The Cowboy and the Mail Order Bride

(22 customer reviews)

Eleanor’s parents passed away unexpectedly, leaving her penniless. Fearing she had no other options, she accepts an offer of marriage from a wealthy rancher. She agrees to travel out west and become his bride, but part of that agreement means she must subject herself to his discipline.

John Henry Morgan expects his new bride to be an obedient wife, but soon finds the headstrong Eleanor taking his home–and his heart–by storm.

Can the impetuous Mrs. Morgan abide by her new husband’s rules and make him a comfortable wife, or will she lose him to his former lady friend, Miss Lou Anne Franklin?
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Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter

 

Chapter One

There I was at Miss Chasen’s Finishing School when I first got the news my parents were dead.? It filled me with grief, of course, but the worst blow was that, after their mortgage was paid off and their other debts settled, they were penniless.

I was penniless.

This would be my last term at Miss Chasen’s.? “What will I do, Penelope?” I asked my best friend.? “Term ends in a month.”

“That’s not much time, I agree,” said Penny.? “Do you know anyone who’ll offer for you?”

“Not in these circumstances.”

“Maybe you can find employment.? Maybe you could go to England and become a governess.”

“I don’t have the money to try.”

“Well, there is another way, but you won’t like it.”

“Which is?”

“You could come out West with me and become a mail-order bride.”

I stared at her in shock.? “Me?? Marry a complete stranger?”

“Why not?? As you said, you’re not likely to find a husband around here now.? Not with no money.”

“No.”

“I could write to my fianc? and see if he knows anyone.”

“Absolutely not.”

But she did anyway, and a few days later, she came to me with a letter in her hand. “Amos says he knows a rich rancher who’s desperate for a bride.”

“Why desperate?? Is he ugly?? Mean?? Repulsive?”

“No.? Amos says he’s just shy around women, and wouldn’t have the time to go out and meet one even if there were some.? Which there doesn’t seem to be, apart from women like us.”

“Women like us?”

“Mail-order brides.”?

I glanced away.? I knew Penny was right, and I was out of options.? “Penny?? Go ahead and have him write to me.”

I got a letter a few days later, and when I unfolded it, a photograph fell out.? He was very handsome, not at all like I thought he would be.? He had a thick moustache and kindness in his eyes, but he also had a certain determined set to his mouth that told me he was straightforward and would stand no nonsense.

Dear Miss Foster,

Thank you for letting me write.? I understand Miss Green has explained everything to you, and she has told me of your misgivings.? To set you at ease, I have enclosed a photograph of myself and am prepared to settle seven hundred dollars a year on you if you decide to come out.? If you would like, I’ll have a lawyer draw up the marriage contract and will send you a train ticket and three hundred fifty dollars as good faith money.? All I ask in return is that you be amiable and affectionate and willing to work.

There’s one more thing I think you ought to know before you decide, and that is this: I am a fair and forgiving man, but I won’t hesitate to put a wayward wife over my knee and teach her the error of her ways.? I especially hate gossiping.? If this don’t appeal to you, I don’t blame you none, but if that is the case, I’d say we’d better not go no further with this.

Please write me back and let me know how you feel about coming out here, one way or the other.? I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours Truly,

John Henry Morgan

“What does he say?” asked Penny.

“He says he’s going to spank me.? Especially if I gossip.”

“He does not.”

“He does.? Read it for yourself.”

She took the letter and read it with a skeptical look on her face, but when she got to the part where he discussed his ideas on discipline, her face got serious and she handed it back.? “I guess you’re not going to go, are you?”

“Oh, I’ll go.? What reason could he ever have to punish me?? I’m as good as gold.”

“You’ll go?? I’m awfully glad, Eleanor.? I was afraid for a second there I’d be riding the train alone.”

* * * * *

A month and a few-odd days later, we were on the train headed for Ryder’s Gulch.? The men had gotten us passage in a very nice Pullman sleeping car, with our own porter, a Negro man named George.

“What’s a gulch, anyway?” I asked Penny.

“I think it’s a sort of drainage ditch.”

“Hmm.? Doesn’t sound very romantic, does it?”

“That’s the trouble with you, Eleanor.? You always want things to be better than they are.”

“What’s wrong with that?” I asked, smoothing down my skirts.? “I’m ambitious.”

“Well, sometimes you just need to sit back and enjoy things the way they are.”

But a couple of days on the train and neither one of us was enjoying it, not even in a sleeping car.?

“Good lord, it’s hot,” said Penny, for the hundredth time.

“I know,” I said, fanning my face with a very pretty fan John Henry had sent me.? “Dusty, too.”

“And that soot.? I swear, by the time we get to Ryder’s Gulch, they’ll take us for a couple of blackamoors.”

“Do you think they’ll let us have a bath before we tie the knot?”

“No,” she answered.? “Amos says the preacher will perform the ceremony as soon as we arrive.”

“Well, I’ll be glad to get this corset off, anyway.”

She looked out the window with a dreamy smile.? “What do you suppose the wedding night will be like?” she asked me.? “Do you think it’ll be wonderful?? Millie told me her married sister says it hurts the first time they put it inside you.”

I felt myself blush.? “Penny, how can you?? Nice ladies aren’t supposed to know of such things until they’re married.”

“Why not, if it’s the truth?? Forewarned is forearmed, as Miss Chasen always says.”

I sat back, fanning myself harder.? Maybe Penny was right, but I didn’t see how you could arm yourself against something like that.? Besides, I wondered if it wasn’t just something people said to frighten young girls into remaining virgins.? “What about the second time?” I asked.? “Did her sister tell Millie what that was like?”

“No, but I don’t suppose it could’ve been too bad.? Millie says they’re happy as larks together.”

I sat there a while daydreaming about what marriage would really be like, what it would be like living with a man I barely knew, a man who’d already expressed his willingness to inflict corporal punishment on me.? What if he was a hot-tempered man and he beat me all the time?? “I’m kind of nervous about all this, aren’t you, Penny?”

“No, not especially.? I can’t wait to have intercourse and see what it’s like.”

“My goodness, Penny, you’ll be lucky if your new husband doesn’t wallop you, too, if he hears you talking that way.”

“He won’t.”

She glanced out the window with a smile.? There wasn’t much to see anymore besides sagebrush and the occasional herd of cattle.? “Just think of it, Eleanor.? By this time tomorrow, we’ll be married women.”

* * * * *

But when the day finally dawned, I felt extremely unwell.? I moved slowly as I put on my wedding gown, with its embroidered borders and five tiers of ruffles, four of plain silk and one of lace, while Penny chattered on about how glad she was that we were finally here.

“You’re quiet today,” she observed, as she put up her hair.? “Scared?”

“No.? Just a little under the weather is all.”

“You do have a bit of a fever,” she said, feeling my forehead with the back of her hand.? “Maybe if you take some tea?”

The tea went down well, but I still felt achy, ill, and restive.? The cabin was hot and stuffy, but we didn’t dare open the windows and take a chance on soiling our wedding finery.? When the train finally pulled into Ryder’s Gulch, it felt like we’d been on it a year.? I’d been shaken and jostled so much for so long, the ground beneath my feet felt like it was still moving.? I sat back down quickly, feeling a little faint.

“Eleanor, are you sure you’re all right?”

“I think I have the grippe.”

“Stay there.? Let me get George.”

When she returned with George, they labored together to help me off the train.? Our husbands-to-be came forward and introduced themselves.? Penny’s was a short, stout young man, but very amiable.? Mine was tall and quiet, and he handed me a lovely bouquet of roses.? Penny explained the way things stood and John Henry offered to put off the wedding.

“No, no.? I’ll be all right.? Just… help me to the church.”

“This won’t take long,” he promised.? “As soon as it’s over, I’ll take you home to a nice, soft bed.”

I glanced at him sharply, suspecting him of irony, but when his glance met mine, I knew he was simply being courteous and sympathetic.

“Whoa,” he said, stopping me to avoid a tumbleweed that was rolling by.? I watched as it skittered on down the road past us, and John Henry pressed my hand.? “If you need it, I’ll get you a room at the hotel so you can lie down.”

“Thank you.? You’re very kind, but I’m sure I’ll be fine.? Please don’t make a fuss.”

He nodded his head in agreement.? “Whatever you want, darlin’.? If you feel up to it, we can have our picture made after the ceremony.? They’ve got it all set up in a place next door to the church.”

Not wanting to rob him of this treat, I nodded.? “That’d be wonderful.”

He led me into the church and sat me down in one of the back pews.? There were a couple of other girls from the train who were mail-order brides, too, and we sat and watched them marry first.? As we sat there waiting, I turned my head and studied John Henry’s profile.

He was good-looking, even better than in his picture.? He must’ve felt my gaze upon him, because he turned all of a sudden and, with a twitch of his moustache, gave me a sweet, crooked smile, his eyes twinkling.

Finally, the first two couples were finished and filed out to go have their picture made as the four of us approached the altar.? Like the couples before us, we stood up for each other and served as each other’s witnesses.

I felt hot and feverish and barely heard what the pastor said.? Penny nudged me, and I realized we were to repeat our vows.

As an enlightened woman, I didn’t approve of promising to obey, and I’d meant to discuss that with John Henry, but by then I didn’t care anymore.? I just wanted to get it over with, so I said the vows as repeated to me by the pastor.

“I, Eleanor Lynn Phillips, promise to love, honor, and obey John Henry Morgan for as long as we both shall live.”

In his vows, John Henry only had to cherish me, but as we faced each other for the kiss, I saw that he took that quite seriously.? He encircled me with one arm and gave me a kiss full on the lips, my illness notwithstanding.

“Do you still feel up to that picture, Mrs. Morgan?”

Hearing him say that made my tummy feel all fluttery and I smiled.? When I glanced around, Penny seemed quite anxious for it, so I nodded.?

“Right this way, then,” he told me, leading me away to the photographer next door.

* * * * *

There I was, not moving a muscle, my elbow on my new husband’s shoulder, he sat while I stood and tried to keep my bouquet steady.? The flash startled me, and when the picture was taken at last, I was finally allowed to sit down.

“We were going to have dinner together at the hotel,” Amos told us girls, “but maybe we’d better make it for another time.? Your missus is looking a mite puny, J.H.”

“Yeah, she is.”

“Oh, please don’t change your plans for me,” I told the three of them.

“Nonsense, darlin’.? You come along with me and let me put you to bed.”

So John Henry had them fetch the carriage, and soon I was on my way to my new home.? “I’m sorry I’m ill,” I told him, probably for the fourth time.

“Don’t you worry about that, darlin’.? I’ll have you home in no time.”

Thankfully, he’d brought his coach, a fine landau with the top up, instead of an open wagon.? He helped me inside and jumped up on the running board to tell his coachman to spring the horses.??

We broke off the main road through town and took a dusty country road.? John Henry held my hand during the entire drive home, talking to me in a gentle, loving voice.? “I’ll have them make you a posset when we get to the ranch,” he told me.? “That should fix you up in a quick hurry.”

“Is it far?”

“Not very.? About three miles.? With a team like mine, we ought to be there in just over fifteen minutes.”

Just then, another tumbleweed rolled past and the horses tried to shy, but John Henry’s excellent coachman held them steady.? As the dust cleared, the ranch came into view.? It looked rather rustic and weathered, but well kept-up.? It was bigger than I expected, the main part of the house constructed of logs, with a two-story wing made of stone attached.? I envisioned window boxes and geraniums, and a smart new knocker on the door.? We pulled up around back and stopped.

“Well, Mrs. Morgan,” said my husband, jumping down to hand me out.? “Welcome to your new home.”? He led me to the door, and then he stopped me as he opened it.? Suddenly, he swung me up in his arms and carried me over the threshold.

He set me down on the stone kitchen floor and a woman of about forty-five came forward and clasped my hand.? “Mrs. Morgan, I’m Mrs. Allen, your housekeeper.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you.? Please call me Eleanor.”

“Yes, ma’am.? I’ve got a daughter around here somewhere, name of Claudia.? She helps out with the housework, too.”

Just then, John Henry broke in.? “There’s time enough for all that later, Mrs. Allen.? Eleanor here is feeling poorly, and I’m going to get her into bed.”

“What a shame.? And on your wedding day, too.”

I darted a quick glance around the kitchen before he took me by the elbow and guided me toward the staircase.? The stairs were bare wood and creaked a little underfoot, but the hall upstairs was carpeted with a dark blue Oriental runner.

“I imagine you’ll want to change some things once you’re on your feet again.”

“Well, I guess it could use a woman’s touch.”

“You change anything you see fit.”

He opened the door and followed me inside.? It was a large, sunny bedroom with a brass bed and a dressing area already set up.? He must’ve seen me eyeing it because he grinned.? “It don’t take a genius to figure out what that look means,” he told me.? “Can I help you off with that dress, or would you rather have one of the ladies?”

“We’ll have to see each other some time,” I told him, my practical streak coming out.? “If you can help me with the buttons, I can get the rest.”

I felt so ill my hair hurt, but he was careful not to be rough.

“Can we leave it to tomorrow to unpack my trunk?? I have everything I need for tonight in my bag, and I’d be awfully grateful if I could lie down.”

“Sure thing, darlin’.”

“I brought a lovely counterpane I made.? Well, you’ll see.”

His hands on me were almost more than I could bear.? I was sorely tempted to say to hell with my illness and let him deflower me then and there, but once he was done with the buttons, he left me alone to change for bed.?

He came back a little later with a nice tray of soup and slices of bread and butter.? Luckily, my appetite was still good.? I had no wish to offend Mrs. Allen or her daughter by sending it back untouched.? John Henry sat nearby while I ate, and when I was all done, he took the tray and set it outside the door.?

When he came back, his moustache twitched another gentle smile.? “Can you do me a favor?” he asked.? “Do you mind letting your hair down for me?”

I reached up and felt it.? “Of course not,” I said.? “I forgot it was even up.”? I pulled the chignon pin and my hair came cascading down past my shoulders.? I shook it out, because I knew that’s what he expected, and he eyed me lustfully.

Suddenly, though, I knew I wasn’t up to it and I smiled regretfully.? “I’m sorry,” I told him.? “Can we do our wedding night another time?”

He looked at me in surprise.? ” ‘Course we can.? You get you some rest, sugar.? You need anything, just holler.”

So I took his advice, laid down, and promptly fell asleep.

22 reviews for The Cowboy and the Mail Order Bride

  1. SH

    This was an enjoyable, quick read! The romance between Eleanor and John Henry took a while to bloom, given the circumstances, but they ended up very lucky indeed.

  2. SH

    This was an enjoyable, quick read! The romance between Eleanor and John Henry took a while to bloom, given the circumstances, but they ended up very lucky indeed.

  3. Timberlan127

    Due to the death of her parents and the fact that she was left with no money Elenor agrees to become a mail order bride. Her future husband warns her that he will be head of his household and believes in disciplining his wife. Elenor believes she is always good so this doesn\’t bother her. Elenor is a strong personality and soon learns that always speaking her mind can get her into trouble. She also learns that the community where John Henry lives is very different from anything she has known. This is an entertaining western that explores the development of their relationship with all it\’s insecurities. Elenor has a lot of adjustments to make. Can she do it and still be happy?

  4. Timberlan127

    Due to the death of her parents and the fact that she was left with no money Elenor agrees to become a mail order bride. Her future husband warns her that he will be head of his household and believes in disciplining his wife. Elenor believes she is always good so this doesn’t bother her. Elenor is a strong personality and soon learns that always speaking her mind can get her into trouble. She also learns that the community where John Henry lives is very different from anything she has known. This is an entertaining western that explores the development of their relationship with all it’s insecurities. Elenor has a lot of adjustments to make. Can she do it and still be happy?

  5. SL

    3 ½
    This story was ok. I didn’t really feel anything for the characters. The events were little vignettes. Eleanor and Penny decide to become mail order brides. They travel to Ryder’s Gulch by train and get married. They learn ranch life and what it means to be a wife.
    John Henry, her new rancher husband, teaches Eleanor to be a proper wife. You see Eleanor given instructions on what is required in the art of love making from blow, to anal, to whatever. She is also disciplined for her back talk and gossip, with hand, belt, paddle, switch, etc. The spankings were not too graphic in nature. It has a happy ending. The last half of the book had a bit of excitement. Overall it was an ok read.

  6. SL

    3 ?_
    This story was ok. I didn??t really feel anything for the characters. The events were little vignettes. Eleanor and Penny decide to become mail order brides. They travel to Ryder??s Gulch by train and get married. They learn ranch life and what it means to be a wife.
    John Henry, her new rancher husband, teaches Eleanor to be a proper wife. You see Eleanor given instructions on what is required in the art of love making from blow, to anal, to whatever. She is also disciplined for her back talk and gossip, with hand, belt, paddle, switch, etc. The spankings were not too graphic in nature. It has a happy ending. The last half of the book had a bit of excitement. Overall it was an ok read.

  7. madpuss

    I so enjoyed this story. It was different to the usual historical westerns. I think possibly more realistic. Their marriage is almost business like to begin with, their communication between each other almost formal. Since she is a mail-order bride there is no courting. They are attracted to each other and are immediately intimate and enjoy each other but love comes a little later as they get to know each other. It was a great story and their developing relationship and how they talked to one another was refreshing and different. I found it amusing. He demanded she learn all the things a ranch wife needed to be able to do besides house keeping but he rewarded her well when she achieved these things.

  8. madpuss

    I so enjoyed this story. It was different to the usual historical westerns. I think possibly more realistic. Their marriage is almost business like to begin with, their communication between each other almost formal. Since she is a mail-order bride there is no courting. They are attracted to each other and are immediately intimate and enjoy each other but love comes a little later as they get to know each other. It was a great story and their developing relationship and how they talked to one another was refreshing and different. I found it amusing. He demanded she learn all the things a ranch wife needed to be able to do besides house keeping but he rewarded her well when she achieved these things.

  9. sarah

    I would give this story 3.5 stars. There were elements I really enjoyed but didn’t love the overall story. The spanking scenes were hot, hot, HOT. These scenes were by far the best. I liked Eleanor but thought that John Henry was cold at times.The second half of the story had some excitement. While the romance was a little lacking for me, overall I thought the book was erotic and exciting. If you are looking for a hot story with some hot spanking this is definitely the book for you.

  10. sarah

    I would give this story 3.5 stars. There were elements I really enjoyed but didn??t love the overall story. The spanking scenes were hot, hot, HOT. These scenes were by far the best. I liked Eleanor but thought that John Henry was cold at times.The second half of the story had some excitement. While the romance was a little lacking for me, overall I thought the book was erotic and exciting. If you are looking for a hot story with some hot spanking this is definitely the book for you.

  11. Redrabbitt

    Eleanor became a mail order bride after the death of her parents left her penniless. John Henry Morgan was a wealthy by shy rancher. When Eleanor\’s friend Penny agreed to marry Amos, she encourages Eleanor to also become a mail order bride. Letters from John Henry told her if she agreed to be his bride, she would agree to discipline when she got out of line. This story has multiple punishments, explicit sex as he trains her, and it a story of love with discipline.

  12. Redrabbitt

    Eleanor became a mail order bride after the death of her parents left her penniless. John Henry Morgan was a wealthy by shy rancher. When Eleanor’s friend Penny agreed to marry Amos, she encourages Eleanor to also become a mail order bride. Letters from John Henry told her if she agreed to be his bride, she would agree to discipline when she got out of line. This story has multiple punishments, explicit sex as he trains her, and it a story of love with discipline.

  13. anon

    Eleanor knew what she was getting into before she committed to John Henry. He had written her to let her know he was willing to marry her, but that he was a very busy rancher who spanked for discipline. What follows are glimpses into Eleanor’s sex life that seem to evolve around her being disciplined. Some of the scenes felt contrived, like the gossiping one. I never got to feel for either character outside of sex, so I never understood how they came to love each other so dearly, but it is fantasy and it’s what we want to believe which makes it a good story.

  14. anon

    Eleanor knew what she was getting into before she committed to John Henry. He had written her to let her know he was willing to marry her, but that he was a very busy rancher who spanked for discipline. What follows are glimpses into Eleanor??s sex life that seem to evolve around her being disciplined. Some of the scenes felt contrived, like the gossiping one. I never got to feel for either character outside of sex, so I never understood how they came to love each other so dearly, but it is fantasy and it??s what we want to believe which makes it a good story.

  15. anon

    Eleanor knew what she was getting into before she committed to John Henry. He had written her to let her know he was willing to marry her, but that he was a very busy rancher who spanked for discipline. What follows are glimpses into Eleanor’s sex life that seem to evolve around her being disciplined. Some of the scenes felt contrived, like the gossiping one. I never got to feel for either character outside of sex, so I never understood how they came to love each other so dearly, but it is fantasy and it’s what we want to believe which makes it a good story.

  16. anon

    Eleanor knew what she was getting into before she committed to John Henry. He had written her to let her know he was willing to marry her, but that he was a very busy rancher who spanked for discipline. What follows are glimpses into Eleanor??s sex life that seem to evolve around her being disciplined. Some of the scenes felt contrived, like the gossiping one. I never got to feel for either character outside of sex, so I never understood how they came to love each other so dearly, but it is fantasy and it??s what we want to believe which makes it a good story.

  17. Marybeth

    This is a short story about a mail order bride in the 1800’s. Eleanor is at finishing school when she receives word that her parents have died. At the end of the term, she would be homeless. Her friend Penny is going west to be a mail order bride to a man named Amos. She suggests that Eleanor came as well. Penny writes to her fiancé and he responds that he has a neighbor that needs a wife. Eleanor agrees to have him write to her and John Henry reassures her that he will be good to her, but that he would spank her if she breaks his rules. She agrees to marry him and comes west. When she gets there, she is sick, but she still agrees to go through the marriage ceremony. She takes a few days to get better and then starts to work in the house. That night, he comes in and tells her that she will get a preventative spanking so that she will know that she does not want to earn one. He spanks hard and she is very sore. But, they still consummate their marriage that night. He also tells her that she needs to learn how to do stuff around the ranch. And so, he proceeds to teach her how to ride a horse, clean out a barn, feed the chickens, milk the cows, etc. Of course, she gets many spanking along the way. The spankings are hot and, for the most part, deserved. I just didn’t feel the love between them and I think that John Henry found excuses to spank her. I give this story 3 stars.

  18. Marybeth

    This is a short story about a mail order bride in the 1800??s. Eleanor is at finishing school when she receives word that her parents have died. At the end of the term, she would be homeless. Her friend Penny is going west to be a mail order bride to a man named Amos. She suggests that Eleanor came as well. Penny writes to her fianc? and he responds that he has a neighbor that needs a wife. Eleanor agrees to have him write to her and John Henry reassures her that he will be good to her, but that he would spank her if she breaks his rules. She agrees to marry him and comes west. When she gets there, she is sick, but she still agrees to go through the marriage ceremony. She takes a few days to get better and then starts to work in the house. That night, he comes in and tells her that she will get a preventative spanking so that she will know that she does not want to earn one. He spanks hard and she is very sore. But, they still consummate their marriage that night. He also tells her that she needs to learn how to do stuff around the ranch. And so, he proceeds to teach her how to ride a horse, clean out a barn, feed the chickens, milk the cows, etc. Of course, she gets many spanking along the way. The spankings are hot and, for the most part, deserved. I just didn??t feel the love between them and I think that John Henry found excuses to spank her. I give this story 3 stars.

  19. JK

    This book surprised me! I started out thinking that I didn’t like John Henry at all, but he started to grow on me quite quickly! He and Eleanor really come to find love and respect for each other in this book. It has some very memorable scenes in it. I would definitely recommend this one!!

  20. JK

    This book surprised me! I started out thinking that I didn??t like John Henry at all, but he started to grow on me quite quickly! He and Eleanor really come to find love and respect for each other in this book. It has some very memorable scenes in it. I would definitely recommend this one!!

  21. sandy (verified owner)

    I give this book three stars because some of the story was rather predictable.
    You just knew that some where within the chapters the wive would put herself or others in danger.
    The spankings were well deserved and not abusive.
    I would have liked more detail and scoldings so you could cringe for the character and visualise the images.

  22. sandy (verified owner)

    I give this book three stars because some of the story was rather predictable.
    You just knew that some where within the chapters the wive would put herself or others in danger.
    The spankings were well deserved and not abusive.
    I would have liked more detail and scoldings so you could cringe for the character and visualise the images.

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