It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Kristina Lloyd’s fiction. I love her writing style, her unashamedly hardcore approach to erotica, and perhaps most of all, her male characters. Which is why I’m delighted to have her here today to talk about the hero of her new novel, Undone. Over to you, Kristina…
My new novel, Undone, is set in a cocktail bar, and the main man is Sol Miller. Several months into writing the book, it was pointed out to me I’d named him after two brands of beer. I swear this wasn’t intentional! I briefly considered changing his name but by then it was too late. He was Sol Miller through and through.
Sol is a Jewish ex-New Yorker , now resident in the UK. I wanted him to have an ordinary, American name so spent time diligently researching common Jewish names before, yup, inadvertently naming him after a couple of lagers. In the current erotica publishing climate, Sol is perhaps unusual because he’s not a billionaire. (I’m sure I’m not the only person with zero erotic interest in wealth.) He’s a former IT guy, taking a step back from a stressful career and doing casual labour at a building site in Saltbourne, the town where my protagonist, Lana Greenwood, has her cocktail bar.
I love writing about mysterious, possibly dangerous men, and creating female characters willing to play with fire. Lana meets Sol at a weekend party in a manor house. While drinking in the garden with friends, she’s directed indoors to fetch another bottle of wine. Here’s a brief excerpt where Lana describes their first meeting:
“The stone utility room was cool and shadowy, an Aladdin’s cave of alcohol. Sunlight filtered in through a small, grimy window, casting a meagre sheen on kegs, crates and exotic, multi-coloured bottles. I blinked as my eyes readjusted, goosebumps stippling my bare arms.
In the veiled light, a shirtless man stood before a tall American fridge, head bowed. He rested one hand on the matte silver door, while the other angled a pint glass at the ice dispenser. He wore canvas knee-lengths, slung low on his hips, and his dark, sweat-soaked hair was hooked behind his ears. He was powerfully muscular but not unnaturally chiseled, and a small roll of softness edged his waist. Ice cubes clattered into the glass. The bars of his ribs pumped below wet spikes of hair in the pit of his raised arm. His torso glistened, a soft curve of light resting on one shoulder. Beads of sweat trickled down his chest . A couple of droplets fell, making dark spots on the flagstones.
I shivered. Laughter and the clink of glasses from outside grew faint, as if I were sinking under water, the world fading out of reach. He stood straight, glancing at me. For an instant, the light around him was magical, a diaphanous haze pricked with glittering motes. His chest hair was plastered to his body, and his lower lip was smeared with blood, a glossy violet bulge distorting its shape.
‘You see any cloths around here?’ His accent was American, a sexy, sonorous drawl, and a slight slur marred his words. He stepped into shadow and slid open a flaky, wooden door beneath an old Belfast sink. He bobbed down to peer in, holding the sink above for balance. Down his left side, from underarm to hip, was a tattoo unlike any I’d seen before. To be accurate, there were several tattoos but they formed a picture, or a panel, depicting a stemmed dandelion head gone to seed. The images were as delicately rendered as etchings under tissue paper in a botanical encyclopaedia. Single, fluffy orbs drifted from the spiky round flower, as if a breeze were blowing tattoos across his body. I half wanted to reach out and catch one, then I could make a wish.”
Lana and Sol exchange only a few words but Lana immediately thinks she’s got him sussed: simple, straightforward, sporty, fun. Not her type at all. She’s forced to reevaluate her opinion when she hooks up with him and another guy, Misha, for a threesome. She starts to suspect there’s more to Sol than meets the eye, especially on the morning after when Misha is discovered dead in the swimming pool. Lana has reason to believe Sol may be implicated in the death. She knows the wisest thing would be to steer clear of him but she’s finding him increasingly hot and intriguing. So of course, she follows her groin rather than her head. And I totally would, too!
Kristina Lloyd writes erotic fiction about sexually submissive women who like it on the dark, dirty and dangerous side. Her novels are published by Black Lace and her short stories have appeared in dozens of anthologies, including several ‘best of’ collection, in both the UK and US. She lives in Brighton, England.
When Lana Greenwood attends a glamorous house party she finds herself tempted into a ménage à trois. But the morning after brings more than just regrets over fulfilling a fantasy one night stand. One of the men she’s spent the night with is discovered dead in the swimming pool. Accident, suicide or murder, no one is sure and Lana doesn’t know where to turn. Can she trust Sol, the other man, an ex-New Yorker with a dirty smile and a deep desire to continue their kinky game?