Brides of the West
By Michèle Ann Young
Brides of the West
Left destitute in New York by thieves while seeking a man she believes can reverse her family's fortunes, English traveler, Tess Dalton, grabs her opportunity to get to Texas—as a mail order bride! Has fate finally tossed her a chance at happiness?
With two nephews to raise and a ranch to run, Jake Redmond, needs a city slicker for a bride, the way he needs a burr under his saddle. Why is Tess not surprised?
After day on the range rescuing his steers, a night beneath the stars fills an empty space in Jake's heart. But can he let his prejudices go? Or must Tess resume her lonely quest?"
Highland Press ISBN 978-0-9800356-4-3
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LoveWestern Romances gives it Five Spurs! follow the link for the full review.
The Long and Short of It (follow link for full review) has this to say:
BRIDES OF THE WEST ANTHOLOGY is a
nice collection that shows three very different stories of mail
W ith hope in their hearts, three women looking for a new life take fate in their own hands and head West to become the brides to men they have never met. Have they made a serious mistake or found the gold at the end of a rainbow? Read an Excerpt Below
Move a muscle, lady, and your days of breathin’ are over.”
The deep voice pierced the fog of Tess’ doze along with her numb buttocks, her parched throat, and thesweat trickling between her breasts. The lock of a weapon clicked.
And she’d thought things couldn’t get worse.
Slowly, not daring to breathe, she opened her eyes and stared at a pair of dusty snakeskin boots planted five feet from her rocky perch. Her gaze climbed lean, long muscular legs encased in black pants, skimmed a belt slung low on narrow hips, and encompassed a broad chest clad in pale blue soft cotton. She paused at the wide-set shoulders steadying the rifle pointed at her chest.
Not a comforting sight.
From beneath a large black hat, eyes the shade of a clear winter sky and equally cool, stared unblinking along the dull gleam of the barrel, his lean cheek and hard jaw pressed against the stock. Mouth dryer than the Texas dust she’d been chewing on for days, she swallowed to create moisture. “Here. Take my money,” she croaked and reached for the satchel at her side.
“That does it.”
Tess squeezed her eyes shut.
The explosion shattered the silence. Her ears rang. Small objects peppered her arm, thigh, and temple. Theacrid taste of gunpowder hit the back of her throat. Something long and soft flopped on her legs, twisting and writhing, glistening gold and black. A snake. She leaped off the boulder, shuddering and brushing at her skirts. “Ooo,” she shrieked. “Get it off me.”
The creature slid off the rock onto the
dirt and laid still, a limp sand-colored coil with black diamonds
The rifleman hooked the toe of his boot
beneath the disgusting thing and flicked it ten feet into a patch of dry
scrub. Another kick disposed of the remains of the head. “Rattler.”
He tipped his hat back with one finger.
Her breath hitched as she caught the full effect of the sun-bronzed square-cut jaw, firm lips and straight nose. Her insides gave a twinge of approval.
Mercy. Since when did the sight of a pretty
man set her afire?
Tess shook her head. “I’m waiting for someone.” Her bridegroom. A strange feeling churned in the pit of her stomach. The only thing in sight from this crossroads, where the stagecoach had dropped her, to the hazy blue horizon was this man and the gig he’d driven up in while she slept. Impossible. She was prepared for fat and bald, or old and ugly, anything as long as he was kind. Never would she have dared to imagine this epitome of rugged male beauty.
Tender and delicate, tendrils of hope unfurled deep inside her, like seedlings after a spring rain.
She pushed back the sticky wisps of hair at her temples and straightened her bonnet. What a sight she must look after three days travel and goodness knew how long waiting in the hot sun.
He removed his hat revealing thick, slicked-back, dark hair, his expression nonplussed. “Ma’am.” The deep timbre of his voice sent a shiver down her back. “Are you the widder-woman, Mrs. Dalton?”
“Yes,” she managed in an awed whisper.
He ran a slow glance from her head to her
heels. “Ah, hell.” He banged the dust off his hat on his thigh. “What
was Tom Wilkins thinkin’?” He shook his head. “Honey, this just ain’t