Rachel by Caroline Clemmons
A shameful past… Rachel Ross’ secret haunts her. She joins other women leaving Virginia for Texas, object matrimony. Vowing never to trust again, she is rebuilding her life. She likes the dusty little town of Tarnation and is attracted to Zane Evans. She accepts a job as his bookkeeper. Her past has made her cautious and she vows never to let down her guard. The attraction is there, and she allows him to court her. Zane Evans is a former Pinkerton agent who wants to forget all he saw in that profession and in the war and build a good life in Tarnation, Texas. He has carefully planned his future. He’d never believed in love at first sight until he meets Rachel. Now he’s determined to discover and remove the reason her beautiful brown eyes look haunted. One event reveals her past in a spectacular way. Will Zane forgive her silence?
“I have read all of the five Bride Brigade books and can't pick a favorite. Each story is complete, detailed, and enjoyable. Rachel's story did not disappoint. I love how Ms. Clemmons intertwines all the bride's stories, yet each can be read alone. I look forward to the next book in the series.” Marianne Spitzer
“. ..I enjoyed this book so very much I hated to see it end.” Dorothy Henderson ”Intriguing story of a woman framed for someone else's crime. Trust doesn't come easy when even her own family turns against her.” Beverly G. “Oh boy, did I ever enjoy this book. Good work!!” Marcia Montoya
Mama glanced from Hannah to Rachel. “I’ve fixed you a place in my sewing room. Your clothes and things are already there.”
Not even allowed to return to her former room? Scooping up her valise, she turned and fled to the sewing room. “Fine. At least I’ll have privacy.”
Patrick followed and caught up with her before she closed the door. “Dahlia and I’ve been scouring our brains since I learned of our parents’ plan. I may have a solution.” He handed her a folded newspaper page with one advertisement circled. “What do you think?”
Rachel read the item:
“Young women of good character desiring to go west for the purpose of marriage may apply for an interview between ten and four o’clock in the afternoon from April 5th to 10th at the Grand Hotel, Richmond, care of Mrs. Lydia Harrison.”
“Good character? This Mrs. Lydia Harrison might not agree I qualify.” She reread the item as she mulled over the implications. “Regardless, I’ll go see Mrs. Harrison at ten tomorrow.” She hugged Patrick. “I knew I could count on you, dear brother.”
“You’ll have to thank Dahlia for that advertisement. It wasn’t in the parts of the paper I read.”
All her plans for the future had changed. Instead of welcome from her family, she was ostracized by all but her brother. In her head, she saw the wisdom of her father’s edict. In her heart, she was far too crushed for reason. She wouldn’t stay a second longer than necessary to find a solution.
Patrick leaned a shoulder against the door jamb. “I’ll take off work again to go with you and be certain this woman isn’t a con artist soliciting young women for objectionable purposes.”
Rachel was able to force a smile though her heart had frozen solid. “No, Patrick, thank you for coming for me and for being the same fine man I remember, but I should do this alone. The ad says ‘for the purpose of marriage’ and I’ll be sure of the details before I commit—if she even chooses me.”
“At least let me give you a few dollars to pay cab fare there and back and enough to buy lunch if you’re out then.” He opened his wallet and removed several bills, which he pressed into her hand.
She gazed at the amount. “Ten dollars? Patrick, this is too much.”
He backed away as he held his hands palm facing her. “You don’t know what expenses you’ll have. I’ll worry enough without thinking you have no resources.”
She dropped the cash into her purse. “Thank you. You’re the dearest brother who ever lived.”
His cheeky grin cheered her. “Honesty compels me to modestly agree with you.”
Author Caroline Clemmons
Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel. Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest. Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there. Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?
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