Hey everyone! It's Tuesday feature book...on Thursday! With everything going on, I missed featuring this a couple days ago. I have to say this book, A Firm Hand by Cheryl Dragon, is one of my favorite books. I scooped it up as soon as it came out. Now, it's firmly ensconced on my ereader where it will stay for a long, long time. I love re-reading great books! Here, take a look:
In public they are a proper couple in every way, but behind closed doors they explore rough desires that could prove more than they can handle.
Mariah and James share dark passions and are a match in every way but marriage is only the beginning of their journey. Mariah wants more of James' intense instruction but James pulls away. She must tempt him, trust him, and prove to him that the ghosts of their childhood losses won't keep them from a long and happy marriage and unspeakable pleasure.
Mariah felt the familiar tug of desire when James was near. Her breath went ragged and her bodice seemed too tight. Now, she was crushed to him, and her skin tingled from head to toe. The light spring dress she wore prevented her from truly feeling him. His hard form towered over her, and she pressed closer. Never in all her life had she imagined herself behaving like this. Until James, she’d always been extraordinarily proper in public because of her mother’s death. Her aunt told her very young that she needed to be better, not to let people think that the men in her family had given her bad habits. Yet here she stood, holding onto a man without a ring on her finger, and she didn’t want to let go. He smelled of leather and sandalwood. The added relief that he didn’t care about her dowry anymore than she did about his title made her certain this was right.
Their mutual affection and desires sealed the deal in her mind. Testing the muscle of his arms, she shivered and curled her fingers tighter into the fabric of his coat. “I promise you, I will not cry off before the wedding. You can’t frighten me.”
His smile warmed her, but his grip tightened. “Don’t challenge me. You need discipline. It will take a day or two to get the necessary letters from your father and the special license arranged. You will not slip from me if this is a trick.”
Did he really believe she’d play games with their reputations for Alice’s sake? “Never. We fit well, I think.” Then it occurred to her that he might want her to cry off. “Unless you wish to be rid of me. I wouldn’t blame you. I’m not the quiet and passive bride Alice would’ve been. None of my governesses ever lasted long.”
“You ran them off? Were you wild and unruly without a mother?”
She blushed and looked down. “Not exactly. My brothers were older. They normally pursued my nurses and governesses, and my father turned the women out once they were with child. They never seemed to last a year. Even the plain ones. I was indulged but not allowed to run wild. But the rules changed with each new governess.”
“Unacceptable.” He dug his hand into her hair and tilted her head back forcefully.
Mariah inhaled sharply. “I know. My aunt saved me as soon as I was of age.” Her father refused to hear of her leaving home before then. She looked like her mother, and he feared Mariah would die young as well. She was raised and overprotected in a world of men, but she didn’t want that world. “I want the quiet structure of the life of a lady. I’ll be a good wife, if you want me.”
You can find it HERE!