By Caroline Clemmons
I’m still celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. MURDOCH’S BRIDE is only 99¢ today through March 22nd. MURDOCH’S BRIDE is book 3 of my Loving A Rancher Series. MURDOCH’S BRIDE was born as part of Deborah Holland’s Kindle World, in which I enjoyed writing in tremendously. But then Amazon killed the Kindle Worlds. (Still so sad that happened.) Details for the prize are at the end of this post.
MURDOCH’S BRIDE won an Amazon Bestseller bonus. Yes, Amazon gives bonuses for bestsellers. I don’t mean every orange ribbon you see. The bestsellers to which I’m referring are books that meet some higher criteria known only to Amazon. I’m sure my book was at the bottom of the scale, but I was thrilled to get a bonus!
When the Kindle Worlds were killed by Amazon, I changed the characters and place names that belonged to Deborah Holland and her Kindle World and kept the book in publication. This is such a fun book I couldn’t abandon it. Recently, I changed the covers of books in the Loving A Rancher Series. If you haven’t yet read MURDOCH’S BRIDE, now is your chance to do so at a bargain price.
Warning: MURDOCH’S BRIDE is a sweet, clean western historical romance, but it does contain a curse word, which is damn. As you can see in the excerpt, sometimes it’s appropriate.
Stranded in the snow…
Charity Kelso is accompanying her fussy Aunt Edwina from New York to Oregon when their train is wrecked and the passenger cars burn. Cottonwood Springs doesn’t have a hotel, so passengers are parceled out to townsfolk’s homes. No one wants anything to do with complaining Aunt Edwina. That also leaves Charity and their newly widowed friend Amelia nowhere to stay until the tracks are repaired. A new blizzard is headed their way, so what are they to do?
Logan Murdoch and his brother came to town to restock before the next storm arrives. Against Logan’s better judgment, the sheriff convinces him to take three “innocent, stranded women” to Murdoch Ranch. Other than their housekeeper-cook, a woman hasn’t set foot in the Murdoch home in the twenty years since Logan’s mother abandoned them. He doesn’t expect his father to welcome these unwanted visitors.
Both Charity and Logan are surprised at the events that unfold. How could this have happened?
The Murdoch men came inside as Charity came down the stairs from fetching a clean handkerchief for her aunt.
Logan said, “Ornery old cow.”
Charity gave Edwina her hanky and stomped toward him. “Mr. Murdoch, may I speak to you privately?”
Surprise showed on his face. “Uh, sure. Guess we can go into the office.”
He led the way to a room she hadn’t seen, obviously where the ranch records were kept. “Will this do, Miss Kelso?”
She closed the door behind them. “Logan Murdoch, you have your nerve calling my aunt names. For your information, she’s had a horrible life and no one, not her selfish parents, not her cheating husband, not even her only son ever loved her. And, that includes my father, who’s her younger brother.”
He stood looking poleaxed. “I never said—”
She stabbed at his chest with her forefinger. “I heard what you said. You called her an ornery old cow. She may be difficult sometimes, but if you knew everything about her you’d understand and be patient and forgiving. You can make fun of me all you want, emphasizing that I’m Miss and not Mrs., but you treat her with the respect someone her age deserves.”
He moved her hand away from his chest and leaned into her face. “You might try practicing some of the charity you’re named for and at least give me a chance to defend myself. I was talking about our cow. In case you haven’t noticed, I have milk all over my legs and boots because she knocked against the pail.”
Heat rushed to Charity’s cheeks. She stepped back. “Oh.”
He stood with his hands on his hips. “That’s a good comeback, Miss Kelso.”
She sensed a blush’s heat spreading across her face and neck. “Once again, I must ask your pardon.”
“When you’re angry, sparks fly from those big blue eyes. Reckon I’m lucky I wasn’t set on fire.” He closed the short distance between them and he brushed a hand gently along her cheek.
She knew he was going to kiss her but stood frozen in place. He tilted her head up to meet his and pressed his lips on hers. She thought he would withdraw then, but his arms were around her, pulling her closer. As if they had minds of their own, her arms encircled him.
When they broke apart, he stared at her with a horrified expression. “Damn.”
With the realization she’d cooperated in the kiss and even enjoyed it, horror shot through her. “My stars.”
She took a deep breath and left the office.
To enter for the $5 AMAZON GIFT CARD, leave a comment telling how long it had been since a woman had been in the ranch house. The winner will be chosen randomly from the commenters.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Stay safe, be kind, and keep reading!