Seth’s Secretive Bride
Matchmaker Mix-Up Series
Historical Romance (1870)
Release Date: August 15, 2021
Heat: Sweet to the Max
Heroine: Hanna McGibbon – 22-year-old, disgraced daughter of a gambler
Hero: Seth Temple – 34-year-old rancher with a 7-year-old son.
Setting: Terrance, Colorado (southwest of Denver)
About the Book
When Hannah McGibbon is forced out of her family home, she has nowhere to go. In a moment of desperation, she responds to an advertisement for a matchmaking service.
Widower Seth Temple needs a wife. Not for himself, but as a mother for his 7-year-old, emotionally challenged son. At the urging of his housekeeper, he sends in his application to be matched to a like-minded woman.
Unfortunately, what they both want is not what they get. Due to an unforeseeable mix-up with the usually stellar matchmaking service, Hannah is sent to Colorado rather than California. And, Seth is sent a young, red-headed spitfire, rather than the mature woman with a background in education he’d requested.
What will happen when he explains to Hannah that love and romance are low on his priority list and not part of his plan for a wife? And, once the matching service offers to set things right, will Hannah want to leave?
Hannah shifted to get more comfortable on the wide leather seat inside the stagecoach. After a day-and-a-half on the train, she’s been grateful for the hour or so to stretch her legs and get some air.
However, this last four-hour stretch across Colorado’s dirt roads had tested her mettle, for sure. She felt certain the driver was purposely hitting every rut. Dust blew freely through the enclosed space, courtesy of the torn window coverings. And, worst of all, her backside hurt terribly.
Across from her, an older man with a grizzled beard and tobacco-stained teeth, dozed off and on, his snoring quite loud. Next to him, a rather garishly dressed woman picked at the dirt beneath her fingernails and, from time to time, spat out the window. Hannah held her breath each time, wondering if the spittle would fly back through the window at some point and land—mostly likely—on her.
Needing to distract herself, she removed the picture of her intended groom from her purse and studied the young man’s face. A new life, a handsome husband, and it would all be worth it.
The wheels of the coach hit another bump in the road, nearly knocking Hannah from her seat. Thankfully, they were within a half hour of their destination. Soon enough, this travel torture would end.
The driver’s loud call drew the horses up short, and the stage to a halt. Hannah breathed a sigh of relief, and silently issued a prayer of thanks for her safe arrival.
Within moments, the door was wrenched open. The coach’s driver, a sweaty, dust-covered man who looked to be in his late fifties, leaned inside. “Terrance. Who’s getting off?”
“I am, thank you,” she responded, her words forced out through her parched throat.
The man flipped down a rather lopsided stair and offered his hand. “Out you go then.” Once her feet hit the ground, he asked, “Which bag is yours?
“The two brocade carpetbags, please.”
He uncinched the leather straps and lifted the flap covering the cargo hold. Snatching her bags from the back of the stage, he dumped them unceremoniously on the ground.
“I’m meeting someone,” she said timidly.
The driver shook his head. “Don’t know nothing about that, Miss.” Nodding toward the building to their left, “You can check with the stationmaster.”
“I will, thank you.”
She’d barely stepped up onto the sidewalk, one bag clutched in each fist, when the driver climbed back onto the stage and snapped the reins, setting the horses in motion and leaving her standing there. Alone.
“Excuse me, are you Hannah McGibbon?”
The man’s deep voice sank into her very being, and she whirled around to get her first real look at the man she’d soon marry. Rather than the young, handsome banker she’d been expecting, she came face-to-face with the stern expression of an honest-to-goodness cowboy.
“Yes, I’m Hannah McGibbon. Are you Mr. Preston’s hired man?”
His expression tightened, changing the severe angles of his face, drawing his frown.
“I don’t know who ‘Mr. Preston’ is, but I’m Seth Temple, the man you’ve come to marry.”
Hannah shook her head. “No, you can’t possibly be.” Pulling the letter from her bag, she told him, “I’m supposed to be meeting Mr. Simon Preston, an assistant bank manager.”
The man’s chocolate-brown gaze narrowed. He dug his hand into the pocket of his trousers and pulled out a wadded up piece of paper. “According to this telegram, I’m supposed to be claiming a Miss Hannah Elizabeth McGibbon at the waystation. So, if you’re Hannah, then I’ve got the right woman.”
Her breath caught. “But... you... you’re not the right man.”
KDP Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099CQV156
Series Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08H7X82QD
Author Bio and Links
NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits.
The granddaughter of a Methodist minister from Tennessee, Nancy now lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
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