Monthly Archives: March 2015

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Faith: Brides of the Rockies

BOTR Book 9 Cover RED_250x375

Is free on Amazon 19-23 March 2015

On the train to Denver, a rough-looking man captures Faith Hardwood’s attention; the stranger compels her in a way she’s never known. When robbers beset the passengers, he comes to her aid. The damage is done however, as she is robbed of every penny—the money she needed to live on.

Owen Birch, the stranger, has gambled his way to success, owning several hotels and saloons. Traveling on business, he encounters a young woman, Faith, who takes his breath away. After the robbery, he generously gives her money, because she has lost everything.

Two years later, at a faro table one evening, Faith sees the man she met on the train. He too recognizes her. Although fate has been unkind, Faith senses her luck is about to change. However, Owen isn’t the sort of man to settle down. He offers to spoil Faith as his mistress, but she refuses, because she’s in love, and it’s a husband she wants.

Preview of Faith: Brides of the Rockies

“What if you were to accompany me? I could pay you for the service.”

“Accompany you?”

“Travel with me.”

“And sleep in your bed.”

“I would pay you generously.”

The heat I had felt a moment ago grew cold. “I see.”

“You may purchase a new wardrobe. You may have all the hats and furs you like. You’ll travel in style. You’ll eat at all the best restaurants. Would that be agreeable to you?”

The wine I had drunk churned in my belly, having soured. “I suppose, considering my circumstances I should take that offer. Heaven knows there might not ever be another one.”

“You sound peeved.”

“I’d be your paid companion. I’d be like a personal whore. It’s charming, really, but I think I prefer my life the way it is.”

“You are peeved.”

“I’m sorry, Owen, but I must decline your … your offer.”

“I should’ve rephrased it. You’d not be a whore, Faith.”

“Yes, I would. I’d sleep in your bed and do whatever people do there and walk around in pretty things and live in rooms like this, but I wouldn’t have a ring around my finger or the blessings of the church. I’d be no better than a doxy on Market Street. Then, once you tire of me, you’ll toss me out with some money and I’ll be old and used and no man will ever want to marry me.”

He ran fingers through his hair. “I’ve fudged this completely.”

“Oh, you’ve made yourself quite clear. I heard you perfectly the first time.”

“I didn’t mean it in such a way. I’d never toss you out into the street.” He glanced at me. “You’d just live with me forever, as my companion.”

“Well, if that’s what you want, why not marry me?”

“Because you’d not be satisfied with that.”

“What does that mean?”

“You’d want children. You’d want to stay in one place.”

“That’s true. I do want that, but I realize it may never happen.”

He seemed thoughtful, but whatever it was had him frowning. “I think it will. You’re far too lovely to be left to rot in a saloon. Some man is going to know your worth and snap you up.”

“But not you.”

“I’ve just offered you a new life. You may take it, Faith.”

“To be your mistress.”

“Yes.”

“I have to decline.” It wasn’t anger I felt anymore, but sadness. All the enjoyment of having come to see him had evaporated. “I should go.”

“I’ll be in town for a few days. You have time to reconsider.”

“I can’t. I have to stay and take care of my father. He needs me.”

“In a cramped room in a boarding house over a saloon.”

“Yes. It’s not glamorous in the least, but it’s honest.”

“And my offer is somehow dishonest?”

“No, but it’s not what I want.”

“I think you’ll change your mind.”

“You’re far too optimistic.” He wasn’t used to not getting his way in the least. My negative answer had bothered him greatly, his eyes taking on an imploring quality. Knowing once I left this room, I would more than likely never see him again, I reached out to touch his face. “You’re a good man, Owen. I’m flattered by the offer, but you must understand. I want a house and children and a normal, quiet life. Traveling from place to place is exciting, but I know I’d grow weary of it.”

“You couldn’t sacrifice some things to be with me?”

“We’re essentially strangers. You won’t be here long enough for me to know you.”

I would say goodbye to Owen now, although it pained me to do so. Of all the men I had met in my life, he was the only one who even remotely tempted me to discard my morals and every other dream I had. Leaning in, I kissed him lightly, my lips brushing his. Inhaling the scent of his cologne, the aroma teased me, a reminder of that moment on the train two years ago when I had met a handsome and intriguing man.

Closing my eyes, I sighed against his lips, his tongue sweeping into my mouth. His hands grasped my face, the fingers feeling warm against my cheeks. I had never kissed a man before, not knowing what to expect. The sheer pleasure of it caught me by surprise. Whatever dormant feelings I had hidden, sprang to life, propelling me to scoot nearer to him. Our lips felt soft and moist, while our tongues collided repeatedly, the sensation like warm honey. I drifted … floated … a moan tearing from my throat.

“Faith,” he murmured near my ear. “Please reconsider.”

Kissing him had been a mistake, a terrible, massive, horrible mistake. I pulled away, gazing at him. “Oh, drat.”

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