Nathan may not have cookies, but he definitely has a whole lot else to offer Eva as he introduces her to the darker side of romance. And Eva has her own reasons for seizing what he offers her, with both hands.
All three books in The Dark Side trilogy are now ‘out there’, and the first book, Darkening, appears in print from 27 September 2013. The core plot is one of burning attraction, hot seduction and even hotter sex, an erotic journey as Nathan draws his eager pupil into the joys and challenges of his BDSM lifestyle. But it’s not an easy ride, for either of them, and each has their secrets which threaten to derail their fragile connection.
The Dark Side trilogy is big on pain and the flip-side, pleasure, as you might expect from a story with a central theme of BDSM. But life has a way of being more complex than that. Underlying the delicate Dom-sub relationship between Eva and Nathan, is Eva’s constant battle with depression, her own ‘dark side’ which on occasions threatens to overwhelm her. But more destructive than her, at times, fragile mental health are Eva’s frantic efforts to deny the problem, to hide it, to avoid being labelled or judged. And it’s this struggle to maintain her façade that drives Eva to make quirky, destructive, and sometimes bizarre choices, risking her career, her blossoming relationship with her enigmatic but Dominant lover, and even her life.
But that’s not what Eva will be remembered for. Despite her struggles, Eva is a strong heroine with a lot going for her. With an IQ at the upper end of brilliant and a stunning range of talents she’s resilient, courageous, intelligent. She’s respected, admired, independent. She’s a long, long way from being a helpless victim. She knows it lies within her own power to change her life, ultimately, it’s down to her. She just has to make the right choices. Eventually. And she comes through it. There is a happy ever after, and she wins hers by facing her demons and dealing with them, and by accepting the help that’s all around her.
A lot of readers would recognize the difficulties Eva faces as she grapples with post-natal depression, the pain and grief of loss and betrayal, and the constant struggle to fit in. Mental health issues impact on most of us at some time, and whilst The Dark Side is first and foremost an enjoyable, sexy read, Eva’s story is designed to inspire and encourage people to think about it and talk about it. There’s a lot of empathy out there, just as there are lots of opportunities to find joy if you look out for them and expect to find them.
Eva finds hers in the form of the sexy and dominant Nathan Darke who challenges her to face her fears and move beyond them, who shows her the real meaning of pain, and the glittering reality of mind-numbing pleasure. And it’s Nathan who is there to pick up the pieces and keep her safe when she most needs him.
The Dark Side charts their turbulent journey together as Eva and Nathan each peel away their protective layers to expose the vulnerabilities beneath. It takes courage, and trust, and more than a few leaps of faith. It’s a sensual story, with its fair share steamy sex scenes dripping with kink, romantic but with a sharp sting in the tail.
The Dark Side trilogy, charts the sensual journey of academic musician Eva Byrne as she struggles to overcome painful shyness, sexual inhibition, and personal tragedy. Lonely, unsophisticated, fragile, and desperately seeking love and approval, Eva is easy prey for sensual and experienced Nathan Darke.
He wants her submission, and he knows how to go about getting it. Eva is quickly caught up by the whirlwind of his effortless seduction, though she has her own reasons for agreeing to join him in his world of pain and pleasure, on The Dark Side.
Inexplicably fascinated and at the same time totally frustrated by his new submissive, Nathan is increasingly drawn to her as she opens up in his hands and he realises there is much, much more to his latest playmate than he ever could have imagined.
The Dark Side charts the turbulent relationship between Eva and Nathan as their mutual fascination builds. They both discover what surrender truly means as together they explore the fragile bonds of desire, trust, risk and reward, and the destructive power of betrayal.
The Dark Side is set mainly in the fabulous West Yorkshire moors, Bronte country. It’s an area I know well, I see it every day from my window. In this excerpt we see the moors through Eva’s eyes.
I’ll never tire of this moody, untamed landscape, ever-changing from one moment to the next. A fireburst, an eruption of vivid colours—vibrant reds, oranges, golds, greens—glittering and sharp, brought to life by the bright sunlight sparkling through wispy clouds. And as the clouds shift this is transformed before my eyes to become a gently smudged, muted blend of greys, blues and browns, layered in the hazy half-light. Only to burst into life, the moors once again awash with glittering, hectic frenzy, glowing with summer freshness as the skies clear and bright sunlight streams back over the heather and gorse.
And the wildlife is as changeable, as sharply contrasting as their volatile home. The grumpy chatter of jackdaws squabbling with the raucous squawk of wild ducks, their wings graceful as they glide across the tarn, their long necks outstretched, following their leader. Even the sheep are rugged, resilient, independent little souls, nibbling their unhurried way across coarse meadow and through rough bracken. Their hooves scramble carelessly over the remains of ancient walls now tumbled into piles of hard, black stone, the best pieces long since carried away to be reshaped, timelessly recycled, resurrected.
The three of us—me, Rosie and Barney—have covered miles on foot these last few days. Rosie knows every inch of these rolling hillsides, which surround her home, and has shared them with me—all her favourite places. I’ve dropped pebbles in a gently babbling stream crossed by an ancient stone bridge, and crouched behind a rushing waterfall, fierce and overflowing from the recent rain. I’ve walked through ancient ruined farmsteads, dignified in their echoes of a life long gone, and I’ve leaned over new garden walls to admire tastefully designed barn conversions, gracious modern living reborn from the heart of traditional moorland stock. Rather like Black Combe.
We’ve climbed, panting, up the towering grassy slopes to stand at the top of the world, to gaze across miles and miles of unbroken wildness. We’ve turned our faces to the far horizons, often hazy, frequently obscured by mist, but sometimes glowing in the late afternoon sunshine. And always beautiful in all her moods, always grand, timeless and solid. I look forward to seeing this landscape changing with the seasons—watching the moors shift from autumnal auburn shades to a wintry platinum blonde. Then to burst into golden life again as spring creeps back across the hills.
Until 2010 I was a director of a regeneration company in Leeds, in the UK, before becoming convinced there must be more to life. I left to work as an independent consultant, and still do some of that though most of my time is now spent writing, as at last I’ve been able to realise my dream of writing erotic romance myself. I’ve been an avid reader of women’s fiction for many years, and I still love reading historical and contemporary romances – the hotter the better. But now I have a good excuse for my guilty pleasure – research.
I usually draw on settings and anecdotes from my own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to my plots and characters, but my stories of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of my own lurid imagination.
When not writing – which is not very often - 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 cockatiel. I’m a rural parish councillor, and I’m passionate about evolving rural traditions and values to suit twenty first century lifestyles.
I’ve just completed my third trilogy in the Black Combe ‘family’ as well as a novella and a short story. All are due for release over the next few months.
My books are available from most distributors
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