To increase the appeal of my backlist title, THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND, I have redone the cover with the help of Romance Novel Covers and Jimmy Thomas. I love the new cover's whimsical appearance, don’t you?
This book is dear to my heart and I hope readers love it as much as I do. I enjoy books in which a man who thinks he’s unredeemable finds redemption with the love of a good woman. Don’t laugh and say it can’t happen, because this has happened to people I know. Each of is capable of leaving the bad events in our past behind and moving forward with a new spirit toward a fulfilling life.
I received part of the inspiration for the hero while in a church service. This, I believe, demonstrates that God does have a wry sense of humor and can use any situation. Surely this book's theme of redemption must appeal to Him. Please realize I don't mean that in a blashphemous way.
THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND blurb:
Taking in a trio of starving orphans on the run from an unsavory man is hardly the way to conduct a romance. Sarah and Nate soon learn that the only proper thing to do under the circumstances is to let love take them where it will, and get ready for a passionate adventure. Reforming a rogue is easier said than done, and Sarah and Nate learn a great deal about themselves and others in their journey!
Here’s an excerpt from THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND of a scene in which Peter Dorfmeyer, an univited but persistent suitor, calls on Sarah while Nate is also visiting:
Maria met her with a tray of tea and slices of chocolate cake left from dinner. Sarah thanked her as she took the tray and retraced her steps to where she’d left the two men. Nate sat in an armchair by the fireplace looking as if he owned the world. He smiled as she came in, jumped up, and took the tray from her. Peter’s rigid posture kept him on the edge of the sofa, his face stiff with disapproval.
“Would you boys ask Cindy to come here for a minute, please, and come back with her?” Sarah asked.
She served the men while she waited for the children.
The boys soon returned with Cindy in tow. Apparently the girls had been playing dress up. Cindy wore an old dress of Pearl’s and carried a parasol. A long feather bobbled over the brim of the large-brimmed bonnet tied to her head. Her feet were poked into a pair of Sarah’s shoes, clumping as she dragged them to keep the shoes from falling off.
“Peter, this is Cindy, Luke, and Joe. Children, this is Mr. Dorfmeyer. He manages the bank in town.”
Cindy curtsied and each of the boys gave a little bow. Curiosity filled their faces as they glanced from Peter to Nate and back to Sarah. Cindy lifted the front of her skirts and clopped regally to Nate, her dress hem dragging behind her.
“Hello, Princess Cindy,” he said as she climbed onto his lap and snuggled against him.
She giggled. “You always call me that, but we’re playing house. I’m the mother. Katie and Beth have to mind what I say.”
Sarah smiled at them, bursting with pride at their behavior. She ruffled each boy’s hair and walked to lift Cindy from Nate’s knee. She gave her a kiss on the cheek when she set her down. “Thank you for coming to meet Mr. Dorfmeyer. You may run along and play now.”
The boys rushed outside and Cindy clomped toward her room to rejoin Katie and Beth.
Peter’s nose wrinkled in distaste. “More of your students, I suppose?”
Sarah picked up her teacup. “Oh, no. Those children are mine.” How wonderful to be able to say those words.
“Yours?” he stammered. “That’s impossible.”
“I found them on their own in Memphis and brought them here with me. In fact, Mr. Barton assisted me. I’m adopting them.”
“That’s hardly proper. I mean, it was bad enough you’ve built that school and insist on teaching those ragamuffin children there.” His face had grown red and he looked about to suffer apoplexy.
Sarah paused, her cup halfway to her lips, then returned the cup and saucer to the table. “I beg your pardon. What do you mean, ‘bad enough’ I built my school?”
She had suspected his intolerance for those less fortunate than himself, but Peter had never been so open about it before. How could a man who’d had all the advantages of life begrudge any child the opportunity to read and write? Many of her friends thought Peter handsome. For the first time, Sarah noticed Peter’s brown eyes were a bit too close together and his eyebrows rode like furry caterpillars across his brow.
“Well, really, Sarah.” Peter shrugged. “It’s not as if you’re helping them. After all, teaching them to read and write only raises false expectations for those people.”
Sarah fought her temper, but it boiled inside her. Who did Peter think he was, talking about “ragamuffins” and “those people” as if they were of no consequence? She believed every person, no matter how destitute, had the same rights. How could Peter talk as if the poor were somehow less human than those more fortunate in society?
Nate stiffened, but said nothing. He regarded Peter as he might an annoying insect just before he gave it a swat.
With an even voice belying her inner turmoil, she asked, “What sort of false expectations, may I ask? Do you think reading, being aware of the world around them, is somehow hindering their well being? Do you mean to imply that the ability to count money so they’re not cheated is wasted?”
She watched Peter now, examining his appearance. He definitely had a weak chin. Worse, she feared he had no compassion. She almost felt sorry for anyone so shallow and with so little feeling for his fellow man. Almost.
Peter pursed his lips and poked his nose in the air. “Well, really, my dear, they’re hardly likely to use those skills, now are they? The boys will become ranch hands or some such and the girls will clean their own houses or someone else’s and have a dozen children. Never have enough money to bother counting.”
“You don’t know that. And what if it’s true? School will enrich them in ways that will remain with them throughout their lives. You don’t even know the children at my school.” To her knowledge, he’d never even been in the schoolyard.
“Nor do I wish to. And now you’ve brought children you know nothing about into your home. It’s commendable for you to feel sorry for them, my dear, but surely you don’t intend to carry through with this adoption thing?” He speared a bit of cake with his fork as if he discussed the weather, not lives.
“I’ve already asked Gabe to draw up whatever legal papers are necessary. The process will soon be complete.” She wanted to say more, wanted to slap that pompous smirk from his face, but kept her anger in control. After all, this man was a guest in her sister’s home.
Peter’s face turned red and he set down his plate. “That simply won’t do. No, it won’t do at all. Hardly fitting for a woman of your station. You must keep in mind the man you marry will want his own children, not a group of orphans bred in who knows what circumstances.
Nate stood and opened his mouth to speak, but Sarah interrupted. “The man I marry will welcome my children, and these three are my children.”
Peter dusted a crumb from his cuff. “They hardly fit in with a banker’s image,” he spoke as if he addressed a simple child. “Now, don’t worry your pretty head about it, my dear. Leave it all to me. We can place them in a good home. You’ll soon see it’s best for everyone.”
Fury seized control of her, a ferocious anger so great she found it hard not to strike Peter. He talked of the lives of her children as if he were placing a litter of kittens.
She stood, her hands on her hips. “Of all the nerve! For your information, they are in a good home. Peter Dorfmeyer, you are a pompous ass! Leave this house now and do not return.”
Peter’s face registered shock and he spluttered, “My dear, you don’t know what you’re saying. Why, with your family connections and mine, we’d make a highly suitable union.” He shot Nate a seething glare. “It’s obvious you’ve been unduly influenced by outsiders. You’ll come to your senses in time.”
“Out!” she yelled and pointed to the door.
Nate stepped forward. The look on his face made it obvious he intended to hasten Peter’s departure.
Peter picked up his hat and crossed the flagstone floor. He turned and pointed at Nate. “You haven’t heard the last of me, Barton.” He turned back and stomped out.
Nate followed him to the door and closed it firmly behind Peter’s retreating figure. Sarah collapsed back onto her chair. Since her money was in his bank, the chances of her escaping an encounter with Peter were nonexistent. She’d avoid him whenever possible, though, from now on. She might even move her funds.
Nate rejoined her and sat in the chair facing hers. He smiled and she saw the tenderness of understanding reflected in his gaze. “Lovely visit, wouldn’t you say?”
Haven’t we all known stuffy and judgmental so-called “good” people like Peter, as well as interesting and compassionate flawed people like Nate who amaze us? Nathaniel Bartholomew believes himself unworthy of a woman like Sarah, but she believes there’s a good man inside him. He continues to prove himself until even her family members are cheering for him. Until even he realizes that he's on a new and permanent path that leads to happiness, a family, and a place in the community. Oh, but the bumps along the way test Nate and Sarah almost beyond endurance. I hope you’ll cheer for him, too. If you read the book and like it, would you leave a review on Amazon?
Here are the buy links at Amazon Kindle and Smashwords
But Wait! There's more.
On Friday, January 13, please visit my friend Beth Trissel's blog at
Beth is the next author on our Amazing Authors Tour, and she is definitely an amazing author! I love all her books, plus she is a wonderful person. Can't beat that combination. I always enjoy a book more if I know the author is a nice person, don't you?
Thanks for reading!