The Strasburg Chronicles, Book Three
Feisty little schoolteacher, Cinderella Barton, is quite tired of Deputy Henson Andrews telling her what to do. She came to Strasburg to take her first teaching position, and he begins lecturing her the first week, despite her efforts to ignore him. She moves from one boarding home to another, and at the end of the school year, she is forced to move into “Lady Angelica’s Home Away from Home for Ladies” in the middle of the night for safety. Once there, she finally feels safe for the first time in months.
Henson becomes more and more determined that she will not ignore him any longer, especially when it comes to his efforts to keep her safe. It irritates him no end when she manages to put herself in harm’s way. When she completely disregards his orders – with a bear in the area – and someone shoots at her through the window of the schoolroom after he ordered to stay away from it, his patience runs out. He finally decides to take her firmly in hand – and marry her – if he has to!
When one shooting becomes two and a kidnapping follows, Henson becomes even more determined to find out who was behind it. The main problem, however, is keeping his beautiful little wife obedient and safe. Keeping her safe – he is trying his best… but keeping her obedient? Henson begins to wonder just how many trips Cinderella will have to take across his knee before he will accomplish that task.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains mild sexual scenes and the discipline of an adult woman. Please do not purchase Cinderella’s Lawman if this offends you.
Please enjoy this free preview of Cinderella’s Lawman:
Sunday, October 28, 1849
Cinderella Barton hurried out the door of Mrs. Baxter’s boarding house, certain she would be late for Mass. She had been at her new teaching position in the one-room schoolhouse for only a week, and it had been hectic. But this was her first teaching position, and she was determined that she would make it work.
The church bell was sounding at St. Mary’s, down the street, and she lifted her skirts slightly and stepped off the walk. Holding tightly to her bag, she ran like a bat out of Hades across the street. The irony of the thought of running from Hades on a Sunday morning toward Mass brought a giggle to her lips.
She hoped she was not too late. She had met Father Michael during the past week; perhaps he would forgive her if she were late just this once. He had seemed to be such a kind man, with his broad smile and twinkling eyes; she was almost sure he would not hold this against her.
The bell was on its eighth strike, when she made it to the center of the street. Suddenly, a team and wagon caught her eye and she froze, unsure whether she had time to make it.
The decision made, she ran.
“Whoa! Whoa!” The shout of the driver at his team caused her to turn and look. Someone else was shouting, too, from behind her, and an arm lifted her off her feet, carrying her on across the street. Cinderella found herself kicking and squirming. Who in the world would dare to pick her up as if she were a three-year-old? She angrily tried to get down, but the mysterious stranger set her on her feet again, when she was on the walk just outside the sheriff’s office.
“Your life in Strasburg will be quite short, young lady, if you keep that up! I have no wish to see you do this again.”
She gasped, turning to the voice that spoke with fury above her head.
“Let me go! I am late!” She tried hard to loosen his grasp on her waist but was unable, in spite of her determination.
“So you are. What in the world did you think you were doing?”
She looked over her shoulder, glaring. “And what do you think you are doing, detaining me?” Once stable on her feet, she put her hands on her hips and stared, surprised at just how far above her his face was. When she caught sight of the badge on his jacket, she stopped abruptly.
He met her eyes fiercely. “Deputy Sheriff Henson Andrews, missy. And you are?”
“Cinderella…” She looked toward St. Mary’s and sighed. “And I am dreadfully late.”
“Yes. You are. Quite. I shall escort you.”
“That is not necessary.”
“Be calm, Miss Barton. This way, I shall keep you from being trampled.”
“I have absolutely no wish to be calm, Deputy Andrews.” After she spoke, however, she regretted it; his dark brown eyes had narrowed and she felt as if he could chew her up and spit her out.
Once again, he began to drag her toward St. Mary’s, his hand retaining a firm grasp on her arm.
“You may unhand me, sir. I do not need your help.” She looked up irritably.
Ignoring her protests, he continued to lead her up the steps and into the church, his hand firm. As he took her inside, his right hand held on to her arm and he placed his left at the small of her back.
“Let go of me!” she grumbled, looking up.
“I shall, Miss Barton, when I have assured myself you shall be inside for an hour and safe-despite your own efforts.”
“Oh, Hell’s bells,” she muttered under her breath. But the comment only resulted in her being sat down on the pew, so hard it hurt. She gasped.
“Fair warning, young lady” His voice, spoken into her ear, was a deep growl. “I believe you would benefit greatly from a trip across my knee for a lesson in ladylike language.”
She gasped and lowered her eyes, trying to ignore him. Moving forward toward the edge of the seat, she made an effort to scoot as far away from him as possible.
She sat there a long time, fuming. How dare he!
When she turned to look toward him a little later, she was surprised.
Henson Andrews was gone.
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