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Harrison Ranch and Macgregor’s Mail Order Bride is a Love and Romance Festival Pick #romance

Title: Harrison Ranch and Macgregor’s Mail Order Bride (Sweetwater Book 1)

Author: Susan Payne

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Book Blurb:

Callie St. Michaels, an orphan from New York, felt her only hope for the future was to leave her sous chef position in St Louis. Finding a job as a cook for a group of ranch hands in Sweetwater, Kansas, seemed both prophetic and serendipitous. She can continue to practice her recipes while feeding a sizable number of hungry men. Everyone is happy with the outcome except for one man – Seth Harrison, the owner of the ranch and Callie’s employer.

Callie bonds with her new home – her possibly forever home if the man living in the big house can see her as anything besides a lame woman too young to be doing the job she was doing. But she was growing to love the ranch, the people who lived there and, she feared, the man who was her boss.

Seth isn’t sure why, but he feels uncomfortable around the young woman his attorney hired as the ranch hands’ cook. She hasn’t said anything improper, or is unable to do the work required, or is off-putting in any manner. In fact, she is well-liked by all the other employees including his own housekeeper. So why does he get so unsettled around her?


The chairs some of the wedding guests had sat in were being pulled back to the edge. A small group of musicians was gathering at the opposite end of the platform from where the minister had stood and where the newly married couple started a set with three other couples joining them. Soon a country reel had formed and the musicians and dancers both looked as if they were having a good time.

Callie tapped her foot to the happy music and was startled when Seth’s breath moved the soft ringlets that she had made on both sides of her face. He said quietly, “May I have this dance, Miss Callie.”

Callie immediately remembered the evening before and how she had let him do all those things and felt herself flush from her neck to the roots of her hair. She started to turn away.

Seth stopped her frantic flight by laying his hand on her lower arm saying, “Darlin’, you’ve got nothing to be self-conscious of. Nobody can tell anything about you and me if you simply treat me in a normal way. Now come on, I don’t see how your limp can keep you from dancing. Just follow what the other ladies do and you’ll be fine.”

And she was. Callie took the position Seth pointed to and the other three couples smiled their welcome to her and then the music began. Callie had watched dances before but hadn’t realized how many different movements were really involved. But Seth was right, her limp didn’t get in the way of the dance and no one commented on it.

She left the dance area out of breath as Seth led her to a chair. “Would you like a cup of lemonade or something stronger? They might have sangria,” he teased.

Callie exclaimed, “Oh no, just lemonade.” Then realized he was only trying to get her to relax about her lapses of good behavior.

When the band struck up a waltz, Seth leaned down towards her. “I believe this dance is mine.” And put his hand down to take hers.

Callie grasped her own hand close to her breasts and said, “Oh, a waltz is completely different. I couldn’t wa...”

Seth pulled her into his arms and began slowly waltzing her around the room. The limp was more noticeable but neither of them fell or stumbled and no one paid any attention to them. Everyone else was busy with their own life. Callie began to relax and enjoy having a handsome man, strong, tall and actually very nice, dance her around in front of all his friends.

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What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?

That I can be there for their first argument, their first kiss, the moment they know they love one another. I know there is a happy-ever-after.

Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:

Have a date night every week. It doesn’t need to be expensive and sometimes it may be just the two of you after putting the kids to sleep. And never turn down love-making even if you’re tired. I’ve been with my husband for fifty-eight years and wouldn’t trade lives with anyone.


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Open internationally

Runs February 1 – 29

Drawing will be held on March 2.

Author Biography:

A voracious reader her whole life, author Susan Payne loved the written word. When reading more than fifty books per month wasn’t enough, she decided to allow her mind to take flight and write all the many stories that kept intruding in her life. She blended her love of history and her love of words to create over eighty-five stories. All historical and centering on a couple finding love and a happy ever after together.

As her first book’s dedication indicates, her husband’s sense of romance still takes her breath away.

The author has published a series of stories surrounding fictional Sweetwater Kansas beginning with Harrison Ranch through The Wild Rose Press and Montana Lineman by Literary Wanderlust due out by end of 2020.

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1 Comment

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N. N. Light
Feb 07, 2020

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your book in our Love and Romance Book Festival. I loved your romantic tip.

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