Let's give a warm welcome to my friend, and one of my favorite writers, Lisabet Sarai...
I first began writing romance in 2006, when Totally Bound invited me to submit to them. Before that, I’d published novels and stories that would probably be labeled as erotica, though they often had romantic elements. It didn’t take me long to realize that erotic romance had a whole new set of rules.
1. The focus of a romance book must be on the developing relationship between the protagonists. All sexual activity must deepen that relationship.
2. The protagonists should not be sexually involved with anyone else during the course of the book.
3. The protagonists must struggle against obstacles—internal, external or both—which threaten to destroy their relationship.
4. By the end of the book, the characters must have surmounted these barriers. The reader must be convinced they’ll remain together in a HFN (Happy For Now) or HEA (Happily Ever After) situation.
In many ways, my new release The Gazillionaire and the Virgin is a classic romance. The hero and heroine begin by mistrusting and misunderstanding one another. As they give in to their mutual attraction, they fall in love, even though they have very different lives, expectations and values. The sexual chemistry between them overwhelms these real world concerns. Then one of the characters unintentionally violates the trust of the other, tearing the relationship apart. It takes both imagination and hard work to bring them back together, but of course by the end of the book, they’ve reconciled.
At the same time, this novel breaks a lot of the rules—or perhaps I should say traditions—of BDSM erotic romance.
1. The hero is not in any sense an alpha male. In fact, he’s a socially-awkward, porn-influenced virgin who has made an intensive study of sex but has never had a chance to put his research into practice. (He is dominant and moderately hunky, though this isn’t necessarily obvious at first.)
2. The heroine is a brilliant billionaire CEO used to getting what she wants. She’s a good deal more “alpha”, in fact, than the hero. She has submissive desires, but it’s hard for her to put aside her natural bossiness.
3. The hero is not attracted to the heroine’s wealth. In fact, he despises her luxury lifestyle.
You won’t find all that many BDSM erotic romances where the hero has anxiety attacks, or where the heroine treats the hero to a $2000 dinner.
This probably sounds very strange. Why didn’t I follow the traditional BDSM billionaire romance script?
Honestly? Because I’m really, really bored with that story line. I wanted to see what would happen if I twisted a few of the tropes. Actually, I’m delighted with the results. The Gazillionaire and the Virgin has all the heat and the heart of a traditional romance—but a lot more surprises.
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This post is part of my Gazillionaire and Virgin blog tour, running from February 1st to 15th. Leave me a comment on this post, including your email address, and I’ll enter you to win a $50 bookstore gift certificate (first prize) or an autographed print copy of the new book (second prize). Visit all the stops for more chances to win. You’ll find the full list here:
Contemporary BDSM erotic romance (Five flames)
Approximately 62,000 words, 240 pages in print
#bdsm #eroticromance #lisabetsarai #bondage #discipline #dominance #submission #sextoys #artificialintelligence #virtualworlds #SiliconValley #onlineenvironments
Trust can’t be bought—it has to be earned.
When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she finds him strangely compelling. Theo is both arrogant and socially awkward, but he has an aura of power that speaks to Rachel’s carefully-hidden submissive side. Disturbed and aroused, she tries to focus on her original objective—a deal to incorporate his Artificial Intelligence software into her company’s popular virtual world. Rachel’s not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but for some reason, she can’t resist Theo’s geeky appeal.
Theo Moore can’t be bought. His past battles with poverty make him deeply suspicious of the billionaire CEO. Still, with her voluptuous curves and brilliant mind, Rachel embodies his ultimate sexual fantasy. Too bad his knowledge about sex derives from extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience.
That doesn’t bother Rachel, however. In his bed—in his arms—in his bonds—she discovers the bliss of total surrender. Rachel may be Theo’s first lover, but Theo is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart. It seems that love may harmonize their differing goals and values, until Rachel’s unwitting violation of Theo’s trust threatens to tear them apart forever.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky is not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but when she meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she can’t resist his geeky appeal. Though Theo’s knowledge about sex derives from extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience, he is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart.
“Lisabet Sarai writes the most beautiful erotic prose. Her stories tease at the senses and transport you to a world of sexual pleasure.” ~ Desiree Holt, queen of BDSM erotic romance and author of Forward Pass
"I’ve always been a fan—Lisabet Sarai's erotic fiction is certain to captivate, dominate, and leave readers begging for more." ~ Alison Tyler, best-selling author of erotic BDSM memoirs Dark Secret Love and Even Deeper.
Ebook Buy Links (Print coming soon!)
Barnes & Noble
LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.
You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.
She’s not what I expected. She’s soft and full, not lean and angular like most Californians. None of the gym-toned muscles everyone sports here in the land of sunshine. And she’s young, much younger than someone so filthy rich has any right to be. Her designer watch must have cost more than two months of my professor’s salary. On the other hand, I can hardly complain about her wealth, can I, since my pet project is the beneficiary of her largesse?
Hunkering down in the leather-upholstered back seat of her disgustingly opulent vehicle, I try to calm myself. I’m sweating like a pig, and my muscles are in knots. I gulp down orange juice from the bar I’d ridiculed and focus on my breathing the way Dr. Hopkins has taught me. I force myself not to count the telephone poles whizzing by. I know that will only make it worse.
When I pat my pocket, I can’t help grinning a bit. Two hundred fifty thousand! We can equip a new mobile development lab and hire two trainers for a year. Or take our outreach into junior high schools. Or even expand to some of the Rust Belt cities where the recession has hit particularly hard...
No, this wouldn’t be enough for that. But Dr. Zelinsky—Rachel—had indicated there might be more.
Rachel. Bringing up the search engine on my phone, I type in her name. I should have done this before the meeting, of course, but I was much too nervous. Up until the moment her limousine pulled up in front of my building, I still thought I might back out.
The screen fills with images and links. There’s even a Wikipedia article. I flip through the text, digesting the basics. Born in Brooklyn. An MBA from Harvard and a PhD—in physics!—from MIT. Looking Glass is her third company. She sold the first to IBM and the second to Microsoft.
A real high roller. And MirrorWorld is a huge hit—the main article on the virtual environment runs pages and pages. Since the Looking Glass IPO almost two years ago, the company stock has increased in value by an unbelievable 224%.
She can afford a quarter of a million for charity. For her, that’s petty change.
By the time we arrive back at my complex, I’m pretty much back to normal. At least what counts as normal for me. I nod at the uniformed driver who opens the door for me, trying to pretend I do this every day. The Vietnamese gardener is spreading new mulch on the flower beds in front of my building. Averting my eyes and ignoring his greeting—after all, I can barely understand his English— I hustle up the wooden steps to my second floor condo.
It’s quiet and cool inside. The soft hiss of the air conditioning soothes me. I flip on the stereo, something by Brahms, turn the volume down low, then stretch out on my bed, fully clothed.
I made it.
The money is mine, free and clear. I’ll ask my sister to deposit it tomorrow. I don’t need to see Rachel Zelinsky again.
I can’t stop thinking about her, though. I recall one of the pictures from the web article, a black and white photo of a skinny teenager with a mop of curls, standing in front of some science fair project. She didn’t have those curves yet. No, but I recognize the expression, that determined set of her mouth and those laser-sharp eyes under the dark eyebrows. She was going to win—there was no question.