I'm so thrilled to celebrate the release of the next book in the The City of Dark Pleasures series, The Amber Columns.
But first a reminder about book I, The Obsidian Stairway:When O’Mara is assigned to report on a new sexual service in the City of Dark Pleasures -- one that has been the subject of much gossip -- she’s not sure what to expect. What she finds there only reminds her of all that has been lost in The Expiation. She meets Tully -- handsome, attentive, mysterious and unlike any “servant” O’Mara has met in the Pleasures. His extraordinary service is about to allow her to experience a level of intimacy she has only ever imagined.
You can watch the trailer for The Obsidian Stairway here.
And now, here's a little synopsis of The Amber Columns:Tully:
Sex is what we sell in the City of Dark Pleasures. To work here you need to sequester your emotions, your humanity, your soul if there’s such a thing. If you don’t you’re in danger of losing it all together, permanently.
For someone like me, my damaged soul is all I have left. I try to slip it off like a coat when I work, and most of the time I can. Most of the time no feelings at all come into what I do. But there are times I weaken, times when patrons get to me either for good or ill. Mostly ill.
Once a woman I met got inside me like no one has. It wasn’t love, but it was as close as I will ever be. O’Mara was her name. O’Mara Tanner. Every morning I read her byline on the Island News Service. She writes about fluff—places to shop, entertainments to see. She wrote about me once. It was all lies, but I don’t hold that against her. Our civilization is built on lies. The brief time we spent together was all lies.
Sometimes I think I would give up everything just to have O’Mara Tanner lie to me again.
It’s only at night that I’m scared of him. During the day I think about his golden eyes, his warm skin and his velvety voice to the point of distraction. I could lose my job if I don’t get my shit together. A lost job means a lost income. If I can’t pay my rent I could lose my citizen status. And then what? Then I join him, working in the Pleasures?
I could go and see him. I should go and see him. I can find the money somewhere and go and get him to hook me up to that infernal machine of his and lose myself in his beautiful dreamscape. The one in which we are lovers. If I can just spend another moment in that forlorn and hopeless dream I might be able to get him out of my system.
As it is I’ve been masturbating until my fingers ache, and the skin of my clitoris is burning and raw. Whenever I climax I hear his voice, saying my name. Or I say his name
Maybe before the Expiation people knew that the love of a good man was a powerful, devastating intoxicant. It weakens you, distracts you, makes you prone to obsessive thoughts and lost productivity. Maybe that’s why they did it. To increase productivity.
Love must be the most potent force on earth, if it can fuck you up even when you know it’s not real.
And here's a smoking hot excerpt:Tully pushes me against the glass and kisses me. It’s nothing like our previous kisses. He’s possessed by a kind of madness, a frenzy, his hands tearing at my clothes. Soon his fingers are caressing my breasts, pushing my bra out of the way so he can knead and pinch my nipples.
I would say something, something like fuck, yes but his tongue has captured mine, our lips so firmly connected together that it’s as though we have become one person.
One of his hot hands slips down my stomach under my skirt into my panties. From the corner of my eye I see one of the couples strolling past the candy shop. They turn momentarily, glancing at us with amused expressions before continuing on.
I gasp, whimpering as Tully’s fingers find the wetness and need between my legs.
“Stop?” he says onto my lips.
“NO! Fuck no.”
He begins to move his lips down my body into my cleavage, among the mangled folds of my shirt and bra. His lips close tightly on one nipple, then the next, a maddening distraction from what is happening further down.
Tully has found the button and zip of my skirt and undone them both. My skirt falls to the ground.
Out on the promenade another couple wanders past—both men. They laugh as they disappear out of sight. I find myself wishing they would stay and watch. I want the whole world to see this.
Tully kneels at my feet, his fingers sliding my panties down to fall in the pool of my skirt. Then he lifts one of my legs and slings it over his shoulder. His lips press on the mound of my sex as his fingers stroke my pubic hair, parting me.
“Oh, fuck…” I say.