Thank you for inviting me today and for hosting my new MM novel, Dark Warrior which is just out at Totally Bound and available from all good ebook retailers.
Dark Warrior is set in Kenya and stars Doctor Leo Rotherham and Malik. Malik is a tribal warrior just returned to his people after living and training to be a medic in Nairobi.
I’ve travelled to Africa on one occasion, but not to Kenya, I visited Tunisia and the Sahara Desert. I like to think this helped me when coming to write Dark Warrior. Describing the scenes, the scents, the sounds, and of course, the intense heat is much easier to do if you’ve experienced it.
I would love to go to Kenya one day—a safari perhaps. Take a trip on one of those ranger driven Jeeps and see the lions and the elephants and the giraffes up close. Not the hippos so much, though, I hear they’re very bad tempered and considering they’re vegetarians, very dangerous.
I really wanted Dark Warrior to have a feel of the African plains about it and be as far removed from a Western city as possible. For me this was a new setting for characters to be attracted to each other and fall in love and lust. There were new places for them to enjoy each other, share secret trysts and make sexy memories.
The internet is a wonderful resource for finding out information when writing about a place you don’t know well - what types of snakes live in Kenya for example (I needed to know this because one slithers into Leo’s backpack!) – and also just for looking at images. Mount Kilimanjaro features heavily in the book and is always in the background of the storyline. It’s within the mountain foothills that Malik and Leo manage to get some private sexy time together. Looking at pictures of this amazing mountain with its hovering clouds was definitely inspirational.
I created a place called the Canyon which is a high-cliffed, secluded area with only one small entrance between the rocks. It has a bubbling stream running through it—cold because it’s fed from the snowy mountain—and several caves that offer shade and shelter. The water is clean and fresh, the river provides fish and Malik makes a grass bed in one of the caves for Leo. It’s very basic, but also incredibly romantic and sensual. Again I was inspired by photographs and also by my characters who were so in need of a private place at this point in the novel. The sexual tension had been growing and building, bubbling up to volcanic proportions. The Canyon was essential for them to let off steam!
I hope you’ll journey to Kenya with Leo and Malik and pay the Canyon a visit. Below is a little excerpt to whet you appetite!
Thank you for reading
While some passions live on the surface, others—wilder, darker passions—have to be kept buried deep.
Dr. Leo Rotherham is following his calling by working in rural Kenya for the charity Medics On Hand. While he expected a primitive way of life and limited medical supplies, what he doesn't bargain on is falling for handsome village warrior, Malik.
Malik is well respected, knowledgeable and loyal to his tribe. He's also beautiful, brave, modern and, much to Leo's dismay, married. Isn't he?
No, it turns out Malik is as free as the animals that roam the African plains at night.
Soon the tension is building between the two men and Leo isn't sure if he's coming or going. Whenever he's around Malik he can't help but notice the reflected look of lust in his eyes and feel the longing sizzling between them.
Malik stands too close, not close enough. Forbidden attraction simmers between them and the need grows to dizzying heights. But dare they admit to each other what it is they want? And are they brave enough to act on their desires and be honest about their lust? One thing is for sure, a passion this big, this powerful can't be contained and it's all going to explode in the most spectacular of ways.
My first Lily Harlem book and I certainly enjoyed this story. The heartache that Leo went through prior to even coming to Kenya and the hopefulness of a fresh start on life that the trip would give him once it was over. Then you have Malik his devotion to his family, his village that has been running his life for years. And when Malik and Leo finally realize they are of like mind, the sexual chemistry is off the charts! Then you have the secondary characters all just make a well rounded story. The descriptions of the wildlife and surrounding nature, the hospital and village, even the bumpy road, just beautifully done. The reason it’s not a five, is simple. We have two different cultures here, but I left like I was reading an “American” written/spoken book. Sure, we had a couple of English words thrown in and I understand besides Swahili, English is the second most popular language used, but I still would have excepted a different tone, or feel over all? Especially when I read at the end of the book, the author is British.
Follow the Dark Warrior blog tour to read the next instalment from this passage, each post will run onto each other throughout the tour so make sure you keep checking back to get more of this great story!
Excerpt from Dark Warrior:
Leo stepped beneath the canopy. He could stand, just. Malik stooped slightly.
“Yes. A cave.” Malik nodded. “It is not very big but I have created a bed. I hope it is comfortable for us.”
Leo slid his arm around Malik’s waist and pulled their hips together. “It looks perfect for many things, though I’m not sure how much sleeping we’ll do.”
“We will need some sleep to renew our strength,” Malik said with a grin then twisted and took Leo’s bag. “Though first we need to eat.”
A pang of hunger rumbled through Leo’s stomach.
Malik stepped away and placed Leo’s bag down. “I have this for us.” He tugged at a rock in the wall and revealed a small cavity. From it, he withdrew a package. “Sit.” He indicated to a couple of stools, fashioned out of block-shaped rocks and topped with a soft mossy substance.
“Is this what you were doing? All that time you were away?” Leo asked, sitting and noting that there was also a triangular pile of kindling waiting to be lit by the canopy. It had a wooden trellis structure above it, like a spit.
“I would sleep on dirt if I was alone, but you, Leo, are not as accustomed to life on the land. I want you to be comfortable.” He sat, placed the package on his lap and began to unwrap it.
Leo could see that it was made of leaves. “I’m very grateful. It’s beautiful,” he said, studying the canyon again.
The view from their shelter was stunning, something he’d remember always—the clear blue sky, the sand colored cliffs surrounding them and the sparkling river. And Malik sitting next to him… Beautiful, sexy Malik and a whole night stretched out before them. It was a fantasy come true. The anticipation alone was an erotic memory and something he was happy to savor rather than rush to the main event, now that they were here.
“Food.” Malik passed Leo a plate created from a glossy green leaf.
“Fish?” Leo studied the golden flakes of flesh. “Thank you.”
“It is smoked. It is good. Try it.”
Leo already was. A burst of flavor spread on his tongue—woody yet delicate. He chewed through the softness and was eager for more.
Malik laughed. “You were hungry.”
“Yes, starving,” Leo said with a grin and scooped up another mouthful.
They ate in silence. Leo sipped on the last of the water from his bottle and watched a small bird, with a long Y-shaped tail, flitting about in the reeds. When he’d finished, he set the leaf-plate to one side. “Thank you, Malik. That was wonderful.”
Malik nodded once and glanced at the empty plate. “I am glad.”
Leo stood, pulled off his top then folded it over the upper edge of the canopy, hoping that would discourage any slithering creatures from making it their home. As he turned to sit, he noticed the lingering gaze Malik gave his body.
He sucked in his stomach a little, knowing it highlighted his abs, and enjoyed a rush of blood to his cock. Finally. They were alone. Alone, fed and with all the privacy they could ever hope for.
“I’m going for a swim.” Malik stood then stepped out of his sandals.
“Good idea. I’ll join you in a minute.” Leo pressed his hand to his stomach. He was pleased when Malik’s gaze followed. “I’ll just let my lunch go down.”
Malik raised his eyebrows as though this was a new idea. “Okay.”
Leo sat, happy to watch as Malik walked the twenty or so feet down to the water’s edge. Once there, Malik dropped his black shorts revealing his taut, dark buttocks. He stepped out of them and strode into the water.
The sound the river brushing and splashing against his hard thighs rumbled toward Leo. A few rippling waves shimmied to the bank and broke on the sandy surface.
As Malik sank deeper, Leo’s cock grew harder. He shifted on the stool. His balls were tight and a tug in his arsehole told him that he would soon be at full mast. But that was okay, he was allowed to be. That was why they were here.
Malik dived forward, giving Leo just a hint of his shiny, wet buttocks as he did so. For several long seconds he was beneath the surface then he burst upward, shook his head to rid it of drips and grinned at Leo.
“It is good,” he called.
“It looks it.” Leo stood. His cock was bulging the material of his shorts. He decided he’d had enough of the constraints of clothes, undid his button and zipper and added his shorts and boxers to the top of the canopy.
The air filtered around his protruding erection, cooling his heated shaft and tickling against his balls. He stooped and unlaced his boots, then took them and his socks off.
“Leo,” Malik shouted.
Leo looked up. Malik was wading from the water. With each step he took, the surface lowered down his abdomen.
Leo licked his lips and his cock strained. The excitement of seeing Malik’s dick for the first time was almost too much to cope with. He reached out and grasped one of the branches that supported the canopy. “Yes?”
Malik said nothing. Instead, he kept walking and staring at Leo’s naked body.
Leo was captivated by the dropping water line. Coming into view was a tight strip of dark hair, running from Malik’s navel. Also, now, from the water emerged the tip of his cock. Shiny and domed, it rose upward as the water slipped down his black shaft.
He kept walking and Leo thought he might orgasm just from the glorious sight of Malik emerging god-like from the African river. Had there ever been a man as beautiful and perfect? Leo doubted it. His mouth was dry, his heart thudding, and blood raged.
Malik stepped completely from the river. He stood, feet apart, hands on his hips and his erection pointing toward Leo.
“Leo,” Malik called again, his deep voice a rumbling echo.
“What?” Leo managed, his throat tight. He wanted to grip his dick, give it some of the stimulation it needed, but equally, he wanted to wait. He needed Malik to grip it, touch him, bring him to climax.
“Come here,” Malik said, his voice firm. “Come here and suck my cock.”
Lily Harlem is an award-winning, best-selling author and lives in the UK with a workaholic hunk and a crazy cat. With a desk overlooking rolling hills her over active imagination has been allowed to run wild and free and she revels in using the written word as an outlet for her creativity. She has over seventy titles published (thirty novels) and more on the way. In 2014 she hit the #1 spot on Amazon Best Sellers lists a total of six times and Breathe You In was named as a USA Today Reviewer’s Recommended Read.
Lily's stories are made up of colourful characters exploring their sexuality and sensuality in a safe, consensual way. With the bedroom door left wide open the reader can hang on for the ride and Lily hopes by reading sensual romance people will be brave enough to try something new themselves? After all, life's too short to be anything other than fully satisfied.
Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/LilyHarlemAuthor
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