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Abilene: Rescue Me - (Mail Order Brides) Book 17 by Kimberly Grist is a Wintertime Reading Event pick #inspirationalwesternromance #historicalromance #ku #giveaway

Title: Abilene: Rescue Me - (Mail Order Brides) Book 17


Author: Kimberly Grist


Genre: Inspirational Western Historical Romance


Book Blurb: 

A marriage made in Heaven between a bootlegger’s daughter and a hard-hearted sheriff, they go together like moonshine and bad decisions. Will Abilene find a way to penetrate the barriers of the sheriff’s heart?A hopeless romantic, Abilene is on the run again, dreaming of her happily ever after- an understanding husband, a house in the country, and peace.

Sheriff Mark Joseph learned the hard way that love only leads to heartache and is not worth the risk. The last thing he needs is a wife. Long work hours with a healthy dose of danger are the best antidote to a broken heart.

Will Abilene find a way to penetrate the barriers of the sheriff’s heart?




“I wonder if the bully would be so quick to act out if he thought someone his own size would return the favor.” Abilene cringed when she realized she’d voiced her thoughts out loud. Not because she felt any guilt for retaliating, but because she knew how much it would bother her mother when Abilene’s bruises made their ugly appearance later on.


Her mother nodded. “I’ve had the same thought often enough when I’ve seen your pa lying in one of his stupors.”


Abilene’s eyebrows flew upward at the admission. For years the family’s response to dealing with the occasional paternal visit was a proactive one—her mother’s attempt to keep the household running despite the tell-tale balance of the man’s rise in temper that coincided with the tip of his jug.


Her jaw clenched at the crunching sounds of her mother’s worn boots. Unfortunately, Kate Murphy’s ability to sidestep the broken pottery was met with as much success as her use of words like “stupor” and “indulged too much” to whitewash the reality of the low-down drunk of an absent father who lay prone before them.


 Her mother took to the business of securing their antagonist’s hands with his own belt. She did so with the same calmness that she’d met him this morning, as though pointing a rifle towards one’s father was an everyday occurrence. And so it was, in a way. Working alongside her mother from dawn to dark to help provide for her brother and sisters in what had become a successful butter and egg business was the easy part. Evading, concealing, and lying to their father to prevent him from gambling away their profits proved more difficult. Lately, his anger had become relentless, and hiding behind locked doors became a way of life for his family.


“He’s probably more addled than hurt and will sleep for hours. I doubt he’ll remember what happened when he wakes up.” Her mother placed her arm around Abilene’s waist. “Let’s get you back to the house. I don’t like how you’re hugging your rib.”


“We’d best find a new hiding spot for your profits first. That other bootlegger that took off running is probably already sharing with his cronies that we count the money down here.” Abilene nodded toward the scattered coins on the worktable and the cellar floor. “I wish now that I’d bolted the door.”


“Ever since the war, your father has avoided dark places. Which is why I hide anything of value here.” With the rogue now bound tight, her mother returned several upturned crates to the worktable. At the same time, Abilene kept the shotgun within reach and worked her way through the surplus of vegetables overflowing from the fruit of their garden, now lining the shelves along the wall. Thanks to abundant rain and hard work, there were multiple hiding places amongst the bounty.


Suddenly a rumbling sound resembling a four-hundred-pound hog wallowing in mud made her jump. Abilene pressed her hand to her throat and let out a breath as their prisoner reminded them of his presence. His irregular snorts and snores were an expressive reminder that even peace of mind could be stolen. “Knowing his distaste for solitary, dark places made this cellar all the sweeter. Despite the musty aroma and its cobwebs and spiders, I always felt safe here. I imagined myself like Gideon, but instead of hiding and threshing wheat in the winepress, I spend my time sorting and packing eggs and butter in the cellar.”


Her mother wagged her head. “A young woman like you, Abilene, should have better things to do than dreaming about your next hiding place. You ought to have a home of your own and a husband who loves you. You sure deserve better than this.”


Despite the soreness in her body, Abilene’s mouth twitched at the irony of her mother’s statement as she searched among the onions and herbs that hung from ropes suspended from the ceiling. From their folds, she retrieved a few pouches containing coins hidden away for later use to meet the needs of her family.


“Oh, I usually save that kind of dreaming for when I’m in the garden and can envision a handsome husband and a home in the country while I work. It’s like my very own fairy tale,” Abilene teased, wishing she could do more to lift the burden that weighed so heavily on her mother’s thin shoulders. “Then, depending on how much weeding I have to do, if there’s time, I can add love and lots of children to my fantasy.”


“While you’re dreaming up that husband of yours, make sure he’s the type who knows how to keep his plow in a straight line. That’s your pa’s trouble, always allowing the ways of the world to wrap around him like a weed instead of allowing God to do any pruning.” Her mother stared into the distance. “Your grandpa tried to warn me about his character, but I wouldn’t listen. He told me the lazy man was filling my head with a bunch of pretty words and nonsense. My father was right. Unfortunately, your pa is selfish, and on the rare occasion he sinks low enough in his misery to repent, it only lasts until he can gather enough coins to pay for his next bottle.”


Abilene’s brow furrowed. “You’re the wisest woman I know, and you’ve often said I’m naïve. So, if you made a mistake in judgment, I can’t imagine what kind of mess I’ll make of things.”


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):





What makes your featured book a must-read?


This is a feisty and sassy historical romance packed with danger, heartbreak, love, hope, and, of course, a happily-ever-after.


Giveaway – 


Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.


Runs January 23 – January 29, 2024.


Winner will be drawn on January 30, 2024.


Author Biography: 


Kimberly Grist is married to her high school sweetheart, Nelson. She and her husband have three adult sons, one with Down syndrome, and they have a passion for encouraging others.


Kim has enjoyed writing since she was a young girl; however, she began writing her first novel in 2017. “I believe you should come away refreshed and inspired after reading a book. Despite my best efforts, sometimes life is difficult. I need and want an outlet, an opportunity to relax and escape to a place where obstacles are met and overcome. My stories are designed to entertain, refresh, and inspire you, the reader. They combine History, Humor, and Romance with an emphasis on Faith, Friends, and Good Clean Fun.”


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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jan 25

Thank you, Kimberly, for sharing your book in our Wintertime Reading Bookish Event!

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