Anna wanted a job but was unprepared for the emotional labor she would endure when she convinced Carter to hire her to keep house and mind his small son after the death of his wife. She discovers that the gentle, teasing demeanor she'd witnessed from the cowboy previously has been buried along with his wife, forcing her to contend with the glowering, ill-tempered man who snaps at her and doesn't notice or appreciate her earnest efforts. She quietly suffers his apathy and impatience until a single snub pushes her to her breaking point, causing her to take drastic action to get his attention.
Carter didn't expect such behavior from this sweet, innocent girl. It startles him out of his stupor long enough to feel his palm itching to connect with her naughty backside. He finds himself slowly drawn out of his grief and depression thanks to the gutsy, but kind female presence in his life.
Anna discovers that the return of the cowboy's awareness and ability to care means he is on to her penchant for danger and recklessness, and he's not having it. She finds herself getting the bare-bottomed spanking of her life, and feels loved by a man for the first time. Then he abruptly ends her employment. Anna flees, devastated and confused, and Carter knows he must straighten her - and the situation - out before he can claim the infuriating and enchanting woman as his wife.