The Mail Order Brides of Boot Creek
A woman of means, Evelyn Warner refuses to marry the man her family insists upon, fleeing with her maid, Tory, to the New Mexico Territory. Believing she has successfully escaped, hiding under the guise of a mail order bride, Evelyn is hesitant to marry Percy Vanguard, although he is from a respectable family and kindhearted. A chance encounter with Boot Creek’s most notorious bachelor, Chuck Brittle, in a stairwell, stuns Evelyn, especially when he takes her in his arms and kisses her. Trouble is never far behind, though, and the past is about to catch up with her.
Here is a preview of Spoiled Evelyn:
Leaving Tory, I ventured down a lushly carpeted hallway towards a set of heavy oak steps. As I descended, passing several mirrors, I glanced at myself, seeing a woman with pale skin and dark hair, which had been artfully arranged. I wore a mini top hat with a green sash and feathers. My dress was green satin with lavish, black decoration and a high bustle. I knew the Vanguards would find little fault in my appearance, but it was what they thought of my character that worried me. I had proven myself to be rather fickle. I would have to win them over in some manner.
Rounding the bend on the last landing before the entranceway, something tall and dark collided with me. “Oh!” This person had nearly trampled me, and we both fell, although he grabbed my waist in such a manner that instead of falling to the floor, I fell on him. “By mighty!” My hat was no match for gravity, sliding free of its pins, while it sailed across the landing. I lay on top of a complete stranger, in a jumble of arms and legs and enough fabric to drown us both. Mortified, I sucked in a shocked breath, while meeting his startled expression.
“Well, hello, little lady,” he drawled.
As I pushed against his chest, he felt muscular beneath my fingertips, entirely hard and unyielding. “Sir!”
His hat had fallen as well, exposing a mass of dark, thick hair. “You sure are a tall glass of water. Yes, ma’am.” I’d managed to get to my knees, although breathing had become difficult in this position, the corset digging into my chest. “Let me help you, honey.” He grabbed me around the waist, hauling me upwards, but, instead of letting me go, he pulled me near. “You’re not from around these parts. We don’t get ladies this pretty, normally.” He stood taller by nearly a foot, his face weathered, yet friendly, while a teasing smile lit his eyes.
“I’m fine, sir. You may unhand me.” I sounded slightly breathless.
“Oh, indeed, you are fine.”
Never having been treated in such a manner by anyone, I strove to form the words needed to chastise him for his impertinence. An arm remained around my back in a far too familiar manner, while the aroma of brandy and cigar smoke clung to his clothing. In that moment, while gazing at his pleasing face, I felt the most outrageous urge to kiss him. Never in my life had I faced such a startling dilemma. This rough and rugged man was the epitome of what I imagined cowboys were like from these parts, and it seemed as if my dream of meeting one had come true. Something glimmered in his eyes, a flash of roguish intent, because he grasped my face then, his sizable thumbs pressing into my cheeks.
“I’ll probably get slapped for this, but I don’t care,” he murmured, closing his lips over mine.