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Amelia's Mail Order Husband (Texas Brides Book 2)

Amelia's Mail Order Husband (Texas Brides Book 2)

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Amelia's Mail Order Husband (Texas Brides Book 2)

Bewertungen:
4.5/5 (2 Bewertungen)
Länge:
155 Seiten
2 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Aug 9, 2014
ISBN:
9781311177674
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

A Clean Historical Mail Order Bride Story.

** A clean historical novella **

In Book 2 of The Texas Brides Series, Amelia Goodkind marries Bruce Manfield from El Paso, Texas. When Amelia first brings Bruce home, Jude and Alma and Allegra laugh at him. He’s a big, gangly hulk of a man, but he’s clumsy and ungainly in his movements, unlike delicate, careful Amelia. Jude especially sees Bruce as an easy target for his pointed sense of humor. The sisters can’t figure out why Bruce doesn’t stand up to his much smaller brother-in-law, when he could put Jude in his place with a flick of his wrist. No amount of encouragement from anyone can prod Bruce into asserting himself. He even seems to go out of his way to bow to Jude’s will. Even Alma finds Jude’s behavior toward Bruce disturbing.
But no one on the Goodkind ranch knows that Bruce is hiding an explosive secret, one which will transform the relationships of this family forever. The introduction of another man into the family brings fresh complications to the fragile peace established after Jude’s arrival. Competing loyalties and affections breed conflicts and misunderstandings, until everyone stands against everyone else. Only Amelia’s unwavering faith in her new husband carries them through to the ultimate climax. In his last battle, Bruce finds a strength he never knew he had in Amelia’s love.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Aug 9, 2014
ISBN:
9781311177674
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Kate Whitsby is a historical romance author who has found a love for writing western mail order bride romance. Kate writes from her home in Virginia and loves spending time with her two children when she's not busy writing.


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Buchvorschau

Amelia's Mail Order Husband (Texas Brides Book 2) - Kate Whitsby

Whitsby

Chapter 1

Come on, Alma! We’re all waiting for you out here!

Amelia Goodkind stuck her head through the door and saw her older sister sitting at the table. Alma’s eyes gazed into the cobwebbed corners of the room, but she didn’t see anything in front of her.

Amelia hurried into the room and sat on the edge of the next chair. Are you coming?

Alma broke out of her reverie. I’m coming.

Are you all right? Amelia asked. You look like you were gone for good there for a minute.

Alma passed her hand across her eyes. I’m just tired, that’s all. I’ll be all right. I just need to get moving. Don’t worry. I wouldn’t make you late for your wedding.

I’m not worried about being late, Amelia replied. I left plenty of time. If you’re feeling tired, you should take it slowly. I wouldn’t want you straining yourself on my account. You could even stay home and rest. This could be your last chance to be alone for a while.

I wouldn’t miss your wedding for all the world, Alma told her. I’ve been waiting too long for this, and I want to be there to see it for myself.

Alma planted both hands on the table and levered herself out of her chair. Her belly stuck out so far from the rest of her body that it bumped into the edge of the table. Ugh! she grunted. I won’t be sorry when this is over.

Amelia watched her climb to her feet. Do you want me to give you a hand out to the wagon? You don’t look too steady on your feet.

Alma sighed. I’m okay. I can get out to the wagon without any help, but I might need you to give me a hand getting into it. That I’m not so certain about.

No problem, Amelia told her.

Alma waddled across the room, swinging her arms to keep her balance. Amelia watched her from behind. Alma’s grey cotton dress pinched into the skin along her back from the strain of her bulging midsection. She wore no shoes, and her feet left perfect indentations in the dust on the floor. Her ankles swelled out just above her feet before tapering into her slender legs.

Alma panted and puffed when she walked.  Her back arched painfully under the weight of her belly, and by the time she crossed the yard outside and stopped next to the wagon, her cheeks flushed red and sweat beaded up on her forehead.

She stopped with her hand on the wagon wheel to catch her breath.

Why don’t you climb in back with Papa? Amelia suggested. You can sit on those extra blankets there. It will be much more comfortable than riding up front in the seat.

Alma shook her head. I’ll ride in the seat. It’s too uncomfortable with the jiggling of the wagon. I need to sit upright with my legs down in front of me. You don’t mind riding in back, do you?

I don’t mind, Amelia told her. I can ride anywhere. I only care about you being as comfortable as possible.

Alma laid her hand against Amelia’s cheek. You’re so sweet. You’ve been so caring to me through this. I couldn’t have done it without you. No, I’ll sit up front. That’s the best place for me. She put her foot into the spokes of the wagon wheel, and took hold of its upper rim, and pulled. But nothing happened.

She glanced back at Amelia and cast her eyes down to the ground. Could you help me up? I’m like a beached whale.

Amelia laughed. She got behind her sister and squatted down. Then she wedged her shoulder underneath Alma’s buttocks. When Alma pulled herself up again on the rim of the wheel, Amelia braced her legs and straightened her back. Alma rose into the air.

Pushing and heaving together, they hoisted Alma into the seat next to her youngest sister, Allegra. Allegra held the reins in her hands, keeping the horses standing still until they finished.

Alma came to rest in the seat. She extended her legs in front of her and puffed her cheeks out. Phew!

Allegra watched her until she let out a few more breaths and settled into her place. Alma’s husband Jude watched from the saddle of a horse on the other side of the wagon.

Are you all right? Allegra asked.

Alma nodded. I’m okay. Let’s go.

Are you sure you wouldn’t be more comfortable riding in the back? Jude asked. There’s all those blankets for you to sit on. It will be softer than the seat.

No, Alma returned. I just explained this to Amelia. I want to sit upright with my legs down. I’m comfortable here.

Jude shrugged. All right. As long as you’re comfortable.

Allegra peered at her sideways for another moment while Amelia climbed into the wagon box and sat down on the blankets intended for Alma. Their father Clarence sat on another large pile of bedding just behind the wagon box under the shade of a sheet.

All set? Allegra called back over her shoulder. She didn’t wait for an answer. She flicked the reins onto the horses’ backs and called out, Giddup. The wagon started forward on its way to the little town of Eagle Pass, Texas.

Amelia leaned back against the wooden side rail of the wagon box and stretched her arms along the top of it. The wheels squeaked in the ruts, and the horses’ harnesses jangled. Amelia gazed out at the landscape rolling past. Thank goodness for this blessed silence before they got to Eagle Pass. Amelia liked nothing better than the quiet of a wagon ride to collect her thoughts, and since she was on her way to the church to get married, she valued the time to herself even more.

Chapter 2

Alma’s voice broke in on Amelia’s thoughts. How well I remember when we went to the church to meet Jude. I wished then I could talk to one of you about it.

If you wanted to talk about something, Allegra replied, all you had to do was ask. You didn’t have to ride all the way to the church in silence if you didn’t want to. You know that.

I guess I didn’t know it, Alma told them. I thought we all liked to spend the time thinking our own thoughts. I didn’t think you would appreciate me interrupting them.

You still could have talked to us, Allegra maintained. I would have been happy to talk to you if I’d known you wanted to.

You know what I really wanted? Alma replied. When we were on our way to my wedding, I wished more than anything I could talk to Mama. I wished I could talk to someone about when she got married, and when she had children, and what I was like as a child. I wish I could talk to her now about having this baby. That would be really helpful right about now.

How about you, Amelia? Allegra called back. Is that how it is for you?

I don’t feel any need to talk to anyone, Amelia replied.

Allegra laughed. You never do.

I was just thinking, Amelia went on, how much we’ve all changed since Alma married Jude. You wouldn’t think a family could change so much, but we have. We all have.

"I sure have," Alma murmured.

And you changed, too, Allegra, Amelia pointed out. You've grown your hair longer, and you look so different no one would recognize you. You look prettier, and happier. Come to think of it, I’ve probably changed the least out of the three of us.

Alma tried to turn around in her seat, but she didn’t get very far. You! What are you talking about? You’re on your way to get married! Of course you’ve changed.

I’m not saying I haven’t, Amelia replied. I’m just saying you two have changed more.

Growing my hair out wasn’t such a big change, you know, Allegra put in. It hasn’t changed who I am on the inside.

You probably don’t realize it, Amelia replied. You don’t see the change from outside, but we do. If you could see yourself the way we do, you would know how much you’ve changed.

Allegra shook her head, but she kept her face turned toward the road.

It’s been nine months since Alma married Jude, Amelia went on. A lot can happen in nine months.

And you’ve been writing to Bruce Manfield for nine months, too, Alma replied. Who knows how much you will have changed in another nine months.

One thing I do know, Amelia remarked, I’m happy to be changing. I’m glad for all our sakes that we didn’t stay the way we were. We were on our way to a life of hollow emptiness, the way we were before. Alma, you did us all a big favor when you decided to marry Jude.

I’m happy to be changing, too, Allegra replied. I probably wouldn’t have said so before, but I’m glad we didn’t stay the same. I’m glad you two are bringing new people to the ranch, and I’m glad you’re about to have a child, Alma. You’re breathing new life into the ranch and into us.

The wagon rolled into Eagle Pass, and Allegra stopped the horses in front of a dilapidated house off the main plaza. She jumped down and looked around. So where are you meeting this Bruce of yours?

Amelia stood up. I’m meeting him at the church in an hour or two. I told you before. I asked Marta Felicia if I could use her house to change my clothes, and to stay overnight so we don’t have to rush getting home after the service.

You told us, Alma replied, but that still doesn’t explain how you’re supposed to know whether Bruce will be waiting for you at the church.

He’ll be there, Amelia declared.

But how can you be sure? Alma asked.

He’s right there. Amelia straightened up in the back of the wagon, and she stared toward the church across the plaza.

A very tall, gangly man in shabby cowboy attire stood on the doorstep of the church, staring back across the plaza toward their wagon. His eyes met Amelia’s.

Under his clothes, his chunky, hulking frame didn’t quite match the soft features of his face or the gentle cast of his eyes. His eyes widened when he saw Amelia, and he froze stiff as if moving would break the spell of her appearance.

Amelia squinted at him under her hat. Every fiber of her being compelled her to jump down from the wagon and walk across the plaza toward him. She jumped with surprise when Allegra spoke to her. How do you know that’s him?

It’s him, Amelia repeated.

Well, he’s already there, waiting for you at the church, so you better get into the house and change your clothes. Alma stood up from the wagon seat. Then she stopped and looked around. Allegra, will you please help me get down from here? I don’t think I can climb down on my own.

Allegra came around the wagon and stood in front of her. What would you like me to do?

Alma glanced around again. I’m not sure. I don’t know how I can get down from here without falling flat on my face.

Can you turn around and climb down the same way you went up? Allegra asked.

Alma examined the situation. Then she shook her head. No, I can’t risk falling. I’ll have to go out through the back of the wagon.

Then wait a minute until I get Papa unloaded, Allegra told her.

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