Friday, January 13, 2017
He was more hesitant to touch Audra’s things. She’d left most of them in her bag, but a dress lay over the end of his bed. He touched it, his hands trembling, on the spur of the moment, gathering it to his nose. He inhaled and grew heady from the scent of her. Holding it there, he tried to take stock of himself.
He’d gone all these years without companionship, and at this childish gesture felt his masculinity greater than ever before. And strangely, a need for her softness, for the gentle hand and loving gaze a woman would give. As strong as he thought he was, alone, with her, he could be that much stronger.
Audra Pazikas came to America with her Papa for better opportunities, but his drinking and harsh life in the city soon reduced them to a miserly existence. His death, years later, leaves her with no choice but to accept the hand of a gentleman out west, seeking a bride. Perhaps, though, she’ll find success and happiness in a new part of the country.
Family resentment put Gilbert Warren under his older brother’s thumb from the youngest age. What his half-brother was too lazy to do for himself, he’d always force him to do. Including, taking his place during his nuptials. He just wishes his brother’s bride knew he wasn’t her new spouse.
The death of his brother before she can meet him throws their lives into unforeseen disorder. She was his brother’s bride, but the days passing by, more and more, the marriage that should have happened was their own.
A mail-order bride romance by author JOSEPHINE MCCUTCHEON. 24,000 words.