It is my pleasure to welcome Author Kimberly Grist to Romance Sweet Reads and to help her celebrate her Book Birthday! Kimberly’s book, Ace’s Tenacious Bride is the 13th book in the Matchmaker’s Mix-Up series.
Can a spirited pastor’s daughter up the ante, causing a card-playing, cigar-smoking workaholic to wager his heart?
Mercy Fairchild, a pastor’s daughter, is ready for adventure. She’ll comply with her late father’s last wish—to obtain the help of a matchmaking service and find her a young pastor out west to marry. Yes, she wants God’s perfect plan for her future, but she hopes it will be an exciting plan. Perhaps a missionary in a new territory?
Widower Ace Caldwell’s unruly children make keeping a housekeeper impossible. The last one left in less than a week! If he could only be as good a father as he is a card player! But with his job as a railroad detective, he can’t be home more than a day or two each week. At least a wife would be legally and morally vested to remain. Wouldn’t she?
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Standing with her hands on her hips, eighteen-year-old Maggie Shoemaker gasped at the sight of the ordinarily tidy den. Newspaper ads and letters from clients for her grandmother’s successful matchmaking business lay in disarray from one end to the other.
The family cat meowed, jumped from his perch, then circled her skirt in greeting. “You needn’t look so pleased with yourself, Cleo. If you hadn’t made this huge mess, Grandmother would not be upstairs in bed suffering from apoplexy.”
Tapping her finger on her cheek, she circled the room dodging the papers, and murmured, “I can’t let Grandmother down or the people who have already paid for the service. How hard can this be? I’ll start by reviewing the questionnaires. Fortunately for me, Grandmother makes meticulous notes.”
Cleo followed, leaping onto the mahogany desk, then settled in for another nap. Maggie pulled open the center drawer but found it empty. Her shoulders slumped. “If I can find them, that is.”
“My ideal wife will love children and give me a wide berth—and the wider, the better.”
Agent Ace Caldwell – Railroad Detective
“Because no one else will take them.” His brother-in-law, Sheriff Hiram Hartman, looked up from a stack of wanted posters and met his gaze. “I’m a single man like you. What else was I supposed to do with them? Locking them in was the only way I could make sure the boys stayed put. Thank goodness, your former housekeeper dropped them off here before she hightailed it out of town.”
“This is the third resignation in two months. I pay triple the going rate for housekeepers.” Ace rattled the letter of resignation in the air. “What is so difficult about taking care of three children?”
“Maybe if you weren’t ball and chained to your job as a railroad detective and spent more than an hour or two a week in their presence, you might find out.” Hiram rubbed a hand across his unshaven face. For the first time, Ace noticed the dark circles underscoring the man’s red-rimmed eyes.
“Spare me your lecture. What would you have me do, stay in town babysitting while the Holton gang is running loose? Somebody has to bring those outlaws to justice.” Ace pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’ll send a telegram to the agency and see if they can send a replacement soon.”
“Maybe it’s time to consider another agency.”
“If you have one to recommend, tell me. Several of the companies I’ve utilized in the past don’t respond to my inquiries anymore for some reason.”
“Forget the housekeeper. You need a wife.” Hiram opened a drawer and removed a notepad. “There is an agency in Chicago with an excellent reputation. But Heaven help the poor woman who responds to an ad from you.”
“A wife? No, thank you. I learned my lesson the first time,” he snarled.
Kimberly Grist is married to her high school sweetheart, Nelson, a former teacher and coach, now a pastor. They have three adult sons, one with Down syndrome, and they have a passion for encouraging others with family members with special needs.
As a young girl, I enjoyed making up stories to make people laugh. But in reality, I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House on the Prairie fame. The problem is I was born in the wrong century. My stories are designed to entertain, refresh, and encourage you, the reader. They combine History, Humor, and Romance, emphasizing Faith, Friends, and Good Clean Fun.
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