Sweetville is a traditional little town, a place where domestic discipline is as much a part of the social fabric as the church, the women’s society and apple pie. It’s about to gain a new citizen, one who may not be ready for Sweetville just as much as Sweetville may not be ready for her.
Soon after leaving her native Russia to marry an American, Annika discovers that her husband-to-be is a liar and a cheat. Rather than return home, she runs away and begins living on the streets. When she is caught by Pastor Steven Soames while breaking into his car looking for a place to sleep, she expects the worst—arrest and deportation—but instead the handsome preacher invites her to his house for a warm meal.
Steven’s kindness impresses Annika and she is excited when he offers to let her stay in the guestroom at the parsonage in little town of Sweetville, even after he informs her that while under his roof proper behavior will be expected and defiance will earn her a sound spanking.
Steven is a widower, and he’s never been interested in another woman in his town until meeting Annika. Though she has a penchant for flagrant disobedience—something Steven knows will need to be cured with a firm hand applied to her bare bottom—he admires her spirit and is drawn to her strong will.
Annika finds trouble quickly and often, forcing Steven to chastise her ever more firmly, but the small-town preacher and the feisty Russian brat soon find themselves falling in love in spite of—or perhaps because of—her need to be taken in hand. But when Steven proposes, Annika cannot help but worry that he is only offering marriage out of pity in order to let her stay in America. Can she bring herself to put aside her fears and trust the man who has claimed her heart?