Abel Samms wants nothing to do with the group of potential brides his neighbor brought to town. He was smitten with an eastern girl once--and he got his heart broken. But there's something about quiet Tressa and her bumbling ways that makes him take notice. When Tressa's life is endangered, will Abel risk his own life--and his heart--to help this eastern girl?
Joel Townsend is thrilled to learn the town council hired a female teacher to replace the ruthless man who terrorized his nephews for the past two years. Having raised the boys on his own since their parents' untimely deaths, Joel believes they will benefit from a woman's influence. But he sure didn't bargain on a woman like Miss Amsel. Within the first week, she has the entire town up in arms over her outlandish teaching methods, which include collecting leaves, catching bugs, making snow angels, and stringing ropes in strange patterns all over the schoolyard. Joel can't help but notice that she's also mighty pretty with her rosy lips, fashionable clothes, and fancy way of speaking.
When Edythe decides to take her pupils to hear Miss Susan Anthony speak on the women's suffrage amendment, the town's outcry reaches new heights. Even Joel isn't sure he can support her newfangled ideas any longer. And if he can't trust her to know how to teach the boys, how can he trust her with his heart?
Fed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future. As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will Tarsie and Joss give up and go their separate ways, or will God use their time in Drayton Valley to turn their hearts toward him?
On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house uninhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.”
With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she's dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?
When a suspicious accident occurs at the famous Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas, Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event and how the factory treats its youngest employees—the child workers. Caroline’s fervent faith, her difficult childhood, and compassionate heart drove her to her job as an investigator for the Labor Commission and she is compelled to see children freed from such heavy adult responsibilities, to allow them to pursue an education.
Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father. Caroline and Oliver become fast friends, but tension mounts when the two find themselves at odds about the roles of child workers. Hiding their identities becomes even more difficult when fate brings them together over three children in desperate need. When all is revealed, will the truth destroy the love starting to grow between them?
Widower Peter Ollenburger, the local gristmill owner, needs someone to teach his young son. When he hears of a "learned woman" in town, he believes she is the answer to his prayers. He soon discovers, however, that helping this outsider may have troublesome consequences.
There is little this father will not do for his son, but as the boy begins to look at Summer as more than a teacher, Peter must make a choice. Does he marry this woman to give his son a new mother, or does he marry only for love?
Will Summer's broken heart ever be able to love again?
Amy Knackstedt moves with her children to Weaverly, Kansas, to escape the speculation surrounding her husband's untimely death.
She hopes the new location will provide a fresh start for them all. But her neighbor, Tim Roper, is not pleased to have a Mennonite
family living next to his apple orchard. When the children try to befriend him, he resists. Tim left the Mennonite faith years ago and doesn't want any reminders of his former life. Yet Amy and Tim find their paths colliding far more than either could have foreseen. Will this tentative relationship blossom into something more?
Lydia Eldredge longs to provide a sanctuary for her son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him.
Dr. Micah Hatcher serves the immigrant population in Queens, but under cover of darkness he provides another service that must not be discovered lest his and his brother's lives be in danger.
When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings. Through unforeseen twists and turns, they seek a refuge of safety--for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God unexpectedly puts in their lives.
Anna Mae isn't sure her husband is being completely honest about his job with the Works Progress Administration. They're building a castle? In Kansas? Harley promised he'd be at the worksite only long enough to earn enough cash to keep their farm. But the money hasn't arrived, and Anna Mae fears Harley may be gone for good.
Harley Phipps has never been a man in need of luxuries, but he wants to do right by his wife and two little girls. He was about to lose all he'd worked for if he didn't do something--there was no way he could pass up the government job, even if it meant leaving his family for a while. Anna Mae was awful mad when he sold the mules, packed his bag, and headed out. If only she'd send him a short note to let him know she and the girls are all right...
Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can't work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent--though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.
Thad McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit. After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.
Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter's unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she's far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he's come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?
Ostracized by her tribe because of her white father, Lizzie Dawson lives alone in the mountains of Alaska, practicing the ways of her people even as she resides in the small cabin her father built for her mother. She dreams of reconciling with her grandparents to fulfill her mother's dying request, but she has not yet found a way to bridge the gap that separate her from her tribe.
Clay Selby has always wanted to be like his father, a missionary who holds a great love for the native people and has brought many to God. Clay and his stepsister, Vivian, arrive in Alaska to set up a church and school among the Athbascan people. Clay is totally focused on this goal...until he meets a young, independent Indian woman with the most striking blue eyes he's ever seen.
But Lizzie is clearly not part of the tribe, and befriending her might have dire consequences for his mission. Will Clay be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart?
Daisy Forrester has been raised in Brambleville, Kansas at Dunnigan's Orphan Asylum by Levi and Christina Jonnson. As she has watched younger, more appealing orphans come and go on to new families, Daisy has spent years becoming a valued helper for Ma and Pa Jonnson, as the orphans call them. However, she is coming up on her sixteenth birthday, and it will soon be time for her to make her own way in the world. Nervous about leaving the farm, she turns to the one connection she has out in the world--Robby, a friend who left the asylum before her and is now employed in Sinclair, Kansas at Dinsmore's World Famous Chocolate Factory.
Daisy heads for the safe harbor that is his friendship, but the outside world doesn't offer the friendly welcome that Daisy dreams of and Robby faces unique challenges of his own in the form of an eager co-worker bent on sending Daisy back to Brambleville. Can Daisy look beyond her own insecurities to embrace a young man with great affection for her, and a God who calls her 'beloved'--just as she is?
But God reveals all things, in His timing.
And He redeems them.
Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.
Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.
Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne’s prolonged secret—one that changes everything.
Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy–and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?
It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family.
Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago?
Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends--and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?
Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.
When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”
Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Alexa Zimmerman wonders if the Old Order Mennonite community in Arborville, Kansas will ever fully accept her. Her family roots here aren’t what anyone thought when she first arrived, but she is hopeful that her culinary and hospitality skills will win the skeptics over. The bed-and-breakfast she’s operating needs to succeed so Alexa agrees to allow Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder not knowing his real motives for being amongst the Plain folk.
But when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa’s insecurities and sets Briley on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths.
Plans for a secure future and the sweetness of young romance hang in the balance when Alexa and Anna-Grace have to face that their secrets are interconnected, binding the two in ways they could not have imagined. They must trust in a loving, heavenly Father and His plan for their futures.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.
The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her. Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?
Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they’ve finished their sentences, but the plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has aa chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs.
But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?
Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family.
But will the cave claim more than it gives?
After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin’s family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother’s memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky’s renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities for hardworking, capable men. But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a himself, then she’s up to the job.
Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, “Reb” begins to learn the complexities of the cave. The two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale. The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnels—not to fall for a girl in disguise.
Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin’s ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight of her past?
From the Trade Paperback edition.
California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.
Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.
Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything. Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.
But with her unexpected softening comes overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does…the One who will never let her go.
A powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, Redeeming Love is a life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.
Includes a six-part reading group guide!
In this compilation of the five books in the best-selling Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers, we meet the five women whom God chose—Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary—even scandalous—challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.
The first book in the bestselling Mark of the Lion series, A Voice in the Wind brings readers back to the first century and introduces them to a character they will never forget—Hadassah. Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, this young slave girl clings to her faith in the living God for deliverance from the forces of decadent Rome.
#2 An Echo in the Darkness: Turning away from the opulence of Rome, Marcus is led by a whispering voice from the past into a journey that could set him free from the darkness of his soul.
Bandit troubles intensify as Caleb Bender's family tries to settle into their new life in 1920s Paradise Valley. When El Pantera kidnaps Rachel and leaves her brother, Aaron, for dead, Jake Weaver and the Mexican native Domingo pursue the bandit leader to his mountain stronghold in a hopeless rescue attempt. Jake and Domingo manage to escape with Rachel, with the bandits hot on their trail. In a desperate attempt to avoid recapture, Domingo puts himself squarely in harm's way, giving Jake and Rachel time to get away. This is not the quiet life Caleb Bender envisioned when he led his family out of Ohio. What is a father to make of his daughter's obvious affection for a man outside the fold? And how will a pacifist Amishman like Caleb respond to the events that threaten his family and their way of life?
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.
Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.
Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?
#1 A Voice in the Wind: Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, a young slave girl clings to her faith in the living God for deliverance from the forces of decadent Rome.
#2 An Echo in the Darkness: Turning away from the opulence of Rome, Marcus is led by a whispering voice from the past into a journey that could set him free from the darkness of his soul.
#3 As Sure As the Dawn: Atretes. German warrior. Revered gladiator. He won his freedom through his fierceness . . . but his life is about to change forever.
It had taken four long, difficult years to tame the virgin prairie of Dakota Territory. Looking back through all the heartache and the body-breaking labor, Ingeborg Bjorkland knew that God had been with them every step of the way. Dreams that had turned into veritable nightmares had been reshaped with the promise of a new day rising, and her marriage to Haaken had been its sure sign.Hjelmer travels west to work on the railroad, and after sending only one letter to Penny, who has agreed to wait for him, he is not heard from again. As the months pass, Penny is pursued by other eligible suitors, and her love for Hjelmer is sorely tried. Will he ever return to keep his promise? America's westward expansion continues, bringing the railroad to their area. Before them lies the challenge of proving up their homesteads, developing a sense of community, building wooden barns and houses, a schoolhouse and a church, a grain elevator and store.
Amish pacifism is sorely tested in the Paradise Valley settlement in the 1920s. When an army of bandits descends on them, the Amish are saved by the last-minute arrival of government troops. But they soon learn that soldiers can be as cruel as the bandits themselves. Then a bishop travels to Mexico, and Caleb's daughters are finally able to marry, though the ban still looms for Miriam even as her beloved Domingo decides he must go off to fight in the coming war. As Caleb's frail hope of peace and freedom in Mexico slips away, he is left to ponder the question: In times of trouble, on whom should we rely?
But Britta's other great love is for the violin, and her talent is recognized by Brenton Maltese, a conductor from England. He proposes she accept the coveted first chair position in his orchestra...and also his hand in marriage. At a crossroads, Britta must determine what her heart truly longs for--and if she's willing to fight for it.
Lovely Julia Hoffman has always enjoyed the carefree life of her well-to-do Philadelphia family. But when she fails to attract the attention of Nathaniel Greene, a fierce abolitionist, she shocks her family by becoming a Union nurse. Will that be enough to win Nathaniel's heart?
Phoebe Bigelow, from western Virginia, has always been a misfit, and when her brothers join the Union army, she also enlists--under false pretenses.
Soon, both have their eyes opened to the realities of war and suffering. Neither is quite ready for the demands of her new life, but their journeys of sacrifice and love are sure to change them in unexpected ways.
with the past pull them apart--or will the love they once embraced be reignited?
Praise for the Brides of Culdee Creek series:
"A poignant love story that will remain with the reader long after the book is closed."--Lori Copeland, author of the Brides of the West series
"A beautiful story of redemptive love. . . . A memorable read."--Robin Lee Hatcher, author of Catching Katie
"A spectacular new series."--Library Journal
Praise for Kathleen Morgan:
"Kathleen Morgan writes with deep emotion and feeling."--Reader to Reader
"A marvelous storyteller."--Romantic Times
"Kathleen Morgan is a phenomenal writer!"--The Talisman
Full of the romance and relationships Lessman readers have come to love, A Passion Denied is the final book in the popular Daughters of Boston series.
more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothing, this seamstress is not at all what he expected.
Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff
manner while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?
When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau--leading to uproarious consequences for the whole town--will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?
Abigail's brother, Jacob, now a young man, is attempting to discover his own place as a Christian. He is concerned that being more serious about his faith means trading away the exhilaration of his current profession as a caravan guard. Hired by Julia's father to protect the wealthy merchant's caravans on the secretive "Frankincense Trail"--undercover transport of this highly valuable commodity--Jacob also passes letters and messages between various communities of believers. He is alarmed to find out that Julia, hardly more than a girl, is also a messenger. Can their immediate mistrust be put aside to finally bring their hearts together?
After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.
Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she's reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.
Eden believes she's finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi's prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?
"Witemeyer's hard-hitting Christian historical romance skillfully incorporates Jesus' parables of the prodigal son and the adulteress' rock-toting accusers into her characters' struggles with redemption, worthiness, and new beginnings. A commendable addition to the genre."--Booklist
"Witemeyer is a talented author who plumbs the heart and soul of her characters while keeping a smile on the lips of the reader. Gentle humor pervades the story, never mocking, never crude, yet consistently illuminating the conundrums of life... To Win Her Heart is charming inspirational fiction that will certainly win the hearts of those who enjoy this genre."-- Historical Novels Review
"Seamless writing with an unexpectedly complex plot... This novel has everything that I love about Christian historical fiction."--Christian Manifesto
Jem Wheeler has always been a survivor. He just wants to make a fresh start in Colorado Springs after the loss of his wife. But then he happens upon a young mute woman being sold off to the highest bidder. He wasn't looking for a mail-order bride. He wasn't looking to rescue anyone either. But desperate circumstances can drive a good man to do things he hadn't planned on doing...
When Jem steps into Annie's life, she's not expecting anyone to save her. Mute from birth, she's just using all her wits to survive. All she's ever really wanted is a family of her own. For someone to see her. To look at her long enough to hear the things she can't say.
Can Annie finally break through the silence to win Jem's heart?
Sweet Historical Western Romance
A Mail-Order Bride Novel
Each book in The Brides Series can be read as a stand-alone novel, but reading in order will provide a more complete reading experience.
THE BRIDES SERIESThe Unexpected Bride
Sleigh Bells & Mistletoe
The Bartered Bride
Only the Heart Knows
Jem took the apple core from his daughter and passed her one of the remaining crackers with a piece of cheese on it. Mae munched that down and looked to him immediately for another, the last one.
He gave it to her, then showed her his empty hands.
She frowned. "More?"
"No more," Jem said, and showed her his empty hands again, making a bigger gesture out of it, as if the little girl was accusing him of hiding some.
If Annie weren't so intent on eating her share of cheese and crackers she might have smiled at the sight of them, one of the most dangerous men she'd ever seen sitting side by side with that tiny little girl. They made quite a mismatched pair.
Mae looked over at Annie, at the last cracker in her hand and the last bit of cheese.
Annie gulped down the mouthful she was chewing. She looked down at the last of her meal and back at the little girl. To her shame, she didn't want to give up her last cracker. She could barely remember the last meal she'd eaten.
"That's Annie's food," Jem admonished the little girl. "You've had yours."
Mae bit her lip. She glanced down at her lap, then back at Annie again.
I can share, Annie attempted to tell Mae with her eyes alone. She snapped her cracker in half--simply unable to bear parting with the whole thing--and passed it across to the little girl. Mae took it and popped the whole thing in her mouth, making Annie smile.
"Mae!" her father said.
She looked at him wide-eyed, her mouth full of cracker. "Whaf dafdda?" she said, muffled, spraying a few cracker crumbs onto his trousers.
He closed his eyes briefly and brushed them off. "You didn't have to give her any," he said to Annie, "but thanks."
Annie grunted, her way of saying she didn't mind that much. She looked down quickly and finished her last bit of food. The crackers had been crispy and the cheese silky and smooth. They'd tasted like heaven.
"You must be thirsty," he said. "Do you mind sharing?"
She shook her head and automatically lifted two fingers.
"Two's no?" he asked.
She nodded, pleased, and lifted one finger. She'd grown up sending signals through the floor of the Ruskins' house, one stomp for yes, two for no. It came natural as rain now.
"And one's yes," he said, catching on quick.
Annie drank deep when he passed her the flask of water, amazed he'd let her drink from it. She tried her best to pour it down her throat without touching her lips to the flask, so he wouldn't regret giving it to someone so dirty. She wished she could tell him thanks, but after Mae had her fill and he took his own swallow, he was back under his hat, likely going over the events of the day.
How he'd stuck himself with her.
How he probably regretted even stepping off the train at the last stop.
She couldn't say she blamed him.
She hadn't much wanted to marry a stranger herself.
#3 As Sure As the Dawn: Atretes. German warrior. Revered gladiator. He won his freedom through his fierceness . . . But his life is about to change forever.