Accepting Annie

(8 customer reviews)

Annie Campbell is an investigative journalist on assignment. She never intended to uncover deep, dark family secrets during her research, though. Now, she has travelled to Scotland to find answers to some very pressing questions that could change her life forever.

Alastair Duncan has agreed to play host to the American journalist who has come to write a story about his best friend’s family. He quickly figures out that she is hiding something, and she disobeys him at every turn. He wastes no time in demonstrating to her how he responds to being challenged, but he never intended to fall in love with her…

Publisher’s Note: This steamy, contemporary romantic mystery contains elements of power exchange.

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Sample Chapter

January 2, 1988…

Fresh snow covered the treetops and frosted the yard, the howling bitter wind causing the already low temperatures to plummet further. A modest brick home sat on a slight hill overlooking several acres of land. Holding an unopened envelope, Martha Campbell paced back and forth in front of the roaring fireplace that heated the small study. The nervous energy was all but tangible in the room as Martha flipped the unassuming paper over in her hands, tracing her thumb over the neatly written address in the left corner before gazing again at the foreign stamp in the right. Her heart raced with anticipation of what the contents of the correspondence might hold. She had been waiting for the answer to her letter, a letter she had written with every ounce of emotion she had been pushing back for the past seven months.

As she took a deep breath, she summoned enough courage to open the envelope. Plopping down into the navy blue oversized La-Z-Boy chair, her father’s favorite, she slowly pulled the lined piece of paper out before unfolding the letter and starting to read it. Nausea hit her like a one-two punch, her stomach lurching at the impersonal opening, a feeling of foreboding flooding over her. Martha read the letter with shaking hands. Her gasp filled the air. She couldn’t believe it. Through tear-blurred vision, she reread it, the falling tears smearing the ink on the page. Surely, there had to be some mistake? This just couldn’t be right. She read it a third time. Nothing changed in the words or the meaning, no matter how many times she read it. The response was the last thing she had expected. Deep inside, she had known this was a possibility; she had considered every viable option, but her heart had told her he wasn’t like that, he would never shirk his responsibility. Martha had thought he cared about her. Maybe, he didn’t quite love her; after all, they had only known each other for a short time, but she could have sworn she saw care in his eyes when he looked at her.

She was wrong. She had never misjudged another person as badly before. She had hoped… It didn’t matter what she had hoped, her hopes weren’t reality. This letter containing his answer was all that mattered now. For a moment, she allowed herself to sob quietly, her heartbroken angst joining the crackling flames in song. Her sobs soon quieted as she considered the news of his betrayal.

Besotted with anger, Martha balled up the letter and threw it with all of her might. The crumpled piece of paper went flying through the room, her aim blurred by her tears. It just missed the fireplace, bouncing off of the bricks and landing a few feet away. Martha’s hand rested over her swollen belly, her daughter’s kicks moving fiercely under her fingers, reminding her of the life that grew within. With her other hand, she wiped away the hot tears running down her face. She sighed deeply, regaining control of her emotions. “It’s okay, baby girl. Mommy’s got you. It’s just you and me against this big, wide world. We don’t need him. We don’t need a man to be happy or successful.” She pushed her shoulders back and jutted her chin out, stubborn determination replacing the hurt she had felt just seconds before.

Awkwardly, Martha pushed herself out of her chair to standing, her eight-month-pregnant belly leading the way. She waddled over to where the offensive piece of paper lay. Bending down, putting a hand on the floor to steady herself, she picked up the piece of paper, smoothing out the wrinkles. “This will be my motivation for greatness. We will be great, baby girl. You will do great things; of this, I have no doubt. I promise, sweetheart, that you will always have what you need provided for you.” Standing back up, Martha took the paper, folded it neatly several times and put it in the back of her grandmother’s old bible, before putting the bible back in its box and closing the lid. She picked up the discarded envelope, took the check out and, with a frown, examined it. There were way too many zeros on it for her to be comfortable. She had a decision to make now, but it would be best if she slept on it.

 

Chapter One

 

 

The large, clunky black phone on the desk gave off an annoying, shrilling ring, startling senior investigative reporter, Annie Campbell. I hate that damn thing! She cringed as the brrrinng brrrinng filled the air once more. She snatched up the handset, putting the bulky cold plastic up to her ear. “Campbell.”

“Just checking on your ancestry piece. I’d like to get it on the calendar,” Annie’s editor, Tony Garcia said.

“Good morning to you, too,” Annie muttered. “I’ve still not received my results. When I do, you will be the first to know. Couldn’t come over and ask me or send me a text?” They had developed a friendship over the past three years that had transcended a boss/subordinate relationship.

“Nah. I know how much you just love your office phone.”

“Oh, yes. It is my most favorite of all sounds.” Sarcasm dripped from Annie’s voice. “You are a little one office over from me.”

“I didn’t feel like getting up.”

“That sounds about right.” Annie hung up with a frown.  Before the interruption, Annie had been putting the finishing touches on her latest article about the increase of amphetamine overdoses in America. Looking it over once more, satisfied with the results, she emailed the finished product over to Tony. With a frustrated sigh, she pulled up her current fluff piece. It isn’t so bad, she thought, reading it over. I just need my results to come in and I can get this darn thing off my desk. She spun in her chair in her much sought-after corner office on the top floor. It had been reserved for the top ranking of staff members and Annie had gleefully accepted it, along with a sizeable raise, after her second Pulitzer Prize win.

At thirty-one, Annie was the youngest senior reporter at World Report Press. The combination of her age and gender meant that she was constantly trying to prove herself to her coworkers. Just in the past year, Annie had won two Pulitzer Prizes, for her contribution to investigative pieces. The nominations alone were quite the honor; winning had been the icing on the cake. Annie knew she should be proud and yet, it wasn’t quite the validation she sought. The goal was to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for independent work, and she had no doubt that she was employed by the best news organization to achieve it.

One of the articles was a piece on human trafficking that had helped to free over three thousand enslaved children. After bringing the issue into the limelight, the countries who had been turning the other cheek had been forced by the United Nations to act or face harsh sanctions. It was one of the most rewarding moments in her life. She would never forget when the detectives in Spain had thrown open the back doors of a large semi-truck and rescued dozens of children from the sex trade. For six hours, she sat in a hard, empty room with harsh lights, reading to and holding the children as their parents were contacted. Eventually, she was told that she had to leave, and that journalists were not permitted in the building. She had all but forgotten she was a journalist. At that point, she was just a human comforting other humans in their time of need. There had been several moments like that in her career—dancing with the indigenous people of far off lands, feeding starving children in impoverished countries, giving out aid with the Red Cross in refugee camps, evacuating hurricane victims and bagging the flooded Mississippi River, alongside National Guardsmen.

Annie loved her job. It was more than just writing to her; it was being an ambassador for truth and change. She wanted to make the world a better place. She wasn’t the type to be able to affect change from a political stage or an operating room, but she sure could do it with her words. Working for World Report Press, or WRP, a globally recognized new media outlet, their initials alone making people stop and pay attention, was the biggest honor of them all. WRP reporters had been embedded in every country, every major conflict, political and organizational scandal for over a hundred years. With a daily readership of more than half the world’s population and a dedication to preserving ethics in journalism, their reputation preceded them. Annie had set her sights high and would not have settled for any other publication. A woman of goal setting and list making, her life had been dedicated to achieving her first objective on the list, to become a journalist at WRP. After achieving it, she worked her butt off, quickly moving up in the ranks.

WRP published over 2,000 articles every single day, and Annie knew if she wanted to continue to succeed, she would have to find a way to set herself apart from all the other journalists on staff. She hadn’t figured out how to do that, not yet anyway. Annie had become “one of the guys” among her coworkers, who were mostly men. She wore that badge with honor; it had taken a while for her male counterparts to stop babying and protecting her at every turn. She had to prove that she was capable of taking care of herself in even the most violent of situations. Finally, she had been accepted within their circle as an equal, a peer. Now she just had to figure out what steps to take to rise above.

Annie volunteered to take the hardest pieces, travelled around the world and embedded herself in extremely dangerous situations looking for that one story that would change her life. In a million years, she would never have imagined that out of all of her stories, it would be a fluff piece that would pick up her life, shake it all around and throw it, crashing into pieces on the ground.

Annie had balked at the assignment, but Tony had reminded her that every piece was important and that it was the human-interest pieces that went viral on social media. Still, it was hard for her to switch her mindset from hardened criminals and dying children to fluff. Entertaining fluff, but fluff nevertheless. These pieces had no impact on the world around her. If she had wanted to write fluff, she would have applied to work at one of the tabloid magazines.

One of the most lucrative new trends was using DNA to return ancestry results. Several direct-to-consumer genetic companies had popped up claiming to be able to trace a person’s DNA back hundreds of years, classifying their genealogy into neat little categories. Because of the popularity of these companies, Annie had been assigned an investigative piece.

She had started her work on this assignment as a cynic. The pitch had been to interview people who had found out about their pasts using DNA kits. She knew that Tony was looking for a feel-good read, light and positive. Annie wasn’t known for light pieces. Feel good, she could do, but they were always deep and often times emotionally provocative.  She looked over the short paragraph that had accompanied the assignment. There wasn’t a lot of instruction, so she decided to put her own spin on it. She would debunk it and expose the industry as a fraud. She would analyze the science behind these tests and determine if these companies were conning people out of millions of dollars.

Annie would rather be back in Africa covering the poverty crisis or in the Middle East covering the wars, than interviewing a bunch of twenty-something year olds who had enough disposable income to pay for an unnecessary DNA test to track their supposed ancestral history. She just didn’t see the draw. Annie had convinced a couple of her coworkers and her best friend, Addie, to take the test. Always a cynic and determined to prove that the companies were a bunch of frauds, she had recruited three sets of identical twins for her experiment, fully expecting their data to come back different from each other.

The research had been astounding to Annie. Ten million people around the world had paid money to have their DNA analyzed in order to find out where their ancestors had come from. The companies boasted that they could tell you the regions from which your ancestors hailed and how much of each ethnicity, down to the percent, a person had in their DNA makeup. Americans, specifically, jumped at this, many unsure of where their ancestors had come to America from.

It had taken three months, but the outcomes of their tests had all come back. Everyone’s but Annie’s, that was, as she had sent hers in last. After spending time analyzing the results, Annie found her cynicism fading. The twins all had identical results, which they should, even though Annie’d had her doubts. Between the three different companies, the differences in the results were slim to none. What were the chances that they would all get the same results if this was a fraud? After the results hadn’t provided the evidence she needed to disprove and out the companies for fraud, she had dived head first into finding out how the tests were run and what programs analyzed the saliva they had put into those tiny plastic tubes. Hoping for faulty science, she was surprised to find out that the science behind the testing was sound. Using microarray-based testing, companies scan over 700,000 spots on a person’s genomes to get the results. She hated to admit it, but Annie had become a believer.

Knowing next to nothing about her biological father, Annie was looking forward to finding out what ethnicity he had been. Her dark, almost black hair against her blue eyes, had always made her wonder. Her mother, God rest her soul, had beautiful hazel eyes. She assumed her eye color came from her paternal side, since three generations of Campbell women had the same hazel mixture of green and brown. The sheer light blue of her eyes contrasted against the darkness of her hair, often making the color pop even more. Both of her maternal grandparents had black hair, although now they both wore their gray hair with pride. Annie’s grandmother had gotten big into family trees and ancestry tracing, several years before, and had tracked both her and her husband’s sides all the way back to 1500 Scotland, so she assumed she was at least a quarter Scottish.

Annie figured her DNA results would be like her best friend’s, a large mixture of different ethnicities. In fact, every test they had run so far had come up with a list of at least six origins on them. Turned out, many Americans were a hodgepodge of different ethnicities and cultures. She refreshed her email, checking again for the results. Finding nothing there, she put the finishing touches on the article, leaving space for a paragraph or two of her own personal findings and saved it.

Stretching her arms overhead and arching her back, Annie closed her eyes. The burning behind her eyelids told her she had been staring at the computer monitor too long. Standing, she grabbed her cell phone, closed the office door and headed outside. Swinging wide the doors, she took a deep breath of the fresh air as she stepped out onto the sidewalk. She had travelled up to her Seattle office for the week; although she preferred staying closer to her apartment right outside of Tacoma, she had to make an appearance from time to time. The noise of the city filled her ears and she quickly put in her wireless earbuds, nodding along to the beat of the music as it energized her.

Ignoring the bright green awning of the popular chain coffee shop that sat on every corner of the city, leaves crunched under Annie’s feet as she walked a couple blocks away from the main hustle and bustle to a side street, where a local Mom and Pop café sat. They didn’t have a lot of coffee flavors on the menu, but what they did have was perfected. The coffee beans were roasted right there, in house, the depth of flavor unlike anything a chain shop could pull off. Annie breathed in the rich smell and smiled, her mouth watering.

“Annie, dear! It has been so long! What adventures have kept you away?” The slightly plump, just past middle-aged woman behind the counter, called out a greeting. Not waiting for a reply, she wiped her flour-covered hands on her apron before continuing. “I have a new gingerbread latte on the menu. It isn’t overly sweet; you’d like it. Would you like one?” Annie had liked the sweet fufu drinks when she had started college; like her bestie, she had a tendency to have a little coffee with her milk and sugar. Then, she became an investigative journalist, a globetrotter. There were many places where milk and sugar weren’t readily available, and she had grown accustomed to drinking her coffee black. Now, the sugary sweet American concoctions were much too sweet for her. Mrs. Wallace knew exactly how she liked her coffee, and she trusted her recommendation.

“That sounds great!” Annie settled into a tall back barstool at the counter and exchanged her earbuds for the sounds of the café. The grinding sound came first. Achieving the consistency she was looking for, Mrs. Wallace transferred the ground coffee into the basket, raising her hand and banging the metal down on the counter to settle the grounds. Whack! Tap, tap, tap! The telltale clank followed, before the water started to flow over the beans. The rich aroma filled the air, and Annie smiled broadly. There were very few things in life she enjoyed more than a good cup of coffee. Nectar of the gods, as Annie called it, flowed into the shot glasses. There was no point in starting a conversation around the noise; she’d wait until the coffee was done. The whistling of the steam wand alerted that the milk was ready. Mrs. Wallace deftly mixed the espresso, a couple squirts of flavored syrup and the milk before setting the steaming cup before her.

Annie lifted the cup to her lips, taking a long pull of the hot liquid, moaning in pleasure. “Delicious!” The gingerbread-flavored syrup added just the right amount of fall flavor without being overly sweet. Notes of ginger, allspice, cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg blended perfectly together.

“I thought you would like that. Here, eat. I made these fresh this morning. Cranberry orange scones with fresh whipped cream. You could stand to gain a pound or two.” It was all Annie could do to keep from chuckling. Mrs. Wallace was always trying to fatten her up. Her baked goods were even better than the coffee. Homemade with a dash of love, every bite was like an orgasm for her taste buds.

Annie had found the café quite by accident on her first day of work at WRP. She had been looking for a restaurant and had turned the wrong way, getting lost. She stopped in at Thistle Stop to get directions, and that was all it took. Mrs. Wallace’s Scottish lilt had drawn Annie to her, reminding her of the way her great-grandmother had spoken, and they had become fast friends. Now, every time Annie was in Seattle for work or pleasure, she stopped by and had coffee with Mrs. Wallace. Mrs. Wallace had never had children of her own, although she had married. Her husband had passed away a few years after they had been married, and she never wed again. She assured Annie that she had plenty of male suitors and enjoyed their company, but only one soulmate.

Annie took a bite of the scone, her eyes rolling back in pleasure. “No one bakes like you! I know; I have been all around the world, and I keep coming back here.”

Mrs. Wallace’s chuckled. “Kind of you to say so, my dear.” The two got to chatting and before long, an hour had passed.

“I have to get back to work, unfortunately,” Annie said, looking at her watch. “I’ll be back next week, I’m sure.”

“Let me bag up some of these scones for you to take with you, on the house, of course!” Annie knew it was futile to argue with the woman. She watched as Mrs. Wallace generously filled a bag with a variety of scones, muffins and pastries. “You need to put some meat on those bones, after all. A good man will want a woman with some meat, to keep him warm throughout the winter months. Have a good rest of the day, my dear. Drive back home safely tonight, none of that texting stuff, you hear me?”

“I hear you, Mrs. Wallace. I won’t text and drive; you have my word.”

 

 

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8 reviews for Accepting Annie

  1. Stats23

    This book is the third in a series, each of which can be read on a stand-alone basis, and is hands down the BEST (and the others were good too). A real romance, in real time, featuring some of the most truly lovable characters…..ever! Annie, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, is sent to Scotland to do a fluff piece on “A week in the life of” a Scottish royal family about to celebrate a wedding between one of the sons and an American lady. She may have ulterior motives. Alastair is the royal family’s neighbor and best friend, charged by the family to watch over Annie as they too are suspicious of her true intents. The story is so sweet and beautifully sentimental that it is sure to, at times, bring tears to your eyes and yet a smile to your face. A loving mystery/romance with just the right amount of domestic discipline and sensuous sex to make it the fantastic Five Star read that it is. I really hope that there is a 4th book to this series, ideally featuring young Mary.
    I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

  2. Toni

    With the increasing popularity of genetic tests for family ancestry, this story explores what happens when you find out that what you always thought was true, isn’t. This was an engrossing story with interesting characters that I really enjoyed. I liked that it was a full length read, which means that it can really get into the emotions and feelings of the characters. So, if you’re after a quick read, this isn’t for you. If you’ve read Adjusting Addie then this does have some of the same characters but isn’t in any way a sequel & is very standalone. I don’t know if it’s the authors intention, but I can easily imagine stories coming from the other characters in this read.

  3. Marybeth

    I loved this book. Annie has found out that her father is alive, not dead like her mother had told her before she died. Annie decides to go to Scotland to meet them while undercover as a reporter doing a story on the heir getting married. While there, she meets Alistair and falls in love. There is also a mystery to solve. I give this 5 stars as it was excellent!

  4. Donna

    Donna L
    5.0 out of 5 starsComing Home
    June 13, 2019
    Format: Kindle Edition
    I loved this book which is the third in this series by RJ Gray.Its full of mystery,
    danger,deceit,heartbreak,suspense,a dominant man and a strong feisty woman.

    Annie Campbell was raised by her single mother Martha.Her childhood was a
    happy one until the death of her mother.Annie had always been led to believe
    her father had died before her birth.Annie was one of the youngest senior reporters
    at World Press with two Pulitzer Prizes under her belt.Her next assignment was
    was the trend of DNA kits to research your ancestry looking for possible matches.
    To Annie’s great surprises,she found out that she was not alone in the world.On
    the guise of covering the wedding of the year,Annie traveled to Castle Lavenlox in
    Scotland.Changing her appearance was only the first step in her journey of discovery.
    Alastair Duncan was the grooms best friend and had been given the job of escorting
    Annie.He knew in his heart that something was not right with Annie but he felt drawn
    to her.The sexual tension was immediate and intense.Alastair was a man used to being
    in control and his threats of punishments if Annie she kept snooping were real and it was
    long before she found herself over his knees.Annie hated being spanked but could not
    help being aroused by his dominance.Her lips called out in pain but her body betrayed
    her.Alastair had found the woman of his dreams.Annie was smart,sassy,independent
    but with a inner submissive side.Alastair’s need to protect Annie was foremost in his mind.

    I loved reading about the old traditions and the beautiful scenery.This book is full of twists
    and turns.There are surprises that you will not see coming.Secrets are revealed and forgiveness
    given.I thought Alastair was intolerant and heavy handed at times but who would not love
    a sexy alpha Scotsman of their own.Annie was to be admired for her inner strength and not
    give up attitude.

    Expect heart stopping scenes that will leave you breathless and your heart racing.The need to
    discover the eventual outcome was all consuming.I would love to see Mary and Rob have their
    own story.

  5. Redrabbitt

    Wow, what an amazing, page-turning story that held me spellbound as it unfolds, with a great cast of characters, plenty of mystery, suspense, angst, and adventure. The chemistry between Alastair and Annie is explosive from the beginning, and the more time they spend together, the more intense it becomes. His dominance is never unclear, and his directives have been precise, her acceptance has been a struggle at times, but something she willingly acquiesces.

    “But what if you don’t like those answers?”

    The story is a beautiful and emotional roller-coaster ride for Annie as she bravely faces a past she never knew and encountered a man, Alastair, that stirs her feelings and shows her love, but one that includes her submission and acceptance of his loving dominance and discipline. Facing a family that is new to her, one that was stolen by a self-centered manipulative person, and a chance for happiness with a future. It does have a mystery, and yes, the villain is not a secret, it is the story leading up to the what and why that plays a huge part in this tale. It is two people finding each other and the connection they have, and instant love and desire to be with each other. It is a mindset of accepting his loving discipline and a chance at a future with love.

    As a genealogist and with the rave of ancestral DNA testing, the plot made perfect sense. For Annie, a seasoned and hardened reporter, this is a fluff piece that she feels is bogus testing, and in the reporting will even be a participant to help debunk it. What a shock when she learns she has a sister, knowing her mother didn’t marry and there were no more siblings. She was told her father died before she was born opens new wounds that she has to examine. Adding to the plot, having Annie go to Scotland to report on the life of this Scottish royal family from an American point of view allows her to meet those who are supposedly related. Meeting Alastair as her guide and liaison while living at the castle is the love story readers crave, especially with a little mystical prediction included. Piecing together the past adds to the tale and mystery.

    “You two will stick.” She said it again. “I can see it. The old woman turned to Alastair, “Things aren’t always as they seem. You have a keen sense about you lad. Make sure you keep your eyes open. Protect this one; she’s your life mate; it is fated.” Annie gasped in outrage; Alastair simply smiled at the woman.”

    The story includes a clash of cultures and beliefs. Alastair is a dominant who expects a woman to listen and obey, something that he grew up with and is normal for his family, and those around him. He states clearly that if she doesn’t obey the rules, he will correct her. Annie does not consider herself a submissive, has created her own way and has never been spanked. Held accountable with consequences will be a challenge, but one she has the option of walking away from—but that will include walking away from Alastair and her new-found family. The ball is in her court and always clearly stated.

    “I’m the one in charge in this relationship. I call the shots. Do you understand how I work, now, Annie? Because I have been nothing but clear with you from day one.”

    “She had a mixture of emotions going through her. She wasn’t scared by his words, no, if she was, to be honest, she was feeling very aroused. She also, in the deepest part of her soul, craved what he was offering. It was a need she didn’t know she had. The discipline at Alastair’s hand felt very right. She trusted him to guide her. It was as if he soul had been called to by his, fated, wasn’t that the word that had been thrown around?”

    “You are testing me. Yes, to see what my limits are and if I will follow through with the discipline, I’ve promised. I will, by the way, every single time, until one day, you won’t feel the need to test me anymore.”

    “I do trust you. Sometimes, the amount I trust you is scary to me because of our short acquaintance. Other times, it feels like I’ve known you all my life. I don’t understand, and that scares me. Rationally, I know I shouldn’t love you, and I shouldn’t trust you, but my heart and my brain conflict and I do. I am so sorry I didn’t take the time to listen. I’m just emotional and scared right now. Annie searched his face and found what she was looking for, love. He loved her. She trusted that, and she trusted him. She went to the corner. It wasn’t long before he called her back to him.”

    The story is a beautiful and emotional relationship that develops between Annie and Alastair, one that includes dominance and submission with discipline While several scenes include strict discipline, it is always discussed and fair, there is also the loving, nurturing side to this new dynamic. The sex scenes are steamy but not overly explicit. The story is more the emotions, the threats to Annie, and the suspense of keeping Annie safe once Alastair learns of the danger. It is a story of discovery, love, and family.

  6. Rjr

    Investigative journalist, Annie, is working on what is supposed to be a fluff piece, when things get very interesting. Suddenly, she is uncovering secrets she’s not sure she wants to expose. Off to Scotland to do research on her subject, she is welcomed into the person’s huge home. There she is appointed her very own keeper, although that’s not what he’s actually called. Alastair, is a Scott and he is huge, strong, handsome and former military. He doesn’t let Annie get away with one single thing. Sparks ignite and catch Annie fighting to remember why she’s there. When Annie does not follow Alastair’s rules, she finds herself paying the painful price. Can this independent journalist accept Alastair’s dominance along with all his passion? Through it all, a terrific mystery gets solved and changes Annie’s life forever. This is one terrific book! The plot is great and the romance sizzles. These two are really hot together and Alastair is one of the most fantastic male characters ever. He’s everything! This author is new to me, but rest assured I intend to read everything they have written, after loving this book. Do no miss this one! I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  7. Julie

    This book was exceptionally an excellent read keeping you glued in place until you finish the book, not realizing the time as it swiftly passes by.

    When you have a great writer like R.J. Gray penning the tale she has a way of weaving the story in such a way she creates the reader right in to feel like you are part o the tale.

    You relate the emotion rollercoaster Annie is riding feeling her confusion, shock, realization, discovery, deceit, heartbreak, forgiveness, love, surprise, family, suspense, danger and finally acceptance,

    Annie Campbell is a seasoned investigative journalist on assignment writing a fluff piece using her genetic DNA testing and genealogy research she thought she would prove this was bogus and bring it to light.

    She never thought or meant to uncover deep dark secrets of her past she knew nothing about.

    This cannot be real! Annie had two Pulitzer Prizes under her belt already even though she is one of the youngest senior reporters at World Press.

    Her mother and grandmother had lied to her. Face to face bald out lies, and she fills the betrayal deeply as she remembers both telling her that her father had died before she was born. She had no other family, only her mother, and grandmother.

    She talks to her editor about what she has uncovered, who helps her device a plan for her to find out the truth about her past. After disguising her looks, she travels to Scotland to research on a family about spending a week and the life of the Scottish royal family from an American point of view. She had to find the answers to all the pressing questions rolling around in her head,

    Finally, she arrives at Castle Lavenlox in Scotland the estate of her new family and is quite shocked to find not only is her father alive but she also had two brothers and a sister.

    Not only did she meet her family but the friend and best man of the groom Alastair who agrees to not only be her host but her escort to the wedding while this American journalist covers the wedding of the year.

    Alastair immediately decides she is hiding something and things are not as they seem with Annie. Still, he feels the powerful magnetic force pulling him to her. Stronger than lust, stronger than anything felt before. It’s the pull of destiny when someone meets their soul mate, the one he can not let slip away. He has to make her trust him, understand him, and love him as he loves her.

    But first what is she hiding!

    In such a short time, trust does build, and Alastair eventually finds out Annie true identity. He has caught her snooping in places no American journalist would snoop except for Annie even though she had been warned.

    It all comes to a head, but with it comes the realization that Annie is in grave danger and Alastair Duncan must keep her safe. The villain was never a secret in the book. Neither was Alastair’s dominance need to not only protect the woman he loves but punish her when she puts herself in danger or simply disobeys.

    Annie knew nothing about this, nor was she a submissive. She had been on her own for a very long time and worked her way up in career to one of the best in her field. She is a leader, not a weak submissive … or is she?

    Such a combustible clash of cultures and beliefs. To Alastair and his family its as clear as night and day. But to Annie, it is Greek to her.

    Can she handle being held accountable and issuing consequences. It will most definitely be a challenge. Can she do this? What option does she have?

    They think the ball is in her court, but she really has no choice at all. She can walk away, but if she does, she will lose everything. She would be walking away from Alastair, the man she has already feel deeply in love with, the one who makes her feel safe, love and who will keep her from danger no matter what it takes. That is too much in itself, but she will also include losing her new found family as well.

    “See why I have no decision to make at all. Its either consent to this new way of life or she may as well lose her own life. Either way, her life is no longer in her hands, she realized, it will never be the same.

    This is a fabulous read, and I can not wait to read B.J. Wane’s next book. She is a fantastic author and with ever book draws inside the book so thoroughly its as if you become a part of it.

  8. Lori

    Annie has a secret.  She travels to Scotland to find the truth.  Alastair is asked to make sure she is not up to anything shady.  He is handsome, strong and an alpha male who believes that all women need the flat of a man's hand on their bottom from time to time.   She is incredibly attracted to him, but she is a woman on a mission.  Spanking romance.  Hand, belt.

    I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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