Lady Caroline Duncan has always been an extremely proper young woman and does not step out of societal boundaries, ever. While awaiting an imminent proposal of marriage, Caroline decides she wants to play the sought out daughter of a Duke one last time. She wants a short season of parties in London before returning to her propriety dictated life, forever. She will dip her toe into the invigorating river of rule breakers just this once.
It is at this precise moment that Lord Alexander Ravens declares his long-awaited suit for Caroline’s hand. Caroline is thrilled to have captured the heart of the handsome Alexander but is hesitant to deny herself a chance at a last adventure. Sharing her desires with Alexander, she is pleased when he grants her permission. With great reservation, he draws up a contract that allows a clandestine betrothal only known by the intimate family. She can have her freedom within the edicts of proper society. Even the caveat that Ravens will promptly deal with all indiscretions over his knee barely gives Caroline pause.
As the month progresses, Ravens and the rest of her family are not happy with this new Caroline. When pulling her out of scrapes seems to be the order of the day, Ravens begins to fear that the lessons delivered onto her bare bottom aren’t enough to bring his beloved back into the folds of decorum. Is Caroline’s defiance of the tenets of polite society and a month of frivolity worth jeopardizing her fragile reputation producing a lifetime of loss? Will she estrange her rules-governed fiancé for a little bit of fun?
As the men approached, the ladies stopped their forward motion. The look on both men’s faces was formidable. Caroline’s face was still red from the biting wind that had streaked across it in bold lines. Her eyes still sparkled from the exertion and it made her even more of a breathtakingly beautiful sight to even the most jaded eye of which neither of these men was.
“Lady Barrington, have you a hearing deficit?” asked Barrington.
“Sir?” Was her ill-advised response.
If Barrington was in the mood for the cheeky side of Amelia, he might have laughed at her attempt to be submissive, but it would not do today as he was visibly furious.
“Caroline, did I not say that the stables were off limits today?”
Caroline nodded and then looked over at Lord Ravens, who said nothing verbally, but his face and stance was quite conversational. He sat stoically and as a judge sitting on his bench, waiting to pass sentence once the evidence was in and the verdict announced. Her bottom clinched quite unbidden.
Caroline caught his gaze and watched it soften. She felt that odd ache in her nether regions making her squirm in her saddle The guilt caused her nose to tingle, announcing the arrival of tears. Ravens gave her a knowing look that she was unsure how to take, but his face was less intense which eased her strife.
“And Amelia, are the two of you riding astride, without the benefit of your husband or a proper escort for Caroline?” asked Morgan rhetorically.
“Yes sir, but…” Barrington raised his hand to stop her words and Caroline was aghast when she heard Amelia grunt in exasperation. He raised his eyebrows in disbelief.
“No, I do not wish to have more than answers to my questions at this time. I had hoped that the women in my family would regard my words out of respect, but I see that was not your intention. So, I stated no stables today and yet you went anyway, no riding astride allowed unaccompanied and yet here you are, and where is your groom, my lady?”
“I do not have one, sir.” It was evident that Amelia knew her words would fall on deaf ears and s did not speak further.
“Ah. That would appear to be the truth of it. It is very lucky for you, my dear, that your groom understands that if you make an inappropriate choice that he is to make it right. He has followed you two the whole way. Lord Ravens desired a visit to Chase Abbey. He stopped at Duncan’s Rose Manor and upon learning from Father of Caroline’s visit to coincide with his he was pleased to use that time to reacquaint himself with her. I am assured that Caroline would want him to make himself known to her once again.”
Barrington was still speaking to Amelia, but then he looked over at Caroline with an unmistakable message of retribution in her future. Caroline meekly lowered her eyes.
Alyssa Bailey is a dyed in the wool Texan living in the beauty of Southeast Alaska with her husband, her youngest four (of eleven) children, two dogs and two cats. She lives where the sky meets the mountains, the mountains meet the ocean, and the wildlife frolic on land, sea, and air. People, the ultimate interlopers, are wedged in where allowed and are properly thankful for the privilege.
Her first memory of books was when her mother read to her as a small child. She began writing as soon as she could put letters together to form words. Her first story at the age of six was about a performing horse that ran away from the circus. As she got older and read more of a variety of books, she would say, “I can do better than that” and then rewrite them in her head. She was writing fanfiction before fanfiction was a ‘thing.’
In high school and college, she won journalism and special recognition for her academic and fictional writing. Alyssa is a firm believer in all things spanking. She loves writing about domestic discipline and power exchanges between strong, intelligent women who are not afraid to make a stand and men confident enough to give them their space but Alpha enough to keep his woman safe, in spite of herself. Her characters predominately live in Regency England amongst lords and ladies, in the contemporary realm amongst men and women of the world, and all things Cowboy. Contact her, she loves to chat, and as always, have a Spankolicious day!
Blog/web page: http://alyssabailey.com/