Hello, readers! I’m Alexis Alvarez, and today I have the talented author Ashe Barker visiting. I’m so glad to have her! Her brand new book, A Scandalous Arrangement, is a super-sexy, historically accurate read, so please find out more! Here’s what Ashe has to share with us today.
Hi Alexis, and thank you for inviting me over today to share a little about my latest release, A Scandalous Arrangement.
This is a historical erotic romance set in Victorian England so I thought it might be good to say a few words about research.
When I write in a historical context I like to get my facts right. Some matters are fairly fluid, for example food, transport, architecture. The pace of change in previous ages was much slower than now. People got about by horse power for centuries, though that was starting to change by the late 1800s.
But some things need to be right. Dates for example have to be accurate, as does any reference to key historical events. I managed to pass history A Level at school so I have a bit of a head start, but some additional research is always needed. Wikipedia is my friend, and the internet generally. Whatever did we authors do before the great God Google entered our lives?
Anyway, here’s the blurb…
After a foolish wager costs her brother ownership of the weaving mill in Yorkshire which provides her income, Victoria Wynne is left with no choice but to confront the man who took the bet and seek to dissuade him from claiming his prize. Unfortunately for her, that man turns out to be Adam Luke, an experienced, ambitious entrepreneur who is intent on keeping what he won.
Upon meeting her, Adam is enchanted by Victoria’s beauty and charm as well as her nerve and self-reliance. Adam is a man of singular tastes, and when Victoria asks to manage the mill in return for a share of the profits, he offers her a bold proposal of his own. She will continue to run the mill as she has for years, but in return for a substantially larger portion of the profits she will also serve at his beck and call behind closed doors, submitting to him in any way he desires.
Wanting to earn enough money to buy back the mill as quickly as possible—and with some part of her shamefully aroused by the thought of kneeling naked at Adam’s feet—Victoria accepts his terms. But submission initially proves difficult for a woman used to running her own affairs, and soon enough she finds herself bare-bottomed over his knee for a firm lesson in obedience.
Adam’s plans for Victoria run much deeper than just an occasional spanking. She will be stripped naked, bound, and teased until she is aching for release, and then at last he will take her long and hard. As Adam continues to train her, teaching her to yield to his mastery while bringing her more pleasure than she ever thought possible, Victoria cannot help falling for him. But can a lifelong bond truly emerge from such a scandalous arrangement?
Publisher’s Note: A Scandalous Arrangement is an erotic romance novel that includes spankings, sexual scenes, anal play, elements of BDSM, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
And now, an excerpt from A Scandalous Arrangement.
Victoria has just received a letter from Adam Luke’s lawyer. Things are not going as she had hoped.
Dear Mr Wynne
You are mistaken; there is no lack of clarity in the matter of Wynne’s Weaving Mill. The transaction is complete and the property is now in the ownership of my client.
I would be obliged if you could vacate the business and domestic premises by the end of this month. A manager will be appointed to oversee the affairs of the company until such time as my client issues further instructions as to its disposal.
- Catchpole, Solicitor
Mister Wynne indeed. Arrogant, misogynist prig.
Victoria scanned the curt few lines and wondered if she might be sick. She certainly felt it to be a real possibility. By her interpretation of the brief note, Adam Luke’s man of affairs had not so much as referred her query to him. She had been summarily dismissed.
The end of the month! Edward had said as much but she had ignored his words. She glanced at the calendar on the corner of her desk. It was already the thirteenth, she had a little over two weeks before she and her family would be homeless. Destitute. She had to do something. Something decisive. There was nothing else for it, she needed to appeal to the man himself.
“Mr Timmins, do you have a moment?”
Her clerk appeared in the doorway. “Yes, Miss Wynne?”
“I need to know the time of the earliest train to London tomorrow morning. And I need to know the address there of Mr Luke. Are you able to suggest how we might discover that?” Mr Timmins had an inventive streak to him which Victoria had always admired. If anyone could find the information for her at short notice, he could.
“One moment, Miss Wynne.” Her clerk inclined his head politely, and withdrew.
Less than a minute later he was back.
“One of the hands has been dispatched to the station to request details of trains to London. I guaranteed an extra penny in his wages this week if he returns within the half hour.” He stepped forward and laid a sheet of paper on top of Victoria’s blotter. “And here is Mr Luke’s direction in London. He has business premises and lodgings in Portsmouth, and in Liverpool, but his main residence is in Knightsbridge.”
Victoria gaped at her efficient employee. It did not occur to her to doubt the accuracy of his information. “How did you find this out so quickly?”
Mr Timmins availed himself of the spare chair. “It took me three days, in fact. I knew you were in correspondence with Mr Catchpole, but I suspected we might find it necessary to make contact with Mr Luke direct. The morning after your brother’s visit I telegraphed my cousin who is a waiter at White’s. He is acquainted with others in similar employ, including the second footman at Crockford’s. That individual was able to ascertain Mr Luke’s address in the city from their member’s list…”
Victoria shook her head in disbelief. “Mr Timmins, you are indeed amazing.”
“I did offer my help, Miss Wynne, and I have almost as keen an interest in rectifying this unfortunate set of circumstances as you do. I like working here, for you.”
“You are an excellent clerk, Mr Timmins and I expect your job will be safe, whatever happens.”
“I am afraid I cannot share your confidence, Miss Wynne. A new owner would doubtless have his own staff, or would wish to select them.”
Victoria merely shrugged, unable to entirely refute his logic. In Mr Luke’s place she would probably do the same thing, though she would offer the most heartfelt recommendation for her loyal assistant if it actually came to that.
Mr Timmins made to rise. “If there is anything else I can do, please do not hesitate to ask me. Would you like me to accompany you to London?”
“Thank you, but no. I believe I should see Mr Luke alone, and ideally without his solicitor present if this is to be that man’s attitude.” She gave the letter a disparaging prod. “The man is a pompous ass.”
“Indeed,” agreed Mr Timmins. “Let us hope Mr Luke is more biddable.”
More about Ashe Barker:
I’ve been an avid reader of fiction for many years, erotic and other genres. I still love reading, the hotter the better. But now I have a good excuse for my guilty pleasure – research.
I tend to draw on my own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to my plots and characters. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea.
When not writing – which is not very often these days – my time is divided between my role as resident taxi driver for my teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, rabbits, tortoises. And a very grumpy cockatiel.
I have twenty four (at the last count) titles on general release with publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, and I have several more in the pipeline. All my books feature BDSM. I write explicit stories, always hot, but they offer far more than just sizzling sex. I like to read about complex characters, and compelling plots, so that’s what I write too. Strong, demanding Doms are a given, often paired with new submissives who have a lot to learn.
I have a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keep thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from me.
Thanks for reading today, everyone! I hope you enjoyed the visit and excerpt from Ashe. Happy reading!