Excerpt from Heiress Bride

My dear friend Jan Snyder was to be my guest today but Jan passed from this world in January of this year, so I’m filling in today on my blog. For today’s give away, I’m giving a $5 Starbucks cards and a copy of my book, Capital Bride, the first one in the Matchmaker & Co series. You can have it in any format, including paperback if you are in the US. All you have to do it leave me a comment on what you think of the excerpt, good or bad.

This is the first time our hero and heroine meet.

“Miss Davenport….”
“Ella. Please.”
“Ella. I would like for you to lift your veil.”
“Are you sure you wish to do this in public. It can be…shocking.”
“I’m sure.” He squeezed her hand and then let go.
“Very well.” She lifted the heavy lace, prepared for him to be taken aback by the ugliness of it. She wasn’t prepared for him to lift his hand and gently trace the thin, putrid purple scar all the way from her left eye over her cheek and down her neck to the top of her collar.
There was no disdain on his face. His blue eyes took in everything and accepted it, but even so he said the last thing she expected.
“You are a very beautiful woman.”
She stood there with her mouth open until he raised her chin with his knuckle.
“Why are you surprised? Surely you have heard the compliment before.”
She shook her head to clear it and find her tongue. “Not since the accident, except from my brother. But he’s biased. He loves me.”
“He but states the obvious. Your scars do not detract from your beauty.”
“I must thank you because good manners dictate it. However, I believe we should see about getting you some glasses.”
He laughed. A rich, deep baritone. “I’m glad you have a sense of humor.”
“Who was joking?”
He laughed again. “Where are your trunks?”
“They’re being shipped. Joshua, my brother, didn’t want me to have to deal with them while changing trains.”
“Very smart. They will be delivered to Golden. Freight comes all the way there.”
“But not people? How odd.”
“Yes, you’d think they could add a passenger car. I’m sure they will soon.”
“What are the plans now? Are we to marry here or in Golden City?”
“I thought we could visit the Justice of the Peace while we’re here and then get to know each other a bit on the way to the ranch.”
He picked up her valise and headed to a wagon parked at one end of the platform. “I brought the buckboard anticipating you having trunks. I would have brought the carriage otherwise. It’s more comfortable.”
“Please don’t apologize. I prefer the open wagon.”
He cocked his head to one side in question.
She explained. “My accident was in a carriage. I was trapped inside for quite a while before they could get me out.”
“No wonder you don’t like riding in a carriage.”
They were at the buckboard. A simple wagon with a bench seat in front of a large flat bed with raised sides. The rear panel opened to allow for easier loading of freight or supplies.
“It’s not just carriages, but enclosed spaces of any kind. I much prefer the open air around.”
“As do I. The first fifteen years of my life were spent with my mother’s people. I slept outdoors whenever the weather permitted and sometimes when it didn’t.” He smiled and her stomach did a little flip.
He helped her up to the bench, lifting her as if she weighed no more than a sack of potatoes. She enjoyed the feel of his big hands on her waist. He made her feel feminine for the first time in a long time.
He went around the back of the wagon and climbed up to the bench.
“Giddyup.” He slapped the reins on the hindquarters of two matched blacks. Some of the finest looking horses she’d ever seen.
“Your horses are beautiful.”
“Thank you. Caught them myself.”
“Caught them?”
“There are wild mustangs that roam the mountains north of here. I went up with some of my ranch hands and we caught about ten of the animals and brought them back. Some were easier to break than others. These two took to the bit right away and then to the harness as well.”
“I guess I never really thought about how horses are trained.”
“Now you know.” He pulled the wagon to a stop.
She couldn’t think of anything to say, so stayed quiet, both of them reflecting on what was about to happen.
About a quarter of an hour later he pulled up in front of a large three story stone building. “Here’s the Justice’s office.”
He came around and helped her down. That tingle was back and it was darn disconcerting. She lowered her veil.
“You can leave it off.”
“No.” She shook her head and let the heavy veil fall into place. “You don’t know how people react. It is not something pleasant to see.”
He took her hand. “Very well, but after we are married, you will wear the veil no more. You will be my wife and I take pride in that.”
“You’re crazy. People back up when they see me. I don’t like that. I won’t wear it at home or with people who know us. Perhaps, eventually I won’t wear it at all, but I need time to adjust.”
Nathan nodded. “I understand. Some people back up when they see me, too.”
“Why? You’re the most handsome man I’ve ever seen.”
She watched him redden at her praise, obviously not used to it. “Thank you for the compliment. But that’s not what whites see. They see an Indian. A breed. That’s what those who don’t know me call me. A breed. You may get called names, too. Are you prepared for that?”
She thought about it for a moment before answering. “If you’re willing to put up with the comments you’ll hear about me, then I’ll try to put up with the name calling. But I won’t have you disparaging yourself in front of me. You have no need to apologize to anyone.”
“Nor do you.”
She blushed. It was so much easier to fiercely protect him from perceived injustices than see the ones against herself.
“I suppose I don’t. The accident wasn’t my fault. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe it was an accident.”
“You believe someone was trying to kill you?”
“Yes. Both my father and me. Now I worry for my brother’s safety. But he is forewarned and has loyal staff and friends, plus two bodyguards.” She paused to catch her breath. Looking at her soon to be husband, she added, “And I think I know who arranged it, but I can’t prove it. Yet.”
“Why would this person want you dead?”
“He was my father’s former business partner. He’s been trying to buy back his portion of the business since it became successful. When he sold it, the company, a ship building company, was not profitable. Since the war, it’s become very profitable and he wants back in. He even tried courting me to get it. “
“But how will eliminating you and your father change things for him?”
“If he gets rid of all of us, he can buy the ship yard from the probate court at ten cents on the dollar. I’d say that’s a motive for murder. My brother has two bodyguards who are with him twenty-four hours a day. I simply left the state. Hopefully, that will keep Angus MacGregor from finding me.”
They stopped at the double doors that led into the courthouse and to the Justice of the Peace’s office.
Nathan looked at her. “Are you ready?”
Her hands shook so she closed them into fists. “I am. Are you sure this is what you want? I’d understand if you want to change your mind.”
He shook his head and smiled. “I’m not changing my mind.”
“Neither am I. Let’s get this done.”
He held the door for her and she walked through to a new life on the other side.
The ceremony was short and sweet. Nathan lifted her veil and gave her the most amazing, gentlest kiss she’d ever had. Before her accident she’d had her share of beauxs. Young men who would sneak a kiss in the shadows of the garden. None of whom continued to come around after the accident. After they’d seen the damage done.
Nathan was different. He didn’t cringe. His eyes actually seemed to be filled with passion when he looked at her. Like he was staking a claim. And she guessed he did have a claim to her now. He was her husband. Husband. She’d thought she’d never have one. Now this beautiful man was hers and his kiss held the promise of good things to come.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Please leave me a comment and tell me what you thought. Take a chance on winning the drawing for the prize.

Buy Links
Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00BWX9H30
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/15F5IqU
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/297289
Kobo: http://bit.ly/13ffhS5

14 thoughts on “Excerpt from Heiress Bride

  1. Cindy, wonderful excerpt! What a hero! I think about Jan so often. I loved her and I wasn’t as close as the two of you were. I’m so sorry for your loss of a dear friend. Hugs.

    • Thanks for stopping by Donnell. I think about Jan everyday. She was taken from us much to soon. With Jan the old adage about “only the good die young” is really true.

  2. I can”t wait to read the rest of Heiress Bride.

    The last time I saw Jan was at Kally’s wedding. I think it’s great you didn’t give her blog spot to someone else. How could such a nice, fun, amazing woman be gone? Feel me huging you, Cindy.

  3. Very interesting set up. I enjoyed reading this. It’s not the typical love story and is very intriguing. Love the hero. Thanks for sharing.

  4. It’s a great excerpt when I keep scrolling and want to read more and then go back up and scroll down again, hoping that there was more and I missed it. I only wish the heroine’s scar showed on the cover. It would be great to see a beautiful yet scarred woman on a cover.
    Good luck with this,

    • Sydney, I’m so glad you like the excerpt. I have to admit I didn’t think a woman with a scar on the cover would sell, that’s why I loved this cover. It’s like she’s hiding her face and he’s telling her “it’s alright.”

  5. You write beautifully, Cindy. I love the way they relate to each other, see the beauty in each other and want to protect each other right from the start. This looks like a very enjoyable read. Ella is articulate and intelligent ~ wonderful! I’m sorry you lost your dear friend Jan recently.

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