By Lisabet Sarai
In my latest paranormal romance, The Eyes of Bast, my heroine and hero can't touch one another in even the most casual way without experiencing intense erotic attraction, so strong that they can rarely resist the urge to join their bodies and meld their spirits. The powerful magnetism draws them together is an example of what I call “magical lust”. Magical lust goes way beyond simple attraction. It is irrational, irresistible, totally overwhelming, impossible to control, and often seemingly pre-ordained.
In a realistic, contemporary romance, immediate, over-the-top arousal like this will raise eyebrows. Sure, there's chemistry, and love at first sight, but in the real world there are limits to how readily a couple will act on that sort of impulse.
In paranormal erotic romance, though, readers are willing to suspend their disbelief. A paranormal tale can offer all sorts of reasons why two characters simply cannot keep their hands off one another. Their fates may have become entwined over past lives. They may be enchanted. They may be destined to mate due to quirks of biology or the magic that sustains the shape shifter pack. They may have been chosen for one another by some external power, either beneficent or evil.
Whatever determines their carnal connection, it's impossible to ignore or repudiate. In some paranormal books, the fated lovers represent different factions in a cosmic struggle (a sort of paranormal Romeo and Juliet), but that doesn't matter. No one and nothing can keep them apart. No other love can satisfy them. Sex that's driven by magical lust is more than just scratching an itch. It's literally a supernatural experience.
It's great fun writing scenes driven by magical lust. One can give in to fantasy, and yes, to hyperbole, without turning readers off. In The Eyes of Bast, I'm not specific about what binds Shaina and Tom, but it's clearly beyond the realm of the explicable. It's related somehow to their animal natures, to the generative power of the earth. I don't really have to lay out all the details. Anyone who has read any paranormal romance will recognize their attraction.
Here's a snippet from the book – the first time Tom and Shaina touch.
Excerpt from The Eyes of Bast:
“It’s not safe here after dark, you know.”
His earnest tone made me chuckle. I held up the can of mace. “I can take care of myself.”
Worry furrowed his high forehead. “That won’t help against some of the things that come out at night.”
A chill shot through me. I shook it away. “I was just headed home anyway.”
“Good. You should be careful.” His smile returned, melting my last vestiges of suspicion. He pronounced his English with a precision that made me wonder if he spoke something else as his native language. It wasn’t exactly an accent, but I could tell he wasn’t a native New Yorker.
“What about you?”
“Oh – I know my way around here,” he answered. He ran his fingers through his curls and arched his back a bit, as though stretching. Despite that odd awkwardness, he was lithe and graceful. A brief pang of desire shot through me. “And I have excellent night vision. Exceptionally sharp hearing, too.”
I couldn’t figure out why, but something about him felt familiar. “Have we met before?” I asked, then cringed, realizing it sounded like a pick up line. “I mean – um – I don’t mean…” Hot blood climbed into my cheeks, though the shadows were probably too dense for him detect my discomfort.
His bold laugh rang out in the growing darkness. “Maybe we have met,” he said. “I live in the neighborhood. Do you?”
“Pretty close,” I answered, alarm bells sounding in my head. No matter how handsome and charming he was, I wasn’t about to give him my address.
“Well, then, you never know. You said you were heading home. May I walk with you?” He took my arm without waiting for my permission.
“Um – actually—” His touch stopped me cold. It drove out rational thought. As if someone had turned on a faucet, hormones poured into my blood. My nipples tensed and my lower lips grew plump and slick. His fingers on my bare forearm were tipped with fire. I gasped, staring up in wonder at his strong, even features, overcome by his imminent maleness.
I wanted stretch out in the grass and pull him down on top of me. I was dying to feel his weight on my chest, his hardness probing between my thighs. Skin on skin was what I craved, with an urgency I’d never experienced in my all my twenty-eight years.
His nostrils flared and I knew he’d caught the ocean scent rising from my sex. I could smell it myself. My saturated panties and jeans were no barrier. He grinned, revealing teeth so white they gleamed in the twilight gloom. I shuddered with need, imagining those teeth tearing my flesh, and stumbled on the gravel path.
“Are you all right?” he asked. He released his grasp to search my face, concern evident in his eyes. The blaze raging through my body subsided slightly.
“Ah – I think so. I’m dizzy...” I wasn’t lying. The world swung around us, tree canopies whirling overhead. Gradually, the universe settled back into place. My heart rate fell to something close to normal. My nipples still ached for contact, though. My clit pulsed, the seam of my jeans kindling sparks every time I moved. “I’ve – I’ve got to go.”
I started down the path, forcing myself to move away from him and his perilous magnetism. It might have been the most difficult thing I’d ever done.
See what I mean?
There's a lot of this in the book, because it was clear to me from the start that Tom and Shaina were bound by the fierce ties of magical lust. All I had to do was allow them to act on their desires. In fact, I doubt I could have stopped them – even if I'd wanted to!
This post is part of my blog tour for The Eyes of Bast. Totally Bound has a giveaway on their website in conjunction with the tour. Just to sweeten the pot, I’m adding a couple of other prizes. Leave a comment with your email and you could win this statue of Bastet from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Or if you’d prefer, I’ll send you a brace of other stories that feature magical lust: Hot Spell and Rough Weather.
Trust your heart. Follow your dreams.
Shaina Williams’ grandmother bequeathed her that wisdom, along with an old pendant from the Islands, carved from an ocelot’s tooth. When instinct tells Shaina to visit the feral cat trap she’s set in Central Park, she listens to that inner voice. She discovers she’s caged a magnificent black tom, but the cat inexplicably vanishes after she tends to his wounds. Seeking the errant feline, Shaina encounters instead a handsome stranger whose slightest touch sets her body on fire. As the day dawns after a night of ferocious passion, her mysterious lover is forced back into his true shape—the tomcat she rescued.
Born a cat, Tom was transformed into an unwilling shape shifter by a sorceress who craved a human plaything to satisfy her perverse lusts. Centuries old and irresistibly powerful, Delphine Montserrat will stop at nothing to find her runaway familiar. Shaina vows to do whatever is necessary to defeat the vicious but seductive witch and save the man she believes is her soul mate—even though it might mean losing him forever.
Publisher's Note: This book was previously published elsewhere. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound.
Like the sound of The Eyes of Bast? Buy it here.
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – more than fifty single author titles, plus dozens of short stories in various erotic anthologies, including the Lambda winner Where the Girls Are and the IPPIE Best Erotic Book of 2011, Carnal Machines. Her gay scifi erotic romance Quarantine won a Rainbow Awards 2012 Honorable Mention.
Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre. She has traveled widely and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her creative writing.
For more information about Lisabet and her writing, visit her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com). She also hangs out at the group blog Oh Get a Grip (http://ohgetagrip.blogspot.com), writes monthly reviews for Erotica Revealed (http://www.eroticarevealed.com) and contributes to the ERWA blog (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.com).