me if he knew who I really was or why I was there.

One of his hands crept up my thigh to the bare skin above my stocking tops. The other fiddled with the zipper that ran up my spine. I felt a finger prodding at the satin of my undergarment.

I slid away from his lips and pushed myself back from his taut body. “Slow down, stud,” I purred, letting my voice drip with lust. “I told you, I don’t like to be rushed.”

He grabbed at my arm, but I twirled away, laughing.

“Damn it, Mei Lee! I’ve been waiting all day!”

“And you can’t wait a bit longer, cher? I do so want to impress you with my cooking. And I suspect that if I let you continue with what you’ve been doing, dinner will never happen. Wouldn’t that be a waste?”

“If you let me continue?” Jean’s face darkened.

I recognized the cold cruelty I’d seen in his mug shots. A chill skittered down my spine.

“I want you, woman. What’s to stop me from simply taking you?”

“That would certainly ruin what’s promising to be a lovely friendship…” I worked to keep my voice light, level, flirtatious. Reaching behind my back, I located the zipper tab. This wasn’t the easiest maneuver but I’d practiced it in my hotel room. I eased the zipper down while I continued to soothe him. “Don’t you know that building erotic tension can lead to far more pleasure, when it’s finally released?”

Fists clenched by his sides, apparently torn between force and reason, Le Requin glared at me. “I don’t give a shit about erotic tension. I just want to fuck you.”

“Oh? You had me believing you a great lover. I guess I was mistaken.” With an exaggerated sigh, I turned my back to him and slipped the dress off my shoulders. The crepe slithered down my body and pooled at my feet, revealing the satin and mesh costume I’d bought from Madame Mirasolle.

I didn’t need to see him to gauge his reaction. His low moan was a dead giveaway. The jet black satin thong disappearing between the pale moons of my ass cheeks looked wicked as sin. I knew—I’d checked in the mirror when I’d put it on.

About the Author

I started both writing and cooking at an early age, and I've continued to indulge both passions as I've matured. Usually I'm an improvisational cook; I'm not all that fond of following recipes, and when I do, I almost always introduce my own variations. My philosophy tends to be the more spice, the better.

You could say the same about my writing. Since the release of my debut novel Raw Silk in 1999, I've published lots of erotica and erotic romance in almost every sub-genre– more than fifty single author titles, plus dozens of short stories in various erotic anthologies, including the Lambda winner Where the Girls Are and the IPPIE Best Erotic Book of 2011, Carnal Machines. My gay scifi erotic romance Quarantine won a Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention.

I have more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by my chosen genre. Widely traveled but still with a long bucket list of places to go, I currently live in Southeast Asia with my indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where I pursue an alternative career that is completely unrelated to my creative writing.

The Blog Tour Schedule

8/15/2014       K D Grace
8/17/2014       Ashley Ladd
8/18/2014       Sabrina York
8/19/2014       Jennifer Wright
8/20/2014       H K Carlton
8/21/2014       Lucy Felthouse
8/22/2014       Ashe Barker
8/23/2014       Kay Dee Royal
8/25/2014       Ella Laurance
8/26/2014       L M Somerton
8/27/2014       Morticia Knight
8/28/2014       Tamsin Flowers
8/29/2014       Suz deMello
8/30/2014       Kryssie Fortune

Friday, 15 August 2014

#MySexySaturday Take a 'Ride' with the Devil #historical #romance The Devil Take You

A Sexy Carriage Ride ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #Saturday7

Welcome to the 55th week of My Sexy Saturday. 

Here's this week's prompt

This is our nod for our historical authors. Share with us your sexy carriage ride for the world to see! While some of you may be sad and think this is only for our historic authors, think again. A sexy carriage ride can be in a space ship, a ’67 Mustang or a covered wagon. Can you remember your first sexy carriage ride?

This excerpt is from The Devil Take You—not a carriage ride but a sexy encounter on a horse. 

“Do ye wan’ more, Braelynn?” Gard asked.


He slid his finger slowly from her. She clung to him, trembling, she felt him push slowly back into her, and then away. Keeping up a slow torturous rhythm that drove her closer to a precipice of sensation she’d never experienced before.

Bending her knees, she sought the pressure of his hand as he thrust it faster and deeper. She whimpered into his mouth and wanted to weep at the intense need he created in her as he continued his assault. Who knew this kind of feeling existed?

“Be ye lovin’ the devil, again, Braelynn?”


“Be it wrong?” he sounded raw and savage.

“Nay,” she panted.

The Devil Take You Blurb:

Scotland - 1307 - During the Scottish Wars of Independence
Gard Marschand will stop at nothing in his pursuit to regain what is lost. Concealing his true identity, he will associate with his enemies, kill his own countrymen, even sell his soul to the devil if all else fails. He will lie, cheat, steal, rape and siege his way across two countries gaining power and reputation in his malevolent wake. His determination all consuming, until King Edward commands Gard to lay siege on Ross-shire holding, where Braelynn Galbraith obliterates his single-minded purpose.

Braelynn Galbraith wants peace for her beloved Scotland, marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Callum, and a house full of children. In that order. But evil incarnate in the form of Gard Marschand, turns her life inside out and destroys all hope of a decent marriage. 
 Can Gard abandon his deep-seated need of revenge for a love that might just save his soul, or will he succumb to the demons that hound him and surrender to the devil within?

I believe your stay in purgatory has only just begun...  

Hope you enjoyed this extraction from The Devil Take You. Don't forget to check out the other MSS authors from the linky list below.  

Have a Sexy Saturday!  

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

NEW from Lily Harlem The Silk Tie @lily_harlem #ménage #mmf

The Silk Tie by Lily Harlem

“If you enjoyed The Glass Knot you’ll LOVE The Silk Tie.”

New from Lily Harlem, The Silk Tie, a steamy ménage a trois novel (mmf) that celebrates desire, fantasy and follows the brave decision of a woman to let a third into a her relationship. It’s steamy, sexy and leaves no detail unexplored. Grab a copy, settle down and enjoy a rollercoaster of emotions with Hayley, Gabe and Brent.

The Silk Tie is available from Amazon
The Glass Knot is available from Amazon and all other good ebook retailers

Professional life in the City of London is tough going which is why my husband Gabe and I live by the motto work hard and play hard. So when something, or rather someone, comes along that changes how he wants to play I’m intrigued by our sexy new game.

But there's always private sides to the ones you love, and in this case new thoughts and desires are stealing Gabe’s dreams. It’s not until I meet Brent—gorgeous and sophisticated yet soul-achingly alone—that I begin to understand the complex layers of Gabe’s needs and exactly what I have to do.

But I’m not afraid; in fact the idea of two men turns me the hell on. In a whirlwind of romance, fear, desire and a new cresting wave of passion we open up to each other, testing the water for one weekend only. Or is it? Will we ever be the same again? Can Gabe and I survive our decision to let a third into our bed? Can Brent just walk away and, more importantly, will we let him?


          “You can’t…you can’t go in there. You don’t have an appointment.”
After placing the papers on the desk and setting down my purse, I put my iPhone on charge. There was no message from Gabe.
I turned at the sound of Jeannie’s panicked voice.
“Sir, really you can’t,” she said again.
I stepped toward the door.
“Sir. I have to insist…”
A man—tall, wearing a suit and with dense facial hair—strutted into the center of the room, placed his hands on his hips and set his gaze on me.
“Please, you must leave.” Jeannie appeared, twisting her hands together and shifting from one foot to the other.
“It’s okay,” I said, not tearing my attention from Brent. His expression was dark, his mouth, usually upturned, a dead-flat line. “I’ll handle it from here.”
“Are you sure? Shall I call security?” Jeannie asked.
I wasn’t sure. He was breathing fast and his eyebrows were pulled low. Something had really pissed him off.
“Yes, I’m sure.” I nodded. “Just shut the door please, Jeannie.”
“Good idea,” Brent said, his voice low and husky.
Jeannie hesitated.
I nodded at her. “It’s fine.”
She frowned then pulled the door up.
The second it clicked shut Brent moved toward me, fast.
I backed up.
My shoulders hit the polished paneling that clad the walls of my office. I couldn’t move any farther.
“What the hell,” he said, coming up close then pressing his palms against the wood either side of my head, “do you think you’re doing?”
“What?” I asked, gulping and looking up at him.
“Jesus Christ, don’t pretend you don’t know.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I managed, flattening my hands behind myself and pulling in fast breaths.
I knew exactly what he was talking about.
“Gabe,” he said, lowering his face. “That’s what I’m talking about.”
I could feel the air leaving his lungs through his nose as it washed over my cheeks. His aftershave invaded my nostrils and laced my tongue. The heat of his body radiated onto mine, blasting through my silky blouse as though it wasn’t even there.
“What about Gabe?” I asked, tilting my chin.
“He’s just asked me to fuck him.” His eye contact was unwavering. “And he told me that it was your idea.”
“What? No, that’s not right.”
“Which bit of that isn’t fucking right, Hayley, because it all sounds pretty fucking not right to me?”
I gathered my strength and refused to be intimidated by him. “You can’t deny you like Gabe.” I gave him a steely glare.
“That’s not the issue.” He narrowed his eyes.
“And he likes you,” I snapped back.
“All of that is irrelevant because he’s married…to you.”
“Which surely means, if there is one person who can give Gabe permission to fuck someone else, it’s me. His wife.”
His mouth opened slightly and he stared at me.
“What?” I asked. “It makes sense. Gabe’s got a crush on you, I suppose that is one way of describing it, and he wants you, badly, he—”
“He’s not even bloody gay.”
“No, but he must have elements of being bi for him to be feeling this way.”
Brent stepped away, turned and locked his fingers on the crown of his head with his elbows outstretched.
“Brent,” I said, pushing away from the wall. “Please don’t be mad.”
“I’m not mad…just…”
“Confused, I suppose.” He dropped his hands and turned to me as he sighed. The hardness had gone from his face.
“Why?” I moved to my desk and leaned my behind on it, kept my arms at my sides in an effort to look open and available for him to express his feelings to. It was a tactic I used with clients. “Tell me, Brent. We’re friends, aren’t we?”
“Yes, we are.” He sat in one of the two chairs in front of my desk and sighed. “I like you, Hayley, a lot, and I like Gabe too. I care about him.”
“And do you fancy him?”
“I’m not gay either.” He paused and appeared to summon courage. “But I am bi. I have been with a man before.”
I nodded and kept my expression neutral even though there was something electrifying about his admission. No longer a rumor but a solid fact he was able to share with me.
“And would you want to be with Gabe that way?” I asked. Again words were coming out of my mouth that I wouldn’t believe I could utter. This time last month this conversation would be ludicrous.
“Do I want Gabe that way,” he repeated.
I waited for him to go on.
“Yes, in a word. He’s bloody gorgeous and damn sexy too, but I don’t need to tell you that, Hayley. Heck, you married him.”
I smiled. “He is gorgeous and sexy, and also the most passionate, loving person I’ve ever met.” I paused. “His happiness is also my responsibility and right now, him not being with you the way he wants to be is screwing with his mind.”
“Have you had a third person in your relationship before?”
“No, it’s always been just us. We’re strong, our bonds are tight, but…”
“And you’re willing to risk it all.”
“Perhaps it’s a risk for it not to happen.”
“Bloody hell…” He pressed his hands over his face and looked at me from over his fingertips. “You’re really are deadly serious.”
“Yes.” I sat on the seat at his side. “I am. He’s been on edge, preoccupied. I know he loves me, would die for me, we’ve been in each other’s lives for a long time now, there’s nothing that will tear us apart.”
“Except me. Maybe I will.”
“Do you really believe that?”
“It would be my worst nightmare to split you two up. Seeing you and Gabe together makes me very happy. You have something special, something I’ve hunted for, seen glimpses of, but never truly found.”
I reached out and rested my fingers on the sleeve of his gray suit jacket and rubbed my thumb on the smooth material. “Gabe and I are strong. Strong enough to cope with this.” I paused, hoping to hell that we were. “If you feel the same way about Gabe then this can happen. I don’t have a problem with it.”
He stared at me, long and hard, then, “You’re right, I do want to fuck him.”
My belly clenched and I squeezed my internal muscles. This might actually happen for Gabe.
“But I have one condition,” he said, leaning back and folding his arms. His suit jacket bunched at the lapels.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“You’re there. You watch us.”
“You can’t be serious.” I knotted my fingers together and gripped them in my lap. “Why would…?” Much as the idea appealed, I’d never thought it would become reality.
“You remember that film, Indecent Proposal? Robert Redford I think it was.”
“Yes. What about it?” I laughed but the sound caught in my throat.
Brent reached out, rested his palm over my clasped hands. “It screws him up, the husband. After his wife has spent a night with another man for a huge sum of money, he obsesses about what they did, how they were together. Was there love or was it just sex? Had she had more fun with the rich guy than with him?”
I nodded. I’d seen the film.
“That’s what causes the problems,” Brent went on. “They had a million in the bank but the husband’s imagination, his not knowing, was a much bigger problem than being poor.”
“And you think I’ll be like that?”
“I don’t know. You seem pretty…cool with the idea at the moment.”
“I am. I’ve given it a lot of thought.”
He lifted his hand from mine and shifted on the seat.
I glanced at his groin and wondered if he was getting hard talking about screwing my husband. “Okay,” I said. “It wasn’t how I thought it would go. But yes, I’ll be there.” A flush traveled over my skin just at saying that. I could hardly begin to think how horny it would make me to actually see them together, for real—fucking.
Brent stood, slid his hands down the front of his suit jacket then straightened his tie. “You can tell him yes for me. I’m afraid I was a little harsh on him when he blurted it out over a cheese panini in Costa. It had been the last thing I was expecting him to say.”
“I will, but…” I hated to think of Gabe being upset, confused by Brent’s reaction.
“Yes. I’ll call him too.” He looked at his watch. “But right now I’m late for a meeting with my bank manager, and I really have to run.”
“Yes, of course.”
He walked to the door.
“Brent,” I called.
“What?” He turned and a long shard of sunlight sliced over his face and down his body.
“Thank you.”
He smiled and swept his tongue over his bottom lip. “I should be the one thanking you.”

Lily Harlem Bio

Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including Ellora's Cave, HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Xcite and Sweetmeats Press. Her HOT ICE series regularly receives high praise and industry nominations.

Before turning her hand to writing Lily Harlem worked as a trauma nurse and her latest HarperCollins release, Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse, draws on her many experiences while nursing in London. Lily also self-publishes and The Glass Knot and Scored have been blessed with many 5* reviews since their release in 2012.

Her latest novel, Breathe You In, is a super-sexy romance with a twist that will not only heat you up but stay with you for years to come. Breathe You In was named a USA Today Reviewer’s Recommended Read of 2013.

Lily also co-authors with Natalie Dae and publishes under the name Harlem Dae - check out the Sexy as Hell Box Set Trilogy available exclusively on Amazon - The Novice, The Player and The Vixen - and That Filthy Book which has been hailed as a novel 'every woman should read'.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

Lily Harlem Links
Author Pages

Saturday, 9 August 2014

The Saga Continues Available NOW @Amazon AFTERLIFE (Always Cambridge Book Five)

Afterlife the fifth book in the Always Cambridge Series is now available at Amazon!

The Always Cambridge Series chronicles the life of Holly Cambridge through her tumultuous childhood, violent teen years into adulthood, and the consequences that stem from being the daughter of mob boss, Bill Cambridge.

Holly Cambridge and Randy Phillips are dead!

But they re-emerge in Witness Protection as Beth and Andy Gregory, far away from the mob life that nearly destroyed them.

Can Holly finally realize her dream and live in peace without the threat of violence shadowing her every step? Settle down in one place, put down roots with the husband and the loving family she’s always dreamed of?

Or will the Mayhue vendetta reach across the ocean and strike Holly where it hurts the most?

Follow the saga from the beginning...
Author Note: This series is a true saga in the sense that each new installment begins precisely where the last ended. The books should be read in sequence. 

Friday, 8 August 2014

#MySexySaturday - A Promise of Dancing... Naked #erotic #romanticsuspense

Welcome to the 54th week of My Sexy Saturday. 

 My Sexy Saturday weekly blog hop featuring 7 paragraphs, 7 sentences or 7 words of a sexy snippet from a WIP or published work

Do You Think I’m Sexy? ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MSS54

The sexy theme this week is perfect for the mob boss' son, Victor Mayhue. He is sexy with a capital S and dark and dangerous to boot.

He's probably the most naturally sensual and sexual character I've ever had the pleasure to write but his one little flaw—he knows just how potent he is and he always gets what he wants. (well almost always)

Here's an excerpt from Book Three in the Always Cambridge Family Saga Series 

Misfortune of Birth

A little set up for this snip, as the title of this post suggests begins with a promise of dancing naked but Victor decides to torture Holly out on the dance floor first.
He was intoxicating. He could talk me into, kiss me into, touch me into anything he wished because I wanted it too. My desire for him overrode everything else. My sense, my principles, my goals, my life. He kept up his assault on my lips until he moved to my ear. He used his tongue expertly. Even his elevated breathing in my ear excited me, just knowing that he was turned on.

“Do you know what I’m going to do to you, with my tongue, when we get upstairs?”

A wet rush of heat gathered between my legs at his words.

“First, I’m going to unlace these ties.” I felt his fingers toying with the ties at my nape as if he might undo them now in front of everyone. I never knew with him. He just might. He might not. He could start making love to me right on this dance floor in front of everyone and no one would stop him, least of all me. He’d most likely start an island wide orgy. Eros would be proud. Victor also embodied sexual power.

He pulled one string taut, then took the string and ran it over my shoulders, part way down my arm, causing me to erupt in goose bumps.

“I’m gonna peel this down,” he brushed his hands down my ribs so lightly, making me feel like he’d just removed the tight fitting bodice, all but the rush of the cool air hitting my overheated skin missing from his demonstration. I squirmed against him as he swayed with the music.

“I’m gonna kiss you, right here.” Gently he plucked my taught nipple begging for his touch. Thank goodness for the darkness. I should be appalled that he would do such a thing in public, but he had me wrapped up in such a sensual haze, I just wanted more.

Damn, sometimes seven paragraphs just isn't enough! :D

Author Note: This series is a true saga in the sense that each new installment begins precisely where the last ended. The books should be read in sequence. 

Follow the saga from the beginning... Always Cambridge

I hope you enjoyed this week's shot of sexy. Don't forget to check out all the other MSS authors from the list below.
Have a Sexy Saturday!