A chance meeting, two strangers whose paths cross—in the same place at the same time, yet a world apart.
When mining engineer Ethan Savage spots the cloaked, veiled woman riding a donkey in the Moroccan desert, he can be forgiven for thinking that in some respects nothing much has changed in two thousand years. She wouldn’t look out of place in Biblical times. They pass, nod, smile politely and go their separate ways, two strangers a world apart.
But when, moments later, she rescues him from his crashed car, the first words she utters make Ethan realise that appearances can be deceptive. His little Berber peasant is not what she seems.
Shifting effortlessly between her traditional roots in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and her professional life as the Totally Five Star hotel doctor, Fleur is a human chameleon, able to adapt and blend into any environment. At first irritated then amused by the handsome stranger, Fleur knows the assumptions he’s made about her. As their paths cross once more at the luxurious hotel, she realises he, too, is not all he seems. This sexy Englishman holds the key to her most secret and sensual desires, dangerous yearnings she’s kept locked away for years. Now she has a choice to make.
Ethan is only in Marrakesh for a few days, then he’ll be gone and she’ll never see him again. No one will ever know, so surely it will do no harm? Can she pass up this opportunity? And once she’s trusted him with her body, experienced all he can offer, will she be able to return to her old life? Or will the sensual chameleon need to reinvent herself once again to fit into his world?
Guest Post: When Love Takes Over
by Ashe Barker
Chameleon was a lot of fun to write, and something of a journey for me too. I started out with a fairly clear notion of what my heroine, Fleur would be like. A traditional Moroccan woman, true to her culture and the values that go with it. I quickly came to realise though that she is much more than that. This is the essence of the story, the layers or cloaks that people wear at different times, in different places, in order to fit in.
In the story Fleur’s cloak is very real, but symbolic too. She wears it, and sheds it, on command as Ethan comes to appreciate its significance.
The layers of both main characters deepened for me as the story unfolded in my head. Fleur went from a shy, self-contained woman, lacking in confidence and certainly too nervous to ever let her secret desires surface to become an adventurous determined person ready to grab what she wants and hang on to it.
Similarly, Ethan develops as he explores Fleur’s sensuality with her. He goes into the relationship as she does, intending it to be short-lived, a brief but pleasant interlude. Soon his emotions are as scrambled as Fleur’s are and he too finds himself re-examining what he thinks he wants in life.
Neither one of them expected to find a soul-mate, and definitely not someone who they have nothing in common with. But maybe they share more than they imagined, beneath the cloaks they both wear.
This reminds me of a funeral I attended recently. My daughter’s friend at school died in October 2014, aged just sixteen, in tragic circumstances, along with the rest of her family. The family were Hindu, and for the most part the funeral was a Hindu ceremony though some of it was conducted in English. The event was attended by hundreds of people from both the Hindu and white communities. Many of them were young people as Nisha and her sister were popular girls with a lot of friends. Most of the sixth form at my daughter’s school turned out, staff and students alike. We all had one thing in common which transcended any perceived differences – we loved and missed Nisha and her family and were there to grieve together.
It seems to me that when our emotions take over, nothing else matters much. Certainly that’s what Fleur and Ethan discover.
In this excerpt, we see Ethan preparing to remove Fleur‘s cloak – quite literally.
The lock clicked and the door opened. Fleur concentrated on not turning her head. It is him. It must be him. It has to be. The footsteps sounded like Ethan’s and she simply felt his presence fill the riad.
The footsteps approached her from behind and still she did not turn. Her posture was just as directed, straight and motionless. She held that pose, her eyes downcast but her ears attuned to every minute sound. She breathed in deeply through her nose, was sure she could detect his unique essence, that woodsy blend of spice and fruit. His cologne? Or just him?
The sound of footsteps became more muted. He had kicked off his shoes, in deference to local tradition, she supposed. But still she could hear him, the clink of a glass, the rattle of ice cubes. He was close by, behind her, saying nothing but watching. Seeing. Assessing.
Fleur’s pussy clenched, the internal twist almost painful in her apprehension. Had she missed something, some detail? Had she been careless? She thought not, but still…
“You look adorable.”
Fleur let out her breath, only now realising that she had been holding it. She was not sure if she should answer. His instructions were that she remain silent unless spoken to, unless asked a direct question. He had spoken to her, though not a question. Nevertheless, she opted to reply.
“Thank you, Sir.” She kept her tone low, her eyes fixed on a point a few inches in front of her knees.
Footsteps, then Ethan came into view. Or his feet did. Bare, as she had surmised. They now provided the focus for her gaze. He had nice feet, Fleur thought, long and straight, tanned, as though he kicked off his shoes often. They stopped right in front of her. She sensed his gaze on the top of her bent head but knew the cloak concealed her entirely. She also knew that he was perfectly aware that she was naked beneath it and what her nude body would look like, feel like. Taste like. He had sampled her extensively already so she should have no surprises left for him.
“You have obeyed my instructions?”
“I have, Sir. I hope I have done correctly all that you have asked.”
“At first sight, I think you have. How did it feel, Fleur, to obey me, even though I wasn’t here?”
“It made no difference, Sir. I did as you told me, exactly as you instructed.”
“And if you had found yourself unable to complete any part of my requirements? What if you hadn’t had a cloak to hand? What if your knees had become stiff from the hard floor?”
Still she stared at his feet. “I do not understand, Sir. Your instructions were clear—this cloak or one similar. And to kneel until you arrive. Why would I do otherwise?”
“Look at me, Fleur.”
She tilted her head back to raise her eyes to meet his. Warmth resided there, approval. And lust, she was sure, though his expression gave nothing away. He didn’t smile, but neither did he scowl. He could intimidate her, and his very presence, their relative positions—she on her knees and he towering over her—all conspired to emphasise her submission to him. But he did not exploit that now. Instead, he quirked his lip in the faintest of smiles.
“Do you have any questions or comments before we begin? You will have limited opportunities to ask them later.”
Fleur thought about this for a moment. “Do you intend to gag me then, Sir?”
“No, probably not. Unless I think your screams are likely to bring the hotel staff running to your rescue but I’m hoping it won’t come to that.”
“I see, Sir. So why…?”
“I won’t allow you to speak without my express permission. You may well scream and certainly, I expect a few whimpers, gasps, moans. Those I take as read. But I’ll be doing the talking, not you. So if there is anything you need to ask me or tell me, do it now, please.”
Fleur thought for a moment, then, “Will you tell me what is going to happen? What you intend to do? What I need to do?”
“Not up front, but I will explain everything as we go along. You won’t need to do anything apart from obey me.”
About the Author & Links:
Until 2010 I was a director of a regeneration company in Leeds, in the UK, before becoming convinced there must be more to life. So I left, and at last I’ve been able to realise my dream of writing erotic romance. I’ve been writing seriously for about two years but I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, erotic and other genres. I love reading historical and contemporary romances in all pairings – the hotter the better. But now I have a good excuse for my guilty pleasure – research.
In my own writing I draw on settings and anecdotes from my own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to my plots and characters. My stories are often set in the north of England where I live but I draw inspiration from all over. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea. But ultimately my tales of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of my own lurid and smutty imagination.
On the rare occasions I’m not writing my time is divided between my role as resident taxi driver for my teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, rabbits, tortoises. And most recently a very grumpy cockatiel. I’m a rural parish councillor, and I’m passionate about evolving rural traditions and values to suit twenty first century lifestyles.
My other titles include the ‘Black Combe’ trilogies, The Dark Side, Sure Mastery, The Hardest Word and A Richness of Swallows, all set in the atmospheric moorland of West Yorkshire or Cumbria and with a strong BDSM theme. The Three Rs, part of Totally Bound’s What’s Her Secret? imprint is a stand-alone novel set in Berwick in the Scottish border. I’ve also written a couple of short stories, Re-Awakening, and a raunchy pirate tale, Right of Salvage, as well as a novella, Carrot and Coriander.
I have a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keep thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from me.
I love to hear from readers.