Claiming His Wife

Book 4 of the Domestic Discipline Quartet

Alex has made a lot of mistakes, but he is determined to reconcile with his estranged wife, Grace. He's willing to put their past problems where he thinks they belong - in the past - but insults and disrespect will be met with discipline. He's seen the marriages his friends have, and decided to take a page from their books. Unfortunately for him, Grace is not so willing to let go of past hurts, although she has no choice but to go with him when he basically kidnaps her and takes her to Bath. At least her friends are there for moral support, while she does her best to discover exactly why her husband is so intent on reconciliation rather than divorce. 

Hugh and Irene are blissfully happy, having declared their love for each other, but they seem to be the only ones. Eleanor is pregnant and worried that her condition will mean the end of overt affection and desire from her husband - especially as he hasn't declared any kind of finer feelings for her. She thinks Edwin doesn't realize she's with child, and worries over how to prod a declaration from him. Meanwhile, everyone is gathered in Bath for Wesley's wedding to the brazen and rebellious Cynthia. 

When these four women get together, it's no wonder that both trouble and bright red bottoms loom on the horizon. Each of their husbands is bound and determined to claim and tame his willful wife. 

This books contains adult situations, including spankings, whippings, backdoor play, and explicit scenes. Rated sizzling!

Excerpt

"You try to be spanked?" Irene asked the younger woman, before Eleanor could answer.  She looked as though she was getting a headache, trying to assimilate all these new ideas.  

Cynthia rolled her expressive brown eyes; the smile on her face was pure mischief as she continued to twit Irene.  "Of course... I like it, remember?"  Then her expression changed, as she wrinkled her nose.  "I didn't like being belted so much..."  Although, she had found great pleasure afterwards.  But she wasn't going to bring up the particulars of the encounter.  It took quite a bit to embarrass her, but she wasn't ready to ask the other women if they'd ever been punished inside their bottoms.

That was too new of an experience for even her to be brazen about.

"Belted?"  Irene whispered, looking horrified.  "He belted you?"

Nodding, Cynthia smiled sweetly.  "When I snuck into his bedroom and tried to seduce him."

Grace burst out laughing, quickly setting her teacup down on the table so it didn't spill.  The laughter looked much more natural on her face than the forlorn expression she'd been wearing for most of the morning, so Cynthia was glad.  Her own eyes sparkled merrily.  She might not be an acknowledged beauty like Eleanor or Grace, but both of them seemed to like her.  Irene was too polite to be rude, even if she was scandalized, but she didn't seem to dislike Cynthia, for all her disapproval.  

They were a diverse group, not just in looks, but also in temperament.  Despite Grace's maudlin demeanor when she'd first been introduced, Cynthia recognized the spark and fire of a fellow troublemaker in her.  The same spark she'd felt from Eleanor.  Irene would be the one to keep them toeing the line, she was sure.  Shocking her was quite a bit of fun, and it was becoming increasingly obvious Cynthia wasn't the only one who felt so.   The Countess would probably approve whole-heartedly of Irene as a calming influence on Cynthia.  For herself, Cynthia wondered if the prim redhead, with her aura of innocence, might be corruptible. 

"But you aren't married yet!"  Irene said, sounding exasperated, as if she had no idea what Cynthia had been thinking.

"But we will be soon," she countered.  "He'd already touched me anyway, after spanking me in the carriage.  What difference could it make?"

"Now I know where Alex is getting his ideas from."  The unexpected statement from Grace had all three women looking at her curiously.  She hadn't spoken loudly, but her words had dropped into silence while Irene had been absorbing Cynthia's logic and Eleanor had been watching Irene with amusement.  Seeing them all staring at her, Grace felt a blush rising in her own cheeks.

Listening to the other women talk about their own experiences had been quite a relief.  She'd managed not to think about her first spanking for the past few days, although she'd also avoided earning another one.  Being put over Alex's knee again, so intimately exposed to him, and so horribly vulnerable afterwards, was not something she would repeat by choice. 

Especially right now.  She knew very well that Hugh was in love with his wife, and Edwin was as well - no matter what Nell thought.  It followed that the third member of their triumvirate would also marry for something other than convenience.  All of the men spanked their wives, not maliciously, but because they cared enough to correct their behavior.  In Eleanor's case, it sounded like sometimes it happened for other reasons as well.  When she'd first set out to estrange herself from Alex, she'd felt sure she would drive him away; it would be a much easier way to handle a wife once she was no longer convenient anymore.  

Instead, he had tracked her down, announced his intention to reconcile, and when she'd insulted and cursed at him, he hadn't shut her out or hit her... he'd spanked her.   

Grace felt more brutally confused than ever to think her broken marriage had something common with the loving ones of her friends.

"Alex spanked you?"  Irene asked looking horrified.  She shook her head, her voice dropping to a mere murmur as her green eyes unfocused, as if she was looking at something only she could see.  "I didn't really think he would... not even after..."

"After what?" Grace asked, both curious as to what Irene was referring and eager to turn the conversation away from herself.

Blinking, Irene looked almost surprised she'd spoken out loud.  For all the blushing the ladies had been doing over tea, none of them rivaled the bright pink color Irene's face turned now.  It clashed horribly with her hair.  Her eyes darted around to the other two ladies, but both of them were just as curious as Grace was.  

"Hugh showed Alex how to spank me," Irene whispered, her face turning nearly scarlet as a tomato.  Grace's jaw dropped, Eleanor groaned and Cynthia looked enthralled.  “Several weeks ago.”

“He would,” Eleanor muttered.  She looked at Grace apologetically.  “After our father taught him, I can only imagine Hugh would take up the mantle of an instructor.”

“In his defense, I had accused him of beating me, in front of Alex,” Irene admitted.  She sighed and looked a bit guiltily at Eleanor.  “That was before I really knew the difference between a spanking and a beating.  I thought he was a monster, but as he was instructing Alex, I realized how careful he was being with me.  He was only proving to Alex that I wasn’t being abused.”

“Apparently Alex soaked it up,” Grace said.  Strangely, it hadn’t even occurred to her to think he’d actually beaten her.  Of course, she’d actually been hit by her own father before, and not on her bottom.  Her father had never cuddled her afterwards either.  It was fascinating to know all the different reactions the women had to being disciplined by their husbands.

Eleanor was the only one who had grown up being spanked, obviously.  She had been resistant at first, to having such discipline continue in her marriage, but she’d also found it was very different being spanked by her husband.  There were aspects she certainly enjoyed.  Sheltered Irene had been horrified and frightened by her first experience, and it had taken her some time to realize Hugh had actually not brutalized her when he’d disciplined her.  Now she knew, and her and Hugh’s relationship was better than ever.  She’d never actively court punishment, however, like Cynthia was.  Cynthia’s enjoyment went far beyond anything Eleanor expressed.  And then there was Grace herself, who was confused by her reactions and wondering what it all meant to Alex.

Should she be worried he’d watched Irene being spanked?  She considered the brief stab of jealousy she felt for just a moment before dismissing it.  There was no way Hugh would be willing to share any significant part of his wife.  Grace had known him for too long to think Alex had seen anything worth her being jealous over.  Cringing, she remembered she didn’t want to be jealous over anything to do with him anymore, she shouldn’t care what he had done or seen with anyone.  Not when she still wasn’t sure of his motives.

After behaving the way he wanted and following his lead for the past few days, which had been the easiest route when she’d been trapped in a carriage with him, she was feeling much more rebellious.  So he wanted to reconcile?  Perhaps he thought she would just fall in line, as she had so far, but now they were no longer traveling and she had some allies here.  If they were going to reconcile, they were going to do so on her terms.