Welcome Guest – Nerys Leigh!!!

MARRIAGE, CONSENT, AND MAIL ORDER BRIDES
by Nerys Leigh

The issue of consent is very much a hot topic these days, and I think we would all agree that forcing one’s attentions on someone without their consent is wrong. But what about back in the nineteenth century, between a husband and wife? What was a mail order bride to do who had just married a man she didn’t know?

So far in my Escape to the West series, the issue hasn’t come up, with my brides for one reason or another not having to face the prospect of intimacy with a man they’ve only just met. But in More Than Gold, the sixth book in the series, all Gabriel wants is a woman to cook, clean, and warm his bed. In his world, people get married for practical purposes and nothing more. His new wife, however, has different ideas. Despite being forced to travel across the country to marry a man she’s never met, Grace refuses to give up on her dream of being loved and cared for.

So when Gabriel makes his move barely three hours after she arrives, he doesn’t get the response he’s expecting!

Excerpt from “More Than Gold” by Nerys Leigh.

Gabriel rose and walked across the room to her, stopping just a foot away when she turned around.

“You’re a real handsome woman, Grace,” he said, sliding his hands around her waist and leaning in for their first kiss.

A fist slammed into the side of his face, whipping his head round and sending him reeling backwards.

She grabbed a skillet from the cupboard and held it in front of her like a weapon. “What are you doing?!”

He shook his head to clear it. The woman had a right hook most men would have been proud of. “What do you think I’m doing? We’re married. We’re going to do what married folks do.”

It was a perfectly natural assumption, as far as he was concerned.

But not for her, apparently. “We’ve known each other for less than three hours and you expect me to just allow you to have your way with me?”

What was going on here? “Uh… yes?”

She gasped in a horrified breath. “You… you… uncouth brute!”

He was fairly sure uncouth was a bad thing.

Drawing himself up, he pointed his finger at her. “Now wait just a minute. We’re legally wed. It’s not like you’ll be whoring yourself out to me. I’m your husband.”

Her eyes looked like they could pop right out of her head. “Whoring?!”

It may have been a poor choice of words.

He raised both hands, palms out in surrender. “That ain’t what I meant. I’m just saying that it’s natural for a husband and wife to want to…”

“Well I don’t want to, so you keep your hands to yourself!” She brandished the pan, forcing him to step back.

He rubbed at his aching face. If she could do that with just her fist, no telling what kind of damage she could do with a skillet.

He decided to try reasoning with her, from a safe distance. “I know we haven’t been together for long, but we’d been writing letters to each other for nigh on three months before you came. I reckon we know each other plenty. I promise I’ll be real gentle and…”

“You won’t be gentle. You won’t be anything.” She waved the skillet. “Because it isn’t happening!”

So what do you think? Is intimacy simply a matter of being married? Or is it something deeper, coming out of the kind of love, care and respect that will last a lifetime?

 

Comment your thoughts below for the chance to win an ebook of your choice from my Escape to the West series!

Guest Blogger

32 Comments

  1. Thank you for having me, I’m thrilled to be here! And I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the subject!

    1. Welcome to P&P, Nerys! We’re excited to have you and hope you enjoy your visit. I love mail order bride stories. In fact, there’s nothing that can get my imagination whirling like imagining what those brides had to endure a lot of time. For sure, they must’ve been scared to marry a man they didn’t know. Your bride series looks very good.

      1. Thank you for having me, Linda! There is just something about a marriage that is simply for practical purposes and then turns into so much more, isn’t there? Although in my series, as in life, no doubt, things don’t always turn out as expected!

  2. Oh my! I love this excerpt, this sounds like it would be my kind of book! I’ve never read one of your books and P & P invited you on I’m sure I would love your writing! A giveaway is an awesome way to find a new author to add to my go to authors list. Being a Texan myself I could picture me reacting this way and I’m loving Grace so far! Intimacy should never just be a given and especially in a situation like this. I mean three hours in is a bit much! Give the lady some time. Now as far as intimacy in a marriage, I have many male friends that complain about the lack of sex in their marriage. That I do not understand at all. Lack of intimacy in a marriage is a recipe for disaster!

    1. Thank you, Stephanie, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Grace completely agrees with you about the three hours! She’s a woman who sticks to her principles, with force if necessary! If you want to try out the first in the series, No One’s Bride, is only $0.99, and it’s also on KU. Good luck in the giveaway!

  3. I enjoyed the excerpt. Grace sure did stand on her grounds as to how she wanted things to go.

    1. Thank you, Janine! Gabriel certainly has met his match with Grace!

  4. I personally feel that intimacy without some feelings is nothing.

    1. I absolutely agree with you, Debra.

  5. I think there should be feeling there or you have nothing. I really enjoyed the excerpt sound like a fantastic book and I would love to read it.

    1. I completely agree with you, that emotional connection is the most important thing in a marriage. And I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

  6. There cannot be true intimacy without feelings.
    I’ve only read a couple books in this series, I need to catch up! I love the excerpt.

    1. I completely agree, Andrea. You need those feelings for it to be everything it’s meant to be. I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

  7. Intimacy can be and has been used as a synonym for just a physical relationship. But I think the full scope of intimacy is of a personal closeness that is not only physical, but also emotional and intellectual, as well as sharing an experience together where the two truly see each other and care and respect each other even more. That’s the whole enchilada. But also I think there are likely a variety of Levels(?) of intimacy, and in some sad cases, two people could conceivably be married and not know one another at all.

    1. I completely agree, Eliza. A relationship that’s lacking in that love and deep connection on an intellectual level is only half a relationship, if that. You need it all.

  8. Really sounds like a whopping good read. Intimacy comes from mutual desire after getting to know one another.

    1. Thank you so much, Robin! Yes, you definitely need to get to know someone first, something Gabriel is somewhat clueless about at first! He’s met his match in Grace though!

  9. Enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading the book. How many more times will she use the skillet? I believe that intimacy should always be consensual and can take time to develop. At 75, I’ve been married 58 years and haven’t once used a skilled on my man!!

    1. Thank you, Bonnie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And wow, 58 years without raising a skillet? Your husband is lucky to have you!

  10. Oh my I love Grace I definitely need to read this book. I certainly do think intimacy should come from love and respect and something so deep it will last a lifetime

    1. Thank you, Glenda, I’m so happy that you love her already! I completely agree, love and respect are essential for a marriage. And Grace is determined to have both, even though her new husband is so clueless at first!

  11. Excerpt sounds great! Definitely the latter – something deep and forever.

    1. Thank you, Linda, I’m glad you liked it! And I absolutely agree, that depth of feeling is essential for a successful relationship.

  12. There has to be intimacy. Otherwise it becomes like a business deal. Good for her. 🙂 I’d be doing the same thing. Women by nature have to be emotionally involved! I think where men tend to be more physical. Don’t you think ? Of course not all men and women.

    1. I meant to tell you I loved the excerpt and can’t wait to see if she ever uses her skillet. lol

      1. Thank you, Carol, I’m so happy you enjoyed the excerpt! I think I’d be doing the same thing too! I think you’re right that men are more physical in general, which probably can lead to the difference of opinion over intimacy that Grace and Gabriel have. Although I think men crave that emotional connection too, they just may not be so aware of it as women. Or, like Gabriel, they can be completely clueless!

  13. This is a great excerpt and I look forward to reading more of this story. I imagine that many of those mail-order brides weren’t as lucky and had to submit to the advances of the men who had been waiting for a wife. I can’t imagine having to be intimate before enjoying the “firsts” in a relationship. First deep look in each other’s eyes, holding hands, the first sweet kiss, the first kiss that took my breath away, the first time that I hated to end a kiss. So, yes, I believe that intimacy develops over time.

    1. Thank you, Connie, I hope you enjoy the rest of the book just as much! I’m sure you’re right, the women didn’t often get a say. Just diving into intimacy before anything else doesn’t make for a great start to a happy marriage.

  14. Loved the excerpt. I am sure it reflected how many mail order brides felt. For the most part I think women want/need affection before intimacy. They certainly are not the same thing. Most put up with the latter without the first because they felt they had no choice. They made a bargain and were living up to it. Women, dependent upon men for their support and social position, have been put in that position for centuries. It seems Grace isn’t one of those give up her dreams and hopes for a roof over her head. It will be interesting to see how Gabriel and Grace work out their relationship.

    1. Thank you, Patricia! You’re right, women do need affection first, it’s just a physical act. The emotional part is just as important. Grace certainly won’t allow a man to dictate her actions. Gabriel has a lot to learn!

  15. I like the definition of intimacy as “Into Me See”. An open and honest relationship.

    1. Caryl, I love that! That’s a wonderful way to put it!

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