Awaken, My Love

PUBLISHER: 
RS

Did I forget to tell you that you are dead?...

Thirty-nine-year-old Elaine Metcliffe awakens in another century...inside another woman's body...married to a virile 19th century English baron who is a far cry from her own 20th century husband.  Bent on seducing the resentful young bride he believes her to be, Charles tempts Elaine with erotic pleasures she has only read about.  But fending off a handsome nobleman who is tutored in sexual Tantrics is the least of her worries.  Just when she is beginning to adapt to life sans tampons and Häagen-Dazs ice-cream, the owner of Elaine's new body delivers a note:  she wants her body back ...

 

Chapter Excerpt

 
Her spine was fused to the back of the chair and through that, his chest. The lord's left arm anchored her shoulders, his right hand her wrists and torso. And he told her to relax?
 
Talk about being stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
 
Elaine stared up at the ceiling, at the flickering play of light and shadow. The lord's breath blew warm and humid, rhythmically filling her ear, retreating , filling.
 
A sob rose in her throat, unwittingly succumbing to the sultry cadence, the heat of his breath, his arms, his hands, the musky scent of male flesh. The never-ending ache of female curiosity. Vertebra by vertebra, the bone-splintering stiffness of her spine dissolved.
 
The lord pressed his face into the crook of Elaine's neck. His cheek was scratchy with the sandpaper rasp of unshaven stubble. He whispered a trail of hot, moist kisses, "That's right, just let me kiss you, here, yes, it feels good, doesn't it, so good…"
 
Elaine felt a scalding fleck where her neck joined her shoulder, resolve further dissolving, shivering at the hot, wet application of tongue on flesh.
 
"That's right, relax, relax for me, Morrigan. Relax, sweetheart."
 
Sharp teeth joined the seduction of slick, papillae-covered tongue, nibbling lightly on the cord running the length of her neck, then not so lightly, there beneath her ear, soothing the nip with a melting lick.
 
"That's right, Morrigan, yes, you taste so good, sweet. Trust me, relax. Yes, that's right, I won't hurt you. Never, never would I hurt you. Trust me…"
 
Said the spider to the fly.
 
Ha! Elaine thought without rancor. She wouldn't trust him if he cut off both his hands. She wouldn't trust him if he cut out his tongue. She certainly was not going to trust him trussed up like Sunday dinner with his hand pressed against that part of her that had been a curse since the day she had reached puberty and was turning out to be no less of a curse in a different body.
 
But trust, Elaine found, is an insignificant thing compared to the seduction of sensation. Especially when one is so very ill equipped to handle it. Twentieth-century mothers warn their daughters not to let a boy touch her "up here" or "down there," an easy enough rule to comply with, as up here and down there are the only places a twentieth-century boy seems interested in touching. Elaine suspected all the warnings in the world would not work if twentieth-century fathers taught their boys that there are other places to touch first. That there are places to kiss other than the lips.
 
And yes, it did feel good.
 
Elaine's eyes drifted shut, body throbbing, throbbing in time with the nips, the nibbles, the licks, the hot moist whispers.
 
"Now." The lord disentangled his arm from around her left shoulder.
 
Elaine bit back a whimper of cold abandon. Her eyes opened—when had she closed them?—viewing the book-lined room, the flickering darkness as if through a telescope.
 
The lord raised his left hand, held it poised at the edge of the illustration. She stared at his long, tanned fingers, at the Indian man, at the Indian maiden whose ruby-rouged nether-lips were stretched to accommodate the Indian man's fingers, seeing it all with vivid, crystalline clarity.
 
"I'm not hurting you, am I?" Sharp teeth encompassed Elaine's right earlobe; he nipped it—yes, that hurt—then suckled it, as if it were a nipple.
 
White hot sensation pulsed through her breasts. It streamlined directly to that place between her legs where his fingers pressed so tantalizingly close.
 
His lips broke free with a slight slurping sound. It should have sounded repulsive, that slurp, downright juvenile, even. But it didn't. It sounded wet. Provocative. Not at all fastidious. Evocative of wet and dirty sex. The substance of fantasies.
 
"You and I are going to share a little adventure, that's all, nothing to be afraid of. I want to satisfy your curiosity, Morrigan. I want to satisfy you. You must trust me in this. I won't let you retreat from me, not now, not now that I know…"
 
Elaine stiffened. There he went again. Not now that he knew what?
 
"No, don't tense up like that. This is natural, what you see and feel is perfectly normal. The mating act is the most powerful thing on this earth. The most perfect thing on this earth. When a man and a woman join, they become one, one body, one mind, one soul. Or that's the way it should be. That's the way it will be. With us. If you allow it. Just give it a chance, Morrigan. Give us a chance."
 
Elaine's heart skipped a beat. She had wanted that, once upon a time, wanted to become one with a man, one body, one mind, one soul. That was before she had accepted the fact that short, stubby-fingered girls did not become concert pianists. That short, stubby-figured women did not inspire passion.
 
The lord's long, tanned fingers turned the page. He could be a concert pianist with hands like that, she thought dispassionately. Morrigan's hands and his hands together could perform beautiful duets.
 
Elaine's heartbeat quickened at the sight of the illustration, feeling the quickening in that most vulnerable of all places, knowing that he could feel it, too.
 
The Indian man leaned over the Indian maiden, his red-turbaned head buried between her legs. He held her rounded thighs apart. His pink tongue was frozen in a protruded state, eternally licking her ruby-rouged nether lips. A pearl drop adorned the tip of his tongue.
 
"The man is doing what the Indians call auparishtaka, or 'mouth congress.' That white drop on his tongue, that is her kama salila, her 'dew of ecstasy.' A woman gives up her essence, her 'dew of ecstasy,' when she is in a state of arousal. There is nothing sweeter or more precious to a man. It is a woman's ultimate gift of trust and love. I want you to give me that, Morrigan. I want you to trust me. I want you to open up your body and drench me."
 
A wave of heat swelled from where the lord's knuckles insidiously pressed. Never in Elaine's wildest fantasy had her lover whispered such blatant sexual blandishments. Her body gushed with moisture there where his fingers and her wrists pressed, the valley becoming a veritable river. A red haze seemed to envelop her brain, a ruby-red haze, matching exactly the two pairs of lips and nipples in the painting. She felt his fingers relax around her wrists. The pressure lightened there at the crux of her thighs. Slowly, ever so slowly, the hard, banding fingers released their grip altogether. Her hips lifted without volition, following their warmth.
 
He cupped his hand over her stomach, the pressure firm, heavy. Something wild and ominous leaped inside her womb at the proprietary weight, trapped between the heat of his hand and the heat of his body.
 
"Turn the page, Morrigan."
 
Elaine sucked in a cooling breath of air. She blindly reached out, right hand, no, left hand.
 
The Indian man lay on his back, turban absent, his hair lying about his head in a pool of blue black. His lips were curved in the benign smile. The Indian maiden sat in yoga fashion between his legs. Her head was poised between his legs, pink tongue extended, delicately tasting the ruby-red crown of his penis. A pearl drop adorned the tip of her tongue. The Indian maiden's right hand circled the base of the man's thick shaft; the fingers of her left hand teased the round testicles.
 
The lord soothingly massaged the base of Elaine's stomach. Elaine jerked, far from soothed.
 
"Again auparishtaka, or 'mouth congress.'"
 
A scalding tongue made a stab into Elaine's ear, wet, so wet, in sound and sensation. She squirmed, a discordant twang of reality briefly flaring. Had she thoroughly cleaned that ear? What if he should lap up a hunk of ear wax?
 
"Note the drop of white on the tip of the woman's tongue." The tip of his tongue delicately lapped the contours of her ear. "That is his kulodaka, his 'secretions of love.' A man also yields his essence to a woman, even before the act is finished. The women of India greatly value the taste; it is a symbol of passion, of virility, and of pleasures to come." The voice deepened, becoming hotter, more husky. "I have been told it is somewhat salty."
 
Elaine had no doubt that his sources included whole panels of taste testers. She licked her lips, tasting salt, her saliva thick, slick. The hard, hot fingers more vigorously massaged Elaine's stomach, the callused fingertips rasping against the smooth silk.
 
"A man's lingam is made for a woman's yoni. There will be no more pain, Morrigan. You were a virgin, that is why you tore and bled. Defloration is accompanied by much ceremony in India. Some of the girls who are to go into the priesthood impale themselves on a large stone phallus."
 
Elaine stared at the Indian man's lingam. The lord's fingers slid lower down onto her stomach. She heard the rasp of his fingertips against the silk, felt the rasp of silk rubbing against her pubic hair. A long finger experimentally probed the closed nether lips between her legs. She gasped at the resulting stab of sensation.
 
"Some men take a vow to deflower virgins, it has been said up to two thousand," the lord continued, the humid, gravely voice oiling the descent of rational human being into hot, passionate woman. "They spend their lives traveling from one village to the next that they might find virgins to so bless and fulfill their vow. Before the British came, Indian priests would roam the streets naked, so that women might kiss their lingam for fertility."
 
He covered her ear with his mouth, slowly breathed into the vulnerable orifice. His finger lightly measured the length of those other lips, once, twice.
 
"It is exquisitely pleasurable for a man, to be taken into a woman's mouth, just as pleasurable as it is for a woman when a man takes her with his mouth. Note the abstract expression on the Indian man's face. He has drawn into himself so that he will not ejaculate inside her mouth. So that he might later prolong their pleasure. When he is buried deep inside her. An experienced man can make it last and last for a woman. Can pleasure her over and over until her little yoni flows like a spring. A hot, wet spring that never goes dry…"
 
The little Indian maiden and her dark-skinned lover wavered beneath the heat radiating throughout Elaine's body. There was just a hint of white peeping from the center of the Indian man's swollen red crown, a drop of pleasure straining to blossom—
 
"Turn the page, Morrigan."
 
Elaine turned the page, unable to resist either the lord or herself.
 
The little Indian maiden perched above the darker skinned man, her left knee by his right hip, her right hip raised with the leg bent at the knee, supporting foot resting by his right rib cage. The maiden's left hand grasped the root of the man's large penis; The ruby head pierced the rouged nether lips. Several pearl drops lined the thick stalk. The fingers on the Indian man's right hand plucked at the maiden's elongated nipple. The forefinger on the man's left hand teased the top of the maiden's rouged nether-lips.
 
Elaine's left shoulder, which had initially been abandoned so that the lord might turn the pages, was again encompassed in his heat; his left hand briefly rested on her upper abdomen before crawling the distance to her right breast. He cupped it through the clinging nightgown.
 
Her nipple hardened to the point of pain. The long, thick finger on his right hand that had measured her again and again found the seam between her legs and plunged in between. A low groan erupted from her throat. She convulsively pinched the edge of the thick paper, insensible of the potential damage to the hand-painted illustration.
 
"Sssh, relax, Morrigan. Relax…God, you're hot down here!"
 
The finger commenced a gentle seesawing motion, sliding down to her place of entrance, then sliding back up to where sensation crackled and sizzled.
 
"Hot and wet. Kama salila. You flow for me, Morrigan. I can feel it all the way through the silk."
 
Elaine closed her eyes against the building surge of electricity. Don't talk anymore, she thought frantically, don't disturb the fantasy. Her fantasies don't talk, not at this point, action—all she wanted was action… .
 
The finger rimmed the opening to her body, going round and round.
 
Elaine remembered a company party when one of the new female junior executives had gotten inebriated. So had the vice-president, though whether it had been on alcohol or the pretty young female remained uncertain. The junior executive and the vice-president had decided to ascertain the quality of the restaurant's glassware. Dipping a finger into her near-empty glass of wine, the junior executive had proceeded to run the wine-doused finger round and round the glass rim.
 
The crystal had sung.
 
As Elaine's body sang now. She could feel herself expanding, opening.
 
The lord released her breast. He bunched up the silk nightgown and grasped the distended nipple between his thumb and forefinger.
 
"Oh, God!" The base of Elaine's stomach convulsed. It felt like jolts of electricity were shooting directly from her nipple to her uterus and back up from her uterus to her nipple. He rolled the nipple between his two fingers; with his right hand he continued rimming the core of her, rolling and rimming, rimming and rolling, too much, not enough. "Don't! Oh, God!" She grabbed his bands. "Don't do that!"
 
Hot, moist air gusted into her ear. "Keep still. Look at the picture, Morrigan."
 
Elaine strove to focus on the illustration. Every nerve in her body was concentrated on the fingers busily working underneath hers. His tongue rimmed her ear, briefly dipped inside.
 
"A woman can control how much of the man she wants to take inside her in this position. Also, it is good for a woman because a man can touch her madanahatra"—the lord's finger left the rim of Elaine's body and slid to the top of the lips, briefly rubbed so that she had to bite her lips to prevent herself from screaming with the lightning bolt of pleasure—"her clitoris."
 
The finger dipped downward, continued rimming her body, soothing, opening.
 
"The woman is very excited, look at the drops of her love juice running down his lingam. I want you to imagine that, Morrigan. I want you to imagine being on top of me, with me deep inside you, here"—his finger slid an infinitesimal inch inside her opening, internally the silk felt both rough and smooth, shaping to the contours of his callused flesh—"and my finger here." His finger slipped out and back up to the top where she could feel herself swollen and throbbing. He rubbed the silk-protected nub more vigorously than he had earlier. "Isn't that what you want, too, Morrigan? To feel—me—inside you?" ...
 

What the Critics Say

  • [The Men And Women's Club] is not what comes to mind when I think of erotica, although the sex scenes were really well done, and they basically talk about nothing but sexuality. Honestly, it’s so much more than erotica, because Schone tells a really fascinating story that deals with sexual repression and how dangerous it can be.

  • Awaken, My Love provides a refreshingly funny commentary on the time-travel genre. Elaine’s trials regarding chamber pots, makeshift maxi pads, and social sensibilities like unshaven legs underline such astounding oversights in other books that readers may never again be able to accept a sloppily written, unrealistic experience of waking up in another century.

  • Emotionally Believable.

  • There's a lot more than explicit sex—although there is plenty of that—to this frankly erotic romance, which takes a hard look at Victorian double standards and the penalties for women who ignore them and with feminist aplomb puts everything into perspective.

  • Schone again displays her talent for highly erotic scenes and descriptions—even without the sex. Before Rose and Jack engage in sexual play, their passion burns the pages. The research of 19th century marital laws and women's rights [add] texture to the plot.

  • ...Probably the first 53-year-old eunuch to be a romantic hero.