A woman desperate to begin a new life, a mercantile owner besieged by problems, and the disaster that brings them together . . .
Moriah Singleton faced hardship to get from England to America but met more problems once she arrived. The only solution she could find was to become a mail-order bride in far away Texas. How will she ever save enough to bring her sister to America?
After a disastrous brief engagement ended badly, Scott Ferguson sent for a mail-order bride. He needs her help in his mercantile. He hopes his wife will also be his life’s helpmate.
Danger, family entanglements, and disaster await the couple. Can Moriah fit into Pearson Grove? Can she help her sister? Will their problems bring Moriah and Scott closer or drive them apart?
A sweet western historical romance, first of the exciting Pearson Grove series.
Targeted Age Group:: 18 UP
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My father encouraged me to write. Even though he's passed away, I wanted to honor him. His first name was Pearson and he was born in North Central Texas at Pilot Grove. I chose to use Pearson Grove for the fictional setting for this series which is set not too many miles from Pilot Grove.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I love mail-order bride stories. Kirsten Osbourne gave me permission to use her Brides of Beckham matchmaker for this book. I wanted the heroine to have a good reason to come west as a mail-order bride. I believe I managed that. The hero needed a reason to order a mail-order bride instead of marrying a local young woman. I hope readers agree that I supplied a credible situation.
Everyone stared at them, even more than the previous evening. Moriah thought they might as well be specimens on display at a museum. To make things more uncomfortable, Scott didn’t speak and she couldn’t think of anything to say either.
By the time their food arrived, she thought she would explode from tension. “Tomorrow I’d like to mail my parents a letter. Where’s the post office?”
His eyes held a glint of humor. “The store is the post office. I’ll give you a tour when we get home.”
“That will be helpful.”
“Do they know you’ve come west to be married?”
“I sent them a letter the evening before I left Massachusetts. In case they’d mailed me one before it reached them, I left postage, an envelope, and your address with my landlady at the boarding house where I stayed. She promised to forward my mail here.”
“You said you’re from Kent, but I don’t know how far that is from London.”
“The village where my family lives is about thirty miles south of London. My father grows hops. Where is your home?”
“If you mean my parents’ home, it’s about a hundred and fifty miles south-southwest near the Brazos River in McLennan County. My older brother helps our father farm.”
“Do they know you sent for a mail-order bride?”
Scott shifted on his chair. “I’d give anything if I hadn’t written them I was engaged. Now I don’t know how to explain what’s happened.”
His attitude annoyed her. “How hard could it be, Scott? You just write them and tell them the facts. Are they likely to visit?”
He rested his wrists on each side of his plate. “They plan to now that cold weather is here. Hard to leave the farm most of the year.”
“Don’t you think you should warn them?”
He toyed with his fork. “I thought maybe you could write them and explain.”
“Me? Is it a coward I’ve married? Are you afraid to tell your family the truth of your situation?”
He held up his hand. “No, that’s not the problem. My older brother Sean is always lording it over me about how much better he is at everything than I am. He’s one of the reasons I chose to buy a business away from where my folks live. Sean will lap up the news that I sent for a mail-order bride like it’s a gift from heaven.”
His eyes widened. “Not that there’s anything wrong with a mail-order bride, mind you. That’s not what I’m saying.”
She spoke very quietly. “Exactly what are you saying, Mr. Ferguson?” Her facial muscles ached from keeping a pleasant expression when she wanted to toss her coffee in his face and storm off.
“Look, all I’m saying is… well, you see… I might have bragged about my fiancée being from the wealthiest family in town and how she’d chosen me even though there were other eligible bachelors here.”
She met his gaze and arched an eyebrow. “And now you have to eat humble pie and it’s not going to taste good, is it?”
“You’re right. I don’t know how to go about wording the letter. I don’t want to seem ungentlemanly toward either you or Alexandra. I can’t explain why she broke the engagement without putting her in a bad light.”
“And you’re ashamed to admit to your family you have a mail-order bride.”
“No, no, I’m not ashamed of you or sending for you. All right, I admit I’m embarrassed in light of the bragging I did, but there’s nothing wrong with my having sent for you or your having come.”
She offered her sweetest smile. “I’m glad you feel that way, dear husband. When we get back to our rooms, we can both write letters to our parents. I’ll let you read mine. Do you dare let me read yours?”
Muscles clenched in his jaw. “You have a bargain, Mrs. Ferguson.” He scooped up the last bite of his apple pie then dabbed his mouth with the napkin.
She took her time dawdling over her dessert, more to annoy him than for any other reason. He was one of the best looking men she’d ever met and he had manners outwardly. Inside, she was afraid he had no spine. He’d soon learn she meant what she said.
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