Rancher Caitlin Olsen is in complete control of her life. After years of taking care of others, she’s on her own and loving every minute. She has her horses and her ranch. What more does she need? Yet deep inside, she yearns to give up all her responsibilities and simply experience life. When a friend suggests she try a bit of BDSM role-play, she does her research and accepts an invitation to Pleasure Manor for a fairy tale event.
War hero and Dominant, Damon Steele is a loner. His failure to keep his men alive destroyed too many hopes and dreams. He won’t be responsible for anyone else's life or happiness ever again. There’s no room in his life—or his heart—for romance. Instead, he satisfies his needs at BDSM clubs and never with the same sub. Taking part in the fairy tale event at Pleasure Manor is difficult enough, but when Beauty challenges him both in the bedroom and out, he’s not sure he can control his inner beast.
“Damon, could you come over here?” She held the reins of the two in bad shape.
He joined her. “Caitlin—”
“Look at them. Mistreated, abused, and abandoned. Now they’ll find hope, contentment, and happiness. They’ll never go hungry or be alone. They’ll learn to trust and love. Their lives start here. And they’ll live to be old and die here.”
“I’m not a horse to be saved, Caitlin. I’m not abused or mistreated or starved.” He shoved aside the abandonment he’d felt as a child. He’d gotten over his childhood a long time ago but knew he’d never forgive himself for abandoning his men.
She met his gaze, her whiskey-dark eyes churning with emotion and the sheen of tears. “You abuse yourself, Damon. You mistreat you, and you are as starved as any of these horses. Not of food but of acceptance and forgiveness. Like each of these animals, you’ve lost hope. These animals were helpless to change their situations. They couldn’t fight for happiness. But you can.” Her gaze turned intense. “And you will.”
She cupped the side of his face with one hand. “I’m not asking you to stay for me, not even asking for you to give us a chance. I want to help you heal and find your way back.”
He lowered his forehead to hers. “Caitlin…”
His throat closed off, stopping him from telling her he didn’t deserve what she offered. He closed his eyes. He was better off alone, but her touch, her scent, her voice arrowed deep into his being. Some long-denied part of him screamed for what she offered.
A hard nudge to his shoulder threw him off balance, and he landed on his ass. Blinking, he glared at the black horse with sad eyes staring down at him. She lowered her head and snorted, her breath fanning his face. “What the hell?”
Caitie laughed gently. “I think you’ve been claimed.” She reached down and helped Damon to his feet. She handed him the reins. “She’s yours.”
“What?” This time when the animal butted against him, he was braced and ready.
“While you’re here, you are responsible for her care. You’ll feed her, clean her stall, exercise her, groom her, make her feel safe, and teach her to trust and love.”
“That’s a tall order for a couple hours.” He eyed the mare and swore he felt a connection as he stared into her large, soft, brown eyes.
Caitlin patted his shoulder. “Oh, I think you’ll be here longer.”
The sound of wheels crunching gravel had him whipping around. “Dammit.” Glorie rolled down her window. “I packed what I could for you while you were in the shower.” She wrinkled her nose. “Might need to wash most of them first.” She waggled her fingers, then she and her car shot down the drive toward the highway.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sydney St. Claire is the pseudonym of Susan Edwards, author of 14 Historical Native American/Western/Paranormal romances and the author of the popular “White” Series.
Sydney loves writing and sharing stories of love, happiness and dreams come true with her readers. She credits her mother for her writing success. Encouraged to read as a child, she always preferred happy endings which meant romances were her favorite genre. Sydney takes her readers into the world of erotica romance where her characters come together in explosive passion as they solve life’s problems and find true love along with the best sex our hero and heroine have ever experienced.
Sydney’s office is quite crowded with three dogs at her feet and five cats to keep her company while she writes. Three cats always insist on beds on her desk, barely leaving enough room for her monitor and keyboard. Life gets fun when all five insist on supervising…
When not writing, she enjoys crafts of all sorts including quilting, sewing, cross-stitch and knitting. She and her husband of 30 + years are avid gardeners. He takes care of the veggies, and Susan is in charge of the ‘pretties’. Her medicine wheel garden is in a contact state of war: flowers vs. weeds. Sadly, right now the weeds are wining…
While writing, she listens to a wide variety of music. Her current favorites are Blackmore’s Night and David Lanz.
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