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Cardinal's Rule (MMF)

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SEXTREME
Word Count: 100,281
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[Ménage and More: Erotic Consensual Heavy BDSM Ménage a Trois Romance, M/M/F with M/M elements, voyeurism, spanking, whipping, caning, sex toys, HEA]

Tilly Cardinal’s world imploded when her Master, Cris, disappeared with no explanation other than a short, cryptic note releasing her as his slave. Five years later, she’s Mistress Cardinal, a vicious, successful pro Domme charging big bucks to dish out whatever abuse men will pay to take. Materially, she wants for nothing. Privately, she’s never felt more alone.

In walks Landry LaCroux, a handsome, rich man with a proposition—he wants Tilly to train his slave. Landry holds the key to Tilly’s past, and her future. She’s shocked to discover Landry’s slave is her former Master, Cris.

Landry has a secret—he has cancer and wants to make Tilly a deal. Marry him and help him through his recovery, and he’ll pay her handsomely for it. Love wasn’t supposed to be part of the bargain, but can the three of them find healing and a lasting happiness under Cardinal’s Rule?

Note: This book was previously published with another publisher.

A Siren Erotic Romance

 

Tymber Dalton is a Siren-exclusive author.

User Reviews
This is a great book. Well thought out and something that is very thought provoking. Loved it

- sulkie2

A great book

- aaagriffith@live.co.uk

Professional Reviews

5 STARS: "Tymber does it again!! She knocked my socks off with this one. I literally put everything else on hold till I got to the end!!! If you are looking for a story that gets all of your emotions engaged this is the one for you. Tilly’s world is turned upside down when her Master releases her without any explanation. If it wouldn’t have been for her best friend’s Dom collaring her she wouldn’t have lived to see the day he would walk back into her life. After being brought so low, she refuses to be that weak again. She will not trust any man with her submission again. She now is a Domme and trains submissive without using sex. She is finally at a point where she thinks she is ready to move on with one of her clients that interest her until she gets the shock of her life with her new client. Landry is a true sadist and he is very much unhappy with his slave. He has learned the truth of how Cris left Tilly, and he feels like he may have done it not out of love but out of pity. He has a plan and that includes getting Tilly to be his wife, and for her to help him to fight his reoccurrence of colon cancer. He also plans to make Cris pay quite a bit for his indiscretions towards not only Tilly but also to Landry. Cris will take everything his Master dishes out as long as he keeps his love. He hopes by taking all of them he will show his Master that he truly loves him, and has always belonged to him even when he was with Tilly. He also knows it will be next to impossible to get Tilly to forgive him. He felt he was between a rock and a hard place, and made the best decision that he could at the time. I absolutely am in love with all three of these characters. While I totally get why Tilly and Landry were pissed at Cris, I just really wanted them to forgive him sooner. I absolutely love the way Tymber makes you care for everyone in the story. She weaves a world that you feel you could just walk into, and characters that stay with a long time after you reach The End. I highly recommend this one! If you are scared of reading this one because like me The Reluctant Dom left you a basket case..Don’t worry this one will leave you smiling. (I’m telling you this because Tymber gave this hint on her FB wall..lol) I hope y’all enjoy the heck out of this book like I did!" -- KC Lu, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

5 STARS: "If you are looking for a GREAT book to read I have to tell you Cardinal’s Rule by Tymber Dalton (aka Lesli Richardson) is the one to read. But be prepared to stay up until you are done because that’s what happened to me. Tilly, Cris and Landry are 3 wonderful characters who will have you laughing, crying and wanting to scream at them all at the same time. Tilly and Cris had a loving D’s relationship until one day out of the blue Tilly receives a letter written by Cris telling her he is leaving. After such a devastating blow Tilly decides that no one will ever be her master and she will be the one welding the whip. Landry is a Master who needs help with his sub and asks Tilly to lend a hand. She agrees to meet with them but when she sees who the sub is the fireworks begin. If you are a fan of Tymber or Lesli don’t miss this book and if you haven’t read any of her work do yourself a favor and get this, you won’t be disappointed. Tymber Dalton RULES!!!" -- Greendragon, Night Owl Reviews

5 BLUE RIBBONS: "Tilly Cardinal’s whole life has been thrown totally off kilter by Chris, her Master’s, disappearance. With no explanation, just a note releasing her as his slave and paperwork signing over all his assets to her. His abandonment could have destroyed her, and it almost did, instead she reinvents herself as Mistress Cardinal. She’s now a pro Domme with no shortage of men willing to do her bidding and be punished for the privilege. Landy LaCroux is furious with his submissive and Tilly is a key element in achieving his goal of punishing his sub. He’s not out to hurt Tilly, but his slave desperately needs the sort of punishment only Mistress Cardinal can dish out. That is if he can convince her to help him with his slave’s training which she might not be so willing to do once she learns that Landy’s slave is none other than her former Master, Chris. Landry had no knowledge that Chris had abandoned his own submissive when he came to be with him – and he’s certainly not happy about Chris’s actions. He feels that his slave is in need of serious punishment – and who better to dish out that punishment than the very woman he abandoned. Before letting Mistress Cardinal meet with Chris and deal with him in her own fashion, Landry discusses the situation with Tilly himself. He explains how he learned of Chris’s betrayal and his own personal situation that lead him to the decision to enlist her help. Landry confesses to Tilly that he’s got cancer but hasn’t told Chris yet. He’s so angry with Chris that he isn’t even referring to him by his name; however he does know he needs to make amends to her for his slave’s actions so he has a proposition for her. In exchange for agreeing to marry him, Landry is prepared to pay her two hundred thousand dollars for every year they stay married – and if he dies while they’re married she will become his sole heir. Tilly agrees to his proposal but she has a few stipulations of her own. The marriage will not be in name only like Landry suggests and she won’t tolerate him trying to be her Master, Dom or Top. She also demands that Landry and Chris move in with her while he’s going through treatment. After all she went to nursing school and knows how to care for him. Tilly can’t deny that she is attracted to Landry so maybe the marriage won’t be a bad thing but having Chris there as well could be difficult to handle. What she doesn’t expect is to be able to forgive Chris and accept his place in her and Landry’s life. She certainly didn’t expect to be happy living with them under CARDINAL’S RULE. Tymber Dalton blew me away with THE RELUCTANT DOM so I was excited to get my hands on a copy of CARDINAL’S RULE. While this book isn’t nearly as emotionally overwhelming, it is very good with lots of humor and shocking scenes guaranteed to keep readers glued to the ‘pages.’ Landry’s harsh treatment of Chris bothered me at first but it’s obvious he was very upset by what Chris had done to Tilly and felt the transgression was as close to unforgiveable as you can get. Tilly’s devastation over Chris’s betrayal really broke my heart and I was easily able to identify with her rage over his reappearance. Of course, I adored her friends and got a huge chuckle out of their idea for how to make Chris suffer – as well as Landry’s response. CARDINAL’S RULE is a captivating story full of passion, angst, revenge, humor, and plenty of heart. It’s certainly a powerful read well worth picking up if you enjoy BDSM stories." -- Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies Reviews

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Excerpt

STORY EXCERPT

 

Tilly’s heart pounded in her chest. She didn’t want to hear this. She did not want to hear this!

“Do you know what he did, Mistress Cardinal?” Landry softly asked.

Her voice escaping her, she shook her head.

He faced her. “I will be the first to admit I made mistakes. But in the years we lived apart, I learned from them. I changed, matured. Even while slave and I were together the first time, my priority was him, even if I screwed it up in the end. I took very seriously my role as his Master, protector, owner. I never abandoned him. I never capriciously threatened to throw him out. I gave him the choice to leave when I issued my ultimatum about me wanting to see others outside our relationship. Even then, I did not let him leave without support. I made sure he was cared for, could take care of himself. Gave him money so he could build his life without me. Treated him equitably.”

She felt her gaze fall upon slave, who still crouched on the floor behind her coffee table. His brown hair. The tattoo she’d seen on his ass at the club the other night.

No!

“When I asked him why he came back to me,” Landry continued, “he told me he wanted to take care of me, didn’t want me to be alone. Still loved me. Yes, we thought there was a better-than-good chance I might die, but he took it upon himself to leave another to come back to me. He lied to me when he told me he was single. Well, not technically lied, because I lay unconscious in the ICU for nearly two weeks and he’d been there most of that time. Except when he made a trip back home to take care of business. So when he told me he was single it was mostly true because by then he’d severed ties with her.”

She stood. “I don’t want to hear this.” She heard the tremor in her voice.

“You have to. I want slave to face the consequences of his actions.”

“No, really. I don’t want to hear any more.”

Undeterred, he continued. “I told him he had no right to make the decision for myself or the one he left. To not tell either about the other. His rationale, while well-intentioned, was of course seriously flawed. He thought he knew what was best, just as I thought I knew what was best all those years ago when I insisted on a lifestyle he couldn’t live with.”

She shook her head. “We’re done here, Mr. LaCroux. I’ve changed my mind, and I’m not going to do this. I want you both to leave. Right now.” She didn’t want to see slave’s face. If she never saw his face, it meant it didn’t happen. With trembling fingers, she dug the envelope out of her back pocket and tossed it on the coffee table. “I don’t want your money. I’m sorry, but I can’t do this.”

“Please,” he said. “I need to make amends.”

She angrily jabbed a finger at him. “I don’t know what kind of mindfuck you’re into, but I’m not playing into it!”

He stepped forward, until he stood in front of her. “I feel responsible. Because I should have questioned him further. I should not have turned a blind eye. Because of my shortcomings as his Master the first time around, apparently I failed to instill in him the ethic that a Master never abandons a slave, especially without explanation. Ever.”

Her knees gave out and she heavily sat in the chair as Landry stood there. He leaned in, his face inches from hers. “I told you about my cancer returning,” he softly said, barely more than a whisper, so soft she knew slave couldn’t hear him.

“I have a business proposition for you, Mistress Cardinal. I am worth a helluva lot of money. I have no wife or children. If you will marry me, and stay married to me for at least three years, I will pay you two hundred thousand dollars for every year you stay with me for those three years. If I die before then, you get everything I own, including my business. If you wish to stay married longer than that we will, and I will at that point sign over everything to you.

“Please consider my offer. I owe you more than I can ever repay you, for more than one reason. I need to start that restitution now. I will be back for slave at the end of the hour. Be vicious. Take your pound of flesh and then some, literally. He will take whatever you dish out.”

With that he turned and walked out the front door.

Leaving the money on her table and slave kneeling on the floor.

She’d never fainted in her life, but she felt close to it. She leaned forward and put her head between her knees and took deep breaths like she’d learned in nursing school. When she realized she gasped for air, she knew she was close to hyperventilating as well and tried to slow her breathing.

Fuck!

After what felt like forever, she sat up and looked at the man kneeling on her floor. Her feet felt numb, her legs shaky as she stood and slowly walked around the coffee table.

He didn’t look up, didn’t move.

She stood over him, her breath ragged. “Look at me, goddammit,” she finally said.

He slowly tilted his gaze up to her, familiar brown eyes staring into hers.

Over the years she had imagined many things. At first, that if he ever darkened her door again, she would take him back even though she’d been hurt and pissed. As the months, followed by years, rolled by, that fantasy changed. She imagined running into him and spitting in his face. Laughing at him. Pretending she didn’t recognize him. Acting friendly but cool, as if his leaving hadn’t ripped her sanity from her soul.

Prayed he’d grown ugly and fat and bald.

He still looked like her Cris, although his brown hair was much longer, down to his shoulders. He’d always kept it short and neatly styled when they were together.

Her handsome Master was Landry’s slave.

 

ADULT EXCERPT

 

Cris stared at the closed door for a moment, then rushed out of the kitchen and across the house to the master bedroom.

He didn’t bother knocking. When he threw the door open, she turned, startled, from where she’d been changing clothes. The sight of her standing there in her bra and jeans hardened his cock immediately.

“What the fuck are you doing in here? Get out!”

Without a word he crossed the distance, grabbed her, and kissed her, hard. He fisted his hand in her hair and held her until her struggles weakened and he felt her respond. Only then did he lift his head.

His voice choked. “I love you, Redbird. Always and forever, and I meant it. This isn’t about your fucking soda, and you know it. I’m going to show you how much I still love you and want you.”

She started struggling again as he scooped her up and dumped her onto the bed. She sprang up, coming at him, murderous rage in her eyes.

He caught her and pushed her back onto the bed, then straddled her, her arms pinned over her head. “Get it out of your system now, right now, baby girl. Scream at me, yell at me all you want. I love you, and you still love me, and I’m tired of trying to pretend seeing him fuck you and not being able to touch you myself doesn’t kill me.”

“Good!” she screamed, tears welling in her eyes. “Good, because I hope it fucking eats you up from the inside out!”

He kissed her again, until she gave up struggling. When he lifted his head, she said, “He’s going to tear a strip out of your hide for this. Get the fuck off of me!”

“He told me to come after you.”

“Bullshit!”

“I did,” Landry said from the bedroom doorway. His sudden appearance startled both Cris and Tilly.

She went limp again, this time in apparent shock. “What?”

Landry smiled and walked over to the bed. “I didn’t think he’d have the balls to do it. I’m glad to see I was wrong.” He stretched out next to her and kissed her. “You still love him. He still loves you. I would love to see the two of you finally kiss and make up. Literally. Not just getting along for my sake, but back together.”

“You son of a bitch! I knew it!”

“No, love, I didn’t mean it like that. I can see the way you watch him, the look in your eyes when I use him. The longing you still have for him, as much as he has for you.”

“He’s not my fucking Master!” She struggled again. “Get the fuck off of me!”

“Stay right there, Cris,” Landry said. “I didn’t say become his slave again. I mean forge a new dynamic with him.”

“I thought you didn’t want to share me. Another lie?”

“No. I don’t consider this sharing. I told you from the start that if your feelings for him ever changed, I would welcome it. He still loves you, you still love him. I love both of you, and, well, before this moment I think you really loved me. N’est-ce pas?”

“I love you,” she softly said. “I do love you. You know that.”

He arched an eyebrow at her. “You don’t hate me now for ordering him in here?”

After a long moment, she finally shook her head. Just a little, but enough.

“Let her go,” Landry commanded.

Cris sat back on his knees and released her hands, but she didn’t move.

Landry kissed her again. “I will order him out if you really want me to. Otherwise, why don’t we see what happens?” He softened his voice. “Aren’t you tired of trying to find reasons to be angry with him, love?”

Cris leaned forward and gently nipped at the base of her throat. Landry didn’t move.

Her eyes dropped closed as she softly moaned.

Cris worked his way lower, down her chest, between her breasts until he freed the left one and sucked her nipple between his lips. She gasped. Her hand gripped his hair, not pulling him away but holding him tightly to her. He didn’t want to allow hope into his heart, but he couldn’t help it.

Landry freed her other breast and licked her nipple. “Tell us to stop if you wish, love, but you would miss out on the delicious experience of two men catering to your every sexual whim. From today on, we are totally under your control.”

Cris closed his eyes, her scent filling his lungs. He never dreamed this day would come, even after she forgave him. Never thought Landry would ever let him be anything other than a cuckolded toy for them both.

He would’ve happily settled for that, too, just to stay with Landry and see her every day.

“Please don’t stop,” she whispered.

“There’s my sweet baby girl,” Landry muttered around her breast.

Cris relinquished the breast in his mouth and worked his way farther south, unfastening her jeans and tugging them down her body. Her panties soon followed.

 

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