Weekend Excerpt – His Forbidden Bride/Honoria: The Forbidden Bride

Aug 26, 2016

I know how much you guys have been looking forward to Honoria & Solomon’s story, His Forbidden Bride (spicy)/Honoria: The Forbidden Bride (sweet). Well, it’s almost here! It’ll be out in one week! So why not read a little bit of it today? Think it will satisfy you or make you more excited? *wiggles eyebrows*

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She made it almost all the way to the intersection with Elizabeth Street before hearing Solomon’s concerned call of, “Honoria, stop!”

She could only managed a few more, tripping steps before lurching to a halt. Rough coughing stopped her. She shouldn’t be running, as sick as she was. She held her handkerchief to her mouth, helpless to do anything but wait until Solomon caught up with her.

“Honoria, my god.” He skipped straight past politeness and gripped her arms as he reached her.

Honoria’s coughing subsided, and she let her hand fall from her mouth. “I…” She couldn’t meet her eyes, could only stare down at the contrast between her white handkerchief and the dark brown skin of his hands. “I…” She couldn’t. She couldn’t burden him.

Only, before she could summon up the strength to break free from his supporting hands, Solomon said, “Elspeth told me what you said to her.”

Honoria snapped her eyes up to meet his, full of fear. Would he reject her now? The one person she admired above all else?

No, there was so much tenderness, so much regret in his eyes that all she could do was break down into sobs and nod.

“No,” he whispered.

And right there, in broad daylight, directly across from the hotel, near one of the busiest intersections in Haskell, Solomon Templesmith pulled her into a tight embrace, resting her head against his shoulder. No one, not even her own father, would ever show her so much sympathy. Solomon was little more than a stranger, forbidden in so many ways, but the comfort he was offering turned her inside out and made her feel as though she was floating in the midst of her misery. She wept freely against his shoulder, leaning heavily into the firm muscles of his chest, closing her arms around his back. She’d dreamed of this moment with him for years, only to have it come at the end.

They might have stood there for hours or it might have only been seconds when Solomon said, “Tell me all about it.”

Sense returned to her slowly. She gulped a few breaths, working to have the power to stand on her own. As soon as she could, she pushed back, wiping away her tears and straightening her back. It still took several deep, deliberate breaths before she could raise her gaze to meet his.

“Dr. Abernathy says I have consumption,” she admitted, her voice shaking like tall grass in a storm. “He says I have months left.”

Solomon’s expression crumpled into extreme sympathy. “Oh, Honoria, I’m so sorry.”

He could have left her right there, but instead he took her hand and led her over to the side of the road, to a bench that sat out in front of Charlie and Olivia Garrett’s house. He helped her to sit, then sat beside her. Out of the corner of her eyes, Honoria spotted several people looking on curiously, including Mr. Gunn on the hotel’s porch. She didn’t mind his observation, but she wished everyone else would disappear. She wished everyone in the world but her and Solomon would disappear.

“What precisely did Dr. Abernathy say?” Solomon asked in a solid, businesslike voice.

Honoria wrung her handkerchief, used it to dabbed her eyes, and gathered her thoughts. Solomon was sitting too close to her, but at that moment she truly didn’t care.

“I…I’ve had this cough for quite some time,” she began in a weak and weary voice. “Bonnie—you know, Bonnie Horner, who’s walking out with my father—has been urging me to see a doctor.”

“Bonnie is a wise woman.” Solomon nodded.

Honoria managed a small smile for praise of the woman who—in spite of having her father for a beau—was vilified more often than not in the Bonneville house.

Her smile faded fast. “I went to see Dr. Meyers first thing this morning. He examined me. He even ran a test with chemicals that he explained were new and helped diagnose disease.” Solomon made an impressed sound. “But he was called away by an army officer. Dr. Abernathy takes over his cases when Dr. Meyers is away, so I left and went about my business until this afternoon.” She sniffled as recent, bad memories assailed her. “I went to Dr. Abernathy for the results just now, and he told me.” She squeezed her eye shut, and more tears streamed down her face.

“Could Dr. Abernathy have been wrong?” Solomon asked.

Honoria shook her head. He had Dr. Meyers’s file. I saw Dr. Meyers writing in that file while he was examining me.”

Solomon’s shoulder sagged. “I’m so sorry.” He rubbed Honoria’s back, sliding his arm around her and letting her rest her head on his shoulder from the side.

“My life has been such a waste,” she blurted before she could stop herself. Her tears continued to spill.

“Don’t say that.” Solomon’s voice was so tender that it only made her weep harder.

“But it’s true. I’ve let myself be pushed around and bullied by my sisters since Mama died. I’ve lived a half-life. And there were so many things I wanted to do.”

“What did you want to do?” He brushed a loose strand of hair away from her forehead.

Honoria sighed, closing her eyes. “I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted to do something with my skills, help people. I…I wanted to fall in love, marry, and have children.” Her voice faded to a wisp as she mourned all of the children she’d never have now.

 

Oooh! Excited for more! You only have to wait one week! His Forbidden Bride/Honoria: The Forbidden Bride comes out next Friday, September 2nd!

Release Day! – Tycoon’s Tryst

Aug 19, 2016

It’s here! It’s release day for Tycoon’s Tryst, book 10 in the Culpepper Cowboys series! You can go grab your copy now at Amazon and for Kindle Unlimited. It’ll be available on all other platforms in about three months. But why not celebrate now by getting started on Chapter One?

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“I plan to make big changes around here,” Sly O’Donnell commented to his sister, Elvie, with a leonine grin. He turned his convertible to exit the highway and drove onto the scenic country road that would lead them into the center of their hometown, Culpepper, Wyoming.

The late-summer sun baked the ranchland all around them. In the distance, a herd of cattle chewed on wilted grass, and further beyond that, a collection of windmills turned lazily in the faint breeze. As hot as it was, Sly drove with the top down. The car was a leftover from his time in California and admittedly out of place in Wyoming. He figured he should get a truck soon, but for now he still liked the jazzy, silver sign of his success. Especially if it put that scrunched up look on Elvie’s face as her wild, long hair blew around as they drove. She was his sister. Irritating her was his job.

“You really think folks in Culpepper are going to let you walk in and make a bunch of changes?” She turned her pinched and doubtful look on him.

“Once they see what I’ve got in store, sure.” He nodded to emphasize his point. Elvie was only in a bad mood because her engagement had recently fizzled out. Not only was it his job to irritate her, it was his job as big brother to take her mind off her troubles. “They sure did like the Culpepper Stakes,” he argued.

Elvie’s grumpy look softened to a considering one. She shrugged, using both hands to smooth her flying hair back and hold it behind her head. “I’ll give you that much. Arch told me the race was fun, that he was glad to have come out here for it. And of course Doc loved it.”

“Because he won.” Sly grinned.

“No, stupid, because he got the girl.” Elvie let go an unladylike snort. “All you guys ever care about is winning.”

“That’s not true.”

“Ha! I know you, Sly. You’re going to argue with me until I admit that you won the argument.”

He put on his most charming smile for her—the smile that closed deals and had made him a fortune like no one else in Culpepper, Wyoming would be able to imagine.

“Not buying it.” Elvie shut him down.

Sly laughed out loud. He was so freakin’ happy that his sister was moving back to town—to help Doc expand his veterinary business—that it was borderline embarrassing. The O’Donnell family had always done better when they’d stuck together. He loved his siblings like some people loved money and power, and he would gladly have given up all of the latter to keep the former.

It would have been great to find a woman who felt the same way. Too bad there were none in his circles in California. He’d be lying if he said that wasn’t part of the reason he’d moved home to Culpepper. But as it turned out, women of any kind were as rare in Culpepper these days as polar bears were in Punta Cana.

He cleared his throat and pushed his thoughts back onto the track they’d been heading down. “I’m pretty sure that once I’ve gotten started, folks will love my plans for this beautiful old town.”

Elvie arched a brow and sent him a sideways look.

“First was the Culpepper Stakes,” he elaborated. “And you’d better believe we’ll be doing that next year and every year. Then there’s the rodeo next week.”

Elvie let out a breath, giving him a break. “I still don’t know how you managed to get the premier rodeo association to hold an event in Culpepper when the town doesn’t even have a proper facility for it.”

“Yet.” Sly raised a finger. “I’m working on that too. And it’s not a full competition, just an exhibition event.”

“Mmm hmm.” Elvie swiped at her hair again to gather up the ends that had escaped.

“But besides the rodeo, I’m bringing in all sorts of businesses. There’s this guy, Bob, who wants to start a restaurant, Bob’s Burger Barn. That’s definitely going to be a hit.”

“Bob’s Burger Barn?” Elvie grinned.

“Sure, why not? And after that, I want to find a way to bring a top-rated chef in to set up a five-star restaurant. Maybe someone who won one of those cooking competition shows.”

“There you go again with the competitions.” This time Elvie laughed.

Sly loved the sound. It reminded him of some of the better days of their childhood. Heaven only knew there’d been enough bad days, what with all the problems their parents had—with each other and with the bottle. Most of the time, it had been the four O’Donnell children against the world. It still was, as far as he was concerned, but in a far more positive way than those dark days.

“Why don’t you do something charitable?” Elvie asked. “I mean, you’ve got me and Doc working together at Doc’s clinic now. Maybe we could all band together and do something to protect wildlife.”

“Sounds like a good idea,” Sly nodded, then rushed on with, “but I’ve got an even better one. A wedding chapel.”

“A what?” Elvie’s voice rose an octave.

“A wedding chapel. You know, like they have in Vegas. Wyoming is a no-wait state too. And everyone around here has taken to getting married at the drop of a hat, without long engagements. Heck, the Culpepper brothers all had marriages that were arranged by a matchmaker.”

“I heard about that. Not sure what to think.” Elvie’s face darkened, and she fell into chewing her lip, an old habit when she was upset.

Sly reached over and squeezed her arm. “Hey, it’s okay, sis. That guy was a jerk. I’m glad you didn’t marry him. Your time will come, though. I just know it. I mean, you’re the best woman in the world. How could it not?”

Elvie’s tight frown turned into a look that was partway between rolling her eyes at Sly’s praise and thanking him for it. If she continued to doubt herself, Sly would have to intervene. Not that she’d like that much.

“And what about you?” Elvie turned the tables on him. “Are you going to marry the first woman you see in town now?”

Sly laughed. “I don’t think marriage is for me.”

“No?”

He shrugged and used the excuse of keeping his eyes on the road to hide the disappointment he was sure was written on his face at the prospect. “I’ve never met a girl I cared about enough to marry.”

“That’s just sad.”

“Maybe.” It was sad. He’d dated more than his fair share of women, some of them rich and gorgeous, one or two that were a little famous. None of them had given him that feeling of home that he’d always longed for.

“Okay, so why not test the Culpepper waters, now that you’re back?” Elvie pressed him. “There’s got to be some awesome single women here.”

Sly laughed out loud. “Actually, there isn’t.”

“No single women?”

“Let me put it this way.” He shifted in his seat, sending her a quick, teasing look. “The second you step foot in town and put out your shingle, you’re going to have three dozen lonely cowboys and ranchers banging on your door with flowers and chocolates. The men of Culpepper are so desperate for women that they’re willing to import them.”

Elvie crossed her arms. “Well, after Andrew, I’m not ready to date yet. They’ll just have to accept that.” Sly was on the verge of attempting to say something comforting or asking about it—which he had no idea how to do right—when she went on with, “Although the chocolate and flowers wouldn’t be so bad.”

He laughed. “Give it time.”

She sighed and reached up to gather her hair again.

“Anyhow, I have plans to fix the girl situation in Culpepper.” He grinned from ear-to-ear over the plan he’d already started to put in place.

Elvie gave him a wary look. “Sly, what did you do?”

Her scolding reminded him of the ones they would get as kids when they’d crossed the line with their mischief. He put on the same pretend innocent face that he wore back then. “Nothing. I just got to the root of the problem.”

“What’s the root of the problem?”

“Korpanty Enterprises.” He broke into a wolfish smile.

“Oookaaaay.” Elvie drew out the word. “What’s that?”

Sly’s predatory grin grew. “Korpanty Enterprises is the company that held that underwear ad shoot a couple winters ago.”

“The one where all the women in Culpepper got snowed in with a bunch of underwear models for two weeks?” Elvie laughed as she spoke.

“That’s the one.” Sly slowed down and made another turn onto the road that would take them right into the center of town. The spattering of businesses that made up Culpepper proper rolled into view, the relatively new hotel rising up on the other side.

“Korpanty Enterprises is to blame for there not being enough women in Culpepper for all the men who live here,” he went on. “So I’m suing the company.”

“You’re what?”

“I filed the lawsuit last week.”

“What could you possibly sue them for? Theft of hearts? Breach of promise?”

“Willful negligence,” Sly answered triumphantly. “I’m making the case that Korpanty Enterprises was willfully negligent in failing to bring a suitable production staff for that photo shoot, and for employing locals without full disclosure of the dangers of the job.”

“Uh, the danger of meeting a smoking-hot guy and marrying them?”

“Exactly.”

Elvie shook her head as they slowed down and headed for Doc’s office. “You know how stupid that sounds, right?”

“Of course it’s stupid.” Sly chuckled. “Just stupid enough to gain some attention from the media.”

Elvie quirked an eyebrow, so he went on.

“It’s a frivolous lawsuit that I have no chance of winning. But it will gain attention—attention for Culpepper. Not only that, I plan to highlight some of the single, desirable men in town who are now without any prospects locally.”

“Why?”

“Because there are a lot of women out there in the world who would give their eye teeth to relocate to a town packed full of hot, single cowboys, that’s why. And they’ll bring their businesses and spending dollars with them. It will be the perfect boost to the economy and morale of Culpepper. It’ll make the guys happy too.”

“So you’re suing someone to get attention.”

Sly’s grin faltered. His little sister sure did have a way of raining on his parade.

“It’s a win-win situation,” he argued, pulling into a parking spot in front of Doc’s building. “I’m not going to win the lawsuit, so I won’t be hurting Korpanty Enterprises, not really. Just helping Culpepper.”

“You’re sure about that?”

“Of course I am. I’m—”

Whatever he was going to say faded. He turned his head, following a flash of sunlight on golden blonde hair as the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen rose from staring inside the hood of a car just outside of the Culpepper Diner. It was like an arrow hitting him in the heart.

 

Yep! You can keep reading by running over to Amazon to pick up your copy of Tycoon’s Tryst today!

Weekend Excerpt – Tycoon’s Tryst

Aug 13, 2016

Wow! Can you believe that we have less than a week until Tycoon’s Tryst, book 10 in the Culpepper Cowboy series, comes out? (Friday, August 19th!) I had SO much fun writing this story about Sly O’Donnell, Culpepper’s clever businessman who is intent on putting his town on the map, and Rachel Korpanty, someone who has already caused more trouble for Culpepper than even she knows! Here’s a sneak peek….

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“It’s not much of a walk,” Sly said.

“Too bad,” Rachel mumbled.

She had the feeling he’d heard her when a charming grin broke out on his face. A blush burned hot on her cheeks.

“Nothing in Culpepper is too far from anything else,” he went on.

“You live here?” He didn’t look like he fit in.

“I do.” He laughed as though he knew what she’d been thinking. “I just moved back a few months ago after living elsewhere for a decade. I grew up here.”

“Must be nice,” she said, then clarified, “to be able to move back home after seeing the world.”

“Yeah.” He smiled, drawing her in even more. It would also be nice to have a handsome face and pair of strong arms like that to come home to every night. Yummy.

“I made some money out there in the world,” he went on, “and now I have plans for improvements to the town.”

“Improvements?”

“Bringing in new businesses and the like. That’s what I do,” he added. “I flip towns.”

“Flip towns?” Something about the statement tickled a nerve, and not a particularly good one.

“I consult with town governments and councils and help them see where they can maximize their profits and improve their offerings.”

“Sounds exciting.” And it sounded like he was better at what he did than she could ever hope to be about her own business. Korpanty Enterprises was too close to falling apart for her comfort, and if this bozo who was suing her—suing her!—succeeded in his nefarious plan, she’d be utterly destroyed.

“It’s been interesting,” Sly said. “I’m happy to be able to give back to my community now.”

“That’s nice and noble of you.” She smiled. It was a relief that there were good men in the world. Not like the head of Culpepper Holdings, the jerk who filed the lawsuit. If she ever got her hands on him, she would wrap those hands around his neck.

“You know what else I do that’s noble?” he asked.

“What?” He was bantering with her, and she liked it. A lot.

“I rescue damsels in distress.”

Rachel laughed. She also saw visions of herself being swept out of the top of a tall tower and carried away to a magnificent castle…with a magnificent bed…

“So what do you say?” Sly went on.

“To what?”

He shrugged, suddenly modest. “How about you and I get together later for a rescue supper? The diner where your P.O.S. rental is parked actually serves a mean burger.”

“Sounds wonderful,” she answered, faster than she should have. Having dinner with strangers wasn’t on her agenda. Nothing was on her agenda but reading the riot act to the loser who was on the verge of destroying everything she’d been working for for the last ten years and more. But she supposed she had to eat.

They reached the hotel, and with her suitcase in one hand, Sly still managed to hold the door for him.

“Thank you.” She nodded, giving him a fun, sultry look that she hadn’t even tried to use on anyone since college.

He responded with a flush that said she’d raised his blood-pressure just the way she’d intended to. Man, Sly was hot and noble, and he responded to her flirting just the way she wanted him to. She was a very good girl as far as girls from L.A. with her background went, but she’d definitely consider a little bit of naughtiness with this hunk of man.

“Ah, Mr. O’Donnell. Nice to see you in here today.”

Rachel’s head whipped around at the greeting from the hotel receptionist. Not for her, for Sly. Cracks formed in the edges of her sexy mood.

“Hey, Brian.” Sly nodded to the receptionist. “Do you have a reservation for a Miss Rachel—” He raised his voice at the end of the question.

Rachel swallowed. Mr. O’Donnell. Someone by the last name of O’Donnell was the CEO of Culpepper Holdings. She’d seen the paperwork. “S. O’Donnell.” Her lawyer had mentioned something about that O’Donnell recently having moved back to Culpepper after operating another company, O’Donnell Management, out of San Francisco. Too many dots connected.

She cleared her throat and said in a hoarse voice, “Rachel Korpanty.”

Sly’s grin fell away. His eyes grew wider. The flush on his cheeks burned redder.

“Miss Korpanty, if I could just see your license and the credit card you made your reservation with,” Brian the receptionist said.

Rachel couldn’t move. She couldn’t breathe. She’d just accepted a dinner invitation from the man who was about to ruin her life.

 

Tycoon’s Tryst will be available on Friday, August 19th at Amazon and for Kindle Unlimited, and will be available at other retailers in three months!

Howard Haskell Takes A Bride – Release Day!

Jul 22, 2016

Okay, so it’s really re-release day, since Howard Haskell Takes A Bride was originally released as part of the Love’s Prelude box set. So if you purchased that box set, you already have Howard. But if not? Woo hoo! Now is your chance to see how the romance of Haskell, Wyoming’s founding father came about! And many apologies for those who prefer the sweet version, because this story is spicy-spicy, and really can’t be told any other way because, well, you’ll see. Why not get started on chapter one now? Then pop over to Amazon to purchase it for 99 cents!

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Cincinnati, Ohio – 1844

 

Spring was a beautiful time of year for a ball. The elite citizens of the burgeoning town of Cincinnati, Ohio all agreed. They had come out to new mayor Henry Evans Spencer’s home in droves to prove it. Spirits were high amidst the swirling colors of ball gowns and the trilling of strings that played the latest dance music. Laughter blended with the melody. Well-dressed black servants—servants, not slaves this far north, although plenty of people in town supported slavery—carried trays of sweet wine and punch through the revelers.

Mayor Spencer’s ballroom windows were open to let in the breeze blowing off the Ohio River and the many canals that had so recently been built. Cincinnati had become a hub of commerce, thanks to those canals and its proximity to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. It was the fastest-growing city in the United States, although the length and breadth of the country turned its attention more and more every day to the vast expanse of land to the West—the unknown frontier.

Elizabeth Ayers let out a heavy sigh and peeked through one of the ballroom windows, her eyes searching the western horizon. Whatever was going on in the untamed wilderness, it was probably a damn sight better than the insufferable ball.

“What I heard was that Mr. Bond passed her a secret missive in public, right under her mother’s eyes.” Her friend Madeline related the bit of gossip to their group with eager eyes…and more than a little gloating.

“How scandalous of her,” another friend, Henrietta, gasped.

“What did she do with the missive?” the third friend who made up their group, Isobel, asked.

“Well, first she…”

Elizabeth let her mind drift as Madeline went on with the story. She didn’t care what the snotty Miss Gertrude Havers had done to flirt with an unsuitable gentleman. She didn’t care about gossip and innuendo. Her heart ached in her chest, as if it was being called by some unseen force that she could feel but not hear. The western horizon was dark, but the darkness, the unknown was filled with excitement. The story of the West had only just begun to be written. Handfuls of settlers and trappers had made the perilous journey to places with strange names like Oregon and California. They’d brought back stories of rich land and opportunity for those willing to risk all to take it.

Elizabeth was not a risk-taker. She knew that, just as she knew Gertrude Havers was a fool to accept a love note from a man her parents didn’t approve of. But all the same, she longed for something different, something grander, something…more.

“Why, she must be daydreaming of him now.”

It took several more seconds for Elizabeth to catch that her friends had stopped gossiping and were now staring at her. With a start, she dragged her gaze away from the window.

“What?” She patted her coal-black hair, wondering if a piece of the elaborate style she’d had Trudy, her family’s black maid, fix for her was coming loose.

Elizabeth’s three friends exchanged knowing looks and coy smiles.

“See, I told you. Luckiest girl in Cincinnati,” Henrietta said.

“Or rather, Jonas Armstrong is the luckiest man,” Isobel added.

Ice ran down Elizabeth’s spine. “Yes. My parents are very happy with the match.” She glanced down, hoping to hide how unhappy she was.

“Jonas Armstrong is the handsomest, most enterprising young man in Cincinnati.” Madeline congratulated her. “He’s going to be as rich as Croesus before he’s thirty years old, if his father’s business empire continues the way it has been.”

“And we’ll be able to say that we’re best friends with his wife,” Isobel laughed.

Elizabeth tried to smile. She tried to encourage herself to feel something for her fiancé, to be grateful for the position she was about to take in society. The best she could manage was mild interest, but it didn’t outweigh the mountain of resentment at being handed off to a man she’d hardly had time to get to know as a pawn in her father’s business dealings.

“You can do more than simply call yourself a friend to the wife of the richest man in Cincinnati,” Elizabeth said. “You can rescue her from the drudgery of fulfilling that position.” Indeed, she would need her friends around her once her life was shackled to the rock of responsibility.

Her friends laughed. “You sound as if you’re going to the gallows instead of to a bed of satin.” Madeline cuffed her on the arm.

“I would give anything to be in your shoes,” Henrietta sighed.

“Would you?” Bold as brass, Elizabeth slipped out of her dancing slippers and pushed them across the floor with her toe to her friend. “Here you go.”

More tinkling laughter sounded from her friends, but all Elizabeth could think was how good it felt to wiggle her toes.

Before she could sober up and retrieve her shoes, prickles shot up the back of Elizabeth’s neck. She glanced up, subtly searching the crowded room to discover the source of the prickles. Someone was watching her. The light and color and sound of the ball was a raging distraction, but that didn’t stop the feeling. Her heart beat faster, as if fate was tapping her shoulder.

And then she saw him. Half a room away, standing in the frame of one of the French doors leading to the balcony, stood the most striking man Elizabeth had ever seen. He was tall, inches above the whispering couple that stood beside him. His shoulders were broad and his brown hair perfectly coifed. Most arresting of all was his smile. It was broad, bold, absolutely sure of itself. His smile reached his eyes, illuminating them across the distance. If she hadn’t known any better, Elizabeth would have thought that he was the mayor—no, the president, the king, the emperor. Her heart fluttered up to her throat, and she could feel the heat rise to her cheeks. The regal young man—master of all he surveyed—was smiling at her.

“Who is he?” Isobel asked what Elizabeth’s heart was crying out.

Henrietta and Madeline turned to look as well.

Madeline hummed and tsked. “I think that’s Mr. Howard Haskell.”

“Who?” Henrietta wrinkled her nose.

Howard Haskell. Elizabeth repeated the name in her mind and heart. Something about it sizzled. Or perhaps that was his smile. He looked at her as though she was a rival to the sunrise. No one had ever looked at her with such longing, such appreciation before. Her heart beat double-time.

“Do we know him?” Isobel asked.

“No, and from what I understand, we don’t want to.” Madeline tilted up her nose.

“Why not?” Henrietta asked.

Madeline sniffed. “He’s an upstart nobody from who knows where. My papa says that he’s been nosing around Commerce Street for months now.”

“Why would anyone want to do that?” Isobel made a face.

“Maybe he’s in business?” Henrietta offered.

“More likely he’s looking for a job or trying to get involved in one scheme or another,” Madeline said.

“He could be a businessman himself,” Elizabeth offered. Yes, with a proud smile and confidence like that, she had no doubt he was an entrepreneur of some sort.

Madeline sniffed. “Him? Not likely. Everything I’ve heard suggests he’s loud, brash, and coarse. He’s certainly not our sort, you can be sure of that.”

Elizabeth nodded, but she wasn’t so sure. Howard Haskell had an air of excitement about him, a presence that made her feel as though he was inches away, even though he was at the other side of the room. He gave her a feeling, several feelings, and one of those was that he was indeed completely her “sort.”

 

Howard Haskell Takes A Bride is available exclusively at Amazon and for Kindle Unlimited for just 99 cents!