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Friday, October 12, 2018
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO CAPTURE HER HEART?
I'll be giving away an e-book copy of CAPTURE HER HEART to someone who comments on this post.
What would you do if you suddenly learned you had six hours to vacate your home? That’s what happened to Vanessa Worthington. Her husband, to put it mildly, was a jerk. After his despotic lifestyle resulted in the ruin of his family business, he shot himself and left Vanessa and their children, Jack and Dorie, to fend for themselves. At least she had the home that had been in his family for several generations—or so she thought.
When the banker’s representative showed up to announce her husband had mortgaged the family’s home, she was given six hours to gather only her most basic personal possessions and vacate. She spent most of the time writing reference letters for her loyal household employees in the event the banker didn’t honor his pledge to retain them. Her faithful housekeeper Greta (who had been her nanny) packed for her and the children. With no place to go and no money, Vanessa and the children stayed with Greta’s sister, Hilda.
Vanessa has always had wealth, but never had love from anyone but her children and Greta. No man in Vanessa’s family had ever been trustworthy toward the women in the family. You can see why she vows never to put her faith in any man.
She views becoming a mail-order bride as her only option to provide for her children. When she learns one man doesn’t mind if his bride brings children, she seizes the opportunity. Then, she meets Travis Boyd. What kind of man is he? He doesn’t lose his temper, he shrugs off disappointment, he treats his employees like family.
Their life is full of obstacles. They face a killer, blizzards, and unexpected guests. Through everything, Travis proves he is a man like none Vanessa has ever known. Will it be enough to capture her heart?
Here’s an excerpt:
When the men had ridden from the yard, a wave of panic hit Vanessa. If she’d been on the moon she couldn’t have felt more isolated. Never in her life had she been entirely alone. Except for her children, today she was on her own.
To quell her fear, she kept busy. Billy had told her how to shave soap into hot water to wash the dishes. This range didn’t have a reservoir for hot water so she filled a large pan with water and set it on the range to heat.
Jack was a willing helper. “Papa said I’m the man of the house while he’s gone. That’s a big res… res….”
“Responsibility. Yes, it is. I’m pleased you’re here to help me.”
Dorie dried a plate and set it on the table. “I wish Greta was here. I don’t like chores.”
“Did you like living with Hilda?”
Dorie shook her head. “No, we had to be quiet and keep out of the way just like when Father was home ’cept we didn’t have our own rooms and toys.”
“If we weren’t here with your new papa, we’d be living with someone like Hilda all the time. You’d have to do chores there, too, but you wouldn’t have kitties or a Papa who likes you.”
Jack glared at his sister. “Yeah, quit being a baby. Doing chores isn’t bad so far. We have dogs and kittens and Papa listens to us and makes us laugh.”
“I’m not a baby.” Dorie threw down her towel and raised her hand to strike her brother.
Vanessa grabbed her arm and redirected her. “Now you can hand me the dishes and I’ll put them in the cupboard. Then I believe I’ll set out some of the things Greta packed from our old home. Perhaps you children will help me.”
Dorie brightened. “Papa said you would decorate the house. He said that was something ladies do.”
Jack frowned. “Men don’t have to decorate.”
Vanessa put her arm around him. “I need a strong man to help move things.”
He bent his arm to make a muscle—as much as he was able. “I’m strong, Mother.”
She opened the trunk that had contained the candlesticks. Once Travis had soothed her, she had set the silver candle holders on the mantel. Now she took out family treasures layered between her dresses.
Most of the clothes she owned were completely unsuitable for ranch wear. She needed calico or gingham that could be laundered easily, not silks and satins. With care, she laid each dress across the end of the bed.
When the trunk was empty, she decided it could be used as an occasional table. “Jack, will you help me move this to the living room? We’ll set it under the window.”
Dorie tugged on her sleeve. “What about me, Mother?”
“Can you carry that scarf for me?”
The thrill of deciding what she wanted where in her home took hold and excitement energized Vanessa. She’d moved from a home ruled with an iron hand by her mother to one ruled the same way by her mother-in-law. Never had she been able to move even an ash tray without permission until death claimed the two women and their husbands.
Although she missed the luxury of her former home with expansive rooms and with a full staff or servants of whom she was fond, here she could make choices. If she didn’t like the appearance, she could change things.
Jack said, “That’s a pretty song, Mother. You never used to sing.”
Vanessa froze, realizing he was correct. “I’m pleased we get to move things around the way we want them. When you have your own room, you’ll get to tell me how you want things arranged.”
“I will? Can I have my toys on a shelf instead of putting them all away?”
“That sounds like a good idea. I’ll bet Papa will build you shelves. If he doesn’t have time, perhaps he can suggest an alternative.”
Dorie tugged on her sleeve. “We had to leave most of our toys at home. I mean our old home.”
“Please don’t compare this home to the house where we used to live. This is our home where we’re liked and protected. You have enough toys and you’ll get more for birthdays and Christmas.”