Offered for a limited time for the debut price of $2.99…
From Bestselling Erotic Romance and Erotica Author Erika Masten A Domination And Submission Romance Novel
THE RINGMASTER: CIRQUE DE PLAISIR
Cirque de Plaisir. Circus of Pleasure. An upscale underground theatrical pageant of desire and allure. A masked BDSM spectacle bringing forbidden fantasies to life for the select few with the power, wealth, and influence to secure an invitation.
For Donovan Haigh, the man they all call Ringmaster, the Cirque de Plaisir is illusion, showmanship, and domination brought to the level of performance art. It is the culmination and affirmation of his grasp of human nature mixed with business acumen and sheer force of will. And no one dares ask what wounds and personal losses underlie the Ringmaster’s resolve to maintain that unwavering control.
For Olivia Keane, the Circus of Pleasure is a vision in the night, a hunger in the dark, and a promise of freedom couched in the terms of submission. Become the Ringmaster’s slave and escape the grasp of her manipulative, belittling family. Succumb to the tightrope-taut sexual tension between the showman Dom and herself and blossom in the warmth of the spotlight and Donovan Haigh’s embrace.
But when the Ringmaster’s slave becomes the star of the show, drawing the lion’s share of attention and princely sums for private command performances, will Donovan be willing to share either the spotlight or his submissive? The Ringmaster’s hold on Olivia and his own self-control begins to fray as powerful admirers try to woo her away, and at least one suitor proves he is not who he seems. Old pains and family hatreds will not be so easy to escape for the Ringmaster and his slave, even in their secreted world of glamour and passion.
Length: 69,700 words or approximately 275 traditional print pages.
Warning: This is a domination and submission romance containing explicit sexual content, including elements of light bondage. Intended for mature readers only. All characters depicted in this book are 18 years of age or older, and all sexual activities are of a consensual nature.
“Ringmaster,” I repeated to Olivia, then cleared my throat to regain her attention as she stared after the utterly unselfconscious Naomi. “You may call me Ringmaster.”
The blonde swallowed with obvious effort and nodded in acknowledgement, flushing disarmingly across the apples of her cheeks and the bridge of her nose. “I’m ready to audition, Ringmaster.”
“That I highly doubt,” I muttered under my breath as I motioned for my guests to follow me and led them back down to the warehouse floor where the real work of the set-up for tonight was taking place now that the audience had cleared out. “Have a seat,” I told Gwynne and pointed to one of the crates that hadn’t been moved yet, then to Olivia said, “Up, onto the stage.”
She did as commanded and without hesitation, I noted with approval, but she turned with a concerned look bending her tawny brow. “I’m going to audition here? In front of everyone?”
I glanced about the vast, open room. Rafe, still dressed as the foreman from the performance, was marking out directions on the concrete floor for what stages and equipment went where. Slighter, sandy-headed Thom was passing around small bottles of sports drinks and cautioning everyone to mind their electrolytes like the mother hen he was, combination admin manager-chef-physical therapist, keeping my athletes in top shape. Griffin and his pixie-faced partner, Piper, were working with the crew installing the Chinese Pole, making sure it was secure enough for their performance.
“No one is paying attention to us, Kitten,” I said before I thought better of it.
I avoided looking down again into that delicate, angular face, not wanting to see her reaction to the spontaneous endearment, and took the whip from my hip. From the corner of my eye, I saw her hand clench into a sudden anxious fist at her side. A most curious reaction, like I was going to use the lash on her, and further proof this was a futile exercise. If she was this skittish now…
Still, she persisted. “All right. What do you want me to do?”
So many things. In part to give myself time to consider my response, I stepped up onto the stage and made a slow circuit around waiting Kitten, made a show of studying every line and curve of that petite body. As I noted the firm, smooth musculature along the back of her calves and the front of her thighs, along that delightfully heart-shaped buttocks, I asked, “Are you trained in dance?”
“No,” she began, shaking her head and sending shimmery waves of movement through the sleek curtain of her hair. I was actively resisting the urge to run my hands through those strands when she corrected herself, “Well, sort of. A little. It was someone else actually taking the lessons, but I was her partner for practice.” I stopped and narrowed my eyes at her. Was every interaction this awkward and difficult for her? As though she read my expression, she hissed her breath out hard through her nose and her clenched teeth. “It’s complicated. Ballet and modern dance, to answer your question.” Finally.
I resumed my circuit. “I can tell; you have a dancer’s legs.” From the confusion clouding those pretty green eyes, she looked like she wondered if that was a good thing. My hardening cock certainly thought so. The parts of my brain not currently occupied with inappropriate considerations of all the ways I could stroke this kitten wholeheartedly disagreed.
The narrowness of her waist made her hips seem larger than they were, lending an alluring sensuality to a body that was actually quite lean upon close examination. The full round swells of her breasts were a perfect counterpoint to the curve of her ass. In a harness, with a tight leather cincher around her waist, she would have looked stunning—in an Old Hollywood, vintage erotica way.
When the impulse to thread my fingers through her hair overtook me again, and I reached a gloved hand out for her, Kitten—Olivia—caught the movement from the corner of her eye and flinched away so slightly. And I caught my breath, though I wasn’t entirely certain why. Perhaps because, though I was of the cooler and more aloof variety of Doms, I was unaccustomed to women wincing away from me. Or perhaps because her apprehension made me wonder if she just expected rough treatment, if someone had misused her in the past. I took the touch of nausea in my gut for the sickness I’d have felt at the thought of any little innocent being mishandled and abused.
“Easy there,” I muttered as I removed my right glove before tangling my fingers in the silky strands just above the nape of her neck. It was unexpected, both my urge to soothe her—I was not the fawning Daddy Dom sort, even outside the performance ring—and the cool softness of her hair, like cream flowing along the back of my hand. “It’s good that your hair is so long and straight,” I continued to encourage her despite being at a loss still as to why I would. She smiled nervously. “Though it could be a bit longer.” And at this she frowned, leaving me with the smallest hint of guilt.
I peered at her again, feeling my own lips pressing into a subtle frown—at myself. This Olivia was so unlike Evelyn, my last assistant, and not what I’d have expected of any of my performers. When I’d auditioned Evi, the busty brunette had thrown back her shoulders and cocked one hip provocatively, exuding sex appeal and a larger-than-life personality that made her a natural for the stage. She was a brat submissive par excellence. Every facial expression, every sigh, every tiny gesture had always been a choreographed reaction playing for maximum effect.
Olivia? She was an open book, a bundle of live wire nerves without the least protection. What she felt down to the bone was the reaction that rose to the surface, unfiltered and unadorned, so vulnerable and honest. The stage was going to break this girl’s heart, assuming I didn’t do it first.
At this thought, I snatched my hand away and stuffed it back into my black leather glove. Time to stop playing, to stop indulging the false hope that Kitten was going to be my new assistant. Standing directly in front of Olivia, a mere half-step from her faintly trembling frame, I ordered, “Take off your clothes.”