The last in a fabled line of otherworldly aristocracy, the Lords of Satyr are born to wealth, power, and a talent for sensual delight that mere mortals only dream of. Commanded to marry, these passionate men will travel to Rome, Venice, and Paris--and along the way will explore desires both shamelessly wicked and blissfully divine. . .
As A Lover, His Skills Are Legendary. . .
The middle brother, Raine, is both sensual and stoic. Scarred by once taking a wife who could not accept his carnal needs, he wants no part in another marriage. But duty commands that he fulfill his promise to wed King Feydon's second daughter, Jordan. . .
But In Matters Of The Heart, He Has Much To Learn. . .
The loyal satyr begins a search that leads him from Tuscany to romantic Venice, where his beautiful bride awaits, unaware of what passionate delights fate has planned for her. Raine is careful not to reveal his powerful satyr sexuality, for fear of driving yet another woman away. But unbeknownst to him, Jordan is no ordinary woman and was born with an insatiable appetite for love. And as Raine's heart begins to melt for her, how long will he be able to hide his true nature when Jordan seems to want him so fiercely?
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RAINE: THE LORDS OF SATYR
By ELIZABETH AMBER APHRODISIA BOOKS Copyright © 2008 Elizabeth Amber
All right reserved.
Chapter One Venice, Italy September 1823
Jordan shifted on the wooden chair upon which she'd been carefully posed, causing the drape over it to slip sideways and slither into a heap on the floor.
The artist's charcoal paused.
"Sia tranquillo!" he snapped. "Be still, can't you?"
"Simple enough for you to say," Jordan grumbled, retrieving the drape and attempting to pat it back into some semblance of its former placement. "I've been sitting in this position for so long I'm stiff as a sailor's cock."
The artist flexed his charcoal-smeared fingers. "Taci! Silenzio, you vulgar creature! No one's forcing you to come here and display yourself in such a manner."
His charcoal resumed its scratching upon the sheet of vellum perched on an easel before him.
"No. Of course not," Jordan murmured solemnly. "I do so thoroughly enjoy having my portrait sketched."
The artist shot her a probing glance that sought to permeate her disguise, as though it had suddenly occurred to him she might actually possess feelings. Then he waved a hand as though to flick any concern for her away.
"And well you should," he huffed. "I lower myself in doing this sort of work. Why, I've created portraits of the finest families in Venice! I've sketched the daughters of the Patricelli family. The sons of the Tuchero. Even descendants of the Medici!"
The artist nodded, then sighed and set about his task again. "But I'll not be signing the revered name of Vito Mondroli to this day's work, I can assure you of that."
"One can hardly blame you," Jordan agreed. The trace of levity in her voice went unnoticed. An artist at work was rarely a good conversationalist. She yawned and peered wearily from the eyeholes of her gilded bauta mask. She was exhausted.
Last night she'd had the dream again. As always, it had come to her in three parts. Not as connected acts in a theatrical play, but as three isolated and unrelated incidents.
First had come the long-eared brown rabbit.
Second, the droplets of blood splashed upon her thigh.
Then third and last, the ribbons had appeared. There were seven of them, in all the colors of the rainbow. They'd reached to her from a storm, beckoning like wild, elongated fingers. They'd come close to tease and caress her cheeks with their slippery, satiny smoothness. If she could only grab what they offered, they promised to pull her from the storm toward safety. Toward happiness.
The same dream had persisted every night for the past week, leaving her hollow-eyed today. She'd soon know what it all meant. Ever since she'd turned thirteen, such dreams-always in three parts-had come to her nightly, foretelling hints of the future.
It was late afternoon now, and Jordan wanted nothing more than to return home and seek her bed. But she had many hours yet to go here.
A dozen or so dramatic strokes of charcoal later, Vito Mondroli whipped the rectangle of vellum from his easel. With a twist of his fingers he flipped it toward her.
"There, what do you think?" He actually sounded like her opinion mattered.
Jordan angled her head, studying it. "I think my mama will most likely hang this one above the mantle in the grand salon facing the campo."
Mondroli looked scandalized.
"I'm joking," she assured him, rolling her shoulders and stretching her back. Really, the man had no sense of humor.
He pivoted his work back toward himself and scrutinized it. His eyes darted up to snag hers.
"You don't fool me," he said, scratching a finger along the bridge of his nose and leaving a trailing black smudge behind. "You may pretend you're not ashamed to be cursed with such a body, but under that mask I'll wager your cheeks are bright red."
He was right. Jordan was ashamed. But not of her body. Only of the fact that it was on display in this way.
At least Mondroli wouldn't have the satisfaction of seeing his barb had struck home, she consoled herself. He wouldn't dare attempt to see her expression below the mask.
Before Signore Salerno had left them alone in the theater together, he'd made it crystal clear to the artist that he wasn't to attempt to learn her identity or to take any liberties whatsoever with her person. Fear of losing a commission always kept the artists in line, were they tempted to touch.
Jordan rubbed her bottom and forced a jocular tone. "Only my rear cheeks are blushing I assure you, Signore Mondroli. But I imagine they're only numb from that last sitting."
This time the artist snorted in a manner that was almost a giggle, appearing as surprised to hear himself emit such a sound as she was. In the throes of amusement, his face contorted into unbecoming angles and his horse teeth were grotesquely exposed. It was most unattractive, and she vowed to herself not to make another jest in his presence.
Jordan surveyed the sheets he'd placed helter-skelter against the walls, standing them on edge along the oak plank floor of the stage as he'd finished. Each portrait captured a different angle of her.
Yet not one of them showed her shiny raven hair, which was cropped just above her shoulders, or her stubborn pointed chin, or the intelligent dark eyes that gazed from her mask.
"They're good," she told him honestly, for they were. "Considerably better than the artist Salerno engaged last year."
Like the progeny of many other wealthy Venetian families, Jordan had sat for more than one portrait. In fact, every year of her life on the fifteenth of September, a series of sketches had been made of her.
However, unlike the portraits of other wealthy young Venetians, Jordan's would never be hung in her family home. Or in a museum. Nor would it be sold in the Venetian piazettas where artists hawked their wares.
Her mother would never view the drawings she'd insisted Jordan sit for today. She wouldn't even allow Jordan to speak of the events of this day. Though her mother might choose to ignore what happened here in this theater, Jordan didn't have that luxury.
If her mother had asked, she could have told her that each year Salerno commissioned an artist to create her likeness, so the smallest changes in her body would be recorded. In the forthcoming months, he would take these portraits of her on tour to other lecture halls in other cities. The success of his business interests all rested on his exclusive access to the notorious creature he exhibited to the public every September-herself.
For as long as she could remember, her mother had told her in no uncertain terms that her birthday belonged to Salerno. It had been promised to him on the very day Jordan had entered the world as a babe, in exchange for his ongoing silence on an indelicate family matter only she, her mother, and he were privy to. Were this secret to get out, it would destroy all three of their carefully constructed lives in an instant.
"Bah, the creator of those other sketches was an incompetent," said the artist, breaking into her thoughts. She turned to find him admiring his own work. "I apprenticed under a master before the French came. I enjoyed the patronage of the finest families in Venice and beyond."
"So you said," Jordan noted.
He clucked morosely and shook his head. "But Venice is poor these days. Patrician families are selling art, not commissioning it. I take such work as I can find. When Signore Salerno offered to hire me-"
His words drifted off as the sound of distant voices reached them. Both their heads swiveled toward the curtain, trying to hear beyond it to the seating area of the small theater.
The voices and accompanying footsteps grew louder.
Jordan's eyes dilated. "They're coming," she whispered.
"Fretta! Affrettarsi! Up on the table," Mondroli urged, fluttering both hands in distress. "I have one last sketch to complete."
Ignoring him for the moment, Jordan went to the velvet curtains that separated the small stage where she and the artist were hidden from the rest of the dimly lit theater. She stroked a finger down the central slit where the two drapes met when closed as they were now. One of her dark eyes peered out.
As she watched, Salerno strode into the theater, looking important and successful in his white surgeon's coat. It was an affectation. There would be no surgery today, only discussion. "A medical investigation" was the wording he had used on the notices he had distributed in order to advertise today's event to barber-surgeons, hospitals, and other such establishments. The leaflets were effective, drawing learned men of science and medicine to see her, like flies to a carcass.
His coattails fluttered as he strutted down the corridor dividing the theater seats. His hair had thinned since she'd seen him last year. The dark shank of it that remained was slicked back from his head like oily feathers.
A V-shaped flock of medical men followed in his wake as if they were a formation of geese that had begun migrating now that September had come.
Salerno's sharp gaze cut to the curtain as though sensing she watched. His small eyes were cold black pits, void of empathy.
Jordan's head snapped back like a turtle's and she twitched the drape shut.
"Per favore-on the table!" the artist urged.
Carefully, she folded the edges of the curtains one atop the other as though to seal Salerno out of her life. If only it were that easy.
With a sigh, she turned back to Mondroli. "How do you want me this time?"
"On your back! On the table, please!" He spread the square of satin he'd taken from the chair over the top of an elongated table. "Signore Salerno requested a series in all the same positions as in these other portraits of you. The only one I have not yet completed is ..."
He thumbed through a stack of likenesses done of her last year, plucked one out, and set it upon another easel nearby. "This one."
The portrait was only a partial view, she saw. Good. That meant it wouldn't matter if she put her shirt back on. She looked around for it and then remembered Salerno had removed her clothing when he'd left her with Mondroli earlier that morning.
A cloak hanging on the peg in the corner caught her eye. Detouring on her way to the table, she snatched it up and draped it over her shoulders. It was rich and fine. No holes or other defects marred its velvet or its satin lining. It was Salerno's.
Jordan turned her back to the table and sat, pulling herself up on it. Swiveling lengthwise, she lay on her back and snuggled the cloak around her shoulders and breasts. They wouldn't be depicted in this particular sketch.
The legs of the artist's chair scraped as he moved closer. She bent her knees high and wide, exactly as she'd been posed in the portrait from last year. Mondroli positioned himself like a midwife, his sketchpad resting on the table just between her ankles.
"Si, that's it." He flicked a glance at the other portrait. "And spread your, um-"
"Labia majora and minora," Jordan supplied, reaching between her legs. Over the years, she'd learned all the medical terms for her body parts from Salerno and those he brought to examine her.
Mondroli was already sketching her outline. Once he filled it in, his final drawing would be a close-up of her genitalia. He'd cropped her body so the resulting shape of her belly, nether regions, and lifted thighs formed a sort of M on his page.
Forking two fingers, she unfurled the ruffles of her labia. They were plump and full. Unusually full. In fact, whenever she stood, they hung low on either side of her slit. Turning her head to the side, she glanced at the portrait from last year. It was an accurate, detailed depiction, and showed her labia had been far thinner and more feminine then. What had caused this strange thickening? It was worrisome.
Mondroli cleared his throat. Flicking two fingers up and down, he gestured toward her crotch. "Your, uh, thing. It's in the way."
With her hand, Jordan reached to adjust that part of her that had so complicated her life-the shaft of masculine flesh that had grown from her body where a clitoris would have been on any other woman. She lifted it to lie on her abdomen, pointing its tip toward her navel as it had been in the other portrait. Far too large an appendage for a woman, yet rather small for a man, the presence of this rod forever doomed her to hover in limbo somewhere between the sexes. Not quite a man; not quite a woman.
Yet at her birth, a choice in gender had been made for her. It had been decided by her mother and Salerno that this appendage would be deemed a phallus. And that she would live her life as a male. Of late she had begun to fear they had been more accurate in their choice than they knew.
Ever since her labia had first thickened some ten months ago, her phallus had begun troubling her. It sometimes awakened, thickened, pulsed, yearned in the pitch of night. When the dreams came to haunt her.
"Esteemed colleagues!" Beyond the curtains, Salerno's voice boomed throughout the theater.
Jordan and the artist flinched simultaneously. She snatched her hand away from arranging her privates as though she'd been caught doing something naughty.
"Today you will witness a true marvel," Salerno proclaimed. "One you'll surely deem worthy of your travels here for this medical debate. For behind this very curtain, I have obtained for the purposes of medical study, a"-he paused here for dramatic effect-"person-of a nature you've likely not seen before, nor ever will again. Some may call such creatures monstrosities ..."
He droned on, but Jordan tuned him out. She'd heard it all before. "If only he could locate conjoined twins and a goatboy as well, I do believe he'd have the makings of his own carnival exhibition," she muttered.
The artist ignored her, intent on finishing his work. His fingers moved furiously, his strokes more hurried now that he knew his time at his task was drawing to an end.
Jordan watched him work between her legs, wishing he would slow his pace. She dreaded the examination that would certainly follow this portrait session. However, at the same time, she longed for an explanation for the changes that had taken place in her body over the past year. And Salerno and his medical cohorts could undoubtedly supply one.
Salerno's voice rose, catching her attention and signaling the imminent unveiling.
She let the cloak drop away, revealing her nakedness. Pushing up on her elbows, she awaited what was to come.
"Gentlemen! I bid you behold-"
The curtain swayed as her tormentor tugged on its tasseled pull cord. The heavy velvet parted and swept back with a flourish. And Salerno's gloating voice introduced her as ...
Chapter Two Achoo! Achoo! Achoo!
Lord Raine Satyr-the secondborn of the three wealthy and sought-after Satyr lords-sneezed in triplicate. Pigeons scattered as he stalked across the expansive Piazza San Marco toward the streets that would lead him to the theater where the lecture he planned to attend was to take place.
Behind him, a pair of bronze figures clanged their hammers on the great bell in the clock at the top of the Campanile.
Five o'clock. It couldn't be. He pulled out his watch. It was.
By the seven devils, he was late! The afternoon lecture regarding the grapevine-destroying pest known as phylloxera would be well underway by the time he arrived. He disliked not being punctual. He disliked this cold. And he thoroughly disliked Venice at the moment.
Unsure as to how long his business might keep him here and not wishing to spend any more time in the city than necessary, he had taken rooms just southeast of Venice on the island of Lido. The palazzo hotel he'd chosen had once housed a wealthy family, but times were hard and they'd been forced to vacate when they could no longer pay their hefty tax bill. One of the Austrian interlopers, who'd come in the wake of the departing French, had bought the place and now rented its rooms to visitors who could afford such luxurious housing.
Excerpted from RAINE: THE LORDS OF SATYR by ELIZABETH AMBER Copyright © 2008 by Elizabeth Amber. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The story was original I believe. Erotic scenes were done well. Unfortunately, a few things stood out too much for me to completely enjoy it. And those are the things I wish to bring up for any possible buyers or renters. Personally, I wish erotic novels did not often have such obvious covers and instead had one inner picture like that, then again I'm a private person. Now, for the content. Although I got over the shock within...a day...I finally accepted that the heroine was a hermaphodite. That was my first shock to make me wonder what I had just bought. This is not surprise, trust me, it's revealed within the first few chapters. However, I was determined to finish the novel. Then I became sickened during one scene. Sorry for anyone who is upset by this, but I felt rather nauseous when I attempted to read the first rape scene. YES, the first of two. I do not mind the idea to be presented, like mentioning it in the story or the possibility but to have an actual scene written in greatly graphic detail of torment is just too much for me personally. I...skipped those pages because I couldn't handle that. Although some if it was great eroticism...the previous scene I mentioned ruined the book for me. And I wish to warn others that from what I've read elsewhere, do not believe the other books from the Lord of Satyr series are different. From my understanding of a review, Nicholas is worse in the whole rape department. I don't even care to check out Lyon's story to see. If you can handle those scenes though go ahead and read it. But these are not like the "rape" scenes in the Sleeping Beauty series, these are horrible, tormenting scenes. Without those scenes I wouldn't feel upset about owning the book...maybe I should rip them out. Sorry if I have ruined the novel for anyone, but I believe unknowing buyers should be aware just of what they are buying instead of accepting the vague premise.
Middle brother Raine Satyr has been burned by love before. He is very hesitant to follow King Feydons lash wish. All that changes when he meets Jordon. After confirming she is Fay, relieves him yet scares him. He wants to let her in, but is afraid of history repeating itself. He doesn't want to get burned again. Raines character is much different than Nick's. It also makes it that much more heartfelt and unique. Both characters are overcoming past hurts. There are those out there trying to keep them apart. The sex scenes are beyond anything I expected to read when I started this novel. Needless to say, I wasn't just shocked, but I was enticed. This is an awesome book.
La Maschera, Jordan Cietta, a male or female? Born a hermaphrodite, Jordan possessed both male and female genitals. With the help of the Doctor Salerno she was pronounced a boy even though she had female characteristics as well; the doctor did this so that Jordan¿s mother would inherit the Cietta fortune as well as further his own future of examinations and study. Jordan lived as a male in society, but every year on her birthday she was given up to Salerno for his studies, in her body and mind she was every bit female; but she could not forsake her mother and bring scandal down upon the Cietta name.
Raine, is the second of three Satyr brothers out in search of his mate. He is unwilling to marry again or even love at this moment, but has been told it is of great haste to find the daughter of the Faerie King before something horrible happens and marry her. He is turned on by the site of the person before him, but is she the one he seeks? With a hardened heart that begins to quickly melt, he must keep his Calling a secret from her in fear that she will turn away at the site of his transformation. Raine must also learn how to coax Jordan out of her insecurities of her male appendage while spending as much time as HE allows in her bed.
Raine and Jordan have not had things easy from the get-go, he is intrigued by her body, she is in love with a man as she now embraces the life of living as a woman, and then there is the death of her mother. There are still other evils that will try and tear the two apart. The dirty coveting syphilis carrying bishop, Salerno, and the three brothers made of stone all want Jordan in their grasp. Raine will do everything in his power to keep her to himself¿ even if he knew it was against everything he ever pledged upon finding La Maschera.
Raine by Elizabeth Amber is the second book in the Lords of Satyr series. It was absolutely breathtaking and phenomenal. I have never read an erotic book like this with the sex between a hermaphrodite and male, it was very titillating. Raine is not all erotic, and sex filled, it has great romantic touches, fantasy, an amazing story line detailed magnificently and it was very spot on with the winery details. Now I see why she occasionally gives wine as prizes in her drawings¿ that I still have yet to win LOL. I can¿t fault Ms. Amber for anything, I loved everything in this book from cover to cover. 5 Hearts
Contact Elizabeth Amber: www.myspace.com/elizabethamberromance
Raine, the second brother in The Lords of Satyr books relies on his keen olfactory abilities to locate the 2nd ElseWorld bride in Venice. However, he doesn¿t count on winding up with a cold. This makes it difficult to decide if the woman he meets near the Rialto bridge is the one meant for him. Or not. ----- They travel in a gondola across the lagoon to his hotel 'a very sexy scene between them in the gondola imo'. ----- Jordan, the heroine, and the bride he¿ll wind up with is highly unusual. I don¿t think it¿s spoiling anything to say she¿s a hermaphrodite, since it¿s revealed pretty quickly in the book. This makes for some very hot scenes between her and Raine. And it hits some social acceptance issues. I love that she¿s not ashamed of her body, and that Raine loves her and couldn¿t care less about her differences. I was riveted to the sometimes slightly shocking sex scenes. 'If you¿re not open to the unusual, this may not be the book for you.' ------- Another aspect of this book that I liked was the way the setting was described. I felt like the author really knew Venice in the time period of the 1800s and was giving me just enough info to set the action and romance in a good context. ---- Finally, I really like this author¿s writing style. ---- The first book, Nicholas, had some shocking moments, too, and I liked it just as much, maybe even a little more.
I read Lyon and Nicholas' story already and was putting of Raine because he is the middle brother and seemed so boring. BOY was I wrong. Raine is the strong quiet brother that doesn't talk much. He finds the sister, Jordan, he is to marry. Jordan has had a tough life. She was born with the equipment of a man and a woman. Because her mothers' husband died before Jordan was born she has had to hide her feminine side and live as a man so her and her mother could have rule over the estate. When Jordan sees Raine for the first time she is flabergasted at the run of emotions he brings out in her. She tries as she might to keep her "man side" away from him but he has known all along and is truly attracted to her completely.
I LOVED this story. True it may be a little racie for some but the story is a great one and is so well written I wish there was another brother to read about.
WHAT DREW ME TO THE BOOK WAS THE COVER. I WAS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO READ WHILE WAITING FOR BOOKS THAT WERE ORDERED TO ANOTHER SERIES TO COME IN. WHEN I STARTED THIS BOOK, I COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW IMMEDIATELY I WAS DRAWN INTO IT. AFTER READING IT, I HAD TO GO AND GET THE OTHER THREE BOOKS IN THE SERIES. IT TOOK MY MIND OFF EVERYDAY LIFE FOR A BIT AND IF YOU HAVE THE TIME TO READ, THIS IS ONE FOR THE BOOK LIST.
I did not enjoy the references to male/male sexual performances. I enjoyed her other books.
I bought Dominick first and I loved it so I decided to buy the other series. You would think because he is the middle brother he might be boring. Well he was the hottest. OMG! I loved the story. I could not put the book down. I was left wanting more!
I've read a gazillion romances and at least 1/3 were erotic, but I've never read another book with a hermaphrodite heroine! This was poignant and really different. Written well, with some very hot scenes. I liked that the heroine was a strong character and I believed she was meant for Raine and vice versa.
Very erotic and enjoyable. Raine searches out Jordan, the 2nd of the half-faeries, in Venice. He's the 2nd of the brothers and there'll be a 3rd book. I loved NICHOLAS (book 1) and this one is just as hot and well written. Jordan is not the typical romance heroine, but Raine is the one person who immediately accepts her strangeness and falls in love with her. I loved him and this book for that. This book is not for the narrow-minded or unadventurous. It's definitely erotic and unusual. Gorgeous cover as was the first book.
You must check this book out it is awesome.
A little surprising but liked the ending better then Series 1.
This is the apprentice den~•maplestar•~
I never thought i would like a book as crazy as this but it was great , i felt for jordan and all that she went threw , and raine you are a stand up man , must read ! 5 stars !!!