Author: Stylo Fantome
Series: The Mercenaries #1
Publisher: Battleaxe Production
Release Date: September 7, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Romantic Suspense
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Amazon UK
Purchase: Amazon CA
Purchase: Amazon AU
* Smuggle diamonds from Liberia to Morocco
* Make the trip in three days
* Don't get caught
* Don't kill each other
* Don't have sex with each other
* Don't fall for each other
* Stick to the plan
This is the story of what happens when an unlikely bond is formed between enemies, causing tensions to rise, and igniting a chemistry that threatens to burn them both. Together, they'll learn that sometimes even the best laid plans can fail.
If this NOVEL were a MOVIE, it would have an R rating from the MPAA. Contains: Violence, Grisly Images, Strong Language, Nudity, and Graphic Sexual Content.
“Hello?” she called into an entry way. It looked like someone’s home. There were a multitude of people lounging about the living room, all of them watching an old black and white television. Without looking away from the screen, an old woman got up and walked towards Lily.
“Room?” she asked, still watching TV.
“No. I’m looking for my friend, he -” Lily started.
“Third floor, third room on right. You stay longer than two hours, I charge extra,” the woman warned her.
“Sounds fair to me.”
Lily slowly made her way up to his room. She didn’t want to come off as too eager. They’d been playing cat and mouse for a month under the assumption neither would get caught. Now that it was time to eat, she wasn’t quite ready to be the mouse.
The door to the third room on the right wasn’t locked. She was cautious as she opened the door, but the first thing she saw was the black duffle bag he’d taken off with, followed by the clothing he’d been wearing. She moved into the room and shut the door behind her.
She could hear water splashing around in the bathroom, so she took her time, looking over the space he’d been living in for the past month. It was simple. A room. A bed that was little more than a cot. A small table. One small chair. There had been electricity downstairs, but there didn’t seem to be any in his room. Three mismatched, stout candles were burning on the table, and those were the only light source.
The sound of water diminished to just a gurgling drain, so she made her way back towards the bathroom. Just as she grasped the knob, she felt it turn from the other side, and the door started to pull away. She smiled.
She lost her smile the same moment a hand wrapped around her neck. She let out a shriek as she was yanked around and slammed against a wall. The hand was replaced by a forearm, a much more effective body part for choking someone. She gritted her teeth, slapping at the arm that was restraining her.
“It’s me! It’s me!”
Marc looked surprised. And angry. He backed off a little and she sucked in gasps of air. His forearm moved to her collar bone, still holding her in place against the wall. She glared right back at him, resisting the urge to plant her knee in his testicles.
“What the fuck are you doing here!? How did you find me!?” he demanded, then his eyes darted around the room as if he thought she’d brought people with her.
“You weren’t exactly hard to follow, you idiot. You walked here,” she growled.
“I thought you were talking with Ivanov.”
“I was. It wasn’t a very long conversation.”
“I told you, I don’t let anyone know where I sleep,” he reminded her, his voice low.
“Well, I didn’t come here with any intentions of sleeping, so we’re still good.”
That got through to him and he finally smiled at her. The pressure from his arm let up, but he leaned more of his body against her, lining them up from the hips down.
“I told you to meet me at a bar,” he pointed out, lowering his head to brush his cheek against the side of hers, then dipping down to rub against her neck. She heard a sharp inhale, like he was smelling her.
“Sometimes I’m not very good at listening.”
“I have to be out of here in a couple hours.”
“I only need a couple hours.”
“That’s it? I had such high hopes for you.”
She snorted and moved her hands to his waist, yanking his towel away.
“And I had high hopes that your mouth would be good for something other than talking. So far, it’s a disappointment.”
His lips met hers in a way that made their first kiss seem like a church greeting. His tongue was present and forceful in her mouth, his hands moving to press heavily against her breasts. She moaned, reveling in the feeling of being touched. Of actually wanting to be touched.
She scratched her nails along his hips and went to dip down between them, but he was quicker, and he grabbed her wrists, slamming her arms against the wall above her head. She gasped and automatically tried to resist, but he just squeezed tighter, pushed harder. Cat and mouse was over, the roles had been established. If he didn’t want her to move, then she wasn’t going to be able to move.
Does that mean I’m in the mouse trap?
Marc is very heavily based on Tom Hardy from “Mad Max: Fury Road” and Lily is Jessica Chastain. Kingsley Law’s look is entirely based on Jude Law.
Who do you picture the characters like? Would love to see your dream cast!
This is very different from your previous work – what was your inspiration behind BLP and what kind of research went into writing this book?
I love love LOVE action movies. I wanted something kind of gritty and raw, but I didn’t want it to be something that’s been done, I didn’t want drugs or hitmen. So I went with diamond heist and mercenaries. I wanted Marc to sort of have that John McClane “Die Hard” feel, very “IDGAF and I’ll say whatever I want, no matter how un-PC”, and I wanted Lily to be beyond badass, almost an anti-hero in her own right.
SO MUCH research went into the book, I had no idea what I was getting into – I just started writing, and then I got to the scene where Marc was in the shower, towards the beginning, and after I wrote it I sort of had a “wait a minute …” moment and realized there was a distinct possibility they wouldn’t have running water. So I started researching Liberia. My mind was blown. So many things in the story changed after that point. I constantly had Google open in one window and Google Maps opened in another window. Virtually every place they go in the book is a real place. For example: when a hotel is described, it is based on a real hotel I found on Trip Advisor and then cross referenced on Google Earth. EVERYTHING was like that. Half of my brain lived in Africa for two months.
A list of 5 reasons why fans/new readers should pick up this book.
It’s different and it pushes boundaries, which I think everyone could do with a bit of, now and then
They might learn something they never knew about a different country, and learning is good
It’s a departure from my other works, but still has the erotica base that is my preferred genre (a.k.a. lots of steaminess haha)
It literally takes you on a journey
The summer is almost over – can’t end it without one last blockbuster big action flick!
What are you working on next? Can you give us a teaser/hint to book 2 in this series?
Book two is already written, it just needs to go through rewrites and edits and then it’s beta time! Next, I’m caught between two stories that I really want to work on – one dark, kind of going back to my Kane Trilogy roots. Weird love and crazy sex and uncomfortable emotions. The other is more romantic. Still angsty, more of the love-hate, will-they-won’t-they vibe. I don’t want to give anything away – it’ll be in a popular subgenre, but with a distinct twist, as I like to try to do with all my stories. Which will come next, I’m not sure, depends on which will speak to me the most. I hope to have something publish ready by March 2016.
Out of Plans Teaser
“You once said you would help me. Well, I need help,” Lily said.
“Of course, love. At your service,” Kingsley bowed his head.
“I want to learn everything. I want to be just as good as you. Just as good as him,” she added.
“Making you better than him will be easy, darling, but better than me? That’s impossible,” he teased. She rolled her eyes.
“And no flirting. Flirting is what got me into trouble in Africa. No flirting. No relationship. No sex,” she stressed. “Deal?”
“What deal? Sounds like you’re offering nothing in return,” he laughed, shaking her hand.
“Exactly. Sounds like a hell of a deal to me.”
“Dear god, you’ve already picked up on De Sant’s awful sense of humor. We have so much un-training to do,” Kingsley sighed.
“Whatever it takes. You train me, and I’ll help you in any way you want, with anything,” she offered.
“Mmmm, any way I want, huh,” his voice dropped low while his eyes wandered over her body.
“Look here, Law, I meant what I said – you touch me inappropriately even once, and I’ll break your hand in ways it can’t be fixed,” she warned him. He smiled and leaned close again.
“Ooohhh, I love it when you talk rough,” he hissed, sliding his bottom lip between his teeth.
“You won’t love it so much when I back it up with action. Now let’s get out of here.”