The Laird’s Contract

(10 customer reviews)

Her mind told her she didn’t want a contract or his punishments. Her body told her something else. 

Ailsa McKenzie is shocked when her fiancé hands her a domestic discipline contract. He promised her when he proposed that she could continue to be an independent woman. But that’s not his only surprise. He’s been keeping a secret from her that will change the trajectory of their entire relationship. Is their love strong enough to survive this new revelation?

Doctor Ian McLennan, Laird of Glen Torridon, has one definite view on marriage, and it starts with him as head of the household, but convincing his spirited bride-to-be that this is the type of relationship she not only needs, but wants, will be a challenge. Especially when an unseen dilemma surfaces about his ancestry.

Forced into a series of unexpected events, they’ll need to learn to trust not only each other again, but others as well, turning a simple contract into the key to their survival.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy, contemporary Highland romance contains a theme of power exchange.

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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

 

 

Ailsa McKenzie stared at the elegant cream envelope on the desk. The McLennan Clan crest with a bagpiper in ancient tartan and the clan motto, Dum Spiro Spero, While I breathe, I hope, was embossed in the upper left corner, her name written across the front in bold, neat letters. She knew it contained a pre-nuptial agreement and looked up at her fiancé, smiling wistfully. They had only been engaged for a week, and as the Scottish snows from the storm that had brought them together began to thaw, their relationship, in accordance, was just warming up. She understood the need for it, for the safeguard of a contract, she just didn’t like it. The car crash, him rescuing and taking care of her, their instant attraction, the engagement had all happened so fast. He was Laird of Glen Torridon, which encompassed not only a vast area of land and, with it, the care of its people but also significant wealth. In the event their marriage didn’t work, he had a lot to lose; she, on the other hand, had nothing. As she had come from a meager background, everything she acquired in life, she’d earned herself, which amounted to nothing more than a couple thousand dollars in her saving account. She picked up the envelope, weighing its contents in her mind. It wasn’t the money that bothered her but the idea of divorce. Their relationship was just beginning, and already they were setting up a clause for the end. It was the romantic side of herself, the perpetual dreamer, that had the problem. She wanted the happily ever after, not the happily ever after and in case it doesn’t work out, here’s plan two. Her father had abandoned her mother before she was ever born, and the thought of an end before the beginning ever happened was an exceptionally raw concept. It was painful to think about it not working out with Ian and scary to jump into a marriage so quickly, but at this point, she could not imagine life without him.

She watched as a drop of water snaked its way down the large window in Ian’s office. Spring was coming, and as the last of the snow melted from the castle and the bright sun hung low in the late afternoon sky, she knew she needed to trust in their love. As she took the contents out of the envelope, she repeated in her mind, while I breathe, I hope.

As she began to read the paper in front of her, her brow scrunched up in confusion. “Ian, what is this?” she asked, holding the documents up in question. It was Saturday evening. The roads were finally clear, and she had thought he might take her into the village to get out, but instead, he’d called her into his office for a meeting.

“It’s a contract, sweetheart.” He sat forward in his chair, his arms resting on the large dark cherry wood desk.

“This isn’t a pre-nuptial agreement.” She continued reading, looking up, perplexed.

“Pre-nuptial?” Now, he looked confused. “I would never have you sign a pre-nuptial. I don’t know what you’re thinking of, Ailsa, but I plan to marry you for life. I would never go into it thinking we might divorce, and God forbid, if it did happen, lass, I would see you cared for.”

“Then, what is this?” She set the papers down, her heart soaring at what he’d just told her but still unsure of what lay before her.

His eyebrow rose in an arch, the edge of his mouth quirking up in the merest of smiles. “It’s our marriage contract. We’ll go over it together.”

“It says it’s our domestic discipline contract,” Ailsa corrected him.

“Aye, it is. It helps to define the parameters of our marriage and what our expectations are.”

“These aren’t my expectations,” Ailsa said, shaking her head. He had disciplined her before, spanked her with both his hand and his belt, and he had enjoyed it. She knew what his punishments consisted of and the feelings they brought about, both good and bad. They were powerful and evoked strong emotions. A slow ache began to build deep within her and her sex clenched, her body a traitor to her own self. “Where did you come up with this?”

“Sweetheart, let’s read through it before getting upset.” He pulled another copy of it out of his desk drawer, placing it in front of himself. “Trust me, I know what I want, and whether or not you realize it, what you need. Go ahead and begin.”

“You want me to read it out loud?” she asked, questioning the ridiculousness of it all.

Ian nodded. “Go on, darling.”

Ailsa rolled her eyes. “Domestic discipline marriage contract—”

He stopped her. “Ailsa, start again, and this time without the disrespect. This is serious. I want this to work for us.”

She began again and slowly started to speak. “This is the domestic discipline marriage contract between Ian Robert McLennan, head of household, and Ailsa Rose McKenzie.” She stopped, looking up at him. “If you’re the head of the household, what am I?”

“You’ll be my wife.”

“I thought marriages were supposed to be fifty-fifty partnerships,” she said.

“In some households, that’s true, and while I will always listen to you and value your opinion, I think this will create a happier, less stressful home for us. Let’s finish reading through it, and then you can ask me questions.”

Ailsa continued. “On this date, to be determined, Ian and Ailsa agree that we are both ready to begin incorporating domestic discipline as the basis for our marriage.” She paused, pursing her lips together, taking a deep breath in through her nose. “As head of household, Ian is the final authority on all matters of the household. Ailsa agrees to support Ian by actively supporting this contract, and in return, Ian agrees to actively enforce this contract in a loving, caring, respectful manner.”

“I’ll take the next part,” Ian said, picking up on her aggravation. “Section one, Rules. One, no disrespect. Two, no dishonesty or deceit. Three, no dangerous behavior.” He looked up at her, his pewter eyes intense, his meaning not lost. They had met by her putting herself in a dangerous situation when she crashed her car on his property driving in a storm, and her same behavior caused her to find herself at the end of his belt when she disobeyed him by crossing a river on a rickety bridge after he’d told her to stay put. She looked down, not able to hold his gaze. He read on, “Four, no disobedience. Five, be polite at all times and have a good attitude about yourself and others. Six, no cursing. Seven, no going to bed angry. Eight, all major decisions must be made together with the head of household having the final say. And lastly, nine, never interfere with, negotiate, or obstruct the disciplinary process in any way.”

“That’s a lot of rules,” Ailsa commented. Sense told her to stop this now, but the ache within her continued to grow, settling between her legs.

“Nothing I wouldn’t expect in any relationship, and from myself to you.” He reached across the desk, touching her hand. His eyes held a childlike excitement; he wanted this. “Your turn, darling.”

She cleared her throat. “I, Ailsa, understand that failure to follow the above rules may result in the consequences of Ian’s choosing. I, Ailsa, also understand that these rules have been put in place by Ian because they are in the best interest of our relationship.” She stopped then added softly under her breath, “Maybe your relationship.”

“I’ll ignore that,” Ian said, picking up where she left off. “Section two, Consequences. I, Ian, understand that I must hold Ailsa accountable if the above rules are broken. I, Ian, agree always to maintain a calm and controlled environment and personal presence before carrying out any of the below consequences, and I agree never to make Ailsa feel degraded or humiliated. I, Ian, further agree only to impose the following consequences fairly and responsibly.

“The consequences that both Ian and Ailsa have agreed upon are as follows: One, bedroom time: time spent in the bedroom will be used for reflection, the specifics, and length of bedroom time, are solely up to Ian, and failure to follow instructions given by Ian could result in an additional consequence of Ian’s choosing. Two, regular spanking punishment: spankings will be carried out with the head of household’s hand. The length and severity will remain solely up to Ian. Three, serious spanking punishment: all serious spankings will be carried out using the head of household’s belt. Ian agrees that the severity of the spanking will always fit the offense committed. Ailsa understands that the length and severity of the spanking will remain solely up to Ian.” He put his papers down for a moment and got up and walked around his desk, placing his hands on both of her shoulders. “I know this is a lot to take in at one time, my sweet girl. Please stay with me. I don’t want you getting too caught up on the consequences.” He pulled her long chestnut hair from her neck, kissing her on her cheek before sitting back down at his desk.

“I’ll read the next part. I need you to trust me on this one and keep an open mind. Can you do that, darling?”

Ailsa didn’t know what to think. The pre-nuptial would have been easier to agree to than this, but she nodded anyway.

“Section three,” he began, “Maintenance spanking. This spanking will be used to ensure the continuation of appropriate behavior and to keep Ailsa stress-free and respectful. This spanking is not done for punishment and will be carried out once a week on Sunday afternoons and is meant to promote well-being and closeness between Ian and Ailsa.” He waited for her to say something, but she remained silent. “Will you read the last part?”

Ailsa spoke, hearing the slight quiver in her voice. “Both Ian and Ailsa agree to follow the rules and consequences stated above as part of the domestic discipline marriage.” There was a place for them both to sign their names.

“Thoughts?” Ian asked. “I know you must have questions, darling.”

“I don’t know where to begin,” she said, overwhelmed. He was asking her to sign over her full rights to make her own choices—in essence, her freedom—and put him in charge of everything. She knew she wouldn’t be able to obey all those rules. It was almost comical, and she was hit with a fit of hysterical laughter. Doubled over, she laughed with such intensity her stomach hurt. Ian stood, coming around the desk. He looked down at her, his sharp eyes sobering her instantly. With her nervous energy gone, he took her hand. “Come, let’s move to the couch. I know this is a considerable amount of information to take in.” As he led her to the sofa, he set the contract down on the table before them. Night was coming on, and Ailsa suddenly felt very tired. She had given up everything to come here, her career, her apartment, her life in America, and she was placing all her trust in a man she had only known for a short time. He was serious, he wanted this, expected it even, and a man like Ian McLennan usually got what he wanted.

“Talk to me, baby.”

“Ian, this is a lot.” She shook her head. “I mean, I know you like to be in control, but this is extreme. This doesn’t seem like a marriage to me.”

“Ailsa, this is the kind of marriage I want. I need to be the head of the household, to be able to keep us safe and give us a calm, loving home and to take care of us.”

“We can have that without all these rules and consequences. This contract isn’t necessary.”

“Trust me on this, baby, the contract matters. We both have to agree to this, or it won’t work.” He rubbed her hand softly. “Tell me what bothers you the most,” he said, turning so he could look her in the eyes.

“I can’t stop thinking that all you want to do is punish me and see me hurt.” She looked down, trying to find the right words to express herself. “These maintenance punishments, I don’t even have to do anything wrong and I get hit.”

Ian took her chin in his hand, raising it up, so she had to look at him. “First of all, I hope that I never have to punish you. This is not about me seeing you hurt. I want to create a household that is safe and loving, and, darling, that requires discipline on both our parts. Second, and I’ve said this before, I do not hit. Spanking your bottom is not hitting, and I would never take it to a level I knew you couldn’t handle. And third,” he paused, the corner of his mouth turning up, “it is not a maintenance punishment.” He ran his finger down the side of her cheek. “It is a maintenance spanking, and it is meant to be a very intimate and vulnerable time between us.”

She pulled back. “And what about you? What happens if you break a rule? You said you expect the same thing from yourself in a relationship.”

“That’s a good point. If I were to break a rule, then I will seek outside counsel from someone.”

“Who?”

“I don’t know, our parish priest, Father Carlin.” Ian picked up the contract, writing the clause on the back. “I will have it added in.” He stopped for a moment, rubbing his chin and the new growth of his beard. “I want more than your average marriage. This is based on extreme trust, Ailsa; it will bring us very close. Our marriage will be grounded on profound devotion and faith in each other. Its roots will run deep and strong.” He took both her hands in his. “You trusted me before to care for you, when we first met, and you discovered things about yourself you never knew existed. Trust me now.” He picked up the pen, signing the document, then he handed it to her.

Ailsa clutched it, uncertain of how to proceed. “I need time to think, Ian. I can’t sign this right now.”

He nodded his head, taking a deep breath. “I understand, lass. You can have time.” He smiled at her, his eyebrow arching. “In the meantime, would you be willing to try it out? A trial run between the two of us over the next few weeks. We can make adjustments as we need to if we find something just doesn’t work.”

As she put her hands to her forehead, she rubbed the place between her eyes, hoping for some miraculous guidance. Ian made it all sound so easy—give up control, no worries, he would take care of her, but she knew it wouldn’t be so simple. He had promised her that she could continue to work, to build her career as a wedding planner here in Scotland. She needed to keep her independence, and he’d said he understood that when he proposed. This contract contradicted all of that. “And I can still work and have my career?”

“Of course, I promised you. I understand how important it is to you,” he said.

“Fine, I’ll agree to a trial run, but only so I can get some clarity.”

“Very well,” he said, kissing her. “It begins now. And, Ailsa, I expect the contract to be signed before we are wed.”

It had grown dark, the only light coming from the fireplace, casting the room in orange and red shadows. Ailsa wondered if she had just made a deal with the devil. She looked over at Ian as he stood up, turning on a lamp on a nearby table. No, he was a good man. He might have the perfidious good looks of a villain, with his dark brown hair and coal gray eyes that often held a chilly intensity, but she knew how gentle and tender he could be. She was in love with him. While I breathe, I hope.

She looked down at the contract she still held tightly in her hand with all its rules and consequences and Ian’s strong, bold signature at the bottom—Ian Robert McLennan, Duke of Torridon. Her eyes widened, and she could feel the heat of her temper suffuse the pale skin on her face.

“Duke of Torridon?” she said, standing up. “When were you going to fucking tell me you were a duke?”

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10 reviews for The Laird’s Contract

  1. Ronald

    This is the second book in the Glen Torridon Series – the previous book, The Laird’s Command, introduced the two lead characters, Ailsa, an American party planner who met Ian, a Scottish doctor and Duke, when she had a car accident near his home. In this story, they are engaged and a whole series of events take place relating to their engagement – a lot of which are triggered by his position as a Duke, and the necessity to meet protocol while staying safe against threats on their life and privacy. It moves quickly, but I found a lot of it a bit farfetched, even for a book that I realize is fiction – and it detracted from my enjoyment of the story. The two lead characters are strong, but they are both subject to forces that are beyond their control. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  2. Stats23

    This first class domestic discipline themed story is a sequel to the equally first class spanking romance “The Laird’s Command”. In the former, Ailsa and Ian meet and in this story their relationship continues but takes a few intriguing turns. After his marriage proposal Ailsa learns a few surprising things about Ian, things she is most upset about. Not just the suspected pre-nuptial contract he presented her, but also something about his personal status. Both revelations cause her to have grave concerns. The story has action, involving death threats and attempts; intrigue of both a political and personal nature, mystery and mayhem. Although it does not have the innocent romantic sweetness of their initial story, it does deliver deeply emotional encounters that really make for a great romantic story. An outstanding read with a mix of dd and erotic spankings and some sensual sex. 4 Stars.
    I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

  3. Marybeth

    Wow…this was intense. First of all, you have to read the first book to understand what is going on in this book. Second, let me let you know that there is going to be a book three. If not, I’m going to be pissed, because there is a HFN ending. Ailsa and Ian are getting married. Ian produces a contract for Ailsa to sign that is basically a domestic discipline agreement. Ian says that Ailsa can still have a career and autonomy, but I really doubt it. Ailsa realizes that Ian is a duke and she has a meltdown. Their engagement is made public and it goes to hell in a handbasket! Ian is being told what to do by the royal office and now they are telling Ailsa what to do as well. She is confused and scared and she is assigned Robert, who is going to be her bodyguard. You really have to read this to understand what is going on.

  4. Redrabbitt

    The story is a steamy contemporary Highland romance with plenty of mystery, suspense, secrets, action, adventure, and erotic chemistry. Throw in one very dominant and controlling Highlander, Dr. Ian McLennan, Laird of Glen Torridon, and an innocent, out-of-control American lass, Ailsa McKenzie and together watch the fireworks begin. This is book two in the series.

    The story is a continuation of when Ian and Ailsa meet, and now, about a month has passed, and they have fallen in love. They have engaged in intimacy and discipline, and now Ian wants to set down with Ailsa and have a discussion before they marry. What she assumes is a prenuptial agreement, is instead and D/s domestic discipline contract.

    “This is a domestic discipline contract between Ian Robert McLennan, head of household, and Ailsa Rose McKenzie.”

    “Rules. One, no disrespect. Two, no dishonesty or deceit. Three no dangerous behavior. Four, no disobedience. Five, be polite at all times and have a good attitude about yourself and others. Six, no cursing. Seven, no going to bed angry. Eight, all major decisions must be made together with the head of the household having the final say. And lastly, nine, never interfere with, negotiate, or obstruct the disciplinary process in any way.”

    It won’t be the marriage contract, the rules, or the discipline that is most upsetting to Ailsa, it is discovering he is the Duke of Torridon and he never told her—and now everything is changing. There are rules and guidelines set for by the royal offices, and she is caught off guard by all this. Then, she becomes the target of some crazy person who wishes her dead to make a name for themselves.

    “I need my independence, Ian. I need to be able to pick out my own clothes. I told you, the one thing I was afraid of was losing control of my life. By signing the marriage contract is taking my independence and putting you in control of everything.”

    “The sun had gone behind some drifting clouds, darkening the room and hiding the dust motes. There, one moment, and gone, the next. That is how she felt; her life wasn’t hers right now; she was disappearing.”

    The story will be unequal power exchange, with medical scenes, D/s, discipline, and control. Now with her as the future duchess, her life has turned upside down, she has bodyguards, and must play by a new set of rules set out by the royal office. Planning her own wedding is not acceptable, nor is the venue, her gown is dictated, and what she wanted as private and intimate will be largely attended by other royal members. She doesn’t even get to pick the date to marry.

    “Trust can be scary. It means we have to open our hearts, knowing that we may or may not get hurt, and be willing to take a chance. It takes courage and faith. Choose trust and love, Ailsa.”

    The story will take on life and death danger, death threats, multiple men claiming to be her unknown father, and the loss of control of her own life and choices. She will be plaster all over the newspapers, and when she disobeys and makes bad choices, someone is leaking the information to the press. Now there are two trustworthy people trying to tell her about a man that is claiming to be her father—and the story doesn’t match what her mother always told her. Everything about her life has changed, and she isn’t happy.

    “You stopped getting choices, Ailsa, when you disobeyed and deliberately made a bad decision. Now you’ll do as you’re told.”

    “Sometimes it’s better not to know the truth.”

    With the attacks on Ailsa, that leaves Ian, and her bodyguard, Robert, feeling like they failed her and she is shutting down. What will it take for Ailsa to snap out of her depression? Does she regret forcing Ian to give up on the marriage contract between them? Is not submitting to his dominance, leaving her floundering—and if she changes her mind, and accepts his rules and dominance, will things return to normal for them?

    “I don’t fear you, Ian. You are my rock and my strength. I need you more now than ever. I feel drained; that’s all.”

    The story has several discipline scenes, sex scenes, and is a beautiful story of two people who must tread their way into what will be best for them and their marriage. Will Ailsa accept that a marriage with domestic discipline will ground them both as a couple, accepting him as her head of household, lover, and husband? Can she get past his title and responsibilities and love him as the man she fell in love with before she discovered he was a duke?

  5. Donna

    Donna L
    5.0 out of 5 starsConflicted
    September 1, 2019
    Format: Kindle Edition
    This book is an excellent addition to this series by Ms Brown.
    It continues with Ian and Alisa as they plan their future and
    their upcoming marriage.Alisa is a marriage planner and it’s
    her dream to plan her own wedding.Alisa is shocked when the
    pre-nuptial contract that Ian presents is not at all what she is
    expecting.Ian plans to be the head of their household and both
    of them need to incorporate domestic discipline in their marriage.
    Alisa is confused and an intense internal battle rages within her.
    Alisa finds out that Ian has held back information about himself
    that will affect her and their future together.

    I have read many books written about couples enterting a domestic
    discipline relationship with all its issues,but few have been so successful
    at presenting the reluctant female concerns.What i loved about this
    story is how the author shows the internal struggles and emotions
    of both characters.The plot was ever- changing with many real life
    situation.I felt Alia’s pain and confusion at the many changes she had
    to face and accept.Alisa’s first instinct was to rebel and flee putting
    herself in danger.I enjoyed reading of all the different traditions and
    customs expected in a Scottish wedding.

    What an intense filled romance which includes danger,passion,conflict,
    doubt,surprises,spankings but above all, a warm and nurturing relationship
    between two consenting adults.I would love to see Robert have his own
    story and another book on Alisa and Ian as they start their married life
    together.

  6. Margaret

    This is a brillant read that I finished in one sitting. I loved Ailsa. She is alone in the world and fell hard for the Laird and then finds herself in danger, both from herself and others. Ian wears lots of hats but loves Ailsa. This is a very well written story with plenty of twists and turns to hold the readers interest. There are some disciplinary spankings and lots of hot spicy sexy scenes. This is the second story in this series. I read the first one but it’s not necessary but well worth doing. I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book and I very highly recommend it. Well worth reading.

  7. Ajjmb

    I really enjoyed reading The Laird’s Contract. I do think Ian is a bit high-handed as is Robert. I really felt the frustration that Ailsa is feeling. Everything seems so rushed and out of control all of a sudden. Luckily Ailsa has two men who seem bound and determined to keep her safe no matter what, even from herself. I hope this isn’t the last book in this series because I feel like there should be more. I don’t feel like this is the end with Robert and I would think that Ailsa and Ian have a lot more growing in there relationship to do. This was an emotional read and I hope there will be more. I reviewed an advanced copy of this book.

  8. Julie

    Doctor Ian McLennan Laird of Glen Torridon is very much in love with his fiancee Ailsa McKenzie. She was very much in love with him but had reservations when he gives her a Domestic Discipline Contract.

    Alisa already has so much on her plate. There is the baggage she carries concerning her mother being in jail. Nevertheless, she established a very successful wedding planning business.

    There is ever-increasing death threats, the prowler, and someone is slipping inside their home. All this has her completely overwhelmed.

    Will Ian and Ailsa find a way to make this work, or is it too much to fast? Can they learn to trust each other and make it to and through their wedding?

    I received a free copy of this book. This honest review was posted voluntarily.

  9. BlueDiamond

    Trilling and compelling this story grabbed my attention right from the start and sucked me in. I read half the book in one sitting and couldn’t wait to pick the story back up again. The second half was equally exciting with lots of suspense to keep the pages turning. I highly recommend this book.

  10. Toni

    Even though I’d read book 1 in this series, I didn’t really remember it that well when I started reading book 2. Consequently, it felt very much like I was coming new to the series, & can now say that it won’t matter if you haven’t read book 1, you can still read & enjoy this book very much. From almost the very beginning, the emotion pulled me in & I ended up almost reading it in a single sitting. The relationship of Ian & Ailsa doesn’t run smooth & there is more drama than you would imagine. Even though that’s the case, it doesn’t feel like the drama overshadows the story. Really great book worth a read.

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