Leaving Behind LA BRAT–Review, Giveaway and Character Interview!

AsheBarket_LaBrat_BlogTour_600x315_Final copyHi there! Today I’m sharing in the blog tour for LA BRAT, a newly-released BDSM romance from Ashe Barker.

La BratAbout La Brat:
Thou shalt not attack thy Dom—especially not with his own cane.

She’s committed the cardinal sin, broken the eleventh commandment for submissives. No wonder the Dom she adores wants nothing more to do with her.

Eugenie believes her luck has turned when she lands an interview for her dream job—Events Organizer at Totally Five Star’s flagship hotel in Paris. This is her chance to return to the city, which holds cherished memories for her, and pursue a career she loves. Most of all it’s a golden opportunity to leave behind the bitter taste of her disastrous breakup with Aaron, the one Dom who can make her melt with a look, a word, a lift of his finger.

Her dream crumbles when she comes face to face with her nemesis, now Director of Security at Totally Five Star Paris, the one man who can wreck her dreams with just a few words.

Aaron has never forgotten the lovely little submissive who broke all the rules. He can do without the hassle of such a high-maintenance sub, but his sexy new colleague proves hard to resist. It’s not long before he finds it hard to remember just what his objections were.

Determined not to dwell on the past, Eugenie throws herself into her wonderful new job. If she can only convince Aaron to give her another chance, her life will be perfect. A natural in her new role, against the glamorous backdrop of one of the world’s finest hotel chains, Eugenie is in her element arranging a high-profile celebrity wedding. But when things start to go wrong, Eugenie finds herself at the heart of a series of inexplicable accidents.

Aaron doesn’t believe in coincidences. Is someone else, apart from him, out to hurt his little Genie? And why? He is determined to protect Eugenie—and get to the bottom of who might want to harm her.

This is the fourth novel in Totally Bound’s Totally Five Star imprint, click here to see more.

Getting Up Close and Personal with Aaron Praed
Aaron Praed is the hero of La Brat. I caught up with him to ask a little about how life is treating him and Genie these days. He had some interesting snippets to share, not least some of his naughty habits as a boy…

Good afternoon, Aaron, and thank you for finding time to chat to us today.
My pleasure. So, how can I help you?

When the story opens you’re a police officer. Do you think that was what attracted Genie to you in the first place?
I doubt it. She didn’t know what job I did until we’d scened two or three times. To be honest, I think she was a bit intimidated when she found out. It added to my air of authority. Maybe that brought out the brat in her.

Of course you’re an honest and upright citizen now, but what was the naughtiest thing you ever did as a child?
*thinks for a few moments* I don’t know about naughty exactly, but I remember the prank I’m most ashamed of now, looking back. Close to where I lived there was a high wall. I used to like to climb it, it was a sort of race I did with myself, to see how quickly I could get to the top. I found a birds next up there, and there were three small eggs in it. I nicked one. I put it in my pocket and scrambled back down again. I remember the bird was screeching at me from a safe distance, but I ignored her. By the time I got to the ground again and checked, the egg was broken in my pocket. What a waste.

In your own words, tell us what your first impression was when you met Eugenie. Did you hit it off right away?
I thought she was an absolute stunner. Christ, she was gorgeous. I watched her for maybe half an hour before I approached her. She seemed nervous, I remember that, and I could see the brat emerging right from the off. But she was sort of endearing even so. And very determined to see the scene through. I didn’t make it easy for her and I fully expected her to use her safe word. But she didn’t, and that won my respect.

You were keen to see her again, then?
Hell, yes!

What is Eugenie’s worst habit?
She thinks she’s indispensable. That’s obvious in the story, and even now it’s one of the things I’m always having to punish her for. On most issues she’s quick to learn, but that lesson never sinks in. Still, I keep trying.

What is her best quality?
Well, she’s sexy as hell. Does that count? As well as that though, she’s fiercely professional, hard-working, and a stickler for the details. I’m very proud of her.

Do you think she’s proud of you?
Now that’s a hard one. I hope so. She certainly used to be, when we were together in the UK, before she moved to Paris. She used to love parading me about to various dos and functions. There’s not so much opportunity for that sport of thing now because we both work such long hours. Pity really, I look good in a DJ.

I’m sure you do. One last question if I may. What do you see yourself doing in ten years’ time?
You know, I rather think we’ll still be here. Paris is a city no one could get tired of. We both love it, and we love the hotel. Now that we have each other too, life’s just perfect. Thank you for our Happy Ever After.

You’re welcome, and thank you for chatting to me today

Excerpt from La Brat:

“Take your pick. Or if you prefer I’ll just use my hand.”

“That one. If you please.” Eugenie pointed to a pretty little lemon-colored paddle made of flexible silicon. She honestly had no idea if she was making a good choice or not, but her limited experience had at least taught her that the difference would be made by the skill and intent of the Dom, not the implement used. If this man wanted to hurt her, he could and he would. If it was too much, she could stop him by using her safe word.

Sure enough, his next question addressed that issue. “What’s your preferred safe word for this, Miss…?”

“Eugenie. My name is Eugenie d’André. And my safe word is Maupassant.”

At his raised eyebrow, she felt moved to clarify. “He is one of my favorite authors. He was French.”

“Ah, right. Excellent choice. Very classical. My name’s Mr. Praed—Aaron—though you will address me as Sir.”

“Naturellement, Sir.”

His tight smile was his only further response. He gestured for Eugenie to lean on the bench and lift the short skirt she was wearing. She did as instructed, quashing her natural modesty, which had no place here. Even so, she appreciated his choice of the cubicle as it did offer a degree of privacy.

“Would you like me to remove my thong also, Sir?”

“That’s up to you. It makes no difference to this.”

“Then I will leave it in place. Thank you, Sir.”

“Ten strokes okay?”

“Yes, Sir, ten will be fine.” Eugenie wriggled against the soft leather padding on the bench, making herself comfortable as her handsome playmate for the evening positioned himself behind her. Now that the initial embarrassment was behind her, she was glad that she’d taken the plunge, so to speak, and accepted his invitation to play.

“I’ll start when you tell me you’re ready.”

“I am ready, Sir—ooh!”

The first stroke fell immediately, sending a sharp burst of pain across her left buttock.

“Too hard?”

“No, Sir. That is perfect.”

Mr. Praed made no comment. He proceeded to deliver the remainder of the ten strokes, pausing for a few seconds between each. Eugenie presumed this was to allow her the opportunity to use her safe word if she wished, and she silently appreciated his care. There would be no safe wording, though. His technique was heavy but controlled, the slaps just painful enough to elicit a squeal or two by the time he reached eight and a definite scream at the tenth. Eugenie was impressed. By the time he offered her his hand to help her to stand upright once more, her bottom was smarting and her pussy moist. She began to wonder at the wisdom of retaining her thong, but it was done now.

“Thank you, Sir. I enjoyed that.” Eugenie was careful to assume a suitably submissive posture, her head bowed, hands clasped behind her. She liked this Dom, wanted to make a good impression. Perhaps he was a regular here. If so, she would certainly be returning frequently.

“My pleasure, Miss d’André—or do you prefer mademoiselle?”

“Either is quite all right, Sir. Just as you please.”

He gave a low chuckle, as though he knew exactly what was going on in her head. Perhaps he did—some Dom’s had that knack, she’d found. She had no idea how they did it, where they learned that peculiar brand of telepathy. Were they born with it? Or did they perfect it by going to classes or some such thing? Probably the latter. She was aware that good Doms would read about BDSM, fact as well as the fiction that she was so fond of. They would practice, they would finesse their art before laying a hand or anything else on a submissive. Aaron Praed certainly had all the skills. She had felt safe with him. If so, all the more reason to give him no cause not to want to scene with her again.

“Is there anything else I can do for you, mademoiselle? Do you have further plans for this evening?”

AsheBarket_LaBrat_BlogTour_BlogDates_Final copy
My Review:
This is a fun read! Eugenie is a willful woman who craves a bit of discipline to clear her mind from time to time. Three years ago she met Aaron, a Dom who really appealed. He was strong, controlled, and fun to be with as a companion outside of a scene. Then, when a scene didn’t go well, Eugenie did something Aaron couldn’t accept–as a Dom.

After floundering in her search for a replacement Dom, Eugenie earned herself the undesirable moniker: La Brat. She’s burned a lot of bridges, wishing she could get Aaron to notice her again, but he seems to have disappeared from the fetish scene. Anxious to reinvent herself back in her native France, she interviews for a position at Totally Five Star Hotel, Paris. And it is there she reconnects to Aaron; he’s the Head of Security. Eugenie is sure that Aaron will sabotage her, but he’s not interested in that. Nope. Aaron is still quite interested in his sassy little sub, but knows they need to work together–and work out the problems from their last encounter–if they are to reconcile.

Eugenie really strives hard to make the best impression in her new position–and she succeeds. She garners an A-list wedding, but life then gets really really complicated. In the hustle and bustle of the preparations Eugenie suffers two inexplicable injuries. Aaron suspects this is not random–both were potentially fatal–and his pre-wedding tripled security measures are put to the test determining if Eugenie is a specific target, or just a convenient casualty.

I liked how Eugenie and Aaron rekindled their romance. For both, the abruptness of their break-up three years prior had been not just shocking, but stunning. It was a moment from which neither had truly recovered. The BDSM elements here are not the major focus, though Aaron’s keen to keep Eugenie emotionally satisfied–which sometimes includes punishment even when he would not favor them. As lovers, they seemed very devoted which was nice. Aaron takes the time to really ensure Eugenie’s safety, both as a Dom and his partner. The progression of their relationship is rather quick, though this is reasonable given their previous acquaintance. The wrap-up of the mystery–who was harming Eugenie and why–comes at exactly the final moment before the wedding, with a showdown that is fast and fanatical.

Interested? You can find LA BRAT on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Totally Bound, Barnes and Noble, All Romance, Sony, Kobo.

Ashe Barker_giveawayCLICK HERE to enter Totally Bound’s La Brat competition for the chance to win your own copy of this title, as well as three more fabulous titles from Ashe Barker’s backlist!

About Ashe Barker:
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.

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. You can find me on my blog, and I’m on Facebook, and twitter too. And more recently on Tsu.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

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