Eve Lauren is seeking solace from the pain of a broken heart with a vacation in Finland. What she finds there is a world of sex and love she never knew existed. Filled with over-the-top passion, The Sanctuary is Book 1 of Eros’ Edge, the intense, new romance series from author Arika Stone.
Eve Lauren has it all — an elite New York City wedding and event planning business and a fabulous jet-setting life. When she discovers her fiancé, Jude Wright, cheated, she loses the joie de vivre for everything wedding related and gives up on ever finding romance. She escapes to Helsinki for vacation — a place she describes as “moody and dark.” It’s exactly how she feels after being burned by Jude.
Val Ruska isn’t looking for love. Infamous for being one of the most elusive rock stars to bed, the musician turned brooding artist can have any woman he wants, but doesn’t. Not any woman will do. But he’s intrigued by Eve, a single American woman dining alone, and invites her to dinner.
Val rocks Eve’s world as hard and fast as the music he plays. Eve explores her deepest erotic fantasies with him and finds a side of herself that she didn’t know existed. Their relationship causes Eve to question everything she believes about sex, love, and starting a family. Val can give her everything she’s ever dreamed of, if she’s willing to submit to his desires. But is she ready to give up her life in exchange for his? Reality sinks in when she returns to New York City and Jude seizes the opportunity to win her back—but Val isn’t so eager to let her go.
Content Notes: Intense, Anal Play, Anal Intercourse, D/s Elements, D/s Elements Dubious Consent, Lifestyle, Sexual Fetish, Non-Sexual Graphic Violence, Spanking, BDSM, Contemporary, Musicians
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I visited Finland in 2008 and fell in love with the country, the culture, the people, the food – even the music. During a rock concert for the band HIM (Finland), the song Venus Doom actually inspired the first chapter the lyrics (“show me a life worth living for” and “give her a kiss worth dying for”). Over the years I met and became close to a friend who also happened to be a musician who lived in Helsinki. I visited him often and we trekked all over Finland from Helsinki to Turku, Tampre to Jyväskylä – even up to the arctic circle. It was an adventure and one that I will always cherish. While the book wasn’t written based on our friendship – there are certain instances from real life that were brought into the book – such as my love for Fazer’s truffles, how Helsinki looks like a Norman Rockwell painting during Christmas time, how one of the only places to eat during the holidays was a little Indian restaurant in the city center. You’ll find sprinklings of reality thrown into the 98% fiction book.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main character Eve was someone I always wanted to be – a famous wedding planner. While I’m in the industry, I don’t plan weddings – I supply the items for them. I did jet set to Finland due to a case of a broken heart, but not because he cheated on me. After those basic facts, Eve kind of blossomed on her own and became her own character.
As for the hero, Val Ruska (Stage name Valo Ruska / real name Valentino Ruskanen) his name was based off of the Finnish words Valo which means “light” and Ruska which means “the changing colors of the fall” – which was significant to me because Val is the light that brightens Eve’s dreams and the book takes place during the fall to winter transformation. So Val’s name was picked out with a purpose. Of course, if you’re speaking of looks, Val could look like Johnny Depp, Ville Valo, Tom Hiddleston (as Loki), or as he was described in the book: a young Jim Morrison.
I stepped out of the tub and wrapped a towel around myself. I was certain this time I would be able to secretly observe him. I pulled down my hair, letting it fall naturally around my face. I tiptoed out and lingered in the shadows.
The moonlight’s rays beamed beauty around him as he sat playing for me. I watched his long, strong, graceful fingers cascade gently across the keys. His head was tilted to the side. His eyes were halfway drawn, as if he was remembering how we began. His lips moved slowly, mouthing each word to the song.
I stepped into the light and dropped my towel.
He turned, removing his hands from the piano. “God, Eve, you’re beautiful.” He patted the bench gently. “Come here.”
I walked over, confident in my stride, and sat down next to him. “Do I still tempt you as much as I did then?”
He leaned into me, and our lips met in a fiery, hot embrace. He drew his hands to both sides of my face, holding me to him.
I pulled back, stood up, and sauntered to our bed. I slid backward on it and gestured with my finger. “Come here.”
He rose and slowly walked to me, only pausing to slip out of his pants. He leaned down, his tall six-foot-two frame devouring me. I shifted back to the center of the bed so we would have more room to play.
He crawled on his knees across the bed, like a lion hunting its prey. He leaned onto me, kissing me on my neck. He pressed down, and I opened wider to allow him to fall into my body. He kissed me again, covering me with soft, sweet kisses.
“You’re beautiful.” He kissed me on the nose. “And you still taste like bubbles.”
My hands rested gently on the nape of his neck. His hair felt like spun silk between my fingers. “Do you remember what you told me right before we made love? You asked me what I wanted. Ask me again, Val.” I gently nibbled at his ear. “Ask me…”
He shifted away slightly. His cock was getting harder by the second. He looked into my eyes. “Tell me what you desire.”
“I desire you.”
He moved closer, our noses nearly touching, staring me in the eyes. “Tell me what you want.”
His cock throbbed against me, sending a surge of wetness between my legs. “I want you, Val.”
His hand reached down and grabbed my breast, squeezing it, testing the waters. “Tell me what you need.” His gaze was electrifying.
“I need to feel you inside of me.”
He breathed in heavily and bit his lip, containing his groan. His hand slid down my back, arching me up into him. He grabbed my ass and thrust my groin into him, his cock fully erect and waiting for its release.
“Tell me, Eve, what do you need?” he asked again, lips grazing mine.
“I need you to make me whole again.”
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