This week RT’s Elisa and Elissa (for the sake of your sanity, they will be using their initials, EV and EP, respectively) Dish about Maya Banks and Lauren Dane’s recently released erotic romance duology, Cherished. In Maya Banks’ “Exiled,” in exchange for the Prince Xander helping Talia’s ailing mother, virgin Talia is summoned to spend six months on exiled the prince's private island. In Lauren Dane’s “Sway,” straight-laced Levi is completely taken by younger artist Daisy. Though the captivating, eccentric woman submits to Levi’s world of sexual fantasies, he still wonders if Daisy can really fit into the high society life his family inhabits. To give readers a taste of what they will find between the pages of Cherished, EV and EP have written two “Side Dishes.” Let the feast begin!
“Exiled” by Maya Banks
EV: First and foremost, I am not a fan of “forced seduction,” and when I started “Exiled,” I was worried that might be the direction the story was headed ...
EP: This story definitely has that feel at first. Virginal Talia has spent her life caring for her sick mother, sacrificing school to work in order to pay for her mom’s medical care. But when her European nation’s ruler, Prince Alexander (aka Xander), sets his eyes on her while she’s working in his family’s palace, he wants more for her.
EV: So in exchange for putting her mother in one of the world’s best hospitals and paying for Talia to study in France, Xander only wants one thing …
EP: Her! Six months of Talia living with Xander and his staff on the prince’s private island in the Caribbean.
EV: And the contract is very explicitly detailed. Xander doesn’t just want her company, he wants full access to her body. And he wants to share her with three of his closest friends.
EP: Talia is completely overwhelmed by the idea of all of this, but for her, it’s worth her mother’s health and her own personal growth. And Xander and his men don’t just come after her as soon as she steps off the plane …
EV: Xander doesn’t want to rob Talia of her virginity and make her his sex slave. He genuinely cares about her, and takes his time making her feel mentally and emotionally comfortable about their arrangement before he even touches her.
EP: His three friends do the same. It’s a lot to be plopped down on an island and told that even though you’ve never had sex, these four men are going to ravage you for six months. The men know that and want to get to know Talia and make her feel at ease.
EV: Most importantly, they want her to want them and they want her consent. Xander makes it clear that it’s very hard for him to resist her, but he wants to respect her boundaries and give her as much pleasure as possible.
EP: I really love Xander as a hero! He is strong and knows exactly what he wants, but he is so enamored by Talia and isn’t afraid to let his feelings show.
EV: After Talia gets to know each of the men and becomes comfortable in her new island paradise, we’re treated to several outstanding sex scenes.
EP: This might be a novella, but there's no skimping on the sex!
EV: Banks is the master of multiple partner stories, and the lovemaking in “Exiled” positively sizzles.
EP: The author does an amazing job of adding plenty of emotion to the intimacy Talia and her men share. I was absolutely dying for my own private island of hunky men to pleasure me by the middle of this story!
EV: But Talia’s stay isn’t all play. Their nation is in the middle of a war, and Xander is called back to the homeland to take care of his royal duties.
EP: But he doesn’t exactly leave Talia in the best way...
EV: She’s completely blindsided when he offers no explanation for his sudden departure and sends her packing, which leaves Talia a wreck.
EP: I wanted to shake Xander and scream, “You worked so hard to win her over! What are you doing!!!”
EV: Seriously. I was team Xander until he pulled this move. But he more than makes up for it when he shows up on her doorstep …
EP: Oh yes! And our tour de Cherished doesn't stop with Xander and Talia's story. Lauren Dane treats us to another morsel with her sensuous tale ....
“Sway” by Lauren Dane
EP: Dane drops us right into her Delicious world in this series starter, and the plot is off and running.
EV: Dane’s full-length novels Tart and Lush are out in November 2012 and April 2013, respectively — but there are familiar faces in the series, as Delicious is a spin-off from the Brown Siblings, and follows friends of Gillian — from Never Enough — on Bainbridge Island.
EP: “Sway” begins with hero Levi reluctantly taking dance classes for his brother’s wedding.
EV: But he’s not so reluctant when he realizes his partner will be sexy artist Daisy.
EP: Daisy is absolutely stunning, and wins over Levi on the dance floor. It’s not long before the two are getting to know each other more intimately …
EV: Kinky Levi definitely has his preferences when it comes to sex, and Daisy is more than happy to oblige.
EP: And the sex, hoo boy, the sex! The relationship is definitely BDSM, so fans of that type of action can get their fix.
EV: However, although Daisy is submissive to Levi in the bedroom, she’s no shrinking flower (pun intended) out of the bedroom. She’s a smart, artistic woman with a life of her own.
EP: In fact at one point Levi thinks that he’s glad Daisy only submits sexually, as he wants a true life partner.
EV: What I really like about this story is how Daisy has such a fully formed life. Her super hot kinda-boyfriend wants to hang out? Daisy’s busy, but she can fit you in … three days from now.
EP: Not that Daisy is totally immune to a booty call. Levi is superhot, you’d throw “The Rules” out the window to make out with him sometimes, too!
EV: Levi feels like a real guy, Dane really knows how to write a multifaceted hero.
EP: I love how even though he’s so manly and in charge in the bedroom, Dane allows you inside his head where you can see he’s nervous and worried that he’s going to hurt Daisy, or that she’s going to be upset and that this type of play isn’t her thing.
EV: That Levi carries his gym bag full of sex toys to the car three times before getting up the nerve to actually truss up his woman, well, he won my heart right then.
EP: This is a sexy, saucy read that has me excited to read what happens to the rest of the Delicious crew!
EV: As much as I am looking forward to reading the next books in Dane's series, my waistline is a bit scared because in addition to some saucy sex scenes, the author also treats readers to some yummy sounding food descriptions.
EP: I know I did my fair share of snacking done while reading "Sway"!
You can pick up a copy of Cherished the duology by Lauren Dane and Maya Banks, available in stores now. For more steamy romance, visit our Everything Erotica Page. And stop by the RT site next week for another weekly Dish column!