Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Becoming His Master (Neighborly Affection #4) by M.Q. Barber ~ (Blog Tour, Excerpt, Giveaway + Author Interview)

Becoming His Master (Neighborly Affection #4) by M.Q. Barber ~ (Blog Tour, Excerpt, Giveaway + Author Interview)
Title: Becoming His Master
Series: Neighborly Affection #4
Author: M.Q. Barber
Genre: Adult, M/M Erotica
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Published By: Lyrical Press
From rescue to romance…

Teach a wounded submissive the value of his service. The task ought to be an easy one for an experienced dominant like Henry Webb. 

But novice Jay Kress challenges his teacher like no other. Still bearing the bruises of an encounter outside the bounds of safe consensual play, Jay is desperate to submit to the man who saved him—and shamed by his desires. 

Henry recognizes the dangers of a relationship built on hero worship. He’ll teach Jay how to stay safe, that’s all. He won’t take advantage of the younger man’s trust. He won’t share his fantasies about his dark-haired, athletic student. He’ll never claim this submissive for his own...

Becoming His Master (R) Excerpt © M.Q. Barber 2015

Henry’s watch showed quarter to eight as he mounted the stairs toting carryout meals for himself and his submissive. The hour found the second floor a modest hive of activity as players donned their preferred personas and headed upstairs to the sandbox. Eventually, he too would join the procession, with Jay in tow. For now, he turned right and stepped through the wide double doors into the salon.

The area set aside for himself and young Mr. Kress showed Emma’s unmistakable influence. Tucked into the farthest corner of the room, a three-panel screen of wood and fabric created a private dining nook. Best pray the younger man didn’t recognize the scenes depicted, though the intent shouted for all and sundry to pay heed.

A pair of yellow-ribboned women cast admiring glances his way. Muting his growl, he stepped past them with a curt headshake. Won’t interfere, my ass.

A paean to Greek mythology and literature graced each panel. Achilles and Patroclus circled each other with shields and spears, their sandaled feet the only flesh not on view. Apollo strummed his lyre while a boy—Hyacinth, given the field of flowers—lay at his feet. Beautiful Ganymede proffered a cup beneath the sheltering wings of Zeus-as-eagle.

Stalking across the room, he considered the ready excuses sure to be on Emma’s lips. A shield to keep the boy from prying eyes, lest his table manners prove less than impeccable. Hadn’t he himself insisted on protecting Jay from possible criticism? No, of course the scenes hadn’t been deliberate. Convenience had dictated the choice. In no way had she meant to imply Jay Kress was his eromenos.

His beloved boy. His to mentor and protect. His sweet lips to kiss, his beautiful thighs to fuck.

Cock pressing at his fly, he swore in silence. Was there no mercy to be found?

He rounded the screen.

Jay sprang to his feet.

No. No mercy at all.

Despite Emma’s claim, his student wore a suit as well as he wore leather shorts. Temptation beat at him, an unrelenting pressure, the image of his submissive on his knees with the same earnest delight on his face.

He forced himself to turn and deposit the bag on the table. Slow and easy.

“You’ve set a lovely table.” He told himself navy wasn’t Jay’s color, despite the good sense he’d shown to pair his suit with a solid white shirt and a pale blue tie with a diagonal thin-stripe in white. “I trust your wait has been a pleasant one?”

“Yes, Master Henry.” Jay stood straight and tall, a slender vision of grace. “Mistress Emma showed me what to do.”

“It’s just Emma, my boy. No title. She’s a submissive here, as you are.” He unpacked the tote. Salads first, the light containers atop the others.

“But she’s in charge of things.” Jay tilted his head. He started to roll his shoulders before stopping himself.

Warm foil container deposited on the table, Henry paused in his work to study his submissive with more care. “Yes, she handles some functions at the club.” The neat half-Windsor had to be Emma’s doing. “She also submits to her husband.” Likewise, the white rose boutonniere pinned with Jay’s red ribbon, the symbol of his ownership. The younger man’s purity and innocence bound under his protection and control.

Pinned. Of course.

“Tell me, how many pins did it take until Emma was satisfied with the drape of your jacket?”

“I’m not sure, Master Henry.” Jay half-smiled, his eyes shining. “She made me stand still for a long time, though. Do you like it?”

With such an enticing invitation, he smoothed the fabric from the lapel to the right shoulder.

Jay caught his breath and rocked his hips.

“Quite handsome,” he murmured. Such promising responses his pupil gave, eager physicality impossible to miss. “But you cannot relax, can you? Afraid you’ll disrupt her handiwork if you so much as breathe too deeply.”

“I don’t mind, Master Henry.” If you like it, he didn’t say, though the worship in his gaze made the words unnecessary.

Humming, he traced the edge of the lapel downward and unfastened the button holding the jacket closed. “I mind.” Hanging the jacket on the chair back wouldn’t do any harm. “Your comfort is my responsibility during our time together.”

He pushed the coat from the boy’s shoulders. He’d remove his own to ensure his dinner partner felt no awkwardness.

“No, no, please.” Jay clutched at the fabric, fighting the motion, his voice rising. “Master Henry, please.”

What the devil was he—

“Please don’t take my ribbon, I’m your good boy, I’m yours—”

Henry kissed him.

He knew the instant their lips touched he ought not have done it.

Soft and pliant, the younger man opened his mouth with a throaty little whimper.

Irresistible. A possessive haze descended, snarling heat pushing out from his center. He ground his cock against his submissive and claimed his mouth.

Author Interview:

What interests you in writing about BDSM?

I enjoy focusing on the D/s relationship — the communication, the trust, and the control. The reciprocal exchange of any relationship is made more explicit when partners are negotiating for their needs in the open. Ideally, of course. Exposing your deepest desires can be scary when you don’t know what they are or you do and you’re afraid your partner(s) won’t like them. I’m interested in exploring the internal conflicts that arise as partners reveal themselves to each other and the rewards that come from greater trust. What those rewards are depends on the personalities involved, and that interests me, too. 

When did you consider yourself a writer?

I suppose it’s an incremental realization, and I’m surprised when I think about it. So the answer is both “always” and “never.” I’ve written stories since I was a child. I’m still writing stories now. But the idea that I’m a “writer” or an “author”? That just hits me at odd times and I still don’t quite believe it. 

Where do you find your inspiration?

Everywhere. It’s a mode of looking at the world, and it becomes hard to shake once you let yourself start thinking that way. Inspiration is no more complicated than following a string of “what if.” It can be as simple as seeing someone wearing muddy shoes in the grocery store. How did the mud get there? Who was the shoe-owner spending time with? Chase down imaginary answers and embellish a bit, and characters and a plot start to develop.   

How do you come up with your book titles?

With the Neighborly Affection series, I try to pick a title that conveys the main theme of each book from the point-of-view character’s perspective. Becoming His Master is Henry’s perspective on the beginning of his relationship with Jay. Playing the Game was what Alice believed she was doing in the first book; likewise, Crossing the Lines reflects the trespasses, real and imagined, good and bad, in the second book. Healing the Wounds is exactly what it says: Each character is working toward healing his or her own hurts as well as helping the others do the same. The book I’m currently working on is the fifth book in the series, and it’s tentatively titled Finding Their Balance

What book are you reading now?

I’m editing Finding Their Balance now, so I’m focused on reading that very closely. But next up on my to-read-for-fun list is The Merchant Emperor by Elizabeth Haydon. I tend to read more fantasy than anything else when I have free time. It’s easier to get lost in a story that’s outside the genre I write in. 
USA Today bestselling author M.Q. Barber likes to get lost in thought. She writes things down so she can find herself again.

Often found staring off into space or frantically scratching words on sticky notes, M.Q. lives with one very tolerant, easily amused husband and one very tolerant, easily amused puppy.

She has a soft spot for romances that explore the inner workings of the heart and mind alongside all that steamy physical exertion. She loves memorable characters, witty banter, and heartfelt emotion in any genre.

The former Midwestern gal is the author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. Pick a safeword, grab a partner or two, and jump in.


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