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In His Hands -- Hannah Murray

In His Hands

Consent is everything…and with consent, everything is possible.

Olivia has one wish—to find a partner who will do consensual non-consent scenes with her. She thought she’d found the perfect man, but he turned out to be more dud than Dom. When their relationship implodes, she moves out, and moves in with her friend Cade. He’s happy to have her, but living with him won’t be easy. It was easier to ignore her feelings for him, and the fact that he’d always been her ideal Dom, when she’d had a boyfriend. But he’d stopped doing CNC after a scene had gone wrong, so she’d set her sights elsewhere.

Cade has his own problems. He’s been in love with Olivia since they met, but when she started dating someone else, he put his feelings aside and focused on being her friend. But now that she’s single again, he’s not going to let opportunity pass him by. He’s happy to set her straight about his feelings on CNC play—totally still into it, but won’t do casual scenes—and more than eager to make all her kinky dreams come true.

Olivia finally has the kind of kinky relationship she’s always wanted, and her feelings for Cade only grow stronger as time goes on. But when her ex reappears to explain why he ended their relationship, she wonders if she’s mistaking her happiness with their CNC play for love—and worries that Cade might be doing the same…

Reader advisory: This book includes scenes of consensual non-consent, as well as RACK, role-play, sexual fantasy, blood play and rape fantasy

NOTE: This is book #5 in the Perfect Taboo series. It begins on the same day that Sharing His Submissive ends, and before the events of Show Me Something Good.

Read Excerpt | Behind the Book | Content Warning

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behindthebook

This one was tough. I got the idea for a book centering CNC kink when I was drafting the proposal for the Perfect Taboo series, and I didn’t for a second think I’d have any issues writing it. Boy, was I wrong. This book took me three times as long to write as any other book, and I kept second guessing myself. Could I do justice to this kink? Could I make it realistic enough? Could I handle the things the subject matter was bringing up for me? At one point, my therapist just looked at me and said, with that touch of “I’m not judging you but WTF?” that therapists are so good at, and said, “WHY are you writing this book again?” I didn’t really have an answer for her then, but now I know – I wrote it because I needed it.

 

excerpt

Olivia sat at the kitchen counter the next afternoon, one eye on the clock. It was a few minutes before four, and she was so on edge she was about to jump out of her skin.

She’d come home from her coffee shop support group on Saturday afternoon to a quiet house. True to his word, Cade had stayed out late, and she’d used the time to finish unpacking her clothes. She’d considered starting on the boxes that still sat in the dining room, but thought better of it. She didn’t know if she was going to be staying, and she didn’t want to make assumptions.

With nothing else to do she’d explored the house—giving his bedroom a wide berth—and discovered her furniture on the third floor. She thought it was a good sign that he’d put it up there, rather than the basement like they’d talked about, and had gone to bed with her favorite vibrator, hoping to take the edge off.

By the time she’d rolled out of bed on Sunday morning, he was already gone, a note on the kitchen counter explaining that his mother had convinced him to join the family for mass. He still expected to be home around four, and was looking forward to their talk.

With a whole day of waiting stretching in front of her, she’d taken a long bath, done all her laundry, re-read a favorite book, put together a lasagna from scratch, cleaned the kitchen, and was now looking at apartment listings on her laptop. Or trying to—she kept watching the clock.

She forced herself to refocus on the screen in front of her and scroll through the listings. She wanted to stay in the neighborhood, as it was close to work and all of her friends, but what was available was either not enough space, over her budget, or of questionable quality.

She clicked on a listing for a one-bedroom with den and scrolled through the pictures. The bedroom was small but adequate, the kitchen narrow but workable. But the shower looked like someone had been using it as a growth lab for the kind of mold that devoured entire cities, and the toilet—

“Wait a minute.” She clicked through all the pictures again, looking carefully, but there was no toilet. Either they’d left it out because out it didn’t look good—a daunting prospect considering the shower had been photographed in high definition—or the apartment had no toilet.

“Next,” she muttered, and got up to get a glass of water just as the back door opened.

Cade stepped inside. “Hi.”

“Hi.” Olivia forced herself to keep going, pulling a glass from the cabinet and walking to the freezer for ice. “How was dinner at your mom’s?”

“Good.” He lifted his hand to show her the insulated bag that he carried. “I’ve got leftovers.”

“The black bean soup?” she guessed, filling her glass at the filtered spout inside the refrigerator.

“Yeah.” He set the bag on the counter, then tucked his hands in the pockets of his cargo shorts. “Smells like you’ve got something else cooking, though.”

“Lasagna.” She walked back to the counter and sat down, rubbing her damp palms on the skirt of her sundress. “I didn’t know if you had anything planned, so…”

“It smells good.” He smiled at her with such easy charm she relaxed, then picked up the bag and moved to the fridge. “What’re you looking at?”.

“Apartments.” She refocused on the screen with a grimace. “This one doesn’t seem to have a toilet.”

“I’d take it off the list, then.”

“No kidding.” She watched as he stored his leftovers in the fridge and pulled out a Coke, then circled the counter to sit beside her.

“You don’t have to look for a place right away.” He popped the top on the Coke. “You’re welcome to stay here, even if you decide not to take me up on my offer.”

“That wouldn’t be awkward?” she blurted, then winced.

She kept her eyes on the laptop screen, but she could hear the shrug in his voice. “We’ve been not sleeping together for years, why would it be awkward now?”

"It would be awkward for me, she thought, and blurted out. “I thought about what I wanted.”

He set his Coke on the counter. “Did you?”

“Yes.” She closed the laptop and turned to face him, her hands clenched together in her lap. He was perched on a stool, his legs sprawled out in front of him as though he hadn’t a care in the world. But his eyes were sharp, his attention squarely on her.

“And what did you decide?”

"Here we go. She drew a deep breath, then blew it out slowly. “I want you to rape me.”

 

content warning

In His Hands features a kink called consensual non-consent (CNC). This is sometimes referred to as ‘rape play’, and some of the scenes in this book contain the appearance of both physical and emotional violence in a sexual context.

I want to assure you that every sexual encounter you’ll see in this book is one hundred percent consensual, and at no point is anyone raped or assaulted. But people who play with CNC want it to feel real, and I’ve written it that way. It may be a difficult and triggering read, especially for survivors of sexual assault or trauma. I am a survivor of sexual assault, and at times this was a very difficult—and yes, triggering—book for me to write.

I encourage you to care for and prioritize your mental and emotional health while reading In His Hands. And I hope, in the end, you’ll find Cade and Olivia’s love story—and their happily ever after—to be as beautiful and valid as I do.

GENERAL CW:
This book contains emotional manipulation in a romantic relationship, mention of parental death in a house fire, and CNC scenes with the following elements::
•   Date rape
•   Home invasion with sexual assault
•   An interrogation scene with multiple assailants
•   Sex with forced begging

DETAILED CW (w/ possible spoilers)
•  A date rape scene which involves heavy coercion (note: for me, this is by far the most uncomfortable scene in the book, because it so closely resembles the kind of sexual assault most people experience – at the hands of someone known to them). Specific elements include mocking, slut shaming, face slapping, crying, use of physical force, tearing of clothes, the heroine begging the hero to stop and him laughing in response, forced orgasm, reproductive coercion
•  A home invasion scene involving bondage, knife play, some light blood play (he cuts her with the knife), slapping, choking during oral sex, and forced orgasm
•  An interrogation scene involving three of the hero’s friends, all of whom are masked with voices disguised so the heroine can’t tell who they are. This scene includes “we have ways of making you talk” style torture, pain, and oral and anal sex with three of the four assailants, and making the heroine think they aren’t using condoms (though they are)
•  A scene that begins as ‘regular sex’, but ends up being a “hold her down” encounter, with deliberate infliction of pain, forced orgasm, and face slapping (she hits him)

 

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