Unlikely Heroes: Three Novellas

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Sample Chapter

Heroes aren’t just soldiers, or firemen, or rescue workers. They can be anyone, anywhere, given the right circumstances. These stories are about just such men – quiet, strong, intelligent men who provide exactly what their heroines need – whether it’s a hot meal or an even hotter bottom!

The Day Care Teacher

"Never date a co-worker." It’s a maxim that was never hard for Kelly Andrews to live by – there generally aren’t many men working with preschoolers. The hours are long, the pay is low, no health insurance and few benefits. But everything changes when Tom Cooper comes to Start Right Child Care Center. The gorgeous hunk is great with kids and parents alike. He knows just how to get the wiggly ones to sleep at nap time, and how to diffuse a tense situation before it blows out of control. The fact is, Tom Cooper is irresistible. But he doesn’t believe in dating.

Kelly didn’t realize that when she went out with him for pizza. Or when he took her to the senior center to play cards with a bunch of old folks. Tom claims he isn’t dating her, he’s courting her. His ultimate goal is marriage. She’d like nothing better than to be a stay-home mother and raise a house full of children, but can she make a life with Tom? He’s too perfect. Except for his belief that a sound spanking is the right response for poor choices.

Kelly knows she is far from perfect. Growing up in foster homes with no real parental guidance, she has a lot to learn. Tom teaches her about responsibility and commitment. He teaches her about family. But the one thing she needs more than anything else, he isn’t willing to give. Can they forge a future together, or will Kelly have to let Mr. Perfect get away?

The Painter

It had all seemed like a big adventure when Shannon decided to withdraw from college, collect the partial refund and run off to the big city to begin a career in modeling. Maybe one day she would have a penthouse apartment and a chauffeur – which would be quite a change from her rural upbringing. But she couldn’t get a job without references, and she couldn’t get references without experience. Shannon was so hungry, that she would do anything – lie, cheat, or steal – just to get that first big break! Then she overheard two women talking about the famous artist, Kerrick Peyton, and how he was looking for a new model.

What she didn’t know, though, was that Kerrick only painted nudes. And it was in his contract that he would discipline his models any way he saw fit to get the results he required. She wasn’t in his studio even an hour before she found herself over his knee for her very first spanking ever. And did it hurt! Yet, she really needed the job – which was going to last six weeks. Six whole weeks of eating three meals a day, and having a warm place to sleep at night. She could do it. She had to! If only she could just learn to do as he asked the first time – she’d save herself a lot of spankings!

The Librarian

NOT all librarians are dorks. Some are downright studs. And some – unfortunately for Bailey Yates – spank. Hard. Bailey is the young wife of a small-town Wisconsin librarian who takes his job very seriously. And AJ Yates takes Bailey seriously, knowing that his wife did not have the educational opportunities or family support as a teen. AJ is strict but fair, believing that a program of domestic discipline is the best thing he can do for his wife.

When Bailey is punished, she not only spends time over her husband’s knee, but is subject to corner time and then must write an essay. AJ is a librarian, after all. But one day – after a not particularly heinous offense – AJ is suprised at her writing assignment. It’s not an essay at all – but a research paper on the childhood of Abraham Lincoln. It’s going to take her a week – or more. And why did AJ choose this topic? What lessons does he want Bailey to learn?

Sample Chapter

The Day Care Teacher

Chapter 1:

“Teacher! Bobby won’t give me the yellow paint! Make him share!”

Kelly rubbed an ache behind her eyebrows as she turned towards the art corner. Four-year-old Nate was tugging on five-year-old Bobby’s arm, causing the loaded paintbrush to drip on the tile floor. Bobby gave Nate a shove. Nate shoved back before she could cross the busy playroom to stop him, and Bobby crashed into the double-sided easel. The easel collapsed, taking Emily Hunter down with it into a giant jumble pile of soggy artwork, torn paper, and spilled paint. Emily was howling. Bobby was using words a five-year-old had no business knowing, and Kelly was about ready to quit.

Except that most of the time, she loved her job. Kelly caught the culprit by the arm and directed him towards the corner. “Nate Barrows! You just earned yourself a time-out!”

Nate stuck his tongue out at Bobby on the way.

“And Bobby, what would your mother say if she heard you talking like that?”

He shrugged. “She’d probably tell me to shut the fuck up.”

Tom Cooper, the four-year-olds’ teacher, grinned. “You walked right in to that one, Teach.”

Kelly felt her face flush. It was probably as red as Emily Hunter’s pretty white sweater was now. What mother sent her child to day care wearing white? One who didn’t know kids, obviously. Kelly ignored Tom as she rescued the little girl.

“Those mean old boys! I’m so sorry, honey. Tell me where it hurts.”

“They – they – they ruined my picture!” she sobbed.

Kelly brought her to the sink and handed her some paper towels to catch the worst of the paint spills. The sweater was probably ruined, but if she had Emily change into something dry, she could try soaking it in cold water with a little dish soap and bleach.

“You can paint a new one,” she said, trying to sound encouraging.

“But I don’t want a new one! I want that one!” Emily was not about to be encouraged. She was the injured party, and she was out for blood. Kelly helped her into the extra outfit all the preschoolers were required to keep at Start Right Childcare Center, but the more she tried to calm her, the more hysterical the little girl became. Kelly felt her headache mushroom. She clenched her teeth, and if Tom hadn’t stepped in, she just might have done something regrettable.

“Hey, Emily. Your painting isn’t ruined. Come and see. I think if we cut off this part, and this part, and let it dry, then you can mount it on colored construction paper. It will look so nice, your mother won’t even know that part of it got damaged.”

“Do you really think so?” she asked, her big blue eyes gazing at the egotistical, mega-maniacal male chauvinist like he was the best thing to come along since the talking sponge and his square shorts. Strange, but everybody seemed to look at Tom Cooper like that. Marianne and Nancy, the teachers for the two and three-year-olds, Carla the cook, even Deb Ditmire, the Day Care Despot. They all drooled so much when he was around, it was a wonder they didn’t slip and break their necks on the wet floor.

Emily put her small hand in his great big one, and together they walked to the art corner to resurrect her masterpiece. They were kind of cute together. Emily was small for four, with pale coloring. Her blonde hair, blue eyes, and pink cheeks were washed out colors, like a digital photo when the colored inks were running low. Tom Cooper was ginormous. He was six foot six, with shoulders so broad they practically got stuck in the doorway. His black hair was thick and wavy. He started the day with it brushed back, but before long, it spilled forward, curling down over one eye like a pirate’s patch. More black hair framed his jaw with a rough stubble of new beard growth. He looked like he might be more comfortable on the football field than a playground. But as much as he irritated her like a poison ivy rash, Kelly had to admit he was a great teacher.

Kelly went to talk to Nate about why we don’t shove our friends. Nate had to apologize to Bobby before his time-out was over. Then together the boys helped clean the paint spills. All of that took thirty-five minutes. In the last ten minutes of free play, Nate and Bobby worked on a painting together. Their communal work of art looked remarkably similar to the mess they had just cleaned off the floor.

Kelly circulated through the large playroom, warning the children that it would soon be time to clean up. Three children had constructed a huge block structure and didn’t want to put it away. Kelly grabbed the Center’s camera and snapped several shots of it with and without the young engineers. “Okay, now you can put it away,” she said, before going on to the next play area.

One little boy had been in the listening center almost the entire period. Kelly discovered why. He was fast asleep. She felt his forehead and thought it might be a little warm. “Dakota? Wake up, honey. You took an extra nap. Was the story boring?”

He rubbed sleepy eyes. His cheeks were flushed. “Huh?”

That was when she loved kids the most. Either when they were sleeping, or half asleep and still cuddly. She folded her legs and drew him on to her lap for a few moments. He rested a sweaty forehead against her chest, his thumb in his mouth. She’d have to remember to talk to his mother when she came to pick him up. He was probably coming down with something.

Parents always hated to hear that. Kids couldn’t come to the center when they had a fever, but they got a lot more fevers than parents got sick leave. Kelly hoped that when she married, her husband would earn enough that she could just be a stay-home mom. Many years from now. Before she could get married, she’d have to meet someone who wasn’t a toad.

Tom Cooper rang the little brass bell they kept on a top shelf where the munchkins couldn’t reach it. Immediately groups of children stuffed their toys on the shelves in some semblance of order, and raced to find a spot on the big circle made with tape on the green carpet. Kelly brought a few children back to do a more thorough job on their clean up, but generally the kids knew what was expected of them. Then she sat on the circle. Tom picked a spot halfway around it. Several kids scrambled and pushed to sit next to “teacher”, but before long they were all seated and waiting expectantly.

Dakota raised his hand. “Teacher? I wanna sing the bear song.”

Of course he wanted to sing the bear song. Any hopes she had entertained that her headache might be short lived were quickly dashed. At least Tom knew that one. He could lead it. They sang all seven verses. Then they did three finger plays, two more songs, and finished up with “Did you ever see a whale?” – their all-time favorite silly song Tom had taught them his first day here, six months ago.

From circle time the children divided into groups. The four-year-olds went to one table on the east side of the room with Tom. Kelly’s five-year-olds took the other table on the west side. She pulled the heavy room-divider closed. Sometimes they left it open, but she didn’t need Tom’s silent criticism today when she was already irritable.

The Day Care planned their activities around a central theme – this week it was “sound”. Kelly had made a set of “sound cans” late last night, after watching a movie that was already overdue. She’d taken pairs of empty plastic film canisters and put things inside them. Two held a penny. Two held erasers. Two held marshmallows. Two more held sand, and she couldn’t even remember what the last two held at the moment. Then the lids were snapped on, and the cans mixed up. The children had to try to find the pairs by shaking the cans and listening to the sound.

That kept them busy for less time than it took to make the cans.

Next they played “I hear with my little ear” – a variation of “I spy” that was played with their eyes shut.

The children seemed unusually silly, though. They wiggled and pushed and teased and pinched, and Kelly felt like the entire morning was a waste of time. It wasn’t usually like this, but she had noticed a high correlation between their behavior and hers. She never should have stayed up so late! It was all she could do to keep her eyes open.

The morning passed in agonizing slow motion. After their unit activities, they put on sweatshirts or fall jackets and dashed outside for a half-hour of play. Kelly walked the perimeter of the playground, keeping an eye on the children and breathing deeply the fresh autumn air as she tried to clear her headache.

“A little tense today, aren’t you?”

The deep voice startled her. Kelly tipped her head back to glare up at Tom. “Don’t you have to push your admirers on the swings, Teacher?”

They called each other teacher mostly when they were pissed about something, or sometimes just as a joke. They had tried for months to get the children to call them by their names, with little success. It was just as well. If they went by “Miss Andrews” or “Mr. Cooper” some parents complained that they were too formal. If they tried “Kelly” or “Tom” other parents complained they were too familiar. So Teacher it was. Then because there were four teachers, an aid who circulated throughout the center, and the director, the children further identified them as “my teacher” or “Nate’s Teacher”. They didn’t really have a name for the director. Deb Ditmire kept any interaction with the children to the barest minimum.

Tom’s eyes narrowed. He knew she didn’t mean to be funny. “Got up on the wrong side of bed again, I see.”

Yeah, right. He was lucky she got up at all.

“Look, miss,” he said, his voice dropping an octave. Kelly felt prickles run down her spine whenever he talked to her like that. “You better find a way to hold yourself together, before you do something you’ll regret. They are just little children – it’s not their fault that you’re not mature enough to go to bed at a decent hour.”

“I did not,” she started to say, but he cut her off.

“I see dark circles under your eyes, and you’ve been yawning all morning, so don’t even think about lying to me.”

Kelly turned away before he could see the tears gathering in her eyes. Damn him, but he was right. At least he was smart enough to leave it at that. He returned to the swings, giving Emily and Jasmine pushes, and ending a fight between Nate and Bobby over the last available swing.

Why did Tom have to be so damn perfect! She never should have started dating him. She’d always heard about workplace romances, but until this year, she’d never had to worry about it. Day Cares tended to be staffed by an all female workforce, in part because the pay scale was too small for wage-earner husbands to support their families. But Tom wasn’t married. And he didn’t seem to mind the low pay. Kelly didn’t know if he was independently wealthy, or a free-spirit hippie type that didn’t pay taxes and didn’t own anything. Actually, for as long as they’d been dating – three weeks now – she hadn’t really learned much about him. Except that he was perfect.

Perfect Tom Cooper. Perfect looks, perfect grades, perfect manners. And now, perfectly right. Kelly rubbed her forehead and dashed into the bathroom to swallow a couple of Tylenol. Somehow, she managed to paste on a smile through lunch, story time, and then putting the children down for a nap.

All the five-year-olds slept, even though their parents often claimed that they no longer napped at home. Kelly was a firm believer in naps for children. The kids whose parents believed in naps seemed to be bigger, healthier, stronger, and better natured. The kids whose parents never made them go to bed, and let them stay up to watch Letterman and other inappropriate late-night television, were undersized, hyperactive, and often disruptive. Funny how the parents couldn’t see the connection.

Emily was one of the kids from a non-napping home. Getting her to sleep usually took either Kelly or Tom sitting beside her to make sure she stayed in a prone position, and rubbing her back with the lights turned low and sleepy-music piped over the speakers. Once she got to sleep, though, she slept soundly, and they often had to wake her. It was a Day Care rule that the children had to stay on their cots for thirty minutes, after which time the ones who were awake were allowed to play quietly with puzzles or picture books. When a few more woke up, one of the teachers took them outside while the others slept a little longer. But after an hour all the sleepers were roused, or the parents complained about getting them to bed at night.

The sleepy music had Kelly wishing she could spread out on a cot right along with the children. Her head was nodding, and her eyes felt too heavy. If only she could… just a few minutes would help. She straightened, shook her head, but before long she was nodding off again.

A firm hand rested on her shoulder, nudging her awake. “Kelly,” Tom whispered. “If you’re caught napping, you could lose your job. I’ve got this covered. Why don’t you take your break?”

She rubbed her eyes. “Wasn’t sleeping,” she whispered automatically, getting to her feet.

His hand rested on her bottom. He leaned over her – damn, did he have to be so tall! She felt about six-years-old when he was around. “That’s twice you tried to lie to me, Kelly. I think you and I have some things to discuss after work today. Got that?”

She scowled, ready to argue with him, but he was right. Shame colored her face, her ears felt hot. “Sorry,” she muttered, and hurried from the room.

Kelly grabbed her sweatshirt and tugged the zipper halfway up. She walked briskly until she was out of sight of the day care, and then she started to run. Damn, damn, damn! Was he going to break up with her? All because of that stupid video. No, it was more than that. Because she’d made a poor choice by staying up late, and she wasn’t one hundred percent today. Because Tom was perfect, and Kelly could never meet his expectations. Tears streamed down her face. It was hard to run and cry at the same time. Kelly scooted behind the garage on Fourth Street, cut across the block, and plucked the spare key from under the pile of plastic dog poop to let herself inside the house she rented from the Harts.

Filling the teakettle with fresh water, Kelly took out her favorite mug with the Dalmatian puppies scampering around the perimeter and unwrapped a tea bag. No herbal concoction today. She needed the ultra-caff high-test brew of a good, strong Early Grey. Too bad she couldn’t just inject it intravenously. A couple of chocolates and some no-doze tablets later, she thought she might just make it through the rest of the day.

The overdue video sat on the coffee table where she’d left it this morning. Damn! She meant to drop it off before work! There wasn’t time now, she’d have to run all the way back to day care as it was, or the other teachers would not be able to take their breaks.

Nothing made the teachers angrier. Working with small children was intensive – a labor of love for most of them, but they only managed to maintain their sanity with the brief respite of the daily thirty-minute break. Unlike their public school counterparts, day care teachers were with their charges every single minute of the day. Their children didn’t go to another classroom for physical education, or music. They didn’t have lunchroom aides or play ground aids. The teachers didn’t get health insurance benefits, paid sick leave, or even an equitable salary. Kelly grabbed the offending video and tucked it in her jacket pocket. If she left immediately after her shift, maybe she could get it back to Movie Magic before she was charged yet another fine.

Kelly was late by five minutes. Marianne glowered at her as she dashed out to her car, and then she was gone for thirty-seven minutes. By then the children were awake. Tom wouldn’t get his break today. Kelly wiped damp palms on her jeans, dreading their after-hours conversation. Of course, she wasn’t to blame for Marianne’s tardiness, but that wasn’t going to make a bit of difference to Tom.

The afternoon dragged. Kelly’s pulse seemed a little rapid, probably from a caffeine overdose, or nerves, or maybe a bit of both. And the worst part was, she was still tired! Meanwhile, Tom bounced around the playroom with as much energy as the preschoolers. One minute he was perched precariously on a child-sized chair in the housekeeping center having a cup of imaginary coffee with Celia and a few teddy bears. The next he was doing puzzles at the table with Bobby and Nate, then pinning up more soggy artwork to drip dry, and he was still able to catch Emily, who had climbed up on a stack of cots to fetch a toy Jimmy John had thrown there, before she landed on her head. Kelly was exhausted just watching him.

At two-thirty Emily’s mom arrived to pick her up. She was livid about the red-stained sweater, and used some language the parents didn’t usually use in front of the children. Kelly rubbed her forehead, not quite reaching the ache. Tom stepped in, proudly offering Emily’s mom the resurrected work of art, and somehow managing to smooth over the awkward moment. He even started talking with Emily’s mom about the effectiveness of various stain-removers.

Kelly was never going to make it through the day. Her stomach was in knots. Her head was splitting in two. The caffeine had her heart racing, while exhaustion made her arms and legs feel like dead weights. And now, Perfect Tom was wearing on her non-existant patience like sand paper on a sunburn. She was about ready to scream.

By four p.m., her usual quitting-time, thirteen children remained. Kelly could not leave Tom alone with the children until one more went home. Which wasn’t fair. Nancy got to leave at two, and Marianne at three. Kelly mentally checked off the remaining children against the memorized list of parents’ work schedules.

Bobby was generally the very last one to go home, even though he came before seven in the morning. Technically, that wasn’t even legal. The center was open from six a.m. until five p.m., but no child was supposed to be there for more than nine hours in a single day. Still, Bobby’s mom was kind of clueless in the parenting department. He was probably better off at day care.

Nate, Celia, and the others were where they were supposed to be. Dakota! He was the one that should have left already. She’d almost forgotten him, as he was asleep again in the listening center. Dakota was one of the lucky few from a two-parent home. His parents were never late. If one couldn’t get there on time, the other showed up. Of all the days to change their routine – when he was sick, and Kelly wasn’t faring too well herself. She’d give them ten minutes before she started calling their emergency backup numbers.

“Teacher, tie my shoe!”

“Teacher, Bobby pushed me!”

“Teacher!”

Argh! Kelly whirled around, tugging her hair by the roots. “What!”

“Dakota frew up.”

Just great.

Half an hour later, the mess was cleaned up and Dakota’s parents arrived. They were at once apologetic and overly excited from a positive pregnancy test at the doctor’s office. Kelly tried to be happy for them, but a small knot of jealousy stirred her stomach. They had everything. And now, they would have two of everything. At least she could finally leave. She’d swing by Movie Magic first, and maybe they would waive the late fee. Otherwise, she’d just keep the movie and watch it again. She tugged up her zipper and dodged for the door.

“Not so fast, young lady,” Tom’s deep voice whispered in her ear.

She spun around, startled by his sudden appearance. For a big guy, he could sure move quietly. “Huh?”

“You and I have some things to discuss.”

“But, I have to go – I have this video to return, and – and, we can talk later. Much later. Like tomorrow, maybe?”

He shook his head, sensuous lips pressed together in a thin line. Kelly felt flutters in her belly. He couldn’t be doing this – not here, not in front of the children. Couldn’t he wait for a weekend to break up with her, so she could have two whole days to cry before she had to face the munchkins again? Little kids were so perceptive.

“Go ahead, run your errands. But meet me back here.”

She nodded, staring at her shoes. She didn’t trust herself to look him in the eye. He’d see how much this was hurting her, just how hard she’d fallen for him. She was a fool. They weren’t really even dating. Maybe. Well, he had taken her out for pizza once, and he’d asked her to join him for cards. That had been the strangest date she’d ever been on. She had hardly seen him the entire evening. He played Five Hundred with a bunch of old people once a month, and he needed a fourth. She’d been his partner for the first game – which they’d lost. So they’d parted ways, and she’d spent the rest of the night at the same table playing with one old man after another, while Tom had worked his way to the head table. He and his new partner, a fashionable sixty-seven year old woman with blue-gray hair, took the grand prize. A silly plastic trophy and ten bucks. The trophy was only theirs for the month when it would pass on to the next winners, and his share of the ten bucks wasn’t even enough to buy a couple of drinks before going home. Kelly had had fun, sort of. Playing cards with old people wasn’t something she’d ever deliberately set out to do, but they had made her laugh. And they treated her with respect, not like some dumb blonde bimbo.

But that was all. In three weeks she’d seen him outside of work exactly twice. He didn’t call her at night. He didn’t miss her. Maybe he didn’t even realize that they were dating? The thought was just too depressing.

He caught her chin with a finger and tipped her face up. “Kelly? Are you coming down with whatever Dakota’s got?”

His dark eyes were full of concern, two small creases puckering between his eyebrows. She should lie – for a third time that day. But Tom had an uncanny way of knowing every time she did. She shook her head.

He put a chaste kiss on the top of her head. “Be quick, then. The center closes in twenty minutes.”

Kelly spun around, dashing into the dark before letting her tears fall.

The Painter

Chapter One:

Shannon checked her lipstick in the compact mirror, worrying that she should have gone with the Lush Red instead of Sugar Pink. Pink suited her complexion better, but made her look like jailbait. Even twirling her long whiskey-colored hair into a sophisticated twist did little to make her seem like the college sophomore she was supposed to be. She smoothed a nervous hand down the satiny tank and too?short skirt, and swallowed the nausea rising in her throat. She had to convince him she was perfect! Something her fire?and?brimstone father would never see.

The bus jerked to the curb, its doors spitting open with a rusty grind. Shannon dove through the mass of sweaty bodies with barely a second to spare before the bus lurched back into traffic. She checked the address again. It was hard to believe a world?famous artist would choose to live in such a dumpy neighborhood. Maybe those girls in the bar had known she was eavesdropping ? maybe they had purposefully fed her the wrong information? Tears threatened to ruin her makeup. She dabbed carefully at her nose with a tissue.

Just put one foot in front of the other. She would follow this cruel prank to its bitter conclusion, and if she didn’t get the job ? the job those two models in the bar had intended applying for ? well then, maybe she’d have to swallow her pride and ask where the nearest soup kitchen was. Models were supposed to be thin, but not faint from hunger. Shannon mustered up a smile, flashing her perfect white teeth ? the minor orthodontia she’d had to pay for herself because her father felt if God had wanted her teeth straight, He’d have made them that way.

102 Breezy Way was a three?story corner building with a sports bar at ground level and apartments above. Shannon located Mr. Peyton’s buzzer and pressed it firmly. The inner door clicked to let her enter. Nice security, but no elevator, which only reinforced her opinion of a less than savory neighborhood. And he would have to be on the top floor! Her stomach growled embarrassingly. She dug the last breath mint from the tight hip pocket and popped it in her mouth. She savored it, licking it with her tongue almost sensually, hoping the pitiful flavor of her saliva would quiet the hunger just a little longer. Then she scurried up the stairs before the last of her courage failed her. She reached out to knock on his door, but it opened quickly and her hand was inches away from pounding on his chest. Shannon let out a startled gasp.

His chest was partially bared; a paint?spattered work shirt hung unbuttoned over broad shoulders and strong arms. “You’re early,” he barked. His voice was deep and rich, like the lead baritone back in college. She’d had a crush on the baritone her entire freshman year, until she saw that his tastes ran more for tenors than sopranos.

Before she had a chance to apologize, he barked again. “Well, let’s get started. Drop your things on the bench and stand over there.”

Could it be that easy? Did that mean she had the job? An artist’s model for the next six weeks? Oh boy! Maybe she could eat three meals a day again ? and find a better place to sleep than on a bus. Shannon tossed her tiny purse on the bench and concentrated on moving gracefully to the designated spot in the center of his living room. Large photographer’s lamps were positioned around the spot to cast lights and shadows on her. Already she felt their heat. Her smile was genuine as she imagined feeling truly warm on the inside for the first time in weeks.

Kerrick Peyton squirted thick blobs of paint on his palette, not even bothering to screw the caps back on the tubes. His dark hair was tied back carelessly; paint smeared his forearms where his shirtsleeves were rolled up. He placed a large blank canvas on a grubby easel, then glared at her.

“Well?” he demanded.

She was clueless. “What, Mr. Peyton? How would you like me to stand?”

“Naked!” he barked. “Drop your clothes, and let’s get to work!”

Shannon gulped, fear turning her stomach sour. Guys had often wanted to see her naked, but they’d never been so artless about it! “N?naked?” she stammered.

Kerrick tossed a fistful of brushes on the tray next to his easel. Some rolled to the floor, splattering paint on a scrap of canvas protecting the living room carpet. Then he marched towards her, his expression as dark as a summer storm. She flinched when his hand swung out, but he didn’t hit her. He caught her chin with his fingers and turned her face in the light.

“The agency sent you?” he snapped. Didn’t the guy know how to talk in a normal voice? She felt a silly giggle bubble up to cover her fear. All she managed to do was nod, hoping that the sin of nodding wasn’t quite as bad as actually voicing the lie.

“And this is their idea of someone ‘older’? God, I’d hate to see what their other models look like.”

“You wanted an older model?” her voice squeaked, tears filling her vision.

“Yes! Mature ? I paint nudes, but I won’t be accused of kiddie porn. What are you, seventeen?”

The insult strengthened her, banishing her fears. He was an artist, he painted nudes. It wasn’t like he was propositioning her or anything. She slipped the first button loose and started on the second.

“I’m nineteen,” she said firmly. “And a half. I’ll be twenty next summer.”

His lips quirked in a half smile, briefly showing white teeth in a ruggedly handsome face with a boyish dimple in his left cheek. But then the expression was gone, and his intense stare returned. “Fine, then. Strip. Stand. And don’t move!”

He grabbed up his brushes, tucked two of them in his mouth and swirled the largest one in a mound of muddy brown and swashed it across the barren canvas. She’d never watched an artist work before. His passion, his intensity, it was all very exciting.

“Now!” he shouted.

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26 reviews for Unlikely Heroes: Three Novellas

  1. SH

    While I am not typically a fan of novellas I did have a great time reading this one because there were three in one book. The stories are well thought out, well written and definitely worth the read!

  2. SH

    While I am not typically a fan of novellas I did have a great time reading this one because there were three in one book. The stories are well thought out, well written and definitely worth the read!

  3. SL

    This a collection of three short stories, 2 previously published and one new.
    It has Day Care Teacher, The Painter, and The Librarian. Each of the stories is cute and short and involves DD between couples. They all have a happy ending. The theme is Unlikely heroes. Each of the couples has obstacles to overcome.

    The day care teacher has a problem with forgetfulness and impatience. Her boyfriend takes her to hand for her misdeeds. The painter is a runaway that is currently homeless and penniless due to her stuff being stolen. The Librarian is a smart man and his wife feels uneducated because she blew off high school and didn\’t extend herself.

    There are sex scenes but not particularly graphic, racy and hot, but not overly graphic. There are spankings with cane, and paddle and hand in each of the stories. There is loving forgiveness at the end of each chastisement. Each had a happy ending. Cute, short reads. There is no extensive character development, or background story other than the immediate scenes.

  4. SL

    This a collection of three short stories, 2 previously published and one new.
    It has Day Care Teacher, The Painter, and The Librarian. Each of the stories is cute and short and involves DD between couples. They all have a happy ending. The theme is Unlikely heroes. Each of the couples has obstacles to overcome.

    The day care teacher has a problem with forgetfulness and impatience. Her boyfriend takes her to hand for her misdeeds. The painter is a runaway that is currently homeless and penniless due to her stuff being stolen. The Librarian is a smart man and his wife feels uneducated because she blew off high school and didn’t extend herself.

    There are sex scenes but not particularly graphic, racy and hot, but not overly graphic. There are spankings with cane, and paddle and hand in each of the stories. There is loving forgiveness at the end of each chastisement. Each had a happy ending. Cute, short reads. There is no extensive character development, or background story other than the immediate scenes.

  5. angel

    Each Story is full of romance and action with a Alpha male who has no problems taken the heroine in hand or OTK when needed He is also very loving and caring holding and helping her. The females are strong and feisty they keep the Hero\’s on their toes. Each story is well written with it\’s own action and romance that will keep you turning the pages This is a must read

  6. angel

    Each Story is full of romance and action with a Alpha male who has no problems taken the heroine in hand or OTK when needed He is also very loving and caring holding and helping her. The females are strong and feisty they keep the Hero’s on their toes. Each story is well written with it’s own action and romance that will keep you turning the pages This is a must read

  7. K Tyler

    This is a bundle of three individual stories. Each story is a quick read depicting the DD romantic life style. I found each story to be equally intriguing. I thought the Librarian overly harsh in his discipline but for all three stories the love in the relationship was clear and mutual.

  8. K Tyler

    This is a bundle of three individual stories. Each story is a quick read depicting the DD romantic life style. I found each story to be equally intriguing. I thought the Librarian overly harsh in his discipline but for all three stories the love in the relationship was clear and mutual.

  9. Katy Beth McKee

    This is a great collection of stories. Each one looks at a different relationship between ordinary people. Not flashy cars or money being thrown around just regular people who are in a relationship. All three stories show strong loving men who care about the women in their lives. One story features a couple that are moving from friendship and co-workers to being a couple. Another story exams what happens when strangers meet and find something in each other that they need. And there is an established married couple that are still working together to make sure they are both the best they can be.

  10. Katy Beth McKee

    This is a great collection of stories. Each one looks at a different relationship between ordinary people. Not flashy cars or money being thrown around just regular people who are in a relationship. All three stories show strong loving men who care about the women in their lives. One story features a couple that are moving from friendship and co-workers to being a couple. Another story exams what happens when strangers meet and find something in each other that they need. And there is an established married couple that are still working together to make sure they are both the best they can be.

  11. Jaycee

    A collection of 3 fairly short DD stories. I found them enjoyable for the most part – THe Painter was my favorite as there were more elements of humor and erotic spankings. I think all 3 could have used a bit more character development, but understand they are meant to be short stories. Even so, I had difficulty liking either of the main men in The Daycare Worker and The Librarian. Both were overly harsh at times and didn\’t allow the women to explain or have a say. Tom especially, the Daycare worker, didn\’t listen and spanked once in extreme anger. I like my DD stories more balanced with love, understanding, and some flexibility on the male\’s part.

  12. Jaycee

    A collection of 3 fairly short DD stories. I found them enjoyable for the most part – THe Painter was my favorite as there were more elements of humor and erotic spankings. I think all 3 could have used a bit more character development, but understand they are meant to be short stories. Even so, I had difficulty liking either of the main men in The Daycare Worker and The Librarian. Both were overly harsh at times and didn’t allow the women to explain or have a say. Tom especially, the Daycare worker, didn’t listen and spanked once in extreme anger. I like my DD stories more balanced with love, understanding, and some flexibility on the male’s part.

  13. madpuss

    These are three really good stories. These stories are each completely different but they have one thing in common. They feature girls who still have growing up to do. Girls who all had problems with their homelife growing up. They either didn’t have fathers they needed or, rightly or wrongly they thought their father didn’t care or love them anymore, causing them to be insecure and unsure of their own worth. They need looking after and help in growing up. The men who fall for them aren’t necessarily perfect but they are perfect at that. Ouch! These men didn’t let their girls get away with anything with spanking escalating with repeat offences! I loved these stories. There was never a dull moment, the characters were all likeable and the stories well-written.

  14. madpuss

    These are three really good stories. These stories are each completely different but they have one thing in common. They feature girls who still have growing up to do. Girls who all had problems with their homelife growing up. They either didn’t have fathers they needed or, rightly or wrongly they thought their father didn’t care or love them anymore, causing them to be insecure and unsure of their own worth. They need looking after and help in growing up. The men who fall for them aren’t necessarily perfect but they are perfect at that. Ouch! These men didn’t let their girls get away with anything with spanking escalating with repeat offences! I loved these stories. There was never a dull moment, the characters were all likeable and the stories well-written.

  15. soundslikefun13

    The book is made up of three short stories, The Daycare Teacher, The Painter and The Librarian. My favorite story in this book is The Daycare Teacher. Ms. Knight does a fabulous job creating characters that you can’t help but cheer. Each story is well developed and a decent length. You will definitely love this book.

  16. soundslikefun13

    The book is made up of three short stories, The Daycare Teacher, The Painter and The Librarian. My favorite story in this book is The Daycare Teacher. Ms. Knight does a fabulous job creating characters that you can??t help but cheer. Each story is well developed and a decent length. You will definitely love this book.

  17. JK

    I thought this was a really good package of stories! All 3 novellas delivered exactly as promised: headstrong, down on her luck, or misguided, these gals had met their match! All the stories had great, fun characters and men that were not afraid to spank!! Very fun and enjoyable read.

  18. JK

    I thought this was a really good package of stories! All 3 novellas delivered exactly as promised: headstrong, down on her luck, or misguided, these gals had met their match! All the stories had great, fun characters and men that were not afraid to spank!! Very fun and enjoyable read.

  19. Barbara (verified owner)

    These novellas were fun to read but inevitably suffer from the fact that each story is a bit too short to enable the reader to feel as if they\’ve got to know the characters. Nevertheless, they\’re nice stories & an enjoyable read.

  20. Barbara (verified owner)

    These novellas were fun to read but inevitably suffer from the fact that each story is a bit too short to enable the reader to feel as if they’ve got to know the characters. Nevertheless, they’re nice stories & an enjoyable read.

  21. Marybeth

    This is a collection of three short stories. The Day Care Teacher is about Kelly and Tom. Kelly is a day care teacher and so is Tom. They work together in a daycare. Kelly and Tom start to court, not date. Courting is them getting to know one another in preparation for marriage. Kelly has been making poor choices and Tom spanks her for them. She accepts because she is in love with Tom. Eventually, Kelly meets his family and she understands where he is coming from. This is traditional Hoh. The Painter is about Shannon and Kerrick. Kerrick is a painter that paints nudes. Shannon ran away from home because her parents are very religious and don’t want to let her live a normal life. She lies and tells him that an agency sent her to pose for him. He knows she is lying and so he spanks her and then paints her. He becomes enamored with her. They have a deal. She will work for him for 6 weeks and he will pay her $3000. Of course, and spank her. There is a HEA and there is a lot of spanking. The Librarian is about Bailey and Ajay. Bailey was a difficult teenager who got into trouble and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. She spent it with the librarian who spanked. The first time she was spanked she went to the judge, who laughed and told her that she could fulfill her time or go to jail. Eventually, she fell in love with the librarian, Ajay, and married him. But, she was still spanked. Ajay is pretty severe in his spankings. An hour in the corner, then a half hour of being spanked and then a long discussion of what she did wrong and last, she had to sit and write an essay on what she did wrong. This time, Bailey was sentenced to write a research paper about Abraham Lincoln. She spent a long time researching and writing notes. She felt stupid and uneducated. Eventually she has a break thru and learns self confidence. I liked the story, but it is rather severe. 5 stars

  22. Marybeth

    This is a collection of three short stories. The Day Care Teacher is about Kelly and Tom. Kelly is a day care teacher and so is Tom. They work together in a daycare. Kelly and Tom start to court, not date. Courting is them getting to know one another in preparation for marriage. Kelly has been making poor choices and Tom spanks her for them. She accepts because she is in love with Tom. Eventually, Kelly meets his family and she understands where he is coming from. This is traditional Hoh. The Painter is about Shannon and Kerrick. Kerrick is a painter that paints nudes. Shannon ran away from home because her parents are very religious and don??t want to let her live a normal life. She lies and tells him that an agency sent her to pose for him. He knows she is lying and so he spanks her and then paints her. He becomes enamored with her. They have a deal. She will work for him for 6 weeks and he will pay her $3000. Of course, and spank her. There is a HEA and there is a lot of spanking. The Librarian is about Bailey and Ajay. Bailey was a difficult teenager who got into trouble and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. She spent it with the librarian who spanked. The first time she was spanked she went to the judge, who laughed and told her that she could fulfill her time or go to jail. Eventually, she fell in love with the librarian, Ajay, and married him. But, she was still spanked. Ajay is pretty severe in his spankings. An hour in the corner, then a half hour of being spanked and then a long discussion of what she did wrong and last, she had to sit and write an essay on what she did wrong. This time, Bailey was sentenced to write a research paper about Abraham Lincoln. She spent a long time researching and writing notes. She felt stupid and uneducated. Eventually she has a break thru and learns self confidence. I liked the story, but it is rather severe. 5 stars

  23. Redrabbitt

    Three Novellas in one book of 200 pages. Each story is well told with likeable characters. The first story is The Day Care Teacher and involves a man and woman who both work for the same daycare center and start a relationship. He believes in DD and no sex before marriage. The story covers their courtship and has an epilogue. The second story is The Painter and it covers an artist who paints nudes and a down-on-he- lucky young woman. He doesn\’t want a relationship but falls for the girl anyway. The third story is The Librarian and it is a married couple. She is irresponsible and he not only spanks her but makes her write essays. Each story is well constructed and all three work well in this combined book. The sex is not explicit, but the spankings include over the knee, with a paddle and cane.

  24. Redrabbitt

    Three Novellas in one book of 200 pages. Each story is well told with likeable characters. The first story is The Day Care Teacher and involves a man and woman who both work for the same daycare center and start a relationship. He believes in DD and no sex before marriage. The story covers their courtship and has an epilogue. The second story is The Painter and it covers an artist who paints nudes and a down-on-he- lucky young woman. He doesn’t want a relationship but falls for the girl anyway. The third story is The Librarian and it is a married couple. She is irresponsible and he not only spanks her but makes her write essays. Each story is well constructed and all three work well in this combined book. The sex is not explicit, but the spankings include over the knee, with a paddle and cane.

  25. Margaret Corcoran (verified owner)

    What a great fun read. My favourite was The Daycare Worker. I loved that there was past present anf future in the stories even though they were not very well developed. Read and enjoy it.

  26. Margaret Corcoran (verified owner)

    What a great fun read. My favourite was The Daycare Worker. I loved that there was past present anf future in the stories even though they were not very well developed. Read and enjoy it.

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