I’ve been so busy writing, editing, and promoting the Rannigan’s Redemption series, I feel like I’ve neglected my first novel, Luke & Bella: Two Streets Over. I want to remedy that right now.
How about a little inside scoop? Several years ago, Luke & Bella started out as a private role-play on Twitter. Very early on, my writing partner lost interest and the story sat dormant for a while. Eventually, I dusted it off and continued writing the story and I began posting it chapter by chapter on Tumblr, where it gained an eager audience (shout out to Kinky Tinkerbella!).
In September 2014, I moved the whole thing here to WordPress, where I again posted each chapter serially and finally finished the whole story. After posting the story twice in its entirety, I began to consider the real possibility of self-publishing it as an e-book.
Luke & Bella was first published on Kindle Direct Press in June of 2015 and it was later released on a number of other venues. It’s the story of Luke McGillicutty and Bella Grant, television journalists thrown together and tasked to produce a weekly travel program for an American audience. Traveling to exotic locales, enjoying luxurious hotels in romantic cities, it’s no wonder they fall in love. But Luke hasn’t been completely honest with Bella.
The truth is that he’s a Dominant with a craving for the intimacy enjoyed in a Dom/sub dynamic. And he knows that Bella could be the perfect submissive. If the very idea doesn’t push her away. What should he do? He could play it safe, keep the status quo, and enjoy a light-hearted romance. Or he could tell her the truth and risk losing her forever.
Here’s an excerpt of Luke & Bella: Two Streets Over.
Luke ordered a light dinner of tapas delivered to the suite along with a bottle of local wine. Bella wore a fluffy white bathrobe. He’d put on faded jeans and a grey t-shirt. She smiled lazily at him across the table, a woman sated. He poured them both some wine and they nibbled on the baked feta and tomatoes, olives, and fresh fruits and breads.
Bella sighed and said, “I was thinking…”
“Uh-oh,” Luke laughed.
She gave him a wry smile. “Seriously! I was thinking about that really nice evening you planned for us in Edinburgh.”
“Yeah, you liked that, did you?” he asked, grinning.
“Um, yeah! Wine, music, flowers, an amazing dinner, mind-blowing sex…what’s not to like?” she said. “But, I was thinking that I should plan an evening. You know, it’s my turn.”
“No, I don’t think that’s necessary,” he replied slowly.
“Not necessary?” she laughed. “I’m not saying I feel obligated, just that I’d like to return the favor, so to speak.”
Luke waited a moment, considering his response. The timing’s a little sooner than you planned, Cowboy, he thought. Play it safe or risk losing her? Decision made, he took the risk. “The thing is, I’m not a fan of surprises. I’m something of a…dominant…kind of guy. I like making the plans,” he said evenly.
Bella looked at him, brow furrowed. “You’re a ‘dominant kind of guy’? As in, Dominant/submissive ‘dominant’?” she laughed lightly.
“Well, yes,” he said, looking at her directly.
Bella blinked. “You’re kidding, right?” she asked incredulously.
Luke shook his head. “No, not kidding.”
Her eyes went wide and her mouth hung open slightly. “I don’t understand. What does that mean that you do?”
He shrugged. “Whatever makes me and my partner happy. Blindfolds, restraints, spanking, safe words. When we play a scene, she is mine, completely surrendered to me. And I protect and care for her.”
When she didn’t reply, he continued, “It’s not a big deal. I like to be in charge when it comes to romance, to sex. I like to be the protector, to take care of my woman. And,” he added softly, “if it doesn’t blow your mind too much, I think you are the perfect submissive.”
She shook her head slowly, eyes wide with disbelief. “You are SO barking up the wrong tree. I am anything but submissive. I need to be in control.”
“I’ve noticed,” he said quietly. “But you’re not good at it. I said before that you try to control things by putting them into neat little categories, boxes. When that doesn’t work, you shut down. Imagine not having to control. Not having to think or worry. Just letting go and allowing someone else to be in control for a while.”
“I don’t even know what you’re talking about,” Bella whispered. “You have lost your mind!”
“I understand your reservations. Between your father and your ex, you’ve never had a man in your life that you could completely trust,” he said gently.
Bella felt as though she’d been gut-punched. His words rang in her ears and she knew they were true.
“I am that man, Bella. Do you trust me? You can completely let go. It will be the most freeing experience of your life,” he stated with quiet confidence, looking at her steadily, hoping to reassure her.
She shook her head again. “I’m falling in…” it came out as a sob, “and now I realize I don’t even know you!”
She abruptly left the table and went into the bedroom, emerging a few minutes later completely dressed in jeans and a white tank top. On her face was the hard, closed expression he’d seen that night in Amsterdam. “I’m going out for a while,” she told him firmly.
“Bella, I wish you wouldn’t go alone. It could be dangerous,” he worried.
She waved him off and walked out the door, closing it behind her.
“Shit!” Luke exhaled deeply, and he ran his fingers through his hair, wondering if he’d made a mistake, if he’d lost her.