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In His Hands

Hero to Obey

By: Maggie Ryan
Published By: Blushing Press
Copyright: © 2017 Blushing Books® and Maggie Ryan
Thirteen Chapters / 33,600 Words
Heat Level:
5.0 Out Of 5 (5.0 on 13)   |  Write a review

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Duty. Honor. Country. Hero.

The moment America is drawn into the second world war, Betsy Riddle is determined to do her patriotic duty. A prolific letter writer, she pens news from the home front in an effort to lift the spirits of soldiers across the ocean. But the moment she drops the first letter to Major Jackson Novak into the mailbox, she begins to worry how he might respond.

As a member of the newly formed OSS, Jack Novak knows the horrors of war. Dropped behind enemy lines, he works with the French partisans to cause as much damage as possible. His missions are dangerous but when he opens a purple envelope smelling of lilacs, he wonders if it’s possible that a certain minx can cause even more havoc.

Is love strong enough to withstand years of being thousands of miles apart? Will the escalating dangers of war destroy their chances of sharing more than words penned on paper?

And what happens when the letters stop?

Publisher’s Note: This book contains elements of power exchange and domestic discipline. If these offend you, please do not purchase.

*** Currently available exclusively at Amazon ***

Chapter One

“What do you mean, you’re done?” Betsy asked from her seat at the kitchen table.

“Exactly what I said,” Jane replied, tossing down a piece of folded paper. “Why are we wasting our time writing to men we’ll never meet when there are men anxious to take us out to dinner and a movie?”

“Jane, we are supposed to be keeping their spirits up. It must be so awful being so far away from home and in a strange country. Not to mention these men are risking their very lives to keep us safe. A few minutes sending news from home to let them know that we are thinking of them is nothing compared to what the soldiers do daily.”

“Look, I’m just as patriotic as you are, but I’m done. When I receive a marriage proposal, I want it given in person, with a very huge diamond in a black velvet box.”

“Proposal? You got a proposal?”

“More like three,” Jane said. “I’m not sure which is worse… men proposing or a man halfway across the world stating that my behavior is questionable.”

“What? Jane, you’re not making any sense,” Betsy said.

Jane laughed and lifted an envelope. “It doesn’t appear that Mr. Bossy approves of my desire to have a bit of fun.”

Trying to wrap her head around the fact that her roommate’s pen-pals seemed far more interesting than her own, it took Betsy a moment to realize what Jane had said. “You have a pen-pal named Mr. Bossy?”

“Well, no, but that might as well be his name. It seems that while he is interested in settling down, I have no interest in his rather archaic beliefs. Why can’t a girl enjoy herself? This is 1943, not the Middle Ages! If nothing else, I think the attack on Pearl Harbor has proven that life is too short and too uncertain to be so prudish. I have no desire to be, as he so quaintly puts it, ‘taken in hand’. The only person to set my behind on fire was my daddy, and that ended when I hit puberty. I promise, he will be the last.”

“He actually threatened to… to spank you?”

“Not in so many words, but when he states that some little lady needs to be reminded what happens to naughty girls, well, you tell me what pops into your head?”

Blushing at the image that bloomed in her mind, Betsy shook her head in disbelief. “Wow, all I get are requests for more cookies or another pair of socks, and you are getting marriage proposals and rather intimate suggestions.”

“Relax. Believe me, there is nothing intimate involved.” Jane paused and then giggled. “In fact, he reminds me of you a bit.”

“Me? You think I’m bossy?”

“No, I just meant that Jack is a bit of a fuddy-duddy—”

“So you think I’m a fuddy-duddy?” Betsy said, not sure what would be worse… being bossy or being so… lame.

Jane immediately reached across and took her hand. “I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that you have an old soul and it appears that Jack does as well. In fact, I think you two would be perfect for each other.”

Rolling her eyes, Betsy sighed. “Gee, thanks. Just what a girl wants to hear, that I am perfect for some man old enough to be my father!”

Jane laughed again. “I didn’t say he was old; I think he’s only thirty or so. I just know that he has old-fashioned beliefs and, well, Betsy, you have to admit that you do, too. I, on the other hand, have absolutely no intention of allowing anyone to dictate my behavior or keep me from having fun.”

Betsy was still reeling from the conversation and yet had a question she just had to ask. “What exactly are you writing to these men?”

Jane smiled. “Honey, you seem to forget one very important fact about this pen-pal thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Betsy, these soldiers are first and foremost men. Do you honestly believe they give a hoot about the price of corn, who won the local mayor’s race, or how much money yet another bake sale raised? If you were hunched down in some awful trench full of mud and bugs with bullets flying over your head, what would take your mind off your misery?”

Betsy shuddered at the vivid image that popped into her head. Her heart ached for all those poor men so far from home. “Um, I don’t know but maybe coming home?”

“Even as lovely as that will be, I promise there is something else that keeps those soldiers going.” Jane leaned closer and lowered her voice. “Sex.”


“Oh, don’t sound so shocked. I’m not talking about allowing a man to get to home-plate, but a little time spent on second base is certainly not a mortal sin.”

Betsy was having a difficult time keeping up with Jane’s change in topics. “I thought you said sex, not baseball.” Jane’s laughter had her friend a bit upset. “There’s no need to laugh at me, Jane Kennedy! I’m not quite the prude you seem to think I am.”

“Sweetie, I’m not laughing at you. Haven’t you heard of the baseball for sex metaphor?” At the negative shake of Betsy’s head, Jane continued and explained the newest slang for sexual exploits. “You told me about how Steve Miller kissed you last weekend so, my dear, you’ve been on first base. And, since I’ve seen that book you keep hidden in your nightstand, I’m wondering if you rounded first and headed for second. You might read the classics in the living room or on the front porch, but when you are all alone in your bed, I know you are dreaming about gardening.” She laughed and Betsy could feel her cheeks heating when her friend waved a finger back and forth in front of her face. “And I’m not talking about corn. I’m talking about a certain gardener and gamekeeper named Oliver Mellors. I’m willing to bet you are playing the role of Constance—oh, excuse my disrespect—I mean Lady Chatterley.”

“I have not!” Squirming a bit in her chair, Betsy added, “I mean, yes, I guess I’ve been on first base a few times, but I most definitely have not even stepped a toe off of it. I’ll have you know that Steve went home with my handprint on his face. His kisses do absolutely nothing for me!”

“And some fictional character does?”

Betsy wasn’t about to confess that it wasn’t the character per se, it was the way the man took charge. His love affair with the female character had kept Betsy’s heart pounding and her fingers turning the pages. Steve’s kiss had been more like that given by a puppy—overly energetic and, well, quite moist. “Fine, I read it. So what? With you stealing all the great guys, what’s left for a girl to do but find solace in a book? You won’t tell, will you? I mean, that book is practically banned! Dad would kill me if he knew I’d read it!”

Jane bent forward and gave her a hug. “Your secret is safe with me.” Picking up the letter she’d dropped, she held it out. “Here, consider this my true patriotic duty.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that since you are so intent on keeping our soldiers happy, you can correspond with this man.”

“Mr. Bossy?” Betsy asked. “Why him?”

“Because, my dearest Betsy, it’s time to close your books and find a warm, red-blooded man. Let Mr. Bossy teach you how a man really thinks. I have a feeling you’ll find it a lot more interesting than some fictional character in the pages of a book… even if it is a naughty novel. In fact, why don’t you ask him if he enjoys reading? Or, better yet, confess your love of a certain book. I bet he’d admire you for having the spunk to read a banned book.”


“Yes,” Jane said and then giggled. “Of course, he’d probably not admit that out loud. He’s far more likely to blister your behind!”

“He wouldn’t!”

“It might be fun to find out though, wouldn’t it?” Dropping the letter onto the pile in front of Betsy, Jane gave her a final hug and then left her to ponder her words as she went to prepare for a date. It took several minutes before Betsy dared to reach for the innocent looking envelope and remove the folded sheets to read the latest missive from Jane’s Mr. Bossy.

Tiffany on 05/11/2017 03:11am
I like the way the romance developed through the letters during the first half (2/3rds) of the book. The way Betsy starts to write to Jack is pretty funny and sets a light-hearted tone for the overall book. There are some tense moments, it s a WWII story, but some of the plot that occurred seem a bit formulaic and expected (but I'll admit I've read quite a few war romances so perhaps I'm a bit jaded). However, I feel like the remaining 1/3 or so felt more like one a long epilogue rather than a proper end to the story. Overall, if you're looking for a light-hearted, easy WWII romance, this book will hit the spot.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Molly Friis on 05/04/2017 11:39am
Betsy Riddle gets herself into trouble without trying much. Very sweet story gives you a little glimpse into WWII from the homefront. Betsy does her part by writing letters to the soldiers. She tries to be a little sneaky and gets caught. She thinks Major Jack Novak is just teasing her about putting her over his knee. Betsy soon learns how wrong she is. Can she handle it?
BlueDiamond on 04/30/2017 10:43pm
This is a beautifully written story where romance fills page after page of this heart warming read. I loved it.
Lisa Watson on 04/30/2017 02:19am
This is a domestic discipline story set in war time. Jane is pen pals with Major Jack Nolan who is serving in the war, she is carefree but Jack is looking to settle down into a Head of Household marriage. Jane senses this and persuades her 'old soul' best friend Betsy to reply to him instead. Betsy replies pretending to be Jane but Jack spots this straight away and calls her on it. The two continue to write to each other, now as herself and they fall in love. An accident leaves Jack MIA and Betsy heartbroken but sure he's still out there and the rest is now history.

This is a good domestic discipline book with a good storyline.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.
Redrabbitt on 04/29/2017 09:13pm
I felt like a voyeur reading the sweet letters that became a link between Major Jack Novak and Betsy Riddle. What started out as pen pals between Jack and Betsy%u2019s roommate, Jane, changed when Jane gave Betsy his letters and said they were kindred souls. This story takes place during WWII, and the letters across the ocean back and forth for three years before the end of the war. The first half of the story is the letters and war, and the second half is homecoming time with the war ending.

The plot will have two people exchanging letters and falling in love over three years, each awaiting the next letter and news. Sometimes it is easier to say something in a letter, than face to face, and Betsy can share with Jack, and he with her. He makes it clear that he knows how to deal with naughty girls, and that in a marriage there is only one head of household, him, and naughtiness is handled with a spanking. %u201CI promise you the greatest pleasure found is in the arms of a man who wishes nothing more than to love with passion, protect with his very life and, yes, guide with his discipline.%u201D %u201CI%u2019m going to thoroughly enjoy being your Mr. Bossy, my dear.%u201D I laughed so hard at the scenes after he comes home and meets with Betsy and her family and then the wedding and wedding night.
lani on 04/29/2017 07:44am
I received an ARC copy for an honest review. What a great book! I loved it! This was a romantic sweet story of two souls finding one another. The characters were wonderfully written, very interesting and I%u2019m so glad they found their HEA. There isn%u2019t much sex or spanking in this story, but what there is is well written and beautiful. The story draws you in quickly and you start to love the characters and root for their HEA. I strongly recommend you read this book! It%u2019s a romance that%u2019ll put a smile on your face and hope in your heart that true love is out there!
Nicolette Swanepoel on 04/29/2017 06:58am
Betsy is a sweet girl that does hervpatriotic duty by writing to soldier and baking them cookies. When her cousin mention she has an old fashioned pen pal she calls Mr Bossy she thinks Betsy should rather write to her love story begins. A romantic read.
Toni L on 04/29/2017 03:44am
This is a very well written story set in a time when letters played a pivotal role in relationships. I loved following the courtship from beginning to when they finally get to meet face to face. I found the absence of a physical relationship brought an interesting depth to the story.
Rhonda on 04/28/2017 02:55am

One of the sweetest heart-warming books I've read.

The author did a wonderful job of making you feel you were right there, living during WWII.
Betsy and Jake had such chemistry and experiencing their love grow in spite of the miles between them was so sweet. While the idea of a DD relationship was pivotal, this book was so much more than that.
You get a real feeling for the sacrifices our service men (and women) and their families make.

Kudos to Maggie Ryan for taking us there.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

lillie1922 on 04/27/2017 05:04pm
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. Betsy's friend Jane is a free spirit. The world is at war and Jane has penpal soldiers to write to. One soldier is just as old fashioned as her dear friend Betsy. Handing the latest letter to her, she suggests that Betsy is far better suited to Jack. It begins. WW2 romance, spanking
Margaret Corcoran on 04/27/2017 02:45pm
I originally read this story as part of the Hero to Obey anthology and I enjoy it very much. This expanded version is so much better. It fully sets out the story of Betsy and Jack. Brilliantly set out during the Second World War as girls in America send letters and parcels to the men fighting. The story line is well done. The characters are well developed and described. A very easy to read and enjoyable story. I received an ARC copy of this book and I highly recommend it.
PJB on 04/27/2017 01:06pm
A 2nd world war romance from the Queen of spanking romance, Maggie Ryan. This is a sweet tale of love at a time when letters were the only communication when a man was miles away fighting a war. The story begins with Jane writing to Major Jack Novak but she quickly realises his very alpha male, no nonsense approach to her behaviour was not for her. Betsy on the other hand dreams of a strong man who will take charge and hold her to account and so she takes over the letter writing to the major. They soon develope a connection and romance blossoms but is Betsy right about this man? Read this delightful tale for yourself and see if Betsy has found a man who delivers chastisement when a girls actions demand consequences. A Deliciously told story!
stats23 on 04/27/2017 12:50pm
This is a lovely spanking romance for the nostalgia lover. Set during the days of the Second World War, the story begins with the pen pal correspondences between Betsy%u2019s friend Jane and Army Major Jack Novak and ends with his return at the end of the war. For reasons the reader will certainly enjoy, Jane soon turns over the responsibility of corresponding with Jack to Betsy. The author really seems to understand the mindset of a young lady who is both fearing and wanting her first spanking encounter. It%u2019s all about the dreadful/delightful anticipation mixed with equal parts of apprehension and anxiety. As one gets closer and closer to that first actual event, the mixed emotions make for a very exciting build up. Maggie, as always, delivers the goods and gives us a first class story of love, lust and trust. This really is a romance lover%u2019s delight, nothing harsh but nothing left out either. 4 stars, leaning towards five.
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

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