Masters of the Shadowlands 15 | Cherise Sinclair
Cover Art for The Effing List

The Effing List

MASTERS OF THE SHADOWLANDS, BOOK 15

Let’s liven up our marriage. It’ll be fun.
Then her husband brought two slaves into the house. That was the end of that.

Divorce achieved, Valerie is working on her goals. Friends: has a new one. Fitness: little muscles! Finances: in the black.

Friskiness? Total. Effing. Fail.
So she attends the notorious Shadowlands club’s open house. There, a sadistic Dom—a fellow professor--teaches her that she loves pain with her pleasure. He wants to show her more.

Despite the razor edges of his hard face and the authority in his every word, he’s careful and caring. He listens, and how tempting is that?

But she knows better. Her heart is off limits.

Retired Special Forces colonel, Ghost has been a widower for long enough. Although he’s ready to love again, the generous, caring woman he desires has scars from her past. However, he has hard-won skills, enough to show Valerie there can be a new F on her list—fulfillment. Life looks good.

Until his past surfaces, shattering his new life and the love he’d hoped to win.

PRAISE FOR THIS SERIES

"The very moment I started reading I forgot where I was, who I was and even to breath! The Effing List was THAT exhilarating!"  ~ Marie’s Tempting Reads

"I loved both Ghost and Valerie and the roller coaster ride of emotions the author evoked. As usual, this is a five-star read.  ~ Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

"When I need all the feels of a romance and the spice, Cherise Sinclair is my go to choice."  Alleskelle Blogs

Excerpt


Standing beside Queenie, Valerie still couldn’t get over the shock. It was the professor—the man she’d bumped into at the Vietnamese restaurant.

And he was administering the spankings.

She and Queenie had been moving around the room. They’d experienced hot wax on their forearms, a light-weight flogging much like a tapping massage, a scratchy vampire glove, a stinging cane. They’d been headed for the cropping demo when Queenie spotted the professor.

A chime rang through the room and a voice announced, “The club will close to visitors in twenty minutes.”

“Oh, no. I wanted to try being a puppy.” Queenie gazed yearningly toward the back.

“We can always come back some other time on the guest pass.” The guard had handed them each a FREE NIGHT ticket for use in the future.

“I don’t know if I’d ever come back, so I need to try this now.” Queenie patted Valerie’s arm. “Meet you at the front in twenty minutes.”

“B-but…” Valerie’s mouth dropped open as Queenie hurried toward the smaller rooms. “Well, honestly.”

With a sinking feeling, she turned toward the scene area.

Yes, the professor was watching, a smile quirked on his firm lips. “Abandoned?”

“So, it seems.” She took a step back.

He studied her for a moment. “You were in the line. Did you not want to be spanked?”

“I…uh…” She could feel telltale heat rise into her face.

Because the professor was a hot guy, Queenie had decided they’d join this line.

Valerie hadn’t protested too much, because the two times Barry had spanked her, she’d loved it. The thought of getting that pain again, of feeling those sensations was…

But how could she get a spanking from someone who was basically a colleague? And now, Queenie had left.

Gods help her, she really did want to try it again.

The professor’s sharp gaze caught hers. A blind man would have been able to read her desire, and this man, no, this Dom, was far from blind.

His lips curved. “Well then. Come here.”

Her whole body yearned to do just that.

Her head said, no, absolutely not.

And her feet moved her forward.

“Brave lass.” He took her hand, pulling her down and over his knees, and she didn’t try to resist.

“Ah, you’re a comfortable size for me, aren’t you?” he murmured, the gruff rasp of his voice almost palpable against her skin.

His muscular thighs were under her belly—and a second later, his hands closed around her waist, and he shifted her, so her butt tilted up.

Fingers spread, she braced her hands on the floor with her feet on the other side of his legs.

His hand caressed her denim-clad bottom, and she tensed. “Easy, lass. I simply need to ensure I won’t hit a cell phone or wallet and to see how much padding you have over those bones.”

“More than enough,” she said under her breath. She’d seen the young things he’d had in his line earlier. What must he—

“Just the right amount in my opinion. It’s no fun when a good smack might fracture a bone.”

Oh…to think a big ass had advantages. The approval in his voice was obvious, and she relaxed.

He liked her butt.

He slapped her bottom lightly several times as he talked. “Since there’s no one waiting, I’m going to take my time. Do you have a name you like to be called?”

“Valerie is fine.”

“Valerie, it is. Now, tell me on a scale of 1-to-10, where ten is excruciating and one is barely there, how much does this hurt?” He slapped her harder.

A bare sting. “Two.”

“Mmm, you’re going to be delightful.” He delivered three more powerful spanks.

Her blood started to hum.

“Number?”

“Five.”

“Very good, we’ll stay with this for a while and see how you like the burn.” He started smacking her, strong, even blows, one cheek, then the other, then several in one spot.

The sting of each radiated out, through her whole body. Rousing everything inside her and heating her blood.

Unlike the flogging, this wasn’t impersonal; in fact, when he stopped and rubbed her bottom, it was the furthest thing from impersonal. She was lying across his legs; his bare hand was on her ass.

And she was growing aroused.

Could he tell? Face flaming, she tried to push up.

“No, pet. There’s no shame here in the Shadowlands,” he said. “Actually, we’re much alike. Giving pain to a willing recipient makes me hard—and receiving pain excites you.”

His hand in the center of her back held her down. “You’re in a place that celebrates this kind of kink, so you’re going to relax and enjoy it.”

At the firm command, everything inside her melted into a total puddle of goo.

“Very good.” His chuckle was low and deep. “Say ‘stop’ if you truly want to quit; otherwise, I’m going to hold you here and give us both what we want.”

His left hand kept her still against his legs as he increased the impact of his right, although the blows stayed even. He paused long enough for each burst of pain to transform to simmering need.

Pleasure took her over, roaring through her, filling all the pockets of need that had existed for so, so long.

He halted. “Number, Valerie?”

“Seven, a marvelous seven.”

His laugh was deep and wonderful. “I’d have to agree. Hang on, then, pet.”

As if she could go anywhere.

The firm control he had over her body, the authority in his voice was like turning up the heat under a pot of water. Her blood was starting to boil…with need.

“Brace for the next batch, lass.” He smacked her hard, did some softer ones, then stingingly hard again.

Like an ancient chorus, the pattern repeated until her bottom was aflame. Such an amazing burn.

“Oh, my God, he’s hitting her too hard. He’s hurting her. Stop him.” Queenie’s voice was loud and clear.

When Valerie stiffened, the professor eased off. His blows slowed and lightened, even as he grumbled under his breath, “Vanillas.”

She choked on a laugh.

“We’ve been busted, lass. I’m going to help you stand and will hold you until you’re steady.” He eased her to her feet, even as he rose and gripped her waist.

Her ass stung, and if she weren’t an adult—or in public—she’d have rubbed her bottom like a child. Instead, she pulled in a breath and faced him.

Taller by several inches, he smiled down at her, then tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Thank you for the most fun I’ve had in”—he frowned—“in an exceptionally long time.”

She swallowed, unable to look away from the hard face, the attentive gaze. Unable to not respond to his honesty. “Me, too.”

“Good.” He stepped back slightly and ran his hands up and down her arms as if to restore her circulation. “Next time, we’ll do this without the jeans.”

Heat swept into her face, and his smile widened. How many times had he made her blush in the last few minutes?

“Are you steady on your feet? Dizziness? Pain? Aside from your ass, of course.” A grin flashed white in the tanned face.

She half-snorted, then moved another step away, far too conscious of Queenie. “I’m good to go. I…thank you.”

The sharp green eyes softened, and he ran his knuckles over her cheek. His voice dropped to where only she could possibly hear. “The nice part of when sadists and masochists interact is no thanks are needed. We both enjoyed me beating on your ass.”

Her mouth dropped open, because…it was obvious he had liked spanking her. How different this had been from Barry’s begrudging two spankings.

“Come back, and we’ll do it again,” he said softly, before turning to Queenie. “Here she is, all right and tight.”

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