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Dr. Melissa French is a respected psychiatrist who happens to specialize in relationships with a power exchange dynamic, despite having never been involved in one herself. Brilliant, driven, and dedicated, she yearns to find a man she can hand the reins over to, but she has all but given up hope of meeting him.
Then she meets sexy, bossy, Detective Jack Meyers. He enjoys women, but he's never had one pull at his heart - and libido - the way the good ‘doc’ does. The potent sexuality boiling just underneath her stiff, professional demeanor makes him more than a little crazy.
Learning together, they build a beautiful and mutually satisfying D/s relationship. Just when the two lovers think happily-ever-after is within reach, a dark figure from the past threatens to wreck everything they have. Can Jack save the woman he loves and in so doing save his own heart? Or will she be the one person he cannot save?
Publisher’s Note: This love story contains vividly described explicit encounters.
*** Currently available exclusively at Amazon ***
Summer in Tennessee wasn't leaving without a fight. During the day, August drowned the Smokey Mountains with humidity and baked them with its searing sun. Nights were only marginally better, and as Dr. Melissa French knew all too well, the unrelenting heat sometimes made people a little crazy.
Not that the seasoned psychiatrist would ever use a term like ‘crazy’ when dealing with her patients. At least, not when anyone could hear her. She was tempted, however, to use some less than professional language with the couple currently bickering in her office.
“That’s enough for today.” The words were spoken with a quiet authority that she had found to be more effective than raising her voice. The couple immediately quit arguing and looked over at her.
“But Dr. French, we haven't gotten anywhere,” the woman whined. The high pitched, nasally voice grated on every nerve the good doctor possessed. Inside, she wanted to wring the woman's neck. But she forced her lips up into her bland, professional smile and responded to the woman's complaint in a calm, measured voice.
“I know it seems that way, Mara. But we are making some progress.” They weren't, at least not as much as Melissa had hoped, but she wasn't ready to give up on the couple just yet. “I'll see you both next week, at the same time.”
“This is ridiculous. What are we even paying you for?” Mara demanded sulkily.
Refusing to be baited, Melissa looked over at the man who was studying his wife with a thoughtful frown. Hope sparked through the fatigue that was dragging at her and she decided to give them a few extra minutes. They were her last appointment, after all, so she wouldn't be intruding on anyone else's time.
“William, is there something you'd like to address?” Melissa asked.
William Hanson, still stunningly handsome at nearly fifty-three, never took his eyes off his younger, curvaceous wife. They really did make a stunning pair, just on looks alone. But Melissa had also seen something between them the first time they'd come to her that had caused her to dig in her heels. Where most people just saw a young gold digger and a wealthy man going through a bit of a mid-life crisis, she saw genuine affection and a love she hoped would deepen with time.
“Apologize to Dr. French,” William said after an extended pause. His tone sent a shiver down Melissa's spine that she ruthlessly suppressed.
Mara, however, had none of the good doctor’s training or willpower. She turned and gaped at her husband. “Why?” she asked, crossing her arms across her chest in a defiant gesture that had Melissa inwardly cringing.
“Because you were rude. She's been nothing but kind and helpful. Now apologize. I won’t repeat myself again.”
Mara’s expression turned mutinous, but Melissa could see the gleam of lust in the gorgeous woman's eyes. “And if I don’t apologize?” The taunting tone nearly brought a smile to Melissa's face, but she kept her features carefully passive.
“Dr. French, might we have a bit of privacy?” William asked, his eyes still trained on his wife's now shocked face.
“Of course. I'll be just outside.” Melissa stood and smoothed her skirt before walking to the door that led to the reception area. “Oh, and William,” at the door she turned, and offered a bright smile, “just so you know, this room has been thoroughly soundproofed.” She shut the door on William’s deep laughter and Mara’s startled gasp.
Melissa kept herself busy making notes and checking her appointments for the following week, grateful as always for the almost militant organization of her receptionist. Several minutes later, the couple emerged from her office. Mara’s eyes were lined with red, and the same color rode high on her cheeks. Gone was the antagonistic, whiny brat Melissa had gotten to know over the past several weeks, and in her place was a contrite, yet glowing woman.
“Dr. French, I'm very sorry for my rudeness. Will you forgive me?” Sympathy stirred in Melissa's heart at the tears filling the woman's eyes.
“Of course,” she assured Mara with the first genuine smile of her day. “Same time next week?” she asked, hopeful they would keep their weekly appointments for the time being. The obviously healthy discipline session in her office was a good start, but it wasn't going to magically fix the underlying issues in their relationship.
William inclined his head as he slipped a supportive arm around his wife's waist. A surprising surge of jealousy rose up in her as Melissa watched Mara lean into his embrace. The couple said their goodbyes and Melissa locked up behind them. She returned to her office, but it wasn’t long before she realized she was too restless to concentrate on her notes.
Restless was a good description of how she'd felt in general lately. Her practice kept her busy and fulfilled. She loved her career. Helping people sort through the mess in their heads so that they could pursue healthy relationships was one of the main reasons she'd become a psychiatrist.
The fact that she was gaining quite the reputation in certain circles for her understanding and skill with relationships containing a dominant and submissive dynamic only added another layer of satisfaction.
But lately, she found herself wishing for more. Being the authority figure in her tiny office was natural and necessary, but she longed for a space where she could hand over that authority and let someone else be in control. She craved it like some women craved chocolate.
Unfortunately for her, she would be going home to her empty house, and there would only be more responsibilities waiting for her there. Bills to be paid, chores to be done.
The idea of going home alone was suddenly unbearable. Before she could talk herself out of it, she shut down her laptop, packed up everything she would need to work on that weekend and bolted from the office.
“So, do you like being a police officer?”
Detective Jack Meyers forced himself to pay attention to the woman smiling at him from across the table. It shouldn't have been hard, since she was any man’s wet dream. Her expertly styled blonde hair framed a face that could stop a man in his tracks, and the dress she'd poured her impressive curves into left little to the imagination.
And still, he was finding it hard to concentrate on anything she said. To the blonde bombshell’s credit, she was doing an admirable job of carrying the conversation with little help from him. The problem, he supposed, was him. When had he gotten bored with spending the night with a gorgeous woman?
He forced himself to focus on the conversation. Maybe once they got past the initial small talk he'd find her more intriguing. He was doubtful of it, but since he'd been the one to ask her out, he at least owed it to her to try.
“Detective, and yeah, it's got its ups and downs like any other job, I suppose.” It was the most truthful answer he could think of without getting too personal.
“Is it dangerous?” The glint in her eyes told him she'd probably seen one too many episodes of Law and Order.
Jack shrugged. “Rarely. It's more phone calls and paperwork than anything.”
“Oh. I guess it's not like on TV, huh?” She grinned at him.
He relaxed, thinking maybe the night wouldn't be so bad after all. After dinner, she invited him back to her place. He wasn't sure which of them was more surprised when he left her at her front door with nothing more than a polite peck on the cheek. Feeling significantly on edge after the uneventful evening, he decided to explore downtown Knoxville a bit. As he was walking past an upscale bar, something inside caught his attention.
“Come here often?” he asked in a low voice that only she could hear.
“Detective Meyers! Fancy meeting you here. Wait,” she narrowed those stunning blue eyes at him. “What are you doing here? You're not supposed to be here,” she said with an adorable pout.
He barely resisted the urge to yank her to him so he could sink his teeth into that full, sexy bottom lip. Somehow, he doubted the prim and proper doctor would appreciate such rough treatment.
“I was on a date,” he said, sliding onto the stool next to her. He flagged down the bartender and held up two fingers. “Whiskey. On the rocks.” He turned back to the doctor. “What are you doing out this way?” The whole situation had his antennae quivering and he wasn't leaving the bar until his curiosity was satisfied.
She lifted one delicate shoulder in a gesture of practiced nonchalance that he admired. “Just wanted to get away for a bit. Where is your date?”
He grinned at her. She was doing a pretty decent job of pretending not to be completely soused. The slight slur of her words gave her away, but he found it oddly endearing.
“At home, probably unloading on a girlfriend about what an unbearable oaf I am,” he replied. He took a sip of his whiskey and nearly moaned at the smooth flavor. “Now, Dr. French, what’s a woman like you doing all alone in a bar?”
Her nose crinkled in a gesture that was so at odds with the cool, sophisticated image he had of her, he nearly laughed out loud. “Melissa. My name is Melissa. Surely we know each other well enough to forgo such formal titles, yes?”
There was the prim and proper doctor he remembered. “Sure, Melissa. What are your plans for the evening?”
She held up her half empty drink with a small, delicate hand. Her skin looked as smooth as silk, and wondered what it would feel like wrapped around his cock. He tucked his free hand into his pocket to ward off the temptation to touch her.
“For now, this is it,” she replied, rattling the glass a bit. “I just figured I'd see where it took me,” she added, taking a small sip of the drink.
Jack frowned. The idea of her stumbling around an area she wasn't familiar with at night, when she was already three sheets to the wind didn't sit right with him. “You're not driving home tonight.” He'd meant it as a question but even to his own ears it sounded more like an order.
Melissa eyed him speculatively. “No. I took a ride share into town and got a hotel. Part of my plan for an evening with no responsibilities.”
He was relieved but not surprised. As she'd told him once before, they didn't hand out PhDs to morons. Even when she was attempting to be carefree and spontaneous she'd managed to be responsible. Still, he didn't like the idea of leaving her alone.
“Good,” he responded gruffly, savoring another sip of his whiskey. Damn, the stuff was spectacular.
Melissa was giving him that look again, like she was sizing him up. He held her gaze until she turned and faced him fully and leaned in conspiratorially.
“And what if I said I was driving home?” Her voice had dropped to a low purr that went straight to his loins. He'd heard a similar tone from her once before. You wouldn't know what to do if I told you, she'd said, right after telling him that people weren't always what they seemed. He wondered if he was about to find out what she'd meant by that. “What would you do, Detective Jack Meyers? Arrest me? Put me in jail for the night?”
“Of course not,” he scoffed.
Her lips curled upward in a smile that was utterly and purely female. “Of course not,” she echoed. “Would you like to know what I think you should do?”
He wondered where exactly this conversation was going. “Sure, doc.”
“I think,” she leaned in until he could feel her breath tickling his ear, “that you should spank me.”
If there was anything she could have said that would have shocked him more, Jack couldn't think of it at that moment. The prim, proper, not-a-hair-out-of-place doctor had just told him to spank her. The image of her, bare bottomed over his knee as he turned her ass scarlet formed in his mind, and he was suddenly hard as a rock. It was a long while before he could respond.
“Well, then I guess it's good for you that you're not driving home,” he eventually said.
Melissa sat back and rolled her eyes at the statement. “Yes, that's me. Always the responsible one.” She scowled at her now empty glass. “I'm getting a refill. Would you like another whiskey?”
“No, and you're not getting another drink, either,” he said. Another ounce of alcohol and he'd have to carry her back to her hotel. “Let's get some fresh air.”
She straightened her back and gave him an imperious look he imagined she often used to get her way. “You do not tell me what to do, Detective.”
Taking his lead from her previous comment, Jack leaned over and spoke so that only she could hear him. “I do tonight, unless you're anxious to find out what a spanking from me would feel like after all.”
When he pulled away enough to look at her, the lust in her eyes was unmistakable. Apparently, the good doctor wouldn't mind some rough treatment after all. Unfortunately for both of them, tonight wasn't the night to explore that possibility. But he'd already decided that he would be exploring it, and many more possibilities, with the doctor at some point in the near future.
One thing was for certain: he definitely wasn't bored now.