Sunday, September 28, 2008

Maine Brides - Susan Page Davis

Maine Brides

Author Susan Page Davis

ISBN# 978-1-60260-106-2

Publisher Barbour

Genre Historical romance

Copyright 2008 (individual titles are 2006 and 2007, but the collection released July 2008)

Published date July 2008

Where it can be purchased Walmart and other stores; Amazon; Christian Book Distributors;


Blurb about the book

Three romance novels set in historic Maine , where three women find that loving a man is not as easy as the heart would lead them to believe. Lucy Hamblin obeyed her father and gave up Jack Hunter years ago, but when he is scheduled to hang in the morning, Lucy agrees to marry Jack. In The Prisoner's Wife, they hope for the miracle of preservation--in Jack's life and reputation along with the restoration of a lost love. In The Castaway's Bride, Deborah Bowman's sister gave up on her beau when he was presumed dead at sea. When Edward Hunter suddenly returns, he finds only Deborah waiting for him. Can he see Deborah for the woman she has become, or will he always cling to a dream of what might have been? In The Lumberjack's Lady, Letitia Hunter knows her place in high society, but she can't help having feelings for Etienne LeClair, the lowly French lumberjack who saved her from drowning. Can Etienne overcome prejudice to win the hand of the boss's daughter?

Can faith bridge the road to love and bring three men who have been cast off by society to new lives alongside the women who love them?

“They’ve sent for a magistrate,” Jack said.
“That’s good. He’ll straighten this out and release you.”
He didn’t answer.
“I don’t think they’ll let me go, Lucy.”
“But you didn’t do it.”
“No, of course not.”
“Then why. . . ?” She couldn’t give voice to the terrible thoughts that were bombarding her mind.
“Lucy,” he whispered.
She caught her breath and looked up through the hole in the thick, oaken door. Jack slipped his hand between the bars, as far as the short chain would allow. She leaned toward him. His cold fingers touched her cheek, and a thrill shot through her.
“Will there be a trial?” she asked.
“Of sorts, I suppose.”
Her pulse pounded. “Jack, you are an Englishman. Surely they’ll let you defend yourself.”
He winced. “I’m told things look bad, Lucy. Most folks are determined I did it. They want. . .”
“They want to see me hang.”
He ran his finger along her jaw and tipped her chin up so that they looked directly into each other’s eyes. “It’s true, I’m afraid. Charles Dole is making preparations. They expect the magistrate to pronounce sentence.” He retracted his hand. “Dole, Stoddard, and Rutledge have it all planned. They say it’s to be in the morning.”
“Not. . .tomorrow morning?” Her voice squeaked, and she gasped for breath.
Jack leaned his forehead against the bars and closed his eyes.
Her knees felt weak, and she reached for the doorjamb. “They can’t.”
“They can.”
She swallowed hard. “I saw Captain Murray out there.”
“The captain thinks nothing I can do will help. I’m doomed, Lucy.”
Her eyes stung with tears. “I can’t believe this.” She took a deep breath and asked the question that had plagued her since Gideon Rutledge showed up on her doorstep. “Jack, why did you send for me?”
He looked away for a moment. “I don’t want to upset you. Perhaps I shouldn’t have asked you to come.”
She raised her hand, then drew it back, frustrated by the thick door between them. “Don’t say that. We’re friends, Jack. I’m glad you sent for me. If it’s only to say good-bye, though, I shall be disappointed. There must be something I can do for you. Is anyone caring for your livestock?”
“Rutledge promised he’d ask Sam Ellis to tend them tonight. After that. . .well, I’m not sure.”
“I could go over in the morning,” she said. “I could milk the cow and—”
He shook his head. “You’ve enough to do at home.”
“There must be something. . .”
Jack watched her for a long moment, knowing the minutes were fleeting. One moment he was ready to blurt out his request, the next he was certain it would be unconscionable to make such a proposal.
He took a deep breath, weighing his words. She waited, staring at him with tear-filled eyes, her breath rapid and shallow.
“Lucy, if it hadn’t been for your father, would you have married me four years ago?”
She waited so long his heart began to pound.
At last she whispered, “Yes, Jack, I would have.”
Relief swept through him. “Thank you.” At least he would have that assurance to savor through the night.
“But that was a long time ago,” she said softly. “I’ve put all that behind me.”
He sighed, his lingering hope and flame of desire for her squelched once more into a smoldering bit of ash. “You still have the school?”
She nodded. “I teach classes in the mornings. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do a few chores for you.”
Jack speculated that she was a pleasant tutor.
“I don’t think we could take your stock to our house,” she said with a frown. “The old fences are in terrible shape. We’ve let them go since Father died. You have oxen, don’t you?”
“It’s all right, Lucy. Don’t fret about that.”
“But what will happen to your cattle?” she whispered, her brow furrowed in anxiety.
He shrugged. “Dole said some of the neighbors can take them temporarily, but. . .well, it’s looking like I won’t get out of here, and. . .”
Her hand came timidly through the bars and rested lightly on his sleeve, ever so tentative, like a hovering butterfly alighting on a blossom, ready to take wing in an instant.
He stared at her slim fingers. “Lucy, this is the end for me.” He turned away, unable to face her, knowing she would see his fear.
“I don’t want to believe that.”
“You must. Will you pray for me?” He looked at her through the bars. A tear fell from her lashes and streaked down her cheek.
“Of course.” Her voice cracked.
Jack’s heart wrenched. He bit his lip as he gazed at her, trying to gauge the depth of her feelings for him. She still had faith in him. Of all the people who knew him, she was the only one who truly believed him innocent. He took a deep breath.
“Lucy, will you marry me?”

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