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 the rugged, arid land of the Rajputs 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 constraints of her life in England?
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Excerpt: Steampunk, rated PG
“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.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.
For more information about me and my writing, visit my website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or my blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com)
Lisabet's Fantasy Factory (website) http://www.lisabetsarai.com
Beyond Romance (blog): http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com
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Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/lisabetsarai
Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/83387.Lisabet_Sarai