Marnie Stowe is the naughtiest girl at Miss Robin’s Academy, a private finishing school where girls are trained to become military wives. Short-tempered, sharp-tongued, passionate and reckless, Marnie would rather be riding her horse than undergoing Miss Robin’s rigorous training in obedience and discipline.
There are grave doubts that Marnie will ever find a husband and graduate. But everything changes the day she meets Major James Chance. Strong, handsome, and a firm believer in discipline, he is immediately charmed by her, and it seems that none of her bad behaviour can dissuade him from his suit.
Marnie is surprised to find herself returning the major’s affections. But a plot to steal his attentions, along with Marnie’s own doubts about whether she could live happily as a military wife, make her graduation and marriage anything but certain.
Publisher’s Note: This steamy historical romance includes elements of power exchange. While it is part of a series, it can be enjoyed as a standalone.
For a second, she was free falling, her arms flailing. Panic sluiced through her body. An involuntary shriek left her lips. She heard her dress tear once more.
Her fall ceased as abruptly as it had begun. She realised that she had been caught by the man below, standing steady on the wider branch beneath.
Without hesitation, he cast her over his shoulder and trapped her legs with one arm. The muscles locking Marnie in place felt as strong as iron. Heat radiated through his linen shirt and into her body. Marnie’s nostrils filled with a distinctly masculine scent—cedar, spice, oak moss.
For a moment, Marnie was too stunned to react. But when she regathered her wits, fury welled up through her body. Marnie began pounding her rescuer’s back with her fists. “You brute! You will let me down this instant!”
He spoke through gritted teeth. “Not. Bloody. Likely.”
He began to descend the tree with Marnie still cast over his shoulder. Her cries of indignation soon became cries of terror as she felt herself descending from one branch to the next upside down and over a strange man’s shoulder. But his grip on her was as secure as a vise. Soon, they were at the bottom of the tree, and he lifted Marnie, panting, from his shoulder and set her on her feet with surprising gentleness.
“Major James Chance,” he said, bowing. “At your service.”
Marnie couldn’t help herself. She slapped him right across the face.
The major looked at her, stunned, for a moment. Marnie could see that, in his tanned face, his eyes glinted hazel. She had to admit he was handsome—in an unrefined way, with his chestnut hair, frank, open features and broad, muscular form.
Recovering, Major Chance picked Marnie up again, and before she knew it, he was seated on the bench beneath the tree, and she was splayed over his knees. He pinned her legs in place with one of his own, and the other twisted her hair tightly like a rope, looping it around his fist to keep her still.
“I don’t tolerate insubordination, Miss Stowe. And I believe punishment should be swift and just,” he said. “I think twenty strokes is fair—perhaps even lenient.”
“Twenty what?” Marnie cried. It was unthinkable that this man should even attempt to punish her. That was a right reserved for the staff of Miss Robin’s and for the Privettes’ fiancés. Not some presumptuous wedding guest deluded enough to think he was a hero!
“I think you heard me perfectly well,” Major Chance continued.
He picked up her torn skirts in his free hand and yanked them upwards, revealing Marnie’s white drawers. Without hesitating, he pulled them downwards, revealing her voluptuous bottom to the air.
“Let me go right now!” Marnie screeched. “You will be sorry for this!”
The major laid one warm, broad hand on Marnie’s exposedbuttocks, running its rough surface back and forth over her soft, pale goldskin. “Oh, I doubt that very much, Miss Marnie,” he said.
Eva Nightingale has always loved stories; particularly the kind which feature feisty heroines, darkly handsome heroes and the occasional dastardly villain. She now writes those stories, adding the kinds of scenes her favourite Victorian novelists would have found too scandalous to print. She lives with her darkly handsome husband and dastardly cat.