She’s his natural enemy – and the only woman who can satisfy his perverse sexual needs.
Andrew MacIntyre, heir to a vast empire of railroads, mines and mills, is by far the most eligible bachelor among the society folk summering in Newport, Rhode Island. His mother has filled their opulent mansion with the daughters of bankers and industrialists, but Andrew knows none of these callow young women would ever consent to being bound and beaten, to serving and obeying him the way he craves. His money gives him the freedom to purchase anything except his heart’s desire: a submissive partner to share his life.
Labor activist Olivia Alcott is dedicated to helping the exploited factory workers responsible for Andrew’s wealth. The strike she organizes triggers a confrontation between her and the handsome billionaire. Although their disparate backgrounds and values make them natural foes, something stronger draws them to one another: his need to command and hers to surrender.
Note: This book was previously published by Totally Bound under the title Challenge to Him. It has been revised, expanded by two chapters, and re-edited for this release.
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HSS7C6T
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09HSS7C6T
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1108116
Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/power-and-persuasion-lisabet-sarai/1140290642?ean=2940165040306
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/power-and-persuasion-a-gilded-age-bdsm-romance
Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59240690-power-and-persuasion
“Mademoiselle Olivia!” A skinny girl raced up the street that led to the riverside mill, stirring clouds of dust. “Il vient! He is coming!”
The sputtering racket of an internal combustion engine drowned out the girl’s excited voice. The crowd parted like the Red Sea for a boxy vehicle of shiny black, with silvery headlamps like extruded eyes. The noisy Studebaker rolled to a stop in front of the strikers, who stopped in their tracks like everyone else to stare at it.
The door creaked open. A tall man unfolded himself from the somewhat cramped interior, snatched off his hat and goggles and tossed them into the vehicle. He strode towards the massed strikers, his fists clenched at his sides.
“Where is she? Where’s your damned leader?”
The newspapers generally described Andrew MacIntyre as handsome. The epithet did not do him justice. As he stormed towards her, Olivia was struck with a sense of physical power and keen intelligence. He had wavy red-gold hair, a high forehead, a square chin, a determined mouth. His eyes were hazel, deep set under brows darker than his hair. Those eyes drilled into her, fierce and compelling. The women around her shrank backwards in alarm. Olivia steeled herself, holding her ground and fighting the urge to grovel at his feet. Instead of retreating, she took a step forward, holding out her hand.
“Mr. Andrew MacIntyre, I presume?” She marveled at the steadiness of her voice, the cool neutral tone.
“Damned right. And you are…?”
“Olivia Alcott.” She pulled herself up to her full height and forced herself to meet his gaze. She saw anger simmering there, but behind his irritation there was something else, something that intrigued and thrilled her. Something that she might be able to use to further her goals.
Olivia Alcott recognized lust when she saw it.
He towered over her by at least a head. Though his body was hidden by his loose touring coat, his decisive, economical movements suggested he was lean and athletic. For a moment he hesitated, staring at her proffered hand. When he finally accepted it, his firm grip confirmed her impression of strength. His palm felt warm and dry against hers. She suddenly wished that she were not so sticky and disheveled. When he released her, a momentary lightness swept through her, as though she might float away.
“And can I assume that you are the instigator and cause of this illegal strike, Miss Alcott?” He seemed flustered, less confident than she would have expected. Her spirits rose.
“Instigator? Perhaps. But not the cause.” Sweat trickled from her hairline, down into her eyes. She wiped it away with the back of her hand.
“Here.” He surprised her by offering a crisp handkerchief of fine linen, of a white so pure it almost seemed to shine with its own light. The initials ‘AM’ were embroidered in the corner, in golden thread. A faint scent of lavender reached her nostrils.
“Why, thank you!” The square of cloth was far more effective than her hand. When she’d mopped the perspiration from her face, she held out the swatch of now-damp fabric. “Here you are.”
He waved dismissively. “Keep it. I’ve got dozens more. Let’s get back to the matter at hand.”
“How much did this handkerchief cost, Mr. MacIntyre?”
“I have no idea. My secretary handles my personal expenses.”
“It’s imported linen, I suspect. Belgian, perhaps?”
“Maybe. I don’t know. Look, Miss Alcott—”
“And the monogram looks like real gold. Is it?”
“Honestly, what does that have to do with anything?”
Olivia tucked the handkerchief into her bodice, noting that MacIntyre’s eyes followed the movement. Indeed he didn’t try to hide his survey of her figure, rude as it was. Another tremor of strangeness fluttered in her belly.
“I’m no expert—I don’t have anything so fine myself—but I’d estimate that each of the dozens of handkerchiefs like this that you possess cost at least ten dollars.”
“Ah—really I don’t know—perhaps. Something in that vicinity.”
“That’s about two weeks of salary for one of these women who work here in your factory.”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“The cause of the strike, Mr. MacIntyre. You asked about the cause of the strike. These poor women—your employees, sir, to whom you have a certain responsibility—generally make five dollars a week. They’d have to work for two weeks—twelve days, twelve hours per day—to afford one of your handkerchiefs. Do you think this is just?”
“Well, they should be grateful they have jobs.” MacIntyre leaned closer, his manner and his voice menacing. “And if you don’t stop your meddling, they won’t. I’ll fire every single one of them in a minute. There are plenty of people who’d be happy for steady work, for a reputable company that’s not about to go bust and put them out on the street.”
“Won’t you consider raising their salaries, Mr. MacIntyre?” Olivia countered, inserting a bit of sweetness into her own voice. She laid her hand on his upper arm and felt his muscles shift under her fingers. “An additional dollar a week would make a big difference to them.”
“I’m running a business here, Miss Alcott, not a charity.” He pulled away from her grasp and shook his head, as if to clear his thoughts, then stepped past her to speak to the assembled workers.
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads, Pinterest, BookBub, BingeBooks and Twitter.
Join her VIP email list here: https://btn.ymlp.com/xgjjhmhugmgh