Authors: Riley Murphy
Josephine needs a Dom to Top her if
she’s going to conquer her issues with men. But when Ted, the frenemy she’s
chosen, refuses, Jo needs to take drastic measures. She goes to his resort to find
another candidate. Unfortunately, that plan’s a bust.
Headstrong Jo is a Dom’s worst
nightmare. So when Ted discovers that a newbie has signed the “Full Monty”
release form—an occurrence that has the resident sadists circling—he knows it’s
What’s a Dom to do? After he thanks
her for giving him carte blanche, he hauls her ass up to the rodeo room for a
ride. A ride that rapidly becomes a trip of epic proportions with kinky detours
galore until they hit a fork in the road. One avenue leads to Jo’s prized
independence and the other leads home to Ted. Now, Jo must decide between the
BDSM erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave
To my best friend, my honey, my husband, my forever love,
for always being there when I need you. I’m glad we’re on this journey
together. Bumpy or smooth it’s quite the ride, isn’t it? I told you I wasn’t
going to make it easy on you. Interesting? Yes. Easy? Not so much.
And a special thanks to my editor, Briana St. James, for
taking the time and making this one shine. Your insightful suggestions and
unfailing support are appreciated more than you know.
Brooke, I admire your moxie.
Kyle, I admire your strength.
Kim, I admire how fearless you are. We’re so lucky you’re
part of our family now.
And to my mom who’s one of my biggest fans.
I’m so fortunate to have all you guys in my corner.
A special shout out to my CP extraordinaire, Christine Bell.
You make me laugh. Sometimes until I cry, but I love that about you.
And to my dad… I miss you, but I’ll see you after.
With his first problem of the evening taken care of Ted
Basel took a steadying breath. He was determined to remain calm before he faced
his second. Although, if his second didn’t shut the fuck up soon, his calm was
going to be nothing more than a memory.
“You are a barbarian. A bully with an ego the size of
Manhattan. How dare you drag me around like a ragdoll. You know no one will
stop you. Does that feed your gargantuan store of self-importance?
Ted stiffened as Josephine Nehr threw his prized iron bank,
that of a begging dog swallowing a tossed penny, his way. It sailed past his right
shoulder and hit the mahogany door, making a huge dent.
“Turn around and look at me, you bastard, or next time I’ll
aim for that massive head of yours.”
To say his patience was wearing thin would have been an
understatement. Especially when he saw his bank was broken. He closed his eyes,
garnered the strength to be reasonable and spoke without turning, “You throw
another object at me and you’ll regret it.”
“You’ll regret it.”
“Why?” He opened his eyes and examined the door. Stepping
over the scattered metal pieces, he ran a hand over the dented wood and asked,
“Do you have a husband who’s going to come to your defense?”
“I don’t need a husband.”
His hand stilled right over the dip. “Boyfriend?”
She snorted. “No, thank God.”
He quirked a brow. “Enraged father, perhaps?”
“I take care of myself, but you’d know nothing about that
concept, would you? Being the big, strong Dom surrounded by weak nitwits
kneeling at your feet ready to do whatever you tell them to do. It’s no wonder
you think you can muscle your way through every situation and get away with it.
Well, this time you can’t. I signed the release and I chose Edward to Top me
for my first time. He’s nothing like you.”
“Right on the money there. Ed’s a sub.”
She gasped. “That’s a lie. He may not be as tall as you but
he’s six foot at least.”
That bizarre comment only further cemented his decision to
break the promise he’d made to his partners and put his foot down with her.
Sure they had mutual friend connections that had garnered her some impressive
leeway with all this, but enough was enough. This latest stunt was a clear
indication that he’d been right all along about her. She was trouble with a
Only for you, because you want her
The wave of adrenaline that rushed through him at the
thought of just taking what he wanted—no, he wasn’t going there, but that
didn’t mean he had to put up with her bratty vanilla ways in his own
establishment either. Partners be damned. They’d all known she’d been looking
in the wrong places during the club’s once-a-month Dom meet-and-greet sub night
and yet none of them had done anything about it. In his case, the only reason
he hadn’t addressed the problem of her sooner was because he never thought
she’d sign a release. The fact that she’d signed the full “Monty” version even
after the ramifications of doing so were explained to her told him she needed a
But then collaring a rabid dog was a lot of work, when one
could just as easily run it off.
“I don’t count on anyone for protection. Enraged father?”
She sniffed. “Who needs one?”
“For a smart girl, you’re reckless.”
He turned so quickly she stepped back a pace before she
caught herself and stood her ground. “I have a black belt.”
“It looks silver to me.” He walked toward her, loving the
way she tried to inconspicuously keep an eye on the door.
When he stopped she looked all the way up at him. Her long
black hair fell off her shoulders like liquid silk as it swung in a perfect
wave against her back. The midnight color was spectacular, gleaming in the
lamp-light, and now that he got close he was able to see her almond-shaped eyes
better. He loved them. They were the color of clear peridots and framed with
thick, expansive lashes.
“You think I’m reckless? Why? Because I’m questioning your
“No.” He reached out to get a feel of her hair, but she
leaned away from his touch before he connected. A good call on her part. They’d
done a good job of managing this odd attraction for months now, and it was best
things stay that way. He dropped his arm and whispered, “Because you’ve just
admitted to me that you have no one to come to your defense should I decide to
take you to task for your behavior.”
“Fuck you.” She pushed against his chest with the flat of
her palms and when he didn’t budge, she unwisely added, “You can kiss my
cocoa-brown ass. Move!”
“Are you scared,
She made a strangled sound and grabbed his shirt with both
hands. Her fingers scrunched the fabric and she used the material to leverage
herself up on her tip-toes when she spoke through her beautiful white teeth,
“My father is East Indian, my mother is a WASP from Boston. I grew up in
Philly. I’m all American, and not your love in any language. Besides, it’s
pronounced mee rah, asshole.”
He fully enjoyed needling her. She hated that he knew a
handful of foreign endearments. Probably as much as she despised the fact that
he did pronounce them correctly. “With that mouth? I’d say you’re an all
American guttersnipe. A woman who looks like you should never be allowed to
swear. It’s undignified.”
Her eyes slowly widened and she attempted to jerk him
forward with the hold she had on him, but it was no use. Her hundred pounds to
his over two was of little consequence. “Undignified?” Her eyes remained fixed.
“Undignified. I shouldn’t be allowed? I do what I want, fuckwad. When I want.
How I want and there isn’t a damn thing you or anyone else can do about it.
This is a free country and I’m a free woman, besides I was invited so don’t
treat me like one of your little subbie slaves who bows at your feet for the
slightest crumb of your attention. I’d never lower myself.”
The phrase “she doth protest too much” rang loud and clear
in his consciousness. The challenge she presented was like a metal gauntlet
smacking him on the cheek. A cheek he’d spent months patiently turning aside.
Sure, she needed someone to pluck the bruised rose petals away from the thorns,
but that someone wasn’t him. He wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment. Not
after what happened to him the last time he took on such a huge project. But
shit, he was tempted.
“Go, before I change my mind.” He wrapped his hands around
hers and forced her to let go of him. When she did he gave her a gentle shove,
creating a distance between them. He had to.
She smelled of apples. Fresh, crisp and tart Macintosh
apples. His favorite. Too bad he couldn’t take a bite out of her. The thought
that he wanted to prompted him to step back. She noticed because she
immediately latched on to his retreat.
“Just like that?” Coming forward, she snapped her fingers
under his nose and he had to muster all the strength he had not to grab that
hand and use it to pull her and her belligerent ass across his lap for the
spanking she so richly deserved. “I’ll go when I’m damn good and ready to go.
Right after you apologize to me.”
This time there was no turning the other cheek. The
challenge had to be met. “You sacrifice much. Take now for instance. I’m
offering you the chance to simply leave and instead you’re hoping to save face
by seeking an apology from me?”
“Yeah well,” She wasn’t paying him any mind as she adjusted
her blouse sleeve in a totally dismissive manner. “You sound like Yoda on
steroids. Sacrifice much,” she mocked. “What a stupid thing to say.”
“Did you really hear the words?”
Now she looked at him. “Of course, I just repeated them,
He took a deep breath and clasped his hands behind his back.
With his hands in this position it lessened the chance he’d do what he had a
hankering to do and wring her lovely neck. “Yes, you did repeat them, but did
you understand them?”
She glared and crossed her arms. “Are you going to apologize
to me or what?”
She frowned and tapped her foot several times. “Or what,
“Nothing.” He unclasped his hands then walked forward and
forward some more, until she was walking backward. Banging into a chair,
bumping her knee against a table just before her ass met the wainscoting, which
made her yelp. When she quieted he added, “Just.” He brought his arms up,
caging her in. “Or.” He curled down over her. “What.”
“Move.” She tried to slide right, he wouldn’t let her. “I
said move.” She attempted an escape going left, but he stopped her.
“You asked me a question and I answered it. Since I’m not
going to apologize there’s only ‘or what’ left for me to do.”
She flattened herself against the wall trim and when she
looked up he hissed in a breath. There wasn’t a drop of fear to be found in her
large eyes. They shone with a confidence that nearly undid him. Hell, he was
trying to intimidate her, he should be pissed she was resisting his every
attempt and yet, oddly he was emphatically turned-on by her coolness. Somewhere
in the back of his mind the voice of reason that always stood him in good stead
Back off. Let her go. Apologize even
apologize to her? Yeah, he would. Right after he
managed world peace and collected his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
from the green guy.
“So do it.”
His heartbeat sped and adrenaline pulsed to life inside him.
Dom mode was revving. “You don’t mean that.”
“I do, but I’m warning you, I don’t fight fair. Especially
when my opponent has a huge size advantage over me.”
He waited for her to blink and when she did he scooped her
up, cradling her as he pinned her arms and legs against him.
“You rotten motherfucker. Put me down.”
“No.” He stalked to the door and called, “Decklan?”
The door swung open, “Yes sir?”
“I’ve had a look at the signed release and since there have
been no other takers, I’ll be bringing Ms. Nehr to the rodeo suite myself.
Please let her friends know she’s in good hands.”
“You goddamn, motherfucking asshole, dickwad with half a
brain. Put me down.”
She was quite a handful. Stronger than he expected and her
language? “Before I take her upstairs, do you mind?” He caught Decklan’s attention
and nodded toward his desk.
“My tie’s in the top right-hand drawer. Gag her for me.”
“What?” She was using all her strength to buck so he
tightened his hold until she gasped for breath. “You can’t do this to mmmmm…”
“Thanks, buddy. I don’t want to offend our guests. She’d got
quite the potty mouth. Jesus.” He barely missed getting his chin knocked
sideways when she tried to headbutt him.
“Shall I go ahead of you and open it up?”
“Absolutely. Smart man.”
He didn’t say a word to her as he stalked through the crowd.
Instead he greeted the well-wishers, curious and envious, with the same
explanation. “Make way, naughty girl in need of instruction coming through.” He
was still chuckling as he stepped over the cordoned-off stairs and climbed them
because she was having a conniption fit that no one came to her aid. But what
did she expect? There wasn’t an invited guest who’d step between one of the Dom
owners and what they perceived to be his errant sub who’d behaved badly.
Reaching the second floor, Ted adjusted her in his arms and
strode down the marble hall nearly to the end. Decklan had unlocked the huge
double doors to the rodeo room and was busy inside turning on lights. It gave
him a moment to admire how the faux gas lanterns, burning in a soft amber haze
on either side of the door, cast Jo’s copper skin in stunning shades and
shadows. She was a beauty. There was no denying that. Just as there was no
denying the woman had a whole world of pain buried deep inside her that had
nothing to do with the moment. His intent was to make her cry. The stubborn
woman looked as if she needed a good cry…well, that and a decent lay, but he
wasn’t going there with her. After the way she’d been behaving she’d have to do
a lot of begging and bowing, as she put it, before he’d even think about
Think about screwing her? No. Not going to happen.
Trouble? Capital T? Remember? Remember.
He eased his grip now that she was tiring, and made his
decision. He’d scare her enough to make her cry and then he’d send her on her
way. Someone needed to call her bluff. Judging by what he’d seen of her tonight
the Doms who had complained about her were right. She had no caution or fear.
She actually thought she could go toe-to-toe with a guy like him and win. That
was the amazing part.
He stepped in and waited for Decklan to leave. Once the door
was closed and they were alone he looked down. What he saw made him frown.
There were no tears, no wariness or pleading in her steady gaze, just a direct
stare that left him cold inside.
“Who hurt you?” he whispered.
She answered him by attempting another headbutt to his chin,
but he pulled back just in time.
“Maybe that wasn’t the question to be asking, eh? Maybe it’s
that no one’s hurt you enough and that’s your problem.”
Hm… Struck a nerve there because she was kicking up a fuss
again. Ignoring her for a moment, he had a look around. The suite was nice, if
not rustic. Done up in taupe and beiges with two oversized chairs upholstered
in black and white animal print fabric that was both bold and masculine. The
king-sized bed had beige-on-beige sheets and duvet with the matching
cowhide-material throw on the bottom. That wasn’t what caught his eye though.
It was the rack beside the heavy iron canopy that got his attention, because
the pegs lined on the top held ropes of various lengths and widths. When she
noticed what held his attention she stopped squirming and glared up at him.