Sadie’s dream of becoming a professional cheerleader is dashed with one misstep during a hike. A devastating fall leads to a summer filled with surgery, recovery, and depression fueled anger. Forced to go to anger management class, she runs into Adam, the star quarterback for her college football team. The fact that he doesn’t recognize her at first, when she cheered for every one of his games last year, makes her realize just how far she’s fallen.

Adam’s dream of becoming a professional football player is dashed when he’s arrested for assaulting a man accused of rape. His spectacular fall from grace gets him suspended from the football team and shatters his confidence. He’s so distracted by his own anger and frustration with life that he barely acknowledges the woman that sits next to him in anger management class. Once she starts talking, he quickly realizes who she is and remembers that they had a one night stand the year before, making him think even less of himself than he already did.

Sadie and Adam quickly bond over their respective life changing events, and Adam asks her out. But after her fall, Sadie has decided that life is too short to have a relationship where her needs aren’t being met. She tells Adam that she enjoys pain and often fantasizes about it. He balks at first, but after some bold persuasion on her part, he gives in and tries it out. She has the best sex of her life, while he feels like a monster because he enjoys hurting her. Can her love and support help him recover his confidence and accept his kink? And in return, can his love and guidance renew her enthusiasm for life?

Publisher’s Note: This steamy new adult romance contains a theme of power exchange.

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Excerpt

She felt the smooth surface of the hairbrush resting on her left cheek, and a shiver went up her spine.

“You will not skip classes.”

His voice was horribly firm, and more tears leaked out of her eyes. She hid her face on Mike’s bedspread, as if hiding from what she’d done to get herself in this position.

The hairbrush lifted and then cracked back down against her unprotected skin.

“Ow!” she yelled into the blanket, as the biting, prickly pain registered in her brain. It felt like several bee stings all at once. It seemed much more painful than the ping pong paddle had been, but she didn’t know if that was because this implement normally hurt more, or if it was because Adam was hitting harder this time.

The brush cracked down on to her other ass cheek, and she yelled again. Maybe it hurt more because she felt guilty.

Another harsh smack landed just above the spot where the first blow had hit. She yelped, and her body automatically tried to roll away from the pain.

His arm quickly went around her waist, and he pulled her up tight against his torso, while at the same time, slightly lifting her ass higher in the air.

Smack four landed, and she cried out, “Oooh! Adam, I’m sorry!”

“I know.”

The next blow landed higher up on her ass. “Ooow!” She knew she should be grateful that none of the horrible smacks were landing in exactly the same spot twice, but it was difficult to be appreciative when her ass felt like it was being burned.

A matching slap landed on the other cheek. “Ow! I won’t do it again!” she promised.

“That’s good. I hope you don’t do it again,” he said.

The brush cracked down on the crease where her ass met her thighs, and she yelled even louder, smooshing her face into the blanket to stifle the noise.

“But if you do skip class again, you’ll know what to expect.”

His tone was so matter of fact and unperturbed that it was hard to believe he was the one causing her so much pain. A matching whack landed on the other sit spot, and she yelped loudly into the covers.

A crack landed on her upper thigh, and she screeched as her legs kicked against the mattress in an attempt to escape.

“Please, no more,” she begged loudly, but the matching smack on the other side landed just as harshly as all the others had.

“Oooow! Adam, please! I’m sorry! Please stop!” When no more smacks landed, she looked back over her shoulder and saw him setting the brush down on the bed. She sagged with relief.

Sounding just as firm as before, he said, “You will not keep it from me when you’re struggling with school.”

Realizing this probably meant more spanking, she burst into tears. His palm slapped down against her already burning skin, again, and again, and she blubbered some apologies in between her tears. She was too lost in her emotions to count the blows, but it was over fairly quickly, so she supposed it had been another ten delivered much faster than the first ten had been.

His grip around her waist loosened, and then he was rubbing her back. “Okay, punishment is over. You’re forgiven.”

While she cried, Sadie put a hand back to feel her inflamed skin.

A few seconds later, he asked softly, “Was that too harsh?”

She immediately shook her head, but she didn’t know if that was true or not. Had it been too harsh? The pain was already dying down to a tolerable level. She was going to need some time to process it before she’d be able to truly answer that question.

His fingers ran across the lower portion of her ass as he said, “You’re already bruising.”

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled as her tears slowed down.

She felt him pulling her panties back up into place, and then his hands were lifting her and turning her over to sit on his lap.

Once her ass made contact with his thigh, she gasped, hissed, and squirmed back so that her weight was resting on her thighs instead of her newly forming bruises. Then she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and leaned her forehead on the crook of his neck. His tee shirt soaked up the remaining tears off her face as she said, “I’m sorry.”

He rubbed a hand up and down her back. “I’m sorry, too.”

“No,” she said, hugging him tighter. “Don’t say you’re sorry; tell me I’m forgiven again and that you know I’m going to be good now.”

He squeezed her tightly to match her grip and said softly, “You are forgiven, and I know that you’re going to be a good girl from now on.”

She nodded against him and sighed with contentment. After a few seconds of silence, she realized that the feeling of guilt that had been weighing her down for days was completely gone.

“Adam?”

“Yeah?”

“Thank you.”