Lily Singer has never belonged. Taken from her tribe as a child and raised in a white man’s school, she no longer has a place in either world. Teaching has become her life. When that life is threatened by rumors and prejudice after a string of robberies, she must turn for help to the one man who spells disaster for her carefully ordered existence. Will he save her or steal her heart?
Christian Avery, Justice of the Peace, is used to having things his way. Cold Springs is his responsibility, and when its citizens blame the local Indian population for the mysterious robberies, it’s up to him to restore order and maintain calm. The one person who refuses to follow his lead is the beautiful, native-born Lily. Her defiance turns his life upside down and ravages his heart.
But when town gossip shifts from robberies to romance after a foolish indiscretion, Lily’s job and reputation are on the line. She must choose between the only life she has ever known and the only place she has ever felt at home, in Christian’s arms.
“Do you want to be a citizen of this country or not?”
“How can you talk about me belonging in one breath and then advocate the exclusion of people who look like me with the next?” She picked up a pair of books and marched past him to the bookshelf at the other end of the room, glaring as she went.
“I’m not! I’d petition for Sturdy Oak too if he wasn’t already a citizen!” He followed her.
“What makes you think you are so all-powerful that you could snap your fingers and make me one of you?”
“Because that’s the way the government works!”
She shoved the books on the shelf then faced him. “Because you say so?”
“Yes!” He stopped a foot away from her, chest heaving far more than it should have after a little chase around a classroom. “People listen to me, you know.”
“Only because you never stop talking.” Her face was flushed pink and her eyes glittered as she stared at him, refusing to back down.
“Because they know that I know what I’m talking about,” he countered. “They trust me to look out for their best interests, which is what I’m trying to do.”
“So we should all listen to what you have to say?”
“You, Mr. Avery, are a bully and…and another word that begins with ‘b!’” Her voice trembled with frustration.
“I’m looking out for the people of this town! If that makes me a bastard—”
“Just be silent for once!”
“I’ve wasted too much time being silent.”
“For pity’s sake!”
“I’m doing this, getting involved, to keep you safe!”
“Christian, please! Stop talking!”
“I have responsibilities to this town and you can’t—”
She threw herself against him, arms closing around his shoulders, his words cut short by the pressure of her mouth on his.
Numb shock flooded him. Every thought he ever had spilled out his ears and lay in shreds around his feet. Life as he knew it was reduced to heat and pressure and the faint scent of lavender and skin. There she was, in the center of it. Lily.
She pulled back with a gasp. Her forearms braced against his shoulders and she struggled. He realized a moment later that his arms were around her, his hands on her waist, holding her against him. Her eyes filled with panic as sharp as if gunshots were firing over their heads again. She jerked back.
He wasn’t about to let her go.
He pulled her closer, lifting her to meet his lips once more. This time he took control. He pressed into her, devouring her with a hunger that reached to the root of his soul. Her mouth gave willingly under his, her lips moving to match his. He teased his tongue against hers, sparks snapping through him as she not only accepted his exploration but gave in to it. A moan rose from her throat. Her body sagged against his. He tightened his hold, his whole world compressed into the non-existent space between them.
He’d never wanted anything so much in his life. All other desires had been pale curiosities compared to the way he wanted Lily. He kissed her with the full force of that want, arms spreading across her back, drawing her heat against him. She returned his passion tenfold, her hands gripping his shirt and the muscles of his back. Their mouths only left each other for brief, fitful breaths before joining again, hungry for more.
Publisher and Release Date: Createspace, November 2013
Time and Setting: Cold Springs, Montana 1897
Genre: Romantic Historical Fiction
Heat Level: 2
Review Rating: 4 stars
Review by Sabrina
Lily Singer is a passionate and dedicated school teacher in Cold Springs, Montana. The year is 1897 and prejudices still run high for some. Native-born Lily struggles to ensure that every one of her students receives a proper education. As she receives opposition from the town council she fights to prove that children can overlook their differences, learn and grow together and become friends.
One such opponent is Christian Avery. Christian, however, opposes for entirely different reasons than most. As Justice of Peace he is responsible for ensuring the safety of all residents and doesn’t understand why Lily can’t see that the children could be in danger if they continue coming to the school. We are treated to interactions between Lily and Christian from the very first pages and their discussions were so heated I could almost see the firecrackers sparking of the pages. Unbeknownst to Lily, Christian likes her – a lot! Some of his inner thoughts had me laughing out loud and I remember saying by page 8 “Christian is an awesome guy”. I will note there were moments of their unguarded arguments that had me a bit embarrassed for them. I wish they had been more discreet around others. Thankfully as the story progressed their encounters were handled a little better and while everyone had knowing smirks and glances at the couple, they didn’t make me feel uncomfortable anymore.
There is so much going on in this story and we find the town inundated with burglaries. Most of the townsfolk are scared and jump to conclusions that the “uncivilized Injuns” are to blame. Lily is scared and Christian is indignant. Who is causing the robberies? Why is a member of U.S. Army investigating these crimes and who is the Native American the sheriff has locked up?
During these turbulent times Christian and Lily have been thrown together and are getting to know each other quite well. I found them to be a dynamic couple and was excited by the prospect of Lily just letting go and enjoying. She was the character with the most growth and it was quite moving to see her reactions as she realized she was loved and accepted. In Your Arms is a book that contains many different angles that have been successfully woven together. Reading this story has been a wonderfully delicious experience!
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About the Author
Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn’t have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she walks along the cutting edge of Indie Publishing, writing Historical Romance and Women’s Sci-Fi. She is also passionate about blogging, knitting, and cricket and is working towards becoming an internationally certified cricket scorer.
Find Merry Farmer on her Website, Facebook and Twitter.