by Elia Winters
Columnist Bridget Hartwell agrees to write about BDSM to impress her new executive editor at Sultry, the “sex-positive magazine for sex-positive women.” Unfortunately, it’s a topic she knows absolutely nothing about…but if she ever wants that promotion, she’ll need to learn the ropes, fast.
English professor Max Harlow is active in the Dom/sub scene, but only for casual play—he’s never found his ideal partner: a woman who is his equal, but sexually submissive. When he’s asked to explain the lifestyle to his cute but obviously inexperienced neighbor, Max is certain it’s best to approach it academically—to keep things purely professional.
Until Bridget’s first article is a huge hit, giving her the perfect excuse to delve deeper into the naturally submissive side of her sexuality. But as their encounters intensify and each of her boundaries is skillfully pushed, Bridget must decide what this all means… for her identity, her career, and, most importantly, her future with Max.
“What about your fantasies?”
“What? What is it?” Catching her hesitation, Max looked up from the Scrabble board.
“It’s just...” She paused and took a swig of beer. “I’ve had a lot of crushes on men in positions of power. My volleyball coach back in high school, my internship coordinator in college, a few professors...” Realizing he was grinning, she blushed, remembering he was a professor. “Right. Anyway, I never acted on any of them.”
“And yet you complain that you date weak men.” He swirled the beer around in his bottle and held it up to the light, his gaze thoughtful and distant.
“Well, I don’t want some guy to boss me around.” To hide the discomfort she suddenly felt, Bridget looked down at the board. She played reach off the H in hinder and fumbled as she chose four new tiles.
“I think we both know that’s a lie.“ Max said smoothly, and he drank his beer. “I’ll bet you’re just afraid of what kind of woman you would be if you gave in to those urges.” He rubbed a tile between a thumb and forefinger, then set it back on his shelf. “I’ve been doing this a long time, Bridget. You responded today like a natural submissive. You liked more than just the sex. You liked all of it.”
She set down her beer and looked at him. “All right.” She tried not to sound defensive. “So what does that mean?”
“It doesn’t have to mean anything.” Max shrugged. “Maybe this afternoon, I just want to play some Scrabble with you and order a pizza. But when we’re done with all this experimenting, you’re going to have a lot to write about.”
What sparked your interest in becoming a romance writer?
I used to sneak my mother’s romance novels when I was growing up. I knew the “how” of sex, but I didn’t really understand the “why” until I started reading sex scenes in romance novels. To explore my own complicated feelings and crazy hormones, I started writing my own sex scenes… well, fanfiction sex scenes. Star Wars fanfiction sex scenes. They were every bit as terrible as you’d imagine – yeah, I still have them – but I got much better the more I wrote. Then I started writing sex scenes between original characters, and those stories made the circuit among my friends in my Catholic high school. I developed a bit of a following that made me think, “This might be fun to do for a living.”
Tell us 5 surprising things about yourself.
· I didn’t start liking coffee until last summer.
· I can sing all of “Silver Bells” backwards.
· I’ve lost my toenails more than once.
· I spent four years as a zipline canopy tour guide during the teaching off-season.
· I once angrily yelled “grapefruit” over and over in my sleep.
One of your favorite quotes.
“I know not all that may be coming. But be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” –Herman Mellville, Moby Dick.
What’s the last movie you watched and loved?
I just went to see The Imitation Game and loved it. It deviated from history in order to make a good film, which bothers me a bit, but the movie in and of itself was wonderful. Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightly were both in top form.
Most _____________ in high school. (popular, nerdy, sporty…) Why?
Most nerdy, easily. Getting involved with the Drama club saved me from total social annihilation, but I was very close to growing up to be Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory. I was obsessed with my grades and a perfect goody-two-shoes… well, except for the part where I was writing sex stories and passing them around to my friends. That wasn’t particularly nerdy of me. Now, I’m more socially aware, but still a complete geek, and not ashamed of it at all.
Flirting Questions (Choose 5)
Which actor or book character do you have a crush on?
If I can only pick one, I’m going to choose Misha Collins, every time. He’s hot and smart and kind and funny and mmmm yes. But I’m also going through a bit of a Lee Pace thing right now, so there’s that. Also, Idris Elba, and Felicia Day, and Luke Evans… yeah, I’ll just stop there.
Hey, baby! What’s your sign?
I’m an Aries. Demanding, headstrong, impulsive, and a little wild.
When was your last kiss?
I’ll take one right now, if you’re willing. *raises eyebrows*
What’s an absolute no-no in a relationship?
Bad communication. If you can’t talk to each other, you have no business being in a relationship together. That counts for friendship, too!
If you could take a romantic trip, where would it be?
Private ski chalet up in the mountains: lots of snow, a crackling fire, definitely a hot tub. That sounds fantastic right about now.
Flirting Quickies: (Pick at least 10.)
Boxers or Briefs?
Facial hair or clean shaven?
Facial hair! I love the lumbersexual look.
Alpha or Beta?
Give me an Alpha. I’m a sexual submissive by nature.
Vanilla or chocolate?
Vanilla. I love a good vanilla.
Both. Empty a box of sour patch kids into the movie popcorn and I’m a happy camper.
Sleep in or get up early?
Sleep in, please.
Laptop or desktop?
Laptop! I need to be mobile.
Laptop! I need to be mobile.
Beach or mountains?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a bottomless well of geekiness.
Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Her erotic fiction and poetry have been published online at Clean Sheets and Scarlet Letters under a different name. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets.
Elia’s virtual life is as busy as her real life. In addition to her website, http://eliawinters.com/, you can also find her on:
Purely Professional is available from:
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