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Widower Simon Driscoll lost his only son and daughter-in-law, with whom he was estranged, in a cholera epidemic. He receives a letter as next of kin granting him custody of his three grandchildren, whom he has never met. The children are in an orphanage, and he cannot take custody unless he shows up with a wife and the documentation to prove the marriage is legal. He has 90 days before he loses his grandchildren, and a month has already passed. Desperate men take desperate measures…
Reputation tarnished and professional career compromised, Tessa Morris wants to start a new life—somewhere, anywhere, as long as that place is far away from here. The problem is, where? Other than attending a university, she’s never lived anywhere else. As the community’s latest pariah, the life and career she’s built in her hometown is finished. At 42, her future seems grim at best. When she happens upon a recent edition of the Matrimony Courier, she finds herself intrigued by one of the advertisements for a wife. That she doesn’t meet any of the qualifications doesn’t bother her in the least, because desperate women take desperate measures… (This story is included in the anthology, Lassoing a Mail-Order Bride.)
A shooting over a poker game, a family seeking revenge, a blizzard sweeping across the Texas Panhandle—it’s more than the world-weary gambler known as Lady Sapphire can handle without help. Determined to make it to her childhood home by Christmas Eve with her stagecoach full of treasure, she needs an escort, and there’s no time to be choosy.
Neal Behlen, a drifting gambler and occasional lady’s man—depending upon the size of the lady’s bank account—has his eye on the contents of Lady Sapphire’s mysterious steamer trunks. Taking on the job as her temporary bodyguard seems a lucrative venture and a pleasant diversion, since he plans to work in bedroom benefits along the way.
The price of their business arrangement is steep—their hearts—and both are reluctant to pay. What they need is a gift of Christmas hope, but will it arrive before it’s too late for love? (This story is included in the anthology, Wild Texas Christmas.)
Mercy Pontiere is the last ‘daughter’ in a long line of heredity witches. Two hundred years ago, Reid Corvane’s ancestor condemned the “Brystile witch” to hang. On the gallows, she placed a curse of short life and great suffering on the men of the Corvane line.
As the years passed, unintended consequences developed that impacted both families.
If Mercy overcomes two centuries of generational hatred to find love and forgiveness for Reid, and if he returns her love, the curse will be broken. Mercy thinks time is her ally; Reid’s time is running out.
Love must find them by midnight All Hallows’ Eve, or the Brystile witch will claim the life of another Corvane man. Reid has thirty-one days and counting… (This story is included in the anthology, Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, Vol. 2.)
Kaye has two more stories exclusive to these anthologies:
Remarrying isn’t in widower Dale Forbes’s mind, but his granddaughters want a grandma. Widow Irene Maxon yearns for something more than the disappointments life has handed her. A mail-order bride catalog, a secret letter, and a blizzard combine to strike up a well-made match for Dale and Irene. However, another man expects Irene to fulfill their marriage agreement, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer.
Silver and Gold
Bad luck and wrong turns make up the greater part of ex-con Joe Halden’s past. When he learns he has a five-year-old son, Joe knows he can do something right by giving the boy a decent home. But the only way he can save him is to employ the trade that landed him in prison—explosives expert.
Sydney Allards’ heart is hardened against the townspeople she blames for her husband’s death. When a fire destroys the town near Christmas, Sydney wants to continue harboring her hatred, but her conscience won’t let her.
Two strangers share a journey of self-discovery. In this season of SILVER AND GOLD, the hurts of the past can lead to love if they open their hearts and give their trust to each other.