Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fantasy Friday with Zara Chase!

Zara Chase is a British author who spends a lot of her time travelling the world. Being a gypsy provides her with ample opportunities to scope out exotic locations for her stories. She likes to involve her heroines in her erotic novels in all sorts of dangerous situations—and not only with the hunky heroes whom they encounter along the way. Murder, blackmail, kidnapping and fraud—to name just a few of life’s more common crimes— make frequent appearances in her books, adding pace and excitement to her racy stories.
Zara is an animal lover who enjoys keeping fit and is on a one-woman mission to keep the wine industry ahead of the recession. 

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In the small, independent European resort of Nevella, Hadleigh’s is the après-ski hangout of choice. Run by six hunky American ex-pats, the club has a very exclusive private side that’s strictly invitation only.
Tanya Novac and Melanie arrive for a week’s skiing. Melanie—slim, beautiful and full of confidence—sets her sights on their instructor, Ward Shannon. But Ward prefers slightly overweight Tanya, recognizing in her a need to be dominated that she doesn’t know exists. He takes her to Hadleigh’s BDSM club, and they embark upon a steamy Master/sub relationship.
Melanie can’t accept being second best and forces Tanya to confront unresolved issues from her past. Ward’s feelings for Tanya compel him to re-examine his reasons for hiding in Nevella and giving up on a promising career in journalism. Can Ward and Tanya help one another to fight their demons and find happiness in one another’s arms…

Ward thought she might actually turn him down, which hadn’t happened in a while and was probably a timely lesson in humility. Mind you, he didn’t normally take women where he was about to take Tanya. He really did want to talk to her and hadn’t thought beyond that point. Seeing the way Melanie led her around like a poodle irritated the hell out of him and he wanted to understand why she put up with it. He wanted to understand a lot of things about this oddly compelling woman. For the first time since he couldn’t remember when, he wanted to be with a female for reasons other than sex. Not that sex didn’t feature high on his list of priorities, but he wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship and something told him Tanya wasn’t into casual sex.
So what the hell do I want from her?
He punched a four-digit code into a doorway at the back of the bar. It swung open, and Ward stepped back to allow Tanya to step through it first, making sure it closed firmly behind them. Tanya looked around the large, comfortably furnished room and blinked. There were overstuffed sofas, a blazing log fire, a fully equipped bar and, mercifully, no blaring music.
“What is this place?” she asked.
“It’s where Leo and the rest of us come for privacy.”
“It’s your lounge? You live here?”
“Well, what does that mean? Either you do or you don’t.”
Ward laughed. “We’ll get to that. First, what would you like to drink? More beer?”
“No thanks. I don’t like beer much.” He wanted to ask why she’d been drinking it in that case, but refrained. It wasn’t so very important. “A glass of white wine would be good, though.”
“Coming right up.”
Wade handed her a glass, opened a beer for himself, and joined her on the settee beside the fire.
“Tell me about yourself,” he invited.
“I’d much rather talk about you. Why a half dozen Yanks call this place home has to be a more interesting story.”
He wagged a finger at her and then ran one arm along the back of the sofa, his fingers within striking distance of her neck and all that gorgeous hair. “I asked first.”
“Okay, but there’s not much to tell. I had a wonderful childhood, great parents who loved one another, and me and my brother and sister. We weren’t beaten, or abused, or neglected, or any of the other things it’s fashionable to complain about nowadays. Mum and Dad are still together, still in love.”
“You were lucky.”
“I know.”
“Whereabouts were you raised?”
“I was brought up in Brighton, which is on the south coast of England. I still live in the area. I have a flat—what you’d call an apartment—close to Mum and Dad’s place. I run my own business. Website design. Hadleigh’s site could use some work, by the way.” Her smile lit up her features and they lost their reserve. She feels confident talking about something she understands, Ward realized, glad she was starting to relax. “No offense, but I checked it out and it’s…well, dull.”
Ward laughed. “Leo isn’t into all that stuff.”
“It shows.”
“He does so well here that he doesn’t really need an online presence anyway.”
“Everyone does. Hello, welcome to the twenty-first century.”
“Does your business do well?”
Her smile vanished. “I’ve got a good client base, more than I can cope with actually, but I hit a few problems recently.”
Hmm, Ward would like to know what they were but sensed now wasn’t the time to ask. She’d clammed up on him again and he could feel tension radiating from her. “What sort of clients do you have?”
A grin tugged at the corners of her mouth, telling him he was back on safe territory. “All sorts. One writes erotic romance, which is…er, interesting.”
“Nothing wrong with erotica.”
“No, but she writes BDSM. It gets pretty wild.”
“Does it now.”
Her eyes sparkled, a mixture of autumnal colors that mesmerized him. “I do think she gets a bit carried away sometimes. I mean, I just posted an excerpt for her, but the woman was in an impossible position.”
“Define impossible.”
She blushed, presumably because she realized what she was saying to him, a virtual stranger. It was interesting that she felt safer talking about this than about herself.
“Well, the woman had her feet…sorry.” She clapped a hand over her mouth to stop herself from giggling. “She had her legs over her own shoulders and her feet almost flat on the bed. She must have to have no bones in her body.”
“No, she could do that.”
Tanya’s eyes flew wide—very wide. “You know about this stuff?”

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