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A Promise of Passion

By: Maggie Carpenter
Published By: Dark Secrets Press
Copyright: Copyright � 2013 Maggie Carpenter
27 Chapters / 55,000 Words
Heat Level:
5.0 Out Of 5 (5.0 on 8)   |  Write a review
Price:
$4.99

PASSION is an indescribable feeling, a magical connection that happens with one special person.

Vivien, I would love to explore you, and caress you, and most of all I would love to spank you. The flower needs the heat of the sun, and you would discover you need the heat of my hand.

Vivien McKay was born a beauty, and as a child on a small farm in the midwest, her father would sit her on his knee, telling her she was so pretty she would one day marry a handsome Prince.

Robson Parker-Jones is not a Prince, but he is a wealthy Viscount, and she can hardly believe her luck when he proposes. Does her heart stop when he kisses her, or goosebumps spring to life at his touch? She has decided such thrilling delights live only on the pages of romance novels, until Robson introduces her to Dominic Dubois, the artist who will paint her portrait.

Dominic Dubois scrutinizes her with a deep, mesmerizing gaze, and when his hand whispers across her back as he passes, his feathered touch sends a sparking energy through her entire body. Though she fights the intense attraction, she aches to experience the promise that lives in his dark, beguiling brown eyes.

A PROMISE OF PASSION is a deeply romantic tale that follows the sexual awakening of a young woman, and the alluring, artful Dominant who offers her the enticing experience of sensuous bondage and discipline. While it's an erotic adventure she craves, dare she cross that line, and if she does, what will it mean for her future?

CHAPTER ONE

LONDON

Vivien McKay stood perfectly still as the dressmaker and her assistants fluttered around her; the wedding dress had to be perfect and the white lace bodice wasn’t cooperating. Vivien was very good at standing still. It came from practice. Standing still was a requirement, an expectation, and it was an art she had mastered.“It’s too high under the arm, that’s causing the ripple,” one assistant declared.

“No, it’s because this lace is too stiff, we need to find a softer one.”

The words spun around her like spider’s silk, and her unblinking eyes remained focused on the rain hitting the window. The droplets running down the glass seemed to be caught in a free flowing dance, and as one would leave, another would take its place.

She frowned, concerned about the time. She was supposed to meet Robson at precisely 5 p.m. at the Austrian Embassy, and Robson did not tolerate tardiness. Her life had been an endless series of appointments and schedules; being on time was mandatory for the modeling elite, so his demand seemed perfectly reasonable to her.

“I think you’re right Anne, I think we do need a softer lace. All right Miss McKay, I think we’re finished for now,” the dressmaker decreed, sliding the zipper down the back.

Stepping from the multilayered gown, left in only her bra and panties, Vivien headed to the changing room. After years in endless dressing rooms and sitting through hundreds of fittings, there was no modesty left in her.

Glancing down at her gold Rolex, the first gift Robson had given her, she saw that she had an hour to travel to his house, change, and get to the Embassy. She had a collection of expensive, bejeweled watches, some of which she’d bought herself, but Robson preferred she wore the Rolex when in his company.

“It commemorates the first birthday I shared with you,” he’d told her the day she’d worn her Jaeger LeCoultre reversible instead. “It feeds the romance in my soul when I see it on your wrist.”

It was such a sweet sentiment there was no plausible response, and the soft demand made her feel warm inside, so it was the gold Rolex that graced her wrist whenever they were together, which was almost always.

A town car would be taking her to the Embassy. Robson would already be there, and he didn’t like them leaving in separate vehicles. He was particular about these things but Vivien didn’t mind, she liked his control; it gave her a sense of security and an odd satisfaction.

Dressing quickly, she said her goodbyes to the dressmaker and her staff, then doing her best to avoid the wet stuff by holding a magazine over her head, she hurried outside and climbed into the waiting car. Robson didn’t like her driving in the rain. He also didn’t like her driving at night, or on the highways.

“If anything happened to you, my beauty, I would never forgive myself,” he’d declared, so Vivien was driven almost everywhere.

As the limousine snaked its way through the heavy London traffic, she stared down at the huge, glittering rock on her finger. Soon she would be Mrs. Vivien Parker-Jones, wife of a businessman, a diplomat, a philanthropist, and an aristocrat: Robson was a Viscount.

Was it a thrilling, passionate romance? No. When he kissed her did she feel the stirring in her stomach she’d read about, or did goosebumps spring to life at his touch? Not really, but she hadn’t felt those things with anyone else either, and she’d finally decided such delights only existed on the big screen, or in the romance novels she’d occasionally peruse. Robson was, however, kind, generous, and protective, and she knew her father would have approved.

Both her parents where enamored with the golden years of Hollywood, and he would sit her on his knee and show her pictures of Grace Kelly marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco, explaining how she was just as pretty as Grace Kelly, and would one day find her own Prince.

“You have been blessed with beauty, Vivien,” he’d said softly as she’d sat by his bedside in his last hours. “Use your blessings wisely. Marry well and create passion in your life. Search for passion in everything you do, and it will make you happy.”

“I will, poppa,” she’d replied as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“Promise me, Vivien, marry well, and seek great passion.”

“I promise, poppa.”

She smiled sadly at the memory; she was about to make his dying wish a reality. Great passion may not scorch the sheets with Robson, but she was certainly marrying well, and she had passion for her work, and was sure she would have just as much passion as a mother.

The car pulled through the gates and up to the front doors of Robson’s house. Vivien dashed inside and hurried up the stairs. As was his practice, Robson had left the dress of his choice on the settee in the dressing room that housed her winter wardrobe, and as she stared down at the designer gown, the warm, familiar rush spread through her sex; she couldn’t deny how much she enjoyed wearing the clothes he selected.

It was one she’d not worn before; black, long and sleek, with a rhinestone encrusted, plunging cowl neck. Black satin pumps with rhinestones gracing the tall heel would be the finishing touch, and wandering to the jewelry box, she selected her favorite; a sapphire and diamond teardrop pendant and matching earrings.

The jewelry available to her was a small sampling of the Parker-Jones family collection, and the choice he left to her. On the odd occasion when the piece was not to his liking, he would scowl slightly, and once home show her the item he thought would have been better suited. Gently removing the piece she’d chosen, he would turn her to the mirror, laying his preference in its place, explaining why his would have been preferable.

A thrill would slither through her, and invariably she would turn into his arms seeking his kiss. There were times she would purposely pick a necklace she knew was wrong, just for the moment of correction once they were home.

Hair and makeup was an easy, quick affair, and as she grabbed her Chanel evening bag and Versace coat, she paused to take a deep breath, mentally preparing herself for the evening ahead; cocktails, dinner, after-dinner cocktails, home. The Austrian Embassy was playing host to a number of dignitaries with whom she would have to chat, feigning interest in their particular topic of conversation. It was something she did well, and Robson had been copious in his compliments of her social aptitude.

“You can talk to a doorknob and make it feel special,” he’d once remarked.

Most of these people are doorknobs, so it’s just as well, she’d thought.

As she traveled down the stairs, Chambers, Robson’s longtime butler, was waiting by the front door with a very large umbrella.

“Good evening, Miss McKay. The car is here.”

“Thank you, Henry,” she smiled, and as he held the brolly over her head, she moved carefully down the steps and into the waiting vehicle without having a drop of water land upon her finery.

Though the Embassy was relatively close to the house, she knew at that hour it would be at least a twenty minute drive, and her thoughts turned to the upcoming nuptials. The wedding was only three months away, and there had been a whirlwind of activities at the house. Designers, florists and caterers came and went on a regular basis, and though Robson was in charge of the entire affair, she had been affected by the stressful energy permeating the staff and the house itself.

Of one thing she was sure; she was determined to travel home and spend time with her family before the big day.

Vivien could imagine her mother pottering around the kitchen, preparing dinner for her younger brother, Will. He was a sweet, smart young man who had earned an Agricultural degree, and was turning the family’s small farm into a modern day success story. That he was still at home Vivien found a blessing; she couldn’t stand the thought of her mother living by herself.

Faith McKay was a simple woman, and though Vivien had offered to fly her in for the big event, after seeing the photographs and reading the articles in the society magazines Vivien had sent her, Faith was still undecided. It wasn’t that she was afraid she wouldn’t fit in, that was a given; she simply didn’t want to embarrass her daughter.

Glancing out the car window Vivien saw the tall gates of the Embassy swing open, and the car crawled to a stop under the portico that fronted the Embassy entrance. As she stepped out, taking the hand of the chauffeur, she spied Robson just inside the doors awaiting her arrival. He broke into a smile and hurried down to escort her into the gathering.

“You look ravishing,” he whispered as he led her through the foyer.

“Thank you, Robson,” she replied, relieved he liked the teardrop pendant.

“I have a surprise for you,” he continued, walking into the reception room.

She felt the eyes of the other guests fall upon her. It happened wherever she went, and it wasn’t just her fame; it was her regal bearing and stunning looks.

“Really? What on earth could you surprise me with here?” she asked.

“It’s not a what, it’s who, and there he is,” Robson announced.

A tall, dark-haired man slowly turned, smiled, and began to glide towards them. He had the walk of a great cat, and as he neared his eyes locked on hers with a scrutinizing gaze.

Who is this guy, and why am I meeting him? Actually, I don’t care why I’m meeting him, I’m just glad I am. Damn, he’s cute.

“Vivien, I’d like you to meet Dominic Dubois,” Robson smiled. “I have commissioned Dominic to paint your portrait, if he agrees, of course.”

“You are even lovelier than the many photographs I have seen,” the man declared.

“Portrait? Really?” Vivien exclaimed. “How exciting.”

“I see Lord Montrose gesturing,” Robson unexpectedly frowned. “I do apologize, I must have a word with him. Please, become acquainted. I’ll return shortly.”

“Your future husband wishes a portrait similar to that of our most unfortunate Princess Diana,” the handsome stranger declared. “Two portraits to be precise. One in formal attire, such as you’re wearing now,” he commented, his eyes continuing to study her, “and another in your wedding gown.”

“A portrait,” she repeated, picturing the many paintings of Robson’s family gracing the walls of his house. I guess I’m going to be up there too.

“Are you not pleased?” he inquired, raising his eyebrows.

She was struck by his manner, and had the odd thought that he would have been a wonderful James Bond. He had the cool, confident air of Roger Moore, the good looks of Pierce Brosnan, the lean body of Daniel Craig, and the roguishness of Sean Connery. His unique accent made him even more intriguing, and though she’d traveled through Europe extensively, it wasn’t one she could place.

“Pleased? Yes, of course I am,” she nodded, though the thought of sitting painfully still for hours while the gorgeous man was painting her picture, seemed all a bit surreal. “I don’t recognize your accent,” she remarked, hoping the change in subject would stop his judicious gaze.

Unfazed, he tilted his head to one side, and his dark brown eyes remained unwavering.

“I was born in Luxembourg, educated for a short time as a child in an English boarding school, attended ENS des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, and then lived in Paris for some years. I still have a home in Hesperange, that’s a small town near Luxembourg, but my studio is in Paris,” he replied. “Does that answer your curiosity and make you feel better?”

She felt the heat wash across her face. His soliloquy and oddly phrased question made it obvious he’d sensed her discomfort and understood exactly why she’d asked about his accent.

“I’ve never visited your country, but I hear it’s beautiful,” she remarked, ignoring his question, and pretending an ease she didn’t feel.

“We have castle ruins, misty forests, deep lakes, and many tales from the past. It is a country of ghosts and history.”

His eyes came alive as he spoke, and she found herself wishing she could pack a suitcase, jump on a plane, and take him along as her tour guide.

“You said, you have a studio in Paris where you paint. Does that mean I’ll have to travel there for the sittings?”

“It does,” he nodded. “Unless I find inspiration elsewhere, as I did with the Ambassador. I have spoken to Robson and he understands this, but nothing has been definitely decided.”

“I see,” she murmured. Paris, I do love Paris.

“He has asked for my services,” he said softly, his smile abruptly changing to a frown, “but�”

“But?” she pressed.

“But if I am to paint you, I must know you,” he murmured, his eyes twinkling, “and there are many layers around you, Vivien McKay.”

The heat in her face washed through her being, and a sparking energy sent a thrill through her stomach.

“Know me? Layers?” she managed. “I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.”

“Ah, Vivien,” he sighed, shaking his head, “will you not let me in? If I am to paint you, it must be so.”

Denise on 05/13/2014 07:56pm
I did not know this would be a series, which is not finished. Basically part 1. That being said, i am still giving it 5 stars, due mainly to the wonderful writing. It was very hard for me to put it down and do other things. You want to be Vivien, you want these things to happen to you. I love the way Dominick is dominant, but not in a tough way. Very believable. I also cannot wait for part 2.
Denise on 05/13/2014 07:56pm
I did not know this would be a series, which is not finished. Basically part 1. That being said, i am still giving it 5 stars, due mainly to the wonderful writing. It was very hard for me to put it down and do other things. You want to be Vivien, you want these things to happen to you. I love the way Dominick is dominant, but not in a tough way. Very believable. I also cannot wait for part 2.
Krista on 05/12/2014 04:45pm
fell in love with Maggie Carpenter when I began her wonderful trilogy, The British Billionaire Bachelor. From parts one to three, all are unbelievably hot. In this book, Carpenter brings her creative genius with a wonderful storyline, two hot heroes and a feisty woman who seems to keep getting herself in trouble. Sexy spankings, imaginative, panty-dampening sex scenes and a story line that leaves you wanting more. What more could you ask for?
Krista on 05/12/2014 04:45pm
fell in love with Maggie Carpenter when I began her wonderful trilogy, The British Billionaire Bachelor. From parts one to three, all are unbelievably hot. In this book, Carpenter brings her creative genius with a wonderful storyline, two hot heroes and a feisty woman who seems to keep getting herself in trouble. Sexy spankings, imaginative, panty-dampening sex scenes and a story line that leaves you wanting more. What more could you ask for?
Sally on 05/12/2014 05:23am
Strong characters in a phenomenal s/d book. The story moved along quickly. Kept me reading. And it was SO romantic! Great s/d scenes. Descriptive and real. It’s hot. Steamy hot! Exciting page turner. And the romance . . . oh, the romance!! I loved it! Agree with reviewer Brian's note on the dungeon scene, too. Holy smoke! Anxiously waiting the second book!
Sally on 05/12/2014 05:23am
Strong characters in a phenomenal s/d book. The story moved along quickly. Kept me reading. And it was SO romantic! Great s/d scenes. Descriptive and real. It۪s hot. Steamy hot! Exciting page turner. And the romance . . . oh, the romance!! I loved it! Agree with reviewer Brian's note on the dungeon scene, too. Holy smoke! Anxiously waiting the second book!
Brian on 05/11/2014 06:11pm
Read this over two days. Best way to describe this is to say it's a sexy, spanking romance that has a touch of glamor. Carpenter always delivers interesting characters, and this book is no exception. Gorgeous model, engaged to a British aristocrat, meets a dynamic Dominant. Spanking, sex, (lots of it) and a dungeon scene that I won't quickly forget. Can't wait for Act 2. Soon, please.
Brian on 05/11/2014 06:11pm
Read this over two days. Best way to describe this is to say it's a sexy, spanking romance that has a touch of glamor. Carpenter always delivers interesting characters, and this book is no exception. Gorgeous model, engaged to a British aristocrat, meets a dynamic Dominant. Spanking, sex, (lots of it) and a dungeon scene that I won't quickly forget. Can't wait for Act 2. Soon, please.

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