Batteries Not Included

Life’s Unexpected Gifts by Livia Grant

Violence has been part of Hallie Boudreaux’s life for too
long. Deciding all men are barbaric abusers, she’s once again on the run away
from danger. Desperate to feel safe, if even for a few days, Hallie remembers
the only time she had felt truly happy in the last seven years were the summers
spent at her Aunt Gina and Uncle Adam’s. Taking a chance her aunt might take
her in, Hallie points her dilapidated car towards Corbin’s Bend, praying she
makes it there before her clunker takes it’s last gasp.
Troy Jackson can’t wait to surprise his sister on her 30th birthday. He’s
recently moved back to Colorado to be closer to his only relative, Traci, a
psychologist living in Corbin’s Bend. The surprise is on Troy when his normally
conscientious sister runs amok on her big birthday proving that even
intelligent, independent women still need the stern guidance of the men in
their lives. Having grown up with loving parents who practiced the domestic
discipline way of life, both Traci and Troy subscribe to the founding
principles of the Corbin’s Bend community wholeheartedly.

Hallie’s family is thrilled to have her in Corbin’s Bend, but can Hallie come
to terms with living in a community based on its endorsement of spanking, a
practice Hallie sees as abuse. Can Traci’s counseling help her overcome her
fear in order to accept her new life in Corbin’s Bend, or is it Traci’s brother
who ultimately has the power to show Hallie that not all men are abusers?

I was a
Corbin’s Bend fan before I decided to
become a Corbin’s Bend author.   The concept of a town where spanking was not
only the norm, but part of the town’s DNA, intrigued to me.   I confess, the first few books I read, I
absolutely enjoyed, but I wasn’t sure how authors would keep coming up with new
and unique story ideas that would keep the series feeling fresh.   I no longer worry about that, because with
each story, the town is literally coming to life.  Each new story adds new locations, residents
and a rich shared history.
As the
ideas for Life’s Unexpected Gifts
started formulating in my mind I had, what I thought at the time, a crazy
idea.  I kept trying to come up with
different ideas, because I was worried that my original story plan might be too
different.   In the end, I wrote the
story exactly as I originally dreamed.  I
am hoping Corbin’s Bend fans love the newest edition to the series.
Some of
the highlights

story starts out about a brother and sister, Troy and Traci Jackson.  Their relationship plays an important role
throughout the story.

our heroine, has encountered domestic violence in her past.  As a result, living in a town where
discipline rules poses daily challenges for her. 

get to take a front row seat to Hallie’s therapy sessions with Traci, resident
psychologist.   Through their growing
friendship, I was able to dive into many of the drivers behind the whole
concept of dominance and submission, hopefully with a dose of humor.

and Troy’s first ‘meet’ is unique, to say the least. 

book is a full-length novel.
“I’m staying. Just leave.” Hallie whines with attitude.
“Nope. Your uncle put me in charge. You’ve had enough to drink.
Time to head home.”
“Or what?” She has a fire in her eyes. She is throwing down an
intentional dare. A group
of teenagers gathered nearby are watching the interaction with

“I’m not playing this game.” He reaches to secure her upper arm in
his tight grip. He
turns to head towards the exit, but she digs in her fashion heels
and tries to hold him back. His anger is simmering. He hadn’t missed that she’s
curvier than he had remembered and he suspects Aunt Gina has been feeding her
well, but it doesn’t change the fact she’s petite enough that he can hustle her
along easily.

They’re at the coat-check room before Troy releases her arm in
order to dig out the claim check. They move aside to make room for the people
lining up. Before the young attendant can return with their coats, Hallie is
heading back towards the party.
His patience is at an end. He doesn’t know her story yet, but one
thing is for sure, Hallie Boudreaux is in sore need of some discipline.
Unfortunately, that job will fall to her uncle as her relative. All Troy can
offer at this juncture is a stern lecture. A wave of resentment festers within
him directed at Hallie. He was already feeling like an old man around her, but
he hates that she’s turning him into her father.
He shuffles them to a nearby doorway, out of the path of the other
partygoers, trapping her against the closed door. He presses in close, allowing
his towering body to try to intimidate Hallie into compliance. “Now, I’ve had
enough. I have no idea what happened in your past that makes you think acting
like a brat is acceptable, but here’s your wake up call. You are on dangerous
ground with me, Hallie. We’re leaving.”
They are in a silent showdown of wills, staring into each other’s
eyes as the group of teenagers she had been socializing with walk by, taunting
them. “Hey, look at the lovebirds! They’re standing under the mistletoe. You
guys better kiss or you’ll have bad luck.”
Troy’s gut lurches. Hallie’s eyes widen. As if they choreographed
this moment, they each slowly look up to confirm the validity of the teenager’s
When their eyes meet next, he expects to see fear or anger. Those
would be preferable to the confused longing reflected in her green eyes. It’s
only there briefly, but he’d seen it. It’s a stupid tradition. It means
nothing. He should walk away. He will walk away.
And then she licks her lips… slowly… sensuously. It’s an
invitation and one he is helpless to resist. His brain shuts down, turning the
moment over to the rest of his body. Their eyes are locked and he watches for
even a hint of fear… a hint that she doesn’t want this. What he sees instead
is eagerness as her kissable lips part as excitement jumps in her eyes.
Suspecting he will never have this opportunity again, Troy closes
the distance between them, lowering his lips to hers. The kiss is gentle…
chaste even, right up until he feels Hallie’s arms circling his waist, tucked
under his suit jacket, his dress shirt the only fabric preventing skin on skin
connection. When she hugs him to her, Troy’s control slips and the kiss turns
to pure passion. He can taste the liquor on her tongue as she uses it to invade
his own open mouth. The effects of her intimate proximity has him pressing his
body into her own, trapping her against the unforgiving closed door. The added
friction of their pressed bodies has his cock growing thick with desire to
plunder her sexy body.
The kiss is too short. The hoots and catcalls of the surrounding
teenagers remind Troy they have an impressionable audience. With great effort,
he pulls out of her warm embrace, taking a few seconds to burn the memory of
her flushed face into his memory to call up later when he has time to think
things through more clearly.
He briefly contemplates apologizing, but he’ll be damned if he’s
going to apologize for something that felt so perfect. It would have been a lie
anyway. He’s not sorry at all. Cupping her face gently in the palm of his hand,
he tries to regain control over the moment. “Hallie, honey. Open your eyes for
She takes a few long seconds before she complies. He’s relieved to
see the heat he’d felt in her still smoldering in her bubbling green eyes.
“That’s my girl. It’s late. Let me get you home. I don’t want to piss your
uncle off on Christmas Eve.”
At the mention of her uncle, the fire in her eyes begins to douse,
returning her to reality.
“You’re right. We should go.”
His body is still pressing into her. He sees a flicker of
recognition as she acknowledges his hardness pressing into her with a slight
shudder. He finally steps back, willing his dick to retreat before other party
patrons notice. Troy grasps Hallie’s hand in his own and leads her the short
distance back to where Traci stands holding their coats, a smug smile on her
face. He purposefully avoids meeting his sister’s eyes as he grabs Hallie’s
coat first, holding it out to assist her in getting it on before grabbing his
own coat.
Troy needs a few minutes in the cold Colorado air to put out the
flames Hallie Boudreaux had lit. “You ladies stay here. I’ll get the car and
bring it around so you don’t have to walk through the snow in those ridiculous
things you two call shoes. I’ll be right back.”
with that, Troy stalks out into the winter’s night, determined to stay out
there as long as it takes to get back into control before he has to see Hallie

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One response

  1. Favorite Holdiay activity would be getting family together. Once your children grow up and start having families and move away it becomes even more difficult to achieve. This Thanksgiving we had our 3 children, their spouses and 10 grandchildren all together. I hired a professional photographer and had a fun hour getting lots of family pictures. Our son is military, we have spent too many holidays with him deployed. Merry Christmas and thank you for the chance.
    Kathy Heare Watts

    December 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

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