His Inheritance

Rated 3.84 out of 5 based on 86 customer ratings
(86 customer reviews)

A young woman is left destitute when her father passes away, as a distant male relative inherits everything.

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Description

Susanna Halbridge fears her father’s death, not just because she adores him but because his passing will likely leave her and her mother destitute. Upon Robert Halbridge’s passing, Halbridge Manor will be by law entailed to the nearest male relative, a distant cousin named Edmund Kingsley. The entailment can be broken, and Susanna’s father agrees to try to get the rich heir to spare his wife and daughter. But when he dies before the meeting can be arranged, it is up to Susanna to plead her case.

Edmund Kingsley is a stern man and does not care for Susanna’s outspoken nature. He believes the headstrong young lady is in need of a firm hand, and with the heir holding all the power, Susanna is in little position to fight his attempts to tame her. Or is she?
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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

Susanna Halbridge knew something was wrong as soon as she walked into the room. Her mother was always prone to histrionics, but on this day it was clear that her distress was far beyond the typical hand wringing typical of Margaret Halbridge.

“Mama?” Susanna laid the bundle of flowers she’d picked on the table and rushed over to where her mother was slouched in her chair, one hand across her brow and the other dangling at her side, clutching a letter.

Susanna took it, dreading that it might be news of her grandmother’s passing. The older woman had been sickly since winter, and the whole family had been preparing for dire tidings.

“Is it Gram?” she asked, afraid to look.

Margaret Halbridge took her hand off her brow and looked at her daughter. Her face was flushed and tear-streaked. “Oh, my dear, I don’t know how to tell you this, but it’s worse! William Patterson has made an offer of marriage? to Caroline Rothchild!”

Susanna said nothing. She could only blink as she reached for the chair near her mother’s and pulled it to her. She sank down onto the cushion, one hand gripping the armrest so hard that her knuckles paled. She dropped her eyes to the letter, needing confirmation that what she’d been told was true and not some dreadful mistake. But there, written in the same script she was so used to – the same script that covered pages and pages of love letters she kept tied in a bundle in her room, was a short missive informing the Halbridge family that he was to be married in a month’s time.

There was no mention of Susanna, no mention of the times he’d come to call, of the long walks they’d taken, of the pleasantries they’d exchanged.

“There will be a wedding at Bratten Hall before the tulips bloom!” her mother had proclaimed with glee the last time William had ridden away, tipping his hat towards Susanna before wheeling his white horse towards the stone pillars at the end of the lane leading to their modest but respectable manor house. “Perhaps we can force some tulips in the hothouse, so you can have them in your bouquet! Do you think you would like that, Susanna?”

Susanna had only smiled, too lost in the memory of the kisses he’d stolen under the arbor that afternoon. She was in love, and he’d confessed to her that he felt the same. Her modest dowry was not a concern, he’d told her. He would soon have a degree in law, a respectable profession, and they could live in London where he was guaranteed a position with a good firm. She’d waited for him to formally ask for her hand, but he had not. That was disappointing and frustrating, but she consoled herself with the thought that William was a romantic and was likely waiting for just the right time, or was planning to come back with some special gift to give her, something special to commemorate the happy occasion of their engagement.

“As a longtime friend of your family, I was eager to let you be among the first to know,” the letter said. “I look forward to the day when you can meet sweet Caroline, and wish us joy?”

Margaret Halbridge let out a horrible wail and threw her arm back across her face. Susanna rose, trying to be understanding of her mother’s self-absorption, given that it was she and not her mother, after all, who was the jilted party.

But Susanna bit her tongue. Margaret Halbridge was a good mother, and her sole mission in life had been to see her three daughters married off before the death of their father. Robert Halbridge had been in physical decline for two years with an undiagnosed illness that caused bleeding from his bowels. He’d nearly died the winter before but then had rebounded, though not completely.?

Unfortunately, now he was showing signs of failing again and the end could not be far off. The Halbridges were a respectable family, but not a family of great means. And since there were no male heirs, an entailment dictated that Bratten Hall would pass to the next closest male relative – a distant cousin, Edmund Kingsley.

“We’ll be penniless!” her mother sniffed. "Under the entail the property will go to Kingsley, and we’ll only be allowed a bit of the earnings from the estate. Kingsley is a man of considerable wealth and will not attend to such a small holding as this. It will be let, or will languish. And with next to no income we’ll be reduced and you’ll have no dowry fit to marry as your sisters have done."

Susanna said nothing, but only sighed and looked out the window. She was no fool. The Rothchild family was far wealthier and it did not take much imagination to deduce that William’s family had urged him towards a match with a young woman who had a substantial dowry and better connections. In retrospect, it had been obvious that Eliza Patterson had not favored her in the least. The few times she’d met William’s mother, the woman had been cold and taciturn. When William had led Susanna to the dance floor at the balls they had attended, his mother had watched from the side, tight-lipped and sullen. Susanna had told herself that this was simply the manner of an over-protective mother not eager to relinquish a darling son to any woman. But she knew now that it had not been marriage, but rather, an inconvenient one, that had set her face in stone.

“Can the entail be broken?” Susanna asked. It wasn’t her mother who offered the answer but her father.

“It can be if Kingsley is agreeable to the notion.” Robert Halbridge looked especially tired as he shuffled into the room. He sank into his favorite chair and sighed, looking up at his daughter. “But why this talk of breaking the entail?”

“Because of this!” His wife rose from her seat and stomped over, waving the letter at her husband. Robert Halbridge took it with a weary sigh. “That awful William Patterson will wed another, and not our Susanna! And after having misled her so!”

“Better to mislead a woman before a marriage than after,” he said, holding the letter at a distance so his tired eyes could read the contents. “Hmm.” When he finished he looked from his wife to his daughter. “Let this be a lesson to presume nothing about a man. Flattery and sweet words are worth nothing. Until a man makes an offer, nothing should be presumed.” He tossed the letter aside. “So Patterson marries a woman to boost his standing and passes over one who cannot. May their children, at least, be hideously ugly.”

Susanna could not help but laugh. “Father!”

But her mother was not amused. “This is a serious matter, Mr. Halbridge! You are not well and if you pass, then what will become of me and Susanna?”

“This answers my question of why the entail was being discussed.” Robert Halbridge folded his hands across his belly. “As I said, the entail can be broken. And it is to our advantage that what your mother says is true, Susanna. Edmund Kingsley is rich – very rich. Bratten Hall will be a pittance to him, and likely one hardly worth dealing with. If we prevail upon his mercy in this matter, perhaps we can appeal to his good character and urge him to waive such an inheritance that will surely be insufficient by his standards.” He sighed. “But such a thing must be done properly, and not by letter. So I will write to him this morning and bid him come visit so we can discuss it in person, as men.”

“In person?” Margaret Halbridge’s face brightened. “And he’s rich you say? You did not say he is married.” She reached for her daughter. “There may be hope for you yet, Susanna!”

But now both father and daughter were objecting at once. “Mama, please?”

Robert Aldridge said, “Kingsley may be single, but it is because he is a most humorless man. He’s practically a recluse and has sent many a mother into despair by barely speaking to the daughters they wished to present to him in what few social situations he finds himself in. He’s forever between London and one of his four fine estates. I suspect he finds society as silly as he is serious, and the young ladies too beneath him in intellect and fortune. Alas, my Susanna, even though you are a intelligent young lady, and fair, I do not think you could entice him from his solitary state, especially when his first introduction comes on the day when we beg him to forego the entail so as to not leave you impoverished.”

“One can hope, cannot one?” her mother cried.

“Not in this case, my dear.” Robert Halbridge stood. “And now I will take my leave to the library, where I will write this letter. I only hope that Kingsley will deign to respond in the affirmative. These proud men are often difficult to engage.”

Susanna walked over and kissed her father. “Thank you, Papa,” she said, and walked with him to the library.

At the door he stopped and turned to her. “Are you really so very sorry at being passed over by William Patterson? He was handsome enough, but never struck me as a man of will. And if ever a girl needed a man of will to match her own, it is you my dear Susanna.”

She smiled at this. Her father was right. Susanna’s older sisters were meek and manageable, whereas she was more inclined to give her own opinion.

Susanna had lost count of how many times her mother had cautioned her to hold her tongue. “Let the men have the opinions!” Mama had declared. “They do not want to hear ours. Opinions are something they seek to share over a brandy in the drawing room, not with the woman who will bear them children. From us they want a pleasant smile, an admiring look and a certain softness that is never threatening nor contentious. There is a word for women too unwise to offer such conveniences. That word,” she advised ominously, “is spinster.”

Susanna had wondered if her father was right. Had her outspoken manner factored into William’s decision to make an offer to another woman? But then she decided that if Robert Halbridge were right, perhaps she was fortunate. Yes, William Patterson was handsome, but she could not see living life as an accessory or an ornament to another.

“I will deal with being passed over,” she said. “I suppose my feelings are hurt, that is all. And my vanity, perhaps. But I am not the first woman to be passed over and I will not be the last. I do not see other women hurling themselves from bridges and towers for such slights, and neither will I.”

“That is good to hear,” her father said. “Because I would truly miss your wit should you decide to affect some dramatic death over something as trivial as that Patterson lad.”

Susanna kissed her father on the cheek. He gave her a merry wink as he entered his library and shut the door. As she turned away, a twist of hurt lodged in her belly. She could not deny that he was even more physically degraded now than he’d been only a week earlier. He was declining at an alarming rate, and although Susanna understood her mother’s pragmatism, she did not know how it could take precedence over the impending loss of the man who had cared for her and three daughters with such devotion.

She decided she could not deal with her mother and so went outside. It was a fine spring day. In another week her garden would be in full bloom. Susanna loved flowers and all around Bratten Hall were her personal touches – tulips, foxgloves, roses and columbine. She’d planted scores of flowers along the hornbeam hedge, and looked forward to the summer when the jasmine would bloom across the arbor and she could sit in the dark, inhaling the heady scent.

But what if the entail could not be broken and her father died? What then? She’d have to leave her home and would likely end up in some small, but respectable cottage with no decent garden or – worse – in town with no garden at all! The latter seemed more likely. If Kingsley wanted the place, her mother would be even more frantic to marry her off, and town would offer more possibility of introductions.

Susanna forced herself to think on other things. It would be a living hell, life in town with her mother thrusting her in every man’s line of sight. There would be enormous pressure for her to marry, and she did not relish suffering the same fate of her friend Winifred Dale, whose circumstances had closely matched her own when she was pressured to wed.

The previous summer she’d stood up at the altar, her red-rimmed eyes fixed on Phillip Bellington, a corpulent, retired naval officer with terrible breath and wiry, white hairs sticking out of his ears and nostrils. The groom, thirty years his bride’s senior, had unabashedly licked his lips throughout the service, his gaze fixed on her bosom. Susanna’s mother had later confided that Winifred’s mother had given her a dash of laudanum in her tea to help ease her through the nuptials.

Could she do the same, for the sake of duty? Susanna told herself she could not. But then she told herself that if she did not, she’d forever feel the unquiet ghost of her father haunting her steps, unable to rest for worry over his widow’s destitute state. Susanna knew she was all the things her father accused her of being. She was spiky, headstrong and obstinate. But she was a good daughter and she knew that her sense of duty would supersede any defiance in the matters of marriage.

?“Susanna?”

She turned as she heard her name called. It was her father, driving the family’s trap. “Papa, are you well enough to handle the horses?”

“Ach, you sound too much like your mother. Don’t henpeck me, girl. Ride with me instead! I must send this letter today before it’s too late for the post.”

Susanna smiled and climbed in the trap beside her father. She knew if she asked him later, he would let her take the reins. She would pretend it was because she enjoyed driving and he would pretend he was not too tired to refuse her request, before indulging her, even as he protested in dramatic fashion.

Robert Halbridge drove all the way to town, which heartened his daughter. He mailed the letter and picked up a bouquet for his wife before being helped back into the trap. He drove until they were out of sight of town, but already Susanna could see him tiring.

“May I drive, Papa?”

This time he did not protest at all. He looked very tired suddenly and she helped him pull the pony to a stop. Susanna applied the brake and hastily got down and moved to where her father sat. He was breathing heavily, and very pale.

“Here,” she said. “Let’s move over.”

Robert Halbridge did not protest as his daughter moved him over to the other side of the cart. Once in the driver’s seat, she drove as quickly as she dared until they were home, where she yelled for the groom to come help him down.

The maid and the groom helped him into the house. Her mother met them at the door, sobbing that she’d dreaded that this day would come, that the trip to town had been too much, that he should have stayed, that it would not have even been necessary, save for the awful William Patterson.

“Stop your grousing, woman!” Robert Halbridge said as he was helped into bed. Susanna shot her mother a stern look and suggested she could help by having someone send for the doctor immediately. When Margaret Halbridge fled the room to comply, her father looked up at her. “Your mother is as stubborn as you are,” he said. “Although I’ve loved her in spite of it, she’s never listened to me. I can hear her nagging voice in my sleep on some nights and if I had my days to do over, I would have put her over my knee when we were first wed and spanked some obedience into her.”

Susanna laughed and looked up from tucking the blankets. “Really, Papa. Would that have been warranted? She’s your wife, not your ward.”

“A wife is a ward, of sorts,” he said. “A man cares for her and she is the embodiment of his ability to run his affairs. If she is sharp of tongue or a relentless scold, then society is likely to see the man as weak. If I had been stronger with your mother, perhaps I would have been more successful. And your mother would have been happier; for a high-spirited woman needs limits, and a man to back them up with a firm hand, if necessary.”

He looked up at her. “I hope you find such a man, not because you are a ninny, but because you are twice the woman your mother is in terms of stubbornness and five-fold what she is in strength, Susanna. A lesser man will indulge your stubbornness, or ignore it for being at a loss over how to handle it. A man of quality will attend to his wife’s disposition – with love, of course – but attend, nonetheless, he will.”

Susanna shook her head and smiled as she took her seat by her father’s bedside. “So it is your wish to see me married to a man who will punish me like a child?”

“No,” he said gently. “My wish for you is that you will find a man who will correct you as a woman, who will bring out the best in you, for it is the best of all women.” He sighed. “But I am tired now, and would rest.”

Susanna rose and lowered the flame on the lamp before exiting the room. Perhaps she would have lingered longer if she’d only known that it was the last conversation she and her father would ever have.

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3.84 out of 5 stars

86 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Jaycee

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Jaycee (verified owner)

    Very well- written, as all of Sullivan Clarke\\\’s stories are, but much too short! I loved the beginning and the lead-in to meeting Mr. Kingsley. Susanna\\\’s umbrage and set down of the arrogant Kingsley were perfect. Her mother was portrayed as an absolutely self absorbed twit and I loved how Susanna took matters into her own hands. But the story was over much too quickly! There was definite tension between the couple – Kingsley was so high handed and boorish that I could not readily accept the ending. Susanna needed more time to come to terms with the marriage instead of capitulating so quickly. How could she truly believe that he loved her in the space of 2 days and after the way he had treated her?? I wanted to see her continue to stand up for herself and refused to be \\\’tamed\\\’ as he so heartlessly put it. And Kingsley needed to discover that her \\\’stubbornness and outspokenness\\\’ were qualities that he could admire. Could have been an incredible story if the author had lengthened and developed it more.

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  2. kitty_ranma

    Rated 3 out of 5

    kitty_ranma (verified owner)

    This was a nice story though somewhat limited. The characters well thought out. But it was short it feels rushed.

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  3. Cindy

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Cindy (verified owner)

    Wonderful, well written, interesting, and moving story with a great heroine. Enjoyed it very much.

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  4. Cassie

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Cassie (verified owner)

    Mixed feelings on this one. It started out very well, but didn’t sustain that quality. The set-up and characters were really good, and it had a lot of potential, but the story was way too short for what it tried to do. Everything was resolved MUCH too quickly and easily. Unsatisfying.

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  5. Cassie

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Cassie (verified owner)

    Mixed feelings on this one. It started out very well, but didn\\\’t sustain that quality. The set-up and characters were really good, and it had a lot of potential, but the story was way too short for what it tried to do. Everything was resolved MUCH too quickly and easily. Unsatisfying.

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  6. Rachel

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Rachel (verified owner)

    This story started out great! But I got lost toward the end and it finished too fast and without warning.

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  7. Rachel

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Rachel (verified owner)

    This story started out great! But I got lost toward the end and it finished too fast and without warning.

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  8. Ann

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Ann (verified owner)

    It is interesting to see how Edmund and Susanna came to be together. Susanna has lost her father and in the aftermath of his demise, his properties would go to the nearest male relative, Edmund. Both Susanna and her mother were worried, and headstrong Susanna tried to persuade Edmund to let them be. Edmund, not caring for Susanna’s headstrong nature chose to discipline her, and then later decides to marry the headstrong girl. A short but lovely story.

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  9. Ann

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Ann (verified owner)

    It is interesting to see how Edmund and Susanna came to be together. Susanna has lost her father and in the aftermath of his demise, his properties would go to the nearest male relative, Edmund. Both Susanna and her mother were worried, and headstrong Susanna tried to persuade Edmund to let them be. Edmund, not caring for Susanna\\\’s headstrong nature chose to discipline her, and then later decides to marry the headstrong girl. A short but lovely story.

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  10. kitty_ranma

    Rated 3 out of 5

    kitty_ranma (verified owner)

    This was a nice story though somewhat limited. The characters well thought out. But it was short it feels rushed.

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  11. K  Tyler

    Rated 3 out of 5

    K Tyler (verified owner)

    This was a sweet story worth the read.

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  12. Susan

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Susan (verified owner)

    Very enjoyable historical romance. The spankings were not over the top and the last one was very hot. Great characters and an engaging story.

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  13. Susan

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Susan (verified owner)

    Very enjoyable historical romance. The spankings were not over the top and the last one was very hot. Great characters and an engaging story.

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  14. Bri

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Bri (verified owner)

    This one was really short but sweet – I thought it’d be quick filler, as I’m not usually drawn to period pieces, but I found myself really curious about what happened to the main characters afterwards. I thought the set up with the hotel was really clever, and even though there weren’t many spanking scenes, the major one (where he spanks her for running away) was quite enjoyable.

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  15. Bri

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Bri (verified owner)

    This one was really short but sweet – I thought it\\\’d be quick filler, as I\\\’m not usually drawn to period pieces, but I found myself really curious about what happened to the main characters afterwards. I thought the set up with the hotel was really clever, and even though there weren\\\’t many spanking scenes, the major one (where he spanks her for running away) was quite enjoyable.

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  16. madpuss

    Rated 4 out of 5

    madpuss

    I loved this little story. It was sweet and fun to read how Edmund battles with and then wins over Susanna. As the story continues you see there is more to Edmund than just his sternness and his personality and behaviour is explained. It all happens a little to quickly and easily and I think there was a missed opportunity here as a longer story where the characters relationship could have developed at a normal pace would have been so much better. That said I still found it a fun, entertaining and well-written read that engaged my emotions and had me wanting a happy ending for them.

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  17. madpuss

    Rated 4 out of 5

    madpuss

    I loved this little story. It was sweet and fun to read how Edmund battles with and then wins over Susanna. As the story continues you see there is more to Edmund than just his sternness and his personality and behaviour is explained. It all happens a little to quickly and easily and I think there was a missed opportunity here as a longer story where the characters relationship could have developed at a normal pace would have been so much better. That said I still found it a fun, entertaining and well-written read that engaged my emotions and had me wanting a happy ending for them.

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  18. Just Lea

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Just Lea (verified owner)

    A lot of depth for a short story and someone really got spanked loved it.

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  19. Just Lea

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Just Lea (verified owner)

    A lot of depth for a short story and someone really got spanked loved it.

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  20. Cindy

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Cindy (verified owner)

    Wonderful, well written, interesting, and moving story with a great heroine. Enjoyed it very much.

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  21. K  Tyler

    Rated 3 out of 5

    K Tyler (verified owner)

    This was a sweet story worth the read.

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  22. Tia

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Tia (verified owner)

    This was a free story, and I enjoyed it. Susanna and Edmund meet when her father dies and he inherits the estate that she lives on. She is dependent on him for her future, and he is in need of a wife. She is far too outspoken in his opinion and he knows exactly how to handle it. I found Edmund to be unlikable at first. He seemed unnecessarily harsh and like a bit of a brute. While that held true, later on in the story you begin to understand why and to see him change and start to consider his action more. Susanna was feisty and sometimes defiant, which I enjoyed. This was short story but with plenty of discipline.

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  23. Monica

    Rated 1 out of 5

    Monica (verified owner)

    Too short

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  24. Stephanie

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Stephanie (verified owner)

    Chastisement leading to love is fascinating.

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  25. Anonymous

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Anonymous

    Very well written. It was a bit short. I would like to know how the marriage goes afterwards. Well done.

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  26. Anonymous

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Anonymous

    Very well written. It was a bit short. I would like to know how the marriage goes afterwards. Well done.

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  27. Es

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Es (verified owner)

    This book started out so wonderful, I couldn’t wait to dig in and get to know the characters. But after the first spanking, which I loved that scene, the book RUSHED to finish a story. I was so disappointed as there was so much promise. Still, very rare to find a book that starts out so well, just wish it had continued. For the beginning alone I’m giving it four stars, the beginning along deserves five. The rest of the book I wouldn’t even give two… it really was like once the story was so beautifully in place, all that mattered was the end. I would love to see this rewritten from where she ran from the house to include a beautiful story of falling in love, her learning to bend to his will over time, and not just in one night, and so forth.

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  28. Es

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Es (verified owner)

    This book started out so wonderful, I couldn’t wait to dig in and get to know the characters. But after the first spanking, which I loved that scene, the book RUSHED to finish a story. I was so disappointed as there was so much promise. Still, very rare to find a book that starts out so well, just wish it had continued. For the beginning alone I’m giving it four stars, the beginning along deserves five. The rest of the book I wouldn’t even give two… it really was like once the story was so beautifully in place, all that mattered was the end. I would love to see this rewritten from where she ran from the house to include a beautiful story of falling in love, her learning to bend to his will over time, and not just in one night, and so forth.

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  29. Jennifer

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Enjoyed

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  30. Jennifer

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Enjoyed

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  31. Monica

    Rated 1 out of 5

    Monica (verified owner)

    Too short

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  32. Sarah

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Sarah (verified owner)

    This was a very sweet and romantic story, though very short. I would have liked to read more about their relationship after marriage.

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  33. Arleen

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Arleen (verified owner)

    I loved the plot for this one. It was a great story. I couldn\\\’t put it down. I hope there is a sequel to this one. What will their marriage be like? Great characters. This one is definitely worth the read.

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  34. Sarah

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Sarah (verified owner)

    This was a very sweet and romantic story, though very short. I would have liked to read more about their relationship after marriage.

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  35. Anonymous

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Anonymous

    This was a sweet and romantic story, though very short. I would have liked to read more about their marriage together.

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  36. Anonymous

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Anonymous

    This was a sweet and romantic story, though very short. I would have liked to read more about their marriage together.

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  37. Jessie

    Rated 2 out of 5

    Jessie (verified owner)

    Guy meets brat, brat back talks guy, girl gets spanking, guy and girl fall in love and get married, very matter of fact and not much true substance, but cute

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  38. Jessie

    Rated 2 out of 5

    Jessie (verified owner)

    Guy meets brat, brat back talks guy, girl gets spanking, guy and girl fall in love and get married, very matter of fact and not much true substance, but cute

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  39. Jackie

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Jackie (verified owner)

    What a great read! I felt so much for all the characters in this one. It had me hooked from the very beginning! I could not recommend this more strongly! If you enjoy a story where a heroine meets her match and discovers a firm hand, buy this one! Very nicely done!

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  40. Jackie

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Jackie (verified owner)

    What a great read! I felt so much for all the characters in this one. It had me hooked from the very beginning! I could not recommend this more strongly! If you enjoy a story where a heroine meets her match and discovers a firm hand, buy this one! Very nicely done!

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  41. Arleen

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Arleen (verified owner)

    I loved the plot for this one. It was a great story. I couldn’t put it down. I hope there is a sequel to this one. What will their marriage be like? Great characters. This one is definitely worth the read.

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  42. Tia

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Tia (verified owner)

    This was a free story, and I enjoyed it. Susanna and Edmund meet when her father dies and he inherits the estate that she lives on. She is dependent on him for her future, and he is in need of a wife. She is far too outspoken in his opinion and he knows exactly how to handle it. I found Edmund to be unlikable at first. He seemed unnecessarily harsh and like a bit of a brute. While that held true, later on in the story you begin to understand why and to see him change and start to consider his action more. Susanna was feisty and sometimes defiant, which I enjoyed. This was short story but with plenty of discipline.

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  43. Connie

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Connie (verified owner)

    I enjoyed this book very much. Suzanna’s father is dying and wants his cousin to give up the entail on their family home, so she and her mother can keep their lifestyle. He dies before he can have the conversation and Edmund comes to the funeral takes over and decides he will marry Susanna. She of course fights it. Good story and thank you for the good editing of the book. It flowed very well

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  44. Jaycee

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Jaycee (verified owner)

    Very well- written, as all of Sullivan Clarke’s stories are, but much too short! I loved the beginning and the lead-in to meeting Mr. Kingsley. Susanna’s umbrage and set down of the arrogant Kingsley were perfect. Her mother was portrayed as an absolutely self absorbed twit and I loved how Susanna took matters into her own hands. But the story was over much too quickly! There was definite tension between the couple – Kingsley was so high handed and boorish that I could not readily accept the ending. Susanna needed more time to come to terms with the marriage instead of capitulating so quickly. How could she truly believe that he loved her in the space of 2 days and after the way he had treated her?? I wanted to see her continue to stand up for herself and refused to be ‘tamed’ as he so heartlessly put it. And Kingsley needed to discover that her ‘stubbornness and outspokenness’ were qualities that he could admire. Could have been an incredible story if the author had lengthened and developed it more.

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  45. Merna

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Merna (verified owner)

    I really liked this story, but just when I was getting over my dislike of Kingsley, the story ended. Would have liked more about the couple after they came to an understanding. I really felt sorry for Susanna, and Kingsley was irritating at first.

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  46. Mattie

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Mattie (verified owner)

    I love a strong heroine. Susanna takes care of herself and her mother, even though her mother is a pain. Kingsley is a strong man who is not used to a woman being so forward. I love that he outsmarts her in the end.

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  47. Mattie

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Mattie (verified owner)

    I love a strong heroine. Susanna takes care of herself and her mother, even though her mother is a pain. Kingsley is a strong man who is not used to a woman being so forward. I love that he outsmarts her in the end.

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  48. Artsy1

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Artsy1 (verified owner)

    I wish this could have been a longer story. The characters were well developed but the ending was abrupt. Susanna was a strong independent woman who just lost her father and was being forced to marry Edmund Kingsley, the new owner of her father’s estate, or be thrown off her property along with her mother. I was just getting into the story and how the relationship between Edmund and Susanna was developing when it suddenly ended. Edmund was all business and no emotion one minute and declaring his undying love the next and it ends. It’s like part of the story was missing. We didn’t see the relationship develop.

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  49. Artsy1

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Artsy1 (verified owner)

    I wish this could have been a longer story. The characters were well developed but the ending was abrupt. Susanna was a strong independent woman who just lost her father and was being forced to marry Edmund Kingsley, the new owner of her father\\\’s estate, or be thrown off her property along with her mother. I was just getting into the story and how the relationship between Edmund and Susanna was developing when it suddenly ended. Edmund was all business and no emotion one minute and declaring his undying love the next and it ends. It\\\’s like part of the story was missing. We didn\\\’t see the relationship develop.

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  50. LJ

    Rated 3 out of 5

    LJ (verified owner)

    I really liked this book but wish that it was longer. I felt like I was just getting into it when it ended. I enjoyed the characters and the storyline.

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  51. LJ

    Rated 3 out of 5

    LJ (verified owner)

    I really liked this book but wish that it was longer. I felt like I was just getting into it when it ended. I enjoyed the characters and the storyline.

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  52. anon

    Rated 2 out of 5

    anon (verified owner)

    Clarke began this story strongly, but it was as if it was just put aside. When it was picked up again, it was just ended. Susanna is so strong willed and intelligent there is no way she would have trusted and loved Edmund just because he spanked and strapped her one time. The mother and Susanna were so well fleshed out in the beginning but Edmund was barely introduced as a person. The story has such potential, but it never delivered. Shame, I would have enjoyed the complete story much more than this abbreviated one.

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  53. anon

    Rated 2 out of 5

    anon (verified owner)

    Clarke began this story strongly, but it was as if it was just put aside. When it was picked up again, it was just ended. Susanna is so strong willed and intelligent there is no way she would have trusted and loved Edmund just because he spanked and strapped her one time. The mother and Susanna were so well fleshed out in the beginning but Edmund was barely introduced as a person. The story has such potential, but it never delivered. Shame, I would have enjoyed the complete story much more than this abbreviated one.

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  54. Merna

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Merna (verified owner)

    I really liked this story, but just when I was getting over my dislike of Kingsley, the story ended. Would have liked more about the couple after they came to an understanding. I really felt sorry for Susanna, and Kingsley was irritating at first.

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  55. DNF

    Rated 3 out of 5

    DNF (verified owner)

    Nice story but too short. The end is too rushed.

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  56. Adele

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Adele (verified owner)

    I really liked this book. I could feel Susana’s sirrow at both the loss of her father and the betrail of her mother, who was willing to marry her off to a complete strager just to keep her home.

    After Susana ran away and Edmond found her, my heart melted when he told her why he did the things he did.

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  57. Adele

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Adele (verified owner)

    I really liked this book. I could feel Susana\\\’s sirrow at both the loss of her father and the betrail of her mother, who was willing to marry her off to a complete strager just to keep her home.

    After Susana ran away and Edmond found her, my heart melted when he told her why he did the things he did.

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  58. Star

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Star (verified owner)

    I wanted to smack Kingsley upside the head. Maybe if the story was longer and more developed I would have come to like his character.

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  59. Star

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Star (verified owner)

    I wanted to smack Kingsley upside the head. Maybe if the story was longer and more developed I would have come to like his character.

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  60. Anonymous

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Anonymous

    A very sweet and rather romantic story. Though grieving she is faced with the choice to submit to the will of a man who could provide for she, her sisters and widowed mother, or her pride. Though she initially chooses her pride, and faces his discipline, Edmund soon convinces her that marriage to him is the best choice and happiness appears to follow.

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  61. Anonymous

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Anonymous

    A very sweet and rather romantic story. Though grieving she is faced with the choice to submit to the will of a man who could provide for she, her sisters and widowed mother, or her pride. Though she initially chooses her pride, and faces his discipline, Edmund soon convinces her that marriage to him is the best choice and happiness appears to follow.

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  62. jeanped

    Rated 5 out of 5

    jeanped (verified owner)

    Ms. Sullivan has done it again… I love her stories, then leave me feeling happy and contented… The book could have been made a little bit longer though… I really enjoyed this…

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  63. jeanped

    Rated 5 out of 5

    jeanped (verified owner)

    Ms. Sullivan has done it again… I love her stories, then leave me feeling happy and contented… The book could have been made a little bit longer though… I really enjoyed this…

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  64. DNF

    Rated 3 out of 5

    DNF (verified owner)

    Nice story but too short. The end is too rushed.

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  65. lana

    Rated 4 out of 5

    lana (verified owner)

    Cute story..shows of strong woman..his appreciation for her is genuine..I love that in the end she’s not forced to be with him or what he wants..

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  66. Connie

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Connie (verified owner)

    I enjoyed this book very much. Suzanna\\\’s father is dying and wants his cousin to give up the entail on their family home, so she and her mother can keep their lifestyle. He dies before he can have the conversation and Edmund comes to the funeral takes over and decides he will marry Susanna. She of course fights it. Good story and thank you for the good editing of the book. It flowed very well

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  67. Cryspalitus

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Cryspalitus

    This is the first book that I have read by this author and she certainly knows how to write. The story had a good beginning and it set the scene very well. I was really enjoying this well written tale and then after he spanked her it all became very rushed. It was as though the author was close to exceeding her word limit for the book so it was a quick deflowering and a happy ever after. Why? After such a great build up I was feeling a little let down.

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  68. CJO

    Rated 5 out of 5

    CJO (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this story. Susanna thinks Edmund is a cold, stern man when she first meets him. She leaves everything to avoid marrying him. He finds her, and even though he punishes her, she finds out he really loves her.

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  69. CJO

    Rated 5 out of 5

    CJO (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this story. Susanna thinks Edmund is a cold, stern man when she first meets him. She leaves everything to avoid marrying him. He finds her, and even though he punishes her, she finds out he really loves her.

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  70. KArc

    Rated 4 out of 5

    KArc (verified owner)

    I enjoyed this short story about Susanna trying to save her family home after the death of her father. I thought she was a strong, determined woman who felt deserted by her family. I found Edmund to be cold and uncaring for most of the story but at the end there was a crack in his armor, just big enough for some warmth and kindness to show through. I was pleasantly surprised by his change of heart and despite my earlier impression, I found myself rooting for him.

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  71. KArc

    Rated 4 out of 5

    KArc (verified owner)

    I enjoyed this short story about Susanna trying to save her family home after the death of her father. I thought she was a strong, determined woman who felt deserted by her family. I found Edmund to be cold and uncaring for most of the story but at the end there was a crack in his armor, just big enough for some warmth and kindness to show through. I was pleasantly surprised by his change of heart and despite my earlier impression, I found myself rooting for him.

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  72. Rhonda

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Rhonda (verified owner)

    I’m not sure if it was the length of the story or the author’s telling of the stoty but the plot felt rushed. Too I found the hero much too stern and unfeeling for Susanna to suddeny believe he was the man for her.

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  73. Rhonda

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Rhonda (verified owner)

    I\\\’m not sure if it was the length of the story or the author\\\’s telling of the stoty but the plot felt rushed. Too I found the hero much too stern and unfeeling for Susanna to suddeny believe he was the man for her.

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  74. Vera Dunn

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Vera Dunn (verified owner)

    This is a very lovely, short and sweet courting novella. The characters are very interesting and connect (or clash) with each other well, and I found myself immediately thrown into the story, The only fault I have with it, is how short it is!

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  75. Vera Dunn

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Vera Dunn (verified owner)

    This is a very lovely, short and sweet courting novella. The characters are very interesting and connect (or clash) with each other well, and I found myself immediately thrown into the story, The only fault I have with it, is how short it is!

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  76. Cryspalitus

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Cryspalitus

    This is the first book that I have read by this author and she certainly knows how to write. The story had a good beginning and it set the scene very well. I was really enjoying this well written tale and then after he spanked her it all became very rushed. It was as though the author was close to exceeding her word limit for the book so it was a quick deflowering and a happy ever after. Why? After such a great build up I was feeling a little let down.

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  77. lana

    Rated 4 out of 5

    lana (verified owner)

    Cute story..shows of strong woman..his appreciation for her is genuine..I love that in the end she’s not forced to be with him or what he wants..

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  78. Tara

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Tara (verified owner)

    I really don’t like the oh, he spanked me right after I met him; that means he will take care of me and keep me in line and I love him forever coupled with the she’s a misbehaving brat; how could I NOT fall in love at first sight? stories. Not that this one is particularly poorly done, it just seemed like a whole lot happened in a fairly short story and I was less than convinced by any of it.

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  79. Tara

    Rated 3 out of 5

    Tara (verified owner)

    I really don\\\’t like the oh, he spanked me right after I met him; that means he will take care of me and keep me in line and I love him forever coupled with the she\\\’s a misbehaving brat; how could I NOT fall in love at first sight? stories. Not that this one is particularly poorly done, it just seemed like a whole lot happened in a fairly short story and I was less than convinced by any of it.

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  80. KatD

    Rated 5 out of 5

    KatD (verified owner)

    Short but nice

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  81. KatD

    Rated 5 out of 5

    KatD (verified owner)

    Short but nice

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  82. Angie

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Angie (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this short story about Susanna and Edmund. It was well written and I wish it would have been longer.

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  83. Angie

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Angie (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed this short story about Susanna and Edmund. It was well written and I wish it would have been longer.

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  84. Kathy

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Kathy (verified owner)

    I’d have to agree with other reviews, although I liked the story and characters it was too short. Once the story line was at a high it just ended. Kind of left you hanging. Still liked it though.

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  85. Kathy

    Rated 4 out of 5

    Kathy (verified owner)

    I\\\’d have to agree with other reviews, although I liked the story and characters it was too short. Once the story line was at a high it just ended. Kind of left you hanging. Still liked it though.

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  86. Stephanie

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Stephanie (verified owner)

    Chastisement leading to love is fascinating.

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