This month’s book is Susan Thomas’s The Reluctant Bride, the first western romance I’ve featured, I believe.
Susan has mastered the depiction of a strong, empowered heroine struggling to embrace her need for discipline. What I found particularly poignant were the other women Ellen meets on her journey who quietly acknowledge and support her as she learns to submit to Ted.
From the publisher:
Ellen’s grandfather wants her to marry wealthy businessman, Hector Monroe – but Ellen does not share his enthusiasm. She values her independence, and besides, her priority is to trace her brother Andrew, who left home six years previously following a disagreement with their grandfather.
Enthused by her quest, Ellen sets out to find Andrew and soon hires the trustworthy Edward (Ted) Kent to assist her. Although Ted admires many of Ellen’s capable qualities and becomes increasingly captivated by the pretty 18-year-old, he also finds her difficult and opinionated and the two of them soon clash. A battle of wills ensues, and Ellen earns herself a well deserved spanking from Ted when she ignores his advice and puts herself at risk. As their relationship develops, more bare bottomed spankings ensue, and Ellen becomes increasingly attracted to this dominant man who disciplines and cares for her. They share many exciting adventures and Ellen gets to demonstrate how capable she is handling a gun. But when Ted proposes marriage, she wavers … for being married would mean giving up what she fiercely clings to – her independence.
Set in America towards the end of the 19th century, this ‘clean’ romance focuses on the domestic discipline relationship between the spirited Ellen and the man in her life, Ted Kent.
Available from LSF Publications