Hi, readers, and Happy New Year! I wanted to let you know I’m finishing up a book that will be released January 26, and I’m in love with the cover. I had to share it early.
Like my other books, it’s a western, but it’s quite different in that it’s a coming-of-age, enemies-to-lovers romance. The book opens from the perspective of the hero at thirteen years old, and we go on a journey with him and the twelve-year-old heroine as they navigate some tough years to adulthood.
About When He Returns
Wade Hunter didn’t want a family. Between dodging his drunk father’s blows and watching his mother die, he knew at the age of eleven he’d be better off alone. He lived on the run for a couple years—hungry and cold often, but at least he was free. Then the local marshal caught him stealing and gave him only two choices: Spend time in jail or join his family.
Sadie Shaw, the marshal’s eldest daughter, had enough brothers and sisters, and she wanted another sibling as much as a dog wants fleas. She’s dismayed when her kindhearted pa once again brings home a lost child, and it doesn’t help that this one is surly and arrogant. Worse, he seems to think that because he’s older he’s under no obligation to mind her household rules.
Wade and Sadie battle wills often as they grow into adulthood, burgeoning both their dislike for each other and their grudging respect. When faced with a problem that requires their unity, will they be able to set aside their differences, or will the strife they face only tear them apart?
Publisher’s Note: When He Returns is a coming-of-age, enemies-to-lovers romance with a whole lot of heart, a bit of heat in the form of adult spanking and sex, and a well-earned happy ending.
If you’re wondering whether When He Returns has spanking and sex, like you’ve come to expect from my books, fear not! There’s plenty of that when the characters reach adulthood. Enjoy this sneak peek of the very grown up Wade, who turns out to be quite the disciplinarian.
“Go sit on the bench, Grace,” Wade ordered sternly. “I’ll brush down the horses and then we’ll get this over with.” He didn’t acknowledge Sadie’s presence except to request that she set the lamp next to the hitching post so he could see what he was doing.
While he groomed the horses, Sadie sat next to Grace on the bench. “Are you all right?” she asked softly.
Grace nodded. “We talked on the way home. He told me how worried he is about me and how he wants me to have a happy life.” She shrugged and looked down at her hands. “I guess I was kind of testing him when I didn’t come home tonight. I didn’t know if he would care enough to come get me.”
Sadie completely understood Grace’s reason for disobeying Wade. She imagined it would be a nice feeling knowing someone would rescue her, even from herself.
“You know what this reminds me of?” Grace said. “When me and Miles and Luke ran away. Pa was madder than an old wet hen when he came to fetch us. It was terrible seein’ him so sore, but it let us know he cared at least. I never doubted Pa’s love after that and I never ran away again.”
Sadie distinctly remembered the event Grace spoke of. The reason the children had run away in the first place was because Sadie had made them feel unwanted and had informed them that they weren’t her real brothers and sister. In truth, it was Sadie who had been feeling unwanted by her pa, and she’d taken it out on the others instead of telling him.
Sadness gripped her. She wished she’d been the one to run away. Would her pa have come looking for her? She’d never know.
“It won’t hurt too bad,” Grace told her, noticing Sadie’s morose expression but mistaking the cause of it.
Sadie forced the sadness of the memory away. “I know. Wade loves you too much to cause you any real harm.”
Grace nodded and shifted her gaze to Wade, who was walking toward them holding a leather strap folded in two. A flicker of apprehension lit Grace’s eyes, but otherwise she didn’t react. Sadie, on the other hand, quickly moved away, keeping her eyes glued on him the entire time. He was a formidable sight. A tall, strong man with a stern expression holding an instrument of punishment was not something she’d witnessed before.
Sadie nearly panicked when he turned his stern expression on her. “You staying for this, Sadie?”
She nodded, unable to speak. It was more than curiosity or concern for her sister that was compelling her to stay. She doubted she would have been able to leave without being physically removed, such was the magnetic pull of Wade’s presence.
From that moment forward, all of Wade’s attention focused on Grace. He took hold of her arm and helped her to feet. Not letting go, he stared hard into her eyes. “You know why you’re getting punished?”
“Yes,” Grace said, her voice almost too quiet to hear. Her eyes were wide and her lips slightly parted.
“I don’t want to punish you, Grace, but I won’t tolerate your disobedience. Anytime you disobey, you’re going to find yourself out here in the barn getting a licking. And I think after experiencing it once, you’re not going to want to feel it again.”
Sadie was riveted. Though up until that point she’d thought she wouldn’t mind trading places with Grace, hearing him scold her with such a stern voice made her thankful she was not the recipient of his displeasure.
“Turn around and bend over, place your palms on the bench,” he instructed, letting go of her arm.
Grace bit her lip and hesitated only a moment before she obeyed. As she bent into the requested position, her long blonde hair fell in a wave over the side of her face, making her expression impossible for Sadie to read. She looked small and unsteady, like one lick of the strap would make her topple over.
“Move your feet apart slightly,” Wade ordered.
After she shifted her stance, she looked to be in a much more stable position for punishment, and Sadie marveled over Wade somehow knowing that. It was transfixing how firm and in control he was, how he knew just how to prepare Grace to receive the strap.
Grace let out a small cry when Wade reached down and pulled up her skirts. He laid them over her back, revealing her thin, white drawers over the slope of her bottom. Her drawers fell to her mid-thigh area and were hemmed with lace.
Her legs shook, and Sadie felt a pang of sympathy for her. It was clear she was afraid and embarrassed to be undressed in preparation for a spanking.
Wade’s voice held a trace of sympathy too, though his intention to follow through was clear. “Gracie, I’m going to give you five licks over your drawers. You ever defy my orders again, I’ll strap you bare, and it will hurt even more.”
“I won’t defy you again, Wade,” she whimpered.
“I hope not. Now hold still and it’ll be over soon.” With that, he drew his arm back and landed the first stroke across her quivering seat.
“Oh!” she gasped, sounding surprised.
Before she could react further, Wade strapped her again, harder than before.
She yelped and bent a knee forward, twisting away from the pain. Wade reached out, took hold of her hip, and placed her back in position without a word.
He whipped her again, on the part of her backside where her bottom and thighs met.
She screeched with pain. “Please no more!” She stood and turned around, flinging herself against him, burying her face in his chest. “It hurts so much. I’ve learned my lesson,” she wailed. Her skirts remained in a bundled heap around her waist.
Wade didn’t comfort her. One hand fisted the strap, and the other rested on his hip. “I know it hurts, Grace. That’s the point. Right now you have two more coming, but if you don’t immediately get back into position, we’re going to start over.”
It’s always nice to be recognized. I am honored and grateful that my readers voted me as their favorite historical romance author at The Bashful Bookwhore page on Facebook. Thank you all so much! As long as people keep enjoying my books, I’ll keep writing them.
Guess what? My book Justice for Elsie is F*R*E*E* for a couple more days on Amazon. This is a standalone romance story that’s part of the Mail-Order Grooms series.
An undercover deputy must decide where his loyalties lie — with the law or with the beautiful criminal who rescues him.
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Ruin Me by Bella Love-Wins, Romance Author & Shiloh Walker
Taming Their Pet by Sara Fields – Romance Author
Emma’s Surrender by Amelia Smarts
Bastards & Whiskey by Alta Hensley
Daddy’s Home by Zoe Blake
His Human Rebel by Renee Rose Romance
Taking Their Human by Aubrey Cara Author Page
Benedict’s Commands by Golden Angel
Undercover Daddy by Katherine Deane – Author
Mafia Daddy by Jane Henry Author
Protecting His Pet by Measha Stone Author
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