In the tumultuous summer of 1808, Spain and England are close to war and four young lovers are close to ecstasy.
To carve out an independent life with the woman she loves, Anna knows she must leave her quiet Spanish convent to become a courtesan. To gain experience, she sets her sights on . . .
Sebastian, whose powerful, aristocratic confidence suits Anna's mercenary goals. But his arrogance masks a craving for submission that Anna instinctively satisfies. Sebastian soon begs for her hand in marriage, even if it means sharing her with . . .
Pia, who trusts Anna completely-with her body and her future-until she learns of Anna's hasty marriage. Pia questions their commitment to each other as they leave for London to meet . . .
Farleigh, the seemingly feckless duke who thinks he's over Sebastian, the potent Spanish soldier he bedded two years ago.
What begins as a series of erotic escapades soon evolves into a deep, unbreakable bond. Two men and two women who yearn to explore are about to make their wildest dreams come true.
|Publisher:||Riptide Publishing, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.48(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Bound to be a Groom
By Megan Mulry, Sarah Frantz
Riptide PublishingCopyright © 2014 Megan Mulry
All rights reserved.
Badajoz, Spain – June 1808
Anna Redondo was unaccustomed to feeling at a disadvantage. It was not in her nature. She knew she'd been born on the wrong side of the blanket, but that had never prevented her from knowing her own mind. Having spent her first eighteen years within the walls of a convent might have limited her experience, but it had not curtailed her imagination.
And she could imagine all sorts of things with this man.
Regrettably, imagining would only take her so far; she needed to act. Taking a fortifying breath, she turned to face him.
"It's going to be quite a long afternoon for those two, don't you think?" she ventured, gesturing toward the bride and groom. Isabella and Javier were walking at the front of the wedding party with the bright morning sun, so particular to this part of southern Spain, glinting off the beautiful silks and polished leather of the aristocratic guests all around them.
"Pardon me?" Sebastian de Montizon asked, clearly surprised at the audacity of a polite young miss speaking to him so directly.
"They look miserable, don't you think?" Anna mused. She had left the convent in Burgos two weeks ago and traveled to Badajoz in a carriage, chaperoned by one of the older nuns. Apparently, the short time away had already emboldened her.
Sebastian stared down at her as they walked, assessing her through hooded eyes while the clank and clop of horses and regal hardware around them seemed to fade. "I think they look blissfully happy. Whatever do you mean?"
But she suspected he knew what she meant and was only pretending to be confused by the demure front. "Of course they're happy to be married," she said brightly, then, in a lower voice, "but now they have to wait and wait until they can be alone ... on their wedding night ..."
Over the past week, dignitaries and aristocrats from all parts of Spain and Portugal, and even a few from France and England, had filed into Badajoz. Sebastian had swept into the main hall shortly before supper three days ago, looking like he had spent the past month splitting his time between a bar and a brothel. His dark hair had been too long even by today's liberal standards, and the scruff of his beard had looked untended. For the wedding, he had reacquainted himself with his valet, and he now looked like many of the other perfectly turned-out aristocrats. But there was still a look of something wild about him.
Anna's first thought upon seeing him had been that he needed to be taken in hand ... and that she'd be the one to do it.
"What do you know of wedding nights, little convent girl?" He smiled and stood straighter as he kept walking alongside her through the winding cobbled streets. He clasped his strong hands confidently behind his back, as if he'd assessed her and seen all he needed to see of the little flower.
Perfect. Think of me like that.
"Nothing firsthand, of course. Only what I've imagined."
That got his attention.
"Imagined?" His voice cracked.
She smiled at the small victory. Anna needed experience, and here was a man who obviously had it. She assumed he would be discreet—he was a devoted and loyal friend of Javier de la Mina, her friend's new husband—so he wouldn't betray Anna's secrets. In short, he would suit.
Sebastian continued to look at her, and she felt her cheeks flush. The slightest narrowing of his eyes told her the rising color pleased him.
"I have a very vivid imagination," she whispered with throaty promise. She licked her lower lip, tipping her face away from his, hoping it was just enough to make him want to dip his head to look longer. "And I know how it feels to postpone my own desire." Finding her pace, she sallied forth into his stunned silence. "I think once you feel something, it's easier to discern in others." She paused for effect. "Do you agree?"
When he nearly stumbled on a cobblestone she feared she'd gone too far. Neither she nor Pia had any experience with men, of course, but they'd convinced themselves that if they could make each other shudder and beg, surely a brutish man would succumb to far less.
It appeared they had been quite right. Sebastian looked as if he were about to make love to her reticule as it bounced back and forth against the apex of her thighs with each of her steps.
She held it slightly away from her body. "Do you fancy my reticule?"
His eyes flew up to hers.
Spectacular eyes, she had to confess. They were just like Pia's—that familiar greenish blue that made her think of the Caribbean Sea and the places the two of them had dreamt of spending their future. Places like Cartagena or Hispaniola, where she and Pia would live a quiet life of spinsterhood, disguising their passion for one another behind practical worsted dresses and massive studded doors that hid all manner of things.
"Such eyes ..." She hadn't meant to say it aloud, but the color reminded her so much of Pia. Regardless, Sebastian seemed to enjoy the attention. Useful information, she thought. He likes to be noticed.
His smile encouraged her to go on admiring him. It should have been irritating that he wanted his ego stroked—that such a gorgeous man seemed to crave endless praise—but Anna found it endearing. She was surprised to realize how much she liked the idea of Sebastian softening under her care, bending to her will. She wanted to stroke him.
"The blue of your eyes reminds me of—" She hesitated, then continued more carefully. "—places in the New World, places I've heard of but never seen."
He looked interested then, and not merely in the flush of her cheeks or the moisture of her plump lower lip. "I was on my way there ... before this transpired." He said the last with an impatient toss of his gloved hand in the general direction of the bride and groom. She admired the way the kidskin molded to his strong fingers.
"Your hand is quite something, as well," she said in a slightly rougher voice.
He smiled again, turning his hand this way and that, as if he'd never before taken a moment to look at it. "Really? I have two in fact." He presented his left hand as evidence, then lifted his right forearm for her to rest her hand upon. "May I escort you into the alcázar, Lady Anna?"
"I'm no lady, I'm afraid. A lowly miss."
He kept his arm extended. "The offer still stands ... my dear Anna."
And there it was. My. For a few minutes or hours or days, she would be his. He had knowledge and experience.
She needed both.
She placed her gloved hand on the fine fabric of his dark-green jacket, lightly at first, then with a grip borne of excitement as his muscles flexed and shifted beneath her fingertips. She was loath to admit that the low, throbbing heat between her legs was not entirely the result of conjuring her passion for Pia.CHAPTER 2
His eyes came to rest on her lower lip, wet from her constant back-and-forth nervous licking with the tip of her tongue. "Do stop that, please," he begged.
But she didn't stop. She only paused for a moment, and instead of withdrawing that flicking little pink tip, she challenged him with her eyes. The flare of her audacity sent fire into his blood. She opened her lips wider and let her tongue drag a leisurely circle around the entire red, wet opening.
He did stumble that time.
Sebastian was no longer deceived by all that virginal frailty—that impossibly elegant neck with the birthmark at the base near the lacy edge of her gown, the arms and legs that moved like delicate damselfly wings. "I see you use a convent education and a pale dress to disguise yourself, much as I use a family name and a sword."
Her eyes widened at his brash speech, but she didn't reply.
"I know what it is to live behind a mask, Anna."
He also knew what rested behind her careful shell: something hot and honest and demanding.
The man he presented to the world was the strong, strapping soldier; the agile, competent horseman; the eldest son of a powerful landowner; the heir being groomed to follow in his father's illustrious footsteps; even the rebellious rogue. Not one of them was the real man, the lover who craved nothing more than to be completely subdued by a powerful, knowing partner. Or two. To be taken in hand and made to fulfill every outrageous need, to experience the freedom he only found in submission.
He must have sighed at the thought as he looked ahead to the castle in the near distance.
Anna squeezed his arm to get his attention. "Perhaps the two of us shall find one another behind the mask, then?" she offered.
He took his time meeting her gaze, letting his eyes slowly caress the turn of her bodice. Her breasts were small, but he saw them respond to his consideration, two firm, puckering tips forming beneath the pale silk as he rudely stared. If he could please her with a look, he could only begin to imagine how he might please her with his fingers or lips.
When their eyes met, he was certain she knew the nature and extent of his thoughts. "I should like that very much," he replied softly.
Their intimate conversation had slowed their pace somewhat, but they were nigh on the castle walls when one of his friends jabbed his ribs as he passed. "Step lively, Seb. Don't want to hinder the lady."
This was no lady, he wanted to call after his mate. This was a hidden world of sensual delight, his for the plucking.
"Where did you learn to do that with your tongue?" His voice was rough around the edges, hard from repressing the urge to drop to his knees and burrow under her gown right there in the shadow of the castle's portcullis.
She smiled, tightening her lips around her teeth, then spoke with that soft convent voice he was coming to recognize as another subtle layer of her nuanced disguise. "I'm sorry. My lips ... they tingle sometimes, and it helps to ... soothe them." She tested the theory, letting her tongue pass slowly across her upper lip. "Yes. It makes them feel better somehow."
Enough. Enough about tongues and desire and soothing the tingling feelings or some such rot. He hustled her into the castle along with the sea of other guests.
He knew the layout of the alcázar from several visits in his childhood. Guiding Anna gently away from the masses of people, down a separate hallway, as if he were innocently leading her to a view of the mountains from a particularly scenic balcony, he turned the black wrought iron handle on a heavy wooden door and pulled her inside.
He shut the door behind him and peeled off his gloves. The two of them were in a vast library with thousands of volumes and nary a human in sight.
"Do it again, please," he asked. "With your tongue." Slowly untying the silk ribbon of her bonnet, Sebastian let his knuckles trail along her milky skin as he spoke. She was distracted by the grandeur of the room, marveling at the countless books.
"I've never seen anything like it," she whispered.
"Neither have I," he agreed, touching the sensitive edge of her lower lip with two fingers.
She gasped briefly and looked so genuinely surprised by his touch that he faltered. "You can't possibly play the blushing virgin now ... after you ..." But he didn't move his fingers, and she didn't pull away. Her dark-amber eyes were now fixed on his.
Then she did the most miraculous thing imaginable. She opened her mouth wider and drew his bare fingers into that wet, succulent warmth. Her eyes were still wide for a moment, but then they fluttered closed in sensual delight. She worked his fingers with her mouth, letting her tongue swirl and lick as she sucked and moaned.
He could have come from that—from looking at the way her cheeks drew in and from her guttural moans vibrating from the tips of his fingers to the throbbing tip of his cock.
"Good God, woman!"
She emerged from her temporary reverie—eyes glassy, lips wet—and slowly withdrew his fingers from her mouth. She still held on to his wrist with both her small hands. She'd grabbed him in that way at some point in her ecstasy, controlling his pace in and out of her mouth.
"Did it feel as nice for you?" she asked, almost innocent.
He shook his head in stunned disbelief. She was an angel from heaven. From some carnal heaven, he amended, that produced an angel born wanting to suck a man's cock for the sheer pleasure it brought her.
"Yes," he croaked, then cleared his throat. "It felt very nice."
"For me too," she said, but she released him and wandered away toward the endless shelves of hand-tooled leather, as if her enjoyment of the act had been somewhat unexpected, something to be examined rather than indulged.
Sebastian followed her. That in itself was remarkable. He could not recall willingly following a woman. In bed, of course—more than willingly—but not like this. Anna was a lady, no matter how lowly a miss she claimed to be, and it was as if his two distinct worlds were colliding. Social obligation and base desire were finally making one another's acquaintance, like two people who turn a corner and hurtle into each other.
She was trailing her fingertips lightly across the bindings of a complete set of Shakespeare.
"So you can read, I take it?" He came up behind her and circled her waist with his arms. She leaned back into him, but again, it was almost absently, as if he offered a convenient perch for her to use while she perused the library. Nothing more. The idea pleased him, the idea of making it his purpose in life to be of use to this woman.
"I can. I love to read." Her finger came to rest on The Tempest. "But I've had very little access to ... so many things."CHAPTER 3
She turned in his arms, staring into those blue-green eyes of his, wondering how honest she could afford to be. Some version of the truth would free her to ask all sorts of relevant questions, to make him an accomplice of sorts. He seemed like he'd be game.
"Sebastian ..." They'd been properly introduced, but it was wholly improper for her to call him by his first name. Then again, she was already alone with him, unchaperoned, having recently lost herself in the sensation of sucking his fingers until her sex was throbbing so hard she'd forgotten her own name. Calling him by his Christian name did not seem to sit quite so high on the long list of improprieties. What with one thing and another.
"Yeeessss ..." he drawled. He'd begun swaying her gently in his arms, as if they were on the deck of a slow-rolling ship.
"I ..." She hesitated and then cursed her unfamiliar cowardice. He was quite right in letting her know she couldn't very well play the blushing virgin when she'd more or less lured him into their current embrace. He was staring at her mouth again—making love to her mouth with his eyes, really—which made it easier to blurt out a portion of the truth. "I would very much like to ... do things ... with ... to ... I would ..." Well, this is going abominably.
He smiled and kept up that gentle motion, pulling her nearer with each sway. "That all sounds positively delightful," he said, "but perhaps a bit vague."
"Vague?" she prompted.
He inhaled. "I tend to prefer very clear directions." He was quite close by then. In fact, the hard pressure of his cock was resting against her stomach at that very moment.
"You do?" she asked, surprised and delighted at her good fortune.
He nodded and then looked adorably sheepish as he pressed his length along her belly.
I can do this, she thought.
He felt big, but certainly no bigger than anything she and Pia had used to penetrate one another. Fingers at first. Then tongues. Then more fingers. Anna's whole hand one time, after much patient, delectable coaxing. Anna felt the heat pool in her belly at the memory, at the way their shared desire had ultimately opened Pia up to her so completely.
She closed her eyes, overcome with memories.
* * *
Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, Burgos, Spain – September 1807
Initially, they had tried to ignore the heat that flamed between them. For many months in the spring and summer, they would catch one another's eyes and quickly look away—in vespers, in the library, at mealtimes. They would speak of art and nature and herbal remedies, books and political ideas and astronomy ... but never of feelings.
Anna had tried to quash her feelings through petition and penance, with prayers for forgiveness and relief from her agitation. She had tried to deny how deeply she loved Pia, to convince herself that she only loved her as a friend. She had tried to persuade herself that her physical desire was part of a childish infatuation or sinful temptation, a brief flare of unfamiliar lust that would pass soon enough.
Excerpted from Bound to be a Groom by Megan Mulry, Sarah Frantz. Copyright © 2014 Megan Mulry. Excerpted by permission of Riptide Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I’ve read sensual historical romance at varying degrees of heat, all of them heterosexual. Monica Burns, Sabrina Darby, Kate McKinley are the first names that come to mind. But Megan Mulry's saucy novella explores homosexuality, bisexuality, submission and domination in an erotic historical romp set in 1808 Spain. But it isn’t just about the sex—which is scorching—it’s also about four loving and vulnerable people who dare to live their deepest and darkest dreams. Anna Redondo—a close friend to Isabella (the heroine of Bound to Be a Bride) is a strong and independent woman bound by the strict conventions of society in the early nineteenth century. Born to a titled father “on the wrong side of the blanket” (p1) and raised in a convent in Spain, she fiercely desires to live an unconventional life with, Pia, her beloved companion, friend, and lover. At the novella’s beginning, Anna is leaving Pia and the convent to become a courtesan where she hopes to settle well enough so that she can eventually be with Pia forever and they can live together freely. On the way to England, she stops to attend Isabella’s wedding and meets the very handsome and very sweet Sebastian de Montizon, the wealthy and titled son of a Spanish peer. She bravely propositions him for some much-needed experience with men and he is only too happy to comply. "Sebastian had swept into the main hall shortly before supper three days ago, looking like he had spent the past month splitting his time between a bar and a brothel."(p2) When Sebastian unexpectedly proposes marriage and generously offers to make Pia a part of their marriage—in every way—Anna is beyond happy. She is wary, however, of Pia’s reaction, especially since Anna has discovered that Sebastian sparks something in her that she wishes to share not only with Pia, but also with him. Sebastian is beyond generous and loving to Anna; it’s a dream come true. And so, after their marriage, they travel to the convent to bring Pia into their lives and create their unconventional and very happy household. "For the first time in her life, Anna felt like she could breathe without the pressing need to worry about her futures or calculate her prospects." (p53) Both Sebastian and Anna live hidden behind carefully constructed facades, concealing their true and passionate natures. “I see you use a convent education and a pale dress to disguise yourself, much as I use a family name and a sword.” (p5) “Anna was a lady, no matter how lowly a miss she claimed to be, and it was as if his two distinct worlds were colliding. Social obligation and base desire were finally making one another’s acquaintance, like two people who turn a corner into each other.” (p8) When they reach England, however, they meet up with the dashing and exciting Fairleigh, Duke of Mandeville, Sebastian’s former lover and one he still holds strong feelings for. At first, Anna is jealous but then realizes her selfishness as Sebastian has only been kind and selfless to her and Pia and would not take up with Fairleigh again if she did not approve. And so they then accept Fairleigh into their domestic arrangements. All four agree to a life together of exterior propriety while fulfilling their deepest sexual desires. “‘Are not all marriages a mutual manipulation?’” (p57) What is unique about this well-written and engaging novella is that Mulry creates emotional tenderness along with a graphic and erotic love story, the buttoned-up and oh-so-proper façade of the early nineteenth century with the authenticity of those who desire a little more in their sex lives. It isn’t just about the very sensual sex—as many heterosexuals believe—it’s about accepting people as they are and loving them nonetheless, about being free to be one’s self in private while showing the expected proprieties in public. Another unique facet is its setting in 1808 Napoleonic Spain, with all its exotic flavors. And, let’s face it, homosexuality, bisexuality, and sexual domination and submission have been going on since long before the Romans, so don’t kid yourself that the twenty-first century came up with this stuff. It is also nice to see that Fairleigh’s mother is an unconventional woman herself who dearly loves her son, no matter his sexual preferences. At times shocking, this sexy, original, and heartwarming novella is not for the faint of heart as there are loving, erotic, and very descriptive group sex scenes. Mulry makes you feel for her characters and the unorthodox life they choose to live together.. Those who proceed will be rewarded.
Mulry writes this racy historical romance with a dash of modernity on the side. She takes the basic concept of the time period in question and then runs with it. This was a quick, heated novel that brings to light the conflicts of what an individual wants with what society demands. The stark contrast becomes especially poignant in this time period. There is an inherent beauty to Mulry’s writing. She speaks to the deepest part of her readers while creating a very vivid picture. The incomparably to the point storyline rounds out this experience nicely. I appreciated the interactions between Mulry’s characters. She creates a very realistic and lifelike portrait of who they are, both individually and as a group. I would have enjoyed a bit more character development outside of who they are in this story, but in the grand scheme of things that was neither here nor there. Each of the moan characters has a definite role to play, and their willingness to fill this role makes the story all the more captivating. This was definitely a hot, fast read that stretches the bounds of the time period while transporting the reader directly there. It was time well spent, and I’d definitely do it again. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Super erotically charges historical delight in a small package. 1800s BDSM foursome sexcapades with MM, FF, MF, and MMFF. This is a kinky practices to the extreme for a historical romance. Anna,Sebastian, Pia, and Farleigh have a sex escapade that spans two countries. This is a kinky ride into multi-partner arrangements between consenting adults. Mulry has given one porn on paper with no substantial plot or any serious character development. All is superficial but entertaining for what it is.
This book is a very spectacular wicked surprise. I have read ménage before but never with a female dominant. At first it was strange to see Sebastian de Montizon concedes to Anna Redondo. But as you get to know and love Sebastian. The role fits with his charming character. My favorite quote is when Sebastian trying to compel Anna to become his wife. "Like what? Like I adore you? I don't think I'll ever be able to wipe that expression from my face. And why should I?" Sebastian wants to give Anna anything her heart desire which includes Patrizia Valesquez Carvajal "Pia". They worked together so it a family unit. If this story is not delectable enough. Farleigh Edward, Duke of Mandeville come in the mix and make it a scrumptious bunch. The story flows calmly and with some history among the sex scenes. I truly enjoy this risqué historical book. I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley for an honest review.
A very well written, enjoyable novel about four lovers and how they overcome society’s strict rules governing their sexual behavior. When I first received this book, I was hesitant to read it as it is not my usual type of read; however, after reading it, I am extremely glad I gave it a chance! The way Ms. Mulry writes this novel makes it truly outstanding. The love scenes between Anna and Pia are loving and tasteful and the way Anna is dominant yet loving makes her character seem caring. Pia’s love for Anna is all consuming and yet, when Sebastian enters the picture, Pia finds a way to make room in her heart for him as well. The feelings that Sebastian has for Anna will draw you in and make you simply love him! When Farleigh enters into the picture, it makes such a seamless transition from three partners to four partners that you almost forget it hasn’t been that way the whole novel! Having Anna and Farleigh as the dominants made for some ironic comedy as Anna maintains the upper hand even though Farleigh is an almighty duke, and she a mere convent-raised miss (up until her marriage of course). Be prepared for a love scene at the end of the novel that will have you fanning yourself it’s so steamy! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes D/S books with multiple partners between both male and female. This book isn’t only about fiery sex, it also has a touching love story that will leave you with a smile on your face. Rating: 4.5 Heat Rating: Extremely Scorching Reviewed by: AprilP Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More