Her Dark Viking
By Ashe Barker
After she is captured by Viking raiders, twenty-five-year-old Mairead is left with no choice but to depend on Gunnar Freysson, the battle-hardened leader of the Norsemen, to protect her and her young children. Though he makes it clear that she is his property to do with as he pleases, Gunnar shows remarkable concern for Mairead’s wellbeing, and when she risks her life in a dangerous attempt at escape he does not hesitate to strip her bare and spank her soundly.
The strict punishment leaves Mairead thoroughly ashamed yet helplessly aroused, and when Gunnar takes her in his arms and claims her properly she cannot deny her body’s response to his dominant lovemaking. As the days pass, Mairead realizes that Gunnar cares for her deeply, and despite her situation she finds herself falling in love with the stern, handsome warrior. But can she truly give her heart to the man who took her from her home?
Publisher’s Note: Her Dark Viking is a stand-alone sequel to Her Rogue Viking. It includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
I have always been fascinated by Vikings. Strong, sexy warriors, ruthless, dominant and determined – what’s not to like? It was only a matter of time before I wove a story around these fierce raiders who rampaged through Scotland and England for over three centuries, eventually settling and leaving their indelible mark on our history.
A Viking raid was indeed a ferocious affair. They relied on what would nowadays probably be termed ‘shock and awe’ swooping in from the sea on their fast dragon ships to attack with vicious and deadly effect. The Nordic raiders would be gone almost as swiftly as they arrived, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The modern equivalent would be a helicopter attack on a sleepy rural village by SWAT teams armed with automatic weapons– the local people would hardly know what hit them.
I have employed a certain amount of poetic license, but in writing this series of stories I have been determined to recreate the Viking era to the best of my ability – their homes, their clothing, what they ate, how they lived. I hope readers will be as entranced as I am by these creative and charismatic raiders, and perhaps forgive them their more outrageous little foibles.
1. So, tell us a bit more about Gunnar. His appearance is fearsome, but is he a softie at heart?
I wouldn’t exactly call Gunnar soft, but he picks his battles and he is gentle with those weaker than himself. He is fascinated by Mairead from the moment he sets eyes on her but she doesn’t know that so she has every reason to fear him when he carries her off as a slave.
2. How many books have you written? Are they all historical or spanking fiction?
I have over forty titles out now, and they are all erotic stories. About a dozen of them are historical novels. Some have more of a BDSM vibe going on and some are spanking/domestic discipline. At first I wrote just contemporary stories, then I started adding a few historicals and sci-fis. I love the variety.
3. Why do you enjoy writing historical fiction?
History was my favourite lesson at school, though some periods are more fascinating to me than others. I always preferred the medieval or even earlier times, though the Victorians were an interesting bunch too. But the Viking era is my current favourite and Her Dark Viking is the second in a series the three linked novels set among these Nordic warriors and the sassy Celts who bring them to their knees.
In many ways life was simpler in the past, if a lot more brutal, and of course some of the moral issues we would have to deal with in a contemporary setting don’t apply. Inequality was the norm. Women were expected to obey – or else. A spanking author can have a field day.
4. What advice would you have for writers who decide to try their hand at erotica?
I’d tell them to have a go, but to have a decent thesaurus to hand. And an internet connection. Youtube is the erotica writer’s friend.
5. Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I try to be fairly ordered about it. I like to be at my desk (well, more accurately the kitchen table) laptop fired up and coffee to hand, by nine in the morning and I tend to write for most of the day then. There are also a lot of related tasks to keep on top of, mainly to do with promo or research, or keeping in touch with readers and other authors. It’s definitely a full-time job for me.
6. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think it was always there, though I only started writing properly about three years ago. I have always tended to plot stories in my head though, often when sitting in traffic jams on my daily commute. I now work at home so all that time spent inhaling exhaust fumes is finally paying off.
The fierce Norseman paused beside Mairead and she held her breath. Surely he would release her too. Once again this unlikely protector would free her from the horror of Viking brutality. He had to. She prayed in silence, awaiting the command to flee.
Perhaps her prayers might have been heeded had her unborn babe not chosen that precise moment to deliver an almighty kick. Mairead gasped and lurched forward, to be caught in the firm grip of the Viking. His hands on her elbows, he steadied her and murmured something incomprehensible but not ungentle either. Mairead opened her mouth to thank him, but the infant was not to be ignored. Another solid thump from within her swollen abdomen caused her to flinch and she was certain the movement was discernible by those around her should anyone care to observe.
The Viking observed. One dark brow lifted in surprise, then in understanding as he realised what had caused her to stumble. He lowered his gaze to her distended middle and watched the intimate display of lumps and bumps as the child again made his presence felt.
Mairead was mortified. She was embarrassed, humiliated and above all terrified of the consequences of drawing the fascination of this ferocious warrior. And fascinated he was. His lip quirked in a grin of genuine amusement when her belly lurched again. He met her gaze and he smiled at her.
The smile transformed his appearance. She had known this fearsome man was handsome, in a rugged and savage sort of manner, his jaw strong, his eyes almost black and exuding a cruel authority which both attracted and repelled her. Now, he was simply breath-taking.
“Gorvel?” He spoke softly, the intonation suggesting a question though she did not understand his words.
“I am sorry…”
“Gorvel?“ he repeated, this time extending the flat of his hand towards her belly. He raised his brows and waited. It was as though he sought permission, though of course that was impossible.
Except – he wanted to touch her. Mairead could only assume her captor wished to feel for himself the insistent wriggling and kicking from within. He could have simply laid his hands on her body and there would have been nothing she might do to prevent it, but instead he sought her consent.
Baffled, Mairead nodded.
The Viking placed his palm on her belly, then grinned widely as the babe executed what felt to Mairead to be a fair rendition of a Scottish jig. He adjusted his stance, looking from her face to her belly and back again as the child shifted in her womb. He said something else to her but she could not understand him. She did, however, know that the baby had altered position and much movement was now taking place lower down. He would miss it if she did not…
Mairead took hold of the Viking’s leather-clad wrist and shifted his hand down her belly to the spot where he would find more activity. No longer afraid, she waited, motionless, as he pressed his large palm against her.
The babble which surrounded them, the chaos and confusion, the terror and despair melted into a vague and distant fog for Mairead as she and the dark Viking stood together in silence, united in their shared experience of the baby’s kicking. Long moments passed, until at last the child went still once more, clearly exhausted. With a wry smile the Viking offered her what might have passed for a polite bow, and he strode away.
More about Ashe Barker
USA Today best-selling author Ashe Barker has been an avid reader of fiction for many years, erotic and other genres. She still loves reading, the hotter the better. But now she has a good excuse for her guilty pleasure – research.
Ashe tends to draw on her own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to her plots and characters. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea.
Ashe lives in the North of England, on the edge of the Brontë moors and enjoys the occasional flirtation with pole dancing and drinking Earl Grey tea. When not writing – which is not very often these days - her time is divided between her role as taxi driver for her teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, tortoises. And a very grumpy cockatiel.
At the last count Ashe had over forty titles on general release with publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, and several more in the pipeline. She writes M/f, M/M, and occasionally rings the changes with a little M/M/f. Ashe’s books invariably feature BDSM. She writes explicit stories, always hot, but offering far more than just sizzling sex. Ashe likes to read about complex characters, and to lose herself in compelling plots, so that’s what she writes too.
Ashe has a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keeps thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from her.
Ashe loves to hear from readers. Here are her social media links:
Or you can email her direct on firstname.lastname@example.org
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