I arrived in Japan a virgin bride, heartsick and anxious beyond measure. Yet I embraced this perplexing world with my soul laid bare after uncovering an erotic, intoxicating power I hardly knew that I, Katie O'Roarke, possessed.
Japan was a world away from my tedious Western existence, a welcome distraction from my recent marriage to a cold and cruel husband. But when James attacked me in a drunken rage, I could tolerate it no longer.... I had no choice but to escape into the surrounding hills. I awoke in the arms of Akira, a young Samurai, and it was he who took me to Shintaro, the head of the powerful Samurai clan.
At first distrustful, Shintaro came to me every day for a fortnight until my need for him made my heart race at the very sound of his feet upon the wooden floor. He taught me the way of the Samurai--loyalty, honor, self-respect--and the erotic possibilities of inner beauty unleashed. It is his touch that shatters my virginal reserve, evoking danger and physical pleasures that linger beyond our fervent encounters. But James means to find me, to make me pay for his humiliation. I can no longer hide amongst the orange blossoms as rebellions rage, and as my own secret continues to grow....
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
February 01, 2010
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Blonde Samurai by Jina Bacarr
Mayfair, London 26 August, 1872
My extraordinary journey to embrace the way of the warrior began in a posh town house in Mayfair.
On my wedding night.
It was a London society affair replete with the trappings of engraved wedding invitations, cascades of floral abundance adorning the church pews and lavish gifts whose glitter dared not be anything but gold. And me with a diamond tiara atop my head ornamented with so many pear-shaped stones I creaked my neck trying to sit like a swan, though I was more the Yankee ugly duckling. Did I mention we had a bishop among the clergy presiding?
I can hear you groaning at my description, ready to toss the book aside before we land upon the silken earth of the Orient, fearing you have chanced upon the prim meanderings of a young matron lost in romantic illusions before she takes to her bed while her husband visits his mistress. I assure you this is no such missive. 'Tis fire and passion I reaped when I dared to abandon a life of privilege and taste for the way of the warrior. Riding the wind to meet the gods, slashing through the rain, my arms bending from the weight of the heavy steel sword in my grasp, a dirk nestled between my breasts near my heart. But I'm allowing my passion for this life to raise a fever in me and deliver me from the memory of what happened on my wedding night. It was a different instrument of pain that made me twitch and moan. An item worn and smooth and without the sharp point of the sword but just as accurate to reach its mark.
A black riding crop.
I shall never forget what should have been a night woven with satin threads and romance, wanton kisses and honeyed sighs. Instead, I was shocked to see my new husband racing up the stairs after a saucy redhead and whipping her plump backside. I ran and hid in a teak garderobe that smelled of whiskey and snuff and mold. A strange desire awakened in me, making me want to know more about this suggestive, mysterious world that disturbed me, stimulated me.
Are you shocked? Insulted? You're a young woman of good breeding, I hear you say, modest, shy. I'm Irish-American and proud of it, though too often my fiery race is dismissed with a cutting glance meant to be a public snubbing by stony-faced termagants suffering from the social disease of snobbery. I ignore them. I don't care about their political citadel with its perfunctory restrictions and bloodless debutantes in their swinging crinolines keeping their suitors at arm's length. I grew up riding bareback, my hands and face often gritty from digging into the wet, soggy bowels of the earth to feed our empty bellies before my father made his fortune.
I come from a hardworking, God-fearing family and never had it in my mind that I'd live in a posh house. But here I am, Thomas O'Roarke's daughter, Katie, hiding and holding her breath as she watches the intoxicating scene played out before her in this Mayfair town house. Not what I expected married life to be when I attended Miss Brown's School for Young Ladies, where I was bred to become a grand lady by the headmistress herself, Miss Herminone Tuttle. I wanted to please my mother (who so desperately wanted one of her daughters to make a successful marriage), so I dabbled in the folly of silks and corsets, gossip and scented notes, singing and drawing lessons, all necessities coveted by a girl of my nouveau riche status to furnish her female arsenal. Day after day Miss Tuttle lamented about my chatty nature, spurred on by my insatiable curiosity to question everything. Not wise, I discovered, for a girl born in a white frame house in the Pennsylvania woods, a plain girl with more brain than bosom who linked her dreams with her emotions and sensibilities. No wonder I was rejected by every eligible bachelor approved by the Knickerbocker Society matrons.
But it was my mother, dear soul that she is, who established my power base of teachers and dressmakers and embarked with me to London with one goal in mind: husband hunting. She emphasized to my suitors I had money and plenty of it. (My father is a railroad tycoon, a self-made man with more guts than schooling. He's a grand da, always encouraging me to be the inquisitive lass that I am. "Katie, me girl--" my father is fond of saying when we spar over a political issue "--you have more fighting spirit in you than any man I've met." How I love him.) But I had no real path, no realm laid out to pursue my dreams. I often asked myself, What is to become of me? We Irish often find ourselves taking up the more unsavory professions, such as following the life of an actor, or worse yet, a writer. 'Tis the gift of words bestowed upon us by the rulers of the heavens, and I be no exception. I find myself more oft than not in trouble because of it, but I can't keep my thoughts to myself. I speak before thinking, making my observations with a keen, dry wit and at times without tact, which is why I kept neither beau nor my mother's faith I'd ever make a match. No amount of primping and lavender water could take the smell of horses and hay out of this girl who crossed the Atlantic to find a husband among the British aristocracy.
To my mother's dismay, more than one London suitor complained I was too quick with the sassy remarks and too eager to express my opinion. She chided me for my boldness, emphasizing that eligible males were more interested in the sway of a girl's body than the wit of her words. Here again, I failed the test. I was taller than the fragile English girls paraded around the circuit for three months out of the year. Thin as paper doilies they were and each one cut from the same curlicue pattern. I was fair-haired and blue-eyed and cut a good figure with a small waist, though I had boyish hips.
Then the forces of nature took it upon themselves to present a delicate rearrangement of destiny (also known as the exchange of a great deal of money), and I received a proposal of marriage. As was more the custom than not in these hasty marriages, I went to the altar knowing little about my husband, save he had a title and a manner of looking at me that made my pussy burn with longing.
My hunger for romance proved to be my undoing when I allowed myself to be wooed by this deviant aristocrat with wild black hair and a slight limp. His chest and shoulders were broad and strong, his head held high as was his ego. I noticed the wide dimple in his chin deepened when he set his mouth in a grim line. Lord James Carlton was as handsome as a prince of the realm and he knew it. He exuded charm, though I would later discover this show of assuredness and sybaritic demeanor concealed a different side of him that when challenged erupted into a dark, decaying soul.
I knew none of this when I accepted his hasty proposal of marriage. Trying to hide my surprise as well as my girlish pleasure, I fancied myself in love with him and could not admit that what I felt was mere infatuation. What did I know about love? Nothing. What I didn't know I concocted into stories, romantic tales too often centering around an idealized heroine created out of an alchemist's bottle.
And now this display of bare skin and beautiful breasts and round buttocks askew before my eyes, what God himself had designed to covet the devil's lust, made my mouth drop. How can I explain to you the emotions racing through me? I was a young girl, barely nineteen, and though I rarely admitted it, I was rather naive about the ways of the world save for what enticing books I'd read in this house, their salacious descriptions never matching the rise of anticipation playing out before me. I couldn't take my eyes off the girl's buttocks. Red streaks crisscrossing her cheeks. Long, straight marks. A wild craving hungered deep within me, something I never expected, as if my dark alter ego was enjoying the pleasurable lashing. I never dreamed so innocent an item could induce such a look of pleasure on a young woman's face. Eyes closed, plum lips parted, jaw slackened, head back, glorious red hair tossed to and fro over her pale nude shoulders, her expression could only be described as saintly, as if the blows from the crop erased her sins from her soul and she floated toward the heavens in a state of spiritual ecstasy.
Hail Mary, full of grace...
I envied the freedom she possessed to accept the shadow of her other side, something I dared not do. Though I prided myself on my independence and my modern view of a woman's place in society I was, through no accomplishment of my own, Lady Carlton, wife of Lord James Carlton, his lordship born to Braystone House, a fifteenth-century limestone goliath situated somewhere in the Midlands and unknown to me.
As was this side of my husband.
A mischievous giggle escaped my lips. Who ever dreamed his lordship fancied a taste of the whip for his pleasure?