By Lisabet Sarai
Today I’m delighted to be able to introduce you to Harry Sanborne, one of the protagonists in my new erotic romance, The Ingredients of Bliss. Harry is the producer for the popular French cooking show, Toutes les Saveurs Francaises. In the prequel to the new novel, my short story Her Secret Ingredient, Harry saves the heroine Emily Wong from a career disaster. In the new book, though, their roles are reversed.
But maybe Harry should tell you about this himself.
Lisabet Sarai: Hi, Harry! Do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions? My readers always want to know about the hero.
Harry Sanborne: Not at all. Though I’m hardly the hero type. It was Emily who rescued me, don’t forget.
LS: True, but you’re the dominant in the relationship. Though you didn’t reveal your interest in BDSM to her at first, did you?
HS: Guess you might say I had my own secret. (chuckles) Seriously, though, I didn’t want to frighten Emily away. From the first time I saw her, sparring with Etienne Duvalier in the test kitchen, I knew she was something special. Smart, strong, competent and stubborn. An incredible cook. And beautiful, of course, with a sort of unconscious sexual appeal that I at least found irresistible. I didn’t need that aphrodisiac, that’s for sure!
After we became lovers, I felt pretty certain she was the woman I wanted to spend my life with. She’s so focused on her career, though, that I didn’t push things. I was happy to be with her under any terms.
LS: When you finally let your Dom side show, though, she reacted positively, right?
HS: You might say that. (grins) It was bit of a shock for her to realize she enjoyed being on the bottom, but as is always the case with Emily, she – um – adapted quickly.
LS: I’m sure your skill as a top had something to do with that.
HS: It has nothing to do with skill, not really. It’s the emotional connection that counts. I love her and she knows it, feels it instinctively, no matter tightly I tie her up or how hard I whip her. She knows that I’ll take care of her. She trusts me. I’m honored by that trust.
LS: What about her relationship with Etienne? Did you feel threatened by that?
HS: You may find this hard to believe, but not at all. First of all, I’m not the jealous type. I knew Emily loved me, before she realized it herself. And I don’t believe that love is limited, that what you give to one person reduces the amount you have available to share with others.
Second, I was intrigued and yes, turned on, by her dominant side. I’m a pretty kinky guy! Anyway, I encouraged her to top Etienne just to see how she’d react, what she’d learn about herself.
Finally, I really like Etienne. Sometimes he acts like he has a stick up his ass but having worked with him for nearly three years, I knew he was a decent fellow with a good heart. And it seemed that, like me, he might have lost that heart to our Emily.
LS: So you were willing to share her.
HS: I just gave her a nudge. You know it’s true what they say, that the sub ultimately has control. I could tell the idea of having Etienne as her slave made her hot. That made me hot. I “ordered” her to act in a way that would fulfill her fantasies – and Etienne’s too, as it happens.
LS: And your own?
HS: Okay, okay… I won’t deny it. But ultimately, for me, it’s all about Emily. Sounds sappy, I know, but my number one priority is making her happy.
Title: The Ingredients of Bliss by Lisabet Sarai
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance, BDSM
Word Count: 63755
One sexy French chef. One kinky American TV producer. One ambitious Chinese gal who thinks she wants them both. The ingredients of bliss? Or a recipe for disaster?
Accomplished cook Mei Lee ‘Emily’ Wong knows exactly what she wants—her own show on the Tastes of France food channel. But life is full of complications. First, her deceptively nerdy producer, Harry Sanborne, initiates Emily into the delights of submission. Then her boss, legendary chef Etienne Duvalier, begs her to dominate him. Emily just can’t resist—especially when Harry orders her to explore her inner Mistress. Suave and sexy Etienne will do whatever she asks—in the bedroom if not in the kitchen. And Harry, her lovingly diabolical Dom, adores pushing Emily’s limits.
When the network sends the trio to France to shoot a series of cooking shows on location, Emily knows her career is on the upswing. Her plans fall apart in Marseille as a Hong Kong drug syndicate kidnaps both Etienne and Harry. The Iron Hammer Triad mistakes Etienne for notorious gangster Jean Le Requin, who has stolen their drug shipment, worth millions. Emily realizes she must find the real Le Requin, retrieve the purloined dope, and bargain it for Harry’s and Etienne’s lives. The secret she’s been keeping from Harry might prove useful. Still, what chance does one woman whose knife skills are limited to chopping vegetables, have against the ruthless cruelty of two criminal organisations?
Reader Advisory: This book contains female dominance and submission, anal sex, public sex, ethnic slurs, threats of violence and a scene of attempted rape.
I started both writing and cooking at an early age, and I’ve continued to indulge both passions as I’ve matured. Usually I’m an improvisational cook; I’m not all that fond of following recipes, and when I do, I almost always introduce my own variations. My philosophy tends to be the more spice, the better.
You could say the same about my writing. Since the release of my debut novel Raw Silk in 1999, I’ve published lots of erotica and erotic romance in almost every sub-genre– more than fifty single author titles, plus dozens of short stories in various erotic anthologies, including the Lambda winner Where the Girls Are and the IPPIE Best Erotic Book of 2011, Carnal Machines. My gay scifi erotic romance Quarantine won a Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention.
I have more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by my chosen genre. Widely traveled but still with a long bucket list of places to go, I currently live in Southeast Asia with my indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where I pursue an alternative career that is completely unrelated to my creative writing.
Prize: a copy of Ingredient of Bliss & 3 books from Ms. Sarai’s backlist.(Please click HERE if the contest form is not working.)