Many years ago I lived and worked in London. Life was busy, high-adrenaline and I rarely sat still. But since a move to the Welsh countryside my life is very different. I love living in Wales. I’m not Welsh but the people and the land have adopted me after so long of being in its gentle embrace.
One of the things I adore is walking with my dogs. Mr H prefers to run but occasionally he slows down a pace and we head off to the mountains to enjoy the views. Here are some pictures taken in the Brecon Beacons last month. We didn’t have snow in our valley but once we went up a few hundred feet there was plenty, and most of it unspoilt as this is a deserted part of the National Park – you’re most likely to see military here as they use its desolate, isolated landscape for survival training. I hope you enjoy these pictures. It’s days like this that inspire me to write.
This is a sign for the Taff Trail which goes on for miles and is enjoyed by many.
Our walk got pretty steep and the snow deep but it was worth it for the views
Waterfalls – once the snow melts they’ll increase in size dramatically
Back at ground level and looking forward to a glass of wine in front of the fire!
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this pictures I took with my phone. Being in the mountains is truly wonderful after spending a week writing and the clear air and sense of space good for my soul. I hope you’ll check out my new novel Breathe You In which has a summery setting and some seriously hot sexy scenes to warm you after these chilly photographs.
Blurb for Breathe You In:
Soul-aching desire was only the first layer of emotion around a secret I had to keep for all of time.
If the road to heaven starts in hell, then I was ready to start climbing my way out and Ruben Strong was the man to accompany me. With his devastating good looks, seductively sexy charm and lust for adrenaline, he was sure to make it a sensual and erotic experience as well as one to re-awake the passionate, throw-caution-to-the-wind woman I’d once been.
I’d given Ruben something, though, without him realizing, and that gift had come from the man I’d loved before. But I couldn’t tell Ruben. I had to keep that a tight secret even on the nights our naked bodies wound together, sought out pleasure and hit the dizzy heights of ecstasy—because Ruben had my husband’s heart, literally, and that heart was still in love with me, so it seemed, and now I was in love with Ruben.
Emotions tangled with bliss and fears were locked away as I surrendered to the touch of Ruben’s hands, the taste of his skin and the sounds of his pleasure. I couldn’t deny that Ruben had brought me back to life the same way I had him, and there was no way I was giving up that feeling, not for anyone.
Publisher’s Note: This book was previously self-published. It has been expanded, revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.
Like the sound of Breathe You In? Buy it here.
About Lily Harlem:
Lily Harlem lives in the UK with a workaholic hunk and a crazy cat. With a desk overlooking rolling hills her over active imagination has been allowed to run wild and free and she revels in using the written word as an outlet for her creativity.
Lily’s stories are made up of colourful characters exploring their sexuality and sensuality in a safe, consensual way. With the bedroom door left wide open the reader can hang on for the ride and Lily hopes by reading sensual romance people will be brave enough to try something new themselves? After all, life’s too short to be anything other than fully satisfied.
Excerpt from Breathe You In:
“Katie,” he whispered when I pulled back from our soft kiss.
“I’m sorry.” I could taste him, just a little. It hadn’t been a big, open-mouthed snog, merely a touch. But still, it had spoken a thousand words, and it was the first time I’d kissed anyone other than Matt in nearly a decade.
“No, please don’t apologize.” He placed his hands on my shoulders, his thumbs grazing my collarbones through my T-shirt. “I liked it, but…are you sure?”
“I’m trying to put my life back together, too, Ruben. Matt will always be with me, no one can replace him.” I paused, juddered in a breath and put my hand on Ruben’s chest again. “Our time together was cut short, but the memories I have, they’re good memories.” I tried to find the right words—my emotions were tangled, my thoughts jumbled, but basically I just wanted to be with Ruben, it felt right. In a very basic, limbic part of my brain Ruben was someone I needed. “But I want to make new memories, happy ones, fun ones. I can’t be a sad widow who everyone feels sorry for anymore. It’s not what Matt would have wanted for me, I know that.”
“If he loved you he would have wanted you to find happiness again.” He stroked his thumbs to the base of my throat, shifting my silky scarf. It was a small, delicate caress that sent a shiver of something scarily like desire tickling over my skin.
“He did love me,” I said, “with all of his heart.” And did that heart still love me? The one I could feel beating right now? Is that where love was stored, in the fibers of the cardiac muscle? And if so, did that mean Matt’s love had been transferred into Ruben when Matt’s heart was transplanted? Did Ruben love me already, because of the reassignment of an organ?
“Katie?” He frowned a little.
“For the first time it feels right to hear that said.”
“That he would have wanted me to be happy. Oh, it’s been said to me by lots of well-meaning friends over the last year, since the anniversary of his death, and I’ve just nodded and agreed, put on my usual fake smile.” I shook my head. “But now, here, yes, he would have wanted me to be looking for happiness again, and I want to find it. Not because it’s what I’m supposed to be doing, but because it’s what I want. I need to feel alive again, because, like you said, I am alive.”
Ruben smiled, the edges of his mouth tilting a fraction and the creases at the corners of his eyes deepening. “Me too. God, me too.” He kissed me, a gentle connection, his tongue dipping into my mouth the tiniest amount.
I slid both my hands over his shoulders. He wrapped his arms around my body, and our chests touched. My breasts, through my top, squeezed up against his firm pectoral muscles.
His kiss was tender and sweet, his lips a new shape for me to learn. I touched the tip of my tongue to his, drew in the slightly salty, masculine flavor of him and knew it was something I wanted more of.
He pulled me closer still. I shifted and next thing I knew he was resting me backwards. I unfolded my legs, stretched out and knocked away the pot of carrot sticks.
The feel of Ruben over me, kissing me, was exciting, frightening, wonderful and painful all at the same time.
He kissed across my cheek, to my ear. His breaths were loud, his weight carefully held on his elbows. I ran my hands down his smooth back, tracing the slopes and rises of his spine then over the planes of his shoulder blades, all the time staring up at the cloudless sky and the bows of the birches, their tiny leaves shivering in the breeze.
“You smell like flowers,” he whispered into the shell of my ear.
“Yes, so pretty.” He lifted his head and looked down at me. “Kissing you here, now, it’s my top new memory.”
I smiled—the smile grew and grew until it balled my cheeks and another giggle escaped. “I think it’s mine too.”
He kissed me again. I shut my eyes, lost myself in the moment. That small shiver of desire was back. The need for more skin-on-skin and to get closer was growing. Ruben had that certain something that worked for me. His smell, taste and the way he made me feel like everything would be all right, it was something I could get hooked on.
I ran my hands over the waistband of his jeans, stroked his arse cheeks through the denim. Damn, what a cute bum, taut and the perfect handful.
He dropped his weight a little more, our chests pressed harder together and his groin pushed into my right hip. He deepened the kiss and a fizz of lust sparked through me. It couldn’t be ignored. My nipples were tight, there was a tug in my lower abdomen, the start of a need—a need I hadn’t thought of for so long.
I lifted my left leg, curled it over the back of his and squeezed up against him. It was then I felt a long, hard bulge.
“Ruben,” I gasped into his mouth as a fist of something raw and primitive gripped me. Could we? Here?
“Damn, I’m sorry, I…” He lifted up, completely off me.
“What’s the matter?”
Enter Totally Bound’s competition for the chance to win a copy of Breathe You In as well as three books from Lily Harlem’s backlist! Click on the banner below to enter:
It’s Sunday snog time again at Blissekiss.co.uk, and for all those of you who like a man in uniform, here’s a quick kiss from An Act of Duty, my story from the Totally Bound Stand to Attention anthology. To set the scene, Mark is in Amsterdam, keeping a promise to his fallen comrade and good friend, Ozzy. But a quiet drink in a bar has turned into a full-on brawl, and now he’s helping the bar’s Dutch owner, Robin, deal with the aftermath of the incident…
Mark made a brief examination of the Dutchman’s face, aware as he pressed his fingers to Robin’s cheek of the warmth of his skin and the potent scent of sweat mixed with something more primal and male.
“Well,” he said, noting the beginning of a bruise forming, “it looks like you’re going to get a nice shiner—”
“Sorry?” Robin replied, failing to recognise the term.
Mark chuckled. “A black eye. But that’s all. There’ll be no permanent scarring.”
“That’s good to know. Not that there’s anything wrong with scars. They can be very sexy.” As Robin spoke, he traced his fingertips over the jagged white scar that ran the length of Mark’s face from cheek to chin, close to his hairline. Mark shivered, partly from the thrill of Robin’s touch and partly in remembrance of the circumstances in which he’d gained that wound.
His heart thumped wildly, his senses rousing in response to Robin’s sensual caress. A second finger had been added to the first, and now Robin trailed them over Mark’s lips, exploring their contours. “Really?”
“Oh, yes. Very sexy.”
Almost before Mark knew what was happening, Robin had kissed him. The lightest of pecks, it still left Mark’s lips tingling. His cock stirred in his underwear, and realised that for the first time since Ozzy had died, he was getting properly turned on. Grief and guilt at not being able to do anything to save his friend’s life had destroyed his sex drive but now, it was reawakening, rising like a phoenix. He cupped Robin’s face in his palms and returned the kiss. His mouth pressed hard against Robin’s, and his tongue flickered along the seam between the lips till they parted and he was able to slip inside.
They ground their bodies together, their passion mounting. Mark ran his fingers through Robin’s dark curls, such a contrast to his own hair, which he kept cropped close to his skull, for ease of maintenance. They felt like silk to his touch.
Robin was stroking his chest through his plain white T-shirt, feeling muscles honed by the physical exertions of Mark’s life in theatre. “Mmm, so hard,” he murmured. “But then I knew you’d have a good body. “
“Yours isn’t too shabby, either,” Mark responded. The Dutchman had a long, lean physique, even if he didn’t possess Mark’s washboard abs or impressive biceps. Mark suspected Robin kept fit by hauling barrels of beer around, maybe cycling around the streets as all the locals here seemed to do. But now wasn’t the time to speculate on the man’s exercise regime. All he wanted to do was become better acquainted with that body in a sexual sense.
It didn’t surprise him that he—or Robin—was suddenly so keen to get physical. They’d been in a situation where they’d been placed in sudden danger, forced to fight to protect themselves and the bar. Adrenaline still coursed through his veins. Fucking Robin would confirm that he’d beaten that danger. He was alive. And Robin had to be feeling something similar. Though the Dutchman’s next words proved he was working to a slightly different agenda.
To find out what happens next, check out An Act of Duty, and Stand to Attention, which also features hot m/m stories by Sean Michael, Jambrea Jo Jones, Lily Harlem, Noelle Keaton and Lucy Felthouse. And don’t forget to visit Blissekiss and immerse yourself in the full snog-tastic experience provided by this week’s selection of authors.
As John Junkin once said on the inimitable Hello, Cheeky! (currently being repeated on Radio 4 Extra for those of us who love bad puns and really, really old jokes), ‘If music be the food of love, I’ll have double egg and chips twice.’ Well, music being the food of love is the theme behind Total-e-bound’s forthcoming Treble anthology, featuring menage tales with some kind of musical background. It’s not out till September, but here’s a sneaky preview of the cover:
While you’re enjoying your big, stubbly men quotient for the day, please take time to notice the contributors involved alongside my good self – Desiree Holt, Lisabet Sarai, Lily Harlem, Imari Jade and Wendi Swaduk. A talented line-up like that should be music to the ears of any erotic romance lover.
To cue you in, my story, Three-part Harmony, involves an adult-orientated rock band with a tangled sexual past and a potentially even more tangled future, and writing it allowed me to indulge all my wannabe rock star fantasies. But more of that nearer the time – for now, just keep enjoying those delicious cover models…