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Here is a review from 'Long & Short of it erotic reviews': The tension in Retraining the Sub was well done. The trust and abandonment issues were prevalent and you could see how early events in the book shaped the character growth of Lucas and Ann. The fact that they both ended up at the same club trying to work out their issues was interesting, as were the exercises Lucas put Ann through to strengthen her skills as a sub. The dialogue was strong and the sex scenes were terrific. Writer Jennifer Denys did an excellent job of expressing to the reader exactly what was taking place, especially in the ménage scene.
The cover art on this book was absolutely yummy. Master Lucas clad in leather pants, a studded belt and a single tail whip was sexy and made me want to read this book before I even knew what it was about. Sour Cherry Designs did a superb job.
If bratty subs and the Doms that tame them are your game, then Retraining the Sub will be right up your alley.
www.evernightpublishing.comCopyright© 2012 Jennifer Denys
“Will you, Ann, take Luke to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him…”
Her mind was chaotic with thoughts connected to the man who stood by her side. Luke. Charming, good-looking, funny, sweet Luke—her soon-to-be husband. But can I really marry him?
“… honor and protect him, and forsaking all others, be faithful…”
Can I be faithful to him for the rest of our lives?
“… to him as long as you both shall live?”
It wasn’t that she had ever been attracted to anyone else. The question was more whether she loved Luke enough. Yes, he was everything she had ever dreamed of in her twenty-one years. Standing there in her beautiful, if elaborate, dress that wasn’t quite her own choice, the church swamped with pink flowers that her mother had decided on, she glanced at her father broadly beaming with paternal pride on one side of her, his hand on her elbow, controlling her, and Luke on the other side, Ann began to have serious doubts. Even though Luke was handsome, looking tall and lean in his wedding suit, his blond hair curling slightly over the collar, she still started to panic.
“Ann?” She barely heard the voice speaking to her, so engrossed was she in her thoughts.
Luke was a little nervous, too. She could tell from his trembling and the anxiety in his voice. Is this enough for me? Is he enough for me, or do I want more? But what exactly do I want? Was she just marrying him to get away from her parents? It was a question that she was trying to ignore.
“Come on, sweetheart.”
She finally looked up to see her fiancé frowning at her with a slightly bemused look, and a stronger frown coming from the minister.
“It’s your turn, Annie. You have to say I will.”
Luke chuckled gently at her hesitation. She wished she could explain the state she was in. Why now did she have second thoughts? Was it the thought of being with him for the rest of her life, and having to vow this? But there wasn’t anyone else she had ever loved, so why at this moment?
“Ann!” Her father spoke in a loud whisper that would have been almost amusing if this had been a television comedy, except that was his usual tone of voice with her.
“I’m sorry,” she said, and everyone smiled with relief in their faces, clearly thinking she was apologizing for her lack of attention. She turned to Luke, wondering how she could tell him.
His beautiful blue eyes went round. He could now clearly see there was a problem. She guessed the distress she felt was echoed on her face. He looked alarmed, and she saw him swallowing anxiously.
“I—I can’t do this. I’m so sorry.” She choked back a cry at the anguish in Luke’s lovely face, and, closing her ears to her mother’s horrified shout, Ann threw down her bouquet, and grabbing the skirt of her dress, she ran out of the church, not looking back to see if the man she loved was following, if the man she had thought she loved enough to marry was upset. The man whose lovemaking was gentle, sweet and tender, and always left her a little disappointed. She expected something more. She didn’t know what, just that it was hovering there, waiting for her, taunting her, and it never came.
Sitting in the lounge of her new apartment, Ann looked around her.
Part of her was wondering if she had just made the biggest mistake of her life jilting Luke, leaving him at the altar. Without a second thought she had flung off her dress, pulled on some casual clothes, and, grabbing a bag, she had run away. Here she was, over a hundred miles from home, having got on the first train out of town—a place she had rarely left other than on holidays—and left behind her childhood in a cloud of dust.
She was amazed at her own temerity in simply finding a waitressing job and now a place to live all within a few days. All her life she had been controlled by the demands of her parents, her school teachers, and to some extent, Luke. But she had happily gone along with their expectations, until one day it just wasn’t enough. And she had no idea what had caused such a revelation—probably the discussion between her father and Luke about where they were going to live without asking her. She looked at Luke and saw him turning out to be just like her father. Or maybe it was her mother wittering on to Luke’s mother about grandchildren, when actually what Ann wanted was a life of her own first of all. But she bitterly regretted having done it that way—for the pain she must have put Luke through. She bit back a sob.
That was enough to drag her out of the doldrums as she sat in the armchair of her new home. She reminded herself that she had chosen to give up her old life, which had been controlled by others, for something intangible, but that at the same time exciting. She got to do what she wanted.
Her new roommate, Pearl, had been quite an eye-opener. She had sounded fairly normal on the phone, very chatty and animated, but when she answered to door to show Ann around, Ann’s jaw had dropped. Pearl wasn’t much older than Ann, probably twenty-two, but her face was made up to the tilt with bright red lipstick, and eyes heavily ringed in black. But her clothes—well, Ann could hardly tear her eyes away. Pearl was wearing a black and red corset barely covering her nipples, and her breasts looked like they were about to burst over the top. She also had on what Ann felt was a left-over tutu from a ballet class, although this one was black. Beneath that were sheer black stockings and red high heels with at least five inch stilettos.
“Ann, darling. How are you settling in? Look, sweetie, I am off out in a mo. My Dom will be here to pick me up. You’re all right on your own, aren’t you?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you. Your what?”
Pearl giggled. “My Dom. My Master. You know.” She touched the dog collar around her throat. “I’m a submissive.”
If Ann thought her jaw had dropped to the ground on meeting Pearl, it certainly did now.
The doorbell rang. “That’s him. Bydie, bye, lovely.”
Ann watched stunned as Pearl left with the man she called her Dom. Submissive? Oh. My. God. Ann had heard about people like that. Don’t they get whipped and flogged and have sex in clubs and stuff like that? There was no way she could do anything like that. Could she?
So, why were her panties suddenly wet?
Eight years later
“Please, Master Lucas?”
He ignored the pleading of the submissive who was rubbing herself against his body as they sat watching the evening’s events in the BDSM club called Allure. He was getting irritated with her, as he had for some time now. Her nearly naked body, covered only in a pink basque attached to similarly vivid stockings, was sinuously plastering itself against him and making no impact on his limp cock. Not even when a hand reached down to fondle him did he have any interest in her. Instead he firmly moved her hand away.
“Master, can I take you in my mouth?”
“Tracey! Are you trying to get yourself a punishment?” Her eyes lit up. Christ. He might have known it with Tracey. She was a pain slut.
She practically threw herself facedown across his lap, her nude buttocks available for him to punish as he wished. “Thank you, Master.”
He sighed and swore. This was the last thing he wanted to do, and he wondered when exactly he had stopped enjoying punishing his subs. It used to be the thing he enjoyed the most, the reason that he had originally taken part in the BDSM lifestyle. It had almost been an epiphany when he had attended a club that first time, so astonishing had it been, so right, so what he had needed to assuage his demons, that he had gone on to become a Dom, and then a Master. In all the six years he had been a Dominant he had had many subs, never taking anyone permanent for more than a few months. And Tracey had been with him for four months. It was clearly time to dump her.
Smirking, he looked at the bare bottom on his lap, and raised a hand high in readiness to give the brat the spanking she deserved. When his hand came down on her she squealed. It didn’t stop him. That was usual with her. Tracey was always very vocal. He continued his slaps hitting the tops of her thighs as well as her buttocks over and over.
After a while she started crying out, “Please, Master, enough.” But he knew it was never enough for her, and that was the problem. It just meant she was thoroughly enjoying herself, and actually wanted more. He needed his subs to bow down under the weight of his punishment, not beg for further hits. For a few moments he considered taking Tracey into one of the “scene” rooms, and giving her a proper thrashing with a cane, or whip, or something. He frowned, trying to remember why he had taken her on as his sub, and recalled that there had been no-one else available when his previous one decided she had had enough. All the ones in Allure had otherwise been collared by Doms. Bizarrely there had appeared to be no unattached ones that night, apart from Tracey, so after a few weeks he had reluctantly taken her on.
Suddenly bored with the girl, he pushed her off his lap. “Go away and annoy someone else.”
She wailed. “Masterrrrr.”
When she crawled between his legs trying to grip his cock he had had enough. He stood up taking a step back, the legs of his chair scraping on the floor as he moved away from her, his voice hard and fed up. “I don’t want you, Tracey. I’ve had enough of you. We’re finished. Find yourself another Dom.”
Leaving his infuriated ex-sub on the floor he stalked over to the bar. Unfortunately they only sold soft drinks at the bar in order to avoid unsafe practices taking place on the premises if one should get drunk. But he really could do with a glass of something strong about now. Glancing back he could see Tracey wasn’t irritated for long, because she had already started moving toward Master Ken. Luke grinned as he saw Cathy, Ken’s regular sub—and his wife—storming over in their direction.
A hand clapped his shoulder. Turning around he saw it was Sean, the owner of Allure. “You’ve had enough of the girl then,” Sean said, nodding in Tracey’s direction.
“Yes.” His voice was weary as he admitted this. He was tired of this life, of BDSM, of women. Suddenly he yearned for a normal girl, preferably one with light brown, wavy hair, and brown eyes, just like his ex. Then he shook his head at the direction his thoughts had taken. Well, that was never happening again. If he ever caught up with her he’d be thrown in prison for murder.
“I’m kind of surprised you stopped.”
Luke looked around at Sean’s strange statement. “Why d’you say that?”
“I’ve been keeping an eye on you since you joined us a year or so ago, and you’ve had a tendency lately to lay into Tracey quite violently. I know she loves her pain, but, actually, you’ve always been hard on any sub you’ve been with. I was considering asking you to take part in the training/retraining program that we have, which is for Doms as well as subs. Anyway, I’m glad to see you knew when to stop this time, but do think about the program.”
As Sean left him to deal with a situation in the other room, Luke wanted to ask what the option was if he didn’t think about the program. He looked after him, annoyed at the suggestion that he couldn’t control himself, but then he ruefully admitted to himself that he had gone too far with Tracey on a couple of occasions. Okay, more than a couple, but she could rile him into hitting her just as she wanted very easily. And he was always happy to punish a woman.
He didn’t used to be like that. He had been drawn into this lifestyle because of everything his ex had done to him. He tightened his fingers around his glass, wanting to smash it into the wall as he remembered the feeling of standing at the altar watching her as he tried to take in the words she had spoken. He remembered them well. They weren’t the ones he had been expecting, instead it was, “I’m sorry. I can’t do this.” He hadn’t a clue what she was referring to initially, and then she had run down the aisle away from him, leaving him absolutely stunned.
When he had tried to follow her he had been kept back by people suddenly surrounding him, despite his desperate struggle to get past them—her parents, his family, the minister, the many bridesmaids. When he had finally got past them all, he had rushed to their new home to find Ann and get an explanation, but discovered that she had scarpered. No note, no reason, no enlightenment, just the echo of her words, “I’m sorry.”
And he had been on cloud nine that morning about to marry the girl he had loved to distraction for several years, who he thought had also loved him the same way, and would for the rest of their lives.
As he recalled her face Lucas heard her voice. It was so clear it was like she was in the same room. Damn her. Why does she always have to be there in the back of my mind? He shook his head to clear his thoughts.
“I’m sorry, not today.”
He spun around, and there on the other side of the room was a woman, standing with her back to him talking to a man who moved away from her, clearly annoyed by her response. She sounded just like Ann—his ex, the woman who had left him at the altar, and who was the reason he had consequently taken up BDSM as a way of getting his own back on women in general. All because of her. Every time he punished a woman for some wrong-doing, it was Ann he was thinking about, Ann he was disciplining.
Quickly stepping back into the shadows at the side of the bar so that the girl didn’t see him, he continued to watch her, and saw her jerk around to look in his general direction with a frown. He moved a step toward the wall, but she turned back, clearly not having seen him.
It was Ann, at least, an older Ann.
What on earth is she is doing here of all places? How come he had never seen her in the club before?
Unable to take his eyes off her, he soaked up the changes in her over the last eight years. Her hair was no longer the lovely light brown color he remembered, the color of milk chocolate, but, instead, it was now an almost brassy honey-blonde. She also didn’t have the lovely long, naturally wavy tresses of before. It was deathly straight—the flatness a women achieves when she uses hair straighteners. It now fell to just below her shoulders, and not to her waist like it used to. He cocked his head to one side as he considered the new Ann. It was all right. He could get used to it. Sometimes her hair had used to get trapped beneath their bodies, and he had nothing against blondes. Tracey had been one, after all.
He stood stunned for at least ten minutes as he studied her, raking his gaze over her body, noting the changes that eight years had wrought. Other than her hair she was slightly heavier, her butt and breasts rounder. But then that might be from the clothes she was wearing, which showed off every curve. Luke stared in amazement at the tight mini-skirt, which rounded her butt, and then he glanced down her shapely legs. Legs that were no longer schoolgirl-thin, but looked amazing in the black high-heeled shoes she was wearing. That was incredible in itself, and his eyebrows rose as he leered at the curve of her calves and ankles. There was something about a woman wearing heels that made her look so sexy. Well, if nothing else it would make it easier to kiss her. He grinned. He had always had to bend down a lot as she had only ever worn flat shoes when he knew her, and she was ten inches shorter than he. Flat shoes, dresses below her knees and her shoulders covered demurely, he recalled clearly. Not like this Ann who was wearing a black sleeveless top that looked two sizes too small, and molded to her torso finishing just above her navel. He hadn’t got much of a look when she had turned around before, but he was sure she hadn’t been wearing a bra.
Into his vision came Sean, striding toward the bar having dealt with the incident, so Luke urgently beckoned him over. As he walked in his direction Sean looked over his shoulder at the object of Luke’s gaze.
“Who are you looking at? Oh. That’s Annabel.”
Annabel! Luke frowned at her choice of BDSM name. It was the name he had called her when they had made love. Why on earth would she use that, other than the obvious connection to having sex?
“How come I’ve never seen her in here before, or is she new?” His calm voice belied his excitement, an eagerness he hadn’t had in some time.
As he said this he pondered how long Ann had been into BDSM, and felt his body tense at the thought of other men touching his girl. He chortled to himself wryly. Not his anymore, clearly. Now she was any man’s. Or did she have a particular Master? Did she have someone who spanked her butt when she disappointed him? That made Luke angry. He wanted to be the one to punish her. Oh, he so wanted to get his hands on her backside, preferably with a leather-knotted whip.
“Oh, she’s been a sub here for years, but you used to come on a different night. This is her usual night—always had been.”
That told him lots. That she was a regular, and not just a visitor, and that she had been into BDSM for a long time. That was almost unbelievable. At least for the Ann he had known. Coming back to a previous query, it also explained why he had never seen her before. He used to come on Saturdays, but had changed to Fridays when Tracey had new shifts at the hospital.
He asked the question he really wanted to know while trying to sound dispassionate, “So does she have a Dom? I don’t see a collar on her.”
Sean gasped and stared at him. “For God’s sake, don’t even think it. She’s not for you.”
Luke felt fury at that, at being denied her yet again. “Why not?”
“Oh, not just you, no-one wants her. She is the most difficult sub we have.” Sean emphasized the word “difficult”.
Raising his eyebrows, Luke was somewhat stunned. He laughed wryly. “Why, what’s she done?” He knew exactly what she had done to him, but he wanted to know why others found her challenging. And she used to be such a sweet, biddable girl! This was getting more and more interesting by the minute. Suddenly all his weariness was gone, and he had a new vigor rushing through his body that he hadn’t felt in a long, long time. Not to mention his cock was hardening as it hadn’t in months.
“She keeps misusing her safe word. She has so many limits neither she, nor any Dom, gets any fun out of their scenes. As soon as it gets a tad too hot for her she cries wolf.”
Sean sounded so irritated Luke couldn’t help but chuckle.
Shaking his head in wry amusement, Sean said, “She’d run a mile from you.”
Luke started and swiveled around to stare at him, narrowing his eyes as he did, but then he realized that Sean didn’t know of his past history with Ann. He was just referring to Luke’s reputation with subs.
But he was now very intrigued, wanting to know everything there was about Ann, and what sort of person she had become since she had left him, so he asked, “So why does she come here then? Why be a sub?” Now that was something he’d give anything to know.
“I have no idea.” Sean’s response was so dramatic that Luke had to laugh out loud. But when Sean went on again he stopped instantly. “She is one of those we’re thinking of putting through the retraining program.”
Luke looked at Sean intently, a buzz of excitement quickening in him, and then he turned his head to stare over at Ann. He grinned. He so hoped that Sean would put her into the program. It sounded like he would be the only person prepared to take her on. And he would certainly be delighted to retrain her. Oh, indeed he would.