Bollywood/Rubenesque Erotic Romance
Totally Bound Publishing, 2013
Neither kink nor curse can stop a woman with a mission.
Cecily Harrowsmith, secret agent extraordinaire, is a woman on a mission. When the remote Indian kingdom of Rajasthan refused to remit its taxes to the Empire, Her Majesty imposed an embargo. Deprived of the energy-rich mineral viridium, essential for modern technology and development, Rajasthan was expected to quickly give in and resume its payments. Yet after three years, the rebellious principality still has not knuckled under. Cecily undertakes the difficult journey to that rugged, arid land in order to determine just how it has managed to survive, and if possible to convince the country to return to the Empire’s embrace. Instead, she’s taken captive by a brigand, who turns out to be the ruler’s half-brother Pratan, and delivered into the hands of the sexy but sadistic Rajah Amir, who expertly mingles torture and delight in his interrogation of the voluptuous interloper.
Cursed before birth by Amir’s jealous mother, Pratan changes to a ravening wolf whenever the moon is full. Cecily uncovers the counter-spell that can reverse the effects of the former queen’s hex and tries to trade that information for her freedom. Drawn to the fierce wolf-man and sympathising with his suffering, she volunteers to serve as the sacrifice required by the ritual—offering her body to the beast. In return, the Rajah reveal Rajasthan’s amazing secret source of energy. In the face of almost impossible odds, Cecily has accomplished the task entrusted to her by the Empire. But can she really bear to leave the virile half-brothers and their colourful land behind and return to the constraints of her life in England?
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Reviews for Rajasthani Moon
(By Thistledown, Long and Short Reviews)
This book really took me far and wide. At first you have a kidnapping fantasy with rip roaring sex that honestly left me breathless. Then you have a ménage with kinky toys that made me crunch ice. ( A lot). Then you add a paranormal twist and I couldn’t decide what I enjoyed more. It all worked. Every part of it. The hero was alpha male all the way, but had a soft side too and that made me fall for him too. The heroine was brave and adventurous and embraced every experience that came her way. I loved that. The action was amazing and the sex scenes sizzled through my e-reader. The other thing about this book was the steampunk elements that added spice to an already fun plot. Gadgets that tie you up by oral command, collars that kill and more await in this fast paced and stimulating read.
“Your money and your jewels,” he growled in Hindi. “Quick now!”
Cecily lowered her gaze, feigning modesty. Meanwhile, she tightened her hand into a fist to release the knife. Nothing happened.
Her fall must have damaged the mechanism. Bloody machines…
And, in the interim, the bandit had produced his own much longer blade, which he now held to her throat. “Do you understand me, woman?” He switched to Rajasthani. When she still didn’t respond, he tried Gujarati. “Give me your valuables. Now!” Apparently losing patience, he plucked the gold hoop from her left earlobe with his other hand, while still pressing the cold steel against her skin.
“Ow!” she protested as the wire tugged at her flesh before pulling free.
“Aha! You can speak after all!” He glanced around the plush interior, no doubt noting brocaded cushions, the silver tea service, the crystal goblets secured to the wall in their polished wood racks. “You look like you’re loaded, lady. Give me your purse before I get tired of waiting and slit your lovely throat.” Despite her Indian costume and the dusky complexion she’d inherited from her Ceylonese mother, the brigand addressed her in English this time, probably cued by the obvious provenance of the artefacts that surrounded her. The clarity of his pronunciation surprised her.
Sprawled on the floor, tangled in her clothing, Cecily glared up at him. A swathe of dark cloth wrapped around his head hid everything but his deep brown eyes. Sheltering under elegantly arched eyebrows, those eyes glittered with malice and craft. He had long, lush eyelashes that any woman would envy and a high forehead that bespoke considerable intelligence. A brute, no doubt, but scarcely dumb. She’d have to move with the utmost care.
“If you will put somewhat more distance between your blade and my flesh,” she began, keeping her voice sweet and level, “I will be able to reach my money. It’s pinned into my waistband.”
The bandit’s eyes flicked to her bare midriff. She let her hand drift down towards the concealed pistol as though she were about to extricate a hidden pouch of coins.
Before she could reach her goal, he shot out his hand, catching her wrist in an iron grip. “Allow me.”He slipped his dagger into a sheath slung across his chest, then grabbed her other wrist and pinned it with the first. His hand was large enough to encircle both of hers.
“Now, then…” He trailed his fingertips across the naked gap between her blouse and her skirt. Electricity sizzled up Cecily’s spine. The next thing she knew, he slid his hand under the fabric of her skirt, rooting around for items more solid than her soft, round belly.
He groped for a moment, while she held her breath. His calloused fingers struck sparks from her flesh. Of course, he discovered her weapon almost instantly. He drew it out, chuckling once more when he saw its size. Her skin mourned the loss of his touch.
“What a surprise! A gun instead of the promised gold.” He tightened his hold on her wrists until she feared the bones would snap. “Who are you, my lady? Not, I think, a common traveller.”
“That’s none of your concern…sir.” Cecily decided that it might be wise to be polite.
“Oh, I think it is. Not many women travel on their own across the wastes of my country, especially in the most modern of conveyances. Those that do are wise to carry a weapon—but this one will not help you. Who sent you, madam? What is your business here?”
“I’ll not share my business with a common brigand.”
“And if I were someone else? Would you tell me then how and why you happen to cross my path?”
Cecily of course had a cover story. Her documents attested that she was the sister of a wealthy Bombay textile merchant, come to Rajasthan looking for business contacts. She was not, however, about to divulge anything to this rogue.
“I will tell you nothing.”
“Indeed? I think I may be able to change your mind.” After tucking the pistol into the folds of his garment, he drew out a length of what, aside from its strange silvery colour, looked like common rope. He dangled it near her trapped wrists. “Bind,” he said.
The rope came alive, coiling like a snake. Quick as a cobra strike, it looped itself around her forearms—once, twice, half a dozen times, pulling tighter with each cycle. Before she could devise a plan, Cecily found her crossed arms were laced together as firmly as the back of a corset.
“How dare you? Untie me at once!”
“So that you can stab me? Or shoot me? Who knows what other cunning devices you have hidden about your charming person? No, on the contrary, I think I’d be wise to bind your legs as well.
I became addicted to words at an early age. I began reading when I was four. I wrote my first story at five years old and my first poem at seven. Since then, I’ve written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and of course, lots of erotica and erotic romance – nearly fifty books and counting!
In addition to writing, I also edit erotica and erotic romance. My editing credits include the ground breaking anthology Sacred Exchange, which explores the spiritual aspects of BDSM relationships, the massive collection Cream: The Best of the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, the charity anthology Coming Together: In Vein, a collection of vampire tales that benefits Doctors Without Borders, and six volumes of the Coming Together: Presents series of single author charitable erotica books. You’ll also find me writing the newsletter and occasional articles for the Erotica Readers and Writers Association (www.erotica-readers.com) and monthly reviews for Erotica Revealed (www.eroticarevealed.com).
I’ve always loved traveling; my husband seduced me in a Burmese restaurant by telling me tales of his foreign adventures. Since then I have visited every continent except Australia, although I still have a long travel wish list. Currently I live with him and our two exceptional felines in Southeast Asia, where I pursue an alternative career that is completely unrelated to my creative writing.
Also by Lisabet Sarai
Interview with Holly Hewson
HH: Lisabet, thank you so much for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Rajasthani Moon. Where did you get the idea for this captivating romance?
LS: RAJASTHANI MOON was born out of a sense of mischief. I was pondering the many subgenres in erotic romance, feeling a bit frustrated by the way books are sliced and diced and slotted into specific pigeonholes. My books tend not to fit neatly into genre categories and I think that hurts my sales a bit. A devil sitting on my shoulder suggested that I deliberately write a book that combined as many different subcategories of romance as possible.
Steampunk came first. I’d written a short story called “Green Cheese” that appeared in Kristina Wright’s anthology STEAMLUST about alternate Victorian world powered by a new energy source called “viridium”. (This story available as a free standalone PDF. All you have to do is contact me by email and ask for a copy!)
RAJASTHANI MOON is set in the same world, but in India, because my publisher Totally Bound has a “Bollywood” subgenre label. Then I came up with the shapeshifter subplot. One of my heroes, Pratan, has been cursed by a jealous queen and becomes a wolfish beast when the moon is full. Then another hero, the Rajah Amir, popped into my head. I thought, “Aha, ménage!”. I realized Amir was a brilliant engineer as well as a Dom, who specialized in fiendish steampunk devices for sexual torture and delight. Right, of course the book would involve BDSM – many of my works do – and why not get Pratan in on the fun as well? TB also has a Rubenesque subgenre, for stories featuring amply-fleshed heroines. Half-British, half-Ceylonese Cecily Harrowsmith seemed to fit this body type.
Little by little, new subgenres asserted themselves. And I had tremendous fun writing the novel, because I could mix things up as much as I wanted. I wasn’t constrained by somebody else’s notions of what my romance should be.
HH: What can you tell us about Cecily and why will readers identify with her?
LS: Basically, Cecily is a spy, one of Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s most trusted agents. She’s clever, courageous, and an expert in the martial arts of a dozen cultures. A sort of Victorian Mata Hari, she has seduced dozens of men in the course of practicing her profession. As is appropriate for the heroine of an explicit erotic romance, she’s also remarkably hot-blooded, although she’ll
deny that her personal sexual inclinations would ever impact her effectiveness in her chosen career.
I love Cecily because she’s so gung ho and also so self-deluding. We see this clearly because the book is a first person narrative. We know what’s going on in her head. She pretends to be in control but she’s far more susceptible than she’ll admit to the charms of the Rajah and his half-brother who have taken her prisoner.
HH: What do you like best about the half-brothers in this tale and why will readers love them?
LS: Well, they’re very different characters. The Rajah Amir is a classic alpha male, gorgeous, arrogant, suave, sophisticated and quite the sadist (though he’s far more likely to administer pleasure than pain). Although he is a bit insufferable at the start, by the end of the book, he has come to deeply respect Cecily for her intelligence and her commitment, as well as for her insatiable sexual appetite.
Pratan, the Rajah’s half-brother, is a more tortured soul. He struggles against the symptoms of his curse, which for some reason become worse when Cecily is around. He’s a bit of a loner, a definite beta, but powerful and intense, especially when it comes to things sexual. Actually Pratan is more my type than Amir (for one thing, he has long black hair, a favorite of mine). However, RAJASTHANI MOON has something for everyone!
HH: What makes this story different from your other works?
LS: RAJASTHANI MOON is more playful than most of my novels. I was writing it for fun, trying to fulfill the challenge I’d set myself, not with a specific audience in mind. It includes some fairly extreme BDSM as well as a bit of dubious consent, but I hope my readers will understand that it’s all tongue in cheek.
At the same time, the book does share many features with my other tales, including loving attention devoted to setting the scene (in this case, the rugged hills and luxurious palaces of Victorian Rajasthan). Also, although the book is quite graphic, like most of my books it focuses more on what’s going on in the characters’ minds than in their bodies. My tagline “Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac” really does describe my work. Erotic fantasy plays a large role in almost all my stories.
HH: What do you think about its reception so far?
LS: I haven’t got many reviews, but those that I have received have been very positive. I think this book requires an open minded reader. If you want a pure werewolf story, a pure ménage, a pure BDSM fantasy, this isn’t the novel for you. On the other hand, if you want to be taken somewhere new, and if you enjoy having your expectations hijacked into new realms, you’ll love this book.
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
LS: I just released a new paranormal called ROUGH WEATHER, about Elementals who control the waters and the winds. And I’m rushing to finish a novel-length sequel to my humorous contemporary short HER SECRET INGREDIENT, which is entitled HER SECRET WEAPON. My heroine Mei Lee Wong, a Michelin-starred cook from Hong Kong, travels to France with her two lovers, kinky producer Harry Sanborne and sophisticated, somewhat uptight French chef Etienne Duvalier, to do a series of cooking shows on location. In a case of mistaken identity, Harry and Etienne are kidnapped by a criminal gang. Mei Lee has to figure out how to save them. I spent nearly three weeks vacationing in France last year, and I’m using many of the locales I visited as settings.
Oh, and I’m also nearing the end of a cat shifter story which I’ve been serializing on my website. Once that’s done, I’ll publish it as a book.
As you can see, my work doesn’t fit a single genre or pattern LOL.
HH: What can you tell us about day-to-day life for you as an author?
LS: I don’t write as a full time profession. I have enormous admiration for authors who support themselves via their writing, but for me, that would kill the magic. So I have full time job in a technical area that provides a definite contrast to my erotic literary meanderings.
For more about me, readers can visit my website, http://www.lisabetsarai.com
HH: What are you reading now?
LS: I’m on the last pages of COMING TOGETHER: THROUGH THE STORM, a collection of charitable erotica benefitting the survivors of last year’s killer typhoon in the Philippines. Also, I just finished INHERENT VICE by Thomas Pynchon, a true masterpiece that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and lyrical. I’m a few chapters into a novel entitled THE SECRETS OF JIN SHEI, by Alma Alexander. I can’t tell yet whether it is fantasy or historical.
HH: What appearances do you have coming up in 2014?
LS: Well, you can always find me at my own blog Beyond Romance as well as at our group blog Oh Get a Grip (“Ten Sexy Authors Tell It Like it Is”). I’m also up once a month (on the 21st) at the Erotica Readers & Writers Association blog, and I do monthly reviews for Erotica Revealed. As far as guest spots, you never know where I’ll pop up. The best way to follow me is to join my Yahoo group Lisabet’s List or email me to be put on my private email list. I almost always include a contest in my guest blogs, but in addition, I have a regular monthly giveaway for my private list members.
HH: Where can readers find you online?
LS: Website – Lisabet’s Fantasy Factory: http://www.lisabetsarai.com
For my email address, go to: http://www.lisabetsarai.com/links.html
Blog – Beyond Romance: http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com
Blog – Oh Get A Grip: http://ohgetagrip.blogspot.com
Blog – Erotica Readers & Writers Association: http://erotica-readers.blogspot.com
Review site – Erotica Revealed: http://www.eroticarevealed.com
Yahoo Group – Lisabet’s List: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lisabets_list