Hi everyone! This book is HOT off the press and I got Linda here with the story's blurp and excerpt! Take it away, Linda!
Tagline: He’s been turned down twice and is taking no chances. Losing her job forces her West to become a mail-order bride.
Blurb: Jared Manning was left wanting on two prior marriage attempts, and this time he wants to be assured of a bride. So he commits to a correspondence courtship with only one potential mail-order bride and anticipates the arrival of Dina Valdis, a retiring schoolteacher, in time for the town’s Harvest Dance. He knows just how he wants his picture-perfect married life to be and assumes he’s found the exact woman to fulfill the role.
Dina is passionate about being a schoolteacher who sparks the love of learning in young minds. An incident in her hometown of Kingston, New York forces her from her job, and her reputation is smeared. Not wanting to become a hermit, Dina is reminded how her cousins, Aurelia and Rilleta, found happiness with their husbands in Jubilee Springs, Colorado. Thinking this is her only option, Dina heads west as a mail-order bride. Seeing the size of the tiny town almost sets Dina running, but an attraction for this handsome miner keeps her there. When she learns the town’s children have no teacher, she starts a campaign to educate the townspeople. Soon, she’ll have to decide if the attraction she feels for Jared is stronger than her passion for teaching.
“We hardly had a moment to ourselves.” Jared sat at the opposite end. “What did you do this afternoon?”
“I spent a lovely hour or so visiting with Aurelia in her cabin.” She refrained from mentioning how the shock of setting foot inside tiny cabin number four took a while to wear off as her cousin pointed out each of the features and detriments.
“Good, so you have an idea of the house’s layout. Ours…” Frowning, he cleared his throat. “The one designated for us, if we marry, is number seven. That’s two cabins down from the MacNeills and in the other row. The front porch will overlook the river.”
And the railroad tracks. She fought to hold her smile. “I have to admit to being awestruck at the sight of the Rocky Mountains. Geography books don’t do them justice.”
“I agree. I haven’t seen the likes of the beauty of Colorado.” Jared leaned back and rested an arm over the back of the settee. “Declan told me today that a picnic is planned for tomorrow. Did your cousin mention the gathering?”
Dina nodded. “She did. I’m looking forward to seeing Rilleta there and meeting her husband at the picnic.”
He winced and looked away.
That’s odd. “Why did you react like that?”
“Well, I…” He shoved to a stand and jammed his hands on his hips. “I believe we should be honest with one another. I must admit I wrote to your cousin Rilleta this summer.”
“As part of the bridal arrangements?” Dina’s thoughts flew to her younger, prettier cousin. Her curly blonde hair and lustrous blue eyes that had captivated everyone since she’d been born. Fighting back her jealousy, Dina clasped her hands in her lap. Why wouldn’t Rilleta have mentioned this connection, however transitory, in her letter?
“Yes, but I cut off the association almost upon her arrival.” A frown pressed down his eyebrows.
“Because of the robbery?” A most ungentlemanly act. She stiffened at hearing him voice his mistreatment of poor Rilleta. And after she’d suffered.
He rubbed a hand over the back of his neck. “A decision which might have been short-sighted, but I hear she and Wit are well-matched. Unlike my first attempt with a woman whose other match, a drunk, ended up dead after the Fourth of July—”
“Twice before you’ve been matched? This is unacceptable.” She couldn’t help the rising pitch in her tone. “I had no idea I was your third choice.” She shot to her feet. “I have to think about this development. Good night.” With shock holding her body ramrod straight, Dina walked from the parlor and to the stairs, leaving behind a gaped-mouth Jared.
As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication--a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda now writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.
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