It's Book Hooks Wednesday! Yay! And I'm sharing an excerpt from my spanking novella in the Corbin's Bend series, Past Interference, the sequel to A Simple Misunderstanding. Past Interference was originally part of the Corbin's Bend Valentine's Day collection "Love in the Rockies," but is now being sold separately.
What she needed was the opposite of what she wanted.
In this scene, which occurs near the beginning of Chapter Two, Eleanor Benson (Elly) is six days away from getting married again, and her doubts are eating her alive. After suffering through a bout of stress-related migraines, she's finally gotten up enough courage to tell her husband-to-be that she's not sure she wants to get married again. Jerry knows Elly is nervous, but believed he'd managed to convince her he is nothing at all like her first husband, Arthur, who abused her. Unfortunately, he's beginning to realize Elly's fear of her past may ruin their future together, so he suggests they sit down and discuss why she's having second thoughts, and why he wants to marry her. Elly insists she's not afraid of Jerry, but when he realizes she hadn't been afraid of her first husband when they got married, either, he seeks to understand what happened between them.
“I didn’t intend to disappoint or shame him.”
“Of course not. Do you remember why he spanked you the second time?”
“I argued with him, and he took exception to my tone.”
“What did you argue about?”
Elly glanced up to meet his gaze. “My working.” She and Jerry had a similar disagreement, but for a slightly different reason. He didn’t like the thought of her driving to Denver or Boulder during the winter. She could work out of their home, if she wished, but he preferred she didn’t commute. Elly gave in, but planned to broach the topic again in the spring.
“He wanted me to quit my job. I liked being a receptionist, but he believed all my attention should be focused on him, and my working reflected badly on his ability to provide for me. I pointed out that a lot of women worked, and their husbands didn’t seem to mind.”
“And he spanked you for saying that?”
“No, but I got a warning my tone bordered on disrespect.”
“According to our established rules, yes. I deliberately challenged his authority.”
“So, what was the tipping point?”
“When I told him I thought his attitude was a relic from the dark ages, and he had the social conscience of a Neanderthal.”
Jerry choked. “Yeah. I can imagine he took exception to that.”
“He took more than exception. He took a wooden spoon to my rear end and told me I acted no better than a spoiled brat who needed to be taken in hand.”
“And you disagreed?”
Elly shrugged. “I didn’t much care for his punishment, but he had a point. I was acting like a spoiled brat, because I was mad and didn’t like him telling me what to do.” She stared at Jerry. “I should have the right to work if I want.”
Valentine's Day in Corbin's Bend. As Elly Benson readies herself for her second wedding, the doubts and misgivings of any new bride-to-be are exacerbated by the abuse she suffered during her first marriage.
Though she's lived with Jerry Douglas for four months now, and been subject to his discipline more than once, Elly's first husband had been kind and careful with her, too, until the day she vowed to love, honor and obey him. The lessons she's learned from the past make her doubt she can ever find happiness in the future.
Past Interference is available at the following locations.