Polyamorous Dreams (from Lisabet)
Traditionally, romance focuses on finding your soul mate. But what if that turns out to be plural?
My observations suggest that some people are fundamentally monogamous and others not. Personally, I fall into the latter group, as does, fortunately, my husband. Although we’ve been happily married for more than forty years, neither of us necessarily believes in exclusivity. In the first decade of our life together, especially, we actively sought out women or couples to bring into the circle of our relationship.
Although we attended some swingers events and even went to sex clubs, we weren’t primarily looking for recreational sex. Our dream was to expand our dyad into a stable triad or quartet. We hoped to find compatible people whose company we enjoyed out of as well as in bed. I didn’t know the term then, but what we wanted was polyamory.
Polyamory is a committed, caring relationship that involves more than two people. Often the polyamorous partners live together. It’s not always the case that every member has an erotic connection with every other member, but all the participants must be open about and comfortable with the sexual interactions of the others.
We discovered that it was really difficult to create an intentional polyamorous relationship. We’d meet a likely couple, then find that the currents of attraction were not balanced among the four of us. I’d be really drawn to the woman, for instance, but not her male partner. The woman might desire my husband, but she might leave him cold. We sometimes found sexually exciting couples with whom we had nothing else in common.
Eventually, we gave up our quest, recognizing that most such relationships depend on serendipity not intention, and that we were lucky to have one another. However, I continue to explore the possibilities of polyamory in my writing.
The Toymakers Guild is a polyamorous community – one that is quite complex. The Guild engineers are for the most part open to any sort of sexual shenanigans, with pretty much any one of their colleagues. However, there are several sub-groups, who form more tightly connected units. The Master Toymaker himself has special bonds with Amelia and Roderick, two of the original Guild members. And over the course of Book 3, my heroine Gillian Smith finds herself at the apex of a polyamorous triangle.
The relationships at Randerley Hall appear to violate all the rules of romance. If you look more closely, though, you’ll realize there’s at a great deal of love among the Toymakers. In writing this series, I had the chance to experience, vicariously, the fulfillment of my polyamorous dreams.
How do you train a steampunk sexbot?
Gillian Smith’s promotion to journeyman proves she’s ready to lead the Toymakers in producing astonishing new erotic artifacts. Creative, brilliant, and debauched, she’ll stretch her capabilities to the limit as she juggles a talent shortage and a pair of jealous rivals. Then there’s the challenge of their latest commission—a life-sized programmable sex doll intended to replace a client’s deceased paramour.
Normally she would consult the enigmatic Master Toymaker, but he seems preoccupied with his own concerns. Though her lusty crew of sexual renegades can offer technical and carnal assistance, Gillian is ultimately responsible for delivering the promised, near-impossible technology.
It’s fortunate she’s not one to give up—not even when events threaten the Guild’s very survival.
Defying the repressive morality of the Victorian era, the Toymakers Guild uses advanced technology to fabricate bespoke sexual artifacts for the discrete pleasure of select clients. Its members are not only brilliant engineers but also sexual renegades seeking freedom from the prudish society that surrounds them. These are their stories.
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“Aha! I knew you were no schoolteacher, Miss!”
The familiar voice jerked her back to the present. She looked up, startled, and her eyes connected with those of Jeremiah Manley. Without thinking, she covered the drawings with her arm in an attempt to hide them from his curious gaze.
“Engineer Manley! How lovely to see you again.”
“Right you are, Miss – Gillian, wasn’t it?”
She nodded and flashed him a smile, flattered that he’d recalled her name. He looked every bit as attractive as he had upon their first meeting, taut and lean, brimming with life, seemingly ready to tumble into laughter at the slightest provocation. “My close friends call me Jill,” she volunteered.
“Well then, Jill!” He reached out to lay a dark hand upon her sleeve, pushing gently to expose the hidden designs. “And what have you here? Not some girl’s spelling homework, I’ll warrant.”
Warmth flowed from his palm, heating her own skin through the fabric of her dress. “That’s none of your affair, sir.”
“Sir – that hardly sounds like the response of a close friend! Come now, let me see. I already caught a glimpse. I know they’re blueprints, or something similar.”
“It’s a private commission,” she replied, gathering the papers and slipping them into her satchel. “We’ve promised the client complete confidentiality.”
“Ah! So who is ‘we’, Jill-who-is-not-a-schoolteacher? Indeed, who are you?”
“I’m not at liberty to disclose that,” she replied primly.
“Really? Perhaps I can persuade you, Jill.” He swung himself into the chair close beside her, earning scandalised stares from the other inhabitants of the Ladies’ Lounge. She suddenly noticed that he was not wearing his uniform, though his grey tweed trousers and coat fit him equally well. Under the jacket he sported a blindingly white linen shirt without a cravat. The open neck exposed an enticing near-black triangle of bare skin.
“What happened to your uniform, Jeremiah? Are you not on duty?” He wasn’t touching her any more, but she still felt the heat, radiating from his all-too-close form. Her nipples beaded under her bodice.
“I resigned.” His normal smile fled. The scowl that replaced it made him look unexpectedly dangerous. “Couldn’t endure that jackass Thomas any longer.”
She nodded. “I’d hate to work under such a boor, I agree. But to throw away such a solid position – second engineer on a fine vessel like the Invicta – are you certain that was wise?”
He shrugged. “I’m more clever and nimble than wise. Otherwise I wouldn’t have survived this long.” His clouded expression broke once more into a sunny grin and he settled a hand on hers. He leaned closer, so close that she caught a hint of his spicy scent, and spoke more softly. “So, Jill-who-is-not-a-schoolteacher – would you like a tour of the engine room?”
Her heart did a somersault in her chest. “Oh, yes! Please!” She couldn’t have said whether the offer or Jeremiah’s proximity had more to do with her breathless excitement.
He chuckled at her enthusiasm. “Wait just a few minutes, till we’re tied up at the dock. Then I’ll take you below. This is Invicta’s last crossing for the day. The crew’ll be busy filling her coal holds, so we won’t be disturbed.”
“But – I thought you were no longer employed—”
He held up a key. “You can never tell when you’ll need to check the engine.” His voice dropped to a near-whisper as he dropped it back into his coat pocket. “I had thoughts of doing some damage, actually. Thomas would be responsible and it would serve him right. But I decided a clean break would be best.”
“That was wise,” said Gillian with relief. He squeezed her hand, setting her pulse racing once again.
The boatswain’s shrill whistle announced their arrival at the dock. The lady passengers were already filing out of the lounge, casting disapproving glances in their direction. Jeremiah bounced to his feet and pulled her up after him. “We’d better get out of sight,” he urged. “The first mate does a sweep for stray passengers after every trip. Never know when you’ll find some gentleman who took excess advantage of the SS Invicta’s fine whisky.”
He stepped behind the bar into the small galley that served the lounge, then prised open a door on the left. “In here,” he murmured, pushing her in front of him into a dark, narrow space lined with shelves. When he pulled the closet shut, crowding against her, the blackness was nearly absolute. The storage area must have been located against an outside wall. She could hear footfalls upon the metal deck as the disembarking passengers headed for the gangway at the stern.
The space was redolent of tea, ginger marmalade and Jeremiah’s personal, peppery scent. They were crammed together, face to face, though he was a good deal taller. He rested a hand on her hip to stabilise her. She felt his breath stirring her hair and his heat penetrating her clothing.
Her own lungs seemed to have stopped working. She scarcely dared to move.
His hold on her was loose, their bodies still separated by a fraction of an inch. She imagined his chest pressed against her, mashing her breasts against his muscled torso. Her nipples ached for that missing stimulation. It was all too easy to conjure the sensation of his swollen prick prodding her belly, his pelvis grinding against her, his fingers tracing the line of her spine then cupping her buttocks to pull her closer…
A smooth palm caressed her cheek. Bold fingers tilted her chin up toward his unseen visage. “Jill…” he whispered, barely audible, before he pressed his lips to hers.
She melted into the kiss, flowing into his arms. The reality of his hard body was even better than her fantasies. A lush cloudburst of sensation drenched her as she opened to his brazen tongue and let him plunder her mouth. Tangy spice tickled her nostrils and a second heart beat between her thighs. She floated on the surface for a while, then sank gratefully into the passion of the moment, letting herself drown.
Rave Reviews for The Toymakers Guild
The Pornographer’s Apprentice,The Toymakers Guild Book 1
There are many more plot points, but I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment of this book. It has varied and steamy sex scenes that will take your breath away, a plucky heroine who doesn’t always come out on top (ahem), but who always prevails in her quest to be accepted as a Toymaker. ~ Fiona McGier, Goodreads
With thoughtfully written characters, hot sex scenes, and a well-paced and interesting plot, the Toymaker’s Apprentice leaves you asking only one question….when is the next book in the series coming out? ~ The Phantom Tollbooth, Amazon
[A] fast paced, hilarious, and thoroughly entertaining story as Gillian gets intimate with the staff and technology, only to find that there is a plot against the Guild that she takes on to save the day. I can’t wait to read what happens in the next book! ~ Arthur Royo, Amazon
The Journeyman’s Trial, The Toymakers Guild Book 2
Although set in the Victorian era, the denizens of Randerley Hall are thoroughly modern in the enthusiastic and open way they embrace their sexuality, pushing boundaries with the same vigor and gusto they push the boundaries of science. The members of The Guild embrace all manner of delightfully kinky perversions, while making scientific breakthroughs that are far ahead of their time. “The Journeyman’s Trial” has everything—adventure, romance, intrigue, and sizzling sensuality. I highly recommend you take the plunge and dive in. ~ Lawrence Westerman, Amazon
Lisabet Sarai has taken on the challenge of following up The Pornographer’s Apprentice. I’m happy to say she’s exceeded her own lofty standards of writing. The dialogue in the story is unique, accurate to the era, and oftentimes features beautiful lines. You can look forward to a shocking mass of creativity from the ingenious mind of Miss Sarai. The erotic scenes are written beautifully and explosively. I found the pleasure of the characters hit me just as hard as it hit them. I’m looking forward to more from this world and the characters! ~ Amazon Customer, Verified Purchaser
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads, BookBub and Twitter. Join her VIP email list here: https://btn.ymlp.com/xgjjhmhugmgh