I'm having a lot of fun with this series. When Bethany Burke, owner of Blushing Books, first pitched the idea to me, my mind immediately took off. I love writing about feisty, independent women and the men who are convinced they know what's best for them. I love the conflicts, which I see as skirmishes, and sometimes downright battles. I love the resolutions, which more often than not take the form of discipline, but most of all, I love the romance.
Sex is nice, and rounds out a story, but there has to be commitment. My characters must have a connection that goes way beyond a roll in the hay. If there is not a point in the story when one character puts the happiness and well-being of the other before their own, it doesn't work for me. I need to feel the emotions; desire, love, anger, sorrow, fear, pride, the list goes on and on.
An added incentive for me were the 'Brides'. In case you haven't noticed, I have a thing for writing about weddings, in fact I'm trying to think of a book I've written that didn't have a wedding, engagement or making plans for a wedding. I think the only ones have been a novella and maybe the first Sugar Babies book. Maybe I just never got over playing with my bride doll as a little girl, or maybe it's because I've been happily married for a long, long, long time. Did I say long? In any case, this series gives me lots of brides to marry off, if I can find them the proper grooms.
So here's the scoop on Grace.
Grace Wentworth and Effie Lane were cautiously optimistic when their dear friend Amelia decided to travel west to become the bride of a man she'd never met. Despite their misgivings they were stunned when Amelia wrote informing them she'd made a dreadful mistake in marrying Mr. Jordon.
Determined to rescue her dear friend from the clutches of a scoundrel, Effie made plans to leave for Seattle immediately. Grace would follow when she could get away from the ever watchful eye of her mother. Everything changed when Grace was forced to accept the proposal of a cruel and violent man. Suddenly her mother's wrath could not compare with what she would face as Horace Remington’s wife. Throwing all caution aside, she fled with Effie even knowing her mother would most likely hire a Pinkerton man to find her. However, she never expected to fall for him as they played a game of cat and mouse from Chicago to Seattle.
For Jonah Blackthorn, apprehending a runaway socialite seemed like an easy assignment. Locating two young, inexperienced women would take him no time at all and the five thousand dollar reward offered by the frantic fiancé would go a long way as Jonah had plans to leave the agency to begin a new chapter in his life.
What he didn't plan on was being outwitted by the brats or the fact that Effie Lane wasn't relying on her wits alone to get them safely to Seattle. He also didn't expect to come to care for the redhead traveling with her gun-toting friend. When he finally caught up with them he was going to give Grace the spanking of a life time or kiss her senseless. Maybe both.
“How did you find us, Mr. Blackthorn? Any paid assassins lurking about?”
“Miss Lane, you wound me,” Jonah said, patting his chest. “As a gentleman, I feel bound to assist a damsel in distress. I am here to offer my services in protecting your dear friend, Miss Wentworth.”
“Actually, Mr. Blackthorn, we weren’t in distress until you appeared,” Grace spat nearly quivering with anger. “I would have thought being bested by two helpless women, ‘damsels in distress’, would be enough for any man. Perhaps you’d better stay away from the ship’s rail on this voyage unless you’re a very strong long-distance swimmer.”
Watching his lips thin, Grace smiled in delight.
“Believe me, Grace, you only got away with what happened in Omaha because I didn’t want to hurt you or your partner in crime. If you’d been men, the outcome would have been very different, I can assure you.”
“Sounds like sour grapes to me, Effie,” she said with a pitying expression. “It’s sad when a man is so insecure he can’t admit to being beaten at his own game. Coffee, Mr. Blackthorn?”
“No one’s been beaten,” he growled, “at least not yet, but there’s a good chance a couple of young ladies may yet get their bustles blistered.”
“Ah, resorting to threats is usually a man’s last alternative,” Effie said with fake sympathy as she patted his hand. “I’ll have some coffee, Grace.”
“Listen you two; I’m trying to help you.”
“Help us what, Mr. Blackthorn? Put five thousand dollars in your pocket?”
You can buy, The Marriage Market, Book Two, Grace, on Amazon.