Read enough romance and you can't help but see where some of the stereotypes come from, and that not all of 'em are negative. Take readers, for instance. There're an awful lot of women who love romance novels who are a) smart; b) felt kind of awkward in school; c) enjoyed time spent in the library with fave books more than going out on dates with boys who probably weren't as dependable or entertaining.
Maybe that's why there's a popular scenario that fulfills our heroine-placeholder needs - especially when we nestle into any of the above cozy categories - and overrunneths our cups 'o big, strappin'-hero fantasy. That set-up would be the much revered, and not hardly done nearly enough these days, School-Marm-Meets-Rough-n-Ready-Cowboy love match.
The school marm is pretty easy to identify with, 'cause she's bookish, caring, a bit of an outsider and values intelligence over exterior appearance, at least in herself. Her fantasy pay-off - and ours - comes when she's swept off her feet by the plain-speaking-yet-gorgeous-and-virile cattleman. For his part, cowstud sees in her the passion she has for education, children and the future, and can be depended upon to nurture it into something sensual and loving through his patient, yet considerable willingness to usher her into the mysteries of relationships and, even better, sex.
Well, gosh: He's been home on the range, not in the monastery.
Yes'm, the little-lady-n-cow-poke pairing is hawt, and Linda Lael Miller heats up our upcoming chilly holiday nights with a heart-warming-and-sweetly-sexy example in her treat for the season of de-lights, "A Creed Country Christmas."
The Creed in question is the widower Lincoln, at the general store checking on whether anyone's answered his ad for a governess, housekeeper or, if all else fails, mail-order bride. While there's no news, he does find Juliana Mitchell, the pretty little teacher from the Indian school, with 4 students in tow and no place to shelter them; the school's been closed and her wealthy brother won't send her a penny of her inheritance since she refused to marry his business partner.
Lincoln offers Juliana and the children a home at his ranch until she can make other arrangements, but soon the two are as attracted to one another as Creed's little daughter, Gracie, is enamored of the idea that Juliana could be her new mama, as well as teach her all the learnin' Lincoln hasn't time to get to.
Educated back East as an attorney, Lincoln knows a thing or two about what might happen if the Bureau of Indian Affairs finds out Juliana's got four Native American kids with her who should be herded off to government reservations. So he devises a plan that will save the day for Juliana and the children: marriage to him. Yet what could bring Lincoln and Juliana a lifetime of happiness may bring both only a mess of pain, unless Lincoln can bury his past and build a future he stubbornly never allowed himself to dream possible.
What do you love about the school-marm-n-cowboy scenario? What are your fave Linda Lael Miller reads?
Check in at Romantic Reads at noon EST today, Nov. 2, to score a free Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of the hot, new romance that'll be discussed for 2 weeks in BN.com's new SNEAK PEEK program! The book's author will take part!