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New Release | Clementine: Christmas Quilt Brides Book 15 #inspirationalromance #westernromance #ku

Title Clementine: Christmas Quilt Brides Book 15

Author Kimberly Grist


Genre Inspirational Christian Western Historical Romance


Book Blurb


An orphan longing for security, a reclusive rancher bound by the stipulations of his inheritance, and a proxy marriage that will meet their needs in ways they never expected.


Clementine has nothing to her name but a quilt and some second-hand clothing. She's aged out of the orphanage and can't afford to be choosey. But she is determined to make the best of things. "If it's true that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, surely any minor flaws like my sassiness will fade away with the aroma of fresh bread."

Disappointed in love, Caleb Ellis is content to live a reclusive lifestyle on the outskirts of his family's ranch. But his father had other ideas and left a condition that he must marry to obtain his inheritance. Time is not on his side, so he has arranged to marry a woman he's never met by proxy. "Anyone growing up in an orphanagedesperate enough to apply as a mail-order brideis bound to be practical, biddable,and self-sufficient. I'll leave her to her own resources and she should leave me to mine."


This is book 15 in a multi-author project - Sweet Clean Historical Western Christmas Romance.




“I was in love once. But after that failed relationship, I figured it was better to be alone than take another shot to the heart. My dog, Rufus, gives me all the companionship I need. He’s certainly more loyal than any woman I’ve ever courted.” – Mr. Caleb Ellis – Rancher


“Why Pa was so intent on seeing me married defies good reason.” Twenty-nine-year-old Caleb Ellis’s jaw twitched as he considered the condition left in his father’s will—an elongated lasso seemingly thrown from heaven, snaring his foot in a legal loop so tight it was impossible to escape.


“It wasn’t just Pa who recognized you’ve spent too many years holed up in your cabin like a hermit.” Ben’s sister Annie clucked her tongue as she brushed cookie crumbs off the apron covering her rounded belly. “We just want to see you happy.”


“Who says I’m not happy? When I’m inclined to conversation, the ranch hands like to swap stories at suppertime.” Caleb shrugged. “Other than that, my dog, Rufus, gives me all the companionship I need. He’s certainly more loyal than any woman I’ve ever courted.”


“Even knowing how much you love your dog, it’s not the same thing, and you know it.” Caleb’s sister huffed.


“For the sake of argument, let’s agree that we all like Rufus better than your former fiancée.” His brother-in-law Ben coughed to cover a laugh. “But try not to let past experiences affect your relationship with your new wife. Not every woman fits into the same category as Viola. The woman was as venomous as a rattler.”


Caleb massaged his temples at the reminder of his former fiancée. The daughter of a neighboring rancher, her beauty had drawn him like a dog to a hunk of meat. He’d attempted to prove his devotion with gifts, time, and attention. Viola set her claim to him with the skill of a forty-niner panning for gold. Even now, more than five years later, he could feel the pain of her rejection, as sharp as a pickax, piercing his heart and leaving it void.


He wasn’t sure what image was worse, a venomous snake or a pickax. Either was a vivid reminder of the harrowing reality he could be living if he’d given in to his former fiancée’s wishes to move back east. “While I didn’t think so then, now I look back and recognize how fortunate I was that she broke things off when she did.”   


“Good judgment comes from experience, and wisdom comes from bad judgment.” The ladderback chair creaked, echoing its agreement as his brother-in-law leaned back and took a sip of coffee.


Caleb studied his friend and partner. For the first time, he noted the slight slump in Ben’s massive shoulders, most likely from the burden of a wife, two children, and another due this winter. Caleb hated that the conditions of his father’s will added to the load Ben already bore. Hoping to lighten the mood, Caleb joked. “I ought to be pretty wise since I’ve been snakebit twice.”


“Serves you right for answering an ad in the paper instead of using a reputable agency.” Ben reached for Annie’s hand and winked. “Your brother’s first mail-order bride proved to be as deceptive as her picture.”


“Believe me, I’ve learned my lesson.” Caleb shuffled his feet across the plush Oriental carpet. “In hindsight, all the warning signs were there. When Mabel wrote that the funds I sent for a winter wardrobe were lacking, I should have suspected something, but I allowed myself to be pressured by an upcoming deadline and drawn in by a pretty…face.”


“Mabel Hart was closer to forty than twenty-five and probably more a dance-hall girl than a schoolteacher.” Ben’s shoulders shook with laughter. “I doubt a schoolmarm would expose that much skin when she takes a bath.”


 Caleb tugged on his collar, attempting to relieve the heat flushing his face. “Other than the tintype, the only things I got out of that endeavor were a depleted savings account and the image of what the woman would have looked like after she cashed in her first-class ticket. She must have laughed herself silly all the way to the bank.”


“At least you had the good sense to ask my wife for her opinion this time.” Ben nodded toward Annie, who beamed in response.


“Based on my record with women, I thought it best.” Caleb removed the letter from his vest pocket and ran his thumb along the flair of her handwriting. “Truthfully, I wouldn’t have considered the woman if it weren’t for Annie. First, she didn’t include a picture. Second, her signature has so many loops and swirls that I figured she’d be impractical. Third, anyone with a name like Clementine Odessa Harper is bound to aspire to a highfalutin life.”


“Did you even read her application or letters of reference?” Annie tapped her finger on a stack of papers with more force than necessary. “Miss Harper does the daily baking for over forty orphans. She wouldn’t even have time to spell highfalutin.”


“I read enough to know she knows her way around the kitchen. If that’s true, mealtimes for me and the ranch hands might be at least tolerable.” Caleb cringed at the thought of his current cook’s skills to offer anything palatable. My only requirement for the matchmaking agency was that they send someone willing to pitch in and make do with the necessities. She should be content to be left to her own resources and leave me to mine.”


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Author Biography


Kimberly Grist is married to her high school sweetheart, Nelson, who is a pastor in Griffin, Georgia. She and her husband have three adult sons, one with Down syndrome, and they have a passion for encouraging others with family members with special needs.


Kim has enjoyed writing since she was a young girl; however, began writing her first novel in 2017.


"I believe you should come away refreshed and inspired after reading a book. In my personal life, I wear so many hats working inside and outside the home. Despite my best efforts, sometimes life just stinks. Bad things happen. I need and want an outlet, an opportunity to relax and escape to a place where obstacles are met and overcome."


Combining, History, Humor, and Romance with an emphasis on Faith, Friends, and Good Clean Fun, Kim's stories are written to remind us how God can use adversity to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him and give us the desires of our heart in ways we may never expect.


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1 comentario

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
19 dic 2023

Thank you, Kimberly, for sharing your new release with us!

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