By Ashe Barker
Appearances can be deceptive
Innocent … until found out
#eroticromance #ashebarker #discipline #dominance #spanking #mystery #bdsm #suspense
Buy Link mybook.to/InnocentAB
Innocent until proven guilty … or until someone finds out.
Aidan Blake needs a plumber. Fast. His boiler is dead, his creaky old house crumbling around him. When his elderly neighbour recommends a local trader, George Mahon, Aidan jumps at the prospect of hot water and warm radiators.
But George, short for Georgina, is not exactly what he had in mind. He was expecting
something else entirely. A man for one thing, not the gorgeous single mother he finds in his house at the end of a long day of work.
Aidan turns out to be full of surprises too. Who would have imagined the smart, geeky businessman would have a BDSM playroom in his attic and a collection of whips and canes to make George’s head spin. And her bottom clench, though that’s another matter entirely. Maybe she;s not such an innocent after all. What does a girl have to do to get to play with those toys?
Just ask, it would seem. As they enter into a professional and personal agreement which soon blossoms into a sultry, kinky relationship, George continues to be surprised by Aidan's kindness and generosity, not to mention his skill with a spanking paddle.
First impressions aside, the two begin to build something together. And while they peel back the layers to discover their hidden depths, the old house yields up the mysteries of its own secret past. They soon realize that at first glance, nothing is ever quite as innocent it seems.
Innocent was previously published under the title First Impressions, with different cover art.
Startled, she glanced up at him as he entered, and closed the magazine in a hurry. Her expression was a guilty one, as though she’d been caught out. Which he supposed she had. She smiled at him, a wary, hopeful little grin. Something odd happened in the pit of his stomach. He told himself it was the baby. He liked babies.
“Ah, you’ll be Mr Blake then. You’re early.”
“I am. Aidan Blake that is. As for early…”
“Mrs Mathers said you wouldn’t be back until late. Well, later.”
“Did she? Where’s George?”
“Yes. George, the plumber. His van’s outside.”
“I’m George. It’s my van. Is it in your way?”
She made to disengage the nursing infant but Aidan gestured for her to remain where she was. “Your van? But, I was expecting a plumber.” His heart sank. Cold showers beckoned.
“I am a plumber. It says so on my van.” A note of indignation had crept in.
Not sexist by nature, Aidan could have kicked himself for his hasty assumptions. “Yes, I apologise. But I was expecting a burly, beefy bloke, and you’re—well, you’re just not that. Even so, I had no business assuming…”
George smiled at him, a genuine expression this time which went beyond pleasant in Aidan’s view, definitely tending toward the breath-taking end of the scale. Dazzling even. He might have smiled back had he not been so stunned.
She shifted the nursing infant in her arms. “Look, I shouldn’t be doing this here. I wouldn’t have, not usually. But the job took longer than I imagined it would, and Lily was hungry, so… Anyway, I’ll go feed her in the van.”
“No, that’s fine.”
“It isn’t fine. I’m embarrassing you. I know some people can be squeamish about breastfeeding, so I’ll just…”
Aidan could be described as a lot of things, but squeamish was not one of them. Especially not where anything to do with female anatomy was concerned, though coming across a woman breastfeeding in his kitchen was not something he’d had to contend with before. Still, a first time for everything. He dumped his briefcase on the table next to the discarded magazine and turned toward the sink. “Please, stay where you are. Finish off… well, just take your time. Would you like a coffee?” He paused, turned to her, “That is, if I have water?”
“You do, and it even runs hot now if you want that. White please, no sugar.”
“Alleluia. You fixed the problem then?” He reached for his jar of instant.
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Innocent is all about not taking everything you see at face value. Both Aidan and George start out by making assumptions about each other, which turn out to be a long way from the truth. Still, that makes for some interesting discoveries as the story unfolds. Luckily they are both pretty adaptable people so manage to adjust their thinking somewhat, which is when the real fun starts. Even so, there are still some surprises waiting for them as George gets to grips with ripping Aidan’s rickety old house apart.
I really enjoyed writing Innocent, not least because I love writing strong, feisty heroines who can stand on their own feet and get things done. George is an example of that, a woman doing a traditionally male job and managing on her own. Her experiences with men have not been great so far, but she has her lovely baby daughter to show for it so isn’t complaining. Not that complaining is George’s style at all. She just dusts herself off and gets on with it.
Aidan comes as a surprise to her, not the sort of man she is interested in at all. He seems nerdy, wealthy, way out of her league. But he is kind to George’s little girl, he can change nappies and even seems to know what babies like to eat. He sorts out George’s computer and helps her to get her business accounts in order. As if that were not enough, he even introduces her to the pleasures of a decent spanking.
Sounds like a keeper to me, but will George think so?
I never stop being surprised by people. I think that’s a good thing. The day people stop amazing me half the fun will go out of life. It’s no surprise than that I should want to write a story about the amazing hidden depths that we can find, if we take the time to look.
Both Aidan and George jump to conclusions. Each thinks they have the other sussed, based on what’s there to see on the surface. They soon realise that life is a lot more interesting than that and discover they have a lot in common once they scratch below the veneer. George is intrigued by the kinky attic playroom in Aidan’s house, and even more bemused by the unfamiliar desires she starts to recognise in herself as she contemplates the wicked things he might do to her in there. Is she really such an innocent abroad? After all, if she wants a taste of what he can offer, she has only to ask…
First and foremost, I love writing strong, feisty heroines who can stand on their own feet and get things done. George is an example of that, a woman doing a traditionally male job and managing on her own.
Secondly, for me sexy characters are a must, but so is an intriguing location. I set this story in a small coastal village in Northumberland, in northern England. Alnmouth is a real place with a pretty little harbour, a tiny beach and multi-coloured cottages.
Third, of course, we need a sexy alpha male to get the juices going. Aidan comes as a surprise to George, not the sort of man she is interested in at all. He seems nerdy, wealthy, way out of her league. But he is kind to George’s little girl, he sorts out George’s computer and helps her to get her business accounts in order. As if that were not enough, he even introduces her to the pleasures of a decent spanking.
Sounds like a keeper to me, but will George think so?
Among other things, Innocent is the story of a young woman discovering the hidden depths of her own sexuality. Practical to the core, George has her hands full caring for her baby daughter as well as trying to get her ailing plumbing business back on its feet. She has neither the time, nor the energy, to spare for messing about with handsome, fiendishly sexy clients. All that goes out the window as soon as she sets eyes on the kinky playroom Aidan has in his attic.
Among other things, Innocent is a story about a woman doing a man’s job – or so Aidan thinks. George soon sets him straight. George is practical to the core, a skilled plumber and electrician. She works hard and there is pretty much no DIY task she can’t tackle. Her paperwork is another matter entirely. Aidan is more of a computer geek. While she is crawling about in a boiler suite and steel toe-capped boots re-wiring his house and fitting a new boiler, he is sorting out her ailing laptop and installing spreadsheets.
They make a great team, and never more than when George’s submissive nature starts to assert itself after she discovers the kinky toys her nerdy client likes to keep in his attic.
Innocent is a contemporary erotic romance, the story of a female plumber. My character, George, (short for Georgina) was inspired by a fabulous woman I met whilst picking up my daughter from school. Natalie always showed up at the school gates in overalls and steel toe-capped boots, so we got chatting and I asked if she was into DIY. Turns out she retrained as a plumber when she lost her job in a supermarket and had never looked back. She was self-employed, working hours to suit herself and her children, and earning decent money.
I like to write about self-reliant women with talent, determination, skills, and George definitely fits that image. She’s good at what she does and there’s pretty much no job she won’t tackle.
I really enjoyed writing Innocent, and it was something of an unusual experience for me because for once I knew how the story was to end right from the beginning. I usually know how I want to start and get that out of the way, then I play it by ear from there on. This time I had the plot clear in my head right the way through, and the book just sort of wrote itself.
Inocent is a story about two people who at first sight seem to be total opposites but find they have much more in common than they imagined. Apart from learning about each other, they make some even more startling discoveries as they get to grips with Aidan’s home improvement project and find that the house has some secrets of its own.
The story is set in the North East of England, an area I know quite well and love to visit. I like to use atmospheric locations when I can, it gives the story an extra dimension I think. Alnmouth is a gorgeous little coastal village with a pretty harbour and a beach. I don’t get the impression that much ever happens there, so maybe the goings on in Innocent would be just what they need to liven things up.
I loved writing Innocent. It was an opportunity to set a story in one of my favourite places, the North East of England, as well as create a lovely, feisty heroine to keep her sexy alpha male on his toes. But Innocent is more than just a kinky romance, although there is plenty of that in the book. It is also a mystery, and it has its serious side too but I won’t be giving away any spoilers. All I’m saying is, people, and houses, are rarely as innocent they seem.
First Impressions is a story about jumping to the wrong conclusions, about making hasty assumptions and being proved wrong. With the benefit of hindsight – always a wonderful thing – I thought it might be interesting to find out what George makes of Aidan now. I tracked her down and fired a few questions at her. Here goes:
Me: Hi George, and thank you for agreeing to chat to me today. How’s the business going?
George: Great, I’m really busy, but loving every minute. I’m working on a loft conversion right now, and I’ll need to get back to work soon.
Me: Right, let’s crack on then. Tell me, when you first met Aidan, what did you think of him?
George: I thought he was early! I hadn’t expected him back for ages, so I was a bit floored when he marched in that first day and caught me breastfeeding Lily in his kitchen. He took it well though, he was very kind in fact, even made me a cup of coffee. I also thought he was sexy, rich, and way out of my league.
Me: What was the most surprising thing you found out about Aidan, when you got to know him better?
George: Well, it turns out I was right about the sexy and rich bit, but the playroom in the attic came as something of a shock. I’d never seen so many whips and canes in one place. And the St. Andrews cross…
Me: Quite. You were surprised, but not especially shocked I think. Would that be right?
George: Yes, I suppose so. It was a pleasant surprise really. Once I got over my nerves and decided to trust Aidan to know what he was doing we’ve had a lot of fun in his attic.
Me: The readers can find out all about that in the book. So tell us, were there any other pleasant surprises?
George: Yes, I loved the way Aidan took to Lily, my baby. She was only a few months old back then and he was always so good with her, playing with her, looking after her to give me a break when he really didn’t need to. It was as though he wanted to get to know her too. We were both special to him and I loved it when he made me feel that way. He’s such a softie at heart.
Me: Even in the attic?
George: Especially then. He’s a hard Dom with a soft centre.
Me: My favourite sort. So, what’s next for you and Aidan?
George: I don’t know what’s around the corner for us, but we’re both enjoying our happy ever after. I guess I have you to thank for that.
Me: You’re welcome. Thanks for chatting to me. I’ll let you get back to that loft conversion now.
About Ashe Barker
USA Today Bestselling author Ashe Barker writes erotic romance and spanking romance in a variety of genres including contemporary, BDSM, paranormal, historical. ménage, gay romance and time travel. She is a #1 Amazon Bestseller and all her stories feature hot alpha males and sassy submissives, often with a lot to learn. Kink abounds, and there’s enough dirty talk to satisfy the most demanding smut lover. However dark and dirty the setting, love always emerges triumphant, and her stories never fail to deliver a satisfying happy ever after.
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