I am thrilled to be participating in Corbin’s Bend Season Three line-up. If you read Life’s Unexpected Gifts during season two, you know Troy’s sister Traci played a very important role in Troy and Hallie’s HEA, but she was left still looking for her own Mr. Right. Traci is getting her own story in season three.
It is with great pleasure I introduce you to Traci Jackson and Sean Campbell from Psychology of Submission, due out on June 4thl!
Traci Jackson has been a therapist in Corbin’s Bend for several years. She’s helped many residents navigate their own D/s and DD relationships, but she hasn’t found her own HoH. Through her patients, she’s been researching and writing about the dynamics of dominance and submission in relationships for years. She loves her field, but she hates attending professional conventions where she’s treated like her specialty isn’t valid.
Sean Campbell is juggling raising his teenage daughter alone in Chicago while running a large convention hotel. When the annual psychologist convention comes to town, he literally bumps into the most beautiful and intelligent woman he’s met in a long time. He gets the surprise of his life when he finds out her specialty is D/s with an emphasis on corporal punishment.
They may find sparks from the minute they meet, but Traci and Sean have more than just the long distance between Chicago and Corbin’s Bend separating them. Sean has never heard of domestic discipline before. Will Traci pack up and leave Corbin’s Bend to be with the man she’s falling in love with, even if he can never be her true HoH?
Traci stood grounded, her heart rate increasing with each step he took in her direction. By the time he arrived in front of her, she could feel her heart pounding in her ears. She forced herself to take a calming breath before she hyperventilated.
“Hi. I hope you don’t mind me waiting out here for you. I was worried about you.”
“Me? You were worried about me?”
He smiled indulgently. “Yes, you. You’re the only person I’ve noticed running in the direction of the ladies room today. I thought maybe you were ill or needed help.”
Without thinking, Traci answered unguardedly, “I’m not sure you can help with my problem, but thanks.” She was embarrassed with her admission as soon as it left her mouth.
He didn’t seem to notice. “You’d be surprised. I can fix a lot of things around here.” His playful smile was unnerving.
“I bet you can, Mr…..?” She tried not to look as anxious for his name as she really was.
“Campbell. Sean Campbell. And you are?”
“Traci. Traci Jackson.”
He reached into his suit jacket and came out with a business card, handing it to her. “I’d like you to take my card. Call me anytime if there’s anything you need during your stay. Anything at all.”
Traci reached out for the card, enjoying the zing of electricity when their fingers brushed. She barely took her gaze off his mesmerizing grey eyes long enough to glance down at his card. When she read it, her excitement doused.
By the time she looked back up, reality was settled in. She lost her concentration, almost sending the armful of folders to the floor in another heap.
“Here. Let me take some of those before you lose them again. Where are you headed? I’d be glad to help you deliver them.”
At least he was a gentleman, even if he was only doing his job. “That’s great Mr. Campbell, but I see you’re the general manager of the hotel. I’m sure you have a lot more important things to do than help me deliver research papers.” She hated the disappointment she heard in her voice. What had she expected? Having handsome strangers sweep you off your feet only happened in her romance novels.
“Sean.” When she looked at him confused, he repeated. “Call me Sean.”
“Okay, Sean. Thanks for the offer but…” He didn’t let her finish. He reached out and took almost the whole stack from her arms.
“Lead the way, Traci.”
Sean made small talk as they headed in the direction of the ballroom. “Forgive me if this is too forward, but it looked like some of the men from your conference were harassing you earlier. Would you like me to call security to station someone down in this corridor?”
His offer surprised her. “I don’t think that will be necessary. Now, if you could arrange for a public flogging session for them, that would be awesome.”
Traci’s face flamed when she realized what she’d said. She was relieved when Sean burst out laughing at her ridiculous request.
“Well, I’m afraid we had to recently tear out the pillory. It seemed to upset some of the guests. I could check to see if we might have it in storage if you’d like.”
They were laughing together as Sean played along. Traci realized how great it felt to share a laugh with the professional accompanying her.
“So where are you from, Traci?”
“That’s great. How long are you in town for?”
“Just through Friday.”
“So you’re here for the psychology conference?”
“You a doctor?”
“No. Just a psychologist.”
“That’s great. You taking on new patients?” He had a twinkle in his eye.
“Maybe. You almost out of questions? I feel like I’m on a game show. What’s the prize if I win?”
They arrived at the table outside of the main ballroom. Traci put her pile of folders down and motioned for Sean to do the same. A full minute had elapsed, but her fun question was still hanging in the air. She noticed Sean had started to look nervous. He faltered before continuing.
“I’m afraid I have one final question and your prize depends on your answer to the question.”
The pause was dramatic. He grinned as he delivered his final question. “I was wondering if you’d like to join me for dinner this evening?”
A date request was the last thing Traci expected. Her nerves flew into high gear and she stood, grounded yet wobbly. Sean sensed her instability and reached out to take her forearms in his, just like he had earlier. They stood linked while Traci got more and more flustered. Sean inched them closer, slipping one arm behind her back to stabilize her.
“I’m definitely out of practice for asking pretty women out on dates, but I do think it’s customary for said woman to respond with either a yes or a no. I sure as hell hope you’ll say yes. It may take me years to get the nerve up to ask someone again if you crush my confidence.”
Traci chuckled. He was good at disarming her. She liked that. “Dinner, eh? I guess that would be okay. I’d love to see more of the city.”
“Then it’s a date. I’d love to take you to one of my favorite spots in the city. I haven’t been there in a long time. It will be a treat for me, too.”
“Sounds good. What should I wear?”
“Something casual. I’ll meet you in the lobby at six?”
“Six. Sounds good, Sean.”
For the briefest of seconds, he looked like he might lean in for a kiss, but thought better of it. Instead he just brushed her arm with a quick pat goodbye before turning to head down the hallway.
A date. I came all the way to Chicago for a real, live date. I didn’t see that coming.