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A Paper Marriage

By: Robin Smith
Published By: Blushing Press
Copyright: �2014 by Blushing Books� and Robin Smith
13 Chapters / 64,270 Words
Heat Level:
4.7 Out Of 5 (4.7 on 22)   |  Write a review
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Rueben needs a wife to watch over his ailing mother during the days while he's at work. Unemployed and uninsured, Kayla needs a husband with really good medical insurance. Neither one is looking for romance, but strange things can happen when two people start living together. If they can get past his family's meddling, they might just build something stronger than a paper marriage.

From Robin Smith, the author of X on the Beach and Charla's Shadow, comes this romantic tale of a husband and wife who aren't looking for love, but who just may find it with time, trust and plenty of spankings.

Chapter One

The weather turned bad early in the afternoon, making simple jobs hard and hard jobs harder. Work got away from him and although he didn't think he was rushing, when Sweets jogged over through the mud and told them to go home, it wasn't five o'clock but half-after. By the time he got home, he had less than an hour before his date.

His date. The words still didn't sound real, even in his head. Fifty-four year old men did not date. Dating was something for kids in their teens, their twenties�at the longest possible stretch, their thirties. After that, it wasn't dating, it was just hooking up and he hadn't even done that in more years than he cared to think about.

Reuben Barrett was going on a date, his first in forever. Not his first since Taffy walked out on him, but the first that felt like it really mattered.

He shouldn't be thinking about her tonight. Truth be told, he hadn't thought much of her in years. He supposed there had been a number of days and nights spent wishing or resenting or just plain missing her, but kids were the only ones who could really pine for their lost loves and even when he and Taffy had fresh-split, he wasn't no kid.

But she was in his head now and there didn't seem to be anything he could do about it except let the thoughts play out while his big, dumb body tried to clean itself up. Taffy. Tabitha Pullman, really, but no one called her that, she would say, unless they were mad at her. Had he ever been that mad at her? He couldn't remember. Even during the break-up, she was Taffy to him.

He'd met her at The Doghouse, 'his' bar here in South Snows, where she'd mistaken him for a bouncer and come to him for help prying some drunken fool off her. Rueben hadn't had to do much more than look in the fella's direction, but he certainly hadn't been above taking advantage of a pretty lady's gratitude and taking her to dinner. And was she pretty! Long and lean, a lioness of a woman with a golden tan over her entire body and a mane of blonde hair that fell halfway down her back, but she was also smart and fun and cheerful�the whole package, the perfect woman, the dream of every shaved ape like him.

They started dating (even then, he'd thought himself on the fringe of too-old-to-call-it-a-date), but he knew he wasn't her only man. She made no secret of it. "A girl on her own has to keep her options open," she'd tell him, tossing that radiant hair and rolling those amazing eyes. And he'd tell her she didn't have to be on her own, that he could take care of her, that he wanted to, but the more he pressed, the more she pulled away. "Let's just enjoy what we've got," was her mantra, and she got him to chant along. A beautiful woman�she knew it and she worked it, staying free and easy in his heart for their first three on-and-off years before she finally gave in and cautiously agreed to get serious.

She told him she wouldn't marry him, warned him not to even ask, but he thought he could change her mind if he was patient. She was worth a little time, he told himself; if she was worth the rest of his life, she was worth a little extra time now. So every week, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, she was his and she made him feel like the only man in the world.

Why the hell was he doing this to himself right before his date?

Rueben gave his head a hard shake to clear it and got into the shower. The water was too hot, but he left it that way in the hopes that the discomfort would help keep him focused on the here and now. It worked for a little while, but�

When did it all go wrong with Taffy anyway? Did it go wrong at all? Or had it been wrong all along? He couldn't remember when the first cracks had formed, only his growing awareness of the fissure they'd become and how helpless it had made him feel to watch it grow wider and wider while Taffy smiled and tossed her hair at him. Moving her in had been the beginning of the end, but at the time, he'd really thought it was the first step to salvaging something worth saving. She hadn't wanted to (and as he'd later learned, she'd never given up her apartment, just kept quietly paying rent against the day when she'd move back out), but he made her feel like it was an ultimatum and maybe it was. It probably was. Yeah, sure, okay, it was.

And it hadn't even worked, although they were able to fake it for a while. Taffy tried, as she put it, to 'do the domestic thing,' and he set weekends aside to take her out to the sorts of high-toned places she liked. There weren't a whole lot of those in South Snows, so it wasn't too great a sacrifice for him, and if she thought he'd be really out of his element, there were plenty of girlfriends she could go with instead.

It was a gradual change. Even now, if he had a calendar in front of him, he doubted he'd be able to pick out any significant dates for things going bad between them. But by the end of that first year, Taffy was stepping out every Friday and Saturday without him, without even asking him to come along. She hadn't cheated on him�he believed it then and he believed it now�but she smiled at the boys who bought her drinks and didn't care who danced beside her. He doubted she did it consciously to make him jealous, but it still felt a lot like playing single and he told her so. They fought, not often and not bad, but there was no denying that they meant the things they said even after the shouting was done. They limped along another few months before he threw his Hail Mary pass.

He asked her to marry him. She said no. He demanded a reason. She refused. He persisted. At last, she lost her temper and it all came out.

"Where do you see yourself in five years, Rueben? Ten years? Twenty? It's right here, isn't it? It's working for G & G and drinking beers at The Doghouse."

"And what's wrong with that?" he'd demanded. "It's an honest life!"

"It's a small life. And I want more out of mine than a blue collar and a�a Corn Fritter Fair! I want New York and Beverly Hills and Paris! I want to wear Lacroix and carry Louis Vuitton purses! I want someone else to cook my food and scrub my toilet! You're a nice guy, but you're�you're too Kansas!"

So she left. He was fine for a while. Then he drank pretty heavy and called her in the middle of the night a few times, but she took that fairly well. When they bumped into each other, they had awkward but civil conversation. Now and then, he spied her out on the town, twirling her hair around her finger and flirting with men who wore suits, but he never intruded. Eventually, he just stopped seeing her around. He got a postcard from her just the once�New York�and then nothing.

There had been a few ladies in the years since then, but not many and not for long. He wasn't pining for her and she certainly hadn't soured him on all womankind; well-meaning friends set him up now and then, but Rueben had grown comfortable with his bachelor's life. At fifty-plus, with an ailing mother moved in and twelve years to retirement, he just wasn't looking for new complications.

And yet, here he was.

Rueben shut off the water, swept the curtain aside and looked at himself through the scant steam in the bathroom mirror (there wasn't time for the long shower he wanted, hell, needed, but at least he'd scraped most of the mud off and warmed up some), trying to see himself the way she'd be seeing him. A big man. Scary big? Maybe. Mama was a tall woman in her day and Daddy, even taller. Rueben wasn't the tallest of their children�Gid had three-quarters of an inch on him�but he was six-seven in his bare feet in the bathroom and that was plenty tall enough. Adding to the natural bulk of his frame was all the muscle that thirty years of hard work had put on him, with plenty of time in the gym on weekends to carve it out. His gleaming baldhead and ferociously drooping mustache certainly did nothing to soften the menacing figure he made. People meeting him for the first time often asked him if he was a professional body-builder or a wrestler or a bouncer.

"You're going to scare the hell out of her," he growled at his reflection. Even his voice was scary.

He didn't have time for second thoughts. Rueben dressed quickly in the clothes he'd set out the night before (selecting and discarding half a dozen variations on the same outfit), including his Sunday tie and funeral shoes. She wanted to meet him at Maxine's, which wasn't exactly high-class cuisine even given the limitations of this sleepy little Midwestern town, but he still wanted to look his best, if only to prove a shaved ape like him had a best. As a last desperate measure, he braided the long tails of his mustache. If he'd had ribbons handy, he'd have tipped them in little bows. The effect was ludicrous, but ludicrous was better than scary.

"So you're really going to do this."

"We talked about this, Mama," Rueben said, not taking his eyes from the mirror. Braiding was fiddly work for fingers the size of his.

"And I told you how I felt about it." The chair scraped against the jamb as she rolled herself into his bedroom, and soon he could see her in the mirror, perched over his right shoulder like a tiny, disapproving angel.

The sight of her in the chair broke another little piece of his heart off and threw it on the pile where three years' worth of broken bits sat, immoveable. His tall, proud Mama, who'd had to carry Daddy's flag in and put it over the mantel and then soldier on alone to raise four kids. His strong, selfless Mama, always so busy, baking for the Cake Raffle every summer and sewing in the church basement on Mondays and running errands every weekend, never too busy to leave the house, even so far as the mailbox, without pinning on her hat and making sure her slip didn't show. Tireless Mama�who had managed to hide just how tired she had begun to feel lately�until it was almost too late.

Well, the cancer was in remission now and had been for three years, but the strong lady his Mama had always been was gone, maybe for good. In her place, this new Mama: a shrunken, wispy-haired old woman in a wheelchair she hated, forced to give up her house, her car, her independence, and move in with her oldest son.

He didn't resent it. He refused to resent it, even on those first prickly days, when Mama's understandable depression had sharpened her tongue like a razor. It was the only logical choice, after all. Edie and Temp both had children, and Gid was always traveling. His boring bachelor's lifestyle had blessed him with good money, enough to sell his cozy, familiar house and buy this three-bedroom stranger�but not enough to hire the live-in nurse Mama would not admit she needed.

Sweets had been more than generous with him over the last three years (most men assumed his nickname to be ironic, but those who knew him best knew that beneath the swearing, cigar-chomping exterior was a swearing, cigar-chomping cupcake) giving him time off when he wanted it and more hours when he needed it, but he had to work. Mama said she was fine, all but chased him out of the house every morning with a broom, but she wasn't fine and when she was alone, she was even less fine. Three weeks ago, Rueben had come home to find her lying on the living room floor with a sofa cushion under her head, stubbornly insisting she'd get up in just a few minutes, that she wasn't hurt, that she was still fine.

She had been there for three hours.

His sisters had tried to make themselves available, but they had their own families and after only a few months, they had gone from sitting in with Mama every day to checking up on her once or twice a week. She had become an errand they were running and she knew it.

Finding her on the floor had been the last straw for Rueben, but what to do with the broken camel? Late at night, after Mama went to bed, as he morosely faced down early retirement and all the years he'd have to live with the consequences of that decision, Rueben called his brother, unthinkingly waking him from a sound sleep somewhere in Japan.

But Gid never complained. He listened as Rueben wrung out all the emotional crap into the phone and when it came down to the end of it, his brother said, not meaning it at all, the words that had put Rueben in a tie on a Friday night: "You know, you don't need a nurse, bro. You need a wife. They Mama-sit for free."

Knowing it was a joke, but ready by-God to laugh at something, Rueben had gone along with it. "Sold. I'm going straight down to The Doghouse and marrying the first girl drunk enough to let me."

And they laughed and talked and after a while, still only kidding, Rueben said, "I wouldn't even know where to look for a woman these days."

And Gid said, "Craigslist." And then, only half-kidding now, Gid added, "You should check it out. They got some friendly ladies on there, ladies who don't mind just a night now and then, who don't even need to know your name."

"Aw, I'm too old to cat around like that."

"I know, I know, but sounds like you could use it and let me tell you, when the stress gets to you, a friendly lady is the best cure for what ails a man."

It was a tempting thought, but Rueben knew thinking was all he was going to do about it. Between work and Mama (mostly Mama), he couldn't even begin to give another woman the attention she deserved and that was really the only kind of relationship Rueben was interested in anymore. It was all well and good for Gid to talk about short-term girlfriends when he never spent more than a few months in one place, but casual sex was not the answer to Rueben's troubles.

All the same, a woman was an attractive prospect. Not just in the bedroom, but in all the little, subtle ways a woman's presence could be felt. Sometimes, the difference between a good day and a bad one was waking up with coffee already brewed or coming home from a rainy day at work and stepping into a house that had a roast in the oven. A house where a man could drop his muddy shirts on the bathroom floor and find them the next day hanging in the closet, smelling of detergent instead of man-sweat and grease. A house with a woman sleeping in his bed�maybe even a woman who wasn't ready to go to bed quite yet.

Nostalgia has a way of creeping up on a man when he's sitting alone in a dark room listening to his younger brother talk about the girls in Tokyo. While Gid described improbable costumes and equally improbable situations where language really ought to be more of a barrier, Rueben's mind wandered through the garden of his love life (not so richly landscaped as some might think), winding around and around the same floral memories until he came inevitably back to Taffy.

She had been neither his first nor his last, but she had surely been the best and brightest of his old flames. No, they hadn't had much in common and he supposed they were doomed from the start, but she had been so pretty and so full of life�and on a distinctly less prurient note, the sex had been fantastic.

With some women, there was a fetching kind of inexperience that made the bedroom into a whole new territory that could be explored. With others, there was an expertise so precisely honed that a man couldn't help but wonder where, how and with whom she'd studied. With Taffy, there was that golden middle ground of adventure and skill, innocence and knowledge.

"I love that you think it's okay for a girl to get sexy and want it," she'd told him once, snuggled up under his arm on the sofa.

"Why the hell wouldn't that be okay?" he'd asked, thunderstruck, but she'd only giggled and cuddled up closer.

The idea that a woman was not supposed to have a sexy side struck Rueben as positively primeval. That Taffy�golden, glorious Taffy�might have been made to feel that way at some time in her undisclosed past was unthinkable. He wanted to be loved by her the way she loved life. He wasn't, as things had gone, but he almost was. Even now, knowing the way it had all worked out, he couldn't bring himself to regret it.

It was Taffy who introduced him to spankings�as a joke, of course. He no longer remembered exactly what she'd done, only that he'd been genuinely, if mildly, irritated and she'd just tossed her hair and said, "So spank me." Which might have annoyed him further, except that she'd also flipped up her skirt and waggled her fanny at him. So he'd smacked it. And she'd yelped and giggled, both in a way he'd never quite heard before. Somehow, that episode had ended with her over his lap, squealing and kicking as he playfully paddled her bare butt to a rosy glow, and from there they'd gone straight to the floor for some old-fashioned stress-relief.

From that day onward, without discussion, spankings were just another part of their relationship. Although they had their beginning in the bedroom (or the living room, to be strictly accurate), it seemed only natural to adopt them for disciplinary purposes�if discipline was even the right word. "I hate arguing," Taffy would sometimes say, whenever she thought she'd earned a non-romantic tumble over his knee. "I hate the noise�the yelling and slamming doors and the angry way people walk. Fighting never solves anything; it just brings out the worst in people. This way is so much more civilized. It begins with confession�and ends with a kiss."

Oh, Taffy�

Sometimes it was hard to remember that it had ever really been that good. Towards the end, the spankings had all but stopped, replaced by the noisy fighting Taffy hated, followed by make-up sex that only pretended to be the good love they used to make. In time, even that stopped.

Still�it had been a long time since Rueben had rolled around with a lady. Hell, the only female to enter this house, who had not been kin to him, was a toothpick-chewing meter-reader almost as muscular as he was (which was not to say he hadn't eyed her attributes on occasion). Sex for the sake of sex, devoid of affection or even first names, may not give a man the kind of support he needed to deal with his ailing, increasingly antagonistic mother, but it did help him get to sleep.

So after Gid hung up and he'd had five or ten minutes to sit in the dark in that strange house and call himself a dirty old man, Rueben went to his computer.

He'd read enough to decide that Craigslist personals were, darkly entertaining as they could be, definitely not for him. And then he read some more. And an hour later, just when the thought of finally going to bed was beginning to edge out sitting here and reading more porn disguised as a personal ad, he found Kayla. Would-be wife seeking paper marriage with man with good medical coverage. Yes, I'm serious. No picture, topless or otherwise. No personal information beyond the town she lived in, twenty minutes from his. No last name. Just an email address.

He slept on it. He got up and went to work and came home and slept on it some more. And then, quickly, before he could change his mind, he sent her a message, asking if she was really truly serious, because if she was, he'd like to meet her. He sat there for half an hour afterwards, refreshing his inbox every few seconds, but there was no answer and so it was with a deep sense of relief that Rueben went to the kitchen and threw a couple dinners in the microwave for himself and Mama.

It wasn't until the weekend, four days later, that she sent a reply: I'm serious. If you still want to meet, we can do that, but understand that I'm not sleeping with you.

The first date had been set for that Friday, but work came up and the overtime pay was too good for Rueben to ignore. The second date had been her cancelation; her car broke down. He offered to have a look at it�cars weren't his favorite things in the world, but he knew his way around them tolerably well�but she refused, saying it would be presumptuous. He didn't agree, but bitching about it with his sisters on Sunday, Edie had remarked that she could see her point. "There's enough pressure on a girl when a guy spends twenty bucks on dinner. Throw the equivalent of a seven hundred dollar mechanic's bill in front of her, that can't be a good feeling."

And Mama, sitting in her wheelchair with her back to the BBQ, just couldn't resist loudly muttering, "Any girl who advertises herself on eBay can't pretend she isn't for sale."

"Craigslist," Rueben had said then, flipping chops on the grill and just as calm as you please. "Not eBay."

"And any man who buys a woman on eBay shouldn't be surprised that he has to pay her!" Mama declared and wheeled herself away with her chin in the air.

Well, this was one fight they weren't having tonight. Rueben wet his fingers and closed the loose ends of his mustache-braids, giving the tips an extra-firm tug to remind them to stay in place. "Want me to bring you home a dinner, Mama?" he asked, as calm as he'd been that day on the patio. "Maxine's is supposed to do up a good burger."

"A burger is not a dinner."

"Burgers are fine, Mama."

"Burgers are food," she insisted. "I raised my children on decent dinners. Meat and potatoes and bread and greens."

"Burger and fries on a bun with lettuce."

"You and your smart mouth." Mama sniffed, but backed the chair up so he could head for the door. "I suppose I should count myself lucky she's not squeezing you for lobster and champagne."

"She's not squeezing me at all."

She let him get all the way to the front door and then suddenly called out, in a shrill old-woman voice he scarcely recognized, "You're making the biggest mistake of your life, Rueben! And I raised you better! I raised you better than to�to hustle up floozies off the Internet!"

Rueben, his big hand resting on the doorknob, bent his head and sighed. If he left right now, he could still be on time. And if he stayed home�well, it was unlikely there'd be a fourth attempt at a first date. But Mama was watching him, her thin chest rising and falling over the neck of the frumpy white bathrobe that she was always wearing these days, and the look in her eye was as wild and fearful as a feral cat's.

He took his hand off the doorknob and went back to her.

She watched him come, losing nothing of that wide-eyed, unhappy shine. "Don't you do this," she told him in that old voice. "Don't you dare!"

He bent down and kissed her smooth, soft brow.

"Don't you do this for me," she whispered. "Don't you bring a�a babysitter into this house�for me."

"I love you, Mama." He smoothed back her wispy hair and straightened up.

She caught his hand and held it too tight in both of hers. "You drive safe," she hissed, like a gypsy with the oddest curse imaginable. Then she jerked her chair around, bumping it hard into the arm of the sofa, and wheeled away to her room.

He watched her go, bits of his heart breaking off and piling up, piece by helpless piece. "I'll bring you back a decent dinner," he called.

"They won't have one!" she shrilled back and slammed her door.

Rueben stood a moment longer�a big, bruiser of a man in a stupid-looking suit, late for his first date in years�but in the end, he turned around and went out the door.

Jennifer on 02/27/2016 08:49am
I really loved this story. It was well written, and drew me in right away. I liked that it was told through the eyes of Rueben instead of through the eyes of the heroine like so many romance stories. Rueben's thoughts and observations often made me smile. My favorite thing about the story was that the heroine, Kayla, was actually a likable person that I could relate to. She's not bratty or shrill, she tries to be kind to others, even when they're not kind to her, and she's up front, direct, and honest about things. Very refreshing.
Jennifer on 02/27/2016 08:49am
I really loved this story. It was well written, and drew me in right away. I liked that it was told through the eyes of Rueben instead of through the eyes of the heroine like so many romance stories. Rueben's thoughts and observations often made me smile. My favorite thing about the story was that the heroine, Kayla, was actually a likable person that I could relate to. She's not bratty or shrill, she tries to be kind to others, even when they're not kind to her, and she's up front, direct, and honest about things. Very refreshing.
Barbara on 12/30/2014 07:07am
I enjoyed reading this story. The characters were interesting with very human faults and failings which made them appealing. I thoroughly recommend it.
Barbara on 12/30/2014 07:07am
I enjoyed reading this story. The characters were interesting with very human faults and failings which made them appealing. I thoroughly recommend it.
Marybeth on 12/07/2014 08:54pm
This is a strange story. This is about Kayla and Reuben. Kayla is seeking a paper marriage with a man with good medical coverage. She has arthritis and what the doctors call “tired bones”. She needs lots of replacement surgery, but she has no insurance. That’s where the paper marriage comes in. She wants to marry for the medical benefits. Now, Reuben has his own reasons for doing this. His mother is getting old and she needs supervision. She doesn’t agree (obviously), but she does need someone in the house. So, they come to an agreement. Kayla will help with Reuben’s mother while she waits to be covered by Reuben’s medical coverage. This is more a story then it is a spanking story. There is spanking, but not a lot. There is a lot of dialogue between Kayla and Reuben. Eventually, they work things out and there is a HEA. A good story. 4
Marybeth on 12/07/2014 08:54pm
This is a strange story. This is about Kayla and Reuben. Kayla is seeking a paper marriage with a man with good medical coverage. She has arthritis and what the doctors call tired bones۝. She needs lots of replacement surgery, but she has no insurance. That۪s where the paper marriage comes in. She wants to marry for the medical benefits. Now, Reuben has his own reasons for doing this. His mother is getting old and she needs supervision. She doesn۪t agree (obviously), but she does need someone in the house. So, they come to an agreement. Kayla will help with Reuben۪s mother while she waits to be covered by Reuben۪s medical coverage. This is more a story then it is a spanking story. There is spanking, but not a lot. There is a lot of dialogue between Kayla and Reuben. Eventually, they work things out and there is a HEA. A good story. 4
Merna on 11/18/2014 02:04pm
About halfway through this book, after being so engrossed that I wasn't thinking of anything but finishing the story, I realized that this is really something special. The story was about real people with real problems, sticking it out because they both needed what each other brought to the table. It was well written, with very likable, believable, characters in Reuben (I loved the "little Roo" joke running throughout), and Kayla. I laughed and cried, and even swooned a little.
Merna on 11/18/2014 02:04pm
"About halfway through this book, after being so engrossed that I wasn't thinking of anything but finishing the story, I realized that this is really something special. The story was about real people with real problems, sticking it out because they both needed what each other brought to the table. It was well written, with very likable, believable, characters in Reuben (I loved the ""little Roo"" joke running throughout), and Kayla. I laughed and cried, and even swooned a little."
JK on 11/17/2014 05:45pm
What an excellent story! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this one, and boy was I surprised! This just did not follow the usual plot and that was soooo nice! Two people that weren’t your normal “perfect and beautiful” hero and heroine, they were regular people. The story was engaging and loveable from the very beginning! Loved it!!
JK on 11/17/2014 05:45pm
What an excellent story! I wasn۪t sure what to expect when I started reading this one, and boy was I surprised! This just did not follow the usual plot and that was soooo nice! Two people that weren۪t your normal perfect and beautiful۝ hero and heroine, they were regular people. The story was engaging and loveable from the very beginning! Loved it!!
Katy Beth McKee on 11/15/2014 04:00pm
Both Reuben and Kayla both need something so it looks like a business arranged marriage is the best way to meet their own needs. But first there is a bit of spoke thrown in the works and then well those pesky feelings really start to create havoc. This is such a sweet story of finding loving even when you don't think it will ever happen for you.
Katy Beth McKee on 11/15/2014 04:00pm
Both Reuben and Kayla both need something so it looks like a business arranged marriage is the best way to meet their own needs. But first there is a bit of spoke thrown in the works and then well those pesky feelings really start to create havoc. This is such a sweet story of finding loving even when you don't think it will ever happen for you.
Redrabbitt on 11/15/2014 12:39am
Rueben needs someone to be there for his ailing mother, she won't hear of a nurse. Kayla has major medical issues, needing surgery and needs someone with excellent insurance. Placing an ad on Craigslist looking for a spouse with good insurance and willing to have a paper marriage, an ad Rueben answers. The marriage begins as platonic, per their agreement. Kayla is gracious and forgiving for all the crap dished to her by Rueben's vindictive, backbiting, bullying family. Between his two sisters and mother, with the cruel remarks, sabotage and overall nastiness it is shocking that Kayla stays, much less doesn't strike back at them. She may be the 25 year old and them in the late 40s and 50s but she acts so much more mature. Can a 54 year old man and 25 year old woman find love in spite of family? The book started a little slow for me, going into Rueben and his former girlfriend Taffy's relationship, but started picking up with meeting with Kayla. Sometimes the dialogue seemed redundant.
Redrabbitt on 11/15/2014 12:39am
Rueben needs someone to be there for his ailing mother, she won't hear of a nurse. Kayla has major medical issues, needing surgery and needs someone with excellent insurance. Placing an ad on Craigslist looking for a spouse with good insurance and willing to have a paper marriage, an ad Rueben answers. The marriage begins as platonic, per their agreement. Kayla is gracious and forgiving for all the crap dished to her by Rueben's vindictive, backbiting, bullying family. Between his two sisters and mother, with the cruel remarks, sabotage and overall nastiness it is shocking that Kayla stays, much less doesn't strike back at them. She may be the 25 year old and them in the late 40s and 50s but she acts so much more mature. Can a 54 year old man and 25 year old woman find love in spite of family? The book started a little slow for me, going into Rueben and his former girlfriend Taffy's relationship, but started picking up with meeting with Kayla. Sometimes the dialogue seemed redundant.
anon on 11/14/2014 10:37am
I had the best time reading this story. Kayla is the type of girl I would like to have as a friend. She was so kind, gentle and caring. She didn’t let her medical condition become a disability. Rueben was a man so clearly described you can feel his confusion, pain and caring as if they were your own. I had a good time experiencing his getting to know his new wife and the impact it had on his personal life. Rueben’s family was another matter. I wanted him to spank them long and hard. This was a story that was true to life and well worth the time to read.
anon on 11/14/2014 10:37am
I had the best time reading this story. Kayla is the type of girl I would like to have as a friend. She was so kind, gentle and caring. She didn۪t let her medical condition become a disability. Rueben was a man so clearly described you can feel his confusion, pain and caring as if they were your own. I had a good time experiencing his getting to know his new wife and the impact it had on his personal life. Rueben۪s family was another matter. I wanted him to spank them long and hard. This was a story that was true to life and well worth the time to read.
Tina on 11/13/2014 03:19pm
With Kayla desperate for treatment of her painful and disabling condition, she looks for a paper marriage with anyone who has medical insurance. After an internet search and the weeding out of all the strange responses (which is everyone except Rueben!), Kayla meets up with Rueben. Rueben who is much older than Kayla, is looking for a wife as a carer for his mother who is living with him and has recently taken a number of falls while he has been out at work. I enjoyed reading the period as Kayla and Rueben adapt to living in the same house and the struggle for Kayla to be first accepted by Rueben’s mother and then Rueben’s sibling’s who are unhappy with their brother’s choice for a wife. Soon Kayla & Rueben’s close interaction’s lead to something more and when he finds out that she has been risking her health, he holds her to account. I received this as an ARC for an honest review.
Tina on 11/13/2014 03:19pm
With Kayla desperate for treatment of her painful and disabling condition, she looks for a paper marriage with anyone who has medical insurance. After an internet search and the weeding out of all the strange responses (which is everyone except Rueben!), Kayla meets up with Rueben. Rueben who is much older than Kayla, is looking for a wife as a carer for his mother who is living with him and has recently taken a number of falls while he has been out at work. I enjoyed reading the period as Kayla and Rueben adapt to living in the same house and the struggle for Kayla to be first accepted by Rueben۪s mother and then Rueben۪s sibling۪s who are unhappy with their brother۪s choice for a wife. Soon Kayla & Rueben۪s close interaction۪s lead to something more and when he finds out that she has been risking her health, he holds her to account. I received this as an ARC for an honest review.
Laurel Lasky on 11/12/2014 09:20am
This was a sweet and lovely story. Two people found each other, Kayla needs a husband and Rueben needs a wife to care for his mother. These two people married for connivence but as they got to known each other, they fell in love. A great read.
Laurel Lasky on 11/12/2014 09:20am
This was a sweet and lovely story. Two people found each other, Kayla needs a husband and Rueben needs a wife to care for his mother. These two people married for connivence but as they got to known each other, they fell in love. A great read.
SL on 11/12/2014 08:31am
5 stars. What a wonderful story. It was sweet. It made you cry. It had a happy ending. It was the story of two not perfect people who were desperate, but found love anyway. Both Reuben and Kayla were damaged and not perfect, but they found each other in their desperation. At first it was a marriage of convenience and need. This turned into a true marriage. It was wonderful to see them both grow. This story was about families, and issue and what is really important in life. It had spankings with hand and paddle, but it was done in love. I really liked this story.
SL on 11/12/2014 08:31am
5 stars. What a wonderful story. It was sweet. It made you cry. It had a happy ending. It was the story of two not perfect people who were desperate, but found love anyway. Both Reuben and Kayla were damaged and not perfect, but they found each other in their desperation. At first it was a marriage of convenience and need. This turned into a true marriage. It was wonderful to see them both grow. This story was about families, and issue and what is really important in life. It had spankings with hand and paddle, but it was done in love. I really liked this story.

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