Thursday, January 24, 2019
ROSEMARY is available for pre-order!!
By Kristy McCaffrey
My contribution to the Widows of Wildcat Ridge Series is Rosemary, Book 11, and it’s almost here!!
Rosemary Brennan struggles with grief along with the other widows of Wildcat Ridge after a devastating mine accident takes the life of her husband, Jack, and many others. Forced to find a new husband or be evicted from her home by the unscrupulous mine owner, Mortimer Crane, Rosemary finds unexpected help from Jack’s friend, Miles McGinty, an ex-U.S. Deputy Marshal. Together, they’ll uncover Crane’s deceit that involved her first husband. But McGinty knows more than he’s saying, and Rosemary isn’t certain she can trust another man so soon after losing Jack. More importantly, does she dare open her heart to him?
A sweet romance set in 1884 Utah Territory.
Can be read as a standalone.
Read first 3 chapters here
In this additional excerpt from Rosemary, she and McGinty have just had a run-in with Mortimer Crane, leading to an unorthodox marriage proposal.
McGinty flicked his gaze to Rosemary, her eyes wide and her cheeks flushed red. She was a woman who bore a second look, and a third, if he was being totally honest, but he could tell that he’d just surprised the life out of her.
He took a deep breath and pushed away from the door, entering the house and facing off against this blustery man that was pushing Rosemary around. Miles hadn’t liked it, and he’d quickly crossed a boundary that he shouldn’t have with a woman he barely knew, but he couldn’t stand by and let her lose everything. He would help her in any way he could. He owed that much to Jack.
Hell, I owe Jack my life. The least I can do is protect his widow.
“I believe we’re done here,” Miles said. He was taller than Crane, and he stepped close enough to intimidate the man. “I’ll meet you at the bank tomorrow. We can settle up then.”
Crane took a step back. “This is ridiculous. Anyone can see that this is a sham. I won’t allow it.”
Rosemary found her voice. “You did tell the widows that we had until the end of the summer to settle our debts with you. And you also said that if we had a husband then we could keep our businesses. Plenty of widows witnessed this offer. We could take you before a judge and let him decide.”
McGinty pressed forward and Crane finally had had enough. He stepped around Miles and planted his hat atop his head. “I’ll see you at the bank at eight o’clock sharp. You haven’t settled the debts yet.” He gave a scurrilous glance at Rosemary. “This is far from over.”
Crane departed, and Miles shut the door.
When he faced Rosemary, she looked as she had after she’d shot Hector.
“What on earth just happened?” she asked.
“My apologies for my forwardness. I didn’t really think it through, except that I wanted to pound some salt into that man.”
“You’re not the only one.” Her voice was barely above a whisper.
She moved to the table, and Miles quickly pulled out a chair so that she could sit. He took a seat opposite her.
She clasped her hands on the yellow tablecloth decorated with tiny blue flowers, looking serene, almost as if she were about to chastise a child. She had nice hands—feminine, with slender fingers.
“First, while I appreciate your offer to help, I can’t accept it. Second, you may have just made an enemy of Mortimer Crane, and I hope that it doesn’t cause you any trouble. Third—”
He held up his hand. “Please don’t concern yourself with my welfare. I’ve met men like him before. I can handle it. And I hope that you will consider my offer.” He paused. “I really would like to help you, Rosemary.”
“But … marriage? Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t want to be married. At least, not again. Not so soon. And you’re such a nice-looking man and still young and strong. You will certainly want to be wed one day to a woman who loves you.”
Her compliments washed over him, a boon in an otherwise strange conversation. In truth, he’d never thought much about matrimony. He’d never met a woman worth changing his routine for. But Rosemary …
“I owe Jack,” he continued. “Let me help you. You can be my wife in name only. I would never ask you to betray your love for Jack.”
“But why would you do that? It seems so much to ask of you.”
“In the short time I’ve known you, Rosemary, one thing is clear.”
Her expression held a shadow of skepticism.
“You’re a stubborn woman.”
Her brows lifted, conveying her surprise.
To stave off the likelihood that he’d insulted her, he quickly added, “The fact that you went into the hills alone—I’m guessing you were searching for The Floriana Mine to salvage your situation. Rather than leave this town and your heartache behind, you’ve chosen to stay. To fight. For your bliss. I have a lot of respect for that. I can see why Jack fell in love with you.”
She pressed her lips together, and he thought she might start crying.
“But as strong as you are,” he continued, his voice gentle, “it’s never easy going it alone. I have nowhere to be, and I have money. Think of it as an investment. We can square up in the future. And I believe we could annul the marriage at some point.”
The tears poured forth. “I don’t know what to say. It’s true that I’m at my wit’s end. I have a tiny amount of money, but it’s not enough to survive. I have friends, and I could stay with them for a time in town, but that’s not a long-term plan. My father ….” She wiped her cheeks with her hands. “I can’t go to him.” She took a deep breath. “I will pay you back for everything. I insist. All right?”
He nodded. “We can draw up an agreement, if you like.” He wasn’t practicing great business smarts at the moment, but he’d been saving money for several years now with no plan for it. So perhaps this was the plan, a fate direct from above.
And as he looked across the table at Rosemary Brennan, widow to Jack—a young man for whom he’d felt a deep responsibility—a sense of purpose and rightness filled him. For the first time in his life, the urge to keep moving abandoned Miles. Maybe he could even let go of his need to find Shady Briggs.
And then there was that twinge in his heart, wanting something it shouldn’t. Something that made no sense.
He wanted to stay.
He wanted to help her.
And a small part of him wanted her.
Copyright © 2019 K. McCaffrey LLC
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