Eighteen-year-old Nadia loathes the dreary routine of life in a convent, and though sneaking out risks earning her a firm chastisement with the prioresses’ birch, that is a small price to pay for a taste of freedom. When her father gives her a chance to leave the convent behind forever if she weds Lord Arnaud, the Baron of Uxley, she agrees to the arrangement, certain that even marrying a man twice her age is better than taking vows as a nun.
To Nadia’s shock, however, after a handsome adventurer named Edgar saves Lord Arnaud from a band of murderous robbers, as a reward for his courage Arnaud invites his rescuer to both the wedding and the wedding night. Knowing that his love for his late wife will keep him from properly consummating his new marriage, the voyeuristic baron would prefer to watch Edgar claim Nadia himself.
But when Lord Arnaud becomes convinced that Nadia has been lying about her purity, the young bride finds herself stripped bare and blushing crimson as she is made to submit to an intimate, humiliating examination in front of both Arnaud and Edgar. The exam confirms her deception, and she is punished with a painful, embarrassing spanking on her bare bottom before Edgar takes her long and hard in front of her new husband.
Despite Nadia’s shame at her body’s response to Edgar’s dominance, she can’t help wondering what it would be like to belong to him completely. But when Edgar ties her up and steals her from the baron’s home, intent on keeping her as his own, will Nadia seek to escape him or will she embrace a new life on the run as his stolen bride?
Publisher’s Note: The Stolen Bride is an erotic romance novel that includes spankings, sexual scenes, medical play, anal play, exhibitionism, elements of BDSM, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
Kirkdale Priory, 1104
The bell chimed in the distance. An ominous sound. Nadia hitched up her skirts and ran through the meadow, dodged the apple trees in the orchard, and reached the gate in the wall just as the last clang of the bell rang out.
Catching her breath, she eased the latch up and crept through the open doorway. Hugging the shadow of the wall, she edged toward the cloisters. If she tiptoed around it, she might make it to the dormitory. Once there, she planned to feint some malady.
“Nadia!” Sister Agnes boomed. “You missed vespers. Again.”
Nadia skidded to a halt a few feet short of the dormitory door. She’d almost made it. She slowly turned, bowed her head, and clasped her hands behind her back. “I’m sorry, sister. I’ve been picking berries for Sister Mary.”
“Have you, child? Show me the berries.” The sister, with her crooked back, walked toward Nadia and held out her gnarled fingers.
Nadia flinched as Sister Agnes approached. “I… left them in the infirmary.”
“Liar! I’ve just been in the infirmary and Sister Mary hasn’t seen you since this morning. Come with me, the Reverend Mother shall hear of this.”
“Sister, please…” The ancient nun firmly grasped Nadia’s elbow. Much to Nadia’s surprise, God had granted the old woman a strong grip. She scuttled alongside the nun, passed the scriptorium and the great oak door leading into the church until they reached the prioress’s private chamber.
Sister Agnes rattled the chain by the door sufficiently loud enough to announce their arrival. Opening the door, she shoved Nadia through the gap and followed behind.
Before a small altar knelt the prioress, her rosary looped over one hand and her lips mouthing a string of Latin words. Nadia’s fate was doubly sealed: interrupting the Reverend Mother at prayer boded badly for her.
Sister Agnes waited in silence until the prioress crossed herself and rose cautiously to her feet. The sun shone through the narrow window, lighting up the gloomy space. No fire burnt in the small hearth, not even on a blustery autumn day. The stone floor was uncovered and the bed positioned against the bare wall. The room smelt of lavender and candle wax and was freezing.
“Sister Agnes,” greeted the prioress and the older nun nodded her head in reply. Then the prioress turned her attention to Nadia and puckered her lips. “Nadia. For what reason have you interrupted my devotions?”
The nun nudged Nadia, pushing her forward and down onto her knees. Nadia reached down to steady herself while maintaining her penitent position.
“This wicked child has missed vespers again. She lied to me, mother. I caught her creeping through the cloisters, intent on returning without anyone noticing.”
“Is this true, Nadia? Did you leave the confines of this priory, the safe haven of this convent?”
Nadia grimaced. She had decided several weeks ago that admitting to small lies was better than having one big one laid bare. She dreaded the Reverend Mother finding out the true reason for her absence. Her prioress would inform her father. It would be disastrous and likely to lead to her exile. Since her mother had died over two years ago, her father had decided he alone could not raise his only daughter. Sons, yes, but a girl on the cusp of adulthood was beyond his parenting abilities. On her sixteenth birthday, he’d sent her to Kirkdale Priory and placed her under the care of the nuns in the hope they would complete her education and instil a pious attitude in the increasingly wayward Nadia.
Sadly, the hardworking sisters of Kirkdale had failed to improve Nadia’s behaviour.
“I regret to inform you, Reverend Mother, I left the walls of this priory to roam amongst the wild flowers. I intended to collect berries for Sister Mary, but I lost myself in quiet contemplation. I confess I missed vespers. I sincerely regret lying to Sister Agnes. I humbly await my penance.”
“You have such a practised contriteness, Nadia. Well practised. Yes, you shall be punished, but not by your own hand, since you can’t be trusted. Yet again, you force me to punish you. Sister Agnes, you may leave us. There is no need for you to witness this.”
“I shall offer prayers for Nadia in the hope she might still learn the error of her ways,” declared the nun. The door creaked as she shut it behind her.
Nadia continued to stare at the hem of the prioress’s habit. Unlike her own grey, unkempt tunic, the prioress’s woollen cloth remained white. Since the prioress preferred a life of prayer and meditation, she only left the convent to visit the local villages. Nadia hated the convent life. Unless she escaped the boundaries of the nunnery, she’d never marry and save herself from the inevitable fate of most postulants: vows and a life of chanting, prayer, and measly food. Each trip she took outside of the convent was a risk worth taking, even if the consequences of being caught were unpleasant.
She peered up from under her wimple. There in the corner was the pail of water and stuffed inside it, the bundle of sticks.
All the postulants and novices had borne the penalty of a thrashing at some point in their time at Kirkdale Priory. But none more so than Nadia, who’d received a substantial proportion of whippings.
Were the punishments worth it? She often asked herself that question while lying on her pallet in the dormitory listening to the gargantuan snores of Sister Phillipa. Yes, surely, it was, because she kept repeating her escapades.
I usually like Peaches’ books, but this one seemed a departure for her, which intrigued me. Nadia is a free spirit, stuck in a nunnery by her father, & even the corporal punishments meted out by the nuns can’t break her of lying to save her skin, or misbehaving again. When her father betroths her to a man his own age, she agrees, only to escape the boredom & punishments at the nunnery.
On her wedding day, she finds out that her husband, Arnaud will not or cannot consummate their union, & he has arranged for Edgar, much younger & lustier, to bed her instead.
All three of the main characters seem to go against what we might expect given the social mores of the time period. Domestic discipline is rained down on Nadia by her husband & Edgar, but she seems to enjoy it enough so that she braves death to run away with Edgar.
There is a surprise ending as Arnaud catches up to the runaway couple, & again the expected does not materialize. It’s an interesting take on the time period that I think you will enjoy.
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