Rock Your Soul by Sara Brookes - Romance>Erotic Romance eBook
Beth has been scarred both inside and out by a sadistic Dom and has worked hard to put the pieces of her life back together. However, the successful disc jockey knows one piece doesn’t quite align. She yearns to submit and searches for the one Dom she is convinced will help bring her to lusty new heights.
When Ryan agrees to assist Beth, he’s surprised by her determination. Intrigued, he pushes her limits by using his gifted carpenter’s hands to bring her wild, erotic pleasure. Ryan, though, has scars of his own, and a tragic past filled with death keeps him at a distance.
Beth discovers what she needs in Ryan, and her journey mends Ryan’s heart. But when the life Beth abandoned rises from the shadows, Ryan realizes there is something far worse than his tortuous past—a future without Beth.
Inside Scoop: Beth’s journey takes her to some unexpected places, including a scorching-hot ménage with two sexy men!
A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
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An Excerpt From: ROCK YOUR SOUL
Copyright © SARA BROOKES, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
“You have arrived.” The mechanical feminine voice rang out over The Beach Boys song pouring from the car’s speakers.
“Yeah, I’ve arrived all right. Arrived in BFE, you useless piece of shit,” Beth Lawson grumbled as her car hit another pothole. Some of those holes were so large she was convinced one would eventually swallow her sturdy muscle car whole.
The GPS’s aggravating voice started to ring through the interior again. Gritting her teeth, she punched a finger against the touch screen. After the long drive from Nashville, she was ready to turn around to find her hotel so she could collapse into bed. But the thought of what she knew was at the end of the driveway made her push the accelerator harder. She was ready to get this new part of her life started, glitchy GPS notwithstanding.
As she sped up, tall reed grass that appeared as if it hadn’t been cut in over a year slapped at the front grill of her 1970 Dodge Charger. She winced at the thought of what the blades of rough grass were doing to the sleek black paint job she’d done last year. Good thing she hadn’t added the ghost flames to the front end yet or had the chrome bumpers redone.
What kind of person allowed their driveway to become this overrun? Gomez Addams?
Just as she was about to give up entirely, a dark shape at the end of the drive caught her attention. The line of soaring pine trees gave way to a wide, sprawling field lit only by the full moon. A small lake, the glass-like surface reflecting the tall line of the forest edging the property, sat off to the side of an impressive workshop. The sturdy building overshadowed the quaint-looking cabin fronted with a lean-to porch.
Some would call the cabin rustic. She’d call it backwater and more than likely sorely lacking in the basic necessities—like plumbing or hot water. Not at all what she expected to find when she’d decided to uproot her entire life on a whim.
As she pulled next to a sapling and cut the engine, she stared around the property in confusion. “This can’t be right.” No way in hell did the skilled craftsman and well-known Dominant Ryan Flynn live in this hovel. She must have gotten the details wrong.
She dug through her bag for the information she had jotted down when she’d started on this half-cocked adventure. Verifying the directions with the GPS, she slumped in the seat.
Right where she needed to be.
Her hand trembled against the steering wheel. She tightened her grip in order to quell the uncontrolled movement. It had been quite some time since she’d been this nervous. But this was a big step in her life, both professionally and personally. Being uneasy had to be completely natural given the situation—at least she hoped so. The overwhelming feeling something wasn’t fitting into place in her life needed to be addressed.
She needed to start living instead of hiding.
Gathering her courage, she stepped out and frowned when her shoe immediately sunk into the grass. Cursed heels. She still had no idea what the big deal was about the damn ankle killers. But the interview she’d just come from had called for something dressier than her usual casual, laid-back attire. The sooner she found out if Ryan would help her with her predicament, the quicker she could check into the bed-and-breakfast and change into something more comfortable.
Her immense tee-shirt collection never looked so good.
As she shut the car door, she scented a touch of moisture in the air that hinted at the coming fall. Indian summer. Hot days, cool nights—if the weather in Virginia was anything like Tennessee.
A warm yellow glow spilled out of the massive building, highlighting blades of grass that appeared to have been cut recently. So he took care of the yard near his living space, but not farther out near the road. People with that exacting level of detail didn’t want other people to pay attention to them. She’d heard he was a loner, but wow. So far, everything she’d seen confirmed those rumors. Hopefully he would at least listen to her proposal first before calling the cops.
Given the unfriendly and pitch-black appearance of the cabin, she headed for the shop. The scent of freshly cut lumber hit her midway to the set of wide bay doors. The wonderful smell couldn’t be found anywhere in all the steel and glass in downtown. Neither could the quiet rasp of metal against wood signaling hard work with a pair of hands.
Smiling at the combination, she stepped into the puddle of light on the ground and froze at the sight before her. Gorgeously sloping lines curved, instantly mesmerizing her. The boat the man worked on was gorgeous too, but her interest focused on the hunched-over body. The owner of that body turned, slid his hand over the hull of the boat and met her gaze. Startlingly clear blue eyes stared at her but didn’t acknowledge her presence. He said nothing, merely turning his back to finish the next pass on the wood.
Complete and total ignorance.
Just as her annoyance notched higher, she noticed the careful way he moved. The trance the man appeared to be in stopped her from barging in and demanding he listen to her pitch. The muscles of his biceps and shoulders glided sensuously under the fabric of his white tee. He moved fluidly, taking his time to caress the wood, working his hands over the intricate lines as he sought places to smooth away any existing imperfections.
Beth found herself hypnotized by the movement of his body and simply watched. The hard overhead lights glinted against his sandy-blond hair, highlighting the paler strands bleached by the sun. Darker-blond hair covered the lower half of his face, his unkempt beard framing a delectably full mouth.
Caught up with the gentle sweep of his hands as he moved, she inexplicably found herself wondering what else those hands could do. How they would feel tracing over the planes of other things. What it would be like to have those hands teaching her what she yearned for.
Her imagination went wild, forming images of how the texture of those rough workman’s hands would feel cupping her breasts. As his mouth closed over each of her nipples. How the scrape of the shabby hair on his face would feel as he traced a line of kisses down her abdomen. She all but felt his hard body against hers as he pressed her body to the shaved wood to run those talented hands all over her body.
Sure she was openly gawking. With a gorgeous, hardworking man steps away, she couldn’t help but stare. He probably didn’t intend to look so hot in those tight jeans, but damn he sure managed to be a work of art in them. Given the quality of the art, ignoring him would have been downright rude.
And Beth Lawson was anything but rude.
A full ten minutes passed before he stepped away, the heavy plane he used to shave the wood dangling in his left hand. He let out a heavy sigh, keeping his head low and his eyes closed. “I don’t often have an audience while I’m working on a boat.”
Beth jumped, stifling a yelp. “What? Oh sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt…she’s beautiful.”
He said nothing as he turned, picking up a towel to brush the shavings that had collected on his clothing and the tool. She watched as he scrubbed them into a wide-mouth barrel next to a workbench. He obviously took his work very seriously. Odd he was so careful considering the floor was littered with discarded shavings. A loud clank pierced the quiet as he tapped the side of the tool on the lip of the gray barrel. He stepped over, replacing the tool alongside a few other strange-looking tools.
The tools of his craft.
Well, at least one of his crafts.
“If you’re looking for Gatlin Falls, you missed the turn thirty miles back.” He breezed past her, the overwhelming aroma of wood and hard work clinging to his skin.
She reminded herself she’d come all the way from Tennessee for a purpose. And it wasn’t to ogle some carpenter in a barn. Or feel as if she could come simply from hearing the seductive rumble of the man’s deep voice.
“I’m looking for Ryan Flynn,” she called out after him, hoping she was the only one who noticed the hint of desperation in her voice.
“Well then today’s your lucky day.” The fraying screen to the cabin’s door rippled as it slammed shut, the loud bang reverberating off the grove of trees surrounding the property.
“Not too sure about that,” she muttered as she carefully picked her way across the uneven path of rocks. I’m never wearing these godforsaken things again.
She really should have stopped at the B&B to change out of her interview clothes before coming all the way out here, but her impatience had gotten the better of her. Knowing she was in such close proximity to a highly skilled Dom who could help her was too tempting.
Stopping would have just wasted time.
The door opened just as she reached the end of the porch and once again, she was left dumbstruck. The man had taken off his shirt and ratty work boots, standing before her wearing only a pair of sawdust-covered jeans and holding a towel. Based on the sight of the hard lines of his muscles, and the six-pack abdomen, her imagination hadn’t done him justice. Her mind’s idea of what lay under his sweaty shirt didn’t even compare to the reality standing before her.
She forced herself to swallow when she realized her mouth had gone dry. “I came to speak to you about a boat.” When he tilted his head and narrowed his eyes, she blushed. It was as if he could see right through her lie. “All right, so that’s not entirely true.”
“Having a hard time making up your mind?”
“I know who you are.” His expression darkened. She rushed ahead, anxious not to blow the opportunity. “Granted, you’re one of the preeminent boat builders in the world, but you’re also one of the most highly respected Doms in the community.” His deep frown caused her to second-guess her choice to come out here uninvited. He was certainly intimidating, no doubt about that.
“Typically, members solicit my services through the club.”
“Club? Oh right.” Beth snapped her fingers. “She mentioned there was a club nearby. I’m not a member of a club. Not Element Twenty-Six, at least. The recommendation for you came from a friend.” His hands settled on his hips, a gesture that drew her eye to his abdomen again. She cursed herself for staring at all those hard muscles and forced her gaze upward.
“And your friend would be?”
Ryan snorted. “Figures. Always sticking her nose in where it doesn’t belong. At least it wasn’t Patrick this time.” He scowled as he dropped the towel onto a rocking chair.
“Just a friend.”
“Elisbeth Lawson.” She stuck her hand out in offering, but he ignored the gesture.
“Mind moving your tank?”
She blinked a few times. “What?” What kind of manners did this guy have? She’d just told him she was here because he’d come as a highly recommended Dom, introduced herself and he was worried about where she’d parked. Was he serious?
“You parked your car on my flowers.” His fingers hooked around an elaborate silver belt buckle as he jerked his chin.
“Oh.” She glanced over her right shoulder, noticing she had indeed pulled over a ring of brightly colored asters circling the base of the young tree. “Sorry about that. I’ll move—” When she turned to face him again, she swallowed the rest of her statement.
The hard glare he gave her made her blood run so cold, she immediately reassessed her brash decision to uproot her life to seek out this man. The coldness of his expression made her want to turn around and forget she’d even talked to her old college roommate about something so ludicrous. She’d dropped everything to come here. No family. No connections in the small town save for Elena. Surely she had to be insane.
No I’m not. I know I can do this. I’ve already come so far. I need to do this.
Fighting her nerves and doubts, she dug her heels in. “Elena gave you a glowing recommendation. She said you could help me with my…problem.”
“And just what would that problem be?” He moved in the blink of an eye, pushing closer to invade her space. Her breath caught as his body pressed against hers, the scent of his drying sweat hitting her full force.
She’d always been a sucker for a hardworking man.
She stood her ground, unwilling to give an inch. She needed his help too much to back down. “There was an incident with my last Dom.” She didn’t think it was physically possible, but he pushed even closer. At this distance, his body heat radiated into her. The proximity of his very fit, very toned body made her nearly forget why she’d come here. “Actually, more than a few incidents.”
“Elaborating on what you mean by incidents would probably help.”
Swallowing, she steadied her nerves. This was information he needed to know. Information she knew was key to the agreement she wanted to make with him. If she hoped to gain anything from this, she would need to disclose her folly. “A few years ago, I was somewhat new to the lifestyle. Ethan took advantage of my enthusiasm to learn. He saw it as an open invitation to do whatever he wanted.”
“He didn’t respect your safeword.”
“What safeword?” Beth snorted, remembering how disastrous that conversation had gone. “According to him, I had to earn the right to have one. He took it as a personal offense when I finally got smart and asked for some means of calling for the end of a scene. When he flatly refused, I left.”
“He is an ass.”
“You’re right, he is. But he has a few buddies who wouldn’t agree with you.” Emotion flashed in his eyes. She liked this protective instinct he seemed to have. That kind of behavior was probably something she should have looked for in a Dom long ago.
His head tilted. “So much for safe, sane and consensual. If that’s your view on those things, then we have no need to continue this conversation. Those things are mandatory in my world. So is a safeword.”
“I do believe in those concepts, but that doesn’t mean others do. Or that people make the smartest choices when their head is in the clouds. I thought I was in love. I would agree to anything. Needless to say, I wasn’t given a lot of choice in the matter. By the time I realized what was happening it was too late to safely walk away.”
His gaze moved over her face, searching. “Yet here you are.”
“He got bored.” The memory of the day still clung to her like a second skin, thick and slimy.
“Most people would have run as far away from this lifestyle after an experience like you just described, not ask a Dom for help.”
She nodded. “I did walk away—for a bit. I needed to examine if I’d been wrong about my choices. It made me realize he was the problem. Not me. I enjoy the concepts he introduced—pain, subspace, sharing. Just not his approach. I have a feeling he skipped right over the basics with me, but I refuse to submit to some jerk off the street again just so I can learn.”
One of his eyebrows lifted. “Technically, I’m just some jerk off the street.”
She jutted her chin high. “Except you came with impeccable references and were highly recommended. That makes a huge difference in my eyes. I can’t promise taking me on as your submissive will be easy, but Elena mentioned you like a challenge and I need someone to help me. Sounds like a good fit to me. If you don’t agree, I’ll apologize for bothering you and be on my way.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes,” she admitted quietly.
He studied her silently with an intense, unnerving gaze that made her uncomfortable. Why couldn’t he just refuse and they’d both be on their way for the night? Then she could give up this ludicrous idea she’d had and just go back to her old life in Nashville.
“To your knees.”
She blinked, stunned at the power and command in his voice. As the control washed over her, she wanted to respond, but she found herself too annoyed things weren’t going according to plan. While she’d expected him to ask her questions to find out what he was in store for, she didn’t expect anything of this magnitude.
Angry, she returned his glare.
He smirked. The reaction caused her insides to turn to jelly, her vitriolic thoughts vanishing on the chilly night air. Why did he have to be so goddamn handsome and annoying at the same time?
“I suggest you listen if you want me to consider taking you on as I don’t like repeating myself. To. Your. Knees.”
She opened her mouth to protest and he tilted his head down just enough to give her another message. A very stern one she couldn’t help but listen to. He would not be ignored.
She dropped her hands to her sides and slowly lowered to her knees. The rough rocks immediately bit into her shins, but she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of showing him she was in pain. She heard the unmistakable sound of buttons popping on his jeans and looked up just in time to see him part the denim. What in the Sam hell did he intend to do? If he expected her to suck his dick right here and now, he’d better think again.
The authority behind those two words coursed through her, compelling her to obey. It had been a long time since she’d had this kind of reaction. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she complied. The denim pooled around his ankles and she found herself staring at the pile.
Just as she started to wonder if Elena had been out of her mind to recommend this man, his hand slid against the top of her head. His touch was almost calming and, despite her annoyance, a feeling of tranquility washed over her. His fingers combed her hair, catching the elastic holder from her ponytail, pulling it free. He continued to run his fingers through the strands, fanning out her hair. She relaxed under his persistent touch. The pain in her legs melted away and she gave a soft sigh as her body started to quietly buzz.
The crunch of rocks jolted her back to the moment. She listened to him move away, leaving her alone on the rock path in front of his house.
What in the hell?
Beth looked to the left and her eyes widened in surprise as she spotted him. He strolled toward the small lake at the front corner of the field, towel swinging in his hand as he walked. Those jeans of his were at her feet and she now had an unobstructed view of his bare ass.
A very firm, very tan, perfectly formed ass.
Christ on a slinky going down an up escalator if he doesn’t look even better out of those jeans. Transfixed by the bunch and pull of the muscles in his thighs and butt as he walked over the uneven ground, she forgot her place and openly gawked.
When he reached the bank at the water’s edge, he dropped the towel and walked right into the lake. She expected him to dive under the surface, but instead he slowly moved until the water lapped as his hips. He sunk as if he were a knife cutting through the water, disappearing with no more than a quiet ripple disturbing the surface. The lake smoothed in seconds.
The only indication she ever had company were those damn jeans on the ground in front of her.