The Wild Western Women Box Set launches tomorrow! To celebrate, I’m bringing you an excerpt from Kristen Osbourne’s Mail Order Misunderstanding, one of the stories in the collection. Enjoy!
When the stage pulled up, he knew immediately the woman coming down was his own sweet Anna. She’d warned him that she was incredibly shy, and she wasn’t certain, once she arrived, if she’d be able to go through with it. He’d decided his plan of action, and every time she seemed to be trying to talk him out of marrying her, he’d just kiss her. It would work beautifully.
He caught her eye and walked across the street toward her, so happy to see her in Wiggieville at last. She was a true beauty with her red hair swept atop her head, with a few tendrils falling down out of the knot she had them arranged in. He couldn’t see her eye color from the distance he was at, but he didn’t think he needed to. He knew he’d never seen a woman who was more attractive to him than the one standing beside the stage.
A tall, handsome man stepped walked across the street toward her, his eyes filled with excitement. He was dark with hair that was almost black and the brownest eyes she’d ever seen. When he reached her, he gave her a very familiar look that startled her. “Are you Miss Simmons?” he asked.
She nodded, holding her hand out to shake his. When he took her hand, he gently pulled her toward him, leaning down to press his lips against hers. She was startled and put her hand to her lips as soon as he pulled back. She knew Texas wasn’t as formal as New York, but she’d never expected to be greeted with a kiss, especially not in the middle of the street. What if one of her pupils saw her?
She stepped back, out of his reach, and smiled nervously. “Will you take me to where I’ll be staying please?” She decided not to mention the kiss and give him the dressing down he deserved. He was a school board member after all, and as such he needed to be treated with respect, whether he deserved it or not.
He shrugged. “I’d be happy to. We just need to make one stop first, and then we’ll be able to head out to the ranch.” That stop would, of course, be to the local pastor’s house. He just wasn’t about to admit it and make her more skittish than she already seemed to be.
Julia frowned. The way she’d understood it, she’d be staying close to the schoolhouse, which would be much better for her, but she could walk if she needed to. “All right.” She had no idea what kind of errand he was going to have to run, but she was happy to tag along as long as it didn’t take too long. She was excited to go see the schoolhouse and make sure everything was in order. Teaching had been a lifelong dream, and she was finally almost there.
He took her bags from her and held them in one hand, his hand taking hers and pulling her down the street with the other. He seemed to be a man of few words, but that was all right with Julia. She wasn’t here to become friendly with the man, just to stay with his family during her year of teaching at the local school. If she liked it, maybe she would even sign another contract and come back the following year.
He stopped to put her belongings into an old farm wagon before pulling her along to a house that was just down the street. He went to the door and knocked loudly, smiling down at her, his grin very impish.
“Where exactly are we?” she asked softly. She didn’t want to argue with the man, but something felt wrong about the whole situation. Why was he taking her to someone’s house?
Thomas chuckled and leaned down and kissed her again, without answering her. He couldn’t believe his sweet bride kept asking him where they were. Had she forgotten she’d traveled all the way from Beckham, Massachusetts to marry him?
From USA Today Best Selling Author Kirsten Osbourne: Mail Order Misunderstanding
Julia traveled West to be a schoolteacher. Thomas requested a mail order bride. When he arrives at the train station to pick up his bride, Thomas mistakenly thinks Julia is there for him. Julia sees Thomas and thinks he’s there from the school board. She’s married an hour later.