[Siren Classic: Erotic Historical Romance]
Lady Ainsley Macalister has fallen on hard times. Her brother gambled away the family fortune and their ancestral home. Now she's expected to marry Ashcroft Castle's new owner, sight unseen. Dechlan Ross grew up as a stableboy at Ashcroft Castle. Ousted at eighteen for daring to kiss Ainsley, he’s back seven years later for revenge…and something more. In the stables, on the bluffs, and in the dungeons they had played in as children, Dechlan shows Ainsley who is master now. Meanwhile, Dechlan's tough American second-in-command, Charlie Wilson, sees the truth about the neighboring Lord Winslow that he has been hiding even from himself, much to Winslow's tortured delight. In the ancient castle high above the North Sea, Dechlan and Ainsley grapple with a past that is fraught with misunderstandings, a present that is filled with desire, and a future that unseen forces are desperate to see does not repeat the tragedies of the past.
A Siren Erotic Romance
2011 Nominee for Best Historical Romance Book
in LR Cafe's Loop
4 STARS: "MASTERING LADY MACALISTER is a good historical erotic romance. I dislike the big misunderstanding plot device which is used here but it was so well executed and sexy that I didn't mind all that much. Lady Ainsley Macalister's home has been gambled away by her drunkard brother. Now she's expected to marry the new owner--who happens to be the stableboy she grew up with. Declan was a servant who grew up playing with the tomboy Ainsley but when the two children reached puberty, their innocent relationship grew with them. Suddenly Declan was sent to America by Ainsley's father and his need for Ainsley has festered in his time away. When Declan learns that Ainsley will lose her home, he knows he can use this to force Ainsley into marriage. But will the couple be able to let go of their past to save their future? I enjoyed this book mostly because of the characters. This book didn't have any mystery plot to bog the story down but instead focused on the relationship re-developing between Declan and Ainsley. I enjoy the simplicity of this storytelling which focused on Declan using sex to lure Ainsley into an emotional relationship. I didn't like how there was a big misunderstanding between Declan and Ainsley on how Declan was sent away. But given that this is a novella and not a full-length book, that big misunderstanding resolved itself in time to save the story. Declan used sex and Ainsley's enjoyment of it to force her to confront their feelings for each other and I thought that was nicely conceived and executed in the book. But the best part of this book was a side love story between Declan's American friend, Charlie, and Ainsley's neighbor, Lord Trevor Winslow. Charlie was the rough-and-tumble American cowboy who was comfortable being gay and Lord Trevor was a reserved Brit in self-denial about being gay. I loved the scenes between them and wished their portion of the story could have been longer and more fleshed out. But perhaps the author will write their story--I know I'll read it! The setting of this book was pastoral England and was well written too. MASTERING LADY MACALISTER is a good historical novella featuring a sexy romance between likable characters who get their HEA after much heartache." -- J9, The Romance Reviews
5 STARS Lady Macalister is going to be married off to whom ever can afford to purchase her family's run-down estate. She discovers, at the last moment, that the purchaser/husband-to-be is none other than Dechlan Ross. Dechlan Ross used to work at the estate as a stable boy. They had eyes for each other when they were young, but it was forbidden love. He came into money, and he has intentions of showing Lady Macalister who is boss now--in and out of bed. To say he has some pent-up resentment is quite the understatement. Lady Macalister is a virgin, but once that title is gone, she enjoys sex to the max, learning all she can. Maybe the married couple can find some romance between the sheets, too. This book is as big on plot and romance as it is on sex. The author has left an opening for a sequel, and I look forward to it! -- Stephanie Rollins, BookreviewsRus.com
The door to the parlor had barely closed on Finsworth’s sloped shoulders when Ainsley spit out, “I’m not marrying you.”
“I’m not exactly shocked by that, Lady Macalister. I’m sure you still consider me far beneath you, whether I own your precious castle or not.”
Her softly rounded jaw jutted out in that undoubtedly inbred show of pride the Macalisters had perfected. “I never even considered the preposterous suggestion that I marry the new owner to keep Ashcroft, no matter who he happened to turn out to be.”
“Oh? I thought you loved this ancient relic.”
“I love myself more.”
“Than anything. That was never in doubt, Lady Macalister.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Only that you are and always have been a selfish brat.”
“I have not!”
He shrugged. “Have it your way.” He consulted his pocket watch, the cost of which could probably refurbish this entire room in a style that wouldn’t be remiss in London itself. “Now that’s settled, I’ve had a long journey and I’m rather tired. Take as much time as you need to get packed, by the way. I’ll send along whatever you don’t manage to take with you, although Finsworth has obviously sold off everything of value long before this.” He paused to openly run his gaze down her shabby green dress, its long sleeves and high neck not quite managing to hide the precious curves of the body underneath, though she gathered her shawl around her to try. “Everything but you, that is.”
“Finsworth doesn’t own me to sell.”
“I should hope not. If he did, I’d have made a rather more commonplace arrangement than an offer to marry you.”
“Hadn’t you better see to your packing? There don’t appear to be any lady maids left to help you with that.”
His order for her to leave predictably ensured she’d stand her ground. “If I’m such a selfish brat, why do you want to marry me then?”
He laughed, helping himself to the whiskey on the sideboard that Finsworth had unwillingly vacated. It was early for him, but he supposed if an occasion ever called for it, it was this. “Why do you think?”
“Come, come now, Lady Macalister—”
“Stop calling me that!”
“But that’s what you ordered me to call you when you returned from that posh school in London. Don’t you remember? I ran to greet your carriage and held my hand up for you to disembark and said, ‘Welcome home, Ainsley,’ and you handed me your impeccably gloved hand and said to call you Lady Macalister from then on.”
“Oh! I was a child.”
He took a swig of whiskey. “You most certainly were not. You were a child when we climbed trees and roamed the estate before you went off to school. By the time you came back, you were a woman, Lady Macalister.”
“Shut up with that, Dechlan! I mean it!”
He turned his back on her for the first time in their conversation to gaze out to the sea beyond those familiar mammoth windows. It was no more than half-mast at this time of year, the blues almost as dominant as the grays among the waves. He’d come by land this time, from the Irish Sea side, not risking the treacherous eastern coast that the castle guarded.
Just like he and his mother had so many years ago.
“In any event, leaving here was the best thing that ever could have happened to me. If I had stayed, living on the castle grounds, I would have risen no higher than head groom at most, although I understand all the horses have been sold off by now.”
She said nothing.
“Instead, I found there was a whole wide world out there where ingenuity and luck mattered a hell of a lot more than bloodlines.”
“So what are you doing back here then?”
“I never thought I would be,” he murmured, sipping the whiskey. “But I received a letter from Mrs. Gibbons.”
“No. Mrs. Gibbons.” He turned back to her. “Despite what you may think, a person is not defined by their lowly position on your grand estate. Cook. Butler. Stable boy.”
“Fine. Mrs. Gibbons, then. What of it?”
“We’d corresponded over the years. She was always kind to me and I sent her something now and then. She wrote to tell me of her new position in London. I was surprised of course, since she’d been at Ashcroft all her life. But then I know how much that kind of loyalty means to the Macalisters.”
She frowned, and he was pleased that the jibe was not lost on her.
“Anyway, Mrs. Gibbons is the one who told me that Finsworth had mortgaged Ashcroft Castle to the hilt and was shopping it around from Mayfair to White Chapel. The idea of buying it appealed to me.”
“The idea of turning us out, you mean.”
“Not exactly. On the contrary, I was intrigued when I discovered you never did get Winslow, or anybody else for that matter, to marry you.” Still holding the whiskey glass, he wagged one finger at her. “You know that old adage about not buying the cow if you can get the milk for free.”
“Why, you insufferable—”
“If I married you, I’d really be doing you a favor, Lady Macalister. You’re quite an old maid by now.”
“So why would you want to marry such a washed-up old maid? What’s wrong with you?”
He set his glass down. “I didn’t say you were washed up. Just an old maid. On the contrary, you’re as lovely as ever, Lady Macalister.”
That shut her up, and he almost imagined he saw that soft look on her face he remembered so well, so he swiftly clarified the comment to wipe it off her face again.
“Your tits are even bigger than they were seven years ago, but still so nice and high I can safely assume, even without asking you to disrobe, that they’re firm, just the way I like them. And your mouth, as ever”—he pointed a finger at it—“looks just ripe enough to take a man’s cock—”
“Stop!” She found her voice finally, and he did. Stop. It was so amusing to see her outrage, the heaving of that lovely bosom, one hand clutched to it as if to slow her heart from bursting with the insult she’d just been dealt. Red stained her cheeks, and her eyes practically watered with her indignation.
“Well, you did invite the observations, Lady Macalister.”
She felt his hand grasp her jaw now, his other hand still firmly on himself. “Now if I’m really going to instruct you, I need to use some of that foul language you seemed to take exception to. This doesn’t lend itself to euphemisms and I’m not inclined to use them.”
She said nothing, his fingers caressing the underside of her jaw lightly, then moving to thrust one finger into her mouth, opening it wider.
“I’m going to stuff my cock in your mouth—”
She started back involuntarily, and he laughed.
“Now, now, settle down. Just as much as you can take for now.” As he spoke, he took it in hand and rubbed the velvety skin against her lips. His breathing, she noted, quickened as well and his, er, cock jumped with the contact. “Come on, open up, Ainsley.”
God help her, she obeyed and had the first little taste of him, hot and hard and slightly salty against her tongue.
“Close your mouth around the head. Good, just like that. Now suck it.”
This last instruction shocked her even more than all the rest of it, but the excitement pounding through her veins, the quiet, dominant tone in his voice, compelled her to follow it. The sensation was extraordinary, for Dechlan as well, it appeared, as he arched into her, his head going back a little and eyes closing for a second, before he looked back down at her. His voice when he spoke this time was rife with his excitement as his fingers tangled in her hair, threatening with their enthusiasm to bring the whole thing down. “Oh, that’s so good, my little wife. Now more.” He accompanied his words with a subtle tug of her head toward him so that she indeed took more of him. Her tongue felt the rough underside of him, and she licked and sucked until he abruptly pulled himself out, holding the end of his member in a grip that looked strangling. His eyes were closed.
Still kneeling, she looked up at him, not comprehending. “Did I do something wrong?”
* * * *
Oh, what a sweet sight that was. When he could open his eyes again, that is. Ainsley Macalister—even better, Ainsley Macalister Ross—kneeling on the cold stone floor on her knees, her mouth still damp and open from the girth of his cock, and asking him what she had done wrong.
In point of fact, she’d done absolutely nothing wrong. The natural slide of her tongue, the warmth of her mouth, just threatened to have him shooting his load before he even got down to what he’d brought her here for. No gentle tryst on the soft, grassy moss of their bluff, but a cold, hard fucking against the stone walls of the dungeon.
She hesitated but then stood, the gesture causing her gorgeous tits, the nipples hard and pointing straight at him, to fall even farther out of her torn dress. Deeming it safe to let go of the end of his cock, he reached out to one of them, taking the soft heft in his palm and fondling it. That little way she had of sucking in her breath when she was excited kept the thrum in his cock steady and overwhelming, though, and he would not wait any longer.
“Take your dress the rest of the way off. I want you naked when I fuck you.”
Expecting some argument from her, he was surprised when he got none. Oh, she was as eager as he for this. How had he ever doubted that? She slid the ripped dress off her creamy shoulders and then down and off, stepping gracefully out of it, kicking her ankle boots off as well, looking like some kind of goddess in the dim light of the dungeon by the time she was done.
He tried to imagine her as some long-ago traitorous prisoner he would fuck mercilessly till he got some nugget of information out of her that would save the country, but he couldn’t manage that. It was true what he had told her. He did not get sexual pleasure from hurting women, and most especially not her. Never her, even if the whole fate of a country had been at stake. But his voice came out harder than it might have otherwise been.
“Put your palms against that wall.” He gestured to the stone expanse across from them. She did it, looking back over her shoulder hesitantly at him. He laid one palm on her lovely arse. “Stick this out and back.” She hesitated, and he slapped one luscious cheek lightly. “Stick your arse out for me, Ainsley, or I’ll spank you so hard you won’t be able to sit for a day.”
She stuck it out at just the right angle for his ever-enthusiastic cock that was jutting out of his open breeches and telling him he was wasting time with this talking. He felt between her legs, rubbing. “Oh, how wet you are, my lady. Does whipping your arse excite you?” He caressed the curves of it as he spoke, his other hand sinking two fingers into the folds of her pussy that was sodden now from their play.
She cried out, and he was of half a mind to give her a spanking. This was the place for it, wasn’t it? He pulled his breeches down partway, just past his own arse, to give him more freedom of movement, and positioned himself behind her, his hands on her hips.
“Do you know how two men fuck each other, Ainsley? One sticks his cock up the other’s arse.”
She jolted at that and he barked, “Keep your hands on the wall, by God!”
She obeyed, but she was trembling now. “Myself, I don’t fancy a cock up my arse. I guess that’s just nature. That’s what makes Charlie and your precious Trevor different than me. But I don’t mind fucking an arse now and then.” His cock poked at the crack of hers and he leaned over to whisper in her ear, “But only a woman’s arse. Did you know men did that to women?”
She shook her head furiously.
“That’s nature being messy again.” He should fuck her up the arse. He really should. That would shock her. But she was too new for that, and he had nothing but her own juices to ease the way. For a first time, that might not be enough. “But we’ll leave that lesson for another time.” He felt her relax and yanked her hips roughly further out, positioning his cock and then plunging inside her warm, wet pussy.
He groaned, so deep this way. His hands groped for her breasts and he rubbed them as he pulled back slowly and then thrust in, again and again. Her hips moved naturally against him and he could feel her accommodating his angle, going up on her toes slightly, as she moaned.
“Fucking you in the dungeon, Ainsley,” he gritted out. “This shall be our place.” He thrust. “Hard and cold…” His thrusting increased. “…and full of painful memories.”