Rose’s parents need money and essentially sell her to the highest bidder, who turns out to be a recluse who is known to have horrifying scars from the war.

Sebastian is determined to claim his husbandly rights, but he requires that she not be able to see his ugly face as he does so.

The two become closer, but he still can’t quite trust her enough to show her what he looks like, until, one day, the choice is removed from him by accident. Will she run from him as others have in the past? Or has she fallen so in love with the man, himself, that his scars mean nothing.

Publisher’s Note: This historical romance contains a theme of power exchange. If that is offensive to you, please do not read it.

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Rose lay there listening to him in stunned silence, but then he began to spank her, and her mind deserted her.

He may have been permanently injured in ways she had yet to discover, but he was as strong as an ox!  As a result, when his hand landed on her curves—with a force that she had no doubt was much less than it could have been—she couldn’t help but let go of an “ahhyooowww!”

And no amount of trying to hold her very genuine expressions of distress worked to curb them. At least, she didn’t end up begging him to stop, but by the time he was finished, she was mortified to realize that she wasn’t far from it.

She couldn’t keep her body from trying to shift away from those swats, either, so much so that he reached down and wrapped an arm around her waist to keep her still as she continued to jump every time his palm cracked loudly against skin that was becoming more sensitive to his attentions as he continued methodically reddening her bum.

And the blindfold only made things worse, forcing her to pay attention almost solely to what he was doing to her and how much it hurt!  Nothing else existed for her—just his hand, her very sore rump, the stinging pain of each precise smack and the dreadful anticipation of the next.

Still, she continued to flail her arms energetically in the general direction of her backside, hoping to disrupt a swat or twelve, and still actively, if with much less success, trying to slide one way or the other in order to make him miss the mark—her!

Without the slightest of pauses, he warned sternly, “Rose, if you continue to move so much, I’ll be forced to bind your wrists and ankles so that you don’t get hurt.”

“I’m already getting hurt!” she wailed then snapped her mouth shut.

She couldn’t see it, but Sebastian wasn’t angry at her outburst. In fact, he was grinning at her heartfelt sentiment.

“You know what I mean, little wife.”

He was relentless, torturous, vicious, and cruel. She managed not to call him any of those things, but it was close at many points during her punishment.

She was panting and crying, too, but silently. The only way he knew that she was, was the duvet getting progressively damper beneath her head. Her tears were understandable, and if he did his duty to its fullest extent, inevitable. Even though it was her first—from him, anyway—it was a fairly strict punishment, as he meant it to be. He wanted to make it something she would try to avoid at all costs in the future, thus—he hoped—encouraging good behavior. Her spankings would never get any lighter, but they could definitely get much worse, dependent on just how naughty he thought she had been.

Sebastian decided to indulge himself, ending the spanking somewhat abruptly. He turned her over and cradled her on his lap, wrapping strong arms around her and holding her tightly to him.

Through it all, the blindfold had stayed right where he wanted it to be. He supposed he should be worried that her hands might wander, but as he noticed how limp she was in his arms, he made a calculated bet that she wouldn’t, although he also adjusted his hold on her so that her arms were largely trapped against her sides.