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1885 – North Dakota
Lena Stevens has lived through more than her share of troubles. After losing her mother and father when she was young, Lena learned that every kindness came with obligation. Now a widow with a small child, Lena has lost the one thing she had left: her house. She has no desire to be a burden on her neighbor, even if the man was foolish enough to promise her late husband to watch out for her. But when propriety demands a marriage, Lena makes Anker vow to annul it come spring.
Anker has longed for a wife–but not like this. A forced marriage. A pretend marriage. He will do what he must to protect Lena and Charlie throughout the winter. But as days stretch into months, his admiration for the spirited young woman begins to turn to something else. Something more…
Anker and Lena both had their reasons for wanting a temporary marriage. But when spring arrives, will they regret their vow to end the union?
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1898 – Wyoming
The Pinkerton agent that Edward Kent hired is intelligent, capable—and unexpectedly female! Though shocked to learn that Maggy Worthing will be investigating the threats to his Wyoming horse ranch, Edward needs to find the culprit. And if that means a temporary engagement to give Maggy a cover story, he’ll play along with the feisty detective.
Maggy always gets her man—at least when it comes to solving crimes. The young widow refuses to marry again and land under another husband’s thumb. Unmasking Edward’s enemies will earn her a longed-for promotion…but the heart has its own mysteries. Could working together with the handsome English aristocrat spark a real and loving partnership?
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1815 – England
Just as merchant’s daughter Felicity Mayson is spurned once again because of her meager dowry, she receives an unexpected invitation to Lady Blackstone’s country home. Being introduced to the wealthy Oliver Ratley is an admitted delight, as is his rather heedless yet inviting proposal of marriage. Only when another of Lady Blackstone’s handsome guests catches Felicity’s attention does she realize that nothing is what it seems at Doverton Hall.
Government agent Philip McDowell is infiltrating a group of cutthroat revolutionaries led by none other than Lady Blackstone and Ratley. Their devious plot is to overthrow the monarchy, and their unwitting pawn is Felicity. Now Philip needs Felicity’s help in discovering the rebels’ secrets—by asking her to maintain cover as Ratley’s innocent bride-to-be.
Philip is duty bound. Felicity is game. Together they’re risking their lives—and gambling their hearts—to undo a traitorous conspiracy before their dangerous masquerade is exposed.
1774 – Ohio/Kentucky
In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.
When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son…especially when her second child is moments away from being born.
Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?
The Engagement Charade
1887 – Tennessee
Pregnant widow Ellie Jameson is hiding a secret: her betrothal is a sham to keep her safe from her interfering in-laws. It’s simple friendship that prompts her reclusive boss to pose as her fiancé. But can Ellie keep her feelings for Alexander Copeland from developing into something more?
When he moved to Gatlinburg after losing his wife and child, Alexander had one rule: stay out of other people’s lives. Easier said than done with the café owner’s eternally optimistic cook interrupting his enforced solitude. He only intended to protect Ellie, not propose to her. But with a little trust, and a helping of forgiveness, this temporary arrangement could be a recipe for lasting happiness…
A Tailor-Made Husband
1899 – Texas
Tired of pining for handsome sheriff Ward Gleason, seamstress Hazel Andrews plans to head East for a fresh start—until Ward finds an abandoned child. Hazel can’t turn down his request that she watch the little girl while he investigates a spate of crimes. But spending time with Ward is sending local gossips—and Hazel’s heart—into turmoil.
Nothing in Ward’s world is the same since he took charge of orphaned Meg…and that includes his growing feelings for Hazel. A fake engagement will allow them to care for the child together until Hazel moves away and finds someone more worthy. But with little Meg convinced she’s already found her forever family, can Ward and Hazel dare to make her dreams come true, along with their own?
A Temporary Family
1869 – Nebraska
When Tilly Hargreaves and her three nieces are stranded at his small stagecoach station in an abandoned town and threatened by outlaws, Nolan West must protect them. And the only way he can do that is by pretending he’s married to Tilly. But can the former solider, whose only wish is for solitude, stop himself from growing attached to his temporary family?
Tilly knows the charade is necessary to keep her and the girls safe, but now her heart is in danger. The longer she pretends the stoic station agent is her husband, the more genuine their union feels. Nolan believes he’s better off alone, but Tilly’s certain that if he’d only open his heart to his make-believe family, he’d want to claim them as his for real.
1880 – Rhode Island
Abbie Watson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves.
Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past.
Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse.
The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?
Wed on the Wagon Train
1845 – Wagon Train
When she and her sister are unexpectedly orphaned and prevented from traveling West unless they have a male chaperone, Mattie Prescott disguises herself as a boy. But after Mattie’s fellow wagon train companions discover her masquerade, their long-dreamed-of fresh start is over before it’s even begun. She has only one choice: marriage to the man who helped her—and kept her secret—along the trail.
To save her honor and his own, Josiah Dawson agrees to take Mattie as his bride. But his plans don’t include a wife, and this hasty union is just a temporary duty he’ll dissolve at the end of the trail. As Mattie proves herself indispensable in the face of tragedy, though, it’s soon clear that she’s also indispensable to Josiah’s heart…
1874 – California
As a draftswoman in a man’s world, Jessica Sinclair causes a stir as her new male colleagues vie for her attention. And the company manager has an ultimatum: fake a courtship with her boss, Flynt Kavanaugh…or lose her job. But pretending to be smitten with the handsome engineer unleashes a real, complicated attraction—and could reveal the past she hoped to keep hidden.
Jessica is certainly the best person for the job. But as their make-believe romance escalates, Flynt knows that’s not the only reason he wants her on his team. However, with his past shrouded by a shameful secret, Flynt has always focused his ambitions on building a career, not a family. Now he has designs on Jessica’s heart, but can they trust each other with the truth?
1865 – Mississippi
Returning home, Confederate hero Colonel Graham Talbot faces his toughest battle yet—avoiding the marriage-minded young ladies in town vying for his attentions. With a stepmother and orphaned niece to support, the penniless soldier has no intention of marrying. Neither does the woman he once loved, his next-door neighbor Ellie Anderson. But Ellie has a proposal of her own: a pretend courtship to keep their unwanted admirers at bay.
Ellie’s unpredictable childhood left her determined to safeguard her independence—and her plantation. Blaming herself for driving Graham away to war, she devises a plan to help them both. But when it goes awry, Ellie will face a choice: save her beloved property…or trust in a relationship that’s becoming undeniably real.
The Texan’s Engagement Agreement
1889 – Texas
It’s been five years since Adelaide Harper broke Chris Johansen’s heart—and their long-distance engagement. But when she steps off a train in Peppin, Texas, and strolls back into Chris’s life, he can’t help but panic. Because to avoid his parents’ plan to arrange a marriage for him, he’s let his family believe he and Adelaide are still engaged.
Adelaide is facing her own troubles with a matchmaking mama and a parade of aggravating suitors. So pretending to let Chris court her could help them both. And after five years, there’s no need to worry that the time together will reignite their long-buried love…is there?
1700s – Caribbean
Suspected of killing her husband, Charity Westcott flees on the first ship out of Portsmouth, England heading for the colonies. Loathing all men after her abusive marriage, she hopes to reunite with her family in Charles Towne, but the ship’s destination is Nassau. When she spots her husband’s brother, who is intent on seeing her hang, boarding her ship, she jumps overboard.
Elias Dutton, missionary and son of the famous pirate, Rowan Dutton, must get to Barbados as soon as possible. His sister is in danger, and his parents have charged him with her safety. He cannot let them down—again. But after rescuing a madcap woman from the bay, he now finds himself tricked into masquerading as her husband so they both can procure passage to Barbados.
Pirates, storms, shipwreck and betrayal threaten to delay the couple in their journey even as sparks fly between them. With her brother-in-law in fast pursuit, the last thing Charity wants is help from a man, especially a religious one, but she has no choice. After Elias’ heart was broken by a sordid woman who nearly ruined his life, he seeks a godly woman pure as the virgin sands of the Caribbean. He believes he has found such a woman in Charity. Until he discovers she is a murderer and is now faced with two choices: letting her go or turning her in to the authorities.
A Baby for Christmas
1882 – Canada
For widow Louise Porter, a temporary marriage to cowboy Nate Hawkins seems the only solution to protect her unborn child. Especially when she’s threatened by her late husband’s business partner. She needs a safe haven—and Eden Valley Ranch, where Nate works, is supposedly just the place. And yet, in Nate’s care she feels secure and cherished as never before.
The protection of his name is all Nate can offer Louise. He’s not cut out for family life long-term. However, he’ll risk anything to keep Louise safe during their perilous journey. Perhaps an early Christmas arrival will show them both just how precious—and how permanent—their new family can be…
After a Fashion
1882 – New York
Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.
Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.
Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can’t make her fashionable. She’ll never truly fit into Oliver’s world, but just as she’s ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.