Oh, how I love my villain in The Pleasure Device, Dr. Julius Christopher.
But is he really a villain? He’s sexually aggressive, a little kinky, and far too ambitious, but deep down inside there’s a little spark of humanity. I’ll be exploring that little spark in Book 3 of The Harwell Heirs. But for now, with Book 1, The Pleasure Device, you get to see his villainous side.
What does Julius look like? Here comes the gratuitous Doctor Who reference! I didn’t have anyone specific in mind when I wrote the part (unlike heartthrob hero Nicholas). Over the last couple of years, though, my husband and I have been watching the BBC series Doctor Who. We started with the first episode from 1963 (as of this writing we’re up to Colin Baker as the 6th Doctor). When I first saw Roger Delgado as The Master, I knew I had my Julius.
Julius may be a taller and leaner, but he’s every bit as suave, seductive, and villainous as Delgado’s (perfect) Master.
In this snippet, we see Julius from Sophia’s perspective. Sophia Phillips is Helena’s mother and, yes, is married. The idea of extramarital attraction can be a challenge for both readers and writers. But this is erotica. (The story of Sophia and her husband, Joseph is told in (the upcoming) Book 2 of my series, and their “unique arrangement” is touched upon.)
The setup: This scene takes place at the same ball as the earlier snippets, where Nicholas and Helena first see each other. Sophia is talking with her friend Lady Charlotte Banbury. The scene has been edited to conform to the “rules” of Snippet Sunday*.
“Sophie, dear, see that man with the French beard?”
“The handsome one with a touch of gray?” The man was clearly far too old for her daughter, and Sophia had been afraid that Society’s matrons might suggest a middle-aged man as the most suitable match. He was, however, she had to admit, very attractive. Very attractive.
She sighed quietly. Living apart from her husband for months on end had prompted them to arrive at a unique arrangement. She indulged him his peccadillos, and he allowed her to have her own. Neither discussed the matter nor questioned the other, unless there were complications.
And the devastatingly handsome man with the beard looked as if he could be complicated.
*Snippet Sunday: promoted on Twitter as #SnipSun, #SnipSunday, or #SnippetSunday, and on Facebook, as well as on various blogs (just type Snippet Sunday in your favorite search engine and see what comes up!). Authors post just a snippet — six to ten sentences — of a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Lots of different genres are represented — romance, mystery, thriller, sci fi, fantasy, erotica, and more.
[Photo credit: The original Master played by Roger Delgado. Source: The Doctor Who Site. http://www.thedoctorwhosite.co.uk/wp-images/doctorwho/300/about/moment-6.jpg Probably a BBC production still. Used as low resolution thumbnail for research purposes only.]