Dark Without You by Sue Lyndon - Romance>BDSMTotal Love. Domestic Discipline. He takes her world firmly in hand...
Alice Grove owes her brother a lot. After all, he adopted her after their parents died and worked several jobs just to keep food on the table. When he asks for her help keeping a musician from the band he manages happy until the end of their tour, Alice is more than willing. She’ll do just about anything to please the enigmatic drummer she’s had a crush on since they were kids.
Andy Steel detests life in the limelight. Touring for weeks on end with no company besides his fellow band members, trashy girls, and an endless supply of booze doesn't suit his old-fashioned ideals. He aches to have a long-lasting relationship with just one woman—but not just any relationship. He expects obedience inside and outside of the bedroom, and he won't hesitate to enforce his rules by giving his woman a good spanking. When he meets up with his childhood friend Alice in Chicago, all grown up and aiming to please, Andy knows the heat they generate is something special. Until he hears about Alice’s real reasons for joining the tour, and until she skips town without so much as a good-bye. Andy has no qualms about chasing after her, but he may not like what he discovers along the way.
Reader Rating: 4.0 (4 Ratings)
Excerpt:A deep and growing frustration had Andy on edge. Muttering curses under his breath, he banged a stiff packet of sugar against the sticky diner table. He tore it over his coffee and grabbed two more packs, only to give them the same brutal treatment. Months on the road as a drummer touring with the band Soul Smashers had taken its toll. Everything pissed him off. Stiff packets of sugar were the least of his worries. He wanted out. He wanted to be as far away from the limelight as humanly possible. Cupping the coffee between his hands, he inhaled the powerful aroma and took a long sip. The bittersweet, hot liquid rolled down his throat and spread through his center like a cascade reaching every cell in his body.
Now that he was more alert, it was time for a difficult conversation with his breakfast companion. He stared across the table at Rich, his band manager and longtime friend. Seemingly unaware of Andy’s turmoil, Rich was sending e-mails on his phone while stuffing his face with blueberry pancakes. The drummer took a deep breath and cleared his throat.
Rich looked up, chewing vigorously. “So why the hell did you wake me up this early?” he asked through his mouthful of food.
Here it goes, Andy thought. He sat his beverage down and straightened up in the booth, directly meeting the other man’s curious gaze. “I can’t finish the tour. I want out.” He ran a hand through his shoulder-length blond hair and reached for his coffee with the same fidgeting hand.
Rich leaned back, his hearty appetite suddenly vanished. “She was a groupie, Andy, nothing more,” he said. “A whore.”
Andy’s face heated as his temper flared. The deep frustration bottomed out until a white-hot pain seared across his heart for what seemed like the thousandth time. He leaned forward, fisting his hands in the air. “Her name was Madison. And she was no whore.” Except she was, sort of. The coffee was suddenly tasteless. His throat felt like sandpaper and blood. He swallowed hard.
“Whatever she was, she’s gone.” Rich’s tone was softer now. “And we have contracts signed with fifteen more venues, twelve of which are completely sold out. Don’t be stupid, man. If you want to quit the band after the tour, let’s talk about it then. But don’t leave your brothers hanging. Do you really think we’d be able to find a replacement for you that easily?”
As much as Andy wanted to drop everything and drive away from whatever pit stop town this was, he knew Rich was right. Soul Smashers’ second record was huge and most of the venues had sold out. Overnight, they had become household names. Overnight, they had become rich beyond their wildest imaginations. If only Madison hadn’t played Andy for a fool, then this shit storm wouldn’t seem so dense. Her betrayal had been the tipping point—the confirmation that this wasn’t the kind of life he wanted.
“Andy? What say you? Are you in?” Rich was pleading. Of course he’d be put out if Andy quit. So would the other members of the band—Aaron, Derrick, and Paul. The five of them had gone to the same high school and started the band in Rich’s garage. Rich had begun on guitar, but Paul eventually took over and Rich found his talents in management.
Andy took another long sip of coffee, trying to banish the memory of Madison. Eventually, his sense of duty to his friends won out. “All right,” he said. “I’m in.”
The waitress bustled by to refill their coffee cups. Andy and Rich stared at each other in awkward silence until the woman left. “What about after the tour?” Rich asked, the vein on his temple pulsing. “You gonna leave us high and dry after the last show?”
Andy unclenched his fists and let loose a deep sigh. “Just get me a fucking coffee to go, and I’ll meet you out front,” he said, sliding out of the booth. Outside, Andy leaned against the building and drank in the morning like some kind of therapeutic drug. The sun peeked over a distant mountain, spilling bright yellow ribbons across the green valley.
He kicked a stray rock into the parking lot, cursing Madison under his breath. She was just a girl. A warm cunt. For three weeks, Madison had stayed on their bus and slept by his side—only to leave a note on his pillow one morning:
It’s been a blast, but I have to leave. Good luck with the rest of the tour.
He’d fallen hard and fast for the pretty blonde, and he’d thought she cared about him. Her easygoing, sweet nature—not to mention her willingness to entertain his darkest desires in the bedroom—had been his salvation in the midst of the stressful tour. Now it was impossible not to be bitter, especially after Andy discovered his wallet short a couple hundred dollars. No one knew about that part of his misfortune though, not even Rich. Leave it to Andy to be hung up on a girl who’d robbed him.
He didn’t want Madison back. He merely wished he’d never met the girl in the first place. The on-the-road-with-groupies situation made him uneasy. Sure, he liked sex as much as the next guy, but he wasn’t as casual about it as the rest of his bandmates. He preferred to possess one woman and to wear the pants in any relationship he entered. Being a tad old-fashioned and being a drummer in a metal band made for strange bedfellows.
His stomach churned. This wasn’t for him. He should leave the band after the tour ended.
The money he’d earned from record sales and concerts would last years, so he figured he’d have plenty of time to come up with Plan B. One thing was for certain: Andy wanted his life to change. All he had to do was survive the next few weeks, and then he could cut himself loose from the band. The guys would give him hell—but in the end they’d understand.
The first sip of the coffee Rich brought him tasted sweet and bitter and strong. Just the way Andy liked it.
Reader Reviews (1)
Submitted By: uksuzi on Feb 1, 2013I enjoyed this short book. I liked the characters and the storyline. I don't read too many "spanking" stories so this was a change for me.