Tag Archive | Ashe Barker

‘Rough Diamonds’ For Services Rendered.

Rough Diamonds

By Ashe Barker


Christa Barnes is baffled when the man of her dreams – or should that be her wildest fantasies? – turns up at her sleepy little flower shop and insists she has something he would like to purchase. But Johan Klaas is an international diamond dealer and he is not remotely interested in acquiring a bunch of geraniums, preferring instead to discuss gemstones.

Christa’s next unexpected caller is a motorcycle courier clad in black leather and bearing a package for her. She opens it, expecting the latest seed catalogue, and finds instead a fortune in uncut diamonds and a note.

For Services Rendered. See what you can make of these.

Johan Klaas works at the heart of the global diamond trade based in Antwerp, and he agrees to use his contacts and knowledge to help trace the origins of these particular stones. For a price.

As the relationship between Christa and Johan deepens, so does her understanding of the way in which a natural, artless act of kindness years before can start an amazing chain of events.


From her vantage point in the store room, Christa eyed the customer entering her small shop. Tall, rather better attired than many of the clients who would pop in to grab a bunch of daffodils or a spray of geraniums, the blond-haired stranger paused to peruse a display of bright orange and red marigolds. The arrangement was in celebration of Halloween, not a particularly lucrative festival for a florist as a rule, but Christa took the view that every little bit helps. The man did not select a bouquet, though. Instead, he abandoned the bright array to pick his cautious way through the clutter of scented blooms and approach her counter. He was careful to avoid brushing against her stock, which Christa appreciated. Flowers are delicate creatures, fragile; they do not respond well to careless handling. Not unlike me, she thought, as she stepped out into her shop to greet him.

Christa wiped her damp fingers down the green cotton of her apron and smiled a polite welcome at the man. He was really very attractive, she acknowledged. She might even go so far as to describe him as stunning. The woman on the receiving end of his floral generosity was lucky, indeed.

The object of her attention wore an expensive dark grey overcoat, which did little to conceal the perfection of the tailored black suit and pristine white shirt beneath. His tie was a subtle mix of reds and purples, which put her in mind of moorland heathers, and the brilliant sheen of his black leather shoes had caught her eye as he came through her door. He carried a dark brown briefcase, the small attaché type, and his horn-rimmed glasses gave him an air of wisdom and experience, though he could not have been much more than thirty. Thirty-five at the most. Dark brown and just slightly wavy hair reached almost to his crisp collar, but was expertly styled to ensure it lay smooth and neat against his neck. It was, in Christa’s opinion, just the right length.

She had a thing about grooming, though rarely indulged in much of it herself. There wasn’t much call for cut and blow dries in her line of work, still less manicures or eyelash tinting. Even so, she liked her men to be neat and well turned out – not that this man was hers in any but a business sense, and only then if she could manage to part him from some cash in exchange for a bunch of pretty blooms. He reeked of money, and class, and was just the sort of client she liked to cultivate. She hoped his wife had the good sense to properly appreciate an artfully-crafted bouquet.

“How can I help you?” Christa raised her eyebrows, expectantly. She was taking mental bets on the occasion to be marked, a private game she liked to play, and her money was on an anniversary. She was already mentally appraising her stock of red roses.

“Good morning.” He bowed his head slightly. “I believe you may have items I would like to purchase.”

He had an accent. It was slight, but definitely there. His English, so far, was perfect, though. Christa wondered where he was from.

“Of course. What do you have in mind? Is it for a special occasion, perhaps?” Some customers needed advice on what was appropriate. Christa was always happy to oblige.

“Occasion?” He stressed the first syllable. It sounded divine.

“The flowers? Are they for a special occasion? A birthday, perhaps?”

“Flowers? No, I do not wish to purchase flowers.”

“I see.” Perhaps he had something else in mind. A pot plant, possibly, or maybe just a card. Beyond, that his choices here were limited. “What are you looking for, then? I do have some lovely winter-flowering cyclamen in just now…”

He shook his head and bestowed a slight smile on her. “I am sure they are all quite beautiful, but no. I do not require flowers or plants, thank you. I desire diamonds.”

Christa huffed out a wry snort. “You and me both, sir. I’m sorry, but you need a jewellers’ for that.”


Author Interview

1.Who or what was the inspiration for Christa? Is she anything like you?

Well I’ve never entertained a desire to sell flowers, but the mystery at the heart of Rough Diamonds is based on my experience working in the care system in the UK some thirty years ago so I suppose Christa does draw on something of me.


  1. So, tell us a bit more about Johan. He’s stern and sexy, and obviously successful in his career, but what else is there to know?

Well, I think you just about covered the basics there. Johan is driven and successful, but he is also honest in his dealings with a strong sense of duty, and of justice. He wants Christa from the beginning, but he’s willing to work for it and takes nothing for granted. He’s kind to her, and generous, and he shares her sense of adventure and curiosity about the origins of her surprise windfall.


  1. How many books have you written? Are they all erotic fiction?

I think I have about forty titles out now, and yes, they are all erotic stories. Some are more BDSM themed and some are spanking/domestic discipline. At first I wrote just contemporary stories, then I started adding a few historicals and more recently I started writing sci-fi too.


  1. What advice would you have for writers who decide to try their hand at erotica?

I’d tell them to have a go, but to have a decent thesaurus to hand. And an internet connection. Youtube and Google are the erotica writer’s friend, and Wikipedia of course, the fount of all wisdom and knowledge.


  1. Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. I try to be fairly ordered about it. I like to be at my desk (well, more accurately the kitchen table) laptop fired up and coffee to hand, by nine in the morning and I tend to write for most of the day then. There are also a lot of related tasks to keep on top of, mainly to do with promo or research, or keeping in touch with readers and other authors. It’s definitely a full-time job for me.


  1. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I think it was always there, though I only started writing properly about three years ago. I have always tended to plot stories in my head though, often when sitting in traffic jams on my daily commute. I now work at home so all that time spent inhaling exhaust fumes is finally paying off.


  1. If you could have been told one thing that you weren’t told when you were a teenager, what would you like to have heard?

I was given lots of advice as a teenager, much of it unsolicited and not especially good. I think we all have to make our own mistakes, but hopefully I haven’t made the same mistake to many times. That would be sad.

Looking back, I think the most important thing I picked up along the way was that we all have choices, all the time. We’re entitled to choose our own way in life, but we should also be ready to own and accept the consequences of our decisions.

Someone once invited me to cast my mind forward to a time perhaps sixty years from now when I’ll be long-gone and my daughter (currently eighteen) is herself entering old age. Imagine she’s talking to her grandchildren, telling them about me. What would I like her to be saying? My actions now, today, will dictate what those obituaries might be so don’t leave it until later to be the sort of person you want to be remembered as.


  1. If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be…

Resilient. Creative. Calm.


  1. What would you do if you were the last person on this earth?

Turn out the lights.


  1. If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

I think at some level or other they are all a little bit about me. I could never write a book about a heroine I didn’t actually like or identify with in some way. Maybe I’d call my autobiography Made a Difference, because I hope that would be true. Perhaps that should be on my gravestone rather than a book cover, come the day.


  1. What’s your favorite love story? (movie or book)

I adore Love Actually and I can’t count how many times I’ve seen that movie. It has lots of love stories all rolled up and woven into each other, but I think perhaps my favourite is the one featuring Hugh Grant.

I also remember reading Katherine by Anya Seton many years ago, and I’ve never forgotten the magic that shimmers between Katherine and her hero, John of Gaunt. Their lifetime love affair is set against the dramatic backdrop of medieval England, a period I also like to write about.


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About Ashe Barker

USA Today Bestselling author Ashe Barker writes erotic romance and spanking romance in a variety of genres including contemporary, BDSM, paranormal, historical. ménage, gay romance and time travel. She is a #1 Amazon Bestseller and all her stories feature hot alpha males and sassy submissives, often with a lot to learn. Kink abounds, and there’s enough dirty talk to satisfy the most demanding smut lover. However dark and dirty the setting, love always emerges triumphant, and her stories never fail to deliver a satisfying happy ever after.


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 Thanks so much for stopping by, Ashe 🙂





Gideon ‘Kinky play in the works’ ;)


Gideon – Order of the Black Knights, Book 1

By Ashe Barker

Dreamspinner Press, 2016

  • Released 5 October 2016
  • MM erotic romance, suspense, paranormal
  • Approximately 65,500 words
  • HEA ending

Series Blurb

 Order of the Black Knights

Every century has its knights, but they are not always seen. Some of them do what must be done—getting their hands dirty when no one else is willing. Assassins and antiheroes who work from the shadows, they are called the Black Knights. From the time of the society’s creation in the 1100s, these men are cursed to repeat their lives of bloodshed. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man that waits inside and break the cycle. The question is whether or not the knight will kill his true love before he figures it out.

 Gideon Blurb

Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and in his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.

Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues come to light that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.

As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.

EXCERPT 1 (PG Rated)

 Gideon Maybury stood in the front pew and gazed straight ahead. Behind him half the aristocracy in the country and plenty from farther afield had gathered to pay their last respects to his brother, the late duke. Their heads were bowed, their voices hushed as they repeated the amens at the required junctures. The Bishop of Carlisle had been prevailed upon to lead the service, though Gideon’s sister-in-law had insisted it take place at the Priory Church in Cartmel rather than at the cathedral. Lydia set great store by family tradition and history, and as the Priory Church was founded in 1190 by her ancestor William Marshall, the first earl of Pembroke, she saw no justification in going elsewhere for such a momentous occasion.

Gideon let her have her way. It made no difference to him. His brother was gone and would soon melt into the annals of history, forgotten by all but his closest family. Richard left a distraught widow, but no children. So Gideon was now elevated to the lofty status of twelfth Duke of Westmoreland.

It had been that easy.

Lydia, his sister-in-law and, he supposed, the dowager duchess of sorts, sniffed at his side. Gideon produced a beautifully embroidered handkerchief from the pocket of his stark black suit jacket and handed it to her. She took it with a grateful but somewhat watery little smile and dabbed at her nose. Her movements were delicate, and her long, slender fingers appeared fragile as she struggled to contain her grief. Gideon knew it to be an illusion. Few people in his acquaintance were tougher than the lovely Lydia, though her sudden widowhood had dislodged even her usually unshakable composure.

Gideon had a lot of time for Lydia. He liked her, and more importantly, he respected her. Lydia Maybury was a lawyer. The firm where she was a partner dealt mainly with corporate clients, because that was where the serious money was to be had, but they would make occasional forays into the murkier world of criminal defense when something interesting—or lucrative—came up. She had been married to his brother for almost five years, and they’d been disgustingly happy together, though that came as something of a surprise to Gideon. Lydia always struck him as too tough and uncompromising for the soft-hearted, affable Richard—or so Gideon thought when they announced their engagement. He had expected them to separate within a year, but he’d been wrong.

Their union turned out to be a happy example of opposites attracting. Gideon was amazed, but dismissed the picture of domestic bliss as an aberration. He performed his duties as best man at their wedding, made a few crude jokes, cultivated some useful contacts among the gathered dignitaries, left Richard and Lydia to bask in a mutual adoration that he found somewhat sickly, and returned to his own, rather stellar, career in merchant banking.

Five years later he was back in the same church where his brother and Lydia were married to play his part as chief mourner.


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Read Chapter One for free


About Ashe Barker

USA Today Bestselling author Ashe Barker writes erotic romance and spanking romance in a variety of genres including contemporary, BDSM, paranormal, historical. ménage, gay romance and time travel. She is a #1 Amazon Bestseller and all her stories feature hot alpha males and sassy submissives, often with a lot to learn. Kink abounds, and there’s enough dirty talk to satisfy the most demanding smut lover. However dark and dirty the setting, love always emerges triumphant, and her stories never fail to deliver a satisfying happy ever after.


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Thanks so much for stopping by, Ashe ❤




#Conquered #Brides #Author Ashe Barker

The Conquered Brides Collection – Five sizzling stories of medieval abduction and seduction


Hi Mary, and thank you so much for inviting me over to your blog today. I understand you have a few questions you’d like to fire at me, about The Conquered Brides

Mary : Hi Ashe, and welcome. Thanks for dropping by. So, first things first – how did you get involved with The Conquered Brides project?

Ashe : I had an email from Renee Rose, quite out of the blue. I was surprised, and delighted. I adore Renee so I took no persuading to join the group of authors who would be pooling their efforts to write this collection. It was a first for me, to be collaborating with a bunch of others in this way so I was nervous about how it would all go, especially being the only Brit in the group. Everyone made me welcome though and it’s been a dream to work on.

Mary : So, tell us a little bit about The Conquered Brides

Ashe: Each of the five books in the set follow the story of a different lady of the Hohenzollern court. The castle, located in mediaeval Germany, is defeated after a gruelling siege. The women are abducted amidst the ensuing terror and chaos. They are taken as wives though rather than merely being the spoils of war, but whether that will be any better fate remains to be seen. You’d have to read the stories to know how it all pans out for them. Suffice it to say the lords who claim these reluctant brides are determined to compel their obedience, and if this involves applying a lot of bare bottom spanking so be it.

The stories can all be read as stand alones, but there is cross over between the books and they complement each other. They will be more enjoyable if read as a set.

Mary : So, what was the most challenging thing about writing for this collection. For you.

Ashe : The opening scenes were written by Korey Mae Johnson, and the rest of us selected a lady whose story we would tell, all going forward from those same events but in very different directions. Korey set the bar high. Her opening scenes are wonderful, and I was nervous about doing justice to the scenario she had created. I’m really happy with the way The Widow Is Mine, Lady Natalia and Stefan’s story turned out though.

Mary : What can you tell us about the other stories in the set?

Ashe : I’ve been lucky enough to read all the others, and they are wonderful. Hot, atmospheric, powerful stories with plenty of sizzle. It’s a privilege to work with such a talented group of erotic authors and I think the final result is stunning.

Mary : Is The Widow Is Mine your first novel to be published with Stormy Night?

Ashe : Yes and no. This was a new venture, with a new publisher. All very scary. And exciting. A steep learning curve as lots of processes would be new to me. I even had to worry about the IRS – I expect a lot of people do, but not usually on my side of the Atlantic. I’ve since released a separate book with Stormy Night though and that went really well so I feel like I’ve been here forever now.

Mary : Do you usually write historical erotica?

Ashe : I’ve written one historical before, a pirate story. I usually write contemporary stories with a strong BDSM twist, so this was a new departure in that respect too. However I studied history in the past, including English history of the Middle Ages. I’ve visited most of the medieval castles which still act as landmarks across the UK countryside, and several further afield too. I’m fascinated by this period so it was no hardship to do plenty of research to make sure details were accurate, for example around food, clothing, architecture, the geography of the period. I think it works.

Mary : Right. That’s the serious bit. Now tell us about the smut.

Ashe : Smut is serious too, at least to those of us who make what we like to think of as a living writing it. All five stories in The Conquered Brides offer all you could wish for in the way of spankings, both erotic and disciplinary. There’s plenty of ouch, and a lot of oooh as well.

In my own story, The Widow Is Mine, Lady Natalia has been married twice already and has no wish to take a third husband. She intends to become a nun, and is looking forward to a quiet life until events outside her control turn her world upside down. She is horrified when the duke of Richtenholst announces he has other plans for her. She’s to be his duchess, whether she likes it or not. Even while she is terrified of him, Natalia has to admit that the duke is the most exciting, charismatic man she has ever met. He’s kind too, and arouses her in ways she can barely understand – when he’s not punishing her bare bottom. But can she trust him with her most precious secret?

He spanks her, he fucks her, then he starts all over again. And despite her initial fears Natalia is astonished to find she loves all of it. Her new husband delivers a serious spanking and he’s a demon with a switch, but he has other ways to make her scream too. She soon learns that life as the duchess of Richtenholst has its compensations as well as its surprises.

Mary : Wow! Well, thanks for sharing that. You have a suitably hot excerpt for us I believe…?

Ashe : I do. And the blurb for the collection

Mary: Thank you for visiting my blog. The excerpt sounds hot!



Excerpt from The Widow Is Mine

“You have your five minutes. Use them well. And my lady, you are shortly to endure a hard spanking, my hand on your bare bottom. If you so much as think about repeating your escapade of yesterday I will take a switch to your arse. You really do not want that. Not on the first day of your married life.” He tips me a polite nod from the doorway, then ducks through the opening to leave me to my toilet.

I stare after him for a few moments, resenting the implied further threats. I have given my word, he had no need to reiterate the details of my predicament. Sulking will avail me nothing however. I shove back the blankets and leap into action. Or rather, I hobble. I extricate myself from the snug furs and perch on the side of the bed shivering. The December morning is chilly, despite the still warm stones making up the stove in the centre of this tent. I wonder, did the duke replenish them during the night? Or perhaps it was his servant, Karl. The servant I know I must face this morning too.

I get to my feet and try an experimental step forward. My ankle throbs, but it is bearable. My ribs trouble me hardly at all. I manage to make my way to the bucket closest to me and use it to do what is necessary. I would take it to empty outside but the duke ordered me to remain unclothed.

I comb my fingers through my hair, but with no looking glass available to me I cannot properly braid it. I draw it back into a loose, rough plait, but by now I feel sure my allotted time must be almost up. Modesty propels me to scramble back into bed and I curl up under the covers to wait.

The duke does not keep me waiting long. He re-enters the tent, halting just inside the doorway to regard me. His features bear an odd expression, somewhere between amusement and regret. But I detect no sign of a reprieve.

“Are you all right, my lady?”

I nod.

“Ready then?”

Again I nod, but not so fast this time. I know this is going to happen. There is no merit in drawing it out. But even so…

The duke strides over to the table and pulls out one of the chairs. He turns it to face the bed and seats himself upon it. His bare torso is glistening, droplets of water clearly visible on his skin, and his hair is darkened by the remaining damp. He must have completed his ablutions whilst outside.

“Stop cowering among the furs, Natalia, and get yourself over to me. Now.” His tone has hardened, and the temperature in the tent seems to me to drop.

I know better than to delay any longer. This is inevitable, and it is happening now. I slip from the bed and stand beside it, my weight balanced on my left leg. I cannot resist the urge to cross my arms in front of my chest.

The duke frowns. “You said you were able to walk.”

“Yes, my lord. A little.”

Despite my reply he stands and comes toward me. At his advance my courage fails me and I step back with a small, frightened squeak. I turn to face the wall, cowering, ready to plead for whatever mercy he might see fit to grant me.

He does not speak to me. Instead he places his hands on my shoulders and turns me to face him, then gathers my shivering form against his chest. He enfolds me in his arms, murmuring into my hair.

“Be still, little one, calm down. I mean you no harm.” His hand works large, soothing circles across my back, between my shoulder blades, then reaching lower, to my waist, my soon-to-be spanked bottom.

“My lord, please, I am sorry. Truly.” I am sobbing now, my tears moistening his chest.

He tightens his arms around me, pressing me against him. “Trust me, Natalia. I will take care of you. I would never injure you. This will soon be over.”

“But, I am so scared.”

“I know that, and I know you regret what you did.” He pauses, but continues the calming massage. After a few moments he continues. “I promise you I will be a firm husband to you, but a fair and loving one also. If you cannot bring yourself to accept your punishment now then we will leave it. I will not drag you, weeping and screaming across my knee. But I do want you to accept the discipline you have earned, and to learn from it. If not now, then soon. Can you do that, my lady?”

He does not press for my answer. He just holds me, and he waits.

At last, gulping, I succeed in mustering some semblance of control. And courage. And, incredibly, trust. His words have affected me, in particular his promise not to force his discipline upon me. He is asking me to willingly accept my fault and the consequences of it. I think, now, that I can.

“Very well, my lord. I am ready.”

He uses one hand to tip my chin up, meeting my gaze. He smiles at me, then dips his head to lay a soft kiss across my lips. He releases me from his solid embrace, then turns. He wraps his arm around me, taking my weight.

“I can see that your ankle pains you. Let me help.”

With his aid I make my way to the chair, where he retakes his seat.

“You will lay yourself across my lap, with your hands and feet on the floor.”

I gulp, brush the remaining tears from my face, and chew on my lip for a moment. Then I shuffle to his side. I adopt the position he has instructed, determined to quash my sense of humiliation that he has placed me in such an undignified posture. Sweet Jesu’, let this soon be done.

“That’s good, but could you lift your bottom up a little higher for me please?”

So polite. I have no option but to shift around until I am poised just as he wishes, my bottom raised for him to spank.

“That is fine. I will spank you until I feel you have had enough and I will decide when your punishment is complete. You can make as much noise as you like. I fully expect you to be somewhat vocal. But you are not to move until I tell you to. You will not lift your hands to try to protect your bottom, nor will you kick. You will remain in this position, quite still, until I am finished. Is that clear?”

“Yes, my lord.” I clench my buttocks, anticipating the first spank.

“Do you have any questions about why I am punishing you?”

He seems to be in no hurry to start. I whisper my response, desperate for this to be over. “No, my lord. I know it is because I disobeyed you.”

“Yes, that. And also because of the danger you put yourself in. I left you here to ensure you were safe. By leaving the security of my tent you placed yourself in peril. As your husband it is my responsibility to protect you, to ensure your safety. I will not permit you to compromise that, now or in the future. Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir. I think so.”

“We will see. But for now…”


When the castle they called home is besieged and ultimately falls, five women are captured and carried off as wives by their foes. Will they be treated as no more than the spoils of war, or can their new lords prove themselves worthy of the love and submission of their conquered brides?


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