Traci Jackson has been a therapist in Corbin’s Bend for several years. She’s helped many residents navigate their own D/s and DD relationships, but she hasn’t found her own HoH. Through her patients, she’s been researching and writing about the dynamics of dominance and submission in relationships for years. She loves her field, but she hates attending professional conventions where she’s treated like her specialty isn’t valid.
Sean Campbell is juggling raising his teenage daughter alone in Chicago while running a large convention hotel. When the annual psychologist convention comes to town, he literally bumps into the most beautiful and intelligent woman he’s met in a long time. He gets the surprise of his life when he finds out her specialty is D/s with an emphasis on corporal punishment.
They may find sparks from the minute they meet, but Traci and Sean have more than just the long distance between Chicago and Corbin’s Bend separating them. Sean has never heard of domestic discipline before. Will Traci pack up and leave Corbin’s Bend to be with the man she’s falling in love with, even if he can never be her true HoH?
I need to preface my review by stating that I never finished season two of Corbin’s Bend and unfortunately, Life’s Unexpected Gifts was among those that didn’t get read. But I will be rectifying that situation as soon as possible because I absolutely loved Psychology of Submission and need to read more about Traci’s downward spiral and how Troy and Hallie got together. Admittedly, as an individual whose degree is in psychology and whose career requires a large amount of data collection and analysis, I expected to enjoy the book as Traci’s focus of research absolutely fascinates me – honestly, I’m jealous that I couldn’t attend her keynote speech. But as has been the case with every book I have read so far this season, there’s a lot to love about Psychology of Submission.
Because I didn’t read Life’s Unexpected Gifts, this was my introduction to Traci and her relationship with her brother Troy. It was clear from their interactions that even though they may have spent several years separated by geography and Troy’s relationship with Hallie may have prevented him from being as involved in Traci’s life as he would have liked, the love between the siblings was obvious. And Traci couldn’t have asked for a better cheerleader than Troy. I loved that their relationship was such that he was able to cut through her self-doubt and deliver the swift kick in the rear she needed to put on her big girl panties and go to the conference and present her research. I only wish Troy could have accompanied her to Chicago to put the bullies in their place. It just goes to show that no matter the educational level obtained, some men will always be little boys. Fortunately for Traci, Sean finds himself in the right place at the right time and is able to offer her a helping hand – no, not that kind of hand… at least not in the beginning.
And that’s actually what made their story so interesting. I really enjoyed watching Sean learn about Domestic Discipline and coming to terms with whether or not he could be the man that Traci needed. Not only did Traci know herself, but she was honest with herself, so she knew there was no way she could live a vanilla lifestyle, no matter how much she cared about Sean. So the success or failure of a potential relationship laid largely in Sean’s hands – hands which he eventually decided were up to the task of taking Traci in hand. I feel like I keep saying this for each of this season’s books, but the sexual chemistry between these two is intense and makes for some spectacular sex scenes. Oh yes, auditioning to be Traci’s HoH certainly brought out Sean’s inner caveman. While the interactions between Traci and Sean were excellent, I found the interactions between them and their respective families to be extremely entertaining. Ms. Grant provides Traci and Sean the perfect ending for them. I’m looking forward to the next installment in Corbin’s Bend Season Three, as well as reading Life’s Unexpected Gifts as soon as possible.
“You still haven’t told me… wait…” Sean’s eyes widened. “Are you a sex therapist?”
“Not exactly, but close. A lot of my research skirts sexual topics, yes.”
Sean whistled before breaking out into a wolfish grin. “Wow, how’s that for luck? The first woman I ask out on a date in eighteen years and she’s a sex therapist.”
Traci slapped his chest harder than she’d meant to. “I said not exactly. It’s a lot more complicated than that.” She was getting defensive. She was so tired of having to defend her field of expertise.
Sean got serious again quickly. “Listen, I was just kidding around. I think it’s great, Trace.”
She was completely caught off-guard by his familiar use of her nickname. She wasn’t sure what to say so Sean pressed her. “Are you good at your job, Traci?”
She took a deep breath before answering. “Yes. I’m a good therapist.”
“Somehow I already knew that. Next question. Did you work hard on your research and putting together your presentation?”
“Of course. I’ve worked my ass off.”
Sean grinned. “Would it be ungentlemanly of me to let you know that I’m pretty sure your ass is still part of your body? I should know. I’ve admired it several times tonight.” He slyly let his left hand slide down from her back and cupped her butt, squeezing gently in appreciation. Even in the dim lighting, Traci could see his grey eyes clouding with desire. Her own breathing was becoming short and she waited, hoping again for a kiss.
It wasn’t to come. “What’s the worst thing that can happen tomorrow, Traci?”
His question caught her off guard. What was the worst thing that could happen? “I don’t know. I guess they could throw rotten tomatoes at me and boo me off the podium.”
Sean laughed at her. “Well, I’ve been managing this hotel for two years and we’ve never had any keynote speaker booed off the stage. If you’d like, I’ll be sure to have the kitchen hide all of the tomatoes in the morning.” His easy jesting helped to calm her.
“That won’t be necessary.”
“Good. So what’s the best thing that can happen tomorrow?”
She’d been so focused on the bad things she feared that she hadn’t even thought of this question before. He gave her time. “I don’t know. I guess I’ll present interesting and helpful information to my colleagues and they’ll be able to use it as they treat their own patients.”
“That’s great, but I predict you’re going to earn the respect of a lot of your peers. Now, are you going to go in there and hold your head up high?”
“I guess. I don’t really have a choice.”
“That didn’t sound very convincing.”
“It’s not easy. There are some jerks out to discredit me.”
“Don’t let them make that your problem. The best way to combat that is to knock your presentation out of the park. Then they’ll look like idiots to criticize you.”
“I guess. You’d make a pretty good therapist, you know that?”
Sean grinned. “I doubt that. I’ve had an ulterior motive.”
“And that was?”
“Well, I’m holding you in my arms and feeling up your ass, aren’t I?”
A surge of emotions converged as the intimacy of their embrace reminded the occupants of the gondola hanging one-hundred and fifty feet above the ground of their first private moment together. Sean looked into her eyes and searched to ensure she was a willing partner in what was about to happen. Traci’s heart raced as she self-consciously licked her lips, hoping their conversation was at an end. To his credit, he didn’t ask before he closed the distance between them.
Sean’s lips claimed her with a tenderness that quickly escalated with an urgency that told her he was fighting to maintain control. When she parted her lips, Sean pressed his tongue forward, sweeping in to claim her in an open-mouth kiss full of a promise Traci wished could be true. Sean clutched her closer, pulling her to sit in his lap as she threw her arms around his neck. She slid her hands through his thick, dark hair and held him in a way to ensure he couldn’t escape.
They made out like teenagers. Kissing… moaning… groping… Through her escalating sexual haze, Traci could feel the swell of Sean’s cock under her ass, impossible to ignore. Did she dare hope he wanted to make love to her as badly as she wanted him at this moment? If they were at the hotel instead of on a carnival ride, she was positive she wouldn’t want him to stop, one-night-stand or not.
The sound of an embarrassed young worker clearing his throat reminded them that they had returned to earth, literally. They pulled out of their kiss, but Sean was in no hurry to exit the ride. Instead, he reached up to brush her cheek tenderly, the sexiest smile on his face.
“I think we’re going to have to take an intermission, Ms. Jackson.”
Traci grinned back with relief. “That implies our date isn’t over yet.”
“I sure hope not. Let’s go.”
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Blushing Books