Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 Book 5With the arrival of Beth Dodd’s sister, Hazel, in California, Beth and her fiancé, Val Caldwell, are now able to make wedding plans. Thanksgiving seems to be a good time to tie the knot and bring the Caldwell family together, as well, but when Val’s older half-brother, Edwin, and his family show up for the wedding, things fall apart. Edwin’s advice to Val to wrest control of Beth’s holdings and absorb them into the Caldwell Ranch leads to bad blood and fisticuffs between the brothers. Will Beth call the wedding off to protect what she’s worked so hard to gain?
As Beth’s younger sister, Hazel, realizes she’s falling in love with Val’s younger brother, Luther, she learns the feeling is mutual. Luther has bought a ring and plans to announce their engagement at Thanksgiving, as well. But Beth has a stormy relationship with her future brother-in-law, and believes her sister is too young to marry. Headstrong and determined to control their own destinies, will happiness also be possible for these BRIDGEPORT HOLIDAY BRIDES?
“Beth, when I went into the brothel kitchen that night, I had no idea Flora would say something like that. I went there because I had made my delivery, and I didn’t like the idea of leaving you all alone in the brothel. But, after she started talking about your late husband and his—deficiencies—while you sat there having your most personal experiences revealed, if the floor could have opened up and swallowed me, I would have welcomed it.”
Beth remembered that time. She had never been so dumbfounded in her life. “If you was that discomfited, why didn’t you just light on out of there?”
“I wasn’t leaving you alone with Miss Flora, Beth. I was determined to stay until you were ready to leave, especially after knowing you just learned of your husband’s fate. But, I never quite forgot that revelation about your first marriage. And, since I haven’t had all that much experience in that sort of thing, well…” Val shrugged and offered a weak smile. “It did cross my mind that it might be smart to learn more about pleasing a wife in bed.”
Beth half-stood and leaned forward until her nose was only inches from Val’s face. Keeping her voice low enough to not be heard across the room, she hissed, “Don’t you nary go nowhere near Miss Flora or her girls, Val Caldwell. You do, it ain’t goin’ to turn out good for none of you.”
Val shook his head and assured her. “I have no intention of doing that. It’s just that…I love you, and don’t want to disappoint you.”
“Long as you love me, Val, you ain’t goin’ to disappoint me none.”