Can she gift him with her complete trust and submission?

When Eileen Glencairn is forced into marriage for the second time, she finds her new husband is completely different from her first experience. The love and kindness Gallagher has shown her is teaching her to slowly trust again. It’s Christmas in the Highlands, and she has plans for Gallaher’s first gift from her. But if she can’t control her deeply rooted fears, how can she ever gift him her complete trust and submission?

When Gallagher finds his father’s interesting and well-stocked play room in Castle McCrae, he is delighted and immediately wants to plan some fun there with his new young wife, Eileen. But Eileen isn’t cooperating. When he finds out the room is a source of nightmares for her, he immediately drops the whole idea…until she brings it up again at Christmas. The holidays may prove to be very interesting after all!

Publishers Note: This historical romance contains elements of power exchange.

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Gallagher knew that look. It had landed her across his lap getting her wee bottom spanked on more than one occasion, but that hadn’t stopped her. When the lass made up her mind, it was made up, and damn the consequences. He sighed in defeat. “I see ye are determined to do this, so I’ll go in with ye. But ye may be sorry ye didn’t just let me take care of it.”

Eileen slid her soft arms around his waist and laid her head on his chest. “I know ye want to protect me, but I really need to do this.”

“So ye say,” he replied.

Gallagher had only been sixteen when his mother had died and he’d subsequently left home, but he’d known then that his father had strange secrets. Since Eileen had told him of her plans, he’d been thinking of what they might find in the rooms. He strongly suspected Donald Glencairn might have been a man of unusual appetites. Eileen had never spoken much of the things his father had forced on her, but he knew her scars went deep.

He kissed the crown of her head, thanking God Jamie had paved the way for him to marry Eileen before he’d ever come back. The beautiful woman he now held in his arms was everything to him. He wanted to protect her from anything that could hurt her, especially his father’s reach from the grave. He hoped God was holding Donald accountable for the things he’d done in life because no one had been able to do that on this mortal coil.

“I’ll unlock the door.” She slipped out of his arms and slid the key into the heavy lock.

“Let me go in first,” Gallagher insisted, pushing his way in front of her and moving her behind him. Instinctively he rested his hand on the knife attached to his hip, and his body tensed into fighting mode. For some unknown reason, the hair prickled on the back of his neck as he pushed the door slowly open. A distinct giggle sounded behind him and he stopped and turned around. He furrowed his brow to a scowl when she snorted beneath her hand as if to stop herself from guffawing out loud.

“Ye find this funny?” he asked, perplexed as to the cause of her sudden merriment.

“Aye,” she responded, her eyes suddenly twinkling. “This room has been locked for four years and ye act as if the Ghillie Dhu himself is right behind the door, waiting to jump on ye.”

He grabbed her arm and spun her around to land a loud and heavy spank against her backside. “I’m thinking ’tis yere wee bottom that needs a good skelpin’,” he replied silkily, landing another meaty slap, causing her to jump.

She jumped and giggled again, her face turning pink as she dodged his hand.

“Making fun of yere husband when he’s trying to protect ye is certainly deserving of a good one.”

“Stop, stop,” she squealed, jerking out of his grasp and backing against the wall to protect the attack zone. “I’m not making fun, ye just looked so serious and…and…deadly.” She broke into a peal of laughter and Gallagher finally rolled his eyes in defeat and kissed her. She was breathless when he released her.

“Remind me to give ye a good, over-my knee spanking as soon as possible,” he growled in her ear. “Ye have need of it to be sure.”

Her arms held tight around his neck as she breathed into his mouth. “I should only be so lucky. Ye haven’t touched me like that since ye found out I was with child and ye know it.”

“I..I don’t want to hurt ye,” he admitted, stepping back. “The babe is precious and ye shouldn’t be handled roughly, even if ye do deserve it.” He scowled down at her, folding his arms across his wide chest. “Just remember, I’m keeping count of yere unruly tongue, and when the time is right, I’ll be making ye pay for yere foolishness.”

Eileen rubbed her hands across her swollen belly. “Aye, I’m sure ye will,” she replied with a smirking grin. “Now, shall we slay the Ghillie Dhu or are we going to stand here in the hallway all day?”

“That vicious fairy better stay in the woods,” he replied dryly. “But I’m betting there are dust fairies as big as ye are inside these rooms. Four years is a long time.”

The hinges creaked in protest as he pushed the big wooden door open.