I’m so excited today to bring you the first look at my next novel in the Hot on the Trail series, Trail of Longing! It’s coming on January 5th, so without further ado….
[No Cover Yet – Cover Reveal Coming Soon!]
Emma pulled her focus away from Dean to see that they’d come to walk alongside her family’s wagon. Her father led the oxen from the ground, walking beside them as though they were white stallions instead of plodding beasts. Alice had gone to the back of the wagon to join their mother, who whispered furiously. Her eyes never left Dean.
“I’ll leave you ladies to take shelter in your wagon,” Dean said, letting go of Emma’s arm. “I’d better check on the miners anyhow.”
“Thank you so much, Dr. Meyers,” Mrs. Sutton skipped forward to make her goodbyes. “I haven’t met a truer gentleman in this entire wagon train. I do hope we’ll be seeing more of you.”
Emma’s heart caught in her throat at her mother’s audacity. Her embarrassment was only relieved a tad by Dean’s smile.
“I’m sure we’ll see much more of each other.” He nodded to Mrs. Sutton and Alice, then turned his smile to Emma. “Until next time, Miss Emma.”
“I….” Anything Emma could have said froze on her tongue. She pressed her lips into a tight smile and nodded.
As Dean turned to go, frustration poured in on her. When she was certain he was out of earshot, she huffed out a breath and hid her face in her hands. What was she thinking? How could it be so difficult to talk to such an agreeable man?
“Very well done,” her mother congratulated her. She scurried to Emma’s side as they walked on, raindrops beating down harder now. “You have him good and hooked.”
“Mother,” Emma sighed. “I don’t want to ‘hook’ anyone. Dean— I mean, Dr. Meyers, is a good, noble man.”
“Exactly.” Her mother smiled as if the sun had come out. “He’ll make a perfect husband for you.”
“Shh!” Emma would have slapped her hand over her mother’s mouth if she could. “Please!”
“Oh come now,” her mother scolded, waving Emma’s protests aside as if they were fluff. “You and I both know the importance of nabbing a good husband.”
“Husbands should not be ‘nabbed.’”
“All men need to be nabbed, dear,” her mother argued. “Otherwise they would wander the earth not knowing which way was up or what was good for them.”
Emma scoffed and crossed her arms to ward off the chill that the rain was bringing her.
Her mother turned serious, sliding closer to her. “I know you think I’m laying it on too thick, but we’ve both seen what happens when a girl makes an inappropriate match.”
They both glanced to the back of the wagon where Alice had hoisted herself into the bed and was busy rolling down the canvas coverings. Emma’s heart squeezed with sadness for her sister.
“Alice loved Harry,” she murmured to her mother so Alice wouldn’t hear.
“That is precisely the problem,” her mother replied.
Emma frowned, confused. “Harry was a good man.”
“He was a clerk and we never should have agreed to the match.” Before Emma could protest, her mother went on. “Dr. Meyers, on the other hand, is just the sort of man I have always wished to see you with. Now that he’s hooked, I know just how to reel him in.”
Dread filled Emma’s stomach. She knew what her mother was capable of. Her journey west had just taken a perilous turn.
Now, you may have noticed that I haven’t put this one up for pre-order. But never fear! If you visit my Amazon author page and click on “Add Favorite” right under my fabulous author pic, then I believe Amazon will email you as soon as any of my books come out. Wanna give it a try? Click right here.
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