Poor Firebird, it’s often lost in the shadow of my other, more controversial ballet-themed book, Mercy, even though Firebird has its own charms. Firebird is a very sweet romance, and it was the first book I wrote that was based on the romance of collaboration. (Cirque du Minuit was another one.) There’s something about working together with another person to create a work of art that is just sexy to the core.
Ballet, too, lends itself to eroticism and especially BDSM. Me and my reader Maryara (waves wildly) were talking about this dance/BDSM connection last week. Dancing with another person is always power exchange. Add the sadistic and masochistic elements of what they put their bodies through, and the discipline required to be successful, and the book practically writes itself. I have started on a third ballet-themed book tentatively called Waking Kiss. So far it’s more Mercy than Firebird, but we’ll see how it all pans out.
One thing I love about Firebird is the way Jackson and Prosper try to keep things professional in the beginning when there’s such a strong undercurrent of desire underneath. For today, I immediately went to this scene that takes place during their first practice together as dancer and choreographer.
She moved to the center of the room. It was called the small rehearsal room, but it wasn’t small, only not as large as the larger rehearsal hall where the company took class and where entire ballets were rehearsed in front of the mirror. This room was only mirrored on one side. He turned her toward it.
“So you know the basic story of Firebird?”
“Yes, pretty much. The prince finds her in a garden, dances with her—”
Prosper fell silent.
“He captures her and refuses to release her unless she agrees to return when he asks.”
“Yes.” She nodded. “A very practical monarch.”
“Yes, practical, but also selfish. And driven to subdue a creature both weaker and more powerful than himself.”
He watched as a blush crept across the back of her neck. My God, she was so close he could smell her, fresh soap and faint perfume.
“But you’re not dancing the prince,” he said, collecting himself. “And really, his story doesn’t concern you. After you tell him the secret of how to defeat Kostchei and rescue his princess, you fly away, and he’s left with his safe, proper wife.”
“But I think he remembers the Firebird his whole life. Do you know why?”
She turned her head, the blush spreading across her cheeks. “Why?”
“Because she was the only creature of her kind he’d ever seen in his life.”
She drew in a soft breath. He was going to lick her in a moment, all the way from her nape up to her staid ballerina bun. Focus. Show her what to do, instead of staring at her neck and imagining a collar there.
I love, love, love tension between characters at the start of a romance! If you haven’t read Firebird, check it out. It’s not hardcore kink but there are some very sexy BDSM scenes, and tons of delicious tension and drama. Firebird was a finalist for the Golden Crown award a few years back, and that was also very cool. Click the book cover below to read the blurb and find buy links.