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Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. The chicks and ducklings are for sale in the nearest feed store. I live in horse country, so the babies are bucking around their corrals while harried mothers munch lush green grass nearby. The trees and flowers are in bloom and you don't have to look very far for a lucky ladybug. And the weather? Oh, after months of miserable cold, it's nice enough to finally have picnics again.
The setting for An Unwilling Husband is a late Texas springtime in Wild West cattle country. The time of year definitely influences Maggie's homecoming. The grass is green and the breeze warm. IT would be a different story altogether if it was set during a Texas winter. She comes back to Rockdale to reunite with her father after ten years of being raised a lady in Boston. And who happens to be in town for her arrival? Her childhood crush, Garret Shaw. Except he isn't the sweet boy she remembers, but a hardened man determined not to let her affect his heart.
Garret was an intoxicating man, like the first sip of fine whiskey, and it left Maggie dizzy to be this near him.
“I remember you had this ridiculous fiery red hair when we were kids.” He gently lifted a long strand of her wavy hair, now dark as a redwood. A look of tenderness flickered across his face before it was replaced with one of disdain. Her breath caught at his touch. Even angry he was beautiful. Like an avenging angel.
Garret dropped her hair then rounded on the open luggage in two long strides and picked up the gaudy cream silk dress she had worn from the train station. “This one will do.” In his work-roughened hands, the shimmering material looked fragile, ridiculous. “It will remind me of exactly what I’m getting myself into.”
As he tossed the dress in a billowing heap onto the bed and headed for the door, she put voice to her confusion. “Garret, I don’t understand what you are talking about most of the time, but today you have been speaking to me in puzzles. Why would I wear this dress for you?”
He wheeled and faced her. “Because I aim to marry you.”
An Unwilling Husband
Historic Western Romance, 310 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Press, An Imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.
Coming May 5, 2014
For adventurous Margaret Flemming, arrived from Boston to be with her father, the Old West town of her childhood is a far cry from the drawing rooms and balls of the high society life she’s used to. Her fancy gowns and proper manners have no place in the dusty, cruel land inhabited by Indians and rough cowboys. And her fiercely independent streak constantly gets her in trouble. When tragedy strikes, there’s only one person she can turn to--her childhood friend, Garret Shaw--but he’s disgusted with her Society ways.
With his ranch under attack from the land-grabbing Jennings, the last thing Garret needs is to be saddled with a high-falutin’ lady. Even if she is his friend’s daughter and her kind ways tug at his hardened heart. Duty to her father forces them to wed, but he knows sure as anything, when the chance comes along, she’ll go back to Boston. No matter how much he wants her, loving her is not a risk he can take.
Will Maggie choose a life of luxury and ease over struggle and hardship with an ill-mannered cowboy? Only her heart can answer.
CONTENT WARNING: A potty-mouthed proper lady, a reluctant bridegroom and all kinds of trouble.
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