Ellen Oldsmere, believing she’d killed an overly amorous suitor, agreed to become a mail order bride for a complete stranger in the Montana Territory in order to flee Minneapolis and avoid prosecution. When she arrives in August Point, her husband is all that she’d imagined, and then some. He’s handsome, virile and sexually skilled. But there’s a problem for this new bride; her new husband is also the town sheriff. How can she be married to a man who would surely arrest her if he found out her secret?
As the most eligible bachelor in town, Ryder Graves is determined to not fall prey small town mothers eager to match him with their marriage- hungry daughters. He wants more than what is available in August Point. His needs demand a wife meeting certain criteria women in town do not possess, so he seeks the help of an expert–a madame with a skill for matchmaking. When Eleanor arrives from Minnesota, she meets all of his expectations. She’s also headstrong and defiant, requiring a stern spanking or two to teach her that – as the lawman of August Point – it is his job to keep her safe. It comes down to a matter of right from wrong. But his wife is not all she seems. Will he still want her when he learns the truth, or will his passion for the law make her face the consequences of her actions?
The Lawman is a quick read with a well-developed story, a good amount of spanking, and some seriously hot sex. Ms. Vale does a very nice job of providing us enough background for both Ellen and Ryder to move the story along without getting bogged down in unnecessary details. The reader first meets Ellen shortly before she is to arrive in August Point, Montana and meet her husband. Through her inner musings, we learn that Ellen was forced to flee Minneapolis to avoid unjust murder charges and because of the circumstances she changed her name and became a mail order bride. Suffice it to say, when she meets her husband for the very first time she, her apprehension over starting a life with a man she knew almost nothing about is quickly replaced by the trepidation of learning that he is the town sheriff. For his part, Ryder is quite pleased with the looks of his new bride and even more so with her response to him once he whisks her home to consummate their marriage. While he disliked the circumstances that led to it, he was even happier with her emotional and physical responses the first time he found it necessary to spank her as punishment for not listening to him and endangering her safety.
I am quite impressed with how much story Ms. Vale managed to pack into this 90 page novella. Although not quite insta-love, the intimacy that develops between Ellen and Ryder occurs rather quickly but does so in such a way that it feels right. Even though she was a virgin, Ellen found that she enjoyed her husband’s attentions and proclivities for more than just vanilla sex (not the term used in the book) quite a lot and their shared passions helped strengthen their bond. While the sex was hot, one of my favorite scenes was when Ellen defended Ryder’s honor – it certainly brought a smile to my face. As expected, Ellen must face the consequences of what caused her to flee Minneapolis and it turned out far better than she dreamed because Ryder stood by her – after a serious punishment scene that is. I really liked The Lawman and thanks to Ms. Vale’s writing, I can now add another factor which enables me to enjoy romances set in the Old West – a healthy dose of spanking. I have added The Cowboy and The Outlaw to my wishlist so that I can find out the fates of the other ladies on the coach with Ellen and in hopes of catching up with Ellen and Ryder again.