Breaking the Chain

Book 4 of Stronghold

Jared and Leigh both know what it's like to be trapped in a seven year relationship where they give more than they get, the question is whether or not they can move on from them. 

Two steps forward, one step back. That's how Jared's life feels when it comes to his ex Marissa. Every time he thinks he's escaped the vortex of her emotional demands, she ends up sucking him right back in; but for the first time, he thinks he might have the strength to pull free entirely. At least he hopes so. Right now it just seems like he's hurting everyone around him and he doesn't know how to make it right. 

Leigh Douglas spent seven years with the man she thought she would one day marry, but she's now realized that she needs him to fight just as hard for her as she always fought for him. Since he won't, she's working on getting over him and finding someone who won't take her for granted. On the other side of the equation, she's definitely falling for Jared, but he's still entangled with his ex. No one can understand the hooks that Marissa has in him like Leigh can, but that doesn't mean that she's willing to take the back-seat again in another relationship. 

As Jared tries to side-step his ex and Leigh takes her first steps into the domination and submission-filled world of the Stronghold club, their friends hold a collective breath as everyone wonders whose heart will be broken in the end. 

This is a full-length novel with a HEA. It can be read on its own, although is more fulfilling when read as part of the Stronghold series. Breaking the Chain is approximately 93k words long. 

Excerpt

"Um, aren't you supposed to be spanking me?" she asked as she squirmed slightly, trying to find a more comfortable position to look over her shoulder at him.  It was hard to without craning her neck.  

Jared gave her butt a light slap, more sound than sensation, but it was enough to make her jump slightly in surprise. 

"Part of a spanking is the waiting... if it's a pleasurable spanking, that's to build your anticipation in a good way, if it's a punishment spanking, it's to give you time to think about why you're in this position."

"So which is this?" she asked, even though she knew she'd requested this spanking as a punishment.  She gave up trying to look at him and instead focused on the fabric of his couch and the wood grain next to the rug on his floor, which she could actually look at without hurting her neck.  A shiver went down her spine as he rubbed his hand across her ass, as if readying the whole surface in preparation for what was to come.  The fabric of her panties was much thinner than her jeans, and she was feeling really grateful that she hadn't worn a thong, even if the flimsy underwear wasn't exactly protection.

"Well, I'd hate for you to get a bad impression of spankings," he said, sounding amused.  "So let's start with giving you an idea of what a pleasurable spanking is like, and then I'll give you a taste of a punishment spanking, since you were a very bad girl today."

The last part of his speech could have sounded corny or sexy, but in Jared's deep tones that didn't contain even a hint of amusement anymore, it sounded kind of scary.  

But she didn't have a whole lot of time to dwell on it because-

SLAP!

"Oh!"  

The smack was harder than the first one he'd given her, hard enough to sting, but then Jared rubbed his hand over the spot he'd just abused and it felt... good.  

SMACK!

Rub.

SMACK!

Rub.

Leigh knew he was being gentle with her; she'd seen enough spankings at Stronghold and overheard enough of Angel's to know that.  The rhythm was slow and steady, every slap followed by an immediate caress that turned the stinging burn into something softer even as her skin heated.  She knew that this wasn't a hard spanking, and that he was doing everything he could to make sure it felt good... but she still hadn't been expecting to enjoy it so much.

This wasn't pain, not the way that she thought of it.  Yes, it stung when his hand smacked against her flesh, especially as he continued to do so multiple times over the same area, but somehow that didn't translate to hurt.  It felt warm, almost hot, but in the same way her pussy felt hot and needy right now.  Her whole body, really, felt as though it was flushed and heated, and it was all she could do not to moan as his hand came down again.

There was something wonderfully vulnerable about being over his lap while he swatted her butt, and she wasn't too surprised that she enjoyed the helpless feeling.  She'd always liked feeling small and feminine and out of control, especially during sex, but this was a whole new dimension.  Jared was much larger and stronger than Michael, and she had just handed herself over to him.  Heck, she'd stripped off her pants for him and was letting him spank her!

SMACK!

Rub.

SMACK! 

Rub.

The hotter her butt got, the hotter the rest of her got too.  In fact, if he wanted to push the 'friends' boundary thing tonight, that would be more than okay with her.  She was starting to think it had been a stupid idea anyway.  

"Uh-uh," Jared said, smacking the insides of her thighs hard enough to make her squeak.  Ouch!  That hurt way more than her butt!  "Legs apart."

Another wave of heat went through her body.  She knew he didn't mean it in an erotic way, so why did it turn her on so much?  At least she knew she wasn't the only one affected.  Smiling to herself, she spread her legs as she leaned against that hot, throbbing bulge pressing against her side.