This TWO book set now includes a Bonus Book: Personal Shopper
No Ordinary Affair by Fiona Wilde
If you had a chance to submit to your deepest, most hidden fantasies, would you take it? Mary Saunders has never really thought much about the question. Her mundane life keeps her busy enough. By day she works as a clerk in an antique shop, at night she’s a part-time student seeking to build a better life for herself and her boring schoolteacher husband. But when a mysterious customer arrives, everything changes. Ethan Willoughby shows a keen interest in one item offered as part of a lot purchased from an old schoolmaster – a paddle. As he quizzes Mary about the paddle and asserts his belief on the benefits of discipline on children – and wives – she finds herself intrigued.
Mary tells herself the encounter is isolated. She tries not to think of handsome Mr. Willoughby, or of the submissive fantasies his visit has spawned. But when he shows up again, Mary finds herself slipping into a fantasy world tailor made for her.
But as the affair intensifies, Mary learns more about Ethan Willoughby, and about herself and must decide if getting what she wants is worth the price.
With BONUS book:
Personal Shopper by Sullivan Clarke
Laura McCaffreys wants nothing more than to be self-sufficient. The single mom is working hard to build up her business as a personal shopper, buying gifts for those too busy to shop for others themselves.
She congratulates herself when she lands a particularly wealthy client. Max Greenway has far better things to do than to buy things for clients and family. He’s willing to trust her with large sums of money to make the purchases for him.
But when Laura’s husband decides not to pay his child support, and her rent and other bills come due she makes a decision that could wreck her career and even land her in jail. But Max Greenway is a sensible man, and in Laura he sees a woman who needs help – and some disciplinary guidance. Will she accept his unconventional offer to keep herself out of trouble?
But Mary realizes that there’s a price to pay for getting what you want, and that being a good girl may be harder in reality than it ever was in her make-believe world.
An erotic tale full of action sure to not just arouse you, but make you think as well.
Watch the "No Ordinary Affair" Book Trailer on Youtube or below!
?So that?s it then? We?re finished? Just like that??
I looked at him standing there in the rain, distress etched into his handsome face. It was the first time I?d ever seen him look vulnerable, weak, out of control. And it was just how I wanted ? no, needed ? to remember him if I was to do what I knew I had to do.
?Yes,? I said. ?We?re finished.?
He took a step towards me. ?No.? And for a moment I wavered and nearly succumbed to the desire to fall before him and admit that he was right, that I needed him – to plead with him to take me back and punish me for even thinking I could be this strong.
But deep down I knew it would be a lie, just another part of what had become an intoxicating, addictive game I could no longer play
?Yes,? I said. ?We?re finished Ethan. You always told me, didn?t you, that I was capable of being a good girl?? Tears welled in my own eyes now. ?Well, here?s my chance.?
Then I turned and walked back home ? for good – to where my unsuspecting husband was waiting for me.
I?ve heard it said that women aren?t that different than men. They say given the chance, most would cheat if they could get away with it.
I don?t really believe that though. I think most women are like me; even if they think about it once in awhile they are too mindful of the risks, too mindful of the terrible price of carrying around all that Guilt.
Does this mean I was satisfied with my marriage to Mark when I met Ethan? No, far from it. But I wasn?t looking for an affair, either. And had I known what I was in store for, I?d have had someone else wait on the handsome man who appeared before me in the shop. Or would I?
?I need an opinion.? It was the voice that struck me first, deep and cultured with an accent I couldn?t quite pin down. When I looked up my heart skipped a beat. No, really it did. It?s not just an expression.
He was so handsome, standing there in his gray overcoat and maroon scarf. His hair was dark and hung in waves to his shoulder. He had a face that looked almost sculpted, with the most beautiful olive complexion and just enough stubble set off his put-together look. But his eyes ? that?s what struck me the most. They were?.sharp is the only word to describe them. And his gaze was so intense it felt like a thrust. I blushed deeply and looked down.
?Sure,? I said, busily rearranging the watch display that didn?t need rearranging at all. ?What would you like me to help you with??
He reached out and picked up a watch, his hand brushing mine as he did. I gasped, or thought I gasped, which didn?t make things any less awkward. But when I looked up again I discovered he either hadn?t noticed my embarrassment or had chosen to ignore it.
?My mother is a difficult woman.?
?Excuse me?? I responded
?She has everything,? he said. ?My father spoiled her terribly and bought her everything she wanted. The result is that she gets more difficult to please with each passing year.?
?So you?re here to find her something unique,? I said.
?Yes, and I thought a shop called ?Curiosities? would possibly have something that might actually surprise her.? He looked around the place. ?It is a nice place you have here. Very interesting. You should be pleased with yourself, opening a place that specializes in unusual items?
I laughed then. ?It?s not mine. I?m just a shop girl.?
?I don?t believe that,? he said.
?Excuse me?? I felt like a fool for repeating myself, but his statement was as curious as the cuckoo-clock watch he was now examining.
?Pretty thing like you, intelligent…? When I started to brush the comment away he stopped me. ?No, no. Don?t deny it. I can see it in your eyes.?
He looked in my eyes then and I felt a ball of something form and flip over in my stomach.
?Yes, intelligence,? he continued. ?It?s like a spark, and not everyone has it. If you?re a shop girl, it?s only until something else comes along.?
?Thank you,? I muttered. I was flattered but knew what he said was true. ?I go to school at night. I?m studying to be a book editor.?
?A book editor? Lovely! That sounds like a fine career.?
I laughed. ?I?ll never get rich off it, though. The most I can hope for is that Mark and I can buy a little house in the next few..?
I suddenly regretted being so chatty.
?My husband,? I admitted, angry at myself for mentioning him and then feeling guilty for the anger. ?What did it matter if this man knew I was married? I was, after all. And besides, even if I weren?t he?d be miles out of my league.?
?He?s a lucky man, then.?
My customer laughed. ?Your Mark! To have such a pretty little wife, with such a good work ethic.?
I giggled. ?Oh, I don?t know?.?
He grew silent. ?You,? he said, ?should think more highly of yourself.?
I didn?t know what to say as I looked up at him, surprised. So I said something completely unrelated to the conversation at hand.
?Do you want the watch then?? I asked. ?It?s quaint, and I guarantee your mother has nothing like it.?
?Sold,? he said. ?Box it up. And wrap it if you will. Make it a pretty wrap.?
?Yes, of course!? I said. ?You can look about while I do. There?s loads of interesting things here. The owner, Mrs. Parsham, she?s forever going to estate sales. She comes back with the oddest things.?
I turned my back to him as I began working at the table behind the counter, relieved to turn my attention to packing the watch rather than giving so much of it to my handsome customer.
?Interesting indeed. Where did she find this??
I turned to see him standing there holding up a large oak paddle. I?d not seen it before and for the life of me couldn?t remember her even bringing it in.
?I don?t know,? I said, and turned back to my wrapping. ?I know she went to the sale of an estate left by an old schoolmaster who used to work in Brighton. Perhaps that?s where it came from.?
?They don?t make them like that anymore,? he said.
?No,? I agreed, not knowing what else to say. ?A rather old-fashioned lot, those schoolmasters.?
?I was talking about this paddle.?
I carefully turned the side down on the wrapping paper, making sure the corners didn?t pucker. I wanted it to be perfect.
?No, you don?t see those very often. They don?t allow smacking in schools so much these days, thank goodness.? I turned and held the wrapped box out before me. ?There. Isn?t it perfect??
?No. No indeed it isn?t!? He looked shocked and annoyed and I glanced at the box, puzzled at how he could be disappointed with the job I?d done.
?It?s the lack of discipline that?s led to the decline of our society. Manners cast aside. Ill-mannered yobs running about. It all starts in the home you know. There?s no order anymore. No respect for authority. The children don?t obey the parents, the wives don?t obey the husbands??
I realized then that we were talking about totally different things and was relieved that I didn?t have to rewrap the watch. I hate wrapping. Did I tell you that? No? Well, I do.
?That?s a rather outdated notion,? I laughed as I put the box down on the counter and rang up the purchase.
?So I take it you don?t obey your Mark.?
?That?ll be twenty-eight pounds,? I said. ?And no, I don?t. But then again he doesn?t require it of me.?
?Pity,? he said. ?It?s my opinion that a woman feels more secure in herself when her man has the courage to be fully in command.?
I was trying to think of an answer when he held up the paddle. ?And this,? he said. ?How much does the owner want for it??
I felt my face grow warm as he handed me the implement. If wasn?t as heavy as it looked, but something about it sent a cold thrill through me in light of his words. I tried to imagine Mark putting me over his knee, raising my skirts and smacking my bottom while I whimpered for mercy. But the image would not come. It simply was not who Mark was.
?There?s no price,? I said.
?Then I?ll come back tomorrow and check again,? he said. ?Would you hold it for me??
?As you wish,? I said. ?I can?t imagine an item like this is much in demand.?
I took a slip of paper and taped it to the surface of the paddle, which had been worn smooth from use, and wondered how many bottoms it had landed on. The chill ran through me again.
?Your name?? I asked, looking up at him.
?Ethan,? he said. ?Ethan Willoughby.?
I wrote the name on the paper, but when I looked up to tell him I?d see him the next day, my customer had already left.
Mark and I arrived home at around the same time that evening and I could tell right away that he would be too tired to cook.
?Rough day?? I asked.
?Don?t even get me started,? he said. Mark was an instructor at a boys? school in the neighboring village. His charges, the sons of privilege, ran roughshod over the staff, and the headmaster was so afraid of the parents that he regularly undercut teachers? efforts to make the lads accountable.
?Nigel Stone and Charles Frasier got into a fight today in the stairwell,? he said. ?Mr. Privens got his glasses broken trying to pry them apart. I?d have chucked them out, but Mr. Ivey told me to give them detention. Detention! For fighting! Honestly, Mary, sometimes I think I?d see less headaches at a school for delinquents.?
I reflected quietly on Mark?s problem and the words of the stranger I?d waited on that day.
?Do you think things were easier back in the days when boys were beaten??
We were indoors now and Mark turned to me in the foyer, his expression shocked. I could see my reflection in his wire-rimmed glasses, placid and curious as I awaited his answer.
?Oh, I don?t know,? he said. ?They were probably more afraid to do the things they do today, but I?m not sure if a good smacking really builds character. Don?t get me wrong, I?m all for consequences but not such medieval ones.?
He smiled. ?That?s a bit of an odd question for you to ask, anyway, Mary, don?t you think??
?Not really,? I replied, walking to the kitchen and putting on an apron. ?We had a box of old schoolmaster things come in today and one of our customers was opining rather wistfully on the days when discipline was firmer.?
Mark shook his head as he leafed through the mail he?d picked up from under the slot of the front door as we entered. ?Well, you know how those old timers are.?
?That?s the funny thing,? I replied. ?This gentleman was not an old timer. He was around our age in fact.?
?Takes all kinds, I suppose,? Mark replied. ?But like most people he was probably speaking from theory than from practice. It?s always easy to postulate about things.?
?This is true,? I replied, and moved to put the tea on. It was two hours yet until my night class started and I was mindful of making sure Mark was fed and settled before I went on my way. Doing things like that made me happy, and there was a part of me that wished Mark were more old-fashioned and expected it, rather than constantly saying, ?Oh, now, you didn?t have to do that?.?
It sounds strange, I suppose to hear me say that, but that?s just how I was. How I am. Only I didn?t really understand the connection at the time. But I?m getting ahead of myself now.
So first things first.
My class went well that night. I arrived to find I?d gotten the second highest grade on a test we?d taken the previous day, and while I?d been dreading the upcoming lesson on editing technical works I found myself grasping the subject matter far better than I?d anticipated.
This was almost a miracle since my mind wandered the entire time. I couldn?t get my strange customer out of the way and kept playing our short conversation over and over in my mind, seeing again and again how he?d held that paddle, how he?d caressed the smooth surface that had brought pain to so many errant youngsters. And I could not for the life of me understand my reaction to what should have been an innocuous exchange, nor my ongoing fascination with it.
?Mrs. Saunders?? I snapped back to reality upon hearing my name. The instructor, Mr. Malloy, and the rest of the class, was looking at me expectantly.
?I was just asking your opinion on the current editing tools we?re using.?
?The software?? I asked.
?That is the only editing tool,? he said dryly. ?Unless you have some secret tool you?re not sharing with us.?
I reddened as my classmates snickered. ?It?s fine,? I said quickly. ?The, um, formatting is a bit trickier than the last issue of WordPro, but other than that??
?Thank you,? he said, and moved on to something else. I was relieved to have answered the question to his satisfaction, even as I sat there feeling quite badly for thinking about my customer again when my poor husband was at home ? alone ? likely dreading his next workday.
So I turned my thoughts away from what had happened at the shop and to my own relationship with my husband – my wonderful, patient, understanding husband. If I only had a pound for every time one of my girlfriends told me how lucky I was to be married to Mark.
?He?s so nice. He?s so considerate. He?s so gentle.? Those were the kinds of things I heard from them at every turn, and they were all true. They truly were. But deep down, just as I longed for Mark to be more demanding, I equally longed for him to be less acquiescent.
?Whatever you say, darling,? was his common refrain, for Mark was eager to please. But he spent so much time pleasing me, he left none for me to please him. Which was what I longed for.
Sometimes I?d drop hints. ?Would you like me to wear this dress?? I?d ask, holding up something I knew he would prefer I not wear.
?You?re a clever girl,? Mark would say. ?You don?t need me to tell you how to dress.? And when he said things like that I?d turn away so he wouldn?t see the tears that sprang to my eyes, even though I never fully understood until later why his words filled me with frustration.
But the more I dwelled on my conversation with Ethan, the more things started to fall into place. He?s spoken of guidance and punishment with something akin to affection, and not just the guidance and discipline of children but of wives by their husbands.
I tried again to imagine Mark taking control, giving me a comeuppance once in a while for doing the things he sometimes fretted over, like forgetting my mobile or being so chronically disorganized with our papers that I lost important bills or notices on a regular basis. I tried to imagine him taking the yard stick that hung on the back of our pantry door ? the one he used to measure for the shelves he often built for his workshop and saying, ?Mary, I?ve quite had enough of this. Now turn around and hike up that skirt. No, not halfway young lady. All the way..?
But I couldn?t get through the fantasy without either laughing at the silliness of it, which is what I?d likely do if Mark presented himself in such a way. He?d been far to passive and accommodating for far too long and I just needed to get used to it. On the whole it wasn?t such a bad thing. We omen had fought so long to have things this way, hadn?t we? So was it really fair for me to want to go backwards?
No. No it wasn?t. It was rubbish, that?s what it was.
So I did the right thing and put the whole business out of my mind, went home and cuddled close to my husband. And the next morning when I got up and put on my prettiest, most feminine, most form-fitting dress I told myself it was because Mrs. Parsham might appreciate my looking a bit more pleasant. And when I dabbed perfume behind my ears I told myself it was because the back room of the shop could be musty and the pleasant scent I wore would offset it. And the bit of extra makeup? Well, I just bought a new brand. Might as well try it out.
?See,? I told myself when Mrs. Parsham did indeed compliment me on my appearance.
?Much better,? she said, regarding me over the top of her horned-rimmed glasses. ?You?ll make a far better impression on the customers looking like a lady than you will dressed like a slattern.?
I frowned but said nothing. I dressed stylishly, not like a slattern.
?I?m off to another estate sale,? she announced. ?So you?ll be at the helm again today. Mind??
?No,? I said, and then quickly before I could forget. ?Before you go, Mrs. Parsham, a gentleman found this in the box you bought back, I think, from the schoolmaster?s estate sale. He wanted to know what price you put on it.?
She slid her glasses further up on the bridge of her nose and took the paddle, squinting at it with a deep scrutiny before handing it back
?I?ve never seen it,? she said.
?But he took it out of the box,? I countered.
?I didn?t say it wasn?t in there. I just said I don?t remember seeing it,? Mrs. Parsham replied. ?There was a ledger, several inkwells, some slates. But not that thing as I recall. However, if you say he took it from the box he took it from the box, although why he wants that and nothing else I have no notion.?
She glanced at the paddle again. ?Charge him twelve pounds.?
?Twelve pounds? Is that all? It looks old.?
?Perhaps I could get more, but it?s of no interest to me compared to the other things,? Mrs. Parsham said, pulling on her raincoat. She looked out the window and sighed. ?Ugh. I do hate going to estate sales in the rain. Half the time the relatives haven?t the sense not to haul everything out on the lawn even though they know it will get soaked.?
I put the paddle back behind the counter. ?Maybe you?ll get there before it rains,? I said. ?It?s not supposed to come in till sometime after noon.?
?Let?s hope so,? Mrs. Parsham replied. ?There?s supposed to be books at this one. The last thing I need is to find some lovely old valuable volume wet through. I don?t think my heart could take it.?
I smiled as she left and turned my attention to two women who were walking in. They were looking for teapots and I directed the to several especially lovely ones we?d acquired. They were pleasant and chubby and were part of a club held what they called ?eclectic teas? at a different members? home each week.
I was quite enjoying their company when I saw the shop door open and Ethan stroll in. He was wearing a long black coat, and his shoulder length hair was pulled back this time. He also carried a cane and the first impression I got was of a country gentleman who?d stepped not through a shop door, but through a portal in time.
He gave me a little smile when he saw me but left me to my other customers, who continued to chat me up about their unusual tea club and some of the interesting things they?d done. I cast sidelong glances at Ethan as they finalized their selection, worried that he?d get tired of waiting and leave. But he seemed in no particular hurry as he quietly perused the shop shelves, his hands deep in the pockets of his overcoat.
The ladies were pleased with their teapots. One was green and shaped like a cabbage and the other gold with an exaggerated stem and a lid handle shaped like a key. The pair thanked me profusely for my help and promised they?d be back as they left
?We?ve taken up enough of your time,? said the shorter of the two. ?And I?m sure you?re eager to wait on that dashing gentleman there.?
I glanced over to see the corner of Ethan?s mouth lift in a smile, and blushed a bit as I saw the two women to the door.
?Come again,? I said, and meant it. I get some oddball customers. Most of them were nice, but some aren?t and spend the majority of their time dickering with me over prices I had no authority to change.
I looked to the left and right as I closed the door. Rain had started to fall and no one was coming. We were alone.
I shut the door, and the little bell on it jingled as I did. Then with a deep breath I turned my attention to Ethan. And my life changed from that moment on.