My spicier side, Isabella Kole, or IzzyB as some like to call her, has a new release! As some of you know, Isabella was created on a dare. A group of author friends “challenged” me to write a spicier style of romance and I was a bit skeptical. What would people think? Would they read it? Would they like it? Could I do it? Never one to back down from a challenge, I decided to give it a shot. I only intended to write one Isabella Kole book…but Accepting His Terms was so well received that I decided to try again. Today, Submitting To Bryan, was released by Blushing Books.
I am currently at work on a third one, The Seduction of E.J.
Here’s a little taste of the new book:
Janis Lincoln found the man of her dreams in handsome co-worker, Bryan Walsh, until he tells her exactly the type of marriage he expects. She is shocked. Can she submit completely to him? A free spirit, she balks at his first attempt to discipline her.
Returning to her old college crowd and an old flame, she finds herself caught up in the club scene once more. Realizing her heart is with Bryan, she nearly loses her life before she has a chance to decide if she can be the kind of wife he wants.
When the couple announces their engagement to his parents, another storm is brewing. Janis is not the girl they’ve chosen for their son. On Thanksgiving night when Jan walks in on her fiancé and the girl his parents want their son to marry, she bolts a second time and calls off the wedding.
Will Bryan be able to convince Janis she is the only one for him? Can Janis submit completely to Bryan?
Janis Lincoln lightly tapped on the thick, oaken door of her sister’s office. When she heard Jill’s voice telling her to enter, she walked in and sat down.
“Hi, sis, what’s up?” Jill asked as she looked up from her work and smiled at her younger sister.
“Can you break for lunch soon? I really need some sisterly advice,” Jan replied grimly.
“Uh oh, are you having problems?” Jill asked in a concerned tone.
“Sort of, but I’d really rather discuss it in private. I thought we might be able to grab something at the deli and head to the park.”
Jill shot a questioning look at her younger sister before glancing at her watch. “Oh wow, I had no idea it was so late. Let me just finish up a few things and I’ll meet you in the reception area in a few.”
“I’ll be waiting. Take your time,” Jan replied as she stood up to leave.
“I won’t be long.”
Ten minutes later Jan and Jill were walking to the parking garage.
“How’s the little guy like it now that Mommy’s back to work?” Jan asked as Jill drove to the nearest deli.
“He doesn’t seem to mind. After all, I’m only in the office two days a week and he seems to love the other kids in his day care.”
The two sisters leaped out of the car and quickly got in line to order their food. They jumped back into Jill’s car and she drove to the nearest park, where they walked to a secluded picnic table.
“The weather is gorgeous, isn’t it?” Jill asked in an attempt to put Jan at ease.
“I guess so. I really hadn’t noticed,” Jan answered as she took her turkey sandwich out of the wrapper and took a bite. She washed it down with soda before speaking again. “Jill, I need to talk to you about Bryan.”
“I wondered if that might be it. So the two of you are having problems? How serious, Jan?”
“Serious enough I’m considering breaking up with him,” Jan replied sadly.
“I would have thought the two of you were starting to get seriously involved. I had no idea you would ever dream of breaking it off. This must be big.”
“You know how you were always the rebel in the family,” Jan began.
“Well, I know Dad always said I was,” Jill said with a light laugh.
“I find myself becoming more and more of a free spirit. Bryan is, as you know, older than I am. He says I need a structured relationship. He thinks I’m a silly twit is what it boils down to.”
“I’m sure he doesn’t think of you that way. You work with him. He’s seen how smart you are on the job. Where is this all coming from?” Jill asked.
“I think I was enamored by his good looks and charm at first. The fact he’s older was a turn-on for me. But I feel like spreading my wings. Bryan thinks I’m acting like a spoiled brat and there’s where the structure comment came into play.”
“What does he mean by a structured relationship?” Jill asked.
“He is ready to move to the next level. Along with that comes a set of rules. If I don’t follow the rules, he wants to…punish…me. Can you believe that? And we’ve had some discussions about intimacy. His idea and my idea are a little different. He’s been around the block a few times, let’s just say. He knows about things I’ve never even heard of.”
“Bryan? Are you serious?”
“Serious as a heart attack,” Jan replied as she took a bite of her dill pickle spear.
“Wow, you just never know, do you? So, about the punishing part, you…don’t like that idea much?”
“I know some couples are into that, but I guess I’m just a little too independent. I don’t like the idea at all.”
“Has he ever…?”
“Are you really thinking about breaking up with him?”
“Yes, I am. I hope to be able to continue working with him, but I think I need to test the waters, date some other guys. I thought Bryan was the one, but now I’m just not sure. I’m very confused.”
“Do what you have to do, Jan. Your job is secure. Jarrod is your employer, not Bryan. You work with Bryan, not for him.”
“Bryan may not take the breakup well. On the other hand, he may find he wants to be with someone more his age.”
“He isn’t that much older, eight years isn’t a lot,” Jill pointed out.
“It is if two people are light years away from each other in what they want in a relationship.”
“I guess that’s true. You can come to me anytime you need to talk. Just be careful. Make sure you can live without him before you take a chance on losing him forever.”
“I’ll be very careful in making this decision, believe me.”
“We’d better head back. I have a full afternoon ahead of me,” Jill said as she gathered her things and stood up.
“Thanks for the chat. Thank God Bryan is at the site with Jarrod today. I really need some time away from him.”
“When a girl says that about her boyfriend, something isn’t right,” Jill answered. “Maybe you do need a break from each other.”
The rest of the afternoon Jan spent catching up on work and thinking about her situation. By the time the end of the workday arrived she had come to a decision. She was going to take a few days off work and she was going to tell Bryan they needed to take a break.
She knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task to tell him. They were planning to order pizza at her place that evening when he returned from the job site. She would tell him after dinner.
As she walked to the parking garage, her cell rang. “Hello,” she answered.
“Babe, I’m tied up at the site, so Jarrod and I are going to grab a bite up here. I won’t be over tonight.”
“Okay, we’ll make it another night,” she said, partially disappointed and partially relieved she didn’t have to tell him of her decision until another time.
“Are you going to stay home?” he asked.
“I guess so, I really haven’t had a chance to decide what I’ll do,” she replied, resenting the question.
“I have to go, we’ll talk tomorrow.”
“All right, but I’m going to be taking a few days off. I’ll go ahead and come in tomorrow though.”
“Why do you need time off?” he asked.
“We’ll discuss it later. You have to go,” she said, desperately wanting to end the call.
“Okay, Babe, I’ll see you tomorrow. Love you,” he said as he ended the call.
Love you…did he really mean that or was it just a convenient and comfortable phrase? Did he have her best interests at heart, or did he want complete control in the relationship? She hadn’t been able to figure it all out, and her inexperience didn’t help matters at all. If only she knew someone who could help her. She had talked to Jill, but she wouldn’t understand, neither would her mother. She wasn’t close to her sister-in-law, so that left virtually no one to confide in. She was too embarrassed to tell her friends about the kind of relationship Bryan wanted.
The decision would have to be a personal one. But it could wait just a little while longer. As Jill had pointed out, she had to be absolutely certain she could live without him because she knew that chances were, if she did this, she would lose him forever.
On the other hand, Bryan wanted total submission on her part. Her free spirit couldn’t quite come to terms with that concept. Bryan was sweet, considerate, and loving. But if they moved forward, he had been very clear about the kind of relationship he expected. Back to square one, Jan spent the greater part of the evening pondering the pros and cons of both scenarios, breaking up with him or entering into the kind of relationship he wanted.
By morning, she was bleary-eyed, tired and sorry she had agreed to go in to work. Gulping down a piece of toast and grabbing a cup of coffee on the run, she raced out the door and drove to work, dreading for Bryan to see the way she looked. He would comment on it, she felt sure.
She said hello to the receptionist and headed for her office. She noticed as she walked by that Bryan was not in his own office. Was he out for the day to the site, or was he in the building? It didn’t take long for her question to be answered as he poked his head in her door as soon as she’d sat down.
“Good morning,” he said with a smile.
“Hello,” she replied. “Was it really late when you got in last night?”
“Around nine, we ran into some issues at the site and Jarrod wanted to clear it all up before we left.”
“It’s cleared up then?” she asked.
“Yes, it sure is. Now, how about our pizza night? Are we on for tonight?”
“I’m a little tired. I didn’t sleep well last night and I was hoping for an early night tonight. Can we make it tomorrow night instead?” she asked as she sipped her coffee.
“Are you coming down with something?” he asked.
“I don’t think so, just one of those nights I couldn’t sleep.”
“You look a little worse for wear, so yes; you can have an early night tonight. I’ll see you later. Maybe you can knock off early if you get caught up with the designs for the new site.”
“Gee thanks, a girl always wants to be told how awful she looks,” she teased.
“Jan, you know you are always beautiful to me. That doesn’t hide the fact your eyes are bloodshot and you don’t seem to be your usual chipper self.”
“Okay, I get the picture. Now let me get to work.”
“I’ll catch you later. Let me know if you leave early.”
“Sure, Bryan,” she replied as she picked up the designs she’d been working on the day before and prepared to work on them.
She sighed as he quietly closed her office door behind him. He’d always been considerate at work. Actually, he’d always been considerate period. If it wasn’t for his attitude on relationships, he’d be the perfect guy.
She thought back to the early days when they began dating. Then she thought about the night they’d first discussed moving forward in their relationship and how shocked she’d been to learn he expected her complete submission…in every way. Was he from the fifties or what?
She struggled to stay awake all morning as she finished her work. When lunchtime arrived, she called out for a salad to be delivered and ate at her desk alone. She sat back in her chair and closed her eyes, relaxing for the remainder of her lunch hour before resuming her work. At three o’clock, she turned off the computer, locked her work away in a file cabinet, and locked her desk.
She called Bryan and when he answered she said, “I’m going home now. I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ve decided to postpone my few days off for a while.”
“We’ll talk about that tomorrow night. I still don’t understand why you need time off. Are you going away?”
“I’m not sure, Bryan. I just felt like I needed a break. You’re right; we’ll talk about it later. I’m going home and going to bed.”
“Get some good rest, babe. Love you.”
As soon as Jan entered the apartment she’d taken over from Jill when she’d married Jarrod, she kicked off her shoes, threw down her purse and headed for the bedroom. She collapsed on the bed in her clothes and was asleep within minutes. The sleepless night and the day’s work had definitely taken a toll. Usually full of energy, the decision weighing on her heart had drained her both physically and mentally.
Several hours later, she woke up, got her bearings and changed into her pajamas. Looking at the bedside clock, she saw that it was nine o’clock.
“I guess I should eat some dinner,” she said aloud as she walked to the kitchen. Taking a can of tomato basil soup from the cupboard, she warmed it on the stove, poured it into a large mug and carried it back to the bedroom where she flipped on the television set and settled down to watch a movie. Finding she couldn’t concentrate, as soon as she’d finished her soup, she turned out the lights and went back to sleep, happy for the reprieve from her thoughts of Bryan.
The next morning she felt refreshed and ready to set the world on fire. Smiling, she entered the offices of Baine Construction and spoke to everyone she saw before making her way to her office. She poured a cup of coffee and sat down to tackle the day’s tasks. Just as she was getting caught up on her emails, Bryan poked his head in to say hello.
“Hey, baby, did you sleep well? I didn’t hear a peep out of you all night, so I didn’t bother you.”
“I did sleep and thanks for not texting or calling. I really needed the rest.”
“We still on for tonight?” he asked.
“Sure, come over around seven.”
“I’ll bring the pizza. The usual?” he asked with a grin.
“Yep, that’s fine with me,” she replied lightly.
Smiling as she began to work, she thought to herself, I’m going to let this decision ride for a while.
Perhaps it was the good night’s sleep from the previous night, or maybe she just wasn’t ready to give up on him yet, but whatever the reason, Jan was determined to try and change Bryan’s mind about the structured relationship he was so adamant he wanted.