About In Your ArmsLily Singer has never belonged. Taken from her tribe as a child and raised in a white man’s school, she no longer has a place in either world. Teaching has become her life. When that life is threatened by rumors and prejudice after a string of robberies, she must turn for help to the one man who spells disaster for her carefully ordered existence. Will he save her or steal her heart?
Christian Avery, Justice of the Peace, is used to having things his way. Cold Springs is his responsibility, and when its citizens blame the local Indian population for the mysterious robberies, it’s up to him to restore order and maintain calm. The one person who refuses to follow his lead is the beautiful, native-born Lily. Her defiance turns his life upside down.
But when town gossip shifts from robberies to romance after a foolish indiscretion, Lily’s job and reputation are on the line. She must choose between the only life she has ever known and the only place she has ever felt at home, in Christian’s arms.
Jessica set her tea and letter on the small table at the base of the stairs and came over to join Lily.
“Is it Mr. Avery or are you upset about that Indian man they caught last night?” she asked.
Hot waves of shame bubbled up through Lily’s forced composure. She glanced down at her hands, clasped in front of her.
“Both,” she confessed. She hesitated. If she had such a thing as a friend, Jessica could be it. “Mr. Avery offered to drive me out to where the Flathead are so I can be sure they’re all right.”
“I’m sure they are.” Jessica smiled. She stole a quick glance up the stairs then craned her neck to see if anyone was sitting in the parlor. “He’s very handsome,” she whispered as though they were two girls in class exchanging secrets. “Very important too.”
Lily was ready to sink into the floor in embarrassment, like one of her students who had been caught daydreaming in front of the class. What must Jessica think of her, losing her head for a man at a time like this?
“He is many things,” she answered. Bullish, impossible, and reckless among them.
Jessica leaned closer, mischief in her eyes. “I know Miss Jones doesn’t approve of any of us having beaux, but—”
Whatever tidbit Jessica was tempted to share was lost as a wagon rattled to a stop in front of the house. Lily flew to the window, peeking out through the curtains.
“It’s him!” she gasped before she could stop herself.
“Oh!” Jessica leapt to fetch Lily’s coat from the rack by the door. “Here! Here!”
Lily pushed away from the window, tripping over her skirts. Jessica held her coat up and Lily twisted to thrust her arms into the sleeves. As she buttoned the coat’s large buttons, Jessica grabbed her mittens and tam o-shanter from the shelf above the coats. Lily frantically fit the mittens on her shaking hands as Jessica arranged the hat over her hair.
They were both panting and wide-eyed by the time Christian’s footsteps sounded on the porch. He knocked on the door.
“You look lovely,” Jessica whispered, bright with excitement.
Christian knocked again. Lily forced her expression to neutrality and stiffened her back. It was only when she reached for the door that she realized how foolish the whole scene was. She should be grave with concern, not prickling with anticipation.
A cold blast of air pushed into the house as Lily opened the door. There was Christian, tall and fine in his long, fashionable coat and hat. His face was pink with cold. He hadn’t shaved. His hazel eyes flashed to match the smile that revealed his straight white teeth. Lily’s breath caught in her throat, her body tightening in expectation. She cursed the intensity of her reaction.
“Good morning,” Christian greeted her as if nothing was wrong, touching the brim of his hat. He glanced past her shoulder to Jessica. “Good morning to you too, Miss Bunsick.”
“Good morning, Mr. Avery. Nice to see you. I have to drink my tea before it gets cold. Good-bye,” Jessica babbled. As she scurried off, she caught Lily’s eyes and whispered, “Good luck!”
Lily shut her eyes, her mouth pressed in a tight line. It was the fastest disaster she’d ever encountered.
About Merry Farmer
Merry Farmer is an award-winning author of Historical Romance and what she likes to call “Sci-Fi for Women.” She lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats and enough story ideas to keep her writing until she’s 132. Her second novel, The Faithful Heart, was a 2102 RONE Award finalist and her unpublished futuristic novelA Man’s World won first place in the Novel: Character category at the 2013 Philadelphia Writer’s Conference. She is out to prove that you can make a living as a self-published author and to help others to do the same.
Find Merry Farmer on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon Author Page.
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