With This Ring?
Love isn’t always a fairy tale, and it doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes the best stories, though, are the ones that are the most unexpected. Join Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears for novellas that celebrate the power of love to triumph . . . even when circumstances go awry!
The Husband Maneuver
When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.
Her Dearly Unintended
Josiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they’ll save their reputations–but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing?
Hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he’s promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises.
Engaging the Competition
Harrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they’ll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison’s glasses–without which he’s nearly blind–she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.
The Baby Barter
1945 – Georgia
Home from the war, army nurse Thea Miller is determined to adopt her late sister’s baby and begin a new life. But someone else has the same intentions—the town sheriff and Thea’s old friend, Mack Worthington. Now, in order to keep her niece in the family, Thea must reach an agreement with him.
Mack isn’t sure Thea—whose actions once hurt him badly—is committed to baby Sarah. And a judge may never approve a single-parent adoption for either of them. But what if they got married? It would be a marriage in name only. Yet the more time Mack spends with Thea, the more he begins to believe their pretend family can become the real one they’ve both been longing for.
1880 – Kansas
Pinkerton operative Katie Madison’s newest case takes her to Calico, Kansas, where two Harvey House restaurant waitresses were murdered in mysterious circumstances. Calico’s sheriff, Branch Whitman, has never met a Pink he liked and is stunned to learn the pretty redhead’s true identity as she works undercover as a Harvey girl. A tornado hits town, and a past deception puts Branch’s eight-year-old-son in danger. Now the Sheriff has no choice but to work with Katie—or chance losing everything he holds dear.
A Convenient Christmas Bride
1887 – Texas
After a pupil’s prank forces Anna Mae Leland to take shelter with a widowed sheriff during a blizzard, she loses her teaching job—but gains a fiancé. Josiah Miller needs a mother for his twin daughters and Anna Mae needs to protect her reputation. This business-only arrangement means the recently jilted Anna Mae need never risk the folly of love again.
Josiah has long admired the town’s spirited schoolteacher from afar. In close quarters, she’s an ideal friend and helpmate. Yet Christmas’s arrival brings a gift neither dared hope for—a second chance at love and happiness…but only if they’ll forego what’s practical and follow their hearts.
A Cup of Dust
1935 – Oklahoma
Where you come from isn’t who you are
Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff’s family, they’ve got more than most in this dry, desolate place. They’re who the town turns to when there’s a crisis or a need—and during these desperate times, there are plenty of both, even if half the town stands empty as people have packed up and moved on.
Pearl is proud of her loving, strong family, though she often wearies of tracking down her mentally impaired older sister or wrestling with her grandmother’s unshakable belief in a God who Pearl just isn’t sure she likes.
Then a mysterious man bent on revenge tramps into her town of Red River. Ernie DuPre is dangerous and he seems fixated on Pearl. When he reveals why he’s really there and shares a shocking secret involving the whole town, dust won’t be the only thing darkening Pearl’s world.
While the tone is suspenseful and often poignant, the subtle humor of Pearl’s voice keeps A Cup of Dust from becoming heavy-handed. Finkbeiner deftly paints a story of a family unit coming together despite fractures of distress threatening to pull them apart.
A Fair to Remember
1901 – New York
A fair that will never be forgotten…
Clara Lambert attended the Pan-American Exposition as a Kodak girl, never dreaming that she would end up photographing the attempted assassination of President McKinley.
James Brinton, a disgraced police officer now working security at the Expo, wants only to redeem his good name…and perhaps earn a new position with the president’s security.
When Clara is accused of being involved in the assassination attempt, James has to put aside his own ambitions to try to prove the innocence of the young woman who has captured his heart as surely as her camera captures the world before its lens.
But in the face of investigations, arrests, and mounting danger, they must do the hardest thing that could be asked: forgive.
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1890s – Wyoming
He wants justice–some say revenge. She wants peace. A deep betrayal may deny them everything.
As punishment for a botched arrest, U.S. Marshal “Dent” Hernandez is temporarily remanded to the quiet little town of Evergreen, Wyoming. Not only does his hometown hold some bad memories, but he is champing at the bit to go after vicious killers, not waste his time scolding candy thieves. And he most certainly should not be escorting the very pretty, but jittery, schoolteacher around. What is she so afraid of? Turns out, a lot of folks are keeping secrets in Evergreen.
An old-fashioned Western, Hang Your Heart on Christmas reads like an episode of Gunsmoke or Bonanza. Packed with drama, a tantalizing mystery, and a heartwarming romance, you’ll come back to read this lawman’s story, again and again–a story you’d expect to see on the the Hallmark Channel but one with a mystery worthy of Longmire.
The Cactus Creek Challenge
1888 – Texas
Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts
The Lawman’s Redemption
1881 – Colorado
Former deputy Will Lawson is fighting to regain his reputation—and Mary Stone is his only lead to the bandit who framed him. Now that he’s tracked Mary to Leadville, Colorado, Will needs the proud beauty to reveal her past. Instead, his efforts spark a mighty inconvenient attraction…
Mary’s only real crime is that she once believed an outlaw’s lies. Still, she fears disclosing the truth to Will may land her in jail—and leave her young siblings without protection. Now she must choose between honesty and safeguarding her family. And if Will does clear his own name, can he convince the woman he loves to share it?
Wagon Train Proposal
1843 – Washington Territory
A marriage of convenience? Rachel Hewitt couldn’t possibly accept. Not even for the sake of three adorable little girls who desperately want a new mother. Sheriff Tristan McCullough offers Rachel a home and family, but not the one thing she truly seeks—someone to love her for herself.
Tristan McCullough hoped to find a wife on the wagon train, not a nanny. The hardworking widower wants a marriage without emotional risks. But independent Rachel intrigues him. One minute she’s winning over his shy little girls, and the next she’s tackling danger head-on. She might just be Tristan’s unexpected second chance at happiness…if he’ll risk his wary heart again.
The Trouble with Patience
1866 – Montana
Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with restoring a dilapidated boardinghouse in order to support herself.
Despite Patience’s desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local marshal with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse. He needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But as she gets to know this “hanging lawman,” Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye–and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.
With a keen eye for historical detail and a deft hand at romantic tension, Maggie Brendan invites you to a Montana gold rush boomtown, where vices and virtues are on full display and love is lying in wait.
1807 – England
Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.
Wolf Creek Father
1886 – Arkansas
Schoolteacher Allison Grainger loves educating the children of Wolf Creek, Arkansas. She’s nearly at her wit’s end, though, when it comes to Sheriff Colt Garrett’s two unruly youngsters. But when Allison is forced to work with the prickly lawman, the handsome widower and his children prove to be both charming and the perfect complement to her own life. Colt Garrett is too busy taming the West—and his children—to worry about the concerns of the only schoolteacher in Wolf Creek. That is, until he meets the striking Allison, whose infectious smile warms his heart. Could she be the mother figure his children have always wanted…and the wife he so longs for?
The Marshal’s Pursuit
1901 – New York
When her brother is arrested for a gangster’s murder, Malia is plunged into danger. Her life in peril, she trusts no one—not even the special U.S. marshal assigned to protect her. But handsome Frank Louden isn’t what Malia expects. Hiding Malia on his grandparents’ Tuxedo Park estate may not be the best idea, but Frank is determined to do anything to protect her…even if he’s soon unable to ignore his growing feelings for the beautiful woman. As their romance blossoms, will Malia’s criminal connections force her to choose between her family and her heart?
Romancing the Widow
1888 – Colorado
The light went out of Martha’s soul when her husband fell to a bullet in St. Louis. Now, back in her hometown of Cañon City, she’s convinced she’ll never know happiness again. Until she crosses paths with a darkly mysterious Colorado Ranger. Haskell Jacobs has a mission. And the beautiful, flame-haired widow sure isn’t it. But Martha is somehow mixed up in the crime that brought Haskell to the rough-and-tumble town…and soon, she’s entangled in the lawman’s heart. But the danger that lurks around them is all too real. Can they find strength and love in each other before it’s too late?
In a Texas Ranger’s Arms
1910 – Texas
After her unscrupulous stepfather accuses her of being a thief, a horrified Katie hopes to hide out until she can prove otherwise. But slipping into obscurity in a small Texas town isn’t so easy. Not with Texas Ranger Ward Alston on her tail.
Ward’s used to getting his man—or woman. But he’s not used to the accused being so resolute in her innocence or so beautifully appealing. As he uncovers the truth, Ward realizes this Harvey Girl isn’t all she seems. Together, can they evade danger and obey the law of their own hearts?
1868 – Texas
Tina Cahill, newly arrived from the East, is determined to get the saloon in Broken Wheel, Texas, closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention. Vince Yates earned the nickname “Invincible Vince” because of his reputation for letting absolutely nothing stop him. Not his tyrant of a father. Nor the injuries he suffered in the Civil War. Nor the fact that he is Broken Wheel’s only attorney and sheriff yet has no law degree. But Vince is about to face his biggest challenge yet: his past has just caught up with him. His father, mother, and the sister he didn’t know he had show up in Broken Wheel without warning. His father is still a schemer. His mother is suffering signs of dementia. And his surprise sister immediately falls for one of Vince’s best friends. Vince has a lot of people to take care of, and Tina doesn’t approve of how he’s handling any of them. But with almost all the other men in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with feisty Tina over and over again. Of course, Tina is the prettiest woman he’s ever seen, so if he could just get her to give up her causes, he might go ahead and propose. But he’s got one more surprise coming his way: Tina’s picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger.
The Lawman’s Oklahoma Sweetheart
1889 – Oklahoma
When Katrine Brinkerhoff’s cabin is attacked, only sheriff Clint Thornton’s heroism saves her. She owes Clint her life—and her help catching the men responsible. All she has to do is trust in Clint’s plan to protect her family. But she can’t let herself care too deeply, not when her past carries secrets that would drive him away. Infiltrating the murderous gang is a dirty job, yet Clint is determined to see it through. The brigands will face justice—and they will never harm Katrine again. Clint would give his life to keep the beautiful settler safe…but will he be willing to risk his heart?
The Magistrate’s Folly
Colonial – Virginia
Merry Lattimore is innocent. . . But when she fails to prove her case, she’s convicted of larceny and sent to colonial Virginia as an indentured servant. Now she must find a way to survive an ocean away from her beloved home in England. . .and a way to silence her heart. She couldn’t help but recognize the magistrate, Graham Sinclair—her first love until he disappeared from her life. Far from healing old wounds, his sudden reappearance has brought nothing but fresh hurt. Ever since condemning Merry, Graham is haunted by her memory. When he discovers her innocence, he obtains a pardon and pursues her. But by then Merry is embroiled in a new mystery—one that Graham won’t let her face alone. Together they hunt down a killer to save a friend. . .and their future.
The Marshal’s Ready-Made Family
1881 – Kansas
Gentlemen don’t court feisty straight shooters like JoBeth McCoy. Just as she’s resigned to a lifetime alone, a misunderstanding forces the spunky telegraph operator into a marriage of convenience. Wedding the town’s handsome new marshal offers JoBeth a chance at motherhood, caring for the orphaned little girl she’s come to love. Garrett Cain will lose guardianship of his niece, Cora, if he stays single, but he knows no woman could accept the secrets he’s hidden about his past. The lawman can’t jeopardize Cora’s future by admitting the truth. Yet when unexpected danger in the small town threatens to expose Garrett’s long-buried secret, only a leap of faith can turn a makeshift union into a real family.
Where Courage Calls
Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected… Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father’s wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way. But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she’d feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don’t even speak English. There isn’t even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth’s heart is torn between two young men–both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once. Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she’s had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?
Grace’s Pictures (Ellis Island)
1900 – New York
Grace McCaffery hopes that the bustling streets of New York hold all the promise that the lush hills of Ireland did not. As her efforts to earn enough money to bring her mother to America fail, she wonders if her new Brownie camera could be the answer. But a casual stroll through a beautiful New York City park turns into a hostile run-in with local gangsters, who are convinced her camera holds the first and only photos of their elusive leader. A policeman with a personal commitment to help those less fortunate finds Grace attractive and longs to help her, but Grace believes such men cannot be trusted. Spread thin between her quest to rescue her mother, do well in a new nanny job, and avoid the gang intent on intimidating her, Grace must put her faith in unlikely sources to learn the true meaning of courage and forgiveness.
1870 – Indiana
Orphaned sisters Maggie and Fiona O’Keefe are on their own in a new country. In Wabash, Indiana, the nineteen-year-old Maggie struggles to balance her business – a bakery specializing in Irish pastries – with caring for her three-year-old sister. One day, Fiona disappears. Wabash sheriff Simon Masters, assuming Maggie to be a careless young mother, soon joins the search. Simon has a particular distaste for negligent parents and informs Maggie that he questions returning Fiona to her custody when – and if – the child is found. As the two butt heads, they find they have more in common than the disagreement between them.
1875 – Nebraska
After a catastrophe strands a train—and eight orphaned children—near Evans Grove, Nebraska, schoolteacher Holly Sanders sees hope in the chaos. These children are the new start her community needs. And Holly is stubbornly determined to give the townspeople, the children…and even gruff sheriff Mason Wright…the happy families they deserve.
How can anyone so petite have so much gumption? Watching Holly rally her young charges wins Mason’s admiration—and reminds him of his own failures. No matter what Holly or the orphan boy Liam think, Mason’s no hero and he doesn’t merit a second chance. Can Holly’s faith, Liam’s trust and God’s grace open Mason’s heart to love’s greatest lesson?
Tempest in the White City
1893 – Illinois
When a World’s Fair Guard and the woman doctor assigned to treat him square off in the White City, a storm is brewing…
Hunter Scott is one of the elite. An 1893 Chicago World’s Fair guard specifically chosen for his height, physique, character, and ability to serve and protect. When he is overcome with debilitating abdominal pain, Hunter stumbles to the Fair’s infirmary only to discover the doctor is female—who ever heard of a female doctor? But even worse, she has the nerve to diagnose him, the toughest man west of any place east, with constipation—an unspeakable ailment in mixed company. What will happen when this tough Texan and attractive doctor face off? Either way, a tempest is brewing…
Rosa’s Land: Western Justice – book 1
1886 – Oklahoma
Join Lafayette Riordan as he chases his dream of becoming a Wild West marshal. Young Faye longs for an adventurous life protecting the frontier alongside Judge Isaac Parker’s famous marshals. But his upbringing has left him more prepared for a life as scholar and artist. When faced with the opportunity to realize his dream, can he summon the courage to hunt down the outlaws? Or will one headstrong female rancher capture his heart first?
Flora’s Wish (The Secret Lives of Will Tucker)
1887 – Arkansas
May 1887–Flora Brimm is determined the fifth time is the charm. Back home she has a reputation as “Fatal Flora,” a woman whose previous four fiancés died in untimely accidents. Flora is desperate to marry, because producing an heir is the only way she can keep her family’s estate. She’s confident this visit to Eureka Springs with her grandmother will help her land a husband.
Pinkerton detective Lucas McMinn is hot on the trail of Will Tucker, the thief who broke his sister’s heart. When he discovers the slippery fellow with Flora, he thinks they are in on the devious plot together. Will Flora be able to convince Lucas of her innocence? Will Lucas catch the elusive Mr. Tucker?
And, more importantly, will Lucas survive if he pursues Flora’s heart?
An engaging story of how God can move circumstances to bring love, joy, and lasting fulfillment to the most hopeless heart.
The Marshal Meets His Match
1883 – Colorado
In a world of marriage-minded females, Meri McIsaac is steadfastly single. She’s happiest riding on her father’s ranch. At least until the town’s new marshal startles her and causes her to fall—literally—at his feet. Then he has the gall to implicate her ranch in a bank holdup, turning her entire life upside down.
This is the woman the local matchmaker thought he should meet? Meri is stubborn and headstrong as a mule. Yet he recognizes her courage and loyalty, too, and the grief she carries over her mother’s passing. And if he can protect her from a criminal desperate to cover his tracks, he’ll prove that risking her heart could be the greatest adventure yet.
Mail-Order Holiday Brides
Home for Christmas by Jillian Hart
Christina Eberlee is desperate for the safe haven promised to her by the Montana man whose bridal ad she answered. Yet she can’t forget the handsome marshal who helps her on the journey. Maybe venturing from her planned path could lead Christina to the home she was truly meant to find.
Snowflakes for Dry Creek by Janet Tronstad
“Maybe you could marry her.” Gabe Stone’s niece and nephew long for a mother just like the mail-order bride Gabe’s brother sent for and then abandoned. Yet in making the children’s Christmas dreams come true, Gabe and Annabelle may discover the most precious gift of the holidays is love.
A Plain and Simple Heart (The Amish of Apple Grove)
1884 – Kansas
Several years earlier, young Rebecca Switzer lost her heart to Jesse Montgomery, a rugged but dissolute cowboy on a dusty cattle trail near the Amish settlement of Apple Grove. Now she is grown up, and when she hears one day that he has been spotted nearby, her desire is plain and simple: She must see him.
Sheriff Colin Maddox is counting the days until he can leave law enforcement and follow his dream of starting a church. When a lovely woman, new to town and looking travel weary and a bit lost, gets caught up in the middle of a temperance riot, she is arrested along with the leaders. He can hardly believe she is what she claims–a Plain and simple woman. Nor can he believe how quickly he loses his heart to her. Can Colin convince her to forget Jesse and give him a chance?
The Runaway Bride
1887 – Texas
The only husband Lorelei Wilkins ever wanted was Sean O’Brien, but she’s wasted too much time waiting for him to love her back. When another man proposes, she accepts—until she stands at the altar…and realizes she can’t marry without love. Bolting out of town toward a fresh start, she never suspected her parents would send Sheriff O’Brien to bring her home!
After an innocent mistake leaves Lorelei and her reluctant rescuer with compromised reputations, marriage is their only option. But first they must triumph over suspicious locals, shady characters, an inconvenient groom and the bride’s own stubborn heart. Will it take putting their lives on the line for Sean and Lorelei to realize that only love can conquer all?
Winning the Widow’s Heart
1870s – Kansas
When Texas Ranger Jack Elder stormed the isolated Kansas homestead, he expected to find a band of outlaws. Instead, the only occupant is a heavily pregnant woman—and she’s just gone into labor. A loner uneasy with emotion, Jack helps deliver widow Elizabeth Cole’s baby girl and can’t get back on the trail fast enough. The robber and murderer he’s after killed one of Jack’s own, and he vows to catch the man. But when he returns to check on Elizabeth and her little one, he discovers that she may hold the key to his unsettled past—and his hoped-for future.