One love. One obsession. Double the trouble.
This time, he won’t take no for an answer.
For three years, Daniel Armstrong has wanted the beautiful, fiery Bridget Kelly. But when he sees her at Houston’s premier BDSM club and realizes she has an interest in submission, his determination reignites. A charity auction provides a means for him to possess her and do good at the same time. Who could resist? Focused solely on Bridget and the decadent delights he intends for her, he outbids everyone to claim her.
Helpless, trapped by the glare of a spotlight at an auction she never agreed to participate in, Bridget is stunned when bidding for a weekend with her goes higher and higher.
She’s frantic when she realizes the gorgeous, successful Daniel Armstrong has won her. For years, she’s been attracted to the renowned heartbreaker, but she’s kept him at a distance to protect herself.
Then one night, she sees him at a BDSM club, and there’s no doubt he recognizes her submissive tendencies. Now that the devastating Dom knows her naughty desires, she’s doubly determined to avoid him.
When he claims her, she believes things can’t get worse. Then he introduces her to his identical twin, Jacob. Suddenly, she’s faced with not one, but two men determined to make her every fantasy come true and take her to the heights of submission.
|Publisher:||Totally Entwined Group|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||1 MB|
About the Author
NO 1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER & USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR
Sierra Cartwright was born in Manchester, England and raised in Colorado. Moving to the United States was nothing like her young imagination had concocted. She expected to see cowboys everywhere, and a covered wagon or two would have been really nice!
Now she writes novels as untamed as the Rockies, while spending a fair amount of time in Texas…where, it turns out, the Texas Rangers law officers don't ride horses to roundup the bad guys, or have six-shooters strapped to their sexy thighs as she expected. And she's yet to see a poster that says Wanted: Dead or Alive. (Can you tell she has a vivid imagination?)
Sierra wrote her first book at age nine, a fanfic episode of Star Trek when she was fifteen, and she completed her first romance novel at nineteen. She actually kissed William Shatner (Captain Kirk) on the cheek once, and she says that's her biggest claim to fame. Her adventure through the turmoil of trust has taught her that love is the greatest gift. Like her image of the Old West, her writing is untamed, and nothing is off-limits.
She invites you to take a walk on the wild side…but only if you dare.
Read an Excerpt
"No. No. No, no, no." Bridget glared at her younger sister. "And in case that wasn't clear, hell, no."
"If you think I'm strutting out there" — she glanced out from behind the heavy velvet drapes toward the stage that had been artfully decorated and prepared for the upcoming fundraiser —"to be auctioned off like a lamb, you've lost your mind." Before Mary could rush on with a million reasons why her suggestion was a brilliant one, Bridget took away the argument by saying, "I know it's a worthy cause and all the money will support children's education, the answer remains hell, no." Besides, she had donated her services as a bartender for the evening, leaving her own pub shorthanded on a Saturday night. By any measure, she'd done her part.
"How long has it been since you've been out? With a man, I mean."
"That's not fair." Bridget flinched. "I work a lot." Even she heard the defensive high note in her voice.
"If you actually had a date, you wouldn't need to spend all your money on batteries for your toys," Mary pointed out, pressing her advantage.
Bridget glanced around then sighed in relief when she noticed that the other lambs were occupied talking amongst themselves. And none of them seemed as disturbed by the idea of being presented for public consumption as she was. "I'll have you know my battery purchases are a much-needed part of the economy," Bridget defended. "Without me, hundreds of people would be out of work. Besides, I can find my own dates, thank you very much." She just didn't have time for one. Or so she kept telling herself.
Mary raised one of her sculpted eyebrows.
Bridget shuddered. That look had dragged her into more misadventures than she could count. Because she'd had many years to recognize the tactic, and Bridget had mastered the art of the dodge.
"Look, how could I know Carmen was going to get the flu?"
Carmen Ortiz was not only a TV news weather reporter, she was hot, as famous for her short, tight skirts as she was her personality and meteorological skills. She was used to being in front of people, accustomed to the limelight. And people wanted to date her, which meant they would bid big bucks when she stepped onto the stage.
Bridget, on the other hand, was famous for pouring a Guinness with a great head and fending off randy customers who wanted to pinch the butt she'd wiggled into a pair of tight jeans.
"I'm in a bind. Unless you help out ..." Mary paused for dramatic effect while her blue eyes filled with tears. "The entire event will be a failure."
Bridget couldn't help herself. She laughed. "Nice try. Tonight will be a great success. You've done an excellent job, like you always do."
The venue's ballroom was filled with Houston's elite, seated around banquet tables, dressed in clothing no doubt purchased just for the occasion. A four-piece band was playing a Frank Sinatra tune, and a couple — a man in a tuxedo and a woman in a long black gown — glided across the dance floor.
In honor of the event's theme, Puttin' on the Ritz, pictures of the New York City nighttime cityscape were projected on the walls. And now that the dessert dishes had been cleared, energy buzzed in the air.
A Houston news crew was positioned near the stage, in the long shadow of Lady Liberty herself. A society reporter scribbled notes and smiled like a politician angling for office. Half a dozen servers moved through the area with champagne, and the bars, where hard liquor and cocktails were offered, had people lined up in front of them.
"Someone needs to fill in for Carmen," Mary insisted.
"I knew I could count on you."
"Oh, no." Bridget held up her hand as a physical barrier to keep Mary's enthusiasm from sweeping her away. "That person will not be me." Uncomfortable because her absence was causing a burden on the other bartenders, Bridget said, "Look, I'll write you a check. Including all my tips for a month."
"No offense, but I can sell you off for a whole lot more than what you make in tips."
Bridget scowled, debating whether or not her feelings were hurt. "I doubt it. For the love of God, no one wants to be with a bartender."
Mary had the good grace to wince as she no doubt remembered that Bridget had been dumped by an ex who couldn't put up with her profession. "Plenty of men are attracted to you. You'll see." Her voice contained reassurance and belief. Then she smiled and the whole damn room lit up. "Please, Bridget. This isn't about you, but rather the good you can do in the world."
Bridget was torn between sighing and rolling her eyes. As a child, Mary had brought home every stray dog and cat she'd found. She would cry at the store if she saw a stuffed animal that was missing a foot or an ear. The tears would only stop if their parents relented and bought it for her. All of them still indulged her tender heart and cause du jour, but enough was enough.
Unlike her sister, Bridget hated to be the center of attention. She wanted her private life kept private. Besides, she wasn't sure she could stand the humiliation of knowing she'd fetched less money than anyone else. How could she compare to the beauty queens and cheerleaders? "The answer's a definite, positive no."
"But the charity ..."
The lines in front of the bars grew longer.
"For the last time, I am not getting on that stage to be auctioned off."
"How bad could it be? A guy makes a huge donation to Children First. You get a night out, he gets your company, and some deserving kid who is short on opportunity has a shot to go to college. Just think of it. A couple hours of your time and you can do so much good."
"Find someone else." Someone who wasn't dressed as a service worker.
Mary pouted, an authentic, childlike pout, complete with turned- down lower lip. "If that's your final answer ..."
"You're going to raise thousands." Bridget squeezed Mary's hands. "Tens of thousands. And you don't need me to do it."
"Fine." Mary nodded.
Bridget danced a small jig on the way back to her position behind one of the bars. All in all, she'd gotten away unscathed. She'd expected it to cost her at least two months' tips. Maybe Mary was softening.
"Your sister's something else," Joel said while she was mixing up a Long Island Iced Tea.
Not only was Joel another bartender who Mary had pressed into service, he was Bridget's partner at Fado Irish Pub, the bar they co-owned.
"I'm ridiculously proud of her." Mary had organized this entire event from idea to invitation, and she had a knack for squeezing money out of even the tightest of Houston's elite.
Less than ten minutes later, the band trailed off and Mary took the stage. The spotlight hit her. Her sequined gown seemed to ignite in an explosion of color. The highlights in her blonde hair lent an angelic appeal.
At times, Bridget wondered if one of them had been adopted. She was as tall as her sister, but the resemblance ended there. Her own hair was fiery red, and her figure was a bit more ... voluptuous. She preferred jeans to skirts, cowboy boots to heels. How could Mary have even suggested Bridget climb up on the same stage?
Mary thanked everyone for coming, then she introduced the emcee for the evening, Steven Benoit, one of Houston's most popular radio disc jockeys. Tall, with shoulders like a linebacker and a baritone voice that made half of the Lone Star state think of sultry summer nights. Right now, however, he made Bridget remember how long it had been since she'd had sex.
Mary might be right — it was time for Bridget to put away the toys and start dating again. It had been at least half a year, maybe nine months since she'd had a screaming orgasm, well, one where her own hand wasn't involved.
She finished serving the last customer and folded her arms while she watched the event.
Steven introduced the first bachelorette — a cheerleader for the Houston Texans. She was young and nubile, wearing a gown with cutouts in the sides, revealing her toned abdominal muscles.
The bidding for a date with her started at five thousand dollars and reached ten in mere seconds.
Each man — and one woman — who placed a bid received a giggle and an adorable little wave.
"You say something?" Joel asked.
"If I were a man, I'd rather have a root canal than go out with her."
"I can see the appeal."
She rolled her eyes. Barbara or Buffy or Missy — whatever her name was — even appealed to gay men.
Bidding ended at twenty-two thousand and change. Bridget was pleased for her sister and the charity, but she thought the winning stockbroker could have made a better investment.
Next up was a Sunday afternoon car race at the stadium in Dallas, complete with pit passes, access to a hospitality tent and dinner with a driver.
One of the servers bustled over to let her know that a gentleman from a nearby table had requested a bottle of wine which cost more than Bridget made on a good day. As much as the words had stung, Mary was right. It didn't matter if she wrote a check, Bridget's tip money wouldn't add much to the charity's bottom line.
At the customer's table, Bridget uncorked the wine and poured a small amount into a glass for him to sample. He pretended to know more about tasting than he actually did. She pretended not to notice.
"And now," the emcee said, "for our next eligible bachelorette ..." He pulled out a notecard.
Bridget's customer nodded his approval, and she started to fill his glass.
"Whoever wins this date will be in for a treat. The owners of Northall Farm, a restored historical home, have offered a weekend retreat in the spectacular Texas countryside. Get away from the city as you enjoy seclusion and luxury with delectable meals, fabulous wines and amazing sunrises, away from any stress or worries."
The description sounded delightful, like something she would enjoy.
"Your bachelorette is a local favorite."
Curious, Bridget glanced up. There was no one standing next to her sister, waiting to step into the spotlight.
"Because I'm a huge fan of this young lady, I'm willing to place the opening bid myself. Two thousand dollars!" Steven called. "Gentlemen, who will raise me five hundred for an evening with Mary's delightful sister, Bridget Kelly?"
Her mouth fell open. She met her sister's gaze. Mary grinned and blew Bridget a kiss. Then the spotlight operator scanned the room until he found her.
She froze, humiliated, aware of hundreds of pairs of eyes staring at her.
"Close your mouth," her customer suggested. "And give me the bottle of wine before you drop it." He pried the bottle from her fingers.
"Twenty-five hundred," came a voice from the back of the room.
She swung her gaze around the room, but she couldn't see who'd placed the bid.
"Let's get you up here, Bridget," Steven invited, beckoning her.
Oh, no. Bridget shook her head. "No. No, no. No."
"Don't be shy," he encouraged with a practiced, promotional-worthy smile.
Bridget was well-trapped. And at the end of the evening, she was going to kill her sister. And Steven, too. How had she thought for a moment that he was handsome? And if she never heard his voice again, it would be too soon. She was deleting his station from the presets on her radio.
"Who wouldn't want a weekend away with one of Houston's best bartenders? Do you like to be shaken, gentlemen? Or perhaps stirred?" A fresh wave of chuckles ran through the room.
Steven waved his notecard. "Three thousand dollars."
She gasped. Then her stomach dropped when she realized it was yet another pity bid from him. Bridget would bet Mary had put him up to it. She was relentless in her quest to raise money.
"Ladies and gentleman, let's show Ms. Kelly some encouragement."
All around her, people began to clap and chant her name.
"Go on, Bridget!"
Across the room, she recognized Joel's voice. Cripes. Was he part of the conspiracy, as well?
One of the good-natured guys at the table gave her a slight shove toward the stage.
Helpless, she was swept across the ballroom floor. When she reached the stage, an usher offered her a hand up the stairs.
Steven planted a kiss on her cheek. "You're a good sport," he whispered.
"No. I'm not." She stood there, blinded in the spotlight. She was aware of her too-tight pants, the tuxedo shirt that strained across her bosom and the bow tie that angled askew. Strands of her hair had escaped from the confines of their clips and caused a riotous disarray around her face. All the other eligible bachelors and bachelorettes were dressed to kill. And she was dressed to serve overpriced drinks.
Mary was going to die. Tonight.
"We're at three thousand dollars for a weekend date with Bridget. Who'll give me thirty-five hundred?"
She strained to see who was calling out the bid, but the glare of the lights was blinding. And she couldn't tell whether it was the same man who'd placed the earlier bid.
"Thank you," Steven said to a second bidder. "Forty-five, anyone?"
This was insane. She hadn't had a date in months, hadn't slept with anyone in even longer, and she'd go out for the cost of a meal.
Steven dropped out at seven thousand, leaving two men, neither of whom she could see, competing against each other.
Unbelievably, the bidding ended at nine thousand dollars.
She couldn't breathe. Nine thousand dollars for a weekend with her? Who would be willing to lay out so much cash for a date with a bartender?
The man in question stood. The spotlight hit him.
Bridget grabbed onto Steven's arm for support.
The evening had gone from bad to terrible to a living nightmare.
It couldn't be.
"Damn, girl, I knew you'd bring in a small fortune," Mary said, hustling over, a cat-like grin on her face. Mary dragged Bridget off to the side so a former Miss Texas could be auctioned off.
"Nine thousand dollars. I had no idea you'd go for so much." Mary beamed with joy. "Isn't this the best?"
The best? Bridget couldn't think of anything worse. A date with Daniel Armstrong? In the middle of the Texas countryside? "This is beyond horrible. Please. Please, don't take the money."
"Don't be ridiculous. He's a wonderful person. This couldn't have gone any better." Mary flushed and glanced away.
Realization, hot and horrible, dawned. "You knew Daniel was going to bid on me." She grabbed her sister's hand in a merciless grip. "Oh, God. How do you even know him?"
"He comes to some of my events."
Of course, he did. No doubt he was always looking for another woman to add to his vast harem. He had a reputation in Houston, not just as a powerful banker but also as a player, a man who was never seen with the same woman twice. And she had no desire to be any man's second or third best ever again, which had been why she'd turned him down in such a cold-hearted way a few years ago. "Did he ask you to arrange this whole thing?"
"He says he's wanted to get to know you and didn't have the courage to ask you out." Mary extricated her hand.
Mary blinked. "What do you mean?"
Near them, a nervous bachelor paced. He wiped sweat from his brow with a sopping handkerchief and his face was so pale his cheekbones seemed to protrude. All too well, she empathized.
"I've got to go, sis." Mary shot a reassuring smile his direction then tried to extract her hand so she could go and reassure the man. "You'll be okay."
Bridget's anxiety spiked, and she tightened her grip on Mary. "You need to understand. Daniel dislikes me."
"For what? Why?" With genuine shock, her sister's eyes widened. "Did you break his heart?"
"Worse?" Mary cocked her head to the side. "How can it be worse?"
"I injured his ego in front of a group of his friends one night at Fado." If she'd had any doubt that he remembered her dismissal, it had been erased a few weeks ago when she'd run into him on her first-ever trip to Deviation, the Houston area's most upscale BDSM club.
He'd been leading a submissive who was attached to a leash. Surprising Bridget, Daniel had stopped near her. From the way she'd cast her gaze to the floor, she'd known that he'd guessed she had submissive inclinations.
Before she'd been allowed into the club as a visitor, she'd had to sign a copy of the rules. In keeping with protocol, Daniel hadn't said her name, but the way he'd tipped his head to the side let her know he'd recognized her.
He'd catalogued each detail about her, starting with her high heels, the flare of her skirt, even the curve of her breasts before he'd captured her gaze. For a fleeting, mad, mad moment she'd regretted refusing his advances.
Excerpted from "Double Trouble"
Copyright © 2017 Sierra Cartwright.
Excerpted by permission of Totally Bound 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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