Judith of Redmore loves her home fiercely, but she knows the only choice she has left is to surrender her castle to Tristram de Brunne, hoping he would show her people mercy. It is not mercy that she expects for herself. After all, she and Tristram were married for a while until she petitioned the Church for an annulment, and Judith knows he feels enraged by her betrayal.

Yet, Tristram proclaims himself merciful, and deigns to let Judith know they are still married, in spite of her efforts to sever their bond. Instead of banishing her to a convent, he is prepared to keep her as his wife and as the lady of Redmore.

But the harsh lesson in discipline he teaches Judith in front of all to see feels less like mercy and more like revenge to her. Judith cannot bring herself to leave her beloved home, so she is forced to choose life by the side of a stern husband who plainly hates her. And she attempts to hate him in return, although she used to love him madly once, when things between them were far different.

This is book three in the Her Stern Husband series and can be enjoyed independently.

Publisher’s Note: This historical second-chance romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, danger, sensual scenes, power exchange, and a happily ever after. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.

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The pleasure returned, fierce, yet the sting in her bottom reminded her how soundly Tristram had chastened her. Did he mean to spank her now, even when her bottom was still blazing from his earlier spanking? As if in echo of her thoughts, Tristram said softly, “Never fear, I shall chasten you. But later. Now I have other things upon my mind.”

He thrust one finger inside her, gently probing her wet folds.

“A maiden, still?” he asked after a while, and his voice was incredulous.

Judith’s eyebrows rose in sheer surprise. Surely, he knew he was the only man she’d wed, and she’d not let him bed her.

Tristram’s finger was soon replaced with his long cock which simply slid inside her, causing her to wince in pain. The pain was fleeting though, and she soon found herself becoming accustomed to his hard length stretching her wet passage.

“A maiden now no longer,” Tristram muttered, as he began to move inside her.

At first he slid in and out of her slowly and gently, as if wanting her to get used to him. Then Judith came to welcome his thrusts and wanted more of them. She raised her hips to him eagerly, spurred not only by the soreness in her bottom, but by the fierce ache in her sex. She wanted so much more of him, but she noted in deep surprise, Tristram’s hard cock had now withdrawn from her body. He sat up with a firm, determined look in his dark eyes.

“Wife, I now want you to beg me for it,” he said in a voice which was both hard and hot.

Judith suppressed a curse on her lips. She’d never felt this way. The mixture of pain and pleasure was simply maddening. And now he was set on torturing her.

“Beg me to thrust inside you, wife,” Tristram commanded.

He was obviously more master of himself than she was, Judith thought, fiercely hating both him and herself for what she uttered next.

“Please, husband,” she muttered, despising the pleading in her voice.

“Please, what?” her tormentor echoed softly, coming to rub his stiff cock against her wet, inflamed sex.

“Please, come inside me,” Judith begged.

He cursed under his breath, as he grabbed her hips and plunged himself inside her, deeper and fiercer than before. The world seemed to melt around Judith, and there was only him and the hard length of his cock. She lost all sense of time, and it seemed to her it was her wedding night, that night long ago when she’d become bound to Tristram. At the time, she’d been incredulous a man like Tristram would ever want to bind himself to a woman like her. And now he was inside her – closer to her than any being in this world had ever been. He was and for a moment she came to believe he was entirely hers, but she understood it was not so and it could never be so.

Judith came back to herself only when she felt Tristram’s hot, sticky seed between her legs. He collapsed next to her, and she sat up, no longer caring for the pain in her spanked bottom as she did so. There was an ache now throbbing between her legs, but Judith understood this was because he’d taken her maidenhead tonight. The ache was bearable, and far less uncomfortable than the sting in her behind.

“You should clean yourself,” Tristram said coldly, now propping himself on one elbow, and raking his hand through his tousled fair hair.

Judith did as he’d told her, soon making use of the cloth and bowl of fresh water which lay on the table in the chamber. She was aware that as she did so, Tristram’s dark eyes roamed upon her form, resting upon her bottom, which must be still striped with red from his belt. She strived to ignore his bold, masterful gaze, reasoning she’d have to brace herself for her new life with a man who now despised her.

“Come here,” Tristram ordered her, patting the bed. She chafed under the command, but she obeyed him because there was no choice for her any longer.

He made her lie on her belly, and Judith thought she’d die of mortification when he began to slide his palm against her well chastened behind.

“Still red, and warm to the touch,” he said in his silky, melodious voice. “A job well done, wife, don’t you think?” he added mockingly.