Annabel Joseph
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Elloras Cave
Release Date
October 2010
BDSM, Erotic Romance, Ménage or more

Kat doesn't know whether or how to end her six-night-a-week party habit, not to mention her unhealthy addiction to meaningless sex. Then an accident lands her in the hospital. She wakes to find a menagerie of origami figures—and a gorgeous neurosurgeon—beside her bed. The complexity of the paper creations is nothing compared to the complexity of dark-eyed, authoritative Ryan, who seems determined to give her life some direction.
Trouble is, Kat's just as determined to resist his efforts to tame her wild side.

With persistence, Ryan draws Kat into his world of dominance and submission, where quiet commands and lengths of rope awaken needs and desires she never knew she possessed. But Ryan's intimate, erotic shibari sessions frighten Kat as much as they excite her, for each simple knot requires infinite trust and inspires complicated emotions.

When a family crisis tests their love and threatens to snap the fragile ties that bind them, will fortune ever smile on this unlikely couple, or will fate tear them apart?

Reader Advisory: For those who subscribe to a "more the merrier" philosophy (*cough* we do *cough*), this story contains a scintillating m/f/f/m scene.

Book Review by Michelle R
Dec 03, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
251 people found the following review helpful
Captivating characters in an intoxicating story, BDSM fans will devour this one.

Annabel Joseph has written another fabulous tale full of multifaceted characters. FORTUNE will grab a hold of you and never let you go. The pacing is smooth, the characters riveting, and their struggle rediscovering themselves as they explore a life together left me talking out loud to my Kindle. This is one of those special books that are worthy of a reread when I have a pile of books next to me I've never touched. I've said it before, Annabel Joseph is a master and every BDSM fan should have her on their auto buy list.

Readers first met Dr. Ryan in DEEP IN THE WOODS. A neurosurgeon Dom who practices bump-and-run sex, zero commitment and zero attachment, he meets his match in Katya. Busy training the security staff in martial arts, he becomes fascinated with the regular at the vanilla club. For weeks, he watches her play her game. Then, the Dom makes his move.

Katya plays the same one night stand game as Ryan in the vanilla world. Six nights a week, she trolls the club looking for a partner who can provide her with sexual release and no pillow talk. No one seems to satisfy, until a fateful fall down the stairs lands Katya in the hospital in Dr. Ryan's care.

Encouraged by Katya's family and her matriarch mother, Ryan pursues Katya as his sub. Katya is a disaster. She plays roles not knowing who she is or how to be happy. Confused would be the best word for her. Aimless. Floating. Ryan gives her direction and pushes her to claim what she wants and stop what doesn't satisfy her. Going through life, most of us have had moments when we felt adrift ourselves, making Katya relatable.

I loved how similar the two were underneath it all. He may have been the sophisticated upper class Dom and she the middle class thrift store girl from the vanilla world, but both have deep-seated issues that prevent them from truly opening up to another. That of course is the magic that had me crying and yelling and grinning from ear to ear.

Always reliable, Annabel Joseph has penned another treasure. Erotica fans, I know you are going to love this! Enjoy!

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BOOK INTERVIEW on January 2011
Thanks for visiting with us today, Annabel. Congratulations on another amazing book! We're so excited to get to ask you more about FORTUNE.

Q: First off, FORTUNE's hero is Doctor Ryan whom we met in DEEP IN THE WOODS. What prompted you to do a spin off book centered around him?

Well, when I first wrote Ryan in DEEP IN THE WOODS, he was just a convenience character. I wanted Dave to have a friend to vent to about Sophie (and someone to share her with) and since Sophie was in medical school, I thought it would be great to have his friend be someone in the medical field. But as I started writing him, I got more and more turned on by him. I really hated when it was time for him to go! Fast forward to a couple months later. A girlfriend of mine got involved with a guy who was really into both shibari and origami. It piqued my interest and I started trying to come up with a story for a male character who was into shibari, and really good with his hands. And then it hit me…well…a surgeon would be really good with his hands! This story is going to be about Ryan!

Q: That's interesting! Were there times while you were writing FORTUNE when you wished you had done things differently or described him differently in DEEP IN THE WOODS or did he just evolve easily from where we left him?

Well, I was pretty lucky because DEEP IN THE WOODS was still in edits when FORTUNE started taking shape in my mind. I was able to add the scene where Ryan gives Sophie the crane to tie the two books together. Otherwise his character was already pretty suited to the man I envisioned in FORTUNE. It was really serendipitous that way.

Q: At the beginning of the story, we meet Kat who is going out and picking up a different guy every night, six nights a week. That screams independence to me, so why does such an independent girl still live at home with her extremely large family and why does she submit to such a controlling man?

To me, her behavior was more about low self-esteem and self-numbing than independence. A lot of people have asked me, "So what was wrong with Kat? Why was she that way when she had that big loving family?" And the simple answer is that she was insecure and had low self-esteem. All her siblings seemed to have it together, and Kat judged herself against them and believed she was lacking. Her mother's disapproval didn't help. I think Ryan's control provided some much needed security for her. He allowed her to feel she was doing something "right" when she generally felt she did everything wrong. I think one of the most endearing things about him is that he set out to improve her. Some people saw that as a negative, as him erasing her or something. But to me, it was a manifestation of his love for her. He was trying to help her be happier.

Q: What was the most interesting thing you discovered about Dr. Ryan and Kat?

With Dr. Ryan, it was definitely the OCD health stuff. Like, when he couldn't allow her to eat the greasy food at the diner. I mean, I knew I wanted him to be controlling and very set in his ways, but all this funnier OCD stuff just kept coming up out of nowhere. One of my favorite scenes is the one at the family barbeque, where he's horrified that they're cooking and eating sausages, and he's sitting there biting his tongue. With Kat, the most interesting thing was probably the depth of her closeness to her father. I knew when I started the book, and plotted the crane storyline, that she was going to beg Ryan for the cranes at some point. But the "how" of that developed later. That aspect of her revealed itself in the writing and I thought it was very sweet.

Q: As different as Kat and Ryan are, I found them to be very similar too. How do you see them as similar? Do you think there needs to be similarity between individuals to have everlasting love?

I actually don't find them very similar. For me, they were always different, but complementary. He was controlling, she felt out of control. He was self-assured, she had low self-esteem. He came from a small family, she came from a big one. The one juxtaposition I did play with was that Ryan was whimsical about the cranes and the legend of the senbazuru, while Kat was very inflexible about buying into that. So in that way their roles of control and reason were sort of reversed.

I'm not sure if there needs to be similarity between people to find love. More and more, I question what love is and where it comes from. Seems like there's no rhyme or reason to it, honestly.

Q: Ryan and Kat's romance isn't always sweet, soft and conventional. How does he cherish, respect and love her in his own way, and why is their not-so-typical expression of love perfect for them?

Oh, good question. One of the problems I run into a lot as a romance writer is that I find sadism very romantic (even heroic!) while most women don't. I've gotten a couple reviews for FORTUNE where the writer said, "okay, I liked everything about this book except that he liked to hurt her." It's hard to explain the appeal of sadism if you aren't into it, but for me, the romantic aspect of sadism is the dichotomy of the act. "I'm hurting you but I love you." Or perhaps, "I'm hurting you because I love you."

Sadism isn't just making someone hurt. Sadists have to be very intuitive and very alert to the sub's signals. They have to dispense just the right amount of pain—enough to arouse the sub but not so much that the sub shuts down or is actually injured. It's something that requires a lot of finesse and control. I think that's why I find sadists so sexy. I also relate to the maso perspective, to the romance of enduring hurt and then being soothed or rewarded afterward. I think Ryan's sadism was just one more manifestation of his need to control, and Kat's reaction to it was a manifestation of her desire to be controlled or to please.

Q: In my opinion, too few books feature Shibari. What drew you to including the art of rope bondage in the book?

It was mainly just because a friend of mine got involved with someone into rope. I don't know that I would have done it otherwise. I had never personally been into rope. I've never been rigged or suspended. I never really understood the attraction until I started talking to others who were into it. Then the whole emotional aspect of it became clear and it suddenly seemed like the most amazing thing in the world to me!

There's this other word, kinbaku, which I suppose describes the emotional give-and-take between the person tying (the rigger) and the person allowing themselves to be tied. When you think about it, rope play involves at least as much trust as sadism play, if not more. Once someone ties you up and immobilizes you…well…it had better be someone you trust. And shibari done wrong can be extremely dangerous. Then there is the whole surrender aspect, the caress of the ropes. The security of being tied up by choice. These are all things I learned about while doing research. Now shibari is so much more fascinating to me. Like any kink, sometimes you have to scratch beneath the surface to really understand why it turns some people on.

Q: On the surface, it looks like Kat's mother, Elena, pushes her to be with Dr. Ryan because she wants her daughter to marry a doctor. I personally thought she was far more perceptive than such a superficial judgment. Can you put us inside Kat's mother, Elena's, head for a moment and share with us what her intentions are and why she encourages Kat's time with Ryan?

Well, in my mind, Elena was always a real fortune-teller, not a charlatan. Elena was based partially on my grandmother, who was exceptionally perceptive when it came to her children and grandchildren. Soon after Elena laid eyes on Ryan in the hospital room, I believe she knew he was a complementary match for her daughter. Perhaps she even sensed they were fated for one another. Either way, I think everything that Elena did from that moment was meant to advance this match for her daughter, not because Ryan was a rich doctor or whatever, but because she just knew. So yes, your intuition about Elena's motives was correct!

Q: You are so gifted at writing alpha males who seem to have it all together on the surface but underneath they too have flaws to work out. What are Dr. Ryan's flaws?

I have to say that Ryan is one of my more "together" dominants. I think he had all the relationship stuff right. He didn't have intimacy issues or communication problems. He was very protective of Kat and very patient with her many issues, to a point. I think his main flaw would be that he sometimes went overboard in the controlling department. The one time he really breaks down and isn't there for Kat, it's because control was stripped from him and he doesn't handle that too well. But again, I like controlling sadists, especially controlling sadists with a soft side, so to me, Ryan is a nearly perfect guy.

Q: I felt an overwhelming theme of family throughout this book. How does family play a role in the lives of Kat and Ryan?

In a way, this book was about life…you know…fortune. What you make of life. Where your place is. Where the fates take you. And family is inextricably tied up in that. At all the most elemental events of our lives…birth, marriage, illness, crisis, death…families are usually involved. So in a way there needed to be a big family component there. And of course, family really formed Ryan and Kat into who they were. Ryan is such a classic overachieving only child, and Kat is such a classic drifting middle child from a big family. Sometimes I like to think about what type of parents Kat and Ryan would be. I think they would have two kids, maybe one boy, one girl, and both kids would have Ryan's logic and control, but also the emotional depth and sensitivity of Kat. What a nice balance they would have.

Q: Please share a unique fact that you unearthed while researching for this book or a unique/funny experience while writing FORTUNE.

Well, I can say that I learned how to fold origami cranes, and that was fun. I actually decided I was going to make my own senbazuru or one thousand cranes. But then I couldn't figure out where in the house to display it when it was done. So that started stressing me out. Then one night, my husband and I got into an argument because he accused me of neglecting him to fold cranes. I flipped out and stuffed them all in a trash bag and stuck them in the attic because after that they were tainted to me. Sound familiar?
Haha. They're still up there. I think there were almost four hundred I'd folded. Maybe I'll pull out the origami paper and start folding again someday.

Q: What can we expect from you in 2011?

LILY MINE, a BDSM historical, will come out at Ellora's Cave early in the year, and OWNING WEDNESDAY is being re-released by Loose Id in April. I've also written a sequel to COMFORT OBJECT called CARESSA'S KNEES, and that will come out at some point this year.

COMFORT OBJECT was a really popular book so I hope people will want to read Kyle's story (and see Jeremy and Nell again.) After that… Well, all I can say is my desktop wallpaper right now is a hot man wearing a white corset, so who knows? I never know what's going to fascinate me next.

Thanks again for sharing a little insight into your book, FORTUNE. We know erotica readers are going to love getting to know Kat and Ryan as much as we did. It was a true joy taking that journey with both of them and seeing how, together, they evolved into something so much better than they were before.

To all the readers out there: Pick this one up and… Enjoy!

Annabel is offering a copy of FORTUNE to one lucky winner!

Mechanics of the contest:

You can do either or both of the following to enter the drawing:

1. Write a comment or question to Annabel below in the comment box (3 chances to win) from now to January 31;


2. Check out our contest page from January 10 to 12 to enter your email address (1 chance to win).

The winner will be announced in the comment box on February 3.
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