In romance fiction years ago, the experienced hero usually pursued the virgin heroine, and that’s still often the case, especially in historical romance. But what about those forward, slightly experienced, assertive, unusual, strong heroines who pursue their heroes? Are they sex addicted hussies? : ) Not necessarily. In my previous release, Beast in a Kilt, the virgin heroine pursued the hero because she’d been in love with him since she was a girl, and now it was time for her to marry. She’d much rather marry him than the horrid man her mother chose for her. (Marriages for young ladies were usually arranged by parents at the time.) The heroine of the story tries many things in order to seduce the hero. He has his own reasons for resisting because of the consequences. Finally, aphrodisiac in his drink destroys his resistance. What a naughty heroine.
My recent release from Carina Press, Laird of Darkness, is set in late medieval times in a Scotland filled with fairies, kelpies, and magic. The heroine, Alana, makes it clear she wants the hero, Duncan. She isn’t necessarily pursuing him, but he’s there, calming her fears of the dark, and he’s so tempting. Plus, she is no innocent virgin. She had a lover briefly three years before, so she knows a little about sensual pleasures. She wouldn’t have sex with just any good-looking man. Even in a short time, she can see that Duncan is someone special, a dark soul who is misunderstood, with hidden vulnerabilities. She quickly feels an emotional connection with him. But he has taken her hostage to exchange her for a magical bow that he needs. At one point she wonders if she can seduce him and gain her freedom. But when it comes down to it, seducing him has nothing to do with freedom.
How do you feel about heroines who do the pursuing in a sexual relationship, or heroines who are slightly unusual such as a historical heroine who has a bit of experience?
Here is an excerpt of the first kiss of Laird of Darkness.
“Are you thinking to share my bed?”
Heat scorched her face, while a different sort of flame licked through her body at the image his words evoked. “Nay. I would never!”
He lifted a brow and moved closer. “Are you certain of that?”
She nodded. Somehow she must find the strength to resist and deny him. Anyway, he did not frighten her. She would not back down from the knave but faced him head-on. When he stopped, his chest was an inch from her chin and still she glared up into his heavy-lidded midnight eyes.
“You will get into the bath,” he said softly.
With him watching? She shook her head. “Not now.”
“I require privacy.”
His scent was pure masculine enchantment, spicy and musky. Slowly, he lifted a hand to trace a line along her cheek with a roughened fingertip. His thumb brushed her chin and her sensitive lower lip. Tingling awareness shot to her breasts, then deep into her core. She forced herself to hide her response, to lower her gaze from his, to breathe normally. But he trailed his fingertips downward, along her throat, over her frantic pulse, to her collarbone and the exposed skin above her breasts.
“Silk,” he breathed.
“What?” She could not think for the shivers of delight coursing through her.
“Your skin is like silk. Bewitching. I desire another taste.”
Her legs almost gave way, but she managed to stay upright. If she fell, she’d fall into his bed.
Did she want to fall into his bed, or resist him?
Unquestionably, she should resist. Kick, scream, run. Aye, that would be the wise thing to do. But Alana hadn’t known men could be like him. This enticing Lucifer was a man full grown, nothing like her stable lad lover. Duncan possessed a warrior’s hard muscles. Shoulders broad and strong as a rocky ben. She had viewed his unclothed body. Powerful.
Now he breathed against her temple, the heated puff of air stirring her hair and tickling her skin. He took a deep breath, then released it like a moan he was trying to hide.
Could she seduce him and gain her freedom? It had been a few years since she had touched a man. She might have forgotten what little she knew of the sensual arts.
Since her sexual initiation years ago, Alana had often craved a man’s touch, a man’s hard body. And now here was a delicious one before her. He was not her future husband…but he might be a hundred times more appealing.
She lifted trembling hands and pressed them against the linen shirt covering the solid muscles of his chest. She stroked her hands down the ridges of his abdomen then slid them around his trim waist. Since he was more than a head taller, her lips were even with the V opening of his shirt. She kissed him there.
“You are tempting fate, lass,” he warned with a hiss.
“Am I? Tempting fate, or tempting you?” Tightening her arms about his waist, she tugged herself closer to him and flattened her breasts to his chest. Alana wished her corset was removed so she might feel him better. She’d like to brush her breasts back and forth, taunting him. What would he do if they were exposed to his view, to his hands?
Determined to find out, she kissed his chest again and inhaled his manly scent.
Growling, he buried one hand deep in her unbound hair, leaned forward and drew her earlobe into his mouth. Chills showered her body.
“Ooh,” she breathed.
His hand fisting in her hair, he tugged her head back and captured her mouth with a relentless kiss. His lips and tongue consumed her with fire and male domination. Heavens, what rapturous torture was this? She clung to his shirt, attempting to hold herself upright. He thrust his tongue within her mouth, taking her will, claiming her as his property. ’Twas clear in his masterful touch. No man had ever kissed her thus. Her experience was more limited than she realized.
Published by Carina Press © 2011 by Nicole North
Blurb: Half-Fae Laird Duncan MacDougall is cursed. His nights are haunted by Otherworld creatures sent to kill him. The only way to stop them is to possess the magic bow currently in the hands of his enemy half-brother, Kinnon MacClaren. In desperation, Duncan plans to take MacClaren's bride-to-be hostage and exchange her for the bow.
Lady Alana Forbes has never met her intended, but she hopes he is handsome-and a good lover, for Alana is no innocent virgin. On her way to Castle Claren, Alana and her escorts are intercepted, and she is kidnapped by a man with extraordinary abilities-and every attribute she longs for in a mate.
Duncan didn't expect the woman he thought of as a mere pawn would be so beautiful, and so arousing. Alana is drawn to him as well-but Duncan still needs the bow, and Alana is betrothed to another. How far will Alana go to save the life of the man she's come to love?
Available at Carina pressWebsite: http://www.nicolenorth.com/
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Nicole North's erotic romance novellas have been described by reviewers as “exciting, high octane, captivating, scintillating, sinfully delicious and pure romance.” Her stories contain “heart and heat, killer love scenes, magic and extraordinary characters.” She has sold four stories to Red Sage Publishing. Laird of Darkness is her first novella for Carina Press. Nicole’s stories usually focus on her favorite things: Scotland, Highlanders and hot men in kilts. She and her husband live in the Southeastern US, but she wishes she lived in the Scottish Highlands at least half the year. As she puts it, Scotland is a beautiful, magical and enchanting place where anything seems possible. She teaches online workshops about various aspects of writing, including sexual tension and how to write great love scenes. Though she has a degree in psychology, writing romance is her first love.