When I first came upon the idea to write Strapped, I did so because I wanted to take some common themes in recent Erotica and approach them in a different light. I often had trouble with books where characters where shot at, lied to, abused, and their worlds transformed only to have a clean conclusion where everything was hunky dory. A person is not a neat little box where you can just shove as much crap in as possible, close the lid, stick a bow on it and pretend like it doesn’t stink. People have breaking points, they have memories, boundaries, regrets, and conflicting beliefs. They often make decisions based on emotion, rather than rational thought. When a life is turned upside down, even when the conflict is resolved, there will be scars.
Even a version of a happy ending may not be a neat one. Sometimes the most passionate of experiences can also be the most painful.
You will see common themes as the plot line of Strapped unfolds: a rich alpha male, a dynamic heroine, sex (of course), and troubled pasts. However, there were questions I hope the reader will confront when reading Strapped (and its upcoming sequels).
What is the difference between intense love and infatuation?
Is every person salvageable or is there a point where they are damaged beyond repair?
What defines abuse (physical or emotional), if the “victim” consents to the behavior?
Are grooming and manipulation the same thing?
Where is the line between unconditional acceptance & enabling?
What if your “soulmate” is also the person who can lead you to your destruction? Is it better to live an intense life with that person, rife with insane ups and downs, or to find someone who is safe, knowing you will never feel as intensely about such a person?
I have always been fascinated by psychology and I wanted to use Strapped to dig deeply into the motivations of each of its characters. Just like real people, you may want to hug them and strangle them at the same time. They will do things that upset you, or make you question their sanity, but if you look deeply, you will see they all have their reasons.
The effects of child abuse and trauma is another theme that is confronted in Strapped. It’s no revelation that such a thing can be incredibly damaging, and I wanted to explore the ripple effect such incidents have on the life of the victim and those surrounding him or her.
Sexuality is another prevalent theme. Sexuality and intimacy are deeply connected and I used the scenes (not only to make the reader all hot and bothered-tee hee), but also to demonstrate how the power of sex can be used to heal, control, manipulate, and/or connect people.
Honestly, I could write forever about the different characters and themes within Strapped! I had so many in mind when I was writing this story and plotting out its sequels. If you see some I didn’t mention, please share them with me as I would love to discuss them. Ultimately, despite the dark themes, Strapped is meant for you to enjoy with mysterious twists and turns and thanks to Shyla, some humor as well.
There is a knock on the door. I put on a plush robe and let in the server. He rolls in a table full of dishes of various sizes covered with stainless steel domes. When the server leaves, I begin lifting the lids, each one feels like a little present. Champagne and strawberries, a plate of asparagus, such a curious shape asparagus has, chocolate truffles, chocolate dipped banana and chocolate covered cherries. The largest platter, I save for last. It is a huge steak, with a knife stuck in it and pinkish juices pooling around the meat. The carnal spread feels like a gastronomical form of foreplay. I have lost some weight due to my new busy schedule so I welcome the indulgence. The first bite of steak melts in my mouth and I let out a moan to express its deliciousness. I sample everything on the table; all the contrasting flavors explode in my mouth. The sweet and sour strawberries make me think of him that first morning, shirtless and sweaty, pursing his lips around the red fruit. The sweet bubbles of the champagne tickle my throat. It’s not long before I am full, and I sit there with a smile on my face, beyond satisfied.
By all appearances, Shyla Ball has an enviable life: a loyal boyfriend, a great job, and family that loves her. She doesn’t realize how deeply unsatisfied she is until she has an embarrassing encounter with a handsome stranger at a coffee shop.
Taylor Holden, a successful businessman, takes a sudden special interest in her and offers her a job she cannot refuse. Soon after, she learns there is much more to this intensely private man than meets the eye. He is hiding many painful secrets, including why it is that he has seemingly plucked her out of obscurity for such a lucrative position. Her “perfect” world is turned upside down by her infatuation towards Taylor and in just a couple of months, her life looks nothing like it did before. While she is frightened by the changes she sees in herself, she cannot resist the lure of Taylor Holden.
As Shyla slowly gains Taylor’s trust, she learns of his complex history and how it has molded him into the person he has become. When elements of Taylor’s secret past resurface and threaten to destroy them, Shyla finds out there may be more to Taylor’s story than even he is aware of.
Strapped is a story of passion, manipulation, obsession, and family secrets.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Nina G. Jones was born and raised in Bronx, NY and currently resides in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and two crazy Boxers.
She is the author of Strapped, and is currently working on the sequel for Strapped, slated to be released in early 2014.
Nina lives a pretty wholesome life, but is fascinated with the dark side of things. She loves watching true crime TV shows and it creeps her husband out to no end. Nina has a degree in Psychology and uses her characters as a vehicle to explore the human psyche.
She also totally gets it if you want to throw your Kindle at her when you reach the end of Strapped, but please let her know so she has a chance to duck.
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