Ashe Barker is visiting my blog with a seriously steamy bad boy romance. At 73,000 words, this is a story you can really sink your teeth into, and with hot sex and spanking scenes, plus a thrilling plot, you’re not going to want it to end. Ashe, what can you tell readers about Hardened?
I’m really excited about Hardened. I’ve written quite a few M/f stories, and they mostly tend to start out with the male hero in a position of power or influence. Hardened is different. When we meet Jared and Molly he is a prisoner serving time for armed robbery and she’s a prison officer. The chemistry between them is off the scale sexy though, and even though it spells trouble for them both, but especially for her, they can’t keep their hands off each other. For a while I’ve been thinking about a story that starts out a bit different and this is it.
Jared is a bad lad (don’t we all just love one of those?) but he’s bright too, and talented, and can see where he’s gone wrong. He’s made some bad choices when he was younger but he’s determined to forge a different life for himself, though it’s not always that simple. I suspect the same is true for most ex-offenders – it can be hard to completely walk away from your old associates and as Jared discovers, the past has a habit of never being that far behind you.
Despite the fact that he is doing time for armed robbery, Molly MacBride is drawn to Jared North almost from the moment she sets eyes on him. Even behind bars his confidence and dominance are undeniable, and soon enough she is willingly baring her bottom and placing herself across his strong thighs, surrendering to both firm punishment and intense pleasure.
When all hell breaks loose during a prison riot, it is Jared who saves Molly’s life, but she is so shaken by the incident that she quits her job and does her best to put him out of her mind. As the years pass, however, Jared never relinquishes his place in her heart—or her fantasies—and when she learns that he has been released on parole Molly cannot resist seeking him out.
Through a combination of hard work and natural talent, Jared has forged a career for himself as a world-renowned photographer, yet in spite of his newfound sophistication and wealth he is no less dominant than he was when she first met him. It isn’t long before Molly finds herself submitting to both his stern discipline and his masterful lovemaking, but can she truly risk falling for a man whose criminal past could come back to haunt them both at any moment?
Publisher’s Note: Hardened is an erotic romance novel that includes spankings, sexual scenes, elements of BDSM, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
Wow! I was really surprised by this book….the story is about Jared and his choices and the consequences of those choices. The writing is very good and the story absolutely kept me turning pages until I finished the book. This book really earned its 5 stars.
This was a good page turner as I was keen to see where their journey took them.
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About Ashe Barker
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.
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Ashe provided me with two excerpts from which to choose for this blog post, and I chose the X-rated one (you’re welcome). Hope you have a fan!
“Do you want more?” Christ, I hope so, but for her first time this has already been quite an introduction to the not-so-gentle art of kink.
Her voice is shaky but clear enough. I’m happy to continue if she is. I intend to push her to her limit or as close as I can get. She’ll leave here sore, a bit confused probably, but still craving more.
“I’d like to use my belt. Is that all right?”
“Oh, I’m not sure…”
“Yes, you are. Remember, I’ll stop whenever you tell me you’ve had enough.”
“Okay then, just for a bit…”
I don’t bother to correct that. In truth, I’ll be the one deciding how much she needs, unless she calls a full stop to the proceedings, but I think that’s unlikely. I’ve never had a subbie safeword on me yet. I ease her forward slightly so I can reach the buckle of my belt. I slide it from the loops of my jeans and fold it into a double thickness, clasping the buckle within my hand.
“Ten strokes with the belt, okay? You can count them if you like.”
Her response is a breathy squeak, and she grabs my ankle again. I pull back my arm and take the first swing.
Molly lets out a yelp and her entire body jerks. I watch as the darker crimson line of the belt blooms across her right buttock, pausing to allow her to process the sensation and to settle again. It takes several seconds, then when she becomes still I drop the next stroke across her left cheek.
Molly flinches, but there is no sound this time. Neither is she counting, at least not out loud. I wait for a few moments, then deliver two more strokes in quick succession. This does elicit a sharp cry, and I half expect her to ask me to stop. She’s shuddering, and her grip tightens on my leg, but as the seconds pass there are no words of defeat or surrender from her. I allow her ample time to call a halt if she wants to, then I repeat the two strokes.
Molly manages to stifle a squeal, for which I am grateful. I suspect we are both mindful of the men milling about just on the other side of the cell door and neither of us wants to attract attention. Had I had longer in which to plan this scene I would have certainly opted for a more secluded setting, but we are where we are. Next time, perhaps…
I apply two more strokes with my belt, gathering in intensity now. Molly is absorbing the pain well, riding it like a natural. She is tense, still rigid across my lap, but if anything, she has lifted her cute bottom up for me to spank. I can only guess at what else might be going on in her head, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that she’s loving what I’m doing to her.
“These will be the last two. They’re going to be across the backs of your thighs and they’ll really hurt. If you think you might scream tell me now and I’ll find you a gag.”
“No, thank you. I’ll be quiet, I promise.”
“Good girl.” I spend a few moments stroking her flaming buttocks, the heat radiating up into my palm. Molly makes a sound deep in her throat, which I swear sounds like a purr to me. I continue the sensual caress, pressing my hand into her punished skin to better drive home the experience, to draw out for her that heady mix of pain and pleasure that will set the endorphins coursing freely through her system. This is why I didn’t want to rush.
“Are you ready?” I murmur.
“Yes,” she replies, pressing her bottom into my hand.
I draw my palm lower, down over the curve to stroke the backs of her legs, the crease where her bottom meets her thighs. This is the sweet spot I am about to thrash. I rub her there as I lean to my right, just enough to get a decent view of her pussy lips peeking out from between her legs. She is swollen, glistening, the moisture betraying her arousal. I trail my thumb along the length of her slit, ready to withdraw at the slightest protest from her. She submitted to a spanking, no more, and I won’t push her.
Molly gasps, but doesn’t pull away from me. Encouraged but still cautious I angle my hand so I can push my thumb between her folds to reach her clit. She parts her legs and lifts her bottom up. I require no further urging. Her clit is plump, swollen with her arousal. I take it between my finger and thumb and squeeze, gentle at first then firming up the pressure.
Molly is squirming on my lap, wriggling and writhing as she seeks to direct the touch to her sensitive tip. I know just what she needs, and have no intention of allowing her to set the pace now. I trail my fingertips around her clit, then flick the end. I swipe it from side to side, then from the bottom to the top. She is panting, thrusting her hips back, wordlessly begging me for her release.
She is there, right at the top, hovering at the edge of the precipice. I tease her for several moments, bringing her almost to the point of no return, then allowing her to slide back down. Her breath has been transformed into soft, sobbing gulps and her thighs are spread wide. When I am convinced she can take no more, I lift my hand from her.
“Close your legs, Molly.” I issue the command and wait for her to comply. She’s reluctant, but gloriously obedient even so. I transfer my belt back into my right hand ready for the final two strokes.
I thrash her across both thighs.
“Aagh!” Despite her good intentions Molly lets out a scream. I expected this, but even so, she did promise me that she would be quiet.
“Molly, I can still gag you.”
“I’m sorry, Jared, truly. I won’t make a sound next time.” She sounds so contrite I can’t help but smile.
“Good. Make sure you don’t or I’ll add on more strokes to help you learn that I mean what I say.” I keep my tone cool and clipped and the words stern because that’s what she needs. Molly MacBride is a natural submissive and she craves my authority and rigid control right now.
I drop the final stroke across her thighs, just below the first. She spasms hard, her entire body convulsing as she fights to absorb the pain. She shudders, her muscles softening as she lets it seep through her and away.
Even before she has finished processing the sensation I slide my hand back between her legs and rub her engorged clit. Her orgasm is instant, racking her body as I squeeze and tug on her sensitive nub. Her shudders, violent at first, subside but she is still trembling as I lift her from my lap and cradle her in my arms. She reaches up and locks her arms around my neck, her face buried in the dark grey fabric of my prison-issue T shirt.
I pull her in close and hold her. She is sobbing, her tears dampening my clothes. I rub my palm between her shoulder blades and kiss her short, sleek hair. It smells of apples, and something else. Cinnamon perhaps?
“You’re okay, I have you.”
Thanks for stopping by, Ashe!