Character Crush: Nick Hardisty of The Hardest Word Series


Character Crush
Because Authors Have Crushes Too!

Thanks Samara for inviting me here to crush
on one of my favourite characters. I was spoilt for choice because I have some wonderful
characters who I really love, male and female, but I eventually settled on Nick
Hardisty for today’s little drool. Nick is my leading man from my current
series The Hardest Word. The first book in the series, A
Hard Bargain
, went on general release on 4 April, and book two came out
just yesterday on 2 May.

It was so hard to restrict myself to a
maximum of seven questions, but here goes. I chose some that I thought would
relate well to Nick, and to his part of the story.

1.
Does Nick believe in love?
I think Nick comes to
believe in love, though at the beginning he definitely doesn’t equate love with
Freya Stone. He likes her, he definitely wants to fuck her, and a whole lot
more besides, but that’s purely physical for him. His emotions aren’t engaged.
That said, she manages to get to him in ways he perhaps did not anticipate. He
is frustrated when she doesn’t return to the club after their first encounter
there, and despite his refusal to make any sort of arrangement with her he’s
the one to make the first move and get in touch. Even at that stage he’s being
reeled in, though neither of them realise it.

2.
What is the one thing Nick said he would never do, but did?
Nick flatly refused to become Freya’s BDSM trainer when she first
approached him. She offered to pay him for his services as a Dom, but he was
incensed by that. Freya paid for her mistake, or rather her bottom did. But
Nick relented, he did eventually agree to provide the training Freya needed,
though he set out the terms of their deal. He was an exacting teacher,
uncompromising, and I wonder if some of that harshness was his attempt to get
her to back out. She didn’t though.

3.  Would Nick lick Jell-O shots off someone’s
body?
Oh yes! Absolutely. And he did, sort of. Nick
licked houmous off Freya’s body the first time he scened with her. It was an
episode they both enjoyed immensely and I think was an early indication of
Nick’s softer, more playful side. He usually keeps that aspect of himself well
hidden when he’s in Dom mode but right from the start Freya finds his lighter
side. There are lots of examples of him enjoying her company,  of them just having fun together. Sometimes
it’s sensual, as with the houmous, other times it’s just two people enjoying an
ice cream or a ride on a motor bike.  But
for Nick this is different, he never usually socialises with his submissives.

4.
Does Nick believe in following the rules?
Nick
definitely believes rules should be followed, but his preference is that he
makes the rules and Freya follows them. He enforces his rules relentlessly, but
this trait is perhaps the one which most attracts Freya to him. She is looking
for a Master, she makes no bones about that, and in Nick she sees the qualities
of firmness, discipline, and control that she is craving. Nick is a consummate
Dom, demanding in his requirements but clear too about what he expects, and
scrupulously fair in administering punishment if needed. He intends to make his
lessons stick, and if Freya has to learn the hard way then so be it.

5.
If Nick had nearly unlimited wealth, what would he spend it on?
This is an interesting question because although Nick is reasonably
well off he would not describe himself as wealthy. And he works hard for what
he has, he believes everyone should earn their way in the world. He finds
Freya’a apparent fecklessness frustrating, but has no idea of the extent of her
wealth. Money doesn’t mean that much to Nick, and he definitely is not
interested in Freya because of hers. If money was no object to him, I think
he’d probably invest it in some business opportunity, but he’d still work
because this is so ingrained in him. I can’t imagine Nick Hardisty living a
life of leisure, though he might permit himself a few luxuries. The most
expensive motor bike money could buy perhaps. Or maybe he’d purchase a small
Caribbean island and fit it out as an exclusive BDSM resort – now there’s a
thought to conjure with.

6.
What social niche did Nick fill as a child?
In The Hardest Word we don’t find out much
about Nick’s early years, but I imagine him as a popular lad at school. He
might have been in the football team, or maybe rugby, though his talents ran
more to the academic. He studied computing at university, so perhaps this was
an interest when he was younger too. He didn’t go on to have a career in
computers though. Before owning the BDSM clubs he was a pilot and built up a
successful skydiving business in Cumbria so he was probably always something of
a daredevil as a boy. I think he would have been high-spirited and active and
probably got in trouble a lot at school, which may have been where he developed
his healthy respect for discipline, though not applied to himself any more.

7.
Who is Nick’s confidant?
Nick is a fairly
self-contained individual, though as the story develops he becomes closer and
closer to Freya and by the time we reach the third book in the series she is
most certainly his confidante and he relies on her good sense to help him
through some difficult personal crises. Prior to that though his best friend is
Daniel. Nick is formidable and single-minded. Not many people would stand up to
him, but Dan has no hesitation. After Freya, and his sister Angela perhaps, Dan
knows Nick better than anyone. It is Dan who sets him straight when he needs it
and just occasionally saves him from himself. Readers who have read some of my
other books set in the Bronte moorlands in Yorkshire may recognise Dan. He is
Nathan Darke’s brother from The Dark Side,
and has his own story coming up next so watch this space.

WHERE TO BUY

If you want to get to know Nick better you
can get your hands on the books in The Hardest Word series from all the usual places :
Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com  Totally
Bound
 Barnes and Noble  All Romance For more information about the series
please call in at my website. You’ll find everything
here. Or you can find me on the Totally
Bound
site.

EXCERPT

Here’s a
short excerpt from A Hard Bargain. As
it came up earlier in the conversation I thought if might be nice to share a
little from the chapter where Nick licks houmous from Freya’s nipples –
delicious…
“You’ll
kneel, in front of me, on the bed. Usually you’d do this standing up, but since
we’re here… Anyway, you’ll fold your arms behind your back, cup each elbow with
the opposite hand. That pulls your shoulders back and pushes your breasts out.
Very pretty. You do have beautiful breasts, by the way. Did I mention that?”
Beautiful breasts? Me? Well I always quite liked them but no one else has ever commented. I
could really get to like Nicholas Hardisty.
“But that’s
enough of you fishing for compliments, Miss Stone. Get on with it please.” His
formal, clipped tone seems incongruous given the light, teasing banter, but I
know it’s deliberate. This is fun, we’re here to enjoy ourselves together.
We’re here to indulge ourselves in fucking good sex with a generous dose of
kink thrown in, but he’s the top and I’m the bottom, and we both know the
rules.
He holds my
gaze for a few moments more, then I give in first and drop my eyes. I focus on
the pot of innocent-looking humus and with no further ado scoop a generous
helping onto the fingers of my left hand. My eyes now firmly fixed on my
breasts, and more particularly my right nipple, I carefully apply the creamy,
grainy substance to my body, making sure the nipple is completely covered
before transferring the pot to my right hand and repeating the process with my
left nipple. I’m generous, leaving no part of the rosy tips uncovered. Luckily
the humus is thick and sticky, and stays put very obligingly. Once I’m
satisfied with my work I pick up a serviette from the tray and wipe my fingers,
taking my time before shifting into a more formal kneeling position, and
arranging my arms behind my back as instructed.
He’s right,
the position does exactly what he said it would. The effect is decadent,
salacious even. And doing it, inviting his attention in this way, I feel like a
total slut. Deliciously, blatantly sluttish. Wonderful.
He’s lying on
the bed, his shoulders propped against the headboard as he watches me. “That’s
very good, little sub. For your first attempt. Now, come closer please.”
I shuffle
forward on my knees, careful not to topple over as the unnatural position of my
arms throws me off balance. I definitely don’t want to waste all that lovely
humus by wiping it all over the bedclothes.
“Straddle
me.” The command is issued in a low tone, quiet but clear.
I obey
without hesitation. Or try to. I almost over-balance when I lift my left knee
to reach over him, but he makes no move to steady me, just sits still, his eyes
on my breasts. I let go of my careful positioning momentarily, but quickly
settle down astride his stomach and restore order.
“You’ll need
to practice that. When you’re presenting your breasts to me, you don’t release
your arms, not for any reason, unless I give you permission to do so. That’s to
be your only warning, sub. Is there anything about my instructions that you
don’t completely understand?”
I shake my
head, all nervous anticipation now. All hint of playfulness is gone, Nicholas
Hardisty is in total Dom mode, and absolutely terrifying. And exciting.
Powerful. Thrilling. Irresistible. He reaches out his right hand to cup the
underside of my left breast, lifting the soft globe slightly, testing the
weight. His fingers are gentle, his touch light. It surprises me, I’d expected
him to be more…severe. But he’s full of surprises, his handling of me soft and
caring. Tender almost.
“Lean
forward, and place your breast in my mouth. Do it slowly, please.”
I draw a
slow, shaky breath, and do as I’m told.
My pussy
clenches delightfully as Nicholas Hardisty’s tongue curls around my nipple. The
sensitive nub has grown and hardened under the humus, and by the time he takes
it in his mouth and sucks, hard, I’m beyond aroused. My position straddling his
body makes sure my engorged clitoris and labia are in contact with his naked
stomach which in turn ensures he’s under no illusions regarding my growing
arousal as my juices flow freely. My whole body is tingling, desperate for
release, for anything, and I find that I can angle my body slightly to create
the friction I’m by now absolutely craving against my clit. I try to do so only
to have him growl at me.
“No taking
control, little sub. Your clit can wait. Unless you’d like me to clamp it for
you…?”
Christ, no! I shake my head desperately, and make it my business to remember to sit
still, no matter what he does to me.
“Thought not. Don’t interrupt again. Now, where was
I?”
He
quickly finds his place again, taking my nipple and much of my breast into his
mouth before lapping lazily at it until all the humus is gone and I’m panting
with need. He uses his hands to lift and shape my breast, holding it in exactly
the right position for his ministrations to have best effect, and I can do
nothing but remain still, my arms clasped uncomfortably behind my back, all my
senses focused on what he’s doing to me.
Eventually
he lifts his gaze to mine again. “The other one now, please.”
He
waits patiently for the few seconds it takes me to reposition myself, bringing
my right breast towards his mouth. Again, he takes its weight in his hand,
lifting my breast to place it exactly where he wants it in order to repeat the
sensuous torture. He starts by curling just his tongue around the nipple,
scooping away the humus before flicking it lightly. Then he opens his mouth to
draw more of my breast in, stroking it lightly with his fingers as he uses his
lips and teeth to tease the soft, responsive curves, licking away all the
creamy goo to leave my skin gleaming and clean. I gasp, my body clenching under
the onslaught, but I can’t help that. I hope he won’t take issue, especially as
I can feel my slick juices smearing his stomach. God, how obvious. Such a slut.
If I hadn’t already had God knows how many orgasms in the last couple of hours,
I’d come again, just from the skilled pressure of his tongue on my nipples, but
I’m already well sated and made of sterner stuff by now it seems. Still,
there’s always the garlic mayo to fall back on.

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