Blurb for Lessons of Love by Jolynn Raymond
Please be advised that this novel is set in a time when women had no rights, especially when it came to their husbands. The heroine is taken, and forced into marriage. As a wife, she must submit to all things. This is a period in history where men took what they wanted. If they refused, they could be punished. This book contains graphic sex as well as physical discipline in the form of spanking. If these things offend you, please read something else.
Lessons of Love is an old fashion bodice ripper, full of passionate love scenes full of fire, and old fashioned discipline for those who refuse to obey. One with a beautiful, spirited heroine, and a dark, cruel rogue whose heart must be tamed. He takes her as his, and the battle of wills begins. One that has been fought for ages between a man who has no intention of ever feeling love, and a woman who must teach his heart to feel or be forever adrift in a life of cruelty.
In 1842 Louisiana, Jolie Dupree lives an oppressive life ruled by her strict and unloving stepfather. She has the luxuries of plantation life, but feels suffocated under his watchful eye. Fate brings an abrupt change in the form of Cole Jameson, a man full of wealth but short on acceptance into society. He needs the cloak of respectability to hide behind, and silence the rumors of girls gone missing while in his company. His business of selling genteel women to rich men with unsavory tastes, must not be discovered.
When he comes upon the lovely Jolie bathing in a secluded glen, he sees in her the answer to his problem. A young bride with an old family name will provide an aura of propriety. She is a girl from a suitable family, but also one who is not loved. She’s perfect for his scheme. He carries her home, bound, wet, and almost bare, with a story of saved virtue, and is granted her hand in marriage.
Cole is a man who has never loved and has no plans to start. He doesn't give a care for the women whose lives he shatters, but Jolie isn't just any woman. Her beauty bewitches him even as her stubborn will defies him time after time. He weds her with plans to make her an ornament on his arm and a slave in his bed. He will teach her how to please a man with a hard hand and an unfeeling heart.
Will Cole be able to keep his cold heart and continue with his business of white slavery, treating his new wife as cruelly as he does all his captives? Or will Jolie's fiery spirit and beauty break through the ice that surrounds his heart and put an end to his cruel ways?
Her stepfather had given Jolie strict instructions about her behavior. She was to remain mute with her eyes downcast unless asked a direct question. Hank was of the opinion that his stepdaughter was sinful because of her beauty, and any attention she received was intolerable. He felt it was the work of the devil in her that made her enticing to men. Jolie knew that if Monsieur Jameson displayed any interest in her, Hank would place the blame squarely on her shoulders.
Jolie had done her best to follow the orders of her stepfather. She remained silent and only looked up when they were first introduced, but that one glance caused her heart to beat a little faster. It was as if a hummingbird had taken up flight in her breast at just the sight of him. The Monsieur was a handsome man with wavy black hair that curled just below his collar and high fine cheekbones. His eyes were a deep shade of cobalt blue and held an air of mystery, and his form was strong and lean. His shoulders were wide, and his breeches accented the powerful muscles in his thighs. He loomed over Jolie's tiny frame, and when he'd looked down on her, she felt like a mouse being pounced upon by a cat. Just having him glance at her caused butterflies to flutter in her belly.
He was refined, and his manners were impeccable throughout dinner. He hadn't even spoken to her, much to Jolie's relief. The last thing she wanted to do was incite her stepfather's ire. The dinner went without incident until they were finished, and then it happened. When Hank rose to go to the study for brandy and cigars, Jolie had chanced a glance upward and had found her gaze captured by Monsieur Jameson. His eyes had sparkled wickedly, and he'd blown her a kiss before curling his tongue lewdly behind his top teeth.
Jolie had been mortified. If her stepfather had seen the Monsieur's actions, he would have punished her severely. Thank goodness his back had been turned. The kiss had embarrassed her, but it had also made her inside's tingle and caused a flush to rise up upon her cheeks. The memory of it had stayed with her in her dreams, causing her to wake up with an odd feeling of warmth in her belly.
Jolie was pulled from her dreamy musings by a rustling in the bushes. She froze in fear; listening, praying it was a small animal, but to her horror, the very man she'd been daydreaming about stepped through the fronds of the willow tree. She dropped to her knees in the water, hiding her body from his piercing gaze, but it was clear by his expression that he’d gotten quite an eyeful. His sensuous lips turned upward in a wicked smile, his eyes twinkling with amusement at her innocent modesty.
"I believe I've stumbled upon a bewitching water nymph. Do you remember me, little one?" Jolie didn't answer him. Her mind was racing, trying to think of a way she could flee. Her heart was pounding with fear as Cole Jameson’s eyes bore into her.
"What's the matter sweet? Have you lost your voice? I'm not going to hurt you, Jolie."
"A gentleman would leave if he found a lady in such a predicament."
"I never claimed to be a gentleman, my dear. Come out of the water, Jolie. I promise I won't hurt you."
Jolie didn't believe that for one second. She recognized the look in his eyes all too well. It was the same look she'd seen on the faces of so many men since she'd developed into a woman. It was the look of lust, and at that moment Monsieur Jameson looked as though he would like to devour her.
"I was wondering where you were running off to when I caught sight of you racing into the woods. I admit my curiosity got the better of me. Seems to me that I've caught you in a mighty fine predicament. Wet, near naked, and all alone. I don't think your daddy would approve of your little swim." He picked her petticoat up from where she had folded it on the bank of the stream, and ran the silky material through his fingers as he gazed at Jolie with an undisguised desire. "I think your daddy would be very interested in what I have to tell him little one. He strikes me as a man who takes discipline very seriously. Tell me Jolie, how does Hank punish you when you've been a very bad girl?"
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