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A Hard Bargain

By Ashe Barker

The Hardest Word serial (Book #1)

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Book Description
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Over forty-million pounds in the bank, but the one thing she wants to buy is not for sale.

Freya Stone is a Lottery winner. A Euromillions Lottery winner to be exact. The week she won, hers was the only winning ticket. And it was a rollover, seeing her almost forty-five million pounds richer. But with no taste at all for a wealthy lifestyle, Freya bought herself a flashy car and a fancy apartment, then ran out of ideas and stuck the rest in the bank to be carefully invested by her own private wealth consultant.

One passion her wealth will enable her to indulge, however, is her appetite for submission. Or so she thinks. Following a childhood illness, Freya is unable to speak. She gets by pretty well with a combination of British Sign Language and a notepad, but her lack of speech makes negotiating difficult. She can’t tell a Dom what she needs, and she can’t use safe words. None of the Doms she’s played with so far have been especially interested in training a novice sub who doesn’t even squeal.

So Freya decides to buy tuition from a Master who comes highly recommended. Why not? She has the funds at her disposal, and nothing better she’d like to purchase. Twenty-five thousand pounds for a month with the Dom she’s fantasised about for ages seems like a bargain to her.

But experienced and harsh Dom Nick Hardisty has other ideas. Infuriated at Freya’s attempt to buy his services, he turns her down flat, while also demanding that she pay for her temerity by submitting to a punishment which he will administer personally.

Can Freya accept his discipline? Can she convince him to reconsider and provide the help she needs? And Nick Hardisty drives a hard bargain. If he won’t accept her money, what will his price be?

Reader Advisory: This book contains references to age regression scenes and uncomfortable BDSM encounters. It also includes pain play, spanking, restraints, anal play and nipple clamps.

Publisher's Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of a serial. Some of the characters in this book also appear in Ashe Barker’s other serials. These serials can all standalone, but are best enjoyed in order: The Dark Side, Sure Mastery, The Hardest Word, A Richness of Swallows.

 

General Release Date: 4th April 2014

Excerpt
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Book Information
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Heat Rating: Burning  
Format: EBOOK  
ISBN: 978-0-85715-665-5
Sexometer: 3  
Word Count: 58,906
Language: English
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 148
Genres: BONDAGE AND BDSM
CONTEMPORARY

About the author
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Ashe Barker

Until 2010, Ashe was a director of a regeneration company before deciding there had to be more to life and leaving to pursue a lifetime goal of self-employment.

Ashe has been an avid reader of women's fiction for many years—erotic, historical, contemporary, fantasy, romance—you name it, as long as it's written by women, for women. Now, at last in control of her own time and working from her home in rural West Yorkshire, she has been able to realise her dream of writing erotic romance herself.

She draws on settings and anecdotes from her previous and current experience to lend colour, detail and realism to her plots and characters, but her stories of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of her own imagination. She loves to craft strong, enigmatic men and bright, sassy women to give them a hard time—in every sense of the word.

When she's not writing, Ashe's time is divided between her role as resident taxi driver for her teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, cats, rabbits, tortoises and a hamster.

Reviews (1)
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  Reviewed by Jeep Diva

 

As a regular reader of erotic and romance books, it’s not often I see something new. However, I got to say, Ms. Barker has done it with The Hardest Word series. Freya’s in...

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News (1)
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Ashe Barker - Cara Sutra feature

The Hardest Word is a series featuring Freya, a mute submissive who seeks out a powerful , experienced Dom, Nick Hardisty, to train her. It’s fair to say she has no idea what she is letting herself in for. Freya is a strong, resilient and assertive heroine, a woman who knows what she wants, who she wants, and is not afraid to ask for it. She has had some bad luck in her life, and some incredible good fortune too when she wins over forty million pounds in the Euro lottery. But even this can’t buy her the Dom of her dreams.

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