Paranormal and erotic romance seems a natural combination because paranormal world-building comes from the author’s active, over-the-top imagination. There are some wild and far-out things that happen in paranormal stories—characters who shift into animals, characters who disappear, immortal characters, etc. So it makes sense that extremely sensual and highly erotic situations can easily be combined with this and it’s all believable… if the author is good at making you suspend disbelief. Plus, it can make the story more intense and spellbinding.
An erotic fantasy becomes even more of an escape when one (or more) of the hot, sexy characters isn't quite human. They’re larger than life. Maybe the hero is immortal and has lived for hundreds of years. He will no doubt have a lot of experience and know exactly what he wants between the sheets. Maybe he has special powers or abilities. A werewolf, vampire or other paranormal creature introduces danger into the equation. Danger can heighten the sensuality and passion, making it explosive.
Dangerous heroes are strangely compelling. The unknown. Is he dangerous to everyone, including the heroine, or only to his enemies? Part of the thrill is not knowing if he will become too enthusiastic in his passion and hurt the heroine.
Duncan, the hero of my Carina press book, Laird of Darkness, is half-Fae. This means he can disappear whenever he wants and fly through the air, no wings needed. When he vanishes, he also has enhanced strength. He can toss men or heavy rocks through the air. His own body is the only weapon he needs.
Though the heroine, Alana, is unsure at first how much of a threat he is, she is drawn to him. Should she want him as a lover despite his dangerous paranormal abilities?
Excerpt from Laird of Darkness
Lady Alana Forbes knelt by Loch Searbh, overjoyed to have found such a large clump of marsh tea. She would dry it and use it to heal many skin afflictions. A dull roar reached her ears. Thunder? No storm clouds lurked overhead. The loch at twilight, surrounded by the rugged Highlands, was one of the most beautiful sights she had seen. A pink and violet sunset painted the sky to the west, the direction she would journey tomorrow to meet her future husband at Castle Claren.
She hoped Kinnon MacClaren was a handsome and kind man. And though she would never admit it to anyone but herself, she hoped he was a generous lover and skilled in the bedchamber. If the rumors about him were correct, the MacClaren chief was indeed handsome, with blue eyes and tawny hair.
Rising, she sniffed the balsamic aroma of the herb. Above all, her new husband must allow her to continue practicing the medicinal arts her beloved grandmother taught her. Gran had passed three years ago, and Alana was the only one to preserve her family’s herbal knowledge and ancient Soillse Eòlas Leigheashealing spells.
She took one step toward her party’s camp when a fierce clamor exploded from the loch. She froze. Water gushed upward and a herd of white horses burst forth, headed straight toward her. What in Hades?
Something unseen slipped around her waist, snatching her into the air far above the ground. Strangely, the invisible band around her felt like a man’s strong arm. St. Bride preserve me! Nausea roiled through her. She screamed, flailing, cold chills covering her body. Far below, the white horses galloped along the shore and disappeared beyond the bend. Alana knew a bit about magic, but sorcery such as this she had never encountered.
A few hundred feet from the water and her party, she floated down until she rested once again on solid ground.
Whatever peculiar force had lifted her out of harm’s way now released her. She perceived naught but a dull red spot glowing in the dimness. A body expanded from it—a man’s muscular chest and dark head.
“What in…” She covered her gaping mouth. What kind of enchantment could this be?
He turned, moving away toward the bushes, then his muscled back, hip and the rest of his nude body materialized. Sideways, he bent to grab a long piece of woolen tartan from the ground. When he straightened, the whole of his spectacular front was visible for a moment. Alana’s breath fled and heat burned over her. She had never seen such an enticing, yet forbidden sight. The flat rippled plain of his chest and stomach led down to a narrow, dark trail of hair that pointed toward fascinating masculine parts betwixt his legs. Quickly, he draped the plaid over his shoulder, and it hung to his knees in front.
His straight, jet-black hair brushed his broad shoulders. Eyes, dark as a midnight sky, stared a hole through her, though she was certain he couldn’t see her face beneath the cloak and deep cowl over her head. The men of her family had ever overreacted and made her travel concealed in this manner, to ward off those who would see her beauty and take her hostage, they claimed.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“Duncan MacDougall. And who are you?” His deep voice held a stronger, more northern Highland accent than she herself possessed. She found his tongue-rolling burr captivating and wished to hear more of it.
“Alana.” She would not reveal her clan name and position for her own safety. “You saved my life.” What a daft thing to say. She hoped he couldn’t see her blush.
“Aye.” A hint of a grin gave his rugged face a boyish charm. He was perhaps the most handsome man she had ever beheld, with his high cheekbones, wide sensual mouth and square jaw.
“I’m grateful to you.”
The plaid draped from his shoulder, covering the left half of his chest and the manly parts between his legs. His right thigh was visible as was his hip. How strangely exciting to see parts of a man such as were usually concealed. She yearned to see more.
His muscled arms and massive shoulders attested to his warrior training. But her mind kept drifting back to his groin. Well-endowed was how she would describe him, nothing like the stable lad she had called lover a few years ago. That was the secret she must never allow Kinnon MacClaren to learn. He must think her a virgin.
“How did you carry me through the air? What kind of creature are you?” she asked the sinister stranger.
He smirked. “’Tis a secret.”
Duncan MacDougall possessed a fearsome magic. Clearly. How else would such a feat be possible? She was skilled in the mystical healing arts, but she’d never before known of a person who could do something so remarkable as vanish or fly.
“Why did those white horses stampede from the loch?” she asked.
“They are kelpies, water demons who emerge at night.”
“So they do exist,” she mused. She’d heard tales of kelpies all her life, but she’d thought they were simply legends.
She forced her gaze away from Duncan’s appealing form and down to her hands, where she still held the precious herb she’d risked her life for. Her stranglehold had crushed some of the leaves and their strong aroma filled the air. “Again, I thank you for saving my life. How will I repay you?”
“No repayment necessary.” His deep murmur threatened to seduce her.
Alana dared not look at him again. She feared he was casting a spell upon her with his wicked eyes and sensual voice. Kinnon MacClaren was the man she would marry, though she didn’t know if he was as striking and tempting as this man.
A short distance to the south, the voices of her maids echoed as they shouted her name.
“Will you return me to my party now? They grow worried.”
“Where are you headed?”
Unable to resist, she drank in the sight of his pleasing face again. “Castle Claren,” she said.
“Castle Claren? Why?” he demanded. Duncan’s arrow-sharp tone startled her. Something was amiss. She had revealed dangerous information. “Maids.” Alana swallowed hard. “The chief has hired us as his new maids.” Her palms sweated. She clenched her right hand, only now realizing she’d dropped her dagger.
He frowned, his expression becoming harsh. “Remove your cowl, lass.”
Nay. She had to escape him. Turning her head, she slid a glance toward her party. Could she flee to them before he grabbed her? When she faced Duncan again, he stood beside her, close enough to touch.
He grasped her shoulder and yanked the cowl from her head, pulling her hair.
“Ow! Unhand me!”
His sinister gaze speared hers, his face inches from her own. His jaw tightened, and before he could conceal it, lust, greed and—could it be?—dismay played over his features. He was like all other men, then, wanting what he could never have. Quickly, he blanked his expression and pushed the front of her cloak back to reveal her fine clothing.
“I knew you were a noblewoman. No need to hide the truth. Now, tell me, Lady Alana, what business have you with the MacClaren?” He spoke low and close to her ear, his hot breath sending icy chills through her body. His tight hold made her heart beat fast as a bird’s wings.
She yanked backward, but his grip proved unbreakable. “I am to wed Laird Kinnon MacClaren,” she said through clenched teeth. “And if you do not release me, he will seek retribution.”
Duncan’s eyes narrowed. “Is that so?”
“Aye.” She could talk her way out of this thorny situation. ’Twould not be the first time. And though this knave seemed a bit dangerous, he did not have an evil air about him.
“Why did MacClaren not fetch you himself?”
“I know not. He sent his men. Do you know him?”
She wanted to ask what MacClaren was like, but doubted Duncan would tell her the truth. “Allow me to return to my party now.” She drew in a breath, and for the first time, detected his scent above the medicinal aroma of the plant in her hand. Warm, spicy and masculine—a tantalizing fragrance she’d never smelled the likes of before and which spoke to an instinct deep within her. Like when someone who had not eaten in a fortnight smelled freshly baked bread covered in butter and honey. Without logic, she wished to bury her nose against his neck, inhale deeply and taste him.
Was she daft? He was a stranger, and a violent one at that.
“I cannot do that,” he murmured in a voice that blended with the night, dusky and deep.
Laird of Darkness copyright 2011 Nicole North. Published by Carina Press.
Thanks for checking out my post and excerpt!