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Grant Taylor is the hero of my Corbin’s Bend novel Learning to Live Again and the novella, Unexpected Surprises, from the Corbin’s Bend Valentine’s Day collection, Love in the Rockies. He is a former sheriff’s deputy turned campus police officer. Grant is the one who initially wants to move to Corbin’s Bend and convinces his reluctant wife Lainie that this move is just what their family needs. He grew up in a family that practiced domestic discipline and always intended to practice it within his own marriage, but the deaths of his father and grandfather within just a few years of each other combined with the demands of a two career marriage and growing family leave him overwhelmed and implementing DD off to the wayside. That is, until 15 years into the marriage when he realizes his family is falling apart under the strain. That’s when he decides that getting back to the way of life he grew up with and taking his place as head of household may be the only way to save them.

However, despite having the best of intentions, Grant quickly finds out that the reality of stepping up and leading his family is a lot more complicated in practice than in theory. Believing in it is one thing; carrying out is another. Luckily, there are plenty of experienced HoH’s in Corbin’s Bend who have no problem showing the way.

“Rules are a good first step,” Matt said carefully. “That’s where we all started at one point. So how long have the two of you had this agreement?”

“Since we decided to apply to move here,” Grant replied. He lined up and took another shot. It missed his target by a mile, which didn’t surprise him considering the state of his focus and what they were talking about “Six months or so.”

“So basically, you’re telling me you’ve had an agreement and you’ve had rules for six months, but you haven’t been enforcing them,” Matt summarized. “Why on earth not?”

Grant winced inwardly. When you put it like that, it sounded like he had completely flaked out on his responsibility. That was the last thing he was trying to do. If anything, he’d been trying to take on more responsibility by making more of the decisions. “I don’t want to hurt her,” he said quietly.

“First of all,” Matt told him, “you need to understand that there is a difference between hurt and harm. A punishment spanking may not be pleasant, but it’s not going to do any real harm. Not if you’re doing it right.”

“That’s the problem,” Grant interjected. “How am I supposed to know if I’m doing it right? I have considerable experience of being on the receiving end when I was growing up, but absolutely none on the giving side.”

“If that’s what you’re worried about, that’s easy enough to fix,” Matt said. “Brent gives lessons.”

Grant loved Corbin’s Bend. He didn’t regret moving here for a second, but there were moments it felt very much like he was living in an alternate reality. They talked so easily and openly about things here that anywhere outside of the community would have likely gotten someone a one-way ticket to a psych hold. “Seriously?” he blurted.

“Yes, seriously,” Matt confirmed. Their final game had never stopped. They were having this ridiculous conversation as they moved back and forth around the table, setting up and trading shots, but Grant didn’t think either one of them really had their mind on the game at this point. He knew he didn’t. He didn’t see how anyone could talk about this stuff and still concentrate on angles and lines of trajectory. The conversation alone was mind-boggling enough.

“I do,” Brent verified, coming over from where he had been sitting.

Grant turned in Brent’s direction and realized that the small audience they had attracted when they had first begun to play had disbursed at some point during the intervening time. Belatedly, he hoped they had been gone before the conversation turned to the personal. He was both surprised and ashamed that at the time he hadn’t even noticed.

“I’m more than willing to help you,” Brent went on. “I’ve taught a lot of the others here.” Then, addressing himself to Matt with a raised eyebrow and a pointed look, he added, “In fact, I helped fine tune your spanking expertise. What’s stopping you from teaching him? I know you know it yourself.”

“You have a point,” Matt conceded. Addressing Grant, he continued, “He’s right. I can teach you if you want. So could most of the other HoH’s. We’ve all been where you are at one point. Even our resident expert here was a newbie at one point, even if it was in the dark ages,” he added under his breath, grinning at Brent.

You can find out the rest of Grant and Lainie’s story in Learning to Live Again.

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Tired of increasing chaos in his family life and the distance that is growing between him and his wife, Lainie, Grant Taylor decides the only way to save his marriage is to get back to the domestic discipline lifestyle he grew up with. When he finds Corbin’s Bend on the Internet, he is certain it is the perfect place for them to start over.

Exhausted and tired of juggling everything herself, Lainie reluctantly agrees to her husband’s suggestion. However, she is new to the lifestyle and more than a little uncertain about it. To make matters worse, their 15-year-old daughter Kathleen is convinced they had moved her into some kind of weird spanking cult. She is miserable and not at all shy about letting everybody know it.

Will moving to Corbin’s Bend be their saving grace, or will it be the final straw that tears them apart?

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