When Domestic Discipline turns into abuse, the result is more than A Simple Misunderstanding.
Elly Benson struggled to be the properly submissive wife her husband desired. She tried to do everything he asked of her, until he convinced her she could never be the perfect woman he expected and demanded by nearly killing her.
As a vet, Jerry Douglas recognized signs of abuse when he saw them. Elly Benson, however, was a married and consenting adult who insisted all her bruises and welts were nothing more than a simple misunderstanding between her and her husband, until the day Arthur Benson took his authority and discipline one-step too far.
Jerry has just returned from the dog park after Elly returned his jacket. He’s even more certain now that her husband is mistreating her, so he’s decided to call the man who serves as the head of Corbin’s Bend and as Jerry’s mentor.
After Jerry got Jack fed and settled, he called Brent’s office.
“Carmichael.” That was Brent. All business and direct when events required quick results.
“Brent, it’s Jerry.”
“Hi, Jerry.” Jerry imagined his mentor tilting back in his chair. “What can I do for you?”
“I’d like to talk to you about Mr. and Mrs. Benson. Mrs. Benson, actually.”
“What about her?”
“I’ve gotten her to loosen up a little, and though I don’t have any proof, I think her husband might be abusing her. Yesterday, she sported some serious bruises on her wrists, and today she had difficulty walking. I fear I’m responsible. I tried to keep her talking to me, which made her late, and since she appeared cold, I lent her my coat. I believe Mr. Benson took exception to both those unusual developments.”
“Did she say so?”
“Not directly, but she did admit she got punished for not dressing properly for the weather.”
“I know. I would have spanked her for going outside with only a sweater on, too, if she’d been mine to take care of, but I wouldn’t have made her so sore she couldn’t walk.”
Brent Carmichael paused, and Jerry suspected his friend was struggling to be tactful. Brent was naturally protective of the people in Corbin’s Bend. No doubt the thought of one of theirs being abused stuck in his craw as well. After a moment, he spoke. “I understand how you feel, but some husbands are stricter than others, and—”
“Brent, please, I don’t need the lecture. Okay? What I want is someone to follow up with her and Arthur to make sure he’s not harming her, even if it’s unintentional.”
The only sound Jerry heard was Brent’s breathing. Finally, the other man said, “All right. I’ll suggest Kelli broach the subject with her. As Elly’s mentor, I think she’s the best choice, but Jerry, you and I need to sit down and discuss the appropriateness of your fixation with Mrs. Benson. I realize you view Eleanor Benson as a wounded animal and want to shelter her under your protective wing. However, Mrs. Benson is neither yours to protect, nor care for, and I suspect your feelings may be interfering with your objectivity.”
“Fine, I’ll set up an appointment to talk with you next week, but let me say this. When I asked Mrs. Benson how her wrists came to be so bruised and swollen, she said it was just a simple misunderstanding between her and Arthur. And Brent, putting my feelings aside, what happened to that woman was neither a misunderstanding, nor simple.” At that, Jerry hung up. A part of him longed to tell his mentor off, but his rational mind knew the older man was right. If Elly wouldn’t speak up for herself, and admit she and Benson had a problem, they could do nothing to help her. And, though his growing feelings for Mrs. Benson might be inappropriate, they weren’t interfering with his objectivity. They had practically eclipsed it.
One Paragraph Bio:
A Simple Misunderstanding is Kathryn R. Blake’s fourth novel with Blushing Books, and third spanking romance where Domestic Discipline is primary to the plot. Although Kathryn is relatively new to the spanking romance market, she is not new to stories where the hero spanks the heroine. In fact, most of her novels have some sort of spanking in them. However, even in Kathryn’s novels where the hero firmly believes in using spanking as a deterrent, he has no desire to cause the heroine injury and takes no delight in hurting the woman of his heart.
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