Exclusive Excerpt: Blossom

Desire Blossoms in the next book in #1 NYT bestselling author Helen Hardt’s Black Rose Underground series. Releasing on January 22, 2024, this book is currently available for pre-order. Find out where to pre-order here.



“Who’s your friend?” I glance over at the beautiful redhead again—the reason for my faux pas, as Lotus so
eloquently put it—who’s staring at her hands. She has “submissive” written all over her, and that only
intrigues me more.
“That’s Blossom. She and I are besties.”
I steal another glance at the young woman who is nervously sipping from a glass of what looks to be water.
Curiosity spikes in me. Why is she agitated? More importantly, why is she alone? “Tell me about her.”
“You mean you don’t want to know about me?” she asks coyly.
“You’re gorgeous, and I like talking to you, but I don’t touch what’s not mine.” I nod toward the giant “no
trespassing” sign sparkling on her left hand. “Plus, you’re clearly collared.”
She grins. “My fiancé and I have an open relationship.”
“I’d have to hear that from his lips, not yours. No offense. I learned that lesson the hard way.”
“Fair enough,” she says, keeping her grin in place.
Besides, even as pretty as she is, she’s not really my type. I have a thing for redheads.
But it’s not just the hair that drew me to her friend. It’s her eyes…and something else I can’t put my finger on.
My gut is telling me to pay attention, and I never ignore my gut.
“Are you a Dom?” Lotus asks.
“Blossom is a submissive.”
I nod. I already knew that. A good Dom can tell a submissive from one look.
It’s not the fact that she’s focusing on her hands, and it’s not the fact that she’s acting oddly timid. Submissives
aren’t shy or hesitant. They’re obedient. They can be bold as fuck when given a command, making sure to
carry it out exactly as they’ve been told because that’s what pleases them and their Dom.
I can tell she’s a submissive simply by the way she’s sitting. Legs crossed, shoulders back.
She waits to be approached.
But the rest of her body language means something else. The way she keeps fiddling with her hands…
Something is bothering her.
And I can’t just sit here and watch it from a distance anymore.
I finish my glass of water and stand. “It was nice to meet you, Lotus.”
“The pleasure was all mine,” she says.Then I walk toward the table where her friend sits. I stand above her. “Good evening.”
She looks up at me with those whisky-colored eyes. “Good evening.” She clears her throat. “Are you…okay?”
“Only slightly embarrassed,” I say. “But I’ve been through worse. I’m Ronan O’Connor.”
“May I sit down?”
She nods slowly. “Sure.”
More details of her strike me now that I’m up close. The way the fabric of her black dress complements every
curve, making everything about her appear soft and touchable. The way her hair catches the light and shines in
several different shades of terracotta. And that mouth—those glossy lips on that pert little mouth.
“I met your friend,” I say once I’m seated. “Lotus.”
“She’s engaged.”
Why would that be her first response? I can guess. Blossom doesn’t want me near her friend. Good.
“I know, I saw her ring. But I’m more interested in your relationship status.” I move toward her left hand, and
at her nod, I take it. It’s cold. Is she still nervous? “I don’t see a ring.”
“That’s because I’m not wearing one.” She lets out an uneasy chuckle. “Not on my left hand anyway. This
ruby on my right hand is my birthstone. A gift from my father.”
I sense there’s a story there, but I don’t know her well enough to pry, even though, for some reason, I want to.
My curiosity is roaring.
“Are you involved with anyone?”
She pauses a moment. Then, “No.”
I can’t help it. I let a slow smile spread across my face. I don’t usually allow my feelings to be known to a
submissive. I don’t usually even have feelings for a submissive, other than fondness and genuine regard for her
wellbeing and pleasure. Blossom is different.
I’m not sure why, but I want to find out.



Once you fully submit, your darkest cravings will…Blossom

The ultra-luxe Black Rose Underground Club used to be Mary Sandusky’s favorite place to play. She was happy to slip into her role as seasoned submissive Blossom and relinquish control to an expert Dom. But when a scene gets out of hand, she can no longer trust her own dark appetites. She’s ready to walk away from Black Rose for good…until she meets a hot Highlander who pushes all the right buttons.

Nothing makes Ronan O’Connor’s blood heat more than commanding a submissive in a scene, but forming a relationship outside the club was an urge lost long ago. The closer people get, the more damage they can do. But when he meets the alluring Mary, her beauty—and her obedience—captivate him, and he’s determined to make her his.

Every Dom has firm rules, and Ronan is no exception. So he’ll make her an offer—one that will push her boundaries of pleasure and submission even as it challenges the line that separates Mary and Blossom. But neither of them is prepared for where his plans take them…


#1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Helen Hardt’s passion for the written word began with the books her mother read to her at bedtime. She wrote her first story at age six and hasn’t stopped since. In addition to being an award-winning author of romantic fiction, she’s a mother, an attorney, a black belt in tae kwon do, a grammar geek, an appreciator of fine red wine, and a lover of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. She writes from her home in Colorado, where she lives with her family.


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