Red Skye at Night takes Harry and Hope on a journey through the Highlands of Scotland. It’s a sexy, eventful trip, finally ending up on the Isle of Skye where Harry is determined to search for his ancestral roots.
It’s some years since I was on Skye, but I remember my visit there vividly. It’s an isolated, windswept place blessed with stunning scenery. The landscape is truly spectacular, beautiful and dramatic certainly but also rugged and harsh in many respects. The climate too can be equally unforgiving. I have no doubt at all that the crofters of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had a hard time dragging a living from the land. Harry’s ancestors were a tough breed of people.
Skye’s four-legged inhabitants too are made of stern stuff. I recall driving along a coastal road, and rounding a bend to be confronted by a huge highland cow. These look cute and cuddly, but they have horns that could disembowel a tank. The animal planted itself in the middle of the road and showed no sign of wanting to move anytime soon. We tooted a bit, then a bit more. It just stared at us. We considered getting out and doing a sort of shooing thing, but did I mention those horns? He – or she – looked placid enough but in my view even the most docile of highland cows deserve respect. Eventually we lured the bovine roadblock to the side of the road with a rich tea biscuit and carried on our way.
Our next encounter with the local wildlife was less peaceful. It was dark, we were on our way back to the bridge linking Skye to the mainland and had to pass through a wooded area. Suddenly something huge hurtled out from the trees into the road in front of us. Two somethings in fact. It was a pair of stags, involved in what looked to be a fight to the death.
I was driving and slammed on the brakes. The battle raged on, caught in the headlights in front of us. If the cow’s horns looked daunting they had nothing on these bad boys. No way was a rich tea biscuit going to help us now. Nothing would. We cowered in our car while these two slugged it out, quite oblivious to their audience. At one stage one of the stags was on our bonnet – we had the dents afterwards to show for it – before the pair of them disappeared back into the trees, still locked in deadly combat.
I rather fancied weaving this scene with the stags into Red Skye at Night somehow, but couldn’t really find the right place for it. I take that as a sure indication that a sequel might be called for. Watch this space.
Here’s the blurb for Red Skye at Night:
Two strangers, one outrageous proposal, and the journey of a lifetime.
How far would you go? To Skye and back?
A random accident as a teenager wrecked Hope Shepherd’s aspirations to be an international athlete. Now working as a taxi driver, Hope is unsettled by a sexy Canadian she picks up at the airport. With his good looks and easy charm, he’s just the sort of man she can do without. But can she afford to turn down his offer?
He offers her a small fortune to drive him to Scotland, where he hopes to discover his ancestral roots. And not just anywhere in Scotland. Harry McLeod wants to go to the Highlands, to the Isle of Skye.
He is persistent, and Hope needs the cash. But what are the real terms of this outrageous deal?
Harry McLeod desires Hope, and the attraction is shared. If he can get her in his bed—or better still, tied to it—will she allow him to peel away her protective layers to release her inner submissive? Harry is stern, uncompromising, outrageously sexy and utterly irresistible. How will Hope respond to his dark brand of sensuality? Does he offer more than a generous fare and a few erotic encounters?
When they reach Skye, a feud spanning four generations challenges all that Hope thought she was coming to know about submission. Will it be enough to convince her that this could be a relationship to stand the test of time?
About Ashe Barker:
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.
Excerpt from Red Skye at Night:
As Pitlochry recedes in our rear-view mirror, the scenery explodes around us—the dramatic, glorious Grampian Mountains soaring away to our right as we follow the road heading north. We’re skirting the mountain range, heading towards Aviemore. The road is good still, and the weather is beautiful—soft sunlight causing the landscape to take on a pale, smudgy glow. Still, conditions can change in minutes up here so we can’t be complacent. The two hours Harry said would constitute the first leg of today’s trek flash past and I find I do actually enjoy being driven. I can watch and wonder at the grandeur of our environment, the majestic Highland scenery stretching upwards and outward in all directions. The rugged moors are populated by the occasional settlement, but primarily these hills are the terrain of hardy sheep who roam the upper levels, while the lower meadows are populated mostly by the characteristic black Aberdeen Angus cattle.
Harry pulls into a lay-by, and we choose a selection of sandwiches from a roadside vending trailer. They do hot food too, and the local square sausage that they slice from a large block is tempting. We debate the issue at the counter, but decide to stock up on cold stuff—cheese and pickle, chicken and ham, with hot coffee in polystyrene cups. We dump the lot on the back seat and set off again in search of a more secluded spot for our picnic. We find what we’re looking for a few miles farther on, a heather-shrouded gentle slope at the foot of a steep, rocky incline. Harry pulls up, easing the car onto a flat stretch of grass beside the road. We get out, and for a few seconds I just stand, my chin tilted upwards to smell the tangy wildness of this place. The heathers, the bracken, the crisp breeze all combine in a magical aroma that is pure Scotland.
The sound of Harry opening the back door to retrieve our food disturbs my reverie.
“Lunch is served.” I turn to see Harry grinning at me, amused.
“Sorry. It’s just… This place is beautiful, truly beautiful.”
“It is.” He pauses for a moment to survey the scenery, then, “I’m pleased you’re here to enjoy it with me.”
Me too. We stroll a couple of hundred yards from the road, then make ourselves comfortable on the springy purple carpet. I always carry a car blanket in the boot, so we use that to spread our goodies on and settle in to enjoy the feast. The day has become warmer as the morning has worn on, and I’m loving the soft caress of the sun across my shoulders. It’s a perfect day for a picnic, especially as we seem to have a whole Scottish mountain to ourselves. I settle back on my elbows, surveying the awesome vista below me. Apart from the sheep and Harry, there isn’t another living thing to be seen for hundreds of miles. I sigh, and reflect on the general beauty of life. And mine in particular, right now.
I should be nervous. Harry has duct tape and a paddle hairbrush, for fuck’s sake, and I have no doubt I’ll be feeling the effects of those within the next few hours. I’m not nervous, though. I’m excited. And I’m becoming increasingly aroused as I imagine the creative uses he may have in mind for his purchases.
“What are you thinking, Hope?” Harry is lounging alongside me, making short work of a cheese and pickle sandwich.
I turn to him, and not for the first time I wonder what a fabulously good-looking guy like this would see in me. I quash that thought—he’s here, he wanted me to be here too. He just said as much—again. So we are here, together, and it’s enough.
“I’m thinking that I’m glad you persuaded me to make this trip.”
“You drove a hard bargain.”
“I’m driving nothing now. You really should ask for a refund.”
“No refund required. What will you spend your exorbitant fee on?”
That’s easy. “I’ll pay off my car loan, or most of it. Someday I want to own a fleet of cars, run my own firm. Limousines, perhaps. I could do weddings, proms, that sort of thing.” I shove the last of my chicken sandwich into my mouth and look to him for his reaction to my entrepreneurial aspirations. It must sound like small beer to him, I suppose.
“Sounds like a plan. I can see you as a transport mogul. I’d hire you.”
“I’d overcharge you.”
“I know, but I’d pay anyway. Have I told you that you’re very beautiful, Hope?”
“I, no. Yes. I’m not beautiful. I’m just…okay.”
He shakes his head. “Not ‘just okay’. You take my breath away. Especially in that moment just before you come, when you stop breathing for a few seconds then let out that lovely, sexy moan you do.”
“I… Do I moan?” My first impulse is to deny it, but what would be the point? He’s in a better position to know the truth of this than I am.
“You do, baby. And you squeal when I spank you.”
Now this I did know. “It hurts.”
“Hope, it hurts and what else?”
My mouth is dry as I respond. “It feels good. Exciting, and—hot.”
“Are you wet, Hope? Are you wet now, thinking about it?”
I gaze at him, long moments pass, then I nod.
“How wet? Show me.”
“What? Here? In broad daylight?”
He looks around us at the vast expanse of Highland emptiness, makes a production of shielding his eyes to gaze into the far distance. He turns back to me, his deep blue eyes now glinting with a determined gleam that I recognise. “I think we’re alone. Pull your jeans down, touch yourself then show me your wet hand.”
“Sir?” Even as my boring, law-abiding head recoils in horror at the prospect of such blatant exhibitionism, I shiver. I can’t help myself. He makes me tingle—that tone, that look, a lift of one eyebrow and he’s all Dom. His demands scare me, but I want to do as he says anyway. And he’s right, I rationalise. We are alone.
I say nothing as I unfasten my jeans and lower my zip. I kneel up to slip my hand inside, reaching down under my underwear to caress my shamelessly wet pussy. He watches me, his eyes fixed on my exploring hand. This makes the act more erotic, more intimate. I raise my eyes to his. He smiles.
I withdraw my hand and hold it out to him, all four fingers showing clear and decadent evidence of my arousal.
“Such a slut, but so sweet.” He takes my hand in his and lifts my wet fingers to his nose. He sniffs, appearing to savour the musky odour before raising his eyes to meet mine once more. He holds my gaze as he licks each of my fingers, taking his time to taste my moisture. The gesture is both tender and so sexy. Regardless of how much he might outrage my moral sensibilities, I know that whatever he asks me to do next, I will. Without protest.
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