V is for Values
Every society has different sets of values - in the US, every town is filled with different people, all whose values are different. Imagine a society where the core values are the same. Truth. Honor. Trust. Kindness. Respect. Along with a deep abiding belief in domestic discipline as a way of life. This describes the town of Hyacinth, Washington.
In Book Seven of the In Hyacinth series, Courted by Time, DeLynn is doing something a little different. She's attending a nearby college. When words gets out about her and Zachary, the response isn't all positive.
As she entered her first class the second Monday of January, DeLynn had a bit of a shock. Two of the girls who were already seated in front looked up and watched her as she walked to a seat halfway up. “So, you’re the one who caught Zachary Styles,” one of them said with interest, surprising her as she sat down. DeLynn just stared at them in confusion. How did they know?
Turning to her friend, the girl whispered loudly enough for everyone to hear. “She’s from that freak town Hyacinth. Zachary’s probably trying to save her from being abused. He’s such a sweetie.”
Several different emotions flooded DeLynn’s chest and she had a hard time grappling with them. Anger, humiliation, and the one that was the worst: worry. For a brief moment, self-doubt made her wonder if Zachary was dating her because he thought spanking was abuse. He had admitted he’d never spanked anyone before. But quickly, she pushed that aside. Zach liked her and she knew it. She wasn’t going to allow some girl she didn’t even know to destroy that.
“Ah, shut up, Kelli,” one of the guys in the back said. “You’re just jealous because she caught the chaplain. You’ve been after him since the day you arrived on campus and he’s never given you a second look.”
Kelli sneered at him over her shoulder. “’Lot you know.”
He barked a laugh. “I know that Zachary would never date a girl who sleeps with every boy she meets. My granddad knows his family well and says his mom’s the best judge of character he’s ever met and she’s overjoyed at his finding her. You’re jealousy’s gonna get you into trouble.” Hearing that Konani truly liked her helped DeLynn to fully put her doubts about Zachary aside.
Glaring at him, Kelli turned back to her friend. “I’ve heard Hyacinth girls aren’t allowed to speak unless given permission and that they are all forced to wear iron underwear.”
A few titters broke out around the room and anger overtook the rest of her emotions. Sitting up straight, DeLynn glared right at the back of the girl’s head. “Sorry we wouldn’t allow you in, Kelli, but in Hyacinth, girls have to be pure. And we don’t have to use special underwear because our legs don’t just open automatically when any man walks by.” As the words poured out of her mouth, she had a momentary feeling of triumph as the girl in question turned to her in shock. But when laughter broke out and realizing what she’d said, DeLynn’s cheeks flamed with heat as she grabbed her books and ran out.
She ran into the professor as she darted out the door. “Sorry,” she sobbed, running out of the building. “Unbelievable,” she whined as she left the building and walked around the quad. While she knew Kelli had no right to say what she did, DeLynn only had control of her own words and she was horrified at what she’d said. Here she was, dating the school chaplain and…Her words came back to her and she groaned. “How can I even imagine myself as his wife if I can’t control myself?” The worst part was she worried her actions might reflect badly on him and that’s something she would never want to do. DeLynn wanted him to be proud of her.
Embarrassed by her crass words and rude behavior, she did the only thing that made sense. She went to Zachary.
Courted by Time
In Hyacinth, Book 7
With her courting year over and no men on the horizon, DeLynn Straynar decides to do something different with her life and signs up to attend college in Longdale an hour away. Her first day there, she runs into Zachary Styles, the school’s single chaplain and feels attracted, but quickly tries to convince herself she feels nothing for him. Until they meet again and again. With school taking up so much of her attention, she tries to focus just on it, but ignoring the gorgeous brown-eyed man is difficult and she’s not sure she wants to.
Zachary is twenty-five and working toward his doctorate in divinity. While aware of Hyacinth, he never imagined he would physically discipline anyone, until falling for DeLynn. She thinks getting courted will be the hardest part, but their courting year turns out to be fraught with trouble. From her best friend running away from home, to trying to figure out who she is in an environment so unlike the one she grew up in, the entire year is filled with stress. She keeps hoping that in time, everything will work itself out.
Unfortunately, time can only fix so much and as her anxiety goes through the roof and she finds herself in a manic mode she cannot stop, it doesn’t take long before she realizes that while sometimes she needs to figure things out on her own, there are also times she needs to hand the reins over to someone else.
Hyacinth, Washington is all about traditional values. In Hyacinth; its residents live their lives by discipline; there is a strong male head of house; and words like trust, honor, and kindness aren't just buzzwords. Each story in the series is of a young woman (18-20) and her struggle to figure out who she is in this little town while at the same time going through Hyacinth's old-fashioned courting system. On their way to meet, get to know, and finally marry their princes, these heroines grow in ways they and their town never expected.
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Labels: Courted by Time, In Hyacinth, romance, spankA2Z, V, values