The Laird and the Sassenach is a story of a man with justice to mete out, and a dilemma to face. Sometimes the truth seems to stare us in the face, at other times it may be not so clear where the blame lies. In the middle ages, of course, matters of crime and punishment, guilt or innocence were simple enough. The social hierarchies of the time placed authority and power in few hands and there were no qualifications required which entitled the privileged to rule. They were just handed the job and the common folk had to hope their leaders would turn out to be wise and fair. Sometimes they got lucky, and The Laird and the Sassenach is a story of one such instance.
I love to write historical stories. I am especially drawn to Highland fantasies, and why not? Who can resist the soaring Scottish scenery and sexy men in kilts. I find myself fascinated by that heady cocktail of honour and lawlessness, the atmospheric sensuality of the time and the way an all-powerful laird will reveal his soft centre just when it matters. But the Sassenach in the story also has her little quirks and faces some unique challenges. And look out for an unlikely star of the show. Freya the wolfhound has her part to play and I absolutely adored her.
I hope readers enjoy The Laird and the Sassenach as much as I loved writing it
This is entirely optional, but if you want to make a more individual post, please feel free to select up to 6 Q&As to include – your choice which ones you use.
- So, tell us a bit more about Blair. He’s stern and sexy, with a twitchy palm, but what else is there to know?
Well, I think you just about covered the basics there. Blair has a strong sense of duty, and of justice. He knows that he has to satisfy the demands of the McGregor clan who expect to see justice done but he is unwilling to do so at the expense of an innocent woman. Blair is determined to know the truth and to apportion blame where it should lie, but he is also an implacable enemy. If he discovers that Roselyn is to blame he will not hesitate to make her answer for her crimes.
- How many books have you written? Are they all historical or spanking fiction?
I have over forty titles out now, and they are all erotic stories. About a dozen of them are historical novels. Some have more of a BDSM vibe going on and some are spanking/domestic discipline. At first I wrote just contemporary stories, then I started adding a few historicals and sci-fis. I love the variety.
- Why do you enjoy writing historical fiction?
History was my favourite lesson at school, though some periods are more fascinating to me than others. I always preferred the medieval or even earlier times, though the Victoriuans were an interesting bunch too. In many ways life was simpler in the past, if a lot more brutal, and of course some of the moral issues we would have to deal with in a contemporary setting don’t apply. Inequality was the norm. Women were expected to obey – or else. A spanking author can have a field day.
- What advice would you have for writers who decide to try their hand at erotica?
I’d tell them to have a go, but to have a decent thesaurus to hand. And an internet connection. Youtube is the erotica writer’s friend.
- Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I try to be fairly ordered about it. I like to be at my desk (well, more accurately the kitchen table) laptop fired up and coffee to hand, by nine in the morning and I tend to write for most of the day then. There are also a lot of related tasks to keep on top of, mainly to do with promo or research, or keeping in touch with readers and other authors. It’s definitely a full-time job for me.
- Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think it was always there, though I only started writing properly about three years ago. I have always tended to plot stories in my head though, often when sitting in traffic jams on my daily commute. I now work at home so all that time spent inhaling exhaust fumes is finally paying off.
- If you could have been told one thing that you weren’t told when you were a teenager, what would you like to have heard?
I was given lots of advice as a teenager, much of it unsolicited and not especially good. I think we all have to make our own mistakes, but hopefully I haven’t made the same mistake to many times. That would be sad.
Looking back, I think the most important thing I picked up along the way was that we all have choices, all the time. We’re entitled to choose our own way in life, but we should also be ready to own and accept the consequences of our decisions.
Someone once invited me to cast my mind forward to a time perhaps sixty years from now when I’ll be long-gone and my daughter (currently eighteen) is herself entering old age. Imagine she’s talking to her grandchildren, telling them about me. What would I like her to be saying? My actions now, today, will dictate what those obituaries might be so don’t leave it until later to be the sort of person you want to be remembered as.
- If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be…
Resilient. Creative. Calm.
- What would you do if you were the last person on this earth?
Turn out the lights.
- If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
I think at some level or other they are all a little bit about me. I could never write a book about a heroine I didn’t actually like or identify with in some way. Or a hero I couldn’t relate to and wouldn’t want to meet. Maybe I’d call my autobiography Made a Difference, because I hope that would be true. Perhaps that should be on my gravestone rather than a book cover, come the day.
After her half-brother attacks the kinsmen of Blair McGregor, Lady Roselyn of Etal is brought before the stern highland laird to answer for her reluctant, unwitting role in the crime. Once she has told her story, she throws herself at his mercy.
Blair soon realizes that Roselyn is as much a victim of her half-brother as anyone, but his people’s demands for justice cannot be ignored entirely, so he strips the young Englishwoman bare and chastises her firmly with a switch applied to her naked backside.
The painful, humiliating punishment both assuages Roselyn’s guilt and leaves her yearning to be even more thoroughly mastered by the handsome laird. Though Blair makes it clear that she is free to return home, she instead chooses to remain with the him in his castle… and in his bed. Their passion soon blossoms into romance, but can the highlander protect his beautiful Sassenach when the villain who caused them both so much pain tries to tear her away from him?
Publisher’s Note: The Laird and the Sassenach includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
“Will you beat me again?”
“Aye, if you deserve it. For disobedience or disrespect. I am master here and that will apply to all. But you would not find me cruel. Indeed, I believe you would find pleasure in what I offer.”
“Pleasure, my lord? I do not quite take your meaning.”
“Will you not own to the slightest stirring? You may deny your arousal but your body betrays ye, Roselyn. Your nipples are swollen, your eyes have darkened as you consider my offer. I believe if you were to spread your thighs for me now I would find you wet.”
“Wet?” She drew in a shuddering breath. “My nipples… it is chilly in here.”
“Nay, it is not. I banked up the fire afore I woke you. Stop making excuses and open your legs for me, Roselyn.”
“I will not.”
“Yes, you will, and you will do it now.”
He trailed his fingers the length of her body, tracing a path between her breasts and across her flat stomach to her mound. There he teased the auburn curls which protected her most intimate place.
“Open for me.” He leaned in to whisper the words into her ear, his familiar male smell overwhelming her senses. He was spice, and he was musk, heather, pine, and something mysteriously unique, an essence which was only his.
Roselyn was lost, mesmerised. She rolled fully onto her back, even managed not to wince as her weight settled on her punished buttocks. Bending her knees a little, she allowed him to tease her thighs apart. His slid his hand between her legs and stroked her moist folds.
“Ah, so deliciously damp. Roselyn, you do indeed delight me.”
“My lord…” She was lost, her words buried under the waves of pure sensation. “What are you doing to me?”
“I am pleasuring ye, sweetheart. Be still for me, and open wider.”
As though in a trance, wrapped in fog of unaccustomed sensuality, Roselyn obeyed. She arched her back and let out a sharp cry as he slipped one long finger into her wet channel.
He paused. “Did I hurt ye?”
She shook her head. “No. It was… oh, please do that once more if you would.”
He thrust his finger into her again, then added a second digit. Unfamiliar sensations assailed Roselyn, both confusing and exciting. And intense. It was incredible, unbelievable. Her head whirled. She felt tight, stretched, yet at the same time she wanted nothing other than to spread her body open, to welcome this intrusion. He was right, this was about pleasure. It was a strange sort of joy, but she craved it nonetheless.
“That feels good, my lord.”
“My title is laird, not lord, but I believe we are on first name terms now. You will use my given name, most particularly when my fingers or indeed any part of my anatomy is lodged within your sweet cunt.”
“Nay, just Blair will do.” He withdrew his fingers and resumed stroking her outer lips. He found a spot which brought Roselyn’s hips right up from the mattress. “Ah, now I see I have your complete attention. Perhaps you might like to practice using my name.” He paused in his sensuous rubbing and Roselyn moaned her need.
“Say my name,” he urged.
“Blair.” She whispered it.
He resumed the torturous caress. “Again. Say it again. Louder.”
She raised her voice a little. “Blair.”
“Better. And you will scream my name when you find your release.”
He took that most sensitive nubbin between his fingers and he squeezed. Something clenched within, deep in her core, and Roselyn longed for his fingers to be inside her tight channel again. She yearned to be filled, stretched, owned.
“Could you…? Blair, I need…”
“I know.” He continued to roll her sensitive flesh between his fingers, whilst he used his free hand to open that most secret place and plunged two digits into her again.
It was too much. Roselyn could no longer speak, could not even form a coherent thought. She could only feel as irresistible shudders rocked her slight form and her inner walls clenched helplessly around his fingers. She arched further, lifting her hips, pleading for something, anything…
“Oh, Blair. Blair, Blair, Blair!” She let out a keening wail as the sensations peaked and her body convulsed, then, gasping, she stilled.
More about Ashe Barker
USA Today best-selling author Ashe Barker has been an avid reader of fiction for many years, erotic and other genres. She still loves reading, the hotter the better. But now she has a good excuse for her guilty pleasure – research.
Ashe tends to draw on her own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to her plots and characters. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea.
Ashe lives in the North of England, on the edge of the Brontë moors and enjoys the occasional flirtation with pole dancing and drinking Earl Grey tea. When not writing – which is not very often these days – her time is divided between her role as taxi driver for her teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, tortoises. And a very grumpy cockatiel.
At the last count Ashe had over forty titles on general release with publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, and several more in the pipeline. She writes M/f, M/M, and occasionally rings the changes with a little M/M/f. Ashe’s books invariably feature BDSM. She writes explicit stories, always hot, but offering far more than just sizzling sex. Ashe likes to read about complex characters, and to lose herself in compelling plots, so that’s what she writes too.
Ashe has a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keeps thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from her.
Ashe loves to hear from readers. Here are her social media links:
Or you can email her direct on firstname.lastname@example.org