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A Bride for Clay by Cynthia Woolf is a Western Romance Event pick #historicalromance #giveaway
Title: A Bride for Clay
Author: Cynthia Woolf
Genre: Historical Western romance
The Prescott Brides. A thrilling new series by USA Today Bestselling Author Cynthia Woolf!
Five outlaw brides. Five brothers. They take a chance and each find love. She might be forging a new life as a bride for Clay, but Gwen has a past. A lawless past she escapes by becoming a mail order bride where she hopes to find a love she could only dream about. Her new groom is all she imagined. Bold, kind and fiercely protective. But he's been hurt too and fiercely guards his heart. Little by little, their marriage grows into one neither imagined. When the worst happens and they're ripped apart, both will have to do the unthinkable to prove their love is the strongest bond of all.
June 1880, Yuma Territorial Prison
Warden Ezra Dean sat behind his plain wooden desk and eyed each woman before him.
Gwen stood by the open window, trying to get some breeze and cool her off. She waved the flies away from her face.
Warden Dean was an average man, with graying brown hair, brown eyes and spectacles that were forever on the end of his nose, which he was always pushing back up. She was always surprised that he never approached them with even the slightest lewd suggestion. But, above all else, he was devoted to his wife of thirty years.
His home wasn’t far from the prison and Mrs. Dean came occasionally to bring the Warden his lunch. She’d been very kind to all the women.
He was clearly in love with his wife. He’d smiled and puffed out his chest whenever he introduced her to someone new.
Gwen had never been in love. Her life as a prostitute didn’t exactly lend itself to falling in love. When she got out of prison, she’d pay off her contract to Jonas Riley and she’d be free of that world forever. She just had to get the money from the robbery. The law had never found the money, so it was still where they’d stashed it. She’d have to wait a bit, but then she'd pay off the contract and finally be free.
Today, however, Warden Dean wasn’t interested in his wife, instead he surveyed the five women standing in front of him.
He straightened a stack of papers on the desk. “You each have the chance for a good life, away from your past. You have the opportunity to become mail-order brides. Your husbands will know your history and you’ll have to prove yourselves to them. Are you willing to learn to be a rancher’s wife and to hopefully become mothers? I need your answers now. The stage is waiting. And you should know if you run away, you’ll be sent back here. No trial, no judge. Straight back to finish your sentence.”
Fiona was a tall redhead and the de facto leader of the group. She glanced around at the other women and then focused her emerald eyes back at the warden, whose spectacles had slipped down his nose again.
He sat with a pen poised over a piece of paper on his desk.
“I’m willing,” Fiona said.
The warden made a mark on the top sheet of paper and then looked up. “Gwen, you’re next.”
She thought about this. She’d been married before and Hayden had abandoned her, leaving her little choice but to become a prostitute. Did she want to go through that again? But she would get out of prison and that was worth it. She shrugged. “I’ll go. Anything’s better than here.”
She was short and buxom, with bright red hair and freckles. Gwen knew she was pretty because she’d been Jonas’s best girl. She had a temper that matched her red hair, but, according to some of her customers, she had beautiful dark blue eyes. One man said it was like looking into a sapphire the jeweler in Phoenix had shown his wife.
Between each woman’s response, the warden made a mark on the paper, then dipped the pen, readying for the next mark.
Gwen figured he was marking them down in case he had to go into the yard and find another woman, if any of them didn’t want to go.
Maisie was blonde, a pale, silver-blonde, like she was always standing in the moonlight. She had big, blue-green eyes and a voluptuous figure. She’d been married before but was a widow now.
They all knew about her husband and all Gwen could say was thank God he was dead. She’d had clients like him. They would beat her and she’d be laid up for two weeks while she healed. It wouldn’t have been so bad to be alone for two weeks if she hadn’t been in so much pain.
“I’m going.” Maisie took Lottie’s hand.
“Lottie, I guess that means you’re next,” said the warden kindly.
She looked at her sister. “I’m going with Maisie.”
She and Maisie were twins and, except for Lottie’s golden blonde hair, they had the same features and figures.
“And you’re last Ivy. What about you?” asked the warden.
Ivy looked over the top of her spectacles. “I’m going, Warden Dean. I’d die here without my friends.”
“I understand. Now, you’ll be marrying the Campbell brothers of the Circle C Ranch. There are five of them—Ross, Clay, Frank, Tucker and Brodie. Ross and Clay are twins, with Ross older by twenty minutes, or so I’m told.”
“Which man will each of us marry?” asked Gwen.
“I don’t know. You’ll find out when you get there.” He leaned his forearms on the desk and clasped his hands. “These are good men. They know what you were convicted of and will marry you, anyway. This is your second chance and I believe almost everyone deserves a second chance. You ladies robbed a bank without one shot being fired. You didn’t hurt anyone, and that’s why you were considered for this experiment.”
“What’re we going to wear, Warden Dean? We can’t marry these men in prison garb,” said Fiona.
The warden chuckled. “The Campbells have provided each of you with new clothes, which are in your cells. Mrs. Dean helped me with the dress sizes. You each have a new dress, in various colors, so you don’t look like you’re from prison. Plus you have a skirt, blouse, traveling cloak and some other things, too. Go change and then get on our stage. It, not the wagon, will take you into Yuma, where you'll catch the stage to Prescott. You’ll each find a reticule, as well. You can put your papers in it. It also contains money for traveling expenses provided by the Campbells.”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-bride-for-clay-cynthia-woolf/1142725253?ean=2940186701156
GOOGLE PLAY: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Cynthia_Woolf_A_Bride_for_Clay?id=HDOdEAAAQBAJ
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Cynthia Woolf is the USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of seventy-eight novels comprising sixty-eight historical western romances, three contemporary romances, one contemporary romance novella and six sci-fi, space opera romances, which she calls westerns in space. Along with these books, she has also published nine boxed sets of her books and two short stories.
Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance, Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia's father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede, that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy, not a bounty hunter, and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now), not the ranch owner. Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband, Jim, and her great critique partners for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.
WEBSITE – http://cynthiawoolf.com
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