I dearly love the Delphic Agency, it gives me an increasingly detailed stage on which to play out love stories and it says things that are close to my heart. Stuff that I believe in.
I couldn’t leave it without telling Michael’s tale – Every prologue has been written in Michael’s voice and so I think it’s only right that his story closes this chapter of the Delphic Agency.
So who is Michael Bond, other than the man behind Delphic? And why is he so disappointed in Christian?
Paid to Pretend
Christian De Olio, natural-born Boy Scout, head of the Delphic Security Team, exemplary son of a proud family, pretends every day of his life.
He pretends he is sexless in a world where arousal rules.
He pretends that he works for Delphic because it was the obvious choice after his time in the army.
He pretends that whenever he listens to the far-off voice of Michael Bond, the long-absent Director of Delphic, it doesn’t take him right back to one night 15 years ago. To the one night, he didn’t pretend. To the one night, he was himself.
And then the Director comes home, and Christian isn’t sure he can pretend anymore. Not when Michael looks at him the way he does, with such disappointment, because Christian can endure anything except being a disappointment to Michael.
Particularly when he thought he was doing so well.
Paid to Pretend is Book 5 in the Delphic Agency Series and features a second chance romance, a hero so clean-cut he glows in the dark, and plenty of steamy kink exploration along with a HEA.
With Paid to Watch coming soon now is a great time to catch up with all the previsous Delphic Agency stories in one location.
Step into the world of the Delphic Agency by Romilly King where wealthy Emptores buy the time of beautiful Venditores and love blooms amidst carefully negotiated BDSM contracts.
This collection includes three full-length steamy gay romance reads plus three additional spicy shorts. Guaranteed ten plus heat level throughout.
The Delphic Agency series begins with Paid to Kneel, where submissive first time Venditor Richard is paired with rich dominant Ash for a short term contract that leads to so much more.
Next, in Paid to take Control, find out what happens when super smart, super hot Brio meets Painter, the only Dom to ever truly match his high maintenance needs. Their road to happiness is full of electrifying exploration and fiery full on BDSM scenes.
Things get complicated in Paid to be Shared, when sweet experienced submissive Birch is contracted to meet the needs of two very different Doms. Will their interactions be a recipe for disaster or a hot ménage?
Also included in this collection are Free to be Tied and Free to Play, two sizzling scenes starring Richard and Ash as their relationship moves forward, and Due to be Punished, a very steamy insight into Painter and Brio’s life together and how Painter tames his brat.
Each story has Alpha dom’s, fascinating submissives, and a full gamut of safe and consensual playtimes along with a happy every after.
Personal Journal Entry – Dr. Cashel Gregory
When everything is going wrong, they taught me, take it back to basics, go back to the solid ground on which you stand, and check it out from there. So that’s what I have always done because I am nothing if not obedient.
Journaling was a mandatory part of our training, and I never really stopped. Sometimes there are just phrases or sentences in my moleskin notebooks, and sometimes there was more. In recent years there has been a lot more.
It helped back in college when I was getting to grips with my empathy and shyness and struggling with expressing myself to my supervisors, and I hope it will help now when I can’t tell anyone my biggest problem.
And as I’m honest here, I want to record what happened, because maybe this will be the only thing I have in years to come, to remember it by, to remember him by, or to make sense of how monumentally fucked up I am.
So here goes.
I remember when I met him, back when he was a contract Venditor, a Dom in the field, spanking asses and roping rich guys and fucking the well-healed in their Hampton Estates.
I was a mere squint of 17, a prodigy tapped by the Delphic Agency as future management potential. I was set to work with Dr. Ash Gannon and Dr. Brio Hywel-Bennet, the founders of ManMindMaps, who were developing a system that mapped all the kinks of human sexuality – heady stuff, I can tell you.
I was running the first algorithm trials with Brio – who was very flighty back then – and Ash, and he came in for one of the first psych evals, and he blew straight off the carefully constructed charts. High-end Dominant, kinks across the board, strong homosexual identity – hardly surprising as he came out of what was left of the leather scene - but no markers for pure sadism.
I remember Brio looked up from the chart and turned to me in outrage – “He just blew the bloody base line up!” he said, “I don’t know whether to hit him or beg him to fuck me!”
I heard laughter, and there he was, leaning against the door. Six foot four of muscle, wearing leather jeans and boots you could see your face in. His face was rugged, like something carved from stone, and his dark hair was shot through with auburn highlights. “I really wouldn’t advise punching me, little sub, I’d have to take your pants down and punish you right here,” he said.
I had to turn away to hide my blush and the semi that instantly made my pants tight.
Brio looked like he’d seen the second coming – or given Brio’s tastes, maybe the fourth of fifth coming.
And Ash, well Ash, stood up and did the brother Dominant thing and slung his arm around the guy’s shoulders and led him away. “I think we’ll have Cash do all your follow up’s,” he said, “Because I don’t think we can trust Brio to be in the same room as you!”
Brio made grabby hands, and I wanted to slap him.
Because that guy, he was everything my stupid little submissive wanted and could never have.
And I got to spend the rest of my career watching him.
I was there when he fucked up, and we had to pull him from contract work. I was there when we saved him and made him Head of Training. I was there for him, year after year, through counseling and friendship and all the other stuff.
And I was there when yesterday he turned around and said he wanted to go back to contract work and no, that’s too much, I can’t watch that. Anything but that. I have been a martyr to the cause of Tay since day one, but no, I can’t do that.
This was the story I was longing to write, because I love Cashel and he's lurked around the edges of things long enough!
Dr. Cashel Gregory, Head of Organizational Psychology, is the guardian of ethics and sentinel of limits in the kink-centric world of specialist contracts at Delphic. Shame he is about to run, not walk, right past his own boundaries.
Tay is the Dom’s Dom, the experienced Head Trainer at Delphic. He is the man the Dominants look up to, and the Submissives drool over. But Tay has secrets, he’s banned from contract work, and he’s in therapy with Dr. Cashel.
Cash never put a professional foot wrong until Tay got mad and kissed him. Tay never felt true desire until he realized Cash had never had a man before, let alone one like him.
They are colleagues. They are therapist and patient. They are experienced Dominant and theoretical Submissive. They are crossing every single boundary there is, and it could ruin both of them, in every way possible.
PAID TO WATCH is Book Four in the Delphic Agency Series and features one closet submissive, one Dom with an anger management problem, and plenty of steamy kink exploration as they go from colleagues to lovers and beyond in search of the HEA they deserve.
- Publication week is a funny old thing, you get really stressed, you pretend you aren’t, that dickhead Imposter Syndrome takes up residence in your frontal lobe and has a sit down protest, and you can’t focus on anything much, other than eating. You eat a lot.
The best thing to do is go do something else, which I did. I redid the cover for Delphic Agency Book Four, which goes up for pre-order on Friday, and then couldn’t decide between the new cover and the original. Then I plotted the entire first book in a new series I have coming in September – A steamy shifter series – which I love the idea of but which terrifies me because I want it to be good.
The stress and angst of publication week was alleviated somewhat when the first review was posted on Goodreads this morning and it was so lovely I cried for twenty minutes. There is such a relief if someone gets it and not only that enjoyed it and wants to read more.
Snuffles. Eats toast to celebrate.
Here’s the link to the review and fingers firmly crossed for more like it!
And here's my page on Goodreads if you want to see what steamy m/m goodness I am reading - cough * Travis Beaudoin * cough