(Oy vey, I am falling WAY behind in making blog posts!) But anyhow, today is Release Day for Book 11 (wow, can you believe there are 11 books already???) in The Brides of Paradise Ranch series, His Innocent Bride (spicy version) and Julia: The Innocent Bride (sweet version). This one is particularly funny, since the heroine, Julia, kind of just wanted to write herself in all her mad-capped glory. Here, you’ll see….
(From Chapter One)
“Where is she?” he muttered.
Athos and Hubert were stacking baggage from the car directly behind the passenger car on the platform, but Athos glanced up, looked from the passenger car to Sam, and shrugged.
“You’re not anxious, are you?” Travis ribbed Sam, grinning from ear-to-ear.
“Not afraid she’s changed her mind?” Trey joined in.
“No,” Sam growled at them. “It’s just that I have a responsibility to the woman.”
“Ah, responsibility.” Travis nodded sagely to Trey. “That’s a little like domesticity, isn’t it?”
The two of them laughed as Josephine rolled her eyes and clucked.
Sam wasn’t able to tell them off, though. As he opened his mouth to say something, a loud crash came from the direction of the train. He twisted to look just in time to see a very young woman stumble off the last step down from the train and crash into the pile of baggage Athos and Hubert had made.
“Oh!” she squeaked. “I’m so sorry.”
She reached to set the smallest trunk on the top of the pile to rights, but ended up knocking over the hat box stacked next to it. The hat box bumped into a carpetbag on the way down, spilling that as well.
“Oh, dear.” The young woman lunged forward, bending to grab at either the hat box or the carpetbag. Instead, she stepped on Hubert’s hand as he did the same.
“Ow!” Hubert yelped and jerked back. When he did, he slammed into Athos, who dropped the trunk he was carrying. That fell to the ground with a sickening crunch.
At the same time, the young woman leapt backwards. Without looking where she was going. She bashed into the middle-aged man who had just stepped off the train, sending him careening toward the tall, blonde woman, who was still talking to the man who’d met her on the platform. The blonde shrieked in surprise as the middle-aged man grabbed her sleeve to stop himself from falling.
“Here, let me help you,” the young woman said. She reached for the falling man, but in the process, the large reticule she carried slipped off her arm, plopping to the platform. The falling man chose just that spot to place his foot in an attempt to get his balance. He tumbled hopelessly forward, grabbing and ripping the blonde’s skirt as he did. She went down with him, knocking into her gentleman friend and sending him sprawling too.
“Oh, no.” The young woman took half a step back from the scene before changing her mind and reaching for her purse on the platform. She picked it up, putting a little too much swing into the movement. As she stood, her purse flew back and hit the porter—who was helping an older woman down from the train—in the side of the head. He flinched, the older woman started and dropped the reticule she was carrying, and the faint tinkle of glass shattering was heard as her bag hit the platform.
As fast as the storm started, it was over. Hubert cradled his hand, the porter clutched his face, the older woman wailed, and the three people on the ground gasped and muttered. The young woman stood above them all, completely unharmed. She blinked around her with wide, brown eyes, her apple-round cheeks pink.
“Excuse me,” she said, then smiled.
Something funny bubbled up in Sam’s chest. He gaped at the woman. No. It couldn’t be. Absolutely not. Warmth began to spread from his neck up to his face. She was young. Very young. Much too young. And pretty as a button in her lavender traveling dress.
“Are you Mr. Sam Standish?” she asked, confirming his worst fears. Her voice was a fraction louder than it would have been in polite society.
“Uh, yeah?” Sam took a half-step forward, doing his best to avoid the groaning people who were struggling to their feet.
The young woman put on a beaming smile and extended her hand to him. “I’m Julia Frost. I’m going to marry you.” Her voice pitched high with excitement, and her eyes glittered.
And as she stepped forward to greet him, she somehow managed to hook the toe of her boot through the handle of the carpetbag she’d knocked off the pile of luggage. It threw her off-balance, and with an almighty shriek, she plunged forward into Sam’s arms.
Somehow, he caught her. She was a tiny thing, slender to the point of being bony under her traveling clothes. He instantly wondered if she got enough to eat. That thought was quickly replaced by a deep, buzzing feeling in his soul as he lifted her to stand. He didn’t move his hands away from her waist, partly because he was afraid she’d cause another disaster if he let her go.
And here’s where you can buy it!
His Innocent Bride
B&N – (Coming Soon – B&N is always the last one to make the book live)
Julia: The Innocent Bride – Available exclusively at Amazon and for KU for the first 90 days, then it’ll be everywhere.
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2rXimb9