She’s his heaven and his hell... Muriel Stewart has spent the past year grieving the loss of her husband. Now that time has passed, her inner submissive demands Muriel find a new relationship to fulfill her need to love and serve. But there’s only one man who makes Muriel yearn for the intimate Dom/submissive connection the way her husband did, and that’s his best friend, Mathew Galindo ... a man who can barely tolerate her presence. Matthew Galindo buried his own heart and needs the day Muriel Stewart married his best friend and business partner. He’s spent the last eleven years keeping Muriel at a distance, tortured by his love for a woman he could never have, and filled with shame for coveting what wasn’t and would never be his. Not even his best friend’s unexpected death could change that fact. Until Muriel decides she’s ready for a new Dom and wants Matthew to fill that role. Having Muriel in his life is all Mathew has ever wanted. She’s his heaven and his hell, and could be his salvation if he can get beyond his past, his shame, and the guilt he feels for not having saved Ian’s life.
INTERVIEW WITH ALANNAH LYNNEHow did you come up with the idea for this story?
I started COVETED back in 2011 when my husband’s health took a bad turn. He’d battled a brain tumor since 2007, but in 2011 it started to grow and change into a more aggressive kind of tumor, and I was really scared about the future. About that same time, I read an article written by a slave whose Master died during 9/11. It got me to thinking about moving on after the loss of a soul mate and what it must be like for a submissive whose entire world revolves around her Master. Fortunately, once I started writing, Muriel and Mathew took over and made the story all theirs, so it didn’t become too personal for me.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! LOL It might be from something I’ve read, a television show, or song lyrics. I’d say 80% of my story ideas come from songs. Carmella, in DARING MASQUERADE, was inspired by Katy Perry’s song “Darkhorse” and the line, “She’s a bitch. I call her Karma.”
What are your current projects?
The next story I’m gearing up to write is EXPOSED (Pandora’s Playground #2)… Lucas Steele finally gets his HEA. After that, I’ll release STRIPPED (Pandora’s Playground #3) where Mercy from GOING ALL IN (Heat Wave Novel #3) will face her demons. I’m pretty sure there will be at least 1 more Pandora’s Playground story, but I might release one or two Heat Wave stories before the 4th Pandora’s Playground. I still have to write Heat Wave stories for Steve, Robby, and Tyler. :)
What is for you the perfect book hero?
For me, he needs to be a little wounded so he can realize how much better his life is with the heroine in it. I really like heroes with a sense of humor (which was a struggle for me while writing COVETED because in the beginning, Mathew had no sense of humor). And he’s got to have great eyes and a killer smile. A sexy body is good, but the smile is most important.
List three books you have recently read and would recommend.
“Hell or High Water” by Julie Ann Walker “Playing with Pleasure” by Erika Wilde “Alex” by Sawyer Bennett
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you!!! I’ve had a sporadic release schedule over the past several years, and I appreciate them sticking with me and their excitement over new releases. The outpouring of love and support and encouragement I’ve received has been nearly overwhelming at times (in the best possible way ;)).
“You need more than a Dom, angel. You need a permanent life partner. I assume you’ll want to remarry. You need someone to come home to at night… You deserve to be held while you're sleeping… To have someone take care of you when you're sick.” She laughed. “Ian didn't do all that. He didn't like to be crowded in his sleep, and he didn't have a clue how to take care of me when sick.” Mathew swallowed and his jaw clenched. “If you were mine, I'd hold you all night, every night. And you can be damn sure I’d be right by your side, tending to your every need, if you were sick.” “So why can't you be mine? Permanently?” “Because I don't know how to do any of the other stuff a man is supposed to do for his wife. Hell, Muriel, I've never, ever taken a woman on a date.” “Bullshit, you do know how to do those things. You’re just stuck on this endless loop of false thinking.” She drew in a deep breath and forced herself to calm. “As for dating… I know you’ve never gone on a real date.” When his eyes flared with surprise, she smiled and admitted, “I know more about you than you think. I’ve always been drawn to you and paid more attention than even I realized. I can show you how to date. Just give it… give us a try.” His head went back and forth again, but hope flickered in his eyes and his chest rose and fell with shallow breaths as he considered her words. After a moment, he said, “I'm always amazed by feminists who argue this lifestyle sets women back a hundred years. There isn't a more kickass feminist on the planet than a sub. You may wear my cuffs and spend a tremendous amount of time on your knees, but you fucking own me. You're the one who has me in chains, and there's not a goddamned thing I can do about it.” Her stomach bottomed out as her heart soared. She didn't think for one second this would be easy—nothing worth fighting for was—but it sure sounded like he’d agreed to being more than temporary play partners, and joy launched her off the table and into his arms.
I usually don't read BDSM, let alone erotic BDSM. I've always felt since I didn't personally enjoy it, I wouldn't enjoy reading about it. I guess I shouldn't make assumptions because they more often than not turn out to be wrong. Now it could just be that this book is different, but I won't be so hesitant to pick one up next time.
I'm a sucker for unrequited love so I knew I was going to find Matthew and Muriel's story fascinating and I was right. Matthew and Muriel have this wonderful chemistry and the bonus of already having an emotional connection with each other. I really liked how their mutual loss was respected and treated. It really added another dimension to the story.
I was surprised by how fulfilling the story was. It was a lot more than the hot sex I was expecting. I really felt the mental and emotional connection Matthew and Muriel felt. I was surprised at how much I wanted to comfort them for the anguish each of them felt. Matthew's anguish was two fold having to deal with his feelings for Muriel and then for his past.
Overall, this story flows well. I'm surprised at how quickly I finished it and how much I enjoyed it. I think Alannah Lynne did a great job with sensitive and tricky subjects. I look forward to entering Pandora's Playground again and seeing Lucas maybe find his perfect sub.
*Thank you to the publicist for providing a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*
About the Author
Alannah believes there's nothing more magical than finding the other half of your soul, experiencing fiery passion, and knowing you've found happily-ever-after. She loves going to work each day (in sweats and a T-shirt) and writing about hot heroes and feisty heroines who torment each other in the most delicious ways before finding their happy ending. She lives in the coastal region of North Carolina with her husband, who also happens to be her best friend and biggest fan. They have two sons, a dog, and two cats. Find Alannah Online at: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads
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