Tagged: Tara Quan

Warlock’s Pawn by Tara Quan

Blurb:

Foreseeing the warlock’s destiny, Alia saves the man her sister plotted to kill. He returns five years later to conquer her city. A pawn in a battle for desert waters, Alia resigns herself to a political marriage and an empty bed. But when Duncan demands more than just her name, she chances losing her heart along with her freedom.

Determined to reclaim her kingdom, Anora parlays her body to remain at Duncan’s side. From within the Helicon court she spins her web, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Alia is all that stands between her and the throne. Her sister must cease to breathe before the warlock’s affection wanes.

A master tactician, Duncan has no qualms about making Anora his courtesan and Alia his queen. But it is Alia’s eyes that haunt his dreams, and she soon becomes his only weakness. With the perils that haunt the Helicon court, caring for the fey is absolute folly. A warlock’s love is a fatal curse, and Alia’s death will be his undoing.

Content Notes: Intense Heat/Edgy Erotic Romance, Anal Play/Intercourse, Light BDSM Practices or Play

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BW7BYLY

When you first started writing, did you have any idea you’d be writing BDSM/kinky books? Do you write in any other genre?

Nope. Up until three years ago, I didn’t even known the erotic romance genre existed, let alone the existence of BDSM/kinky books. In fact, the only way I searched for BDSM reading material was through www.adultfanfiction.net.

I’ve always devoured mainstream romances, and I still do. My first two (trunked) manuscripts, though on the explicit end of the romance spectrum, would not be considered erotic by my current publisher. But then I stumbled upon works by Angela Knight and Lisa Marie Rice, and my eyes were opened. I always toned down the sex scenes in my writing, and I wondered what it would be like to let my imagination run wild. I dipped my toe into writing light BDSM with my first published novella Tower in the Woods, and I was pleasantly surprised when it was accepted by Liquid Silver Books.

Now that I’ve found my place in the erotic romance genre, I’m sticking with it. I’m writing a contemporary romance right now where the characters don’t seem to want to do anything BDSM/kinky, and so it’ll probably turn out to be a straightforward contemporary erotic romance.

Do you use a pen name? If yes (or no), why?

Yes, I do. My real name isn’t a secret—I tweet under it and that twitter account is linked to my website. With a few clicks, any reader can find out what my actual name is.

So why the degree of separation? My husband’s work is one where I’m often introduced to his outside contacts. We are also sent overseas to work in conservative countries where wearing a dress is considered culturally insensitive, let alone writing kinky books. I thought it prudent not to have “writer of erotic BDSM romance” pop up if my husband’s work contacts Google his or my real names.

At what point did you decide you wanted to write BDSM/kinky-themed erotica?

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I always set out to write a story with a certain plot and a set of characters. The BDSM elements came naturally as part of the story progression. That’s why there’s a significant difference in kinkiness between my Undead Fairy Tales series (light BDSM, explicit erotic romance) and my Captive Fates series (light BDSM, ménage, anal play, dubious consent, intense edgy erotic romance). In the case of Warlock’s Pawn, the sex scenes turned out dark and kinky because that’s what my characters demanded.

That said, there’s a reason BDSM creeps into my writing. Romances with dubious consent and submissive heroines have always been my guilty pleasure. I only write books I would personally want to read (were they written by someone else), and BDSM books are a favorite of mine.

Is there one area of BDSM that you tend to write about more? Why do you think that area creeps into your writing more than some others?

As I said, submissive heroines are my guilty pleasure. Don’t get me wrong—all my heroines are spunky and kick-ass in real life. They just like being dominated in bed. Pair that with alpha-male heroes, and you have a recipe for domination & submission. It happens automatically when I get to the sex scene. I like to feature my heroine tied up and at the hero’s mercy, and, in some cases, I add a voyeuristic/sex in public element to that. And then there’s always other stuff they can do to spice things up, depending on the situation and character.

Why just these elements? The above are BDSM practices I find sexy. It’s as simple as that.

Is there an area that is BDSM/kink-related that you haven’t written about yet that you’re interested in?

Yes. I want to explore writing about the BDSM life-style (as opposed to just featuring BDSM in my sex scenes). This will be a long-term goal, as I honestly haven’t read enough books in the genre to feel comfortable writing my own. I also feel that I … ahem … would need to do a wee bit more hands-on research to do the genre justice.

At this point in your career, do you think you’ll write more BDSM/kinky erotica?

Definitely. My fledgling career as a writer has only just started. Romance and Erotic Romance are the only genres I read, and I’ve devoured the books with BDSM/kink. Trying to write in a different genre would be too much work. I’ve unwittingly done a ton of research already and I wouldn’t want to see it all go to waste.

If someone new to your work is going to start with a story, which one would you recommend they read first?

It helps that I only have two. Considering this site’s readership, I would definitely recommend Warlock’s Pawn. The romance in this book is woven into the erotic journey of all the main characters, and the emphasis, to be completely blunt, is on the sex. The book is as much about the heroine’s sexual awakening as it is about political intrigue and suspense.

What is your favorite flavor ice cream? And since this interview is for BDSM Book Reviews, vanilla is not an option!

It’s a tie between Dulce de Leche and Strawberry Cheesecake.

Website, links info:

Website: http://taraquan.com

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/laylatarar

Consolidated Buy Links for Warlock’s Pawn: http://taraquan.com/captive-fates/

Consolidated Buy Links for Tower in the Woods:  http://taraquan.com/undead-fairy-tales/

Warlock’s Pawn by Tara Quan

Blurb:

Foreseeing the warlock’s destiny, Alia saves the man her sister plotted to kill. He returns five years later to conquer her city. A pawn in a battle for desert waters, Alia resigns herself to a political marriage and an empty bed. But when Duncan demands more than just her name, she chances losing her heart along with her freedom.

Determined to reclaim her kingdom, Anora parlays her body to remain at Duncan’s side. From within the Helicon court she spins her web, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Alia is all that stands between her and the throne. Her sister must cease to breathe before the warlock’s affection wanes.

A master tactician, Duncan has no qualms about making Anora his courtesan and Alia his queen. But it is Alia’s eyes that haunt his dreams, and she soon becomes his only weakness. With the perils that haunt the Helicon court, caring for the fey is absolute folly. A warlock’s love is a fatal curse, and Alia’s death will be his undoing.

Content Notes: Intense Heat/Edgy Erotic Romance, Anal Play/Intercourse, Light BDSM Practices or Play

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BW7BYLY

Warlock’s Pawn by Tara Quan

http://www.amazon.com/Warlocks-Pawn-Captive-Fates-ebook/dp/B00BW7BYLY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363957396&sr=1-1&keywords=warlock%27s+pawn+by+tara+quan

ASIN B00BW7BYLY

Story Rating: 2.5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 2.5 out of 5

Review:

When exiled fey princess Alia saves the formidable warrior and warlock Duncan from her cruel sister Anora, she knows he will return and conquer the kingdom. She pledges herself to him, knowing his rule will be kinder than Anora’s, and when he returns to the city as victor, she agrees to be his bride.  Duncan will marry Alia, their magic cementing the alliance, but he will keep Anora as a concubine, unaware that her own magic will sow the seeds of rebellion in his new kingdom.  To keep her power, Anora must eliminate her sister.  To keep her life, Alia must submit herself to a seemingly rough and uncaring husband-to-be, and survive her sister’s machinations.

The story of two sisters in opposition, one wanting a powerful man’s heart, and the other wanting only his power, should have entertained me more than it did.

The writing and plotting were lackluster, the setting poorly-realized, and the characters were neither well-drawn nor particularly likeable. Duncan came across as petty and pushy, rather than powerful and commanding. Anora was evil and yet never seemed competent enough to present a real threat. Alia was sweet and innocent and pure, which, along with a backstory that had her raised hidden away in a temple, left her with very little depth, but she was the only major character who seemed to care about anyone or anything besides herself or her belongings. The world building was vague and not really believable; it’s a fantasy setting with, supposedly, an Arabian Nights-type flair, but it read like standard Euro-centric barbarians and fairies fare that had been hastily transplanted to a fantasy world with a lot of sand and loose-fitting clothes. The setting wasn’t bound up in the story. The way magic worked was really interesting, but not explored enough to make the way the story hinged on it hold up.

It just wasn’t as sharp or as smart as it could have been, which is unfortunate given how promising it sounded. I never was able to invest in the characters or get into their heads enough to make the sex really work for me. A great deal of attention is continually paid to the yummy attributes of the female characters and how desirable they are, which is fine as far as it goes, but the same amount of attention is not lavished upon the men. This always confuses me when this happens given that the demographic for this sort of thing is, as near as I can determine, straight women.

The kinky content is present throughout, with strong themes of submission/domination.  Duncan uses Anora as a concubine, and forces her to share her favors with his most trusted companions – a hot setup, definitely, but it didn’t really live up to its potential.  Alia is, of course, intimidated by her husband-to-be, which they both seem to enjoy.  Her virginity is critical for the ritual that will cement their marriage, yet he can’t keep his hands off her, so he must experiment with teaching her to pleasure him in other ways.  There’s some bondage, a little light strapping/whipping, but nothing too harsh. These are all wonderful things in theory, but given my lack of investment in the characters and their relationships, the scenes fall flat.

Reviewed by Amanda