Claiming His Heart
A full-length, western historical inspirational romance
(Charmlee and Tulsa are forced into a marriage neither of them wants. Now. But of course, it won’t be long before they do- wink wink.)
Merciful goodness, her whole life was about to change. Likely for worse, not better. Tull leaned down to her, and the handful of female wedding guests cooed as if expecting him to steal a kiss. Charmlee held her breath.
But he whispered, harsh, “You better not change your mind on me.” Then his lips nuzzled her ear as the crowd expected.
A devout man, Judge Fields opened with Scripture and led the civil rite prayerfully. But at the “I do”, a darkness both deep and green began to settle on Charmlee and her knees buckled. Tull’s left arm grabbed her back and she nestled against him in support and mumbled the words.
“…with this ring,” the judge continued. Determined, Charmlee held out her hand. With a pang, she watched Tull place Daddy’s own signet ring on her finger, turning the initial into her palm. Clever. It looked as real as any wedding band.
Then came words she’d never imagined this day would bring.
“I now pronounce you man and wife.”
And Tull bent his face down to hers. The scent of him and the sudden gentleness of his hands landed on her like starlight. With a flight of their own, her hands rose to his neck, and she used his strength to support the overwhelming feelings. His nearness stunned her, and the warm sweetness of his mouth had her own lips ready to drink in more.
For a moment that went on forever, their mouths joined in a sweet, wordless song. Her toes tingled, and the crowd chuckled. Then the deep green darkness began to settle again. Charmlee’s knees weakened, from both the death of her dreams and the all-too-real mess another handsome man was bringing into her life.
For a flash, Tull’s arms tightened around her.
“You all right?” he whispered.
Lest he think she was swooning for him, she pulled away. “Certainly. The dress doesn’t fit loose enough.”
“It fits you just fine.” He chuckled deep in her ear.
Caught between a noose and a cave-in, Tulsa Sanderson must do anything possible to prove his brother’s innocence...even if it means marrying a gold miner’s daughter he just met. He needs every nugget and flake he can pull from her worn-out claim, but he sure doesn’t need a wife. Save his brother from the hangman and he’ll be back on the Texas cattle trails.
Charlotte Amalie lost her heart, her virtue, and her money to the last mysterious outsider in the valley. Faith? That’s wavered, too, after too many family tragedies. But she has no choice but to wed the handsome Tull. He bears terrible family secrets that need to be kept behind closed doors. Although she’s eager to leave the valley to find a new life for herself and medical treatments for her wounded brother, her unwanted marriage douses her plans. Yet stirs up hope and love for Tull.
Can the two of them find a future--and faith--together even with their haunted pasts?
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Twitter: @TanyaHanson (I’m pretty much a Twitter virgin LOL)