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Authors: Ashe Barker

Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction

Unsure

BOOK: Unsure
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Table of Contents

Legal Page

Title Page

Book Description

Dedication

Trademarks Acknowledgement

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

New Excerpt

About the Author

Publisher Page

A Totally Bound Publication

Unsure

ISBN #
9781781848333

©Copyright Ashe Barker 2013

Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright October 2013

Edited by Sarah Smeaton

Totally Bound Publishing

This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Totally Bound Publishing.

Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Totally Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.

The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.

Published in 2013 by Totally Bound Publishing,
Newland House, The Point, Weaver Road, Lincoln, LN6 3QN

Warning:

This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
heat rating
of
Totally Melting
and a
Sexometer
of
2.

This story contains 175 pages, additionally there is also a
free excerpt
at the end of the book containing 9 pages.

Sure Mastery

UNSURE

Ashe Barker

Book one in the Sure Mastery Series

He’s hurt her once, and terrified her. He holds her future in his hands. Can she trust him with her body too?

Desperate to escape her past and start over, Ashley McAllister cuts her ties with her old life and heads for the wild landscape of West Yorkshire, the perfect place to reinvent herself. And her carefully laid plans are working, until she encounters her nemesis—the one man she’d hoped never to see again—Tom Shore, the man she and a gang of thugs attacked and robbed, and who swore he’d make her pay. He owns the cottage she’s made her home and adores, and now he wants his pound of flesh. So he takes it.

Intimidated and beaten by her sexy and dominant landlord, and totally confused by her intense physical response to him, Ashley needs Tom to guard her secrets. But will he and his enigmatic and terrifying friend, Nathan Darke, allow her to leave her past behind and start again? Having survived her first explosive and humiliating encounter with Tom, Ashley struggles to get her new life back on track. But Tom wants her. His demanding, persuasive, sensual charm is almost irresistible, his mastery of her assured.

But—can she submit to Tom’s dominance? Should she? Ashley has escaped one violent and abusive relationship. Is she about to be sucked into an even darker and more dangerous liaison?

Dedication

As ever, this book is dedicated to my daughter Hannah, still a work in progress, and my husband John.

Trademarks Acknowledgement

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

Clio: Renault S.A.

Volvo Estate: AB Volvo

Co-op: Co-operative Group Limited

Coronation Street
: ITV plc

eBay: eBay inc.

Aga: Aga Rangemaster Group plc

Go-Cat: Nestlé Purina PetCare Company

Pot Noodles: Unilever

Land Rover Discovery: Land Rover

Photoshop: Adobe Systems, Inc.

Levi’s: Levi Strauss & Co.

Windows: Microsoft Corporation

Anadin: Pfizer, Inc.

Currys: Currys

Nikon: Nikon Corporation

Porsche: Porsche Automobil Holding

Google: Google, Inc.

Hobnobs: McVitie’s

Post-It: 3M Company

Doc Martens: R. Griggs Group Ltd

Skype: Microsoft Corporation

Sky: British Sky Broadcasting

Playstation: Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.

Bose: Bose Corporation

Budweiser: Anheuser-Busch InBev

Corona: Grupo Modelo

Spar: Spar (UK) Limited

Michelin: Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin SCA

World Wildlife Fund: World Wide Fund for Nature

Barbie: Mattel

Love Actually:
Richard Curtis

iPhone: Apple Inc.

iPad: Apple Inc.

Crimestoppers: Crimestoppers Trust

McDonald’s: McDonald’s Corporation

Hoover: The Hoover Company

Velcro: Velcro

Prologue

June 2011, Bristol

Given his profession, he might by now have developed a greater fondness for mud. It would appear not. In fact, he was fast discovering a distinct aversion to muddy puddles. Especially when viewed from this angle.

Spitting the filthy water from his mouth and praying that his tetanus shots were up to date, Tom pushed himself cautiously up onto his elbows and shot a murderous glance at the quartet retreating along the river towpath. The three males sauntered in the lead, laughing and play-punching each other, obviously more than satisfied with their evening’s work. The smaller female figure hurried along behind, made clumsy and slow by her only-just-obvious pregnancy—and by the heavy knapsack that none of the vicious dickheads with her seemed inclined to help carry. Tom watched them through his rapidly closing left eye and winced as he tried to move his mouth to shout something abusive. Or maybe just croak. On reflection—he knew he’d lost this round, so better to accept the outcome of the somewhat uneven struggle, for now, and live to fight another day. And fight he would, if he ever came across any of those four again.

The silhouettes shrank into the distance as they passed under a bridge, heading for the narrow stone steps leading up onto the busy main route into Bristol city center—the steps Tom had strolled down on impulse just a few minutes earlier, intending a late-night riverside stroll before returning to his hotel. He’d just delivered his presentation to the National Farmers’ Union annual conference here in Bristol, treating them to his thoughts on the commercial potential of ‘care farming’, a new approach to agriculture that shared the finer points of the farming lifestyle with people who might appreciate it. His own several thousand acres in Yorkshire were already attracting people with physical or mental disabilities. Tom welcomed them, engaging them in woodland management, poultry farming, even letting them help him out with lambing. And any help there was always welcome. His visitors seemed to enjoy the experience, and he benefited from their involvement—from the voluntary work they did, which as often as not turned into casual labor that he could pay them for. And he found he also loved their company—resilient, creative, inspirational people.

The talk had gone well—the audience of hard-nosed, profit-driven farmers had seemed to get it. Life was good in Tom’s view. And as if to prove it, he had found himself strolling back to his hotel on a beautiful summer’s evening. The night was warm, moonlit, and he had decided he fancied a walk. If it had been raining, chilly, maybe a little breezier, he’d have just zipped up his leather jacket, pulled the collar up round his neck and headed straight for his car.

Now his bloody jacket was heading away from him, slung loosely across the skinny shoulders of the lead mugger, the one called Kenny apparently. Fuck! He loved that jacket. Paid not far off a thousand quid for it plus import duty when he’d brought it back from Egypt two years earlier. It fitted like a glove. And that thieving little scrote would be lucky to get more than the price of a couple of hits of heroin for it in some backstreet pub.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Cursing solidly, his trace of a Scots accent sharply accentuated as his temper spiked, Tom pushed himself painfully to his knees, his hands still splashing around in the sludgy pool of cold water left over from the earlier rain—the refreshing late spring shower that had given way to such a glorious evening, now turned distinctly inglorious by the vicious assault he’d just been subjected to. And been lucky to survive in one piece, possibly, if that knife he’d had shoved in his face was any indication.

Tom had only managed about six paces from the bottom of the steps before the three youths had materialized out of nowhere—the fourth, the skinny girl, hovering behind them. The leader—Kenny—had planted himself directly in front of Tom, cigarette in hand, and had asked for a light. Even before Tom had been able to respond that he didn’t smoke, another of the little gits had grabbed at his briefcase. Tom had started to fight back and got a couple of decent punches in—he probably outweighed all three of the little shits combined and was a lot fitter, no doubt the result of a lifetime of physical outdoor work and a decent diet over the years. But he’d been felled by a blow to the back of his head. The girl? He wasn’t sure. Quite probably. But once on the ground the three lads had had the upper hand, or more accurately foot, and had laid into him with boots and fists. Unable to defend himself he’d hunched up to weather the storm.

Eventually the three thugs had had enough fun for one evening, and Kenny had grabbed Tom round the neck and hauled him to a sitting position. Another little bastard had crouched in front of him, sticking a smallish but murderous-looking flick knife in his face.

“You had enough yet, city boy?”

City boy!

Kenny had roughly yanked Tom’s prized jacket from him and hurled it at the girl, still hovering silently on the fringes of the action. “Check what’s in there, Shaz. And get a move on for fuck’s sake. This big bastard’s not gonna be down for long.”

So, not supremely confident after all. Despite Kenny’s view on the matter Tom had had his doubts, and privately thought he might be down a good while yet if the shooting pain in his side was any indication. At least two broken ribs, the possibility of a broken nose and his blurred vision all suggested a monster concussion. The three scumbags might be scrawny, but they knew where to stick their boots once the victim was down.

Shaz, on the other hand, had not been so skilled at her task and had fumbled her way through his jacket pockets, locating only his wallet, which had been immediately snatched by Kenny. He’d opened it and rifled through the contents, pocketing the cash and credit cards before flinging the empty wallet in the river.

Shaz had missed the iPhone in the hidden zipped pocket in the lining of the jacket. Not so Kenny. Aiming another punch into Tom’s ribs for good measure, and seemingly satisfied at the grunt of pain it elicited, he’d then flung Tom back into the mud and advanced on the girl, who was still groping desperately at the soft black leather jacket. After shoving her so roughly that she’d stumbled backwards and fallen heavily onto her back, he’d yanked the jacket from her hands and thrown the briefcase at her instead. It had clattered along the towpath beside her, bursting open, the papers from Tom’s speech delivered to the conference just an hour earlier now fluttering along the riverside.

Kenny’s instructions had been succinct. “Fucking shift, you stupid cow! Stick anything worth having in the bag. Then get his watch.”

Apparently done with his dirty work then and merely supervising from here on in, Kenny had shoved his arms into the sleeves of the jacket, twisting his skinny torso from side to side to admire his new look. None of his associates had seen fit to comment.

BOOK: Unsure
4.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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