Today on the site we have the cover reveal of Temper: Deference by Lila Mina, the first book in an adult polyam paranormal romance series with BDSM themes.
Short-tempered Lana Martin is a workaholic consultant based in Tokyo. Not one to turn down a challenge, she accepts the indecent proposal of her abrasive martial arts’ instructor to become his submissive in a dynamic that tests her resilience.
Spreading like wildfire, their affair lights up another blaze, this time between Lana and Honda’s wife, the sophisticated socialite Yuki. Fearless, Lana embraces what her two masters offer her.
Yet, unbeknown to her, their powerful desire rouses dark powers who waited for decades to claim their prizes. Lana must confront the enemy eating her from within, while pulling back Honda from the edge of madness. Yuki’s unwavering strength keeps them sane – but for how long?
On to the cover, designed by Giulia Natsumi!
And now an excerpt!
Yuki stopped by the reading room on their way out. “Goshujin sama, we are leaving. We will be at Chicago’s Soul, have a nice evening.”
Lana was already in the genkan and didn’t hear his reply. “Will there be any gig tonight?” she asked as they climbed into the taxi.
“There are always several live acts. At this hour, we might still catch a couple. Afterward, DJs take over the place.” Yuki took Lana’s hand and squeezed it. “Now, let’s make good use of tonight to get to know each other better. I intend to make you drink enough champagne to have you spill out your life story, sweetling,” she chuckled.
Lana’s smile turned forced. She would have to control her intake because she wasn’t ready for this. “Hm, I’ll make sure you don’t spike my drink, then. Who knows what would happen to me? I could wake up in your bed and not remember anything, or something just as terrible,” she smirked.
Yuki’s laugh sent new butterflies to Lana’s stomach, but nice one this time. Honda sama, you idiot, why can’t you be content with such a queen at your side…
Yuki leaned toward her ear, warm breath sending shivers along her spine. “Now I regret not having ordered a limousine with a privacy screen. It would be bad press to give this grandpa a good show; and we wouldn’t hear the end of it.”
Lana closed her eyes and stifled a moan. “Let’s wait a bit longer,” she whispered.
“Don’t worry, neko chan, our VIP lounge is a separate room with full privacy.” Both women shared a steamy look filled with promises before falling back into a comfortable silence while their taxi brought them to Shibuya district.
The exclusive nightclub Chicago’s Soul occupied a four-stories high building. Hundreds of patrons waited in line, but Yuki brought them without hesitation to the VIP entrance. She didn’t even have to show her member card for the doors to open wide. Two hostesses brought them to their lounge. Lana discovered a spacious room, all in burgundy, red, and black tones, with large sofas. A bay window offered a perfect view of the dance-floor and scene, two floors below.
“Champagne?” Yuki asked, offering Lana a flute.
After a toast, Lana pointed at the jazz band performing. “Do you mind if we go downstairs to listen? It’s been ages since I had the chance to enjoy live jazz and I’d love to be closer than this.”
“Of course! There’s a table booked for us. This band is so good, they come back every year from Chicago, and the crowds love them. Come on, let’s go.” Yuki grabbed Lana’s hand and led them to the flight of stairs.
As soon as they sat at the table, only a few meters away from the scene, Lana found herself lost in the amazing performance of the band. The saxophonist was gifted, and his music stirred a whirlpool of emotions flushing her cheeks and making her hands shake. Warm fingers squeezed her wrist.
“I wish you could see the look on your face and those sparkles in your eyes, sweetling. I am so happy we came here tonight. It was high time you enjoyed something pleasurable and easy,” Yuki said in her ear.
Tears blurred Lana’s sight, and she pressed her companion’s hand back. “I didn’t think I needed it, but it seems like I truly did. Thank you, Yuki sama.”
They remained at their table for about one hour, savoring a fresh bottle of champagne until the concert came to an end. Like everyone else, they jumped on their feet for a standing ovation.
“Dancing time!” Yuki exclaimed. “Do you want to go back to our lounge, or shall we stay here and join the crowd when there is some movement going on?”
“Why don’t we remain here for a while? I’m dying to hear how, you, the eldest daughter of a fearsome industry tycoon, get to open the doors of the most exclusive nightclubs in stride?”
Yuki laughed; she massaged Lana’s thigh under the table, and let her fingers crawl up, sending electric shocks to her companion’s core. “Well, you see, while my father has given me the same education as my brothers, to his eternal frustration, he’s never been able to curb my endless search for personal freedom. My desire to explore my drives and be truthful to myself. My mother understood it and helped me, enabling many of my wildest choices–including my love for partying. My father was mad at us, but he never knew how to hold a grudge against her for long.” She caressed Lana’s cheek and took a shaky breath. “You would have loved her, and she would have definitely loved you.” Emotions thickened her voice.
Not caring about the crowd surrounding them, Lana leaned forward to kiss Yuki’s neck. Her lover cupped her cheek, pressed her lips and swept her tongue against hers, demanding entrance. Their deep kiss left them panting.
“Come on, let’s dance,” Yuki said huskily. “Show me what all this extra harsh training is about, sweetling.”
Lana gave her a dazzling smile and led her by the hand to the center of the dance floor. Soon, they were lost to the outside world, letting the fast beat and loud music take over their bodies, sweat drenching their backs. Lana’s desire for her companion built up fast, and she had to remind herself they weren’t alone. The fire in Yuki’s eyes told her a similar story when she grabbed Lana’s waist for a highly charged sensual dance.
“So neko chan, do you see anyone here who catches your eyes, whom you find… interesting?” Yuki purred in Lana’s ear.
Lana squeezed Yuki’s arm around her waist. “Yes, indeed. Lucky me, I’m in her arms,” she replied, beaming.
“So smooth and sweet.” Yuki replied with a large smile. “Now, don’t forget, you’re allowed to look… and more.”
Lana chuckled and shook her head. “As if I could have the energy or even the need to search for someone else with the two of you in my life. Right now, I am quite complete and content, oku sama.”
Yuki remained silent for a while, continuing her complex dance moves, and leading Lana through them. “Intimacy is such a serious thing for you. Why not try the fun side of it? How about finding out if any of those beautiful young ladies wants to come upstairs with us?”
Lana smiled against the smooth and damp skin of her lover, cupping her cheek. “I envy you so much for knowing who you are and for this freedom you’ve found. Please oku sama. Go ahead, ask one of them out, don’t mind me, you don’t need my blessing. Maybe one day I’ll get there, but right now, this is impossible.”
Yuki’s eyes flashed. They stopped dancing and found themselves in a bubble, surrounded by hundreds of dancers. Lana didn’t blink under the searching gaze of her companion.
“Of course not, I’m not ditching you! Hm… don’t take me wrong, but the two of you are so similar. All these years, goshujin sama gave me complete leeway, but when he met you, only then did he grant himself some self-indulgence. He chose you.”
Lana winced. “Ah, this must be hard for you–” A slender finger on her lips cut her off.
“No, it’s not. I’ve already told you why. And it’s such a blessing it’s you, and that I find myself drowning in your personality, care and your other delicious skills. He couldn’t have chosen better,” Yuki added with a warm smile before resuming dancing.
Lana followed suit but had to look away to hide her trouble. Chosen… always this word.
She exhaled to let go of her tension; her eyes found the VIP area on the second floor and fell on the last man she’d expected to see. Honda.
“Oh!” She came again to a stop, shocked. “I can’t believe it. He’s here, just outside the VIP room, by the stairs!”
Yuki didn’t even glance up or lose a beat. “Yes, he’s been there for fifteen minutes or so, watching us.”
“Did you expect him?”
“No, it’s the second or third time in the past ten years he’s come here. He dislikes the noise and such crowds. Maybe the picture of you in this amazing dress I sent him earlier did the trick,” Yuki teased.
Lana burst out laughing, her unease evaporating, replaced by the wicked pleasure to make jokes at his expense with the only other person who would get it.
“Oh my, this and the video of your incredible hip move I sent him!” Both women whooped in laughter. “All right, it’s nasty of us to give him such a nosebleed.”
Yuki snorted. “A nosebleed and something else, which must be bothering him a lot right now. We can always blame it on the alcohol, and if he complains, the door of my bedroom will be locked next week.”
Lana chuckled. “This is your prerogative.”
Something serious flickered again in Yuki’s eyes, and the older woman grabbed both hands of her companion. “Lana san, it’s yours as well. Let me be clear here. If you don’t want to join him when he asks you to, you don’t have to. You’re in his service, yes, but not at his service. Whatever role we play, whatever pledge of obedience you made. Your limits aren’t only there for when you’re already in action. They also apply before starting anything. If you want to give him the cold shoulder for one week or one month, it’s fine, as long as you are clear and forthcoming.”
Lana inhaled deeply. “My problem is not having to go to him when I don’t want to. Rather, the issue is, I always want to. Even now, even though we’re together, and I want you and would like to do so many naughty things to you on the spot…” They shared a knowing smile. “Knowing he’s here, I…” She blushed and looked away.
“You want to climb the stairs and join him,” Yuki purred in her ear, once again against Lana’s hip and chest.
“Yes!” Lana exclaimed, exasperated. “I’m mad at myself for being so weak when it comes to him, in particular when this is supposed to be our night.”
Yuki grabbed her neck and pulled her in for another deep kiss. “It is, sweetling. But this is also supposed to be a fun and relaxing time. The choice is yours: you can go up to him, stay with me, take me up with you, or leave us here and get back home.”
Lana groaned, tugged by many contradictions, and threw another look at the VIP space. What she saw made her frown and burst her self-pity bubble. “Yuki sama, there are several women around goshujin sama, vying for his attention.”
Yuki gave her a voracious smile but still, didn’t glance upstairs. “Oh, I’m sure there are, glittering moths drawn to a dark, brooding flame leaving them panting and all kinds of bothered. Don’t fret. He’s not going to spare them one glance.”
“Really? They’re so beautiful. It would be hard not to react, at least a little bit.”
Yuki went behind Lana and molded herself against her back. “Oh yes, they’re so lovely they make my eyes hurt and my mouth water, but he doesn’t work like this. They could be Miss Japan and jump him straight naked, he wouldn’t touch them. None of them would last even one minute with him, and he can’t even be bothered. Even I can’t always follow. Only you seem able to manage him at his highest degree. But perhaps it’s because this is not about fun but fight for the two of you, isn’t it?”
Once again, Lana turned silent and squeezed Yuki’s hand. Her words hit their marks with frightening accuracy, but it was also a relief to hear this truth expressed so plainly. Yuki nibbled her lover’s sweaty neck. “Come on now, let’s go upstairs, and rescue him from such unbearable harassment.”
An avid reader of thrillers, science-fiction, horror and romance, I have been writing for nearly 25 years. Lila Mina is one of my pen names.I live in Japan. The rich and beautiful traditions, the amazing nature and the long history of this country are a constant source of creative inspiration.
I am a firm believer in cross-genre literature. Life is too complex, too rich and surprising to limit stories to one genre. I love blending them to create powerful characters, emotional plots and exciting stories that hopefully will stay a long time with my readers. My stories feature multiracial couples and sometimes menage who come together, bound by love and passion, to fight against forces bent on taking them apart.