After she is captured by Viking raiders, twenty-five-year-old Mairead is left with no choice but to depend on Gunnar Freysson, the battle-hardened leader of the Norsemen, to protect her and her young children. Though he makes it clear that she is his property to do with as he pleases, Gunnar shows remarkable concern for Mairead’s wellbeing, and when she risks her life in a dangerous attempt at escape he does not hesitate to strip her bare and spank her soundly.
The strict punishment leaves Mairead thoroughly ashamed yet helplessly aroused, and when Gunnar takes her in his arms and claims her properly she cannot deny her body’s response to his dominant lovemaking. As the days pass, Mairead realizes that Gunnar cares for her deeply, and despite her situation she finds herself falling in love with the stern, handsome warrior. But can she truly give her heart to the man who took her from her home?
Author: Ashe Barker
eBook Price: $4.95
Length: 78,200 Words
“You will undress, Mairead.”
“I could just raise my skirt. It would be—”
“Your clothes, all of them. I want you naked. Now.”
She flinched at his harsh tone, then nodded and started to unfasten the loose smock that she wore. She removed it quickly and folded it, then reached behind her to undo the tapes that held her woollen skirt in place. She bent to untie her boots, kicked them off, then stood before him clad in just the linen undershirt or sark that she wore next to her skin.
“That too,” he affirmed, though more gently now. He wanted obedience from her, not fear.
She pulled the remaining garment over her head and stood before him, nude, shivering slightly, her face downcast. Her hair was loose and fell in thick waves across her shoulders and breasts, a red mane that he itched to sweep aside in order to properly assess her lush curves. As she began to lift her hands as though to cover her body as best she might he shook his head.
“Do not. I wish to see you.”
“I am embarrassed.”
“I know. And a little cold perhaps since your nipples are hard and swollen, like the berries of the holly.” He allowed himself a sensual curling of his lips as he admired the vision she presented.
“Please, do not—”
“You are beautiful, Mairead. I knew that you would be.”
“I am not young,” she protested, “and I have borne two children.”
“How old are you?
“Twenty-five summers, Jarl.”
He did the calculation. She must have been young when she was first wed. Despite her words, and even knowing she had a son of seven years, he would have guessed her to be not yet twenty, though such details were immaterial to him.
“I repeat, you are beautiful. And you are mine. Do you accept both these truths?”
Her brow furrowed in confusion. “I do not understand. What do you want of me?”
“I want nothing of you, just you, yourself.”