(A Masters and Mercenaries Novella)
by Lexi Blake
Derek Brighton has become one of Dallas’s finest detectives through a combination of discipline and obsession. Once he has a target in his sights, nothing can stop him. When he isn’t solving homicides, he applies the same intensity to his playtime at Sanctum, a secretive BDSM club. Unfortunately, no amount of beautiful submissives can fill the hole that one woman left in his heart.
Karina Mills has a reputation for being reckless and her clients appreciate her results. As a private investigator, she pursues her cases with nothing holding her back. In her personal life, Karina yearns for something different. Playing at Sanctum has been a safe way to find peace, but the one Dom who could truly master her heart is out of reach.
On the hunt for a killer, Derek enters a shadowy underworld only to find the woman he aches for is working the same case. Karina is searching for a missing girl and won’t stop until she finds her. To get close to their prime suspect, they need to pose as a couple. But as their operation goes under the covers, unlikely partners become passionate lovers while the killer prepares to strike.
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An Exclusive Interview With Lexi Blake:
~ with Jillian Stein of Read Love Blog
You write your Masters of Ménage series with author Shayla Black and it has got to be fun writing with a great partner. Are there any writing shenanigans that have happened while working together that you can share?
We have a lot of fun with that series. We came up with the idea for it over margaritas. A couple of years back we would have lunch every Friday at a Mexican restaurant in Grapevine and we probably plotted the first three there. After awhile, the waitresses learned to seat us at the back, far away from anyone else because our work conversations involved how three dudes could please one woman. Yes, we got some stares…
What do you find most fascinating about the D/s relationship?
D/s takes sex seriously. Both partners are forced to talk, to really communicate about what they’re feeling and their needs sexually. So often we women push aside our sexual selves and label that part of lives as something meaningless when it’s important to who we are and how our relationships work. My husband and I are happier for finally learning how to talk about sex. For so many men, it’s the language of their love and women often won’t learn to speak it. Conversely, it forces the man to talk our language – words of love and affection to go along with the physical. But of course it all depends on how you practice. There are as many ways to practice D/s as there are people who practice it.
I adore your urban fantasy series, The Thieves. Do you find it’s hard to jump from two really diverse genres?
I love the change. I would get bored writing the same style of book all the time. Thieves is utterly different. Not only is it UF, it’s first person and there’s a different purpose in first person. It’s all about helping the reader to truly lose herself in the character. I get to do it, too. When I’m writing Thieves I become Z in a way I can’t with third person because there are so many voices. I have a second series coming out from another heroine’s POV. It’s set in the same world and it was so much fun to see the characters I had written about for five books from an outside POV.
All of your covers are amazing and my personal faves are the Masters and Mercenaries covers. They are delicious! How important are your covers to you and how much say do you have over the finished product?
I think covers are deeply important. They say something about the time and thought put inside the book especially for an indie author. I spend time and money to get those covers right. They need to convey what the book is about. For M&M it’s a James Bondy feel. I try to buy my images outright so I don’t see them on fifty different books. Photographers like Kim Killion and Jenn LeBlanc do amazing jobs.
Derek and Karina are smoking hot and have beautiful sexual tension. What made you choose them for your 1,001 Dark Nights novella?
Derek showed up in The Men with the Golden Cuffs and Karina in Love and Let Die, but I didn’t realize they were kind of sparking off each other until Unconditional. I really wanted a couple who could also have a suspenseful external story. With Derek being a cop and Karina a PI, they fit the bill. They’re an odd couple. Derek is by the book and a bit of an OCD clean freak and Karina flies by the seat of her pants and doesn’t mind a little mess. I think in the end they make each other better.
The RT 2014 convention is coming up and I can only imagine some of the questions you are asked during author chats. Was there ever anything you have been asked that you were just too embarrassed to answer?
Nope. I tend to be an open book especially about sex. I really think it should be talked about. I find the women who ask me about it always have good intentions. They’re curious and want to know they’re not alone.
Any tricks on how you balance author life and mom life?
I have a husband who stays home. I’m a full time writer and the only paycheck in the family. It’s funny because I’ve watched a lot of TV lately where the ambitious female gets forced to choose between her career and having a family. For the first sixteen years of our marriage, my husband’s career came first. I stayed home. He worked in a high powered job and he stepped down when it became apparent I wanted this. I was very lucky to have a man who was willing to say it was my turn. And my kids couldn’t have a better stay at home parent.
I had asked Julie Kenner this question and would love to ask you as well: Has there ever been a parent/teacher conference where you’ve been asked to sign a book? (I know my teacher friends LOVE your books!)
I write under a pen name and I tend to keep very quiet about it. My family knows what I do and so do my friends, but other than that, I tend to guard what I say.
Any guilty pleasure t.v. shows or movies you secretly love to watch? You know you wanna spill…
I am a TV junkie. Scandal, Arrow, Nashville, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead and The Good Wife. Those are my obsessions right now. I love serialized stories with meaty plotlines. And when I need a little comfort food I turn on Parks and Rec. Seriously, if I’m in a bad mood, my husband turns that show on and it makes me smile. I love TV because it gives you the ability to tell long storylines. I still watch Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve watched for 10 years.
If you could co-write a book with any author, living or not, who would it be?
I have my writing partner. I don’t think it would work as well with anyone else! Though it would be fun to make some of my favorite thriller writers blush…
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband and three kids. She began writing at a young age concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.
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