When Hannah McGibbon is forced out of her family home, she has nowhere to go. In a moment of desperation, she responds to an advertisement for a matchmaking service.
Widower Seth Temple needs a wife. Not for himself, but as a mother for his 7-year-old, emotionally challenged son. At the urging of his housekeeper, he sends in his application to be matched to a like-minded woman.
Unfortunately, what they both want is not what they get. Due to an unforeseeable mix-up with the usually stellar matchmaking service, Hannah is sent to Colorado rather than California. And, Seth is sent a young, red-headed spitfire, rather than the mature woman with a background in education he’d requested.
What will happen when he explains to Hannah that love and romance are low on his priority list and not part of his plan for a wife? And, once the matching service offers to set things right, will Hannah want to leave?
The wheels of the coach hit another bump in the road, nearly knocking Hannah from her seat. Thankfully, they were within a half hour of their destination. Soon enough, this travel torture would end.
Within moments, the door was wrenched open. The coach’s driver, a sweaty, dust-covered man who looked to be in his late fifties, leaned inside. “Terrance. Who’s getting off?”
“I am, thank you,” she responded, her words forced out through her parched throat.
The man flipped down a rather lopsided stair and offered his hand. “Out you go then.” Once her feet hit the ground, he asked, “Which bag is yours?”
“The two brocade carpetbags, please.”
He uncinched the leather straps and lifted the flap covering the cargo hold. Snatching her bags from the back of the stage, he dumped them unceremoniously on the ground.
“I’m meeting someone,” she said timidly.
The driver shook his head. “Don’t know nothing about that, Miss.” Nodding toward the building to their left, “You can check with the stationmaster.”
“I will, thank you.”
She’d barely stepped up onto the sidewalk, one bag clutched in each fist, when the driver climbed back onto the stage and snapped the reins, setting the horses in motion and leaving her standing there. Alone.
“Excuse me, are you Hannah McGibbon?”
The man’s deep voice sank into her very being, and she whirled around to get her first real look at the man she’d soon marry. Rather than the young, handsome banker she’d been expecting, she came face-to-face with the stern expression of an honest-to-goodness cowboy.
“Yes, I’m Hannah McGibbon. Are you Mr. Preston’s hired man?”
His expression tightened, changing the severe angles of his face, drawing his frown.
“I don’t know who ‘Mr. Preston’ is, but I’m Seth Temple, the man you’ve come to marry.”
Hannah shook her head. “No, you can’t possibly be.” Pulling the letter from her bag, she told him, “I’m supposed to be meeting Mr. Simon Preston, an assistant bank manager.”
The man’s chocolate-brown gaze narrowed. He dug his hand into the pocket of his trousers and pulled out a wadded up piece of paper. “According to this telegram, I’m supposed to be claiming a Miss Hannah Elizabeth McGibbon at the waystation. So, if you’re Hannah, then I’ve got the right woman.”
Her breath caught. “But... you... you’re not the right man.”
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits.
The granddaughter of a Methodist minister from Tennessee, Nancy now lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
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