CiCi Cordelia (aka: Char Chaffin & Cheryl Yeko) is thrilled to announce that the 4th book in the award-winning Brides of Little Creede Series placed 2nd in the 2021 National Excellence in Story Telling (NEST) Contest, in the Historical category.
The High Society Wife, Book Five, is now available for Pre-Order.
Pre-Order Available on Amazon
We hope you enjoy this excerpt:
Joshua shot him a sly look. “You taking a special lady? If not, I know Vivian has a couple lady friends who’d be interested in stepping out with you. Take your pick.”
Richard snorted. This wasn’t the first time Joshua had tried to interest him in a woman. “I don’t know, Lang, seems like marriage is turning you into a matchmaker.”
Joshua shrugged, not looking uncomfortable at the accusation in the least. “I like you, Blackwood, and consider you a friend. I’d like to see you as happy as I am. And there’s nothing better than a good woman to bring sunshine into a man’s life.”
Richard started to form a snappy retort when an approaching stagecoach at the outskirts of town caught his attention. He watched as it slowed, taking the turn toward the station, wheels and hooves kicking up dust. The coach came to an abrupt stop amidst neighs from the team, Purdy’s, by the look of it. The grizzled driver ran travelers back and forth from Georgetown in the warmer months when he needed extra gambling money.
Keeping a lawman’s eye on the stage gave Richard a reason to ignore Lang’s suggestion. Besides, his emotions had yet to recover from his last dalliance with a female, and it wasn’t something he was anxious to repeat.
Women were fickle.
Leading a man on with softness and warmth, only to stomp his pride into the ground under her dainty foot.
Richard’s focus remained on the arriving travelers. Purdy threw on the brake and hopped down, hurrying around the side to unlock the coach door.
His thoughts strayed to Evelyn Calhoun, the flawless beauty who’d spurned him in Baltimore. When the stagecoach door popped open, Purdy held out his hand to assist a lady down who looked a hell of a lot like her.
Must be my imagination. Richard blinked in confusion, because never would the woman he remembered stoop to travel West to a dirty mining town. She’d made that very clear last time he’d seen her.
His eyes narrowed, straining to make out her features. Evelyn came from money and wore only the finest clothing, her appearance always immaculate. The way she carried herself spoke of a good upbringing and utter refinement.
This woman appeared bedraggled. Her traveling gown hung on a frame more slender than the deliciously feminine curves he recalled, curves he’d loved exploring in minute detail during their short time together.
Joshua pushed back the brim of his Stetson. “You know her?”
Richard began to shake his head in denial, when she slowly descended the rickety coach steps. Her hat slipped off, hanging around her neck by its ribbons, exposing a tangle of familiar sun-yellow curls.
Recognition hit him like a kick to the gut, and he leapt to his feet.
What the hell is she doing here?
“Looks like she’s sick,” Joshua commented, as Evelyn staggered.
Richard took off in a run as the woman he’d spent hours making love to in Baltimore, for a short time believing they might have a future together, swayed forward. Only Purdy’s quick thinking saved her from hitting the ground when the driver caught her up in his arms.
Richard reached them only seconds later. A knot of unease tightened his shoulders. Joshua was correct, she looked sickly.
“I’ll take her.” Richard reached for her.
“She yours?” Purdy asked suspiciously, handing her over. “She puked a lot on the trip.”
Richard’s gaze fell to Evelyn’s belly, protruding from her otherwise gaunt frame.
With child. The swell he spotted beneath her travel-wrinkled gown changed everything. There was no doubt in his mind whose babe she carried.
He gulped, nodding as Joshua came to stand next to him. “Yes. Yes, she’s mine.”
Brides of Little Creede Series – https://www.amazon.com/Brides-Little-Creede…/dp/B08LYRFXNF
Look for Book 6, The Sheltered Wife, in 2022.