So, most important things first: the prizes. Here’s the deal:
Comment on this post to be in to win one of these fabulous prizes:
A Kindle and £50 worth of Total-E-Bound ebooks.
or £50 worth of Xcite ebooks
And be sure to check out all the August Alfresco posts at http://smutalfresco.co.uk and comment on each one to have more chances to win.
All terms and conditions are available at smutalfresco.co.uk and the winners will be announced on the 1st September at the website.
August Alfresco is all about making love in the great outdoors – something that features heavily in my novella, The Lord of Summer:
Banished to the back of beyond, in the middle of a long, hot summer, Gem and Dan Parker find their marriage filling up with secrets. As they work to reopen the Green Man pub, tensions and unacknowledged desires come between them.
From their first night, when Gem sees someone watching them make love from the edge of the woods, her fantasies of having two men at once start to grow and consume her. As the temperature rises, she becomes fixated by her imaginings of an impossible, gorgeous, otherworldly man in the forest.
A man who could make her dreams come true – and maybe save her marriage.
See why I had to write about this story for August Alfresco?
As Gem is lured into the woods, she meets the Lord of Summer himself – also known as the Green Man – who leads her down a sensual path to admitting her own desires, and taking exactly what she wants.
But who is the Green Man, really? Well, in English folklore, the Green Man refers to a symbol, an image of a face surrounded by – or even made of – leaves. Which is kind of cool, but not so sexy, really.
But there’s more to him that that. He’s a nature spirit, a pagan symbol of fertility, of sexuality, and he’s been reimagined as many figures through history. He’s Jack of the Green, he’s Pan, he’s the Green Knight, he’s Robin Hood… and he’s waiting for you in the woods.
He’s most definitely waiting for Gem. And Dan…
Excerpt from The Lord of Summer, by Jenna Bright
The woods were blissfully cool, and Gem picked up her pace, the breeze at her back hurrying her along. She wanted to be in her glade, feet in the river, icy water rushing around her ankles.
She wanted to see if he would be there again.
The pub had been too hot, too busy, too demanding, for sex, since the night in the bar. But that didn’t mean the thrumming in her veins had died down, the vague feeling of need that had haunted her since their arrival. She wasn’t herself, she knew that. But she couldn’t dislike the person she was, the person who felt so much, wanted so much.
Still, at the back of her mind, a nagging thought had persisted all week, pushing its way forward until she couldn’t ignore it any more.
If this new her was real … what if her dream man was too?
She needed to find out, before the question drove her crazy. So, pulling at the front of her blouse to let the air hit her skin, Gem stepped into the glade and looked around.
For a moment, it seemed like the clearing was empty. The only noises were the rushing water of the stream, the only scent that of fresh, green leaves. But there was something … a feeling, a sense not covered by the usual five. Gem knew she wasn’t alone.
The grass sprung underfoot as Gem moved into the centre and turned slowly around, studying the trees. Leaves and branches swayed and moved in the breeze, sending shadows skittering across the tree trunks until the whole forest seemed to be shifting. But, when she looked closely … She stopped, standing staring at the biggest oak tree edging the glade.
‘I see you,’ she lied. It wasn’t sight, so much. More a feeling, intuition. He was there, she could feel him.
A chuckle, low and deep, came from the tree. Then, the leaves shifted again and he stood there before her, his tanned skin glowing bronze in the sunlight. No shirt, this time, just dark brown trousers that clung to his muscled thighs. And there, coiling up from his heart over his shoulder, was the tattoo she remembered, the pattern suddenly more familiar. Those oak leaves and acorns, the twist of the stems. She knew now where she’d seen them before. They were painted on her pub sign. They were carved into the face of the Green Man on the pub wall.
She raised her eyes to meet his gaze. The green eyes that looked back at her were familiar, too. Had she imagined them, staring at her from the Green Man mask?
‘You have questions,’ he said, a smirk playing around his lips.
Gem’s head jerked up and down, the motion stiff, as if she’d lost all control of her own body. ‘I do.’
‘Then ask them.’
There were so many, Gem knew. So much she needed to ask. But the words that came to her lips were, ‘Are you real?’
Definitely a smirk now. ‘Depends on your definition of reality.’
That wasn’t an answer, Gem knew. But if he wasn’t entirely real, he must be partly fantasy. And a fantasy wasn’t cheating, was it?
‘What’s your name?’
He chuckled again, and Gem could almost feel the sound, travelling through the ground at their feet, up into her chest. ‘I have many names. The Lord of Summer. The Green Man.’ He stepped forward, closer, close enough to run a finger down the side of her neck. Gem shivered. ‘You may call me Jack.’
‘Jack,’ she echoed, as his finger travelled lower, tracing a line between her breasts.
‘That’s right.’ He popped the first button on her shirt. ‘Do you have other questions?’
‘I … I can’t remember.’
Another button fell away, her shirt gaping open now, revealing the white lace of her bra beneath. ‘Then maybe I should ask one.’
‘OK,’ Gem managed, as the last button popped and Jack brought both hands up to push the shirt away from her shoulders, down onto the grass below.
He leant in close, breath warm and sweet against her face. ‘What do you want me to do to you?’
Finally, Gem thought. A question she knew the answer to.
‘I want the whole fantasy.’ Her skin tingled under his gaze, the heat in his green eyes making her heart beat faster. ‘I want you inside me.’
Jack stepped closer still, his body pressing up tight against hers. ‘That’s not all you want though, is it?’
Gem swallowed. ‘No. I want my husband to see it. I want him to want it too. I want him to join us.’
Dipping his head, Jack kissed the base of her neck, just where it joined her shoulder. ‘I can’t make promises for others. But the first part … that at least I can give you.’
There should have been more guilt, Gem reflected briefly, as Jack’s hands stripped her bra from her body and freed her breasts, lowering his mouth to suckle at one tight, hard nipple. But if Jack was a fantasy, how could she feel guilt about how wonderful it felt to have his mouth on her?
Then Jack’s hands were stripping away her skirt, his fingers tracing up the inside of her thighs, closer and closer to where she needed them, and Gem couldn’t think about anything, any more.
Want to read more?
The Lord of Summer is currently available as an ebook or print novella: