Times are hard in Montana in the mid-1800s, and when Nettie finds herself impoverished, desperate, and alone after the death of her husband, she flees the town of Helena to escape the clutches of the local saloon owner. But living off the land quickly proves much more difficult than she’d hoped, and after days without food she resorts to stealing from Jack Abrams, a gruff mountain man and trapper who lives a secluded, uncomplicated life in the woods.
Jack doesn’t take kindly to being stolen from and when he catches her red-handed, Nettie ends up lying naked over his knee for a long, hard spanking. To her surprise, however, after her punishment Jack offers her food and shelter in return for cooking, cleaning, and doing as she is told. But Nettie is determined to never rely on a man again, and with a belly full of food and renewed determination, she abandons him to take another shot at living in the woods on her own.
Jack knows the headstrong girl won’t survive without his help, especially when she chooses a grizzly’s winter cave as her shelter, and he can’t stand by and idly watch her demise. When his irritation with her foolish pride boils over, he decides it is time to show her how thoroughly a man can dominate a woman silly enough to venture into the woods alone. Jack’s stern chastisement and bold mastery of her body leave Nettie begging for more, but is she truly ready to give up her freedom to be claimed by the mountain man?
I believe the synopsis is very accurate to the story and gives the reader a great idea of what they will discover in this book. There are some issues that I can see will offend the modern day female reader so I want to stress they you don’t forget the fact this was taking place in the mid 1800’s where men and women were treated differently. The roles had not become as parallel as they are today so make sure you keep your mindset in that time era and I think you will really admire Nettie even more.
Sarah aka Nettie was in love with her husband when he volunteered to go fight in the Civil war. He didn’t return and she was left alone. After losing her home and ending up selling her body, she still remained used, abused and broke. Deciding to live alone in the wild would be better than fighting for survival in the city, she found a cave to live in and work minute by minute to find her next meal. This forced her to steal chickens from the scary man named Trapper Jack.
Jack had also fought in the war but when he returned he discovered his wife had died. The phrase that came to mind as I was getting to know him was “life gave up on him so he gave up on life”. He lived in his cabin far away from other people and settled into his world of isolation. When he trapped the chicken thief he was shocked to learn it was the red headed Nettie.
While his ways of dealing with Nettie might offend some women, I found it endearing as I watched him try to become a more social being with her. They both recognized the chemistry between them but with her fear of how men had treated her since her husband died, and his lack of social ability to be acceptable and kind, it was a rocky journey that could only work if they looked past the outward appearance and focused on the soul and motive of the other.