The story behind the story #7 – Sexy musicians, half-drowning my classmates and having a fat arse!

The story behind the story #7 – Kiss of Life

Continuing with the series which shares how my own real-life experiences have influenced my steamy books, I bring you ‘Kiss of Life’.

This is one of the shorter stories, within the ‘Black Lace & Promise – Volume 2’ compilation, which I’ve published within the past year. It tells of an ordinary woman, Annabel, who finds herself in an extraordinary situation when she assists a drowning male surfer from the sea and performs the kiss of life, in order to resuscitate him. Little does she know at the time, the astonishingly sexy Leo will ultimately help breathe life back into her too, both inside the bedroom and out.

So, which parts of this story are personal to my life experiences?

  1. Life Saving Training
    I have never actually saved somebody’s life, but it feels as though I’ve certainly had plenty of training in the subject! At school, I remember endless swimming lessons, wearing my ordinary clothes so we could get used to the drag of the water on shirts and the feeling of trousers flapping aimlessly around our ankles – most uncomfortable, from memory! I really hated swimming lessons at school and did absolutely everything I could to escape them (and I mean everything! For example, if we had our period we didn’t have to swim – I reported having mine every single week during one term, before the teacher caught on and realised I wasn’t a medical miracle but just a decent liar!).
    Those life-saving lessons did nothing to endear me further to swimming! We used to have to tread water for what felt like hours, assume the tuck position around empty plastic bottles (because apparently, if we found ourselves in a Titanic-esque situation, sealed and empty plastic bottles would be amply available!) and of course, there was plenty of life-saving practice too, including towing classmates along by their chins and half-drowning them in the process.
    Then, later on in life when I was gainfully employed, I signed up to be a First Aider at Work. It was a strange decision, given that me and the sight of other people’s blood are not happy bedfellows. I think I was persuaded because first aiders got a week off work to go on the external training course, plus there was a slight increase in wage. The training was over fifteen years ago now, but I remember the experience, as we practiced CPR techniques on poor, long-suffering and legless “Resusci-Annie”, as if it were only yesterday. It is these exact experiences in my own life that appear in Annabel’s story:

    I force my mind back to my CPR training.  The classroom was airless, with dust floating languidly through the fingers of sunlight that shone into the stuffy room.  It had been a hot, summer’s day.  Annie, the plastic training head and torso, spent her time lying in the middle of the floor.  Each time I’d had to kneel down and lower my mouth to her synthetic one, she’d tasted of bitter, antibacterial wipes.  A.  Airway.  I gaze into his mouth and can’t see an obstruction, although I fear his windpipe may well contain seawater.  B.  Breathing.  I realise with horror that he isn’t.  No rise and fall of his chest is visible, and I can’t feel any breath from his mouth.  C.  Circulation.  My fingers scrabble for his wrist, desperate to feel a pulse.  I pause, trying hard to concentrate.  I think I can feel one, but it’s so difficult to tell with the waves lapping around us.  I place the heel of my hand firmly over his broad, slightly hairy chest.  Yes.  Yes, there is definitely a heartbeat.  Please God, don’t let him die.
  2. The lure of a sexy musician
    Musicians are as sexy as hell. There, I said it. I’m not sure what it is exactly. Is it a throwback of my near-obsession with Jon Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams when I was in my teens? Is it the way that certain songs can give you all the feels? Is it the sheer talent that is required to play an electric guitar or piano to a high level of skill? The knowledge of the pleasure they could give, with such talented fingers? I’m honestly not sure what the allure is, but Leo is part of the music world and that makes him uber-attractive in Annabel’s eyes. Indeed, he is perhaps made even more attractive because he’s written a number of hit songs. He doesn’t just have musical talent, but heart, soul and emotions too. Yum! He sounds pretty perfect to me!
  3. Disliking the way I look
    I have never, repeat never looked at myself in the mirror and thought that I look okay. Even as a younger child, I was never happy with my appearance, always considering myself as overweight, in comparison to my classmates, particularly because I had a large arse, not helped by plenty of horse-riding! Basically, I’ve never matched the images I’ve seen of women in the media and on the television and so have always considered my body inferior. Having said that, I’ve never resorted to habits which would be considered eating disorders. Instead, I’ve just quietly accepted that I will never measure up and try to look in mirrors as little as possible. The way Annabel views her own body is absolutely on a par with the way I view mine. And it is for that reason that she can’t understand why the glorious Leo could be interested in her and initially can only view his advances with suspicion.

    Immediately, I feel self-conscious.  All around us are body-beautiful women, displaying their wares to full effect.  I couldn’t compete with them in a million years and, in all honesty, I wouldn’t want to try.  Exposing my curves to random strangers simply isn’t in my nature.

    As it happens, I’m probably not as unattractive as I think, situated somewhere on the sliding scale between anorexic and requiring a crane to leave the house.  I remember in my twenties, having a similarly low opinion of myself; never looking in the mirror, always covering up.  I was undeniably heavier than I wanted to be back then.  But now, if I look back at photographs of myself from that time, I’m surprised to find I don’t look that bad.  I mean, I do have a huge ass, compared to the stick insects currently flitting around us, not very subtly giving Leo the eye.  But some men like that, right?  Suddenly, all my self-indulgent thoughts are wiped clean from my mind.  Having secured the surfboard to the roof of his vehicle, Leo has returned to me and quite unexpectedly trapped me against my car with his own, incredible physique


‘Black Lace & Promises – Volume 2’ is available from and It can either be purchased, or read via a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Here are the links to sign up to a free 30-day Kindle Unlimited trial on  or


The latest news from Fenella Ashworth can be found at
Fenella is a British author of contemporary erotic romance for 18+. All of her stories are available from Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Her most popular books are ‘One Hot Wynter’s Night’, ‘To Love, Honour and…Oh Pay’ and the Daniel Lawson Series.

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