In Your Arms is the third full-length novel in Merry Farmer’s sweeping, engaging, and extremely historically accurate Montana Romance series. Never one to shy away from difficult or controversial topics while still imbuing her tales with more than a dash of romance and steam, Merry depicts a tale of love, trust, and stubborness against the backdrop of the turn-of-the-century American frontier.
“[In Your Arms is] a book that intelligently tackles racial tensions of post-Civil War era…a highly engaging romance between two fiery-spirited individuals…I highly recommend this book to all fans of historical romance.” –Mary Chen, Amazon reviewer
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About In Your Arms
Lily Singer has never belonged. Taken from her tribe as a child and raised in a white mans 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, its 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, Lilys 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 Christians arms.
The Romance of Ordinary People
I know, I know. The big, popular draws for romance novels at the moment are dukes and billionaires. Just about every romance you pick up these days has a hero of astounding wealth and position wooing a fair maiden of one sort or another. And, I mean, why not? It’s such a great fantasy to think about a delicious Prince Charming swooping down to make a girl’s heart flutter. In fact, they say that if you put the word “Duke” into the title of a novel it will sell like gangbusters.
But you know what? I’ve always loved novels about ordinary people. I’m much more of an ordinary person myself. Heck, we all are, really. And ordinary people have some of the most extraordinary love stories out there. Just because we don’t have money or fame doesn’t mean we can’t leave a reader’s heart pounding in expectation or have them sighing along in those moments where love finally wins the day. So why the fascination with the upper classes?
Actually, if you look around these days, there are some prominent love stories about ordinary people that have millions riveted. Downton Abbey is one of the biggest shows on TV in the English-speaking world, and whose story do we follow with baited breath? Anna and Bates. Not to mention the rest of the downstairs staff. Their world is just as fascinating as the saga and turmoil of the upstairs family. I also happen to believe that one of the most compelling storylines of the entire show is that of Tom Branson, the man stuck between two worlds. Now that’s some drama!
You know, there are also some wonderful stories about the lives and loves of ordinary people in the pages of current romance novels. The one that comes to my mind, one of the best books I read last year, is The Governess Affair, by Courtney Milan. The heroine is an ex-governess, the hero is a steward from a working-class background. The duke is actually the antagonist. Not a title or a stuffed bank account in sight for the main characters, and yet the story that unfolds as a result is beautiful and real and definitely had me catching my breath at every turn.
I think this is part of the reason I love writing my novels set in the Old West, in Montana in the late 1890s. No dukes, no billionaires, just ordinary people trying to do the best they can to get by in changing times. In my series I do have a “cowboy” hero and a “lawman” hero, but it was as much fun or more so to write Michael West, the hero of Our Little Secrets, who is the town shopkeeper, or Phineas Bell, the hero of my upcoming release Somebody to Love, who is the town banker. I love populating my worlds with people just like you and me.
Reading about how the other half lives is fun, but sometimes you just want to read a story about people whose lives aren’t all that different from yours. You want to read about someone who could be your neighbor overcoming seemingly impossible odds to find the love they deserve. If it can happen for a heroine who is a teacher or a long-suffering daughter or a divorcee who has been treated badly, then it can happen for us. Because those characters are us, and we deserve happiness too.
Sure, we read romance novels as an escape from reality, but we also read them because they give us reason to hope. From the earliest days of the genre, when Jane Austen was writing about the plight of sisters who had no money and whose only hope was to marry well, we’ve looked to romance novels as proof that ordinary people can find extraordinary love no matter what challenges we face. Romance novels reflect the hopes and dreams of women like all of us. So I plan to keep writing about characters that are as extraordinary in their emotions as they are ordinary in their circumstances. Because finding that kind of love is what life is all about.
About Merry Farmer
Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn’t have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she walks along the cutting edge of Indie Publishing, writing Historical Romance and Women’s Sci-Fi. She is also passionate about blogging, knitting, and cricket and is working towards becoming an internationally certified cricket scorer.
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