4.5 STARS: "This novelette struck a real chord with me, because, like me, the heroine is short. Cassie Forsythe has all but given up on men because they all treat her like a doll. Her last boyfriend refused to explore some of the darker interests she wants to try and dumped her. Her friend, Laurie, unknown to Cassie, is a Domme and wants to hook Cassie up with a Dom at her club. Before she can make that connection, Cassie goes with her to a house party and meets a Dom all on her own: Tyler Sholdice. But after a night of perfect passion, Tyler reacts badly, and Cassie flees.Recognizing his mate, Tyler tries to win Cassie back. But Cassie has no intention of letting herself be hurt again. Can Tyler win her love? As with all of Allyson Young’s books, this story is well written and draws the reader into the action. It also contains some hot sex, including BDSM. I really liked Cassie and related to her desire to be submissive in the bedroom, but in charge of her life everywhere else. And, other than a brief moment as a monumental jerk, Tyler is a yummy Dom, who treats Cassie the way most women would love." -- DiDi, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Tyler prepared to fight her retreat when she smiled up at him, those green orbs glazing over with passion and something else, something he couldn’t read, but it felt so welcoming. Her hips surged to meet his, and they fucked in silence, eyes open and fixed on one another. Cassandra ground her apex against him, and he felt her clench and breathe a tiny sound of completion. He held himself still through her orgasm then thrust twice more before letting go. He heard someone call Cassandra’s name and realized it was him.
Literally feeling icy tendrils of fear and shock thread up his spine in direct contrast to the intense sensation of release, he used strict control to carefully push himself away from her body, reaching to secure the condom as he did so.
Rolling off the bed, he headed into the bathroom, avoiding any further eye contact with her. He caught a glimpse of his face as he passed the mirror and turned to search his features. He looked at a man who seemed haunted and worried, pale and weak. Someone he didn’t recognize at all.
After disposing of the condom, he nearly lunged into the shower. A part of him was amazed at his lack of concern for the woman he had just…made love to? He never left his women unattended, whether it was after sex or play. Either way he cared for them. It was part of the involvement and connection in the lifestyle because of the very intensity of it. It was as close as he came to honest affection. And he had just abandoned Cassandra because she had elicited thoughts and feelings he had no idea he was capable of, something beyond passion or simple affection. It terrified him—Tyler Sholdice—confident, competent, and wealthy businessman.
He couldn’t process or think while she was around. He would clean up and then have her do the same. He would take her home and tell her he’d catch up with her another time. But of course he wouldn’t call her. It was like some confusing high school date. What the fuck was wrong with him? He turned his face to the shower and let the water mitigate his puzzlement and wash away that strange sense of fear.
* * * *
Cassie rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling. What the hell just happened? She’d enjoyed the most amazing sex of her life last night with a self-confessed Dom who hadn’t done any of those Dom things she’d read about, except for maybe promising correction and restraints. She never had such orgasms before, and was pretty adept at giving herself some doozies. This morning’s sex had been different, a sense of gentleness—loving and sublime, raising feelings in her she had yet to label. They hadn’t even needed to talk. She felt so close to Tyler, and he had seemed to reciprocate. And then he’d run like a bunny. He actually seemed scared. Nah, that wasn’t possible. All the same, Cassie recognized a kiss-off.
Giving herself a stern talking-to about not feeling rejected, she clambered from his bed and made her way to the bathroom. There was no reason to feel rejected. Women did one-night stands all the time apparently, and Tyler had made it plain where he stood on commitment. Suddenly she felt even sadder remembering that, her sadness was no longer reserved just for him. Did he want her to clear out before he finished showering? He should have said something and not just run away.
Cassie’s temper began to raise its ugly little head. Well, too bad for him. She wasn’t going to let him spoil her experience. She would be civil and show some class and part with courtesy, and keep the memory of the amazing sex against feeling taken and used.This was why she eschewed casual sex.
Walking into the bathroom, she saw Tyler behind the glass shower door, strong, sexy body lathered with soap, his face raised directly beneath the flow of water. Even as she watched, he scrubbed his hands across his features, and she recognized that gesture. It was one of confusion and discomfort. She had somehow caused this gorgeous man to feel uncomfortable.
Was he married? Had he just cheated on his wife with her? No, Laurie had said he was having a party to meet people. So it must be her. What was wrong with her that she did this to men? Laurie explained how Steven couldn’t cope with her, had been scared off. Tyler seemed different, but then how much experience did she have with men? What had she done other than have the best sex of her life?
Tyler turned and looked at her, probably feeling her stare. A curious expression passed over his face, and he opened the shower door and spoke over the roar of the water.
“I’ll be just a few more minutes, unless you would prefer the bath. I’ll take you home when you’re ready.”
Cassie’s stomach churned at his cold tone and even colder look. She forced herself to nod, and when he turned away to lather his hair, she snatched her clothing from the hook behind the door and hurried to dress in the bedroom. She would look ridiculous flagging a cab in this upscale neighborhood early on a Saturday morning, like a whore in fact. Come to think of it, that was what she felt like. No, whores got paid. She felt like a slut. Used and discarded. Well, orgasms came at an emotional price, it seemed, however she had explained her impulsivity to herself, and it was a price she wasn’t paying again.
Risking a glance in the mirror above the dresser, she pushed her hair into some semblance of order and winced at her party clothes. The walk of shame hadn’t been on her bucket list.
Time stood still and the events of their brief past swirled through her brain. Cassie’s fingers went numb around the riding crop, and the whippy piece of leather slipped free to clatter on the tiled floor. Her whole body vibrated with emotion, and she knew she was gaping at Tyler like a fish trying to assimilate the message he’d just conveyed while taking in the cut deliciousness of his chest. He closed the short distance between their bodies and covered her mouth with his own, firm lips pressing sweetly before passion spiked and drowned the tenderness.
Tongue forging to explore the recesses of her mouth, Tyler continued to deepen the kiss, and Cassie melted into his embrace, knowing he’d hold her and not let her fall. The feel of his big hands on her body—one on her ass, the other in the small of her back—heightened her sense of well-being, like she’d found her way home. The skimpy outfit she wore was a small impediment between them, and as if he’d read her mind, he tore his mouth from hers and nuzzled her throat, those clever hands loosening the restriction of the bustier. Her breasts popped free, and his lips closed around a turgid nipple, suckling it deep. Cassie moaned and dropped her head back, baring the length of her throat in submission.
Without pausing in his ministrations to her tender bud, Tyler lifted her into his arms, the tug on her nipple making her gasp. He navigated the way to the big bed with little apparent effort, only then releasing her breast, to lay her down on the firm mattress, the cool slide of the satin bedding a shock against her heated skin. She thought she should say something, anything, about the position they were in, but words failed her in the face of the lust and intense caring suffusing Tyler’s face. Lust and caring that matched her own. She wasn’t going to waste any more time thinking, dissecting the circumstances leading up to this moment.
He was on her like a lion on its prey, pushing her skirt up a scant few inches, pulling the slender gusset of the thong aside to test her wetness with a long finger. His cock immediately replaced that digit, a wide, thick span of rigid flesh splitting her folds and parting the walls of her sheath as he pressed inside, aided by her copious juices as her body welcomed him.
Seated deep, he froze, features tortured. She stared up at him in disbelief and silently willed him to fuck her. Surely he wasn’t having second thoughts? His eyes opened, and he locked his gaze on hers.
“No condom, sweetheart.”
Oh. No wonder he felt so good, better even than the night they’d shared. His hips hitched as he began to carefully withdraw, her passion-swollen tissues making his cock drag. Thighs fighting the restriction of the stupid skirt, Cassie wrapped her legs around him, holding him to her.
“Don’t go,” she begged, hearing the plaintive note of entreaty in her voice.
His weight returned to envelop her, those amazing eyes now filled with regret and tenderness. “I’m clean, Cassandra, but—”
“Me, too. And on the pill. Please, Tyler.”
Groaning, he swivelled his hips in a slow, intimate grinding motion, taking her breath. “God, sweetheart—”
Whatever else he’d intended to say was lost as he took charge of their coupling, once again the dominant male. He thrust and pounded into her, his heated length stretching her wider when he grasped her knees and pushed them higher to open her to his conquest. Cassie became lost in the tumult, able only to take what he was giving her, hard, talented fucking that worked her G-spot and ground her clit against his pelvis with every other plunge. Her breasts bounced wildly above the bustier, the leather chafing the tender undersides, the slight discomfort intensifying the mounting pleasure between her legs.
He hadn’t told her where to put her hands, and she threaded them through where his arms pinioned her for his fucking, reaching to find his muscled ass, so touchable even through the fabric of his slacks. She stroked and kneaded, revelling in his renewed efforts.
The orgasm gave her little warning, the usual familiar signs lost in the wildness of the sex. It coiled between them, and her pussy clenched in the involuntary spasm of coming intensely. She couldn’t close her legs to protect her overstimulated clit, and Tyler was relentless, driving her up again, ever higher. Screaming her second release, her heels drumming frantically against his sides, she took him with her, feeling the scald of his seed as he held hard against his own climax.
The bulk of his weight hit the mattress beside her, but his cock remained inside and his arm curled possessively over her chest as his breath soughed hotly against her shoulder. Cassie tried to collect herself, filling her lungs with shallow draws of heated air and waiting for her heart beat to subside to something less intense. The coolness of moisture against her hot cheeks wasn’t the film of perspiration coating the rest of her body.
“Cassandra?” Tyler was up on one elbow, slipping from her, peering into her face, his own etched with anxiety. “Did I hurt you?”
No matter how hard she tried to keep her voice from wavering, it broke on a sob. “I’m f…fine. Really.”
“You’re not.” He rose to his knees, tucking his sated cock back in his pants, although she’d seen enough to know it was hardening again. The man was a satyr. He rolled the soft leather of her skirt further up and gently probed between her thighs.
“Tyler!” She squirmed away from his touch. “I’m fine.”
“I just fucked you like a madman. I hurt you.”
“You didn’t hurt me,” she insisted. “It was amazing if you really have to ask.”
“But you’re crying.”
“Because I’m a mess.”