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She’s sure her husband loves another woman…
To escape the scandal of trying to elope with an unworthy man, Gabrielle finds herself married to the man she loves – a charming rake and her guardian’s best friend, Mr. Felix Hood. He’s the third son of a Viscount, he’s darkly handsome, and he’s in love with her stepmother. Or so she thinks.
Felix Hood had been fighting the urge to be leg shackled ever since he met Gabrielle Astley, but once her honor was at stake, he knew he’d rather die then allow her to marry someone else. He’s not a perfect man, and he has no experience with being in a relationship, but he’s determined to make his marriage work, even if he has to discipline his fiery bride daily to do so.
Gabrielle’s Discipline is the second book in my Bridal Discipline series and I got to do something I always wanted to do with this book and turn a previous book’s villain into a heroine. Gabrielle was a pain in the butt in Philip’s Rules, but I always felt for her when I was writing it because I knew what she was going through and what she was feeling the whole time (and, if you’re interested, I do have a novella called Undisciplined which you can pick up for free by signing up for my newsletter or it’s also on sale this week for 99c if you hate free stuff that comes attached to newsletters).
Writing Gabrielle was a particular challenge because so many readers so thoroughly disliked her after the first book. There were a few, like me, who loved her despite how much of a pain she’d been, but mostly I heard a lot of “I loathed Gabrielle” and “I can’t imagine her as a heroine.” Cue author panic.
I’m so thankful that readers gave her a chance to win them over and, going by the feedback I received, most of them were thoroughly won. Heroine successfully redeemed! Huzzah!
The slow, drugging kisses were both frustrating and wonderful. Gabrielle clung to him, squirming closer as he tried to hold her away. She didn’t understand his reticence now, when last night he’d practically crushed her against him, and it only made her more determined to press herself against his body. She needed to know if he still desired her, if his manhood still grew hard.
Finally his arms twined around her, allowing her to close the space between him, and she smiled against his lips as she felt the proof of his desire against her body. Between her legs, she felt more wet and swollen than ever before, and the urge to press her fingers there, to ease that throbbing need, had her kissing him back more fervently than ever. She would die of shame if he ever knew that she did such a thing, so, without that recourse, all she could do was distract herself with touching his body, hoping he would touch hers.
Her hands slid into his jacket, his hard muscles moving under her fingers as she stroked his chest. As if encouraged by her own explorations, his hand very carefully slid up to her breast.
This time she didn’t panic. This time she just let the pleasure of the foreign sensation wash over her. It felt so strange, but so good to have someone else touching her there. His finger ran over the hard bud of her nipple and she whimpered into his mouth, her knees weakening, as her entire body responded. It felt like a fire was moving through her, starting at her center and spreading through her limbs, making her more needy than she’d ever felt before.
She was rewarded as his hand tightened on her, his body pressing against hers, and they began moving towards the bed. Excitement spiraled inside of her as his hand slipped into the front of her bodice, touching the bare skin of her breast and intensifying the sensation. She shuddered, her hands clutching at him as she was dimly aware of the bed coming up behind her.
Pushing his jacket off of his shoulders, she mourned the loss of his hands on her for the moment it took to shake the garment from his arms, and then moaned as he wrapped her even more tightly within them. The physical sensations were so sharp, so intense, and so much more than she’d ever imagined. Her body was being swept away by these unfamiliar caresses, her inexperience making her mindless as she processed the novel surge of passion that was driving her.
When Felix’s mouth left her lips, leaving them swollen and aching, and moved to her neck, she gasped aloud as he feathered kisses over her sensitive skin. Nothing she’d heard, nothing she’d seen, could have prepared her for how it felt. There was something intensely intimate about it, making her knees quake even more, as she realized that his arms were truly the only thing holding her upright.
She had the sensation of being lost in a whirlwind, and her dominant thought was joy at his desire… at his interest.
Experienced rake that he was, she didn’t even notice that he’d undone the buttons on her dress until it suddenly gaped and fell, leaving her in her corset and chemise. Heat rose in her cheeks as his mouth trailed down her collarbone, her gown in a puddle at her feet. Not wanting to be the only one unclothed, she insisted on tugging his waistcoat and shirt from him.
He raised his eyebrow as she helped pull his shirt over his head. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing, sweetheart?”
“I know enough,” she replied tartly, her body still thrumming as she stepped back into his arms. She looked up at him, her chin lifting in challenge. “Am I doing anything wrong?”
The smile she received in return was wicked. “Absolutely not.”
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