Our stop on the Never-ending Blog Tour this week is Ashe Barkers’ latest book, Sure Mastery!!
He’s hurt her once, and terrified her. He holds her future in his hands. Can she trust him with her body too?
Desperate to escape her past and start over, Ashley McAllister cuts her ties with her old life and heads for the wild landscape of West Yorkshire, the perfect place to reinvent herself. And her carefully laid plans are working, until she encounters her nemesis—the one man she’d hoped never to see again—Tom Shore, the man she and a gang of thugs attacked and robbed, and who swore he’d make her pay. He owns the cottage she’s made her home and adores, and now he wants his pound of flesh. So he takes it.
Intimidated and beaten by her sexy and dominant landlord, and totally confused by her intense physical response to him, Ashley needs Tom to guard her secrets. But will he and his enigmatic and terrifying friend, Nathan Darke, allow her to leave her past behind and start again? Having survived her first explosive and humiliating encounter with Tom, Ashley struggles to get her new life back on track. But Tom wants her. His demanding, persuasive, sensual charm is almost irresistible, his mastery of her assured.
But—can she submit to Tom’s dominance? Should she? Ashley has escaped one violent and abusive relationship. Is she about to be sucked into an even darker and more dangerous liaison?
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers.
This novel was previously released as three separate books, Unsure, Sure Fire and Sure Thing in the series Sure Mastery. In this volume the three books in the Sure Mastery trilogy are published as one combined novel, under the title, Sure Mastery with new cover art, no cliffhangers and a HEA.
Here is a steamy excerpt from the book:
Assertive Ashley makes one last-ditch attempt. “If I agree to this, if I let you spank me, it’s absolutely the one and only time. You’ll never lay a hand on me again after this.”
I stand my ground and he looks at me, his gaze assessing. And unexpectedly warm. His tone is soft when he speaks to me, almost caressing.
“If you say so. Well then, let’s see if we can release your inner submissive, just this once.”
I can’t contain my snort of disbelief. “I hardly think so. Inner doormat might be more like it. Inner punchbag maybe. But you’re wrong—I’m none of those things anymore.”
He shakes his head, his eyes never leaving mine. Despite my fear, my outrage at this madness that he’s apparently convinced me could actually happen, that look still curls my toes in a way Kenny never managed. I wish desperately that I’d met Tom Shore in different circumstances. Who knows, I might even have… No, I wouldn’t. Surely I couldn’t. Could I?
Not that he needs to know any of this. I hold his gaze, defiant, determined, my inner turmoil safely buried along with any treacherous inner submissive that might be lurking. His next words stun me.
“No, I agree. I don’t know what it is you think you’re not anymore, but what I have in mind has nothing at all to do with being a doormat or a punchbag. ‘Shaz’ might have been that once. I saw that much on the riverside in Bristol. But I suspect Ashley McAllister is something entirely different.”
What? What does he see in me that even I can’t recognise? How is this different? My puzzled frown just makes him chuckle softly, as though he knows something I don’t. Then, “Ashley, the robe?”
“Why? Why do I have to undress? Can’t you just…?” Assertive Ashley gives up the battle and I’m whispering, and now starting to shake again.
His tone hardens—there’s something more there now, an air of command, demanding obedience. “I want you naked. I want you scared, humiliated, hurting. Like I was. The robe, Ashley. Now.”
Out of options and done with words, I stand. I’ve accepted his ‘terms’ and now I just want to get this over with, get through it as best I can. At least now I know what’s in store, and I know I can survive it.
My hands shaking violently, I start to unfasten the belt holding my robe closed. I’m clumsy, fumbling, desperately embarrassed. Never an exhibitionist, never even remotely confident about my body, I don’t recall even Kenny seeing me completely naked. He was never that interested. My body’s no great shakes, five foot one and skinny as a rake. And I’m now finding my natural modesty is a powerful inhibitor. I can’t undress in front of this angry stranger any more than I can sprout wings and fly round the room. I stand there, clutching my robe closed. I can’t even look at him, though I can feel his eyes on me. I’m surprised to realise that stripping for him is more of a challenge than accepting the spanking was.
“I can’t. Please don’t ask me to do this.” My voice is quiet, tiny, a scared, pathetic whisper as I stand there, trembling, dreading the next few moments. I’ve never fainted in my entire life, but I suspect I could easily manage it now. This is his cue, surely. His one opportunity to tell me it’ll be okay, to promise not to hurt me. To say something, anything, that my so-called inner submissive might recognise and respond to.
Taking pity on my dilemma perhaps, he closes the distance between us, just a couple of paces in my tiny living room. I try to back away, but the chair is behind me, there’s nowhere for me to go. Surprisingly gentle, Tom Shore takes my hands, opening my fingers carefully to release my grip on the towelling. He takes the lapels, leaning in to murmur in my ear, “Don’t look so stricken, Ashley. This bit doesn’t hurt. And maybe, if you let yourself, you might find the rest of the experience less horrendous than you imagine.” I feel his breath on my neck as he pauses, then, “You might even enjoy it.”
And that’s it. Might even enjoy it! Fat chance! There are no more words of comfort on offer. If this is the best he can do my inner submissive will be staying well buried it seems. Good riddance—she’d only get me into more trouble.
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Ashe Barker writes erotic romance and spanking romance in a variety of genres including contemporary, BDSM, paranormal, historical. ménage, gay romance and time travel. She is a #1 Amazon Bestseller and all her stories feature hot alpha males and sassy submissives, often with a lot to learn. Kink abounds, and there’s enough dirty talk to satisfy the most demanding smut lover. However dark and dirty the setting, love always emerges triumphant, and her stories never fail to deliver a satisfying happy ever after.