Can shy, submissive Tristan become dominant enough to rid himself of a malevolent ghostly rival and find his happily ever after?
When Tristan Lindsay takes a job cataloguing the library at Faversham Park, home of rock star Marcus Balen, he also accepts a role as companion to Balen's artist son, Garrick.
Garrick is beautiful and talented. He's also demanding and infuriating. He uses Tristan as an unwilling model, shamelessly manipulating the shy boy's emotions to draw out his submissive tendencies.
Drawn into the enigmatic artist's world, Tristan discovers a side of himself that he didn't realise existed. Although afraid of his own feelings, he learns to trust Garrick and falls deeply in love.
But Garrick has a secret that could tear them apart. A ghostly rival objects to Tristan's presence in Garrick's life. As the spectre's malevolence increases, the young lovers must search for clues to the haunting and find a way to exorcise the jealous ghost. What they find leads them down a path that challenges the dynamics of their relationship. Will their love be strong enough to overcome its supernatural opposition, or will there be no happily ever after?
Reader Advisory: This book contains references to homophobic hate crime and paranormal sexual assault. It also contains a hot, virginal librarian and the brooding, dominant artist who lusts after him…There are scenes of consensual D/s and dubious consent in relation to the characters switching roles.
General Release Date: 17th December 2012
A world away, Tristan Lindsay browsed the news pages on the Internet, looking for stories about his potential employer. There was no shortage of material, though much of it was ancient history. Marcus Balen had been a controversial figure during his ten-year career as lead singer of the rock band Infinity. His marriage, subsequent indiscretions and wild lifestyle had all been thoroughly, and luridly, covered in the tabloids, while the broadsheets had given space to the success of the production company that he had eventually set up. More recent coverage was sparse—the focus of the papers had shifted to the activities of Balen’s son, Garrick, who at twenty-four was already a successful, if controversial, artist.
Tristan switched to Google Images and pulled up the library of shots featuring Garrick. There was no denying his good looks. He had inherited his model mother’s dark hair and unusual, light green eyes, and he managed to pull off a brooding, smouldering look effortlessly. He favoured a slightly gothic style and never seemed to wear anything but black. Subtle makeup highlighted a bone structure that most women would kill for and probably would feel a man did not deserve.
There was a whole range of shots from award ceremonies and parties, where Garrick often had his arms slung around cute, blond boys who could all have been cloned from the same DNA. He seemed to enjoy flaunting his sexuality—it seemed his way of sticking two fingers up at the way the art establishment objected to his style, whilst grudgingly acknowledging his prodigious talent. Tristan saved copies of a couple of the pictures he liked the most. They both featured Garrick on his own, working in his studio, apparently unaware of the camera rather than posing for a staged shot. He really was gorgeous. Tristan gave himself a mental slap and forced himself to concentrate on job research.
He flicked back to the news feeds and reread the articles most relevant to his pending interview. Garrick was recovering at home after an unprovoked attack that had left him with a range of serious, but not life threatening, injuries. That had been a week ago and there had been no coverage since. Tristan sighed and powered down his machine. He pulled out the letter confirming his interview appointment and skimmed it again. It was a wonderful opportunity that someone of his age and inexperience would rarely be offered—a live-in position cataloguing Marcus Balen’s library at Faversham Park.
Balen had bought the grand Elizabethan house a year earlier, and had now decided to spend some time and effort making sure that its treasures were appropriately recorded and preserved.
Tristan was just twenty-three. He had graduated at the top of his class in history and had taken a second option in the preservation of ancient texts and manuscripts. This was not such a straightforward job opportunity, though. The post was full-time with accommodation provided at the house, something that had appealed to Tristan in his soon-to-be-homeless state. Fifty per cent of the time would be spent cataloguing the library and identifying valuable editions, or those in need of repair. The other fifty per cent was to be spent as companion to Garrick Balen. Marcus was clearly seeking someone young enough to fit in with his son’s lifestyle who also had the qualifications to pick up the other part of the role.
Tristan sighed and ran a hand through his unruly hair. He wanted the library job badly, enough to overcome his reticence about the other part of the deal. He freely admitted to preferring his own company, or that of a good book. He knew that his social skills were sorely lacking and had no idea how he would ever pluck up the courage to speak to someone like Garrick. There was nothing he could do to remedy his own personality now. It was far too late to take lessons in assertiveness or even confidence. Marcus Balen would have to take him as he came, insecurities and all.
He finally headed for bed in the early hours and fell into a restless sleep, anxiety colouring his dreams.
Word Count: 24,225
Book Length: NOVELLA
Genres: BONDAGE AND BDSM
Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.
She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.
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L.M. Somerton - ARe Cafe, National Leather Association awards
Last month, I was over the moon to hear that my very first published work, The Portrait
, had won the Pauline Reage
novel award from the National Leather Association: International. The NLA:I is a leading organization for activists in the pansexual SM/leather community and their annual awards are given for excellence in literary works in SM/leather/fetish writing.