Welcome the lovely Toni Sands today!
I know that as well as being a respected author, Victoria cooks like an angel. I too love to produce tasty food and especially enjoy baking. I’m also a big fan of food references in fiction. Food’s a great leveller, an important feature when it comes to celebrations. Not everyone appreciates the bubbly but most of us enjoy tucking in to chips, chocolate and cake now and then. Maybe not all at once!
Finger licking scenes in my story ‘Off the Menu’ (Black Lace collection ‘Sex in the Kitchen’) lead to … shall we call it a heady dessert? Here, the restaurant owner, her assistant, Millie and two very special guests are sitting down to dinner together. The restaurant, in case you’re wondering, stays closed to other diners on this occasion. And Millie is a very naughty girl.
That pulse is beating again. I start working my second sausage, speared on my fork so I can rub the tip against my mouth and lick it before my lips open just wide enough for me to push the savoury meat inside. My aim is to remain demure, as if totally incapable of any depraved thoughts. Both guys look at me as if they can’t wait to see what I’ll do next and I’m wondering if the dining table will rise a few inches when I think of what those two must be hiding down there beneath the pink cloth.
Hardly the stuff of button boots and chintz curtained tearooms but just as in Orchard Pink, food provides something for the characters to focus upon while the subtext whets the reader’s appetite. So, when writing erotic romance, I need no excuse to include a meal, whether it’s a Christmas banquet, a cool dinner date or a teashop stop for cakes and a pot of tea. A little cafÃ© near Kew Gardens features in Orchid Pink. Adelaide’s friend Ruth takes her there after they meet by chance in the Orchid House. This extract is my heroine’s version of an initial date that I hope shows how she falls under Ruth’s spell
She’d turned my life around at our first meeting. Being courted was such a new experience for me. I’d been flattered. Excited. Trembling with wonderment and misgiving. We’d walked to a nearby tearoom. One straight out of a Dickensian etching. Seated beside the net-curtained mullioned window, we drank Earl Grey and ate currant buns, their tops sugar-shiny.
We discussed everything except the one thing that most concerned each of us. Covert glances flickering beneath hat brims, lacy necklines fingered … the start of a liaison I’d never expected. Never for one moment imagined. But it sweetened my life. She wrote down her address in copperplate script so I could call upon her next day. How I reached home again I cannot recall.
The following afternoon, after arriving at her lodgings I was directed to her room. She locked her door behind me. We’d talked enough the day before. We’d talk plenty afterwards. At that moment, there seemed no need for conversation. Our first kiss heralded something that terrified and excited me.
My poor heroine is tortured by our own passions and emotions. She’s vulnerable despite her sheltered, well-to-do existence. Or maybe because of it? As the novel progresses, meals are the backdrop to conversations Adelaide can sometimes do without. Sometimes food is interrupted by the hand-delivery of a letter or an unexpected visitor. Or, the lure of something other than a rich Victorian soup …
I’ve enjoyed chatting to you. Please drop by my website some time. I’d love to hear from you. And I’d love you to befriend Adelaide.
Demure Adelaide hides a passionate nature beneath her elegant gowns. After hiring a delicious new maid, Daisy, she can’t wait to initiate her into the delights of the orchid house. Though resenting paternal pressure to marry businessman Thomas, Adelaide finds excitement in his touch and his erotic whisperings. Yet, when he reveals his sinister side, she seeks solace elsewhere. Christmas brings snowflakes, also a vivid reminder of a heart-wrenching past. Intrigue and obsession rock this Victorian household as Adelaide’s poignant search for love leads her into storms. Will she ever bask in the sunshine?
Orchid Pink is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US and All Romance eBooks, as well as other good eBook retailers.
Toni Sands lives near the Black Mountains in Wales. Many of her ideas arrive while she’s walking by the river or travelling by train and she also finds inspiration when visiting London. This is where she enjoys roaming galleries and gazing at colourful window displays. She drinks too much coffee and often talks to strangers. Her erotic romances feature in collections by Virgin Black Lace and Accent Xcite, both paperbacks and e-books. She writes to entertain, sometimes finding, as in the case of her new heroine, a character will pop into her head, demanding to have her story told. Toni enjoys networking and belongs to the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She’d like to keep on writing as long as her readers keep on reading.
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My short review of Orchid Pink:
This is an intriguing read filled with mystery and personal turmoil that keeps you turning the pages. It’s erotic, sexy and emotional. It’s not my usual fair but I really enjoyed it. I do love a good historical romance and this IS a good historical romance.
I love how well rounded the characters are in this book, I was intrigued by Adelaide from the very beginning of the novel and I always wanted to keep reading to find out more. Pick it up and give it a go yourself. It’s a great portrayal of a young woman struggling to work out who she is and what her sexuality is. As deep and hard hitting as Orchid Pink is it is also full of genuinely funny and touching moments too. It’s a thrilling roller coaster of a read!