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Royal Scold

Worship Series : Book Two

By: Marie Hall
Published By: Blushing Press
Copyright: 2015 by Blushing Books and Marie Hall
20 Chapters / 64,576 Words
Heat Level:
4.8 Out Of 5 (4.8 on 20)   |  Write a review
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United by a royal contract, Io Desmond has found pleasure and pain under Xavier's firm and steady hand. But trust is not something Io affords to anyone, and without it she cannot receive the full measure of what Xavier will give her.

Bound by love and lust, Xavier Brice would give Io the affection and discipline she requires to feel cared for and safe. But he's never faced anything like the inner demons holding Io away from the offer of home and stability.

If Io's doubts and fears prove stronger than Xavier's promise of protection and devotion, the challenge could tear them apart. If Xavier's promise of commitment and dependability can rise above, then together, through the pleasure and the pain, they will find love.

Chapter One

Io Desmond Brice pushed through the tent flaps with a huff and threw herself, face down, on the bed. Men. They were an impossible lot. Even as she drew the edge of the fur over her head, she heard the most impossible of them enter the space.

“Io?” Xavier Brice’s tone was laced with annoyance and she felt the flesh on her backside quiver. “Why are you being so difficult?”

Of course, she was the one being difficult, of course. It couldn’t be him. It had to be her, not him with his impossible demands. Not the two soldiers standing outside, who were supposed to be at her command. No, of course, it was her. She pressed her face into the thick bedding and screamed.

“Io.” Xavier’s sharpness was expected. She didn’t even look up. “Do not behave like a child. I will not have it.”

She was startled when he jerked the fur from her head. That he could move without her hearing was annoying. Like a damn cat, for a man so sturdy and built, he should shake the ground when he walked.

“Io.” His fingers dug beneath her chin and forced her face up so she had to look at him. He’d that expectant look, saying, tell him now, or be prepared to not sit for a week. And well, she still couldn’t sit, she could hardly move even three days after he’d taken a cane to her. The worst pain he ever inflicted. All for not telling him she’d concerns, for lying. That wasn’t going to happen again. Right now, just his hand would kill her, she was sure. But no one was listening to her, people were supposed to listen to what she said. Xavier said, as his wife, she’d the ability to command people and she should use it. Well damn, she tried, and failed. How was she supposed to be his wife and command people if they ignored her?

“I am not being a child.” She pouted. His lips curled up on the ends and he gently brushed the hair from her face. “It is not impossible what I ask, it changes nothing for them.”

“Io, what exactly did you ask them to do?” Xavier squatted down, resting his arms on either side of her.

“Not to wear their tunics into the market.”

He gave her a quizzical look. “Why do you not want them to wear their tunics?”

“Because you said I am supposed to be able to command.”

He nodded.

“All on my own, without needing anyone.”

He nodded again.

“Well if they go with me, into the market place, wearing your standards, the only reason people will listen to me will be because they fear you. That makes me all by myself, powerless. It makes me nothing if I am not yours.” She dropped her head back to the bed. “Nothing more than your trained bitch.”

“Io,” he snapped. His hand cracked down on her seat.

Her howl was probably heard through the entire camp, tears sprang to her eyes and her legs kicked against the bed in an attempt to ward off the searing pain. Several long moments passed before she could draw in a full, deep breath through the pain. In that time, Xavier climbed on the bed and stretched out next to her. He set his hand on her hip and forced her to roll to her back. Io scrambled to get her feet flat so she could hold her arse off the bed. But as she lifted up, Xavier’s hand pushed her down and his foot kicked her feet out. She cried out again.

“Are you listening to me now, my lady?” As much a question as a command, Io sniffed and nodded. “Look at me then.”

Io wiped at her tears with the back of her hand then turned her head to face her husband. This man who could inflict such pain on her, who just renewed a pain she thought might kill her, now slipped his arm beneath her to cradle her softly.

“Io, you are not now, never have been, and never will be any man’s trained bitch.” His arm tightened and he pulled her a little closer, allowing her to roll to her side facing him and giving her some relief. “You know what you are to me, do you not?”

She sniffed once then again, for good measure, when she saw him smile. She gave him a curt nod.

“Say it.”

She felt her face heat and her throat tighten a bit. It was a ridiculous thing to say, especially about herself. She didn’t mind so much when he said it. It was still nonsense, but it sounded nice coming from him, especially because he was usually panting it out after a bit of bed sport.

“Io,” he warned, “say it.”

She made a small choking sound then rolled her eyes before sighing like he was more burden than he could know. “A goddess, I am a goddess.”

“Yes, my goddess.” He rolled her on top of him and squeezed. “Do not slander my wife again by calling her a bitch.” His hand went to the back of her head forcing it down to meet his lips. The kiss was short and sweet. When he broke it, she was disappointed. His arms again wrapped around her, and he relaxed into the bed. Holding her in place on top his chest, he was quiet for a while. “Io, you know it doesn’t matter if your escorts wear the standards or not�”

“Then I want them to not wear them.” Io put her head down and listened to his heart beating.

“I want you to understand that you can use your status as my wife�”

“I do not want to use your status. I want to do things on my own, the way I did them before you. I want to know people will listen to me because of me, not because of you.” She ducked her head a bit knowing what would come when she added the next. “I need to rely on myself, Xavier, if you are ever�”

“Io,” he yelled, rolling them over, pinning her under him with his full weight and glared at her. “I am not going to abandon you and I am�”

“I do not accuse you, I do not,” Io quickly clarified, before she again felt the weight and strength of his hand. “But will you be standing beside me, always? Your presence there, to threaten? Are you going to follow me about and stare down anyone who says nay to me?”

“No, Io,” he relented, relaxing so his body molded against hers.

“Then people have to want to do as I ask, regardless if I am your wife. I have to know they will act as I will have, because I will have them.” Because, though she wouldn’t say it, she still couldn’t trust he wouldn’t do as everyone did her entire life, and send her from him.

“Io,” he sighed. “It does not matter�”

“It matters to me.”

“Very well, I will tell them they are not to wear their tunics.” Xavier rolled off her. Io covered her eyes with her hands and growled. “What?”

“Do you not ever listen to me?”

“What?”

“I do not want you to tell them anything. I want to tell them and have them do what I ask. I am not asking them to do anything so much that they should question me. It is not as if I ask them to help me escape you.” She rolled to her side and set her hand over his heart. He covered it with his own, then lifted it and brought it to his lips. A soft kiss, a squeeze and then he placed it back over his heart.

“Very well, Io. I will speak with them about needing to follow your commands without my consent.” He turned and looked at her. “Io, they will still consult me when they feel your commands are� questionable.”

“And I will not fail to invoke your name if I must.” She knew it could be useful, for now and however long he’d have her, to have a man with Xavier’s reputation supporting her.

“Have you given up on your plans to go to the market today?”

“I am not sure. What plans did you make?” Her hand settled on his hip and then slipped to his groin. He already grew hard.

“I did plan a bit of sword play.” He groaned when she squeezed him.

“Is that what you will call it today, my lord?” Io teased.

“With my men, Io, sword play with my men.” A deep grumble rolled in his throat.

“Ah, well, if they are better at it then I.” She giggled when he lifted his hips and pressed into her hand.

“Io,” he called.

“Yes?”

“No one is better than you.” He rolled back over and pressed his lips to hers.

Io went to the market the next morning. When her escorts came to meet her, they came without their tunics. She frowned, knowing it was Xavier’s command, but it was a start. She wasn’t going to lose herself completely. She could still control some things. The things he insisted she try and control were less important to her, the things he’d try and make her forget to control, those she wouldn’t ever forget. Not when it meant surrendering.

Juliette on 04/19/2015 08:53pm
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series and this second book did not disappoint. Although the books can be read alone, the reader would be doing themselves an injustice not to read the first book Warrior’s Scold, prior to the second. The story of Xavier and Io continues with wonderful development of emotion, understanding and turmoil. I particularly enjoyed the development of the relationship between Io and Xavier’s men, especially Gerard. The punishments tend to be heavy and well deserved, as is the sex! I am very much looking forward to the next book and the continuance and convolutions of a wonderful plot.
Juliette on 04/19/2015 08:53pm
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series and this second book did not disappoint. Although the books can be read alone, the reader would be doing themselves an injustice not to read the first book Warrior۪s Scold, prior to the second. The story of Xavier and Io continues with wonderful development of emotion, understanding and turmoil. I particularly enjoyed the development of the relationship between Io and Xavier۪s men, especially Gerard. The punishments tend to be heavy and well deserved, as is the sex! I am very much looking forward to the next book and the continuance and convolutions of a wonderful plot.
Laurel Lasky on 04/05/2015 12:36pm
This is the second in the series with a continuation from Warrior's Scold. You can read it without reading the first book but might not understand the ways and wherefore so I recommend reading in order. Xavier and Io are now married but still insecure about being abandoned by Xavier. Again the author goes into the emotions and feeling of the characters including the secondary characters. There is more sexual activity and many and some harsh spankings but it leads to a happy ending. I hope their will be another book to follow as there are many unanswered questions and hints of what's to come. I just hope it's soon as I enjoyed this very much.
Laurel Lasky on 04/05/2015 12:36pm
This is the second in the series with a continuation from Warrior's Scold. You can read it without reading the first book but might not understand the ways and wherefore so I recommend reading in order. Xavier and Io are now married but still insecure about being abandoned by Xavier. Again the author goes into the emotions and feeling of the characters including the secondary characters. There is more sexual activity and many and some harsh spankings but it leads to a happy ending. I hope their will be another book to follow as there are many unanswered questions and hints of what's to come. I just hope it's soon as I enjoyed this very much.
Jaycee on 03/27/2015 09:46am
Very good continuation of the first story. We get to learn more about Io, see her relationship with Xavier develop more, and immerse ourselves in the medieval setting of this story. The writing is once again fantastic - very detailed and involved. Xavier seems to be a little more understanding, but again, just too harsh at times. Leaving Io bruised and sore for 15 days is just too much, IMO. I loved the reunion with Gerald, one of Xavier's men. His scenes with Io were so good - I almost wish he'd stolen her away as he shows more understanding and patience than Xavier! I'll be sad not to see some of the men in the next part. I'm looking forward to part 3, but am sure Io is going to be incredibly hurt and angry when she finds out the information Xavier has withheld from her. Hmmm - she got a serious punishment for withholding things from him in the first story. Wonder what his excuse might be for doing the same?
Jaycee on 03/27/2015 09:46am
Very good continuation of the first story. We get to learn more about Io, see her relationship with Xavier develop more, and immerse ourselves in the medieval setting of this story. The writing is once again fantastic - very detailed and involved. Xavier seems to be a little more understanding, but again, just too harsh at times. Leaving Io bruised and sore for 15 days is just too much, IMO. I loved the reunion with Gerald, one of Xavier's men. His scenes with Io were so good - I almost wish he'd stolen her away as he shows more understanding and patience than Xavier! I'll be sad not to see some of the men in the next part. I'm looking forward to part 3, but am sure Io is going to be incredibly hurt and angry when she finds out the information Xavier has withheld from her. Hmmm - she got a serious punishment for withholding things from him in the first story. Wonder what his excuse might be for doing the same?
Tina on 03/25/2015 04:02am
This is the 2nd book in the series and it cannot be easily read without the 1st (it will make a lot more sense if you read the first one). In the first book we met Io who after the death of her mother as a child had been bounced around unsuitable homes and had been forced to depend on herself. This book follows on from where book one left off. Io is still travelling with Xavier and his men, they are making the very long journey home. Xavier wants to get home as soon as possible as he wants their marriage to be sanctioned in a church. Io’s relationship with Xavier swings back and forth during this book (as her trust fluctuates and she has periods of doubt) but it is written well and it fits in perfectly with the story as we begin to understand more about Io’s past and why she reacts the way she does. I really enjoyed reading this book and thought the character development was great. It answers virtually all the unanswered questions from book 1, only one element remains but even if there isn’t a 3rd book (I hope there is as I really want to continue reading their story) it has already pointed at the answer and it’s simply that Io doesn’t know. I received this as an ARC for an honest review (although I bought book 1 immediately before reading book 2 as an ARC).
Tina on 03/25/2015 04:02am
This is the 2nd book in the series and it cannot be easily read without the 1st (it will make a lot more sense if you read the first one). In the first book we met Io who after the death of her mother as a child had been bounced around unsuitable homes and had been forced to depend on herself. This book follows on from where book one left off. Io is still travelling with Xavier and his men, they are making the very long journey home. Xavier wants to get home as soon as possible as he wants their marriage to be sanctioned in a church. Io۪s relationship with Xavier swings back and forth during this book (as her trust fluctuates and she has periods of doubt) but it is written well and it fits in perfectly with the story as we begin to understand more about Io۪s past and why she reacts the way she does. I really enjoyed reading this book and thought the character development was great. It answers virtually all the unanswered questions from book 1, only one element remains but even if there isn۪t a 3rd book (I hope there is as I really want to continue reading their story) it has already pointed at the answer and it۪s simply that Io doesn۪t know. I received this as an ARC for an honest review (although I bought book 1 immediately before reading book 2 as an ARC).
Redrabbitt on 03/23/2015 02:21pm
This series must be read in order to fully understand and keep up. We learned more about Io's isolation and movement from location to location. About the death of her mother and that the Queen mother has dispatched men in search of Io to kill her. I know we will learn even more in book 3. Xavier Brice and Io are united under royal contract, but he is determined they will be wed in the church, in the eyes of God and man and not just by decree. They have traveled for months from where he rescued her and has been slowly trying to train her in her position as his wife. Io has had nothing but pain and heartache her entire life, and when words are spoken harshly, she takes then literally and leaves the camp and is nearly raped. Xavier is not a man to go up against, he is a force to be reckoned with and that is not only in his position in the Kings army but with his men and especially with Io. His punishments to her are harsh and painful, but hopefully lessons to be learned. There are multiple forms of punishment that include caning, tawse and paddle and even a painful unguent is used. Although they have engaged in oral and anal sex, Xavier will not consummate their marriage until vows are made in the church, which is eight months in the making.
Redrabbitt on 03/23/2015 02:21pm
This series must be read in order to fully understand and keep up. We learned more about Io's isolation and movement from location to location. About the death of her mother and that the Queen mother has dispatched men in search of Io to kill her. I know we will learn even more in book 3. Xavier Brice and Io are united under royal contract, but he is determined they will be wed in the church, in the eyes of God and man and not just by decree. They have traveled for months from where he rescued her and has been slowly trying to train her in her position as his wife. Io has had nothing but pain and heartache her entire life, and when words are spoken harshly, she takes then literally and leaves the camp and is nearly raped. Xavier is not a man to go up against, he is a force to be reckoned with and that is not only in his position in the Kings army but with his men and especially with Io. His punishments to her are harsh and painful, but hopefully lessons to be learned. There are multiple forms of punishment that include caning, tawse and paddle and even a painful unguent is used. Although they have engaged in oral and anal sex, Xavier will not consummate their marriage until vows are made in the church, which is eight months in the making.
flutterby35 on 03/23/2015 02:57am
A continuation of Xavier and Io's story. Xavier is still trying to get Io to believe he won't ever leave her. Io is starting to trust Xavier and his men, but she is still scared. Io proves that she is very brave and stand up for what she believes. Xavier is patient with her, but gets frustrated too. He proves that he loves her. Will Io learn to trust Xavier's love or fight to hold on to her independence? Guess you will have to read and see...
flutterby35 on 03/23/2015 02:57am
A continuation of Xavier and Io's story. Xavier is still trying to get Io to believe he won't ever leave her. Io is starting to trust Xavier and his men, but she is still scared. Io proves that she is very brave and stand up for what she believes. Xavier is patient with her, but gets frustrated too. He proves that he loves her. Will Io learn to trust Xavier's love or fight to hold on to her independence? Guess you will have to read and see...
Marybeth on 03/22/2015 08:33pm
I LOVE this series ad I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I’m caught between wanting the next book to be the end of the series so that I know how it ends and not wanting it to end!!! But, I digress. Io and Xavier are back. Io still has problems trusting Xavier. Xavier continues to try to get her to trust him, but he ends up giving her some pretty harsh punishments. I know the punishments seem extreme, but they seem to work within the context of the story. I am very invested when reading this series and I have been brought to tears more than once by this author. I love this story and I highly recommend it!!! I give this 5 stars.
Marybeth on 03/22/2015 08:33pm
I LOVE this series ad I can۪t wait to read the next book in the series. I۪m caught between wanting the next book to be the end of the series so that I know how it ends and not wanting it to end!!! But, I digress. Io and Xavier are back. Io still has problems trusting Xavier. Xavier continues to try to get her to trust him, but he ends up giving her some pretty harsh punishments. I know the punishments seem extreme, but they seem to work within the context of the story. I am very invested when reading this series and I have been brought to tears more than once by this author. I love this story and I highly recommend it!!! I give this 5 stars.
SH on 03/18/2015 09:00pm
I absolutely adored book one and was so excited to read book two! Io and Xavier have a complicated relationship and most of that is because of the horrible childhood Io endured. She has a horrible time trusting anyone and frankly, who could blame her? Xavier keeps trying to gain her trust, and even though he does get frustrated at times, he does truly love her. They are a work in progress but so worth the journey. I am looking forward to the next in the series and am hoping the remaining questions get answered.
SH on 03/18/2015 09:00pm
I absolutely adored book one and was so excited to read book two! Io and Xavier have a complicated relationship and most of that is because of the horrible childhood Io endured. She has a horrible time trusting anyone and frankly, who could blame her? Xavier keeps trying to gain her trust, and even though he does get frustrated at times, he does truly love her. They are a work in progress but so worth the journey. I am looking forward to the next in the series and am hoping the remaining questions get answered.
angel on 03/18/2015 07:42pm
This story is filled with romance action and a lot more The plot is well told and will keep you turning the pages as you wonder what the heroine will do next Can the Hero help her Can he keep her safe Even if it means a few trips over his knee as she keeps everyone on their toes
angel on 03/18/2015 07:42pm
This story is filled with romance action and a lot more The plot is well told and will keep you turning the pages as you wonder what the heroine will do next Can the Hero help her Can he keep her safe Even if it means a few trips over his knee as she keeps everyone on their toes
SL on 03/18/2015 05:07pm
4 stars This is a continuation of Book One, Warrior Scold. This starts with Xavier Brice and IO married by order of the King. IO is still very stubborn and unable to trust anyone. As in the first book, Xavier has his hands full and resorts to paddling, tawse, hand, hot lotions to bring IO under control. Some of the scenes in my opinion, seemed over the top with punishment. I think Xavier is frustrated with IO and tries to get her to understand that she can trust him. IO is scared that she will lose her identity if she has to depend on a man to help her. This is a nice second book, but I believe there is still a third to come. The story had a happy ending, but there are still so many unanswered questions. I imagine there will be a third book. There were graphic sexual scenes before marriage. As I said some of the punishment scenes seemed a bit over the top. The story was interesting, even if IO was a bit annoying with her whining and not believing Xavier would stand with her. Over all a quick and enjoyable read.
SL on 03/18/2015 05:07pm
4 stars This is a continuation of Book One, Warrior Scold. This starts with Xavier Brice and IO married by order of the King. IO is still very stubborn and unable to trust anyone. As in the first book, Xavier has his hands full and resorts to paddling, tawse, hand, hot lotions to bring IO under control. Some of the scenes in my opinion, seemed over the top with punishment. I think Xavier is frustrated with IO and tries to get her to understand that she can trust him. IO is scared that she will lose her identity if she has to depend on a man to help her. This is a nice second book, but I believe there is still a third to come. The story had a happy ending, but there are still so many unanswered questions. I imagine there will be a third book. There were graphic sexual scenes before marriage. As I said some of the punishment scenes seemed a bit over the top. The story was interesting, even if IO was a bit annoying with her whining and not believing Xavier would stand with her. Over all a quick and enjoyable read.

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