Comment from Lesley, ARC reviewer:
“I just finished it.... I loved every word. Thank you [Bella] for writing such beautiful work. I want to live at Waldorf Manor.”
“I love how she describes the characters in a way that makes me feel like I know them and want to be part of their world. I would buy anything by Bella Bryce. I got a free ARC but I still plan to buy this book to add to my collection.”
Love is a decision. It isn’t a fleeting emotion, and it stands firm when everything else is shaken. Brayden James has learned through raising his adopted daughter, Alice, that discipline is only part of what is required to establish stability. When a devastating incident causes Alice to see the reality of her prior circumstances, she is affirmed once again in her life at Waldorf. Brayden’s healing love is exactly what she needs, and his blossoming relationship with Anabelle Grayson mirrors that in its purest form. Brayden and Ana are now exploring the facets of their courtship between the deeply desired accountability system of domestic discipline and some rather amusing scenarios.
The fifth book in the series turns particular attention to Waldorf and where it all began, giving the reader a close-up look at the man who thought he lost everything he loved when his parents died. With glimpses at the supporting cast of the series, we learn how the boundaries of marriage are built when love is at the heart of relationships. What began as Alice’s story of forgiveness and healing has turned an entire social circle to focus on their need for unmovable, sacrificial and unfailing love.
“The only absolute in this house is that you will behave,” he whispered between the locks of her wavy brown hair. An undeniable smile spread across Annabelle’s lips as she looked down. Being the centre of his attention, even in the centre of a grand house like Waldorf made tingles dance through her veins.
They took the air of flirtation up to Brayden’s study where she couldn’t help but stare at the Chesterfield when they first walked in. It was so much more than a piece of grand furniture in a gentleman’s study. She smiled and perched on the arm as Brayden poured himself a drink. “Is something the matter?”
He didn’t look over. “Why is that, Darling?”
“You normally drink brandy.”
“There are times when a gentleman needs grapes and times when he needs grains.” He picked up the tumbler and turned toward her, “and you’re sitting on the arm of my spanking sofa.”
“I know.” She smiled and used her hands to push herself up gracefully to a standing position. “I just wanted to see what it was like to sit on it instead of going over it.”
Brayden carried his drink to the sofa and sat down. “My darling, you were over my knee not over the arm of the sofa. The arm of the sofa is for serious punishment.”
“It’s all the same, isn’t it?” She sat down beside him and displayed a teasing grin.
“Certainly.” He decided to agree in the moment. Ana made a silly comment; she’d never been over the arm of his sofa and it most certainly was not the same as being across his lap. Not even close. He let the comment slide because he wanted to kiss her and if he needed to straighten out the details of discipline he couldn’t kiss her just yet. They leant forward and carried on persistently in their affections. His crystal tumbler travelled through mid-air slowly until it found the table beside them. Brayden’s hands went to cradle her face. Ana was undone. She’d been undone, unable to concentrate and completely sold out for Brayden since the last time they were on that sofa. They inched closer as they kissed and enjoyed the rare coveted moments of complete privacy in the study where the light was swallowed by dark drapes and wood panelling. There was a natural point when the kissing slowed and they parted in order to look at one another.
“Every time I come to your house to play we end up snogging,” Ana teased. She pulled one of his braces and caused it to snap back against his chest. “I hope my parents don’t catch us.” She bit her bottom lip.
Brayden chuckled quietly. “A bit of role-play. Is that what you’re vying for, Miss Greyson?”
“Humour me.” She left a lingering kiss to the side of Brayden’s lips, just at the corner of his mouth. Now he was smitten. He hid it well as he slipped right into the mystery role of whatever scene would uncover as they worked it out.
“I make no guarantee of your parents,” he said as he pulled her close. “Perhaps they need to hear just how misbehaved girls should be dealt with. I saw you cheating on the Maths exam today at school.”
Anabelle’s cheek flushed. “I wasn’t cheating,” she played along.
“You were cheating.” He held her chin between his fingers.
“What are you going to do about it?” She swallowed as their eyes locked.
“What your father never will.” Brayden had to force himself to hold back kissing her. If it was role-play she wanted, then following up a line like that with more snogging would completely ruin it. Anabelle didn’t want to brat her way across Brayden’s knees but she knew she wanted to be positioned there – and because she’d earned it – not asked for it plainly. He wanted Ana to be happy and to enjoy their time together so he would give her what she wanted.
“My father will never buy me a car. How about one of those?”
“I wasn’t referring to that.” He let go of her chin. “However, a smacked bottom in a new car isn’t outside the realm of possibility.” With the thought left to linger Brayden stood.
“Where are we going?”
He took her by the hand. “Didn’t I just tell you?”
“Brayden!” She whispered unbelievingly as she trotted behind him out of the study and down the grand staircase. “What on earth!?”
“Shhhh. Your parents will hear,” he played along in a business-like voice. They crossed the foyer and descended the front stairs of Waldorf and went along the gravel, causing Ana’s other hand to cover her mouth with delight. They hurried to the quad-door brick garage on the far side of the circular drive. Brayden stopped near the entry and typed in a code, which released the small door. The four garage doors could only be accessed from the inside, which housed the four cars belonging to Brayden. The first in line was Brayden’s late father’s 1967 Ferrari. The next along was his late mother’s 955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, then Brayden’s custom built, top of the line Jaguar XJR, and finally the Rolls Royce. The door on the far end of the garage was the one that opened and closed the most because Jude cleaned, polished or drove the Rolls Royce every day. Brayden didn’t really touch the other cars anymore. He hadn’t touched the custom made Jaguar his parents gave him for his 25th birthday. Not since they died on his 26th, anyway.
“Are we allowed in here?” Anabelle was practically whispering as Brayden held her hand securely. He led her between the bonnets of the cars and the brick wall to their right.
“Of course we are. I’m master of the house,” he laughed, lightly. “Back into character, young lady.” When they reached the third card, Brayden pulled Ana between himself and the Jaguar.
“Well, if it’s my house, then why are we sneaking out to your car?”
“So your parents don’t hear you cry when I smack your bottom.” His face was serious as he looked into her eyes. They could have an entire conversation just by staring at one another, but this wasn’t the time. Ana wanted role-play and role-play she was going to get.
He abandoned her momentarily and performed a numerical code on the door to unlock the Jaguar. He thought about driving out of the gates and down the lane to the Dead End to deliver the promised punishment, but if Alice knew they left the property she would have been upset. It wasn’t the kind of thing a responsible father did, so he settled for opening the back door and planted himself in the middle of the leather seats. “Anabelle.”
She followed his voice effortlessly and left the passenger door open as she put both hands on the edge of the leather seat and bent down to look in at him. “This isn’t my car,” she teased.
“It will be once I’ve smacked you in it.” He reached for one of her hands. “I called your name once. Come here.” He pulled her into the car and across his lap.
“Are you serious? Here?” Anabelle’s character briefly cracked.
“I’m serious about you studying for your exams,” he replied, ignoring the fear she had about being smacked across his lap in the garage. “Cheating is despicable.” He pulled up her dress and rested his hand on her black tights and satin knicker-covered bottom.
She looked over her shoulder. “I didn’t really cheat.”
“You did. We may be the same age but I hoped we would go to University together. You won’t be getting into any school if you’re caught doing things like that on exams.” Brayden pulled down her tights. “I don’t think you want your parents to know about your little escapade this afternoon so I suggest you take discipline from me like a good girl.”
She was loving the imaginary idea of them being seniors at the same school on the cusp of adulthood, and that Brayden was about to discipline her for cheating on an exam in their Maths lesson. For a quickly fabricated bit of role-play, Anabelle was completely invested.
He pulled her knickers down to the backs of her legs. “What is one plus one?” Anabelle swallowed. “Two, Sir.”
Smack, smack. “Correct.” Brayden’s hand lifted again. “What is two plus three?”
Brayden laid the results of the answer on her backside. “Good girl. So far, I see no reason for you to have cheated.”
“It was a lot more difficult on the exam! Those are infant school Mathematics problems,” Anabelle accused over her shoulder.
“Very well.” He pulled his hand back and gave her two more hard smacks.
“Owww,” she whimpered with a bit of a chuckle.
“What is four squared?”
Anabelle groaned. “A lot more smacks than I’d like to take.”
Smack. “A five year old could answer that.”
“Then perhaps you should go ask one.”
“Oh dear. You won’t be able to sit down at school tomorrow.” He pulled his hand back and laid three in a row on her exposed skin. After a pause, he laid another. “Four squared.”
“Sir,” Brayden reminded her.
“Sorry. Four squared is Sir.” Anabelle couldn’t help but giggle.
“Don’t be cheeky.” This time he gave three smacks to the backs of each thigh. Anabelle jumped at the first one and squirmed for the rest. She gasped at how sensitive the flesh was on the backs of her legs. “That’s not fair!”
“It is fair. Maybe if your father had taught you how to behave properly, you wouldn’t be in the back of your boyfriend’s car getting a smacked bottom for cheating on your Maths exam.” He clicked his tongue.
“I can think of something far more interesting to do in the back of my boyfriend’s car,” she muttered.
“Is that so?” He laid another five on the back of her thighs which caused Ana to whine and whimper. She was also stifled by chuckles at how amusing their little session had become. “That was your warm up.” Brayden moved his hand to her bottom and began a steady stream of consistent whacks, which were swallowed by the vault-like interior of the car. Even with one of the back doors open the echo was halted before it had a chance to bounce off the brick walls of the garage. After countless smacks, he paused. “Perhaps I should have done this up in your bedroom where your parents could hear. They might thank me for it.”
“That’s not funny, Brayden,” her pretend teenager attitude retorted.
He started smacking her again. “I’m not laughing.” His hand painted her pink bottom a shade darker.
“Oww,” she whimpered. “It actually really hurts.”
“That’s enough chatting.” He quickened his tempo so it was a full-on, proper bit of discipline. Anabelle found herself wincing out of necessity as she was being whacked, but it didn’t really hurt. Adrenaline had been released from the first moment Brayden took her by the hand and down the stairs outside the manor as if they were running away together, and it only heightened when he pulled her across his lap in the back of his luxury car. Jude could have caught them at any moment if he was outside, and just the idea of him walking in on her being spanked was far more concerning than the actually throbbing of her backside.
“If only I could have done this to you today at school the moment I caught you looking at what’s her name’s exam,” he slowed the smacks down so that they were one every three seconds. “Right in the middle of the classroom for everyone one to see.” Even the very hypothetical situation made Anabelle blush.
“No, Sir,” she replied, gingerly.
Brayden stopped after her bottom was an astounding shade of red. “That’s right.”
Her heart was racing and she wondered if her request for Brayden to humour her was a good idea. She was positive he just guaranteed a very restless night for her, and not only because her bottom would sting. She would be thinking about him with unashamed, utter distraction. Brayden pulled her knickers up, followed by her tights, then pulled her dress down slowly, ensuring he took his time to arrange the pleats neatly across her bottom and thighs.
“Up you get.” He gave her another smack.
Anabelle’s very red face was pointed downward as she backed herself out of the car. He closed the door and walked to the front passenger door on the left, then leant in and retrieved something from inside the glove box. “Hold out your hand, young lady.” She did as he asked, having enjoyed every moment of that little episode. What more could he give her? “As promised, something your father will never give you.” He placed the keys of his Jaguar XJR into her open palm.
Bella is a 28-year-old English writer of clean adult niche market smacky bottoms fiction published exclusively with Blushing Books. To learn more visit her website: www.authorbellabryce.com
· Twitter: @bella_bryce