Books, Bride Train (1870s)

One Bed, Two Weddings, Three Husbands

Cover for One Bed, Two Weddings, Three HusbandsBride Train #5: May 7, 1872

Victoria Edison grew up in the home of a wealthy man’s mistress, one of his two bastard daughters. She was built like her father, too tall, dark, and stocky to suit most men. That was fine with her as she was desperate to escape her past and live a modest life where she would be respected instead of shunned.

Cicely, her blond, vivacious, younger sister, was the darling of her father’s friends until he abandoned them for someone younger, passing his mistress along to an acquaintance as if she was a snuff box. A few months later he wagered her at cards and she became the mistress of a cruel older man. He wanted Cicely in his bed but Mother put him off for a few months until he died, leaving the three of them, and the house, to his younger partner.

With the option of taking over the house from her mother, Cicely happily became the new man’s mistress. Victoria has acted as housekeeper for years, hiding away when so-called “guests” visited. Her sister and mother treat her dreadfully but, as the illegitimate daughter of a loose woman, she cannot find other employment.

When a friend of her mother’s, Frederick Smythe, requires someone to accompany his furnishings to his newly built home in the wilds of Montana Territory, and then become his housekeeper, she jumps at the opportunity to escape. She will finally be treated with respect and may even find herself a husband and a home of her own.

Jed Adams, Clint Fortune, and Riley Jansen’s mothers are sisters. They were all raised by Clint’s parents when their own didn’t measure up. As Clint’s father is the younger brother, none of them will inherit the farm they spend long days working on. They took the chance and headed west, and became owners of the J Bar C ranch.

The previous spring they sold cattle to Frederick Smythe but he hasn’t paid them for it yet. When they hear Smythe’s furniture is arriving at the huge brick house he had build across from the Tanner’s Ford Hotel, they decide to appropriate the wagon to hold as security.

The new sheriff, Owen Barstow, agrees with the J Bar C men, much to Victoria’s disgust. She signed a contract stating she would personally ensure everything is carefully stowed in  Smythe’s new home, unopened. Therefore, she refuses to leave the wagon. When Clint, a ladies’ man, lifts her off the wagon she still won’t give up. She insists the boxes will not be taken from her sight.

She hadn’t planned on being hauled back to the J Bar C ranch with three bachelor strangers. Unless she does something drastic her reputation will be ruined before she sees another soul. The only way to save the situation is to marry.

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