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Harrison Ranch and Macgregor’s Mail Order Bride is an Indie Reads event pick #historicalromance

Title: Harrison Ranch and Macgregor’s Mail Order Bride

Author: Susan Payne

Genre: Historical Romance

Book Blurb:

Orphaned Callie St. Michaels never thought she’d end up on a ranch in Sweetwater, Kansas, cooking for a bunch of cowboys, but she actually looked forward to the challenge. Ranch owner Seth Harrison had other ideas on how she could earn her living working for him. Would the man who said he’d never marry succumb to the delights of the pretty, plucky chef?


Callie went to retrieve the board, wiped it down and was looking around the room for the best place to hang it when she saw the perfect spot that already had a sturdy nail in place.

Setting the board up onto the counter, she leaned it against the wall, pulled a chair closer to use as a step and then climbed onto the counter. She was just bending over to lift the board to the nail when a male voice bellowed, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Callie, surprised by the shout, turned quickly and her bad foot rolled under. She gave a little shriek as she started to fall and felt a pair of strong arms that kept hold of her as the world righted itself.

She found herself looking into the most beautiful sherry colored eyes with dark gold tipped lashes. A tan face with strong angles and a mouth that was wide and firmly clamped shut.

Callie was the first to break the spell between them saying crossly, “Put me down. I’m not hurt.”

As the large cowboy in white sleeved shirt, leather vest and tan trousers set Callie unto her feet she limped a few steps away from him. He practically growled, “You are too hurt. You’re limping!”

Callie straightened to her full height, which seemed very small compared to the cowboy’s six foot plus and stated, “I always limp.”

The cowboy, with a hard glare repeated, “You always limp? I, oh....” As understanding seeped in he said, “Oh, well, you could have been badly hurt if you had hit the floor from that height. What did you need up there for?”

Callie did not like being treated like a child even when she was a child so she was not going to allow this over-sized cowboy to yell at her about something he had no business with.

“It doesn’t matter what I was doing up there. I would have been fine if you hadn’t yelled. Now you can leave and come back with the rest of the ranch hands when supper is served.”

The man was good-looking and the anger only intensified the brown of his eyes. “I have every right to be here and to be worried about one of my employees breaking their damn neck. Name’s Seth Harrison and I expect you’re my new cook,” said the still angry man.

Callie was nonplussed for a moment but then drew herself up to her full height, crossed her arms across her body and introduced herself as if she hadn’t just been hugged against that wide firm chest.

“How do you do? I am Callie St Michaels.” She didn’t put out her hand in case her boss refused to take it.

“How old are you, for God’s sake? Did you lie in your letter? I don’t recall it saying you were a girl,” continued the man in a little less angry tone.

Callie said in a chilly voice, “A lady doesn’t tell her age and a gentleman never asks.”

“Well, I never claimed to be a gentleman and I damn well expect some answers. Now.”

Callie noticed that the man’s big hands were clenched into fists. She felt she was boxed into a corner so said, “I am almost twenty-one. And everything in my application letter is true. I do not lie. I am more than qualified to do this job. Just ask Sully or any of the men.”

“Hell, they’d lie through their teeth just to keep a pretty little thing like you around. Probably starve before they said a bad word about you or the grub. I came over to meet you because they were raving about what a fine cook you were and what great meals they’ve had so far. I never expected that they may have been over doing the praise to make sure I didn’t fire you when I found out you were so pr.., er, young.”

“I can assure you I have experience in cooking for large groups. After five years at St Michael’s Foundling Home, I worked and trained under Chef Pierre Pasqual at the Wainwright Hotel dining room. Working my way up to sous’ chef. I have excellent credentials and won awards as a dessert and pastry chef as well as for soups and sauces,” Callie was proud of her accomplishments. Accomplishments men working in the profession longer hadn’t earned.

“Well, what the hell is this board about? This is the menu for tonight? Cream of mushroom soup? Boeuf Borg, borgug... sounds expensive.”

“Boeuf Bourguignon. It’s a way of cooking that makes even tough cuts of meat tender. The French peasants cooked this way,” Callie said defensively.

“Hell, we even got that in the pantry?”

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What makes your featured book a must-read?

It is the beginning of an eight-story series of a growing western town with all the danger, hope and love that went into living in the west in the 1870s. Readers come away with new insight into the life and loves of our predecessors.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $35 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win. Runs December 13 – December 21, 2022. Winner will be drawn on December 22, 2022.

Author Biography:

Susan Payne is the author of over fifty published novels as well as short stories and blogs. She has honed her skills on knowing the old west and the people who lived that life. She hopes to begin a new series titled Mayor of Traintown in early 2023.

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