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Healing Hurts

Smoky Mountain Series : Book One

By: Stella Moore
Published By: Blushing Press
Copyright: ©2017 Blushing Books® and Stella Moore
Twenty-two Chapters /
Heat Level:
4.9 Out Of 5 (4.9 on 19)   |  Write a review
Price:
$3.99

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Penelope Frost can take care of herself. A popular, successful photographer with a smart mouth and a hot temper, she’s learned the hard way not to rely on a man. Her ex, a man she thought she could trust with her innermost desires, abused more than her trust. Eventually, she puts that behind her and begins dating again, focusing her attention on safer, less controlling men. But even if she won’t admit it to herself, she still craves the attention of a dominant man. 

When her friend Elisa finally convinces her to go on a blind date, Penelope meets Eric Calloway. Despite the promises she’s made to herself, she can’t ignore the desires he brings to the surface. The ultimate stereotype of tall, dark, and handsome, Eric is also the perfect balance of dominant and understanding. She reluctantly gives in to his advances, and they start slow, with Eric letting her set the boundaries. He is determined to help her embrace who she really is. Deep down.

When her dangerous ex realizes that he has no power over Penny anymore, that she has finally moved on, he is not happy. To what lengths will he go to reassert his hold over her? 

To heal, Penny must first learn to trust again, but it won’t be easy. Can Eric’s patience hold while Penny finds her way back to her true self? 

Publisher’s Note: This steamy romance contains explicitly described love scenes between a dominant man and submissive woman.

*** Currently available exclusively at Amazon ***

Chapter 1

Leaning back against the bar, Eric Calloway took a long, slow pull of his beer as he looked around the restaurant. He was supposed to be meeting his buddy, Paul, for a double date. He snorted loudly, earning him a reproachful look from the woman two seats down at the bar. By way of apology, he tipped his beer bottle towards her and grinned.

A blind double date. What had he been thinking? You were thinking that it’s been too long since you had a woman over your knees , he reminded himself. Having friends that shared his interests sometimes came in handy. Paul, or rather Paul’s sweet, bubbly wife Elisa, had been picking at him for months to meet her friend, Penelope.

Glancing back towards the front door, he spotted Paul holding the door open for a gaggle of older ladies. He couldn’t quite hide his smirk as the women smiled flirtatiously and giggled as they walked by. He could practically hear them cooing over him. “Oh, what a sweet young man. His mama raised him right.” If they only knew.

Directly behind the gaggle was Elisa, doing her own exaggerated impression of the ladies who had so shamelessly fawned over her husband. Paul leaned down and whispered something in her ear that caused her to blush a pretty shade of pink as she shook her head vehemently. From across the room, he saw her mouth form the words “No, sir.” Something that he didn’t quite recognize as jealousy twisted in his gut.

Then she walked in and even the remnants of jealousy quickly fled. Tall, possibly as tall as his own six feet with the heels she strode in on, she was a knockout. Dark brown hair with hints of red and gold woven throughout bounced in wild curls around her face. And oh man, what a face it was. If he was the type of man to use phrases like porcelain skin, that was exactly how he’d describe her. When she turned her head and pinned him with wide, expressive eyes, he couldn’t make out their color but he could see the challenge in them. Pushing away from the bar, he kept his gaze locked on hers as he made his way over to them. Much to his surprise and delight, the haughty challenge never wavered and she didn’t look away.

“Hello, gorgeous.” Amusement joined the challenge in her eyes—he could see that they were a sea glass green now that he was up close and personal—and her mouth tilted up in a slow smile of feminine appreciation.

Before she could answer, Elisa practically squealed with excitement. “Eric! You’re here!” She threw her arms around him and squeezed. Pulling away, she grinned up at him. “I see you’ve met Penelope. Penny, Eric. Eric, Penny.”

“Nice to meet you, Penny.” When she slid her hand into his offered one, he felt himself stiffen at the softness of her skin. Surprise flitted over her features when he lifted her hand and pressed a gentle kiss to her knuckles in lieu of the more formal handshake she’d obviously been expecting. “It must be my lucky night,” he quipped with a wink.

She rolled those clear green eyes and it was all he could do to not pull her across his knees right there in the little waiting area of the restaurant. Instead, they turned to follow the hostess, and he contented himself with the vision of her high, round backside encased in snug denim. Thank you, Elisa.

Penelope Frost studied her date for the evening from across the table as he chatted with Paul and Elisa. She had begged, wheedled, and tried to bribe her way out of the evening, but Elisa was having none of it. Her tiny bestie had laid on a guilt trip that would have made any Catholic mother proud and in the end, Penny had agreed. If nothing else, she could have one night of fun before returning to her self-imposed hiatus from dominant, and domineering, men.

“So, Penny, what do you do for a living?”

Eric turned slightly and pinned her with those deep brown eyes again. Who knew brown eyes could be so incredibly sexy? But then, there was little about her date that wasn’t. He stood an inch or so taller than her in the four inch heels she was currently torturing herself with, and being eye to eye with him was definitely not a hardship. He was more filled out than Paul, who had a lean, runner’s body. She could picture Eric on the cover of a calendar full of half-naked firemen or running down opponents on the football field. His nose was slightly crooked, making her wonder if he’d broken it at some point, but the slight flaw only increased his appeal.

Before she could answer his question, Elisa chimed in. “Penny is the world’s best photographer. Seriously, she’s incredible. I wanted her to do our wedding but…” she trailed off, shooting Penny an apologetic glance. Penny groaned inwardly and prayed Eric wouldn’t voice the confusion written on his face.

“Best in the world might be stretching things. Certainly the best in a hundred-mile radius,” she joked, hoping to distract from the awkward moment.

“What’s your favorite thing to photograph?” Eric asked, his genuine interest in her work chipping away at her resistance towards the evening and towards him.

“Newborns. They’re so tiny and they basically just sleep through the whole thing. And I get some great shots when they end up peeing all over the person holding them,” she added with a grin.

Eric looked surprised for a moment and then let out a deep belly laugh. “You’ll have to show me some of those one day. I bet they’re incredible.”

“Well, let’s see how this date goes and then we can talk about showing you my etchings,” she replied with a wink, eliciting yet another deep laugh. “Elisa tells me you own your own business?”

“That I do. I own a few small sporting goods stores, and I also have a few people who work for me giving private coaching lessons.”

Oh God. Not a jock. She prayed for strength. “Oh wow, that’s really impressive. What sports do you coach?”

“I have a few people on staff for football, one each for baseball and softball and another for golf. We’re looking to branch out into tennis and lacrosse soon, but I haven’t found anyone I trust for those positions as of yet.”

“I have a niece who plays softball. She’s pretty good. You should give me your business card to pass on to my brother.”

“Of course.” Eric smiled at her, the simple gesture causing butterflies to dance in her stomach.

Oh boy.

Eric struggled to concentrate on the conversation at the table throughout the evening. Penelope was watching him with a look in her eye that had him ready to take her right there on the table. Elisa had told him that she was perfect for him, and he was finding it hard to disagree at the moment. While he wanted someone he could turn over his knee whenever he wanted, he also loved a woman who stood up to him and looked him in the eye. So far, he was getting all of that with the brunette bombshell sitting across from him.

So what was the catch?

Chapter 2

The next day, a bouquet of wild flowers arrived at Penny’s apartment. The accompanying note said: Hey beautiful! Saw these and thought of you. Can I take you out Saturday night? Call me ;)

Penny paced her apartment, reading and rereading the note. She had enjoyed their date, but she’d promised herself it was a one-time thing. On the other hand, she had this itch she couldn’t seem to scratch, and here she had a man who presumably knew the ropes who could help her fill that need, even if it was only for a night. Or two. Maybe.

Annoyed with herself, she picked up the phone and dialed the number Eric had punched in the night before. “Saturday works for me. Pick me up at seven?” she said when he answered.

“Wait, who is this? Jolene?” The teasing voice that came through the phone had her laughing in spite of herself.

“Jolene can take herself out. You sent me flowers, so I’m letting you buy me dinner, too.”

“Sounds like a plan. I’ll see you Saturday, then.”

Saturday rolled around and Penny was busy pulling every outfit she owned out of her closet and trying it on. She finally settled on a pair of jeans that hugged her ample curves in a way she knew could stop traffic, and the teal sweater her mother had given her last year for Christmas. Just as she was putting the finishing touches on her makeup, there was a knock on the door. Sliding into her favorite pair of red patent leather pumps, she took a deep breath and answered the door.

The low wolf whistle Eric let out when he saw her made every moment of preparation worth it. “I owe Elisa so big,” he said, grinning at her.

“Oh you have no idea,” she purred, closing the door to the apartment behind her. Eric offered his arm with an exaggerated gesture that made her giggle and they made their way to the parking lot.

They stopped in front of a snazzy, red, two-seater and Penny couldn’t stop the laugh that bubbled up in her throat. Eric just grinned and shrugged. “Everyone needs a vice, right? Fast cars happen to be mine. Well, one of them.” The look he sent her flooded her pussy with heat. He held the door open for her and she slid in, admiring the interior of the sexy little car.

“So where are we going for dinner? I could eat a horse. I was so wrapped up in finishing this wedding I shot a few weeks ago, I don’t think I’ve eaten anything,” she laughed.

For a moment, Eric looked like he wanted to say something, but the moment passed and he shot her a cocky grin. “What are your feelings on Indian food?”

Penny wrinkled her nose. “I love it but there’s nowhere around here to get good Indian. Has it slipped your mind we live in the backwoods of Tennessee?” Backwoods may have been exaggerating a bit seeing as how they were within driving distance of Knoxville, but still.

“I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised,” he responded cryptically.

By the time they pulled up in front of the restaurant, she was beyond curious. When they walked in, she was immediately taken in by the scents permeating the air.

“Oh my God,” she groaned. “Real Indian food. It smells amazing. I haven’t had any since I was in New York.” Eric pulled a chair out for her when they reached the table, charming her further.

“You lived in New York?” he asked as they settled in.

“For about a month. I have a cousin who moved there years ago and she let me crash there for a while after my junior year of college. Have you ever been?”

“Once, for a few days at a sporting goods convention. It was fun, for a short time. But I don’t think I could live there.”

Penny grinned. “I wanted to, but this is home. I missed my family like crazy when I was there. And I wouldn’t give up the life I have here for all the bagels in New York. I don’t think I would be as fulfilled with my work there. I love the intimacy of the south, even with perfect strangers.”

The waiter came and took their orders and brought them the wine Eric requested. Penny mused as she studied him. More to you than just the good ole boy jock, isn’t there? When the waiter left, Penny leaned forward conspiratorially, prompting Eric to mirror her.

“So. How did you realize you enjoy turning women over your knee and paddling their backsides?” she asked.

If Eric was taken aback by the question, he did a good job of hiding it. “I think it was something I always knew. I’ve had an itchy palm since I decided I wanted to get my hands on Susie Palmer in sixth grade,” he grinned. “I didn’t really do much about it until high school, when the same Susie Palmer placed herself over my lap in the back of my pickup truck when we were sixteen. And you?”

Penny shrugged. “The usual. Watching Ricky turn Lucy over his knee while watching late night reruns set me off, even before I really knew what it meant. I experimented some in high school and then a lot in college. I’d like you to spank me tonight,” she added, taking a casual sip of her wine.

This time she was rewarded with a single raised eyebrow. “I would very much enjoy that. Any preferences?”

She took another fortifying sip. “Leather. Belt, tawse, certain whips. I have a variety at my place.” Her heart was hammering now, but she refused to let him see her nerves. For one night, she was going to take what she wanted. She was going to put aside her fear and live.

“I can definitely get on board with that. Are you sure about this? I’m in no hurry if you want to take things slow.”

Penny shrugged, hoping the gesture came off as nonchalant. “Elisa and Paul are my oldest friends and they’ve known you for years. I trust them, so I trust you.” Well, trust may have been a strong word, but it was close enough for one night.

“Okay then. That’s good enough for me.”

Back in Eric’s little red car, they flew down the interstate towards her apartment. Penny lightly ran her hand up and down his thigh, delighted by the warning growl he gave her. It had been so long since she’d really let loose and enjoyed herself with a man.

Eric risked a glance in her direction and caught her smug smile. “Little girls who tease get their backsides paddled,” he warned.

Oh yes. Please. Penny slid her hand higher up his thigh until she reached the bulge in his pants. “A spanking? Me?” she asked with feigned innocence.

Eric barked out a laugh. “If anyone has ever deserved a spanking, it’s you, my bad little Penny.” He pulled into her parking lot and threw the car in park, reaching for her.

“If you want to spank me, you’ll have to catch me,” Penny teased. With a loud whoop, she threw open the door and raced towards the front door of her building.

For a moment, Eric could only stare at her retreating backside. At some point during the ride, the little minx had slipped off her heels and was now running barefoot across the parking lot. Pulling the keys out of the ignition, he took off after her. Unfortunately for her, his years of training paid off and he caught her just as she was unlocking the front door. Scooping her up, he threw her over his shoulder, smacking her denim clad bottom as he walked down the hall towards the elevators.

Eric pushed the button for five and took a step back. “Now, how am I going to spank my bad Penny when we get to her apartment?” he wondered aloud.

“You wouldn’t use your belt on me for such a little thing, would you?” The breathy quality of her voice told him that was exactly what she wanted.

“Oh, I think the belt is perfect. You were a very naughty little girl.”

He felt her sigh over his shoulder. “If that’s what you think is best.”

Eric grinned as the doors opened on her floor. He was going to send Elisa the biggest bouquet of roses he could get his hands on in the morning.

Pettigg on 08/14/2017 04:05pm
Penny makes the mistake in thinking she can deny herself what she truly needs, what she desires to truly be honest with herself. Eric isn't going to let her get away with that. He barrels right and takes responsibility for keeping her safe and making her take responsibility for herself. Amazing what a blind date can turn into. A couple neat twists and of course a happily ever after.
lani on 08/12/2017 07:38am
I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy for an honest review. this was a great story! The characters were well developed and very realistic. The plot was interesting and kept me reading nonstop until I finished the entire book! It was a sweet romance with lots of great DD written in. The punishments were realistic and fit the crime. They weren%u2019t elaborately made up excuses for a spanking. If you%u2019re into DD and enjoy romance, I highly recommend this book! I can%u2019t wait to read anything else this author writes!
Monica Machado on 08/08/2017 06:59pm
This is a story about how to be true to yourself. Penelope and Eric are a submissive woman and a dominant man. They want this kind of relationship but don't know how to get. Penelope had a very bad experience and promises herself not to put her trust in a dominant man, Eric doesn't know what to do with his fellings about dominate but together they found their path. Is love story with a twist.
Sam on 08/06/2017 06:56pm
This is a great book that explores the emotions involved in starting a new relationship after escaping an abusive one. The author did a great job of letting us see how the characters grew closer together and overcame bumps in their journey. At the same time, the book had enough action to be interesting.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Dyane on 08/03/2017 11:09am
This is the first book I have read by Stella Moore, and I loved, loved, loved it! The hero Eric is tall, strong, and sexy, understanding and patient with Penny's issues from a previous bad relationship. Penny is smart, sassy, and confident, but wary of dominant men. In addition to wonderful characters, there is an intriguing twist to the plot that really grabs the reader's attention. The author had constructed a wonderful novel with all the characteristics of a perfect romance - love, passion, trust, discipline and danger. Certain events in the book hint that there may be a sequel. I hope so, because I will definitely read every book this author publishes. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
Rhonda on 08/01/2017 12:27pm
Inspiring love story

I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars, that's how remarkable it is.
This is the first time I've read a story by Stella Moore but it won't be the last. In fact I'm hopeful that there will sequels with some of the secondary characters.
Eric and Penny had an instant spark of attraction upon meeting. I loved seeing the relationship grow and Eric's care in helping Penny work through emotional baggage left by an abusive ex. Baggage that hinders the growing BDSM relationship they both want.
Along with love, family support and great friendships there was also suspense that gripped my attention and didn't let go.

I highly recommend this book.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book.
Ajjmb on 07/31/2017 05:56pm
I received an advanced copy of this book to review. I really enjoyed the dynamics of this book. Penny is a young woman who has spent years trying to recover from an abusive relationship. When she meets Eric she slowly begins to trust a man again with a discipline dynamics. Eric is very patient in helping Penny work through her trauma. The relationship is growing and evolving when suddenly Penny's crazy ex show back up in her life and begins to stalk her. He is obsesses with her and obviously mentally ill. I won't ruin the ending and I highly recommend reading this book.
Toni L on 07/30/2017 08:25pm
This was a light, fun read with some moments that made me laugh, but still with a serious undertone of escaping a bad relationship. I really enjoyed this. Not many D/s or DD books allow you to have fun with the characters & to laugh with them. They all seem to take it so seriously. This book had characters that had fun with each other & therefore allowed me to have fun with them. Loved it. First time I think I've read anything from this author, but will definitely look out for more.
Joanie Miller on 07/30/2017 01:02pm
Healing Hurts is an excellent book that explores the trauma that is left after an abusive relationship. Working with a therapist, Penny is still not ready to give in to her submissive nature when her good friends introduce her to Eric. Being the great Dom that he is, Eric is extremely patient with Penny, letting her set the boundaries in their budding relationship. With a great cast of characters that includes the therapist and a police detective, the plot takes Penny back to the terror of dealing with her abusive ex; only this time she has Eric and the others to support and protect her. The characters were all well-developed and the plot was compelling. I'm looking forward to the next book in this great new series.
Pico1 on 07/29/2017 12:24pm
Penny and Eric both enjoy spanking and sex; but she is afraid because of a terrible experience with a previous boyfriend. They are introduced and very quickly start a relationship that warms up as they learn how well they fit together. They work together to deal with her emotional issues, and have to solve the problem of the crazy ex-boyfriend %u2013 but things work themselves out. Both characters are well-drawn and likable, and the story is fast moving and enjoyable.
DONNA L on 07/29/2017 03:07am
By Donna L
Edit Review
Delete Review
This review is from: Healing Hurts (Smoky Mountains Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this emotional story between Penelope and Eric.
Penny was the traumatized by a previous domestic discipline
relationship with Franklin.She is no longer able to trust or want
another man in her life, that is until she meets Eric on a blind date.Penny
craves a dominant man,Eric helps her overcome her demons as
their relationship progresses.He is the opposite of Franklin,she
learns to trust and love again.Just as Penny relaxes,Franklin
reappears with evil intentions.I loved how the relationship between
Penny and Eric grew so naturally and they were so attuned to each
other.The secondary characters added a richness to the plot and
I hope they get their own stories.There are steamy sex scenes and
well deserved spankings.I found the emotional journey that Penny
travels both heart warming and heart shattering.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book
DONNA L on 07/29/2017 02:58am
By Donna L
Edit Review
Delete Review
This review is from: Healing Hurts (Smoky Mountains Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this emotional story between Penelope and Eric.
Penny was the traumatized by a previous domestic discipline
relationship with Franklin.She is no longer able to trust or want
another man in her life, that is until she meets Eric on a blind date.Penny
craves a dominant man,Eric helps her overcome her demons as
their relationship progresses.He is the opposite of Franklin,she
learns to trust and love again.Just as Penny relaxes,Franklin
reappears with evil intentions.I loved how the relationship between
Penny and Eric grew so naturally and they were so attuned to each
other.The secondary characters added a richness to the plot and
I hope they get their own stories.There are steamy sex scenes and
well deserved spankings.I found the emotional journey that Penny
travels both heart warming and heart shattering.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book
Redrabbitt on 07/28/2017 10:56pm
I enjoyed this emotional, and at times intense story of Penny and Eric, along with the people who are close in their life. Penelope Front, a local photographer, lives with the past that still haunts her from a volatile relationship that she escaped from, and her reluctance to become involved with anyone else. Agreeing to placate her friends and going on a blind date with Eric Calloway was to be a one time and done deal, but the chemistry between them is evident.
Best friends, Elisa and Paul, live a D/s lifestyle and know that Penny had been involved with a dominant named Franklin. He became abusive and violent, and Penny left him and has been in therapy to help her cope with her emotions and fears. Eric, a dominant, is also a friend Paul and Elisa, and they believe that he and Penny are perfect for each other. One dinner date is the beginning of their relationship.
The plot will have Penny and Eric meeting on a blind date with mutual friends, and she will agree to a second date, and even to allow him to spank her, under her rules. The chemistry between them is evident from the beginning. How will Penny handle things when he suggests continuing dating and getting to know each other better?
Slowly the plot will reveal the budding relationship between them and some of the problems that lead to her leaving Franklin. The closer Eric and Penny become, she has learned that not all dominants are the same and what they have is a relationship of mutual respect. After running into Frankin, things escalate with threatening packages and messages; Eric will involve not only the police but also her therapist, and everyone will go on alert. The story will take on an intense life and death situation when a stalker elevates his threats. Will Penny retreat into herself and shut out those who love her, or will she trust them to help her heal?
The story is a great example of the difference between an abusive relationship and a loving domestic discipline relationship. One ignores the standards of safe, sane and consensual, while the other shows trust and respect between a loving couple. The story has many spankings, including those in a playful scene and also punishment. There are also several sex scenes, but they are not overly explicit.
JigsawGirl on 07/28/2017 09:22pm
Interesting story reading about Penny overcoming the trauma of her past relationship. Eric shows his strength by patiently getting to know Penny while he earns her trust. Dealing with the psycho ex was more than they both bargained for when they entered their relationship.

I liked Eric. I'm not sure about Penny, because she did a couple of thoughtless (stupid) things. But, I suppose had she not, there would have been no need for the punishment.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this Advanced Reader Copy.
lillie1922 on 07/28/2017 06:56pm
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. They meet through their friends in a blind date. Penny explains to Eric that though she is a submissive, she will only submit during play not discipline. Penny has had a traumatic relationship in the past and even after intensive therapy just can't go there anymore. Eric accepts her rules to be with Penny and they are slowly working their way through when terror strikes again. Spanking romance
Margaret Corcoran on 07/28/2017 11:42am
I loved this sweet and steamy romance. It's well written and easy to read. There are lots of different elements to hold the reader's interest. The characters are well described and developed. There are some spankings and lots of hot spicy sex with lots of love and support. I received an ARC copy of this book and I highly recommend it.
charlotte Huelsemann on 07/28/2017 10:51am
Healing hurts by stella Moore.
Eric%u2019s friend Paul was setting him up with a double date. Elisa Paul%u2019s wife introduces him to Penny. Penny was abuse in the past and is very hesitant to get involved with a man again. This is a sweet love story. You can see how the love develops. Eric is a dom who loves spanking women and Penny craves it. This journey has a few bumps in the road. Eric must take it slow as penny%u2019s past causes her problems. I was given this advanced reader series to review and I found it a very good read. There is love and danger and spankings.
Stats23 on 07/28/2017 08:35am
After a disastrous relationship with a narcissist dominant, it%u2019s going to take a lot for Penny to learn to ever trust both her own emotions and someone else%u2019s intentions again. She is going to need a lot of help. Fortunately she has a fantastic support group that includes her best friend (Elisa), her therapist (Melissa) and the new man in her life (at least he wants to be) Eric. There is a lot of heavy emotional involvement with this story, and it can%u2019t help but draw you in so that you too are being torn and twisted. There is no question that Penny is a submissive, and craves the firm control (and hand) of a loving dominant. Equally, there is no doubt that Eric can/could/should be that man. The story is whether the issues can be addressed/accepted/overcome to the satisfaction of all. A great story with really wonderful scenes. I give it five full stars, and look forward to the possibility of future stories involving any/all of the characters introduced in this book.
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
Tami on 07/28/2017 03:48am
After some bad experiences, Penelope has sworn off men. She is persuaded by her best friend to go to a blind date. Though Penelope is very reluctant to do that, she feels very drawn to Eric Calloway. As it turns out, Eric is a dominant and manages to rouse Penelope's submissive side. Everything could be great, if not for Penelope's ex who puts them in danger.
The story is well developed with engaging characters and a good story line. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

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