He was a drifter, through and through. Could he give up his wanderlust for a mail-order bride he didn’t know was coming?
Having grown up in the shadow of two beautiful sisters, ‘Scrawny Bonnie’ Blue knows she doesn’t stand a chance at landing a good man in Beckham, Massachusetts. The only way she’ll find a husband is by leaving her family behind to become a mail order bride. But when all three Blue sisters are swept up in a scandal, she has no choice to but to take ‘Gorgeous Gwen’ and ‘Lovely Libby’ with her…kicking and screaming, if she must.
Bart Dalton would be happy riding the range forever, but his brothers need his help to start a ranch in north Texas. He figures he’ll last a year or so before his feet get itchy again, which his brothers understand. As triplets, they can almost read each others’ minds. Except when his oldest brother ordered three brides for them. It would have been nice to have a little warning about that!
When Bart’s late to meet the train carrying the Blue sisters, his brothers get first dibs, leaving Bonnie standing alone and dejected once again. It only gets worse when her ‘intended’ finally shows up and balks at the idea of marrying her. The one thing Bonnie has going for her are her wits, and she puts them to good use by proposing a business arrangement that Bart can’t refuse.
Will Bart go back to his drifter ways, or is the elusive thing he’d searched for all his life sleeping in the next room?
Here's an excerpt:
What had she been thinking, bringing her sisters along? She’d registered with Elizabeth’s mail order bride agency to leave Beckham — including her family — behind. With nothing to compare her to, her future husband might have been pleased with her. She was extremely skilled at homemaking and, when not standing next to her beautiful sisters, she wasn’t altogether homely.
But now…now she was leftovers. The discarded garbage the other two brothers didn’t want. She was table scraps! It was all she could do to choke back the tears as they waited for the tardy youngest brother.
Well, if she couldn’t have love, she would at least do everything in her power to make sure her sisters were happy and cared for. If these two men, who were so entranced by their beauty, didn’t do right by them, they’d have Bonnie to answer to.
As for her, she had little choice but to accept the errant Dalton as her husband. What little money they had left after the train journey wouldn’t be enough for her to buy a meal, much less a ticket back home. The question was, would he accept her?
It looked like she was about to find out. Walton was striding across the platform to meet with a third man who looked just like him. As late as Bart was meeting them, Bonnie would have thought he’d have a little giddy-up in his get-along, but in fact he seemed quite unperturbed. Clearly the man was unreliable, inconsiderate and untrustworthy.
Bonnie was just thinking that maybe marrying Deacon Smith would have been preferable to a layabout ne’er-do-well when Walt led his brother over to make introductions. Swallowing her pride — what was left of it, anyway — she stood and did her best to not glare at the man. Alienating him before he even found out they were to be married wouldn’t help matters.
But the moment Bart’s deeply tanned and calloused hand enveloped hers, the second his rich brown eyes met her own, all the words — every word she’d ever learned — flew right out of her head. A strange drumming roared in her ears, and she was surprised to discover it was her heart beating wildly. The palm he was holding so gently in his strong hand was suddenly wet with perspiration. Bonnie had never been left speechless in her life, and she didn’t understand her strange reaction to this man.
But the spell was broken when Walt introduced her as Bart’s bride. The look of sheer horror that flashed across his face was enough to bring her out of her stupor. Her brain was still trying to play catch-up but two words managed to rise to the surface. Two words that would show she was no one to be trifled with. Two words that would perfectly signify her disdain for him.
The Drifter’s Mail-Order Bride is available on Amazon, and is one of three connected sweet romances in The Dalton Brides series, which includes books by two other bestselling authors Kirsten Osbourne and Kit Morgan.
* The Escape (A Prologue) by Kirsten Osbourne, Cassie Hayes & Kit Morgan (also included at the beginning of each book)
* The Rancher’s Mail-Order Bride by Kirsten Osbourne
* The Cowboy’s Mail-Order Bride by Kit Morgan
Cassie Hayes grew up pretending she was Laura Ingalls (before that pesky Almonzo arrived on the scene) in the middle of Oregon farm country. She lives with her husband and cat on the Pacific Ocean and loves to hear from her readers.
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E.E.: What’s your favorite kid joke?
Cassie: My brother and sister are nine and eleven years older than me, so when they were in the prime of their teen joke-telling years, I was just a little kid. I remember them going back and forth with the funniest of jokes (which I’m sure I didn’t understand but laughed at anyway), and I wanted to get in on the action. I’ve always had a terrible time remembering jokes, even as a kid, so I made one up on the spot…and it goes like this:
Why couldn’t the pig fit in the grandfather clock?
Because it was too fat!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my brother and sister for laughing like maniacs at that terrible joke. Thank goodness I didn’t go into stand-up, right?
E.E.: What does it mean to love someone?
Cassie: One of my all-time favorite TV shows was Raising Hope. In one episode, the mom (played by the amazing Martha Plimpton) tells her son and his new girlfriend that real love requires you to be yourself in front of the other person (in this instance, passing gas in front of each other). This quote perfectly sums up my belief about what love is really all about: “We know every weird thing there is about each other, and we've decided we could tolerate it. That's what love is.”
E.E.: What would you prefer readers NOT know about you?
Cassie: That I find fart jokes really funny.
E.E.: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?
Cassie: Fart jokes. Kidding! Really, it’s my cat, Fred. He’s really the best guy ever. I’ve called him my ‘boyfriend’ for 17 years now. Sadly, he’s as much a source of anxiety as joy these days. In the last year, he’s become an old man. I don’t know how it happened, really, but one day we just went, “Whoa!” I’ll just keep doing what I can to make him feel comfortable, happy and loved (read: spoil him like crazy!).
E.E.: What’s the best birthday (or any holiday) present you ever received?
Cassie: I’m the anti-chick, I guess, because the best Christmas gift I ever received was a stove. We’d been looking at new stoves for a couple months, but it didn’t quite fit in the budget, plus my old stove still worked okay. I hated it, but it worked. Shortly before Christmas, my husband called me at work to tell me a friend of ours had passed away after a long illness. I tried to control my crying but I couldn’t so I left work early. By the time I got home, I was certain I’d run dry. I was no long crying, just feeling very melancholy. I walked into the kitchen and something seemed off but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I was really distracted by my friend’s passing, so it took me a good minute of standing there like a nimrod just looking around to figure it out. My husband had secretly bought and installed a new stove! I burst into tears and sobbed for what seemed like hours. As it turned out, he’d had it planned for a week and he couldn’t cancel when he heard about our friend. I’m actually grateful for that. Now, every time I cook or bake, I think about our friend and what a wonderful husband I have.
E.E.: What drew you to write in the genre(s) you do?
Cassie: When I started writing fiction, I was surprised to discover all my stories would turn into romances. I’d start out thinking I was writing mystery or suspense or whatever, and it would turn into a romance. I decided to stop fighting my romantic nature and bite the romance bullet. Boy, am I ever glad I did! As for why I write historical western romance, that’s easy. I grew up in farm country (even though we weren’t farmers). Little House on the Prairie was my favorite show as a kid because, when it first aired, Laura Ingalls was about my age. I really identified with her, and not just because we were less-than-affluent. Whenever I play acted, I was Laura.
E.E.: What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?
Cassie: That there’s a little part of me in every one of my heroines. The insecurities, the sassy mouth, the independent attitude, the bossy nature. That’s why I have a hard time writing wimpy women. I can’t tap into the emotions such a woman might be experiencing.
E.E.: What's next for you?
Cassie: Kirsten, Kit and I are working on the next set of books for the Dalton Brides series, these following the Blue brothers (as opposed to the Blues Brothers, LOL). I’ll be writing the story of Hank, the middle Blue boy. We’ll be departing a little from the format of the first three books in that our stories will happen independently of each other, rather than simultaneously. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll tell you that Hank is in for quite an adventure!
Today, Cassie is giving away a copy of The Drifter’s Mail-Order Bride. Just comment and enter the drawing for your chance to win.
If you were a mail-order bride, which would you prefer for your husband: A rancher, a cowboy or a drifter?