Title: Grace (The Marriage Market Book Two)
Author: Stevie MacFarlane
Publisher: Blushing Books
Grace Wentworth and Effie Lane were cautiously optimistic when their dear friend Amelia decided to travel west to become the bride of a man she’d never met. Despite their misgivings they were stunned when Amelia wrote informing them she’d made a dreadful mistake in marrying Mr. Jordon.
Determined to rescue her dear friend from the clutches of a scoundrel, Effie made plans to leave for Seattle immediately. Grace would follow when she could get away from the ever watchful eye of her mother. Everything changed when Grace was forced to accept the proposal of a cruel and violent man. Suddenly her mother’s wrath could not compare with what she would face as Horace Remington’s wife. Throwing all caution aside, she fled with Effie even knowing her mother would most likely hire a Pinkerton man to find her. However, she never expected to fall for him as they played a game of cat and mouse from Chicago to Seattle.
For Jonah Blackthorn, apprehending a runaway socialite seemed like an easy assignment. Locating two young, inexperienced women would take him no time at all and the five thousand dollar reward offered by the frantic fiancé would go a long way as Jonah had plans to leave the agency to begin a new chapter in his life.
What he didn’t plan on was being outwitted by the brats or the fact that Effie Lane wasn’t relying on her wits alone to get them safely to Seattle. He also didn’t expect to come to care for the redhead traveling with her gun-toting friend. When he finally caught up with them he was going to give Grace the spanking of a life time or kiss her senseless. Maybe both.
By the time their train neared the station in Omaha, both Effie and Grace were convinced Jonah Blackthorn had more than a passing interest in Grace. Each time they left their compartment he magically appeared full of compliments as well as questions. No matter when they went to the dining car and they tried multiple unusual times, there he was.
At first Grace was flattered, but as the train took them further west she began to see his questions about their background and destination as much more than curiosity. Despite his good looks and charming manner, he’d become a prying annoyance and she’d told so many stories she feared she’d never be able to keep them straight.
“You were right all along, Effie,” Grace whispered, nodding as Jonah approached their table and pulled out a chair.
“Well ladies, we should be in Omaha in a couple of hours. I take it you’ll want to go directly to the fort to see your father, Miss Brown,” he remarked, pouring coffee from the pot the porter brought to the table.
“Yes, I imagine so,” Grace replied, watching Effie for guidance.
“Good. I hope you’ll allow me to escort you. I’d very much like to meet your father and I have business there.”
Effie gave a tiny nod and Grace replied.
“It’s very kind of you to offer, Mr. Blackthorn.”
“Please, Miss Brown. I thought we were beyond the formalities. Don’t you remember you agreed to call me, Jonah?” he asked, smiling as he gently teased her.
“Of course, Jonah,” she murmured.
“That’s much better. Miss Crumb, will you be traveling to Fort Omaha also?”
Effie narrowed her eyes before forcing herself to relax.
“Oh my yes, I wouldn’t dream of abandoning my dear friend at this stage of the journey. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some packing to do.” Laying down her napkin, Effie rose from her seat.
“Certainly,” Jonah replied as he stood. “I don’t want you two ladies to worry about a thing. I’ll arrange for a carriage and meet you inside the station where you can wait out of the hot sun.”
“What are we going to do?” Grace hissed as they made their way back to their compartment. “I think you were right all along, he’s a Pinkerton,” she continued sadly.
“Whether he is or he isn’t, he’s showing entirely too much interest in our plans for my peace of mind,” Effie said as they closed the door behind them. “For all the talking he’s done in the last few days, he’s told us very little about himself. I don’t trust a man who looks as good as he does and is a smooth talker besides. We need to get rid of him.”
“What do you mean ‘get rid of him’?” Grace gasped, grabbing Effie’s arm.
“Relax, I’m not going to shoot him, just arrange for a little delay,” Effie said with a laugh.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I got my first royalty check.
If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?
Definitely, a romantic-comedy.
Best-selling author, Stevie MacFarlane, lives in Upstate New York with her husband of many years. They have a huge, close-knit family and frequently host twenty-five or more guests for dinner on weekends and holidays. She currently has 16 books out, including two very popular series, Sugar Babies and The O’Malley’s. To explain her writing preference she used a quote from her Amazon Author’s Page.
“All of my books are romances. I like a lot of conversation, a bit of humor, some fairly hot sex and spanking. If you’re into whips and chains, these probably aren’t for you. However, if you’ve ever watched a movie where the leading lady is being a perfect bitch and you feel like yelling at the leading man, “Oh my God, spank her you fool!” these might be right up your alley.”
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