Claiming Hannah

For her, BDSM is just a fantasy… Until he makes it all too real…

Hannah has written dozens of BDSM romance novels, each one more successful than the last. There’s just one problem—she’s has no hands-on experience with any of the things she writes about.

When a good friend invites her to a collaring ceremony at The Enclave, a BDSM community known for its slave training program, Hannah leaps at the opportunity. Little does she dream that, before the night is over, she’s going to experience her own dungeon scene, including a delicious flogging at the hands of a tattooed bad boy.

Mason, chef at The Enclave and a hardcore player in the scene, is intrigued when he’s asked to handle the obviously clueless wannabe who’s clearly way out of her league. While the scene is hot, he shrugs off his attraction. He’s into knives, edge play and 24/7 submission, not BDSM lite.

When Hannah is offered—and accepts—a week’s stay for some D/s training, Mason watches from the sidelines, waiting for her to crash and burn. But there’s something there—a spark of genuine submission—that catches his attention and won’t let go. When he offers her the chance for a more intensive slave training experience, Hannah accepts.

Only to discover she’s in way, way over her head…


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Excerpt – Chapter 1

Hannah Davies stared at her laptop screen, fingers poised on the keys. She’d sat down with such determination earlier that morning, ready to at least try to write again after the long hiatus. She stared at the screen for a long while, willing herself to create something, damn it.

But she got distracted by two shimmering hummingbirds flitting around the bird feeder that hung from a tree just outside her window. And by her own wandering thoughts, though she couldn’t for the life of her remember where they’d wandered.

She snorted as she reread what she’d written so far: Chapter One.

Finally, with a heavy sigh, she pushed back from the desk. “Give it up, Davies. Not happening today.”

It wasn’t as if she had to write another novel in her bestselling Angelique Rose BDSM series. The royalties kept coming in, and Andy’s life insurance payout had been enough to live on for the rest of her life. But she’d been so hopeful that morning, eager to get the creative juices flowing once more.

Her ringing cell phone startled her.

Glad for the reprieve, Hannah jumped to her feet and followed the sound to the kitchen. She found the phone half hidden beneath a dish towel. As she grabbed it, Charlotte Rivers flashed across the screen.

“Hey there, Charlotte. What’s up?”

“I miss you, that’s what’s up.”

“I miss you, too,” Hannah replied sincerely. “I know I’ve been kind of a recluse lately,” she added.

Charlotte snorted. “Kind of? Understatement of the year. I thought you said last time we talked that things were better. That you were ready to get back into the swing of things.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I did say that. I know I’ve been a lousy friend these past months. I’m sorry.”

“No apologies necessary. Here’s your chance to make it up to me. I’ve got some news I want to share, and I want to do it in person. How about I swing by with some pastries? You make the coffee. Deal?”

“What news?” Hannah demanded. “Good news, I hope?”

“Excellent news,” Charlotte replied.

“Did Jim—” Hannah began excitedly.

“No fishing,” Charlotte chuckled, cutting her off. “I’ll tell you when I see you. I can be there in about forty-five minutes, if that works for you.”

Hannah glanced around her kitchen. The sink was full of unwashed dishes. The non-perishable groceries still sat on the counter from yesterday’s shopping run. The floor was gritty with crumbs. When had she become such a slob?

“Uh, the place is kind of a mess,” she hedged as she walked into the living room. It wasn’t much better. A half-bottle of wine and the glass were still on the coffee table, alongside the remains of the huge bowl of popcorn she’d had for dinner. She’d been binge-watching the first several seasons of Downton Abbey, her go-to show when she wanted to forget everything.

“I haven’t had breakfast yet. Would you rather meet at Tupelo Honey’s over on College Street?” Charlotte persisted. “That would work, too.”

“Yeah, that would be better,” Hannah agreed. She hadn’t had breakfast either, unless you counted three cups of coffee. And it would be good to see Charlotte in person. Of all her friends, Charlotte had been there for her during the really hard times when Andy had first been diagnosed, and at the end.

Not that she blamed the others. Most of them had been the wives of Andy’s friends, and their relationship was more as couples than as close girlfriends. Hannah had been the one who failed to return calls or reply to well-intentioned condolence emails. Nor had she exactly been much fun to be around this past year.

The only time she perked up was when one or both of the kids made time in their busy lives to come home for a visit. They’d come often during the first six months after the funeral, incredibly supportive, as she’d tried to be for them.

Charlotte’s call was well-timed, as Hannah had made a conscious decision to get back into writing and, by extension, living again. Before she faced the world, however, she definitely needed to shower and wash her hair.

“It’s”—she glanced down at her watch—“eight forty. How about we meet at ten? Does that work?”

“Like a charm.”

In the bathroom, Hannah shucked off Andy’s old Luella’s BBQ T-shirt she’d lived in the past two days and shimmied out of her baggy shorts. As she waited for the shower water to heat, she regarded herself in the mirror, something she usually avoided.

Her hair was no longer any discernible style, and looked shaggy and overgrown. She’d been too busy and distracted when Andy was sick to even think about making an appointment. Afterward, she hadn’t much seen the point. It was easier just to pull it back in a ponytail and forget about it.

She leaned closer to the mirror. There was a worry line between her brows that hadn’t been there before Andy’s diagnosis and her lips were drawn down at the corners in a perpetual frown. She forced herself to smile brightly for the mirror as she took a step back to examine her naked body.

Her breasts weren’t as perky as they’d once been, but at least they were still full and round. She’d never managed to lose (or rather, to keep off) those ten extra pounds she’d been carrying since having kids, all of it settling in her too-soft belly and hips. But all in all, she didn’t look too bad for a forty-four-year-old.

Mindful of the time, she stepped into the shower. As she washed and conditioned her hair and soaped her body, she thought about her friend. While Charlotte didn’t practice the all-out erotic submission and total power exchange Hannah wrote about in her novels, she was immersed in and completely at ease with the BDSM lifestyle.

Not for the first time, Hannah mused on how different her own life would have been if she’d had a better understanding of her sexual orientation when she and Andy had first met. Even before she’d met her future spouse, she’d had a secret fascination with BDSM. But she’d never found the nerve or opportunity to act upon it.

They’d married insanely young, she a nineteen-year-old virgin, he only a year older, both still in college. At the time, she hadn’t had either the vocabulary or the courage to admit her erotic fantasies of being spanked, tied down and sexually controlled by a stern, exacting Master.

She’d—wrongly—assumed her secret fascination with BDSM was just a passing phase, something she would get over as she sexually matured. Zoë was born when Hannah was barely twenty-one, Ben following two years later. With two babies and Andy barely out of law school and working impossible hours, for a number of years sex was something they grabbed when they could. Usually both of them, worn out at the end of the day, preferred sleep.

When the kids were finally in school, Hannah, always a fan of romance novels, decided to take her own stab at writing. She met with some success and slowly built up a fan base over time, self-publishing a series of sweet, sexy romances with formulaic happily-ever-afters.

It wasn’t until her early thirties that Hannah found the courage and sexual maturity to delve more deeply into her own erotic fantasies. She inhaled what BDSM erotica there was out there, which fueled her fantasies and reawakened her sluggish libido. At first, she hid what she was reading from Andy, assuming he’d be scandalized if he found out.

Eventually, she screwed up her courage to confide some of her milder BDSM sexual fantasies with her husband. To her pleased surprise, Andy had enthusiastically agreed to give it a try. He’d even gone out and bought fleece-lined wrists cuffs and a small flogger from the local sex shop.

Disaster had ensued.

While Andy was willing to try a little slap and tickle, he couldn’t hide his confusion and even horror when she pressed for more. He couldn’t understand why she wanted him to hurt her, the concept of erotic pain utterly foreign to him. When she attempted some sexy role play to heat things up, suggesting he be the intruder who breaks in, ties her down and has his way with her, he explained he could never do that—he respected her too much.

Embarrassed and frustrated, Hannah had eventually thrown away the toys—painful reminders of what was not to be. Andy, clearly relieved to return to vanilla sex, never said another word about it.

But the Pandora’s Box of her longing had been opened, and she couldn’t quite manage to get the lid back down. She became quietly obsessed with erotic fantasies of being claimed by a powerful Dom who wouldn’t have to be cajoled in BDSM play, but would demand it.

While she had zero interest in betraying Andy with any kind of affair, in person or online, she did join several online BDSM groups where she could talk with experienced players, and not be judged for her desires.  

It was then she made the career shift from vanilla romance to BDSM romance and pure erotica. She gave free rein to her darkest impulses, creating dark, sensual worlds filled with erotic slaves, controlling Masters and plenty of whips and chains.

It wasn’t until Ben left for college that, with Andy’s knowledge and blessing, she’d started attending some local BDSM events to learn firsthand what she’d so far only gleaned from internet research. It was at one of these events that Hannah had met Charlotte. Their rapport had been instant. At the end of the event, they’d shared contact information and met soon after for coffee.

As their friendship deepened, Hannah had lived vicariously through Charlotte’s much more exciting life. She’d delighted in Charlotte’s detailed descriptions of scenes she’d enjoyed at her favorite BDSM club—The Garden. That was where Charlotte had met Jim, and their connection had been instant and intense.

Charlotte had become friendly with the owner of The Garden, Anthony Gerace. Between careers, Charlotte had taken a part time job there manning the door. When Anthony’s manager had abruptly quit due to family matters, he’d offered Charlotte the position and she’d accepted on the spot.

She was the one who had suggested Hannah go to the club to witness genuine BDSM scenes in progress. With Andy’s blessing, Hannah had accepted Charlotte’s invitation. She had gaped in jealous awe as she watched submissives flogged, whipped and sexually teased. Her skin had tingled with longing as she watched a Shibari Master wrap a woman from head to toe in confining rope and then suspend her by her long hair from the ceiling. She couldn’t help but imagine herself bound to that St. Andrew’s cross, or chained to the whipping post while a gorgeous Dom dressed in black leather had his way with her.

By the time she left the place, her panties had been literally soaked, her nipples throbbing so painfully she’d had to squeeze them as she drove herself home. She’d jumped Andy’s bones that first night, practically raping him in her lust. He hadn’t seemed to mind. After that, he’d been happy for her to hang out there, delighted to reap the benefits of her frustrated libido.

“Oh, I miss you, baby,” she whispered, tears filling her eyes.


She was not going there. Not now.

Climbing out of the shower, she dried off and went into her closet. She rummaged through her clothing rack, eventually selecting a pretty floral sundress that still had its tags. She’d bought it just days before Andy’s diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer had upended their world.

She slipped the dress over her head and returned to the bathroom. As she blew her hair dry she made a mental note to make a hair appointment for later in the week. Glancing at the small travel clock that still sat on Andy’s side of the counter, she quickly applied moisturizer and makeup.

“You’ll do,” she said to her reflection.

When Hannah arrived at the café, Charlotte was already seated at a table for two near the door. Two years younger than Hannah, Charlotte was a slender woman with short, dark hair that framed a fox-shaped face with a pointed chin. She had large, dark eyes and a ready smile.

“Hey, there,” Charlotte called, getting to her feet as Hannah approached. “It’s so good to see you again.” They embraced and took their seats. Two large menus and two glasses of ice water were already on the table.

A young waiter appeared almost immediately with the restaurant’s free signature buttermilk biscuits, along with butter and a pot of honey. “Can I get y’all coffee? Juice? You know what you want to order yet?”

Charlotte ordered coffee, Hannah some orange juice.

“I don’t get why they do this,” Charlotte said as she cut into one of the biscuits and slathered it with butter and honey. “Give us breakfast before we order breakfast.”

“I know, right?” Hannah agreed, preparing her own biscuit. “I guess it works as a business model, though. People still order an obscene amount of food here.” She glanced around at nearby tables, where other patrons were tucking into huge platters of eggs, sausage, grits, waffles and pancakes. Hannah took a bite of the hot buttermilk biscuit. It was good, but not as good as her own.

Andy had loved her biscuits.

Stop it.

When the waiter returned with their coffee and juice, Charlotte ordered a side of grits while Hannah chose the fried green tomatoes.

“Okay,” Hannah said, once he’d gone. “The suspense is killing me. I can’t wait another second. What’s your big news?”

Charlotte’s face suffused with pleasure. “Jim and I are getting married.” She held out her hand, displaying a stunning emerald-cut diamond on her left ring finger.

“Oh, Charlotte,” Hannah cried, thrilled for her friend. “That’s such great news. Congratulations. When’s the wedding?”

“We don’t have an exact date yet, but probably sometime next spring. He’s never been married before, so he wants the whole shebang—big church wedding, me in a white wedding gown, a three-tiered cake, and his little nephew as ring bearer.”

She snorted. “I’d just as soon elope and save the money to build a first-rate dungeon in our basement. But I don’t want to deprive Jim of his big day,” she added with a grin.

She leaned forward, lowering her voice conspiratorially as she added, “The ceremony I’m looking forward to will involve collars and chains and very little clothing. We’re going to formalize our BDSM relationship of Master and slave. It’s happening this Friday night. Master Jim is going to pierce my nipples as part of the ceremony.”

Hannah sucked in a breath of shocked excitement. She briefly tried to visualize herself in such a scenario—and failed. “That’s so brave of you, Charlotte. And so exciting.”

While Hannah couldn’t imagine allowing someone to poke a needle through her nipple, or any other of her body parts, she did love the look of body jewelry and appreciated its D/s significance. Many of her characters underwent piercings as symbols of ownership or as part of intense erotic play. That was one of the cool things about her characters—they did everything she’d never had the opportunity or the nerve to try.

“Where are you having the ceremony?”

Charlotte’s smile lit her entire face. “That’s the best part. Anthony has offered to let us do it at The Enclave.”

Anthony was one of the founders of The Enclave, a group of BDSM enthusiasts dedicated to the art and passion of BDSM as a 24/7 lifestyle. Hannah had met him on several occasions during her visits to the club. He had exuded dominant charm, embodying her concept of a true Master.

Ever since Charlotte had first told her about The Enclave, Hannah had been dying to see the place. It was like something out of her own novels, with the huge added attraction that it was actually real. Charlotte and Jim had been invited to a few Enclave dungeon parties since she’d signed on as his club manager. Each time Charlotte had returned, she’d shared some of the details of the intense BDSM training and erotic play she’d both witnessed and participated in while there.

“You must be thrilled, Charlotte. I’m so excited for you.”

“I am. I haven’t been able to think about anything else since he made the offer. Master Brandon and Mistress Marjorie are going to participate in the ceremony with us—kind of like the groomsman and bridesmaid, but way more fun.”

“Remind me who they are again?” Hannah interjected.

“Brandon and Marjorie are two of the founding members of The Enclave. They’re both dominant, but Marjorie is submissive to Brandon. They own a sweet little slave girl named Katie.”

Hannah bit back a sigh. What she wouldn’t give to be granted admission to that BDSM Shangri La. What an incredible opportunity to observe a genuine BDSM community firsthand. What she learned would surely enable her to add more authenticity to her Angelique Rose novels.

But her longing was about far more than an opportunity to take field notes. She couldn’t help but fantasize about being a part of it all. Imagine finding the courage to submit so completely to another? Just the thought sent shivery chills of both terror and desire down her spine.

Charlotte’s laugh pulled Hannah from her reverie. “What?” she said, looking up.

“Your face,” Charlotte replied, still chuckling. “Is that the light, or are you actually green with envy?”

“Huh? No,” Hannah protested, not wanting to tarnish Charlotte’s news because of her own unrequited longing.   

“Don’t lie, girlfriend,” Charlotte retorted. “You’ve been dying to go there since I first told you about it.” She leaned forward, her expression animated. “Here’s the good news. We’re allowed to bring a guest. Master Jim is fine with me inviting you.”

“Me?” Hannah squeaked, both shocked and delighted. “Seriously? That would be awesome. Beyond awesome.” She frowned as a new thought occurred to her. “Anthony’s okay with you bringing someone who isn’t actually part of the scene?”

“He was delighted when I suggested it.”

Hannah was confused. “Huh? Does he even know who I am?”

“Sure he does. He remembers you from the club, but more than that, his slave girl, Lucia, is a huge Angelique Rose fan.”

With a startled laugh, Hannah cried, “No way. Why would she want to read about what she gets to live in real life?”

“Are you kidding? I’ve read your stuff and it’s hotter than a properly spanked behind. Clearly, Lucia thinks so too. So you’ve got an invitation, if you want to attend, that is.”

“Oh, hell yeah,” Hannah exclaimed a little too loudly, as two white-haired ladies sitting nearby glared at her.

“Great. Then it’s settled. You’re coming as our guest. I’m warning you in advance not to freak out by anything you might see there. The Garden is pretty tame compared to The Enclave. It’s a private residence and, unlike the club, anything goes. And I mean anything.”

As Hannah’s creative mind instantly clicked into overdrive, Charlotte continued, “The slaves there are kept naked, save for their slave collars, and are constantly marked. Canings, extreme bondage, real punishments involving cages and humiliation, blood play, complete sexual servitude—you name it, it happens at The Enclave. Obviously, everything that occurs there is fully consensual and all the Doms there are highly skilled. But I don’t want you to think it’s just a private version of The Garden. This place is the real thing.”

“Okay, got it,” Hannah said with a decisive nod, reining in the squealy girl dancing a jig in her head. “I promise not to freak out.”

“There’s going to be a dungeon party after the ceremony,” Charlotte continued. “No pressure, but if you do decide to scene, The Enclave is definitely where you want to be. Every Dom in that place is top-notch.”

“Gosh, I don’t know,” Hannah blurted, the thought of actually participating in a scene rather than merely observing was more than a little alarming. And thrilling. And crazy. She laughed nervously. “I’m not sure The Enclave is the place to make my debut. What if I make a total fool of myself? I mean, let’s face it. I have zero actual experience. Why in the world would any of them want to scene with a total newbie like me?”

“Hey,” Charlotte said kindly. “Everyone was a newbie at one time. And they’re not like that there. Anthony is very supportive and encouraging of submissives, especially those just starting out. He’ll look out for you, don’t worry.”

Was Hannah a submissive? Or just a sexual masochist? She honestly had no idea. Still, it was some comfort to know she wouldn’t be judged, or not too harshly, for her virgin status. If only she had more than two days to get herself properly psyched up. Not to mention, lose those pesky ten pounds. At the same time, she was so excited at the prospect of not only attending the ceremony at The Enclave, but of finally daring to experience what she’d fantasized about for so long. No way was she going to blow this by being a chicken.

“Okay, then,” she said with more confidence than she felt. “I’m in. All the way.”

“That’s the spirit,” Charlotte enthused. “Come with me after breakfast. I’m picking up my ceremony outfit from that terrific BDSM boutique that recently opened downtown. I’ll help you pick out something sexy to wear for the event. Even if you’re not an experienced player, you might as well look the part, right?”  

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