Johnny approached Jessica warily, not wanting to startle her. She was in shock enough as it was, he didn’t want to add to her terror. And that she was terrified he had no doubt – he could hear it in her screams, see it in her eyes.
“Jessica.” He spoke softly, crouching down on the ground near enough to touch her, but not reaching out for her. “Jessica,” he tried again. She looked at him through her tears, but she didn’t say anything; she was traumatised. Then she turned back to her family, pressing her face into their bodies, trying desperately to will them back to life. Johnny watched, helpless, as she screamed her outrage at the Indians, wailed her grief at losing her beloved, sweet mama, then turned her wrath on her father, collapsing on the ground beside him, screaming at his lifeless body the loudest of all.
“You killed them!” she hollered, beating at his brutalised body with her fists. “It was you who wanted to come west!” she yelled. “We were quite happy, me and Mama! Now she’s gone and it’s all your fault! And Petey! He was just a baby, with his whole life ahead of him! Now he’s gone too and it’s all … your … fault.” She ground the words out between sobs, gasping for breath. Her flailing fists stilled and she curled up against the dead man’s chest, sobbing, her body shaking, a broken woman.
Placing a gentle hand on her shoulder Johnny spoke softly in her ear in what he hoped was a comforting tone. “Jessica, look at me.” She didn’t. Gently, he took her hands in his own and disengaged her fingers from the death-grip they had on the lapel of her father’s coat, wrapping his arms around her securely and pulling her in close against his chest. “Shhhh,” he crooned softly, trying to calm her as though she were a baby. It worked. She responded to him, her sobs easing. Her shuddering slowly stilled, she got her breathing under control and began to relax in his arms. And she clung to him tightly, so tightly, as though she would never let go. Then she looked up at him and began to speak.
“They came out of nowhere, they just rose up all around us, as though they came up out of the ground. The wagons were completely surrounded. I tried to tell Papa of the risk of Indians before we left Boston but he didn’t listen. And now look ... look at them now.” She burst into tears again, sobs wracking her body once more as she stuffed her fist into her mouth trying to stifle her cries. Johnny wrapped his arms around her tightly again, wishing he could shield her from the pain, wishing she hadn’t seen her entire family, the entire wagon train, get massacred.
Here are some of the photos that inspired me during the writing of this book (and its sequel The Code of the West) or you can check out my Pinterest board here
Orphaned by an attack on her family’s wagon train, Jessica finds herself stranded a thousand miles from Boston, the only home she has ever known. Only one man—a rough, dusty cowboy named Johnny—stands between her and the perils of the west, and he quickly makes it clear that he is ready to do whatever needs to be done to keep Jessica safe, whether she likes it or not.
When the unlikely pair stumble upon a cattle drive and they are both offered employment, Johnny doesn’t hesitate to accept. But after Jessica loudly expresses her disdain for his plan and for cowboys in general, Johnny decides it is time for drastic action. After a hard, embarrassing spanking followed by a tearful apology to the trail boss, Jessica is left with a sore backside and a strange yet undeniably powerful need to be held close and comforted by her handsome protector.
With Johnny by her side—and claiming an ever bigger place in her heart with each passing day—Jessica begins to adjust to life on the trail. But a cattle drive is a dangerous place for anyone, let alone a city girl with a penchant for disobedience. If he ever wants the chance to make Jessica his wife, Johnny knows he’s going to have to take her firmly in hand before she gets herself hurt or killed. Even if it means a painful, humiliating bare-bottom strapping she’ll never forget, one way or another he’ll teach her the ways of the west.
Publisher’s Note: The Ways of the West is an erotic romance novel that contains sexual scenes and spankings, including domestic discipline in a historical setting. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
There's lots of other hot excerpts to check out below: