I’m sharing another excerpt from Corralling Callie today, which I hope you’ll like. Callie reacts inappropriately when someone wrongs her on the stagecoach. She curses and runs off, and then when Jude catches her and tosses her over his shoulder, she pounds her fists against his back. Jude has sympathy for what happened and intends to set things right for her, but first he must get her to settle down. I think this snippet aptly shows Jude’s no-nonsense approach but also the tenderness he has for his troublesome little passenger.
“I’m going to spank you until you calm down. It’s up to you how long it takes,” he informed her, then fell into silence and focused on his task with great attention. He smacked her crisply across both cheeks over and over, while she wailed and cursed and struggled to free herself from his iron grip on her waist. His forearm effectively pinned her to his left leg, and when she wouldn’t stop kicking, he wrapped his other leg over hers, trapping her completely and allowing him to keep his target steady. After a good twenty swats or so, she stopped cursing and hung limply over his lap, sniffling quietly.
As soon as he felt her body relax, he stopped spanking and rubbed her back, murmuring comforting words as they came to him. His sympathy only seemed to make her cry more, although by this time her crying wasn’t hysterical; instead it was sad and resigned. He sat her upright on his lap and hugged her to him, kissing her forehead and rubbing her back.
About Corralling Callie
For eighteen-year-old orphan Callie Broderick, going west as a mail-order bride seems to be the only hope she has for a decent husband. But when she sets out for the gold-mining town of Sacramento with nothing more than the clothes on her back and a stagecoach ticket, she quickly discovers that the trip will be quite a bit different than she expected.
As a former soldier and an experienced coachman, Jude Johnson is used to difficulties and dangers of all kinds during the arduous journey west, but he has never had to deal with trouble like Callie before. Not being the kind of man to kick a penniless orphan off his coach, he puts up with the sassy, disobedient girl for as long as he can, but when Callie’s antics put the lives of his passengers at risk Jude is forced to take matters into his own hands and spank her soundly.
The stern punishment leaves her thoroughly chastened and promising to behave, and Jude soon realizes that when she puts aside her foul-mouthed, defiant façade, the real Callie is as sweet and kind as she is beautiful. As the days pass, he takes it upon himself to guide her, care for her, and give her the loving discipline she so desperately needs, as often as she needs it. But when they reach their destination, will he be able to give her up?
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