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About the author:
Libre Paley spent a number of years living and working in several different countries before returning to her home country of England. Since then she has made her home in the windswept and sometimes wild moorlands in rural North Lancashire, a brooding and stark landscape from which she derives much inspiration.
In addition to her full-time job, she is raising her children, and sits down (or remains standing up) to write in her non-existent spare time.
What inspired you to write your book?
A life-long book-lover, I writes out of sheer enjoyment, and I write erotica because I enjoys that too – when it is honest, sensual, and features strong women.
Here is a short sample from the book:
The promised rain fell before I got there, the short-lived force of a summer downpour. Damn, I had wanted to look groomed and flawless when I saw him again. Now I would have to present him with a soggy mess, hair astray, make-up in serious jeopardy.
I unfastened my saturating sandals and quickened my step, taking a shortcut across the clipped perfection of the grass, earth yielding under my tread. I’d set off in what I thought must be the right direction, but it took far longer than expected. Did I recognise that stone bridge; the sundial rooted in a nexus of symmetrical lawns; the screen of tall conifers? I began to doubt every landmark. Then, to my relief, the multiple honeyed turrets revealed themselves.
I bypassed the porticoed main entrance, fussy with Palladian detail, flanked by the two wings of the house, making my way around the side of the building to a tradesman’s door. I attempted to re-trace the route Grigori had brought me, remembering one step ahead, finding some wide, shallow steps that I recognised, ranks of vast jardinières mossy with shade. It was the last part of the grounds to get the handyman’s lick of paint or the gardeners’ attention. After all, there was no reason for guests to come this way.
Moments of doubt that the key would work as it resisted my first two bids to turn it. Then click, the third a charm. The lift was the small, rackety sort that you have to drag shut behind you before it can judder upwards. Of the four vertical buttons, I remembered to press the top one. By the time I pulled open the elevator, his front door lay straight ahead and my heart was banging into my throat.
I rang the bell once, not hearing its echoing call inside, wondering whether to try it again. When there he was.
The reality of him liquefied me with lust and left my mouth too dry for anything but a croaked few words. “You got away from work early then,” came my brilliant opening line. Nice work Charlotte, witty! A year since I’d set eyes on him. To put it another way, twelve months of telling myself I would not, could not, be with him again, suppressing the yearning. And all I could come up with was a bland social nicety.
“Of course. I got back as soon as possible. To see you.”
Okay. Good. We weren’t going to play it cool then. Not going to pretend we had not been longing for this. Well thank God for that, because bloody hell he looked so gorgeous, and I wanted him so badly my knees were threatening to dissolve.
He was real. At last. Tall and of broad shoulders, the defined leanness of his body clad in sober charcoal trousers and a black cashmere sweater. That symmetrical face all angles, high cheekbones; delineated, up-curling lips; the straight nose and tilt of his eyebrows. The same face I’d been trying not to dream of, his grey-blue eyes looking into me. His mouth spread itself into that endearing grin, with the faintest goofiness that offset his overwhelming looks.
Grigori held out a hand, I took it; he pulled me inside, closed the door, and drew me into him. “Charlotte, my Charlotta.” I knew again, if I had ever forgotten, the way he said my name, the equal syllables, the shushing of the sibilant: Shar-lot. He placed a cupping palm on either side of my face, stroking with his thumbs, as though conducting an inventory of my every feature, forehead to chin.
“You are here,” he said, an echo of my own thoughts, then said it again, as if to convince himself. And I realised that throughout the time I had been trying and failing to forget him, the effect he had on me, the sexual union we’d shared, he must have been trying to forget me too. And failing as I had. How extraordinary was that?
The memorised pieces of him merged: his voice deep, the resonance of the plucked C string on a cello. As I burrowed in, a sensation triggered at the back of my nose, as much tasting as smelling. Clean, woody citrus, but specifically of him, catching a hint of the fresh sweat and sexual excitement from his warm flesh. He kissed deep into my mouth, flavoured with him and of us, my arms going up around his neck on reflex.
“You smell of outside,” he said.
Weak with yearning, I recognised the need in him too, unspoken: the need for no more delays. On our way through to the bedroom Grigori began to remove my few items of clothing, when I stopped him: “Will you undress for me, Grigori?”