Ever been loved up at Glastonbury? Ever been to a festival in pursuit of the man of your dreams and wound up being seduced by the girl of your dreams instead? That’s what happens to the protagonist in my latest story, “Drive Me Crazy”, which is published today in a new anthology, Summer Love – Stories of Lesbian Holiday Romance. Published by Ladylit Publishing and jointly edited by the utterly charming Caroline Manchoulas and Harper Bliss, this is the ultimate feel-good poolside read. You’ll find stories by Annabeth Leong, Alison Wonderland, Cheyenne Blue, Erzabet Bishop, Harper Bliss, Lucy Felthouse, Camille Duvall, Katya Harris, A L Brooks, Emily L Byrne, Brooke Winters, R J Layer and K A Smith.
As it happens, setting an erotic story at a music festival makes perfect sense. Thousands of heaving bodies, moving in unison to a primal beat long into the night… How can sex not be on the cards? Everybody’s primed for it, warmed by sun during the day, mesmerised by the music as darkness falls, pressed up close in a crowd against someone you’re in love with, someone you desire, someone you don’t even know – yet! Of course, in the UK, it’s more a case of shared body heat or finding a lover whose tent doesn’t leak as the heavens open with no prospect of ever closing!
In this story, Melody comes to Glastonbury in hot pursuit of her rock ‘n’ roll idol, Danny Marks, lead singer of the Tomahawks. She wants to move up from superfan to groupie but, of course, things don’t go quite to plan…instead she finds herself nursing her bruised and battered heart in an empty tent in deserted field high above the festival…
Here’s an excerpt:
Back in my tent, I was able to let it all go and, boy, did I. How could I have been so stupid? Had I really thought I could just walk up to Danny Marks and entice him into my sleeping bag? Why had it never crossed my mind that he’d be married or have a girlfriend or simply could have found someone else far more attractive than me?
My face was burning with humiliation and great big sobs were racking my body as I writhed on my sleeping bag. I was making so much noise that I didn’t hear the tent zipper opening. But then I felt a hand softly touch my leg and I sat up with a jolt, wiping my forearm across my eyes.
“Hey, Melody, what’s the matter?”
It was Sadie with a look of concern wrinkling her pretty elﬁn features.
I shook my head, more embarrassed than upset now.
“Nothing. I’m ﬁne, honestly.”
“No, you’re not,” she said with a soft smile. “And I don’t think you should be alone.”
She crawled into the tent and watched me as I found a tissue and blew my nose loudly. The noise seemed to reverberate in the tiny space and when she laughed, I suddenly found that I could manage a small smile despite my despair.
“Now, you can tell me all about it here or you can tell me outside at the top of the next ﬁeld—there’s an amazing sunset brewing and I don’t want to miss it.”
“I’m okay, honest,” I said. “You go and see your sunset. I’ll be all right here.”
She took my hand and shook her head.
“No, you can’t stay here on your own like this. Come on.”
With that, she pulled me toward the tent ﬂap and, for someone who prides herself on not letting anyone push her around, I was strangely compliant. I followed her outside and up towards the gate behind my tent. And when she helped me climb over into the next ﬁeld, I had to admit that it felt good to be with someone after a couple of days all alone in that huge crowd. “This way,” she said, leading me across an expanse of long grass.
“This is the best place—I came up here last night and it was beautiful.”
On the far side of the ﬁeld, we came to a fallen tree and Sadie hopped up onto the vast trunk and straddled it, using a protruding branch as a backrest.
“Here,” she said, indicating the space in front of her, and I climbed up too.
I straddled it, facing her, and she laughed.
“Other way, silly, you’ve got your back to the sun.”
Grasping my arms, she helped me spin round and as I did, I gasped. Spread out below us, the whole festival was bathed in the soft orange glow of the setting sun, a giant blood-red orb on the far horizon.
She pulled me back until I was leaning comfortably against her and then she linked her arms around my waist.
“It’s great, isn’t it?” Her voice was close to my ear. “Now, tell me why you were crying just now.”
“God, it’s too embarrassing,” I said, letting my head relax back on her shoulder. She smelt faintly of oranges and a little musky, reminding me that I hadn’t showered for more than a day.
A hand brushed hair back from my forehead.
“Tell me—it won’t be any worse than anything I’ve done.”
And with relief, it all ﬂooded out of me. How I’d thought I was in love with Danny Marks, how I’d planned to ﬁnd him and seduce him, and how humiliated I’d felt on being introduced to his wife.
“You see what an idiot I’ve been?” I said, ﬁghting the urge to cry.
I wiped my eyes as tears blurred the ﬁery orange ball that was now slipping below the line of the horizon.
Sadie wrapped her arms around me more tightly.
“Poor girl,” she whispered. “But I’ve done the same myself. I’ve spent two days obsessing about a girl I just met. I’ve followed her around the festival, hoping she would notice me, which of course she didn’t, and now I’ve found out that she’s in love with someone else. I’m just as big an idiot.”
I twisted slightly and looked at her.
“But Sadie, if you’re interested in this girl, what are you doing here with me?”
Sadie sat up straight and used her arms to pull me round to face her. In the soft golden light of dusk, she looked like a statue of burnished bronze. It was a vision that stole my breath with a gasp. Her dark eyes sought mine, glancing intently from one to the other. Then her face dropped, breaking the eye contact and at the same moment she placed her hands on my hips.
“I am with her,” she said, so quietly I hardly heard the words.
What? I wanted to yelp, but Sadie looked like a frightened animal and I didn’t want to startle her. Inside, my stomach ﬂipped. It was so unexpected. I’d never really been interested in girls before and they hadn’t been interested in me. But it seemed that this one was. And… I think I felt okay about it.
I put out a hand to Sadie’s chin and tilted her face up so I could look into her eyes again. Yes, I deﬁnitely felt okay about it. She still looked scared, so I smiled to reassure her but I knew that if anything was going to happen, she’d have to lead the way. This was virgin territory for me and suddenly I was the one feeling nervous.
Time stood still and, as we searched each other’s eyes, I think we both knew we were standing on the brink of something. She took my hand and I took the plunge. As our lips tentatively came together, I heard the familiar opening chords of Drive Me Crazy crashing out in the distance. The Tomahawks were on stage and I wasn’t there. And it didn’t matter one bit.
Sadie’s lips were soft and pliant beneath mine and then they moved across my mouth and I felt her tongue very slowly tracing the outline of my lips. My breath caught in my throat—it felt different to being kissed by a man, in a good way. She sucked my lower lip into her mouth and when I felt her teeth on it, my insides turned to liquid.
I wrapped my arms around her and pressed my body against hers, feeling the jut of her nipples brushing against my t-shirt. But even as I reveled in the new sensation of being breast-to-breast with another woman, she pushed me back.
“Are you sure?” she said. “You really want to do this?”
I nodded. “I want to,” I said.
“Have you been with a girl before?”
She sighed and at that moment I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do more than surrender myself to this beautiful girl high on the hillside above Glastonbury, to the sound of The Tomahawks playing in the background.
Summer Loving is out today on Amazon.
Sun-soaked beaches, glittering blue pool surfaces and oceans painted by an orange-hued sunset have one thing in common: they’re the perfect background for falling in love. Who hasn’t felt that first wave of butterflies rise deep in their belly while pool side? Or that first quickening of the pulse when lounging on a lush patch of grass during a music festival? Summer is the perfect time to indulge in that sudden rush of first love or, equally so, the warm grip of long-fostered feelings for another woman.
This collection of fourteen stories runs the gamut of lesbian holiday romance stories. An Australian cookery course, a Belfast coffee shop, and even a romance writers’ conference are some of the backdrops for the summer love that unfolds in this lesbian romance anthology. Tamsin Flowers’s Drive Me Crazy takes place during Glastonbury, while Katya Harris’s sensual tale of passion between long-time lovers is entirely set by the side of the pool. Newcomer Brooke Winters brings us an irresistible tale of a woman running into a Mistress she’s played with in Spain, while Lucy Felthouse’s heroine gets much more heat than she bargained for when she goes volcano-watching on Lanzarote.
With stories by highly rated authors, including Annabeth Leong, Allison Wonderland, Erzabet Bishop and Harper Bliss, this collection is the perfect sensual companion to any holiday.