Sneak Peak Desperately searching for a place to hide, Daisy Miller ran through the streets of Charleston. For the last week, her life had been a living hell. She darted into an alley then ducked behind trash cans. The smell of rotting food almost made her gag. Going from ball gowns, to living on the…
Can they tame their wild bride or will she rebel and leave them? Blanche Underwood earned her reputation when she was twelve. Now, six years later, with the death of her father and the loss of her family ranch, she’s destitute. And no man in Charleston wants to marry her. They’re afraid of her hellacious…
Desperately searching for a place to hide, Daisy Miller ran through the streets of Charleston. For the last week, her life had been a living hell. She darted into an alley then ducked behind trash cans. The smell of rotting food almost made her gag.
Going from ball gowns, to living on the streets, what else could happen to her?
“Oh, Daisy, I’m going to find you,” the man said with a laugh. “Soon, a fine upstanding young woman like yourself, once a debutante, will be working in the whorehouse. Business will be great as all the men in town come to spread your legs. Sample what Thomas got a taste of.”
A tremble of fear had her body shaking as she tried not to breathe, hoping he would tire of hunting for her and go on. Tears filled her eyes and part of her wanted to give up.
Since the night of the scandal, her life had gone from parties to searching for help with nowhere to go. Not believing her claim she was almost raped, her father and mother had sided with Thomas Jones and his lie that he took her virginity. They had forbidden her from staying at their home, so she would not influence her sisters. Also, hoping to force Thomas to marry her.
But he didn’t care.
What kind of father would kick his daughter out of the house with nowhere to go? What kind of father would take the side of the man instead of his daughters? A father who so desperately wanted the man’s business in his work.
None of this was her fault, and yet, she suffered the consequences of that evil man’s actions. Somehow she would destroy him, but right now, she was just doing her best to survive on the streets, scrounging for food and shelter. Doing her best to hide from men like this who wanted to trap her and make her into a whore.
She would die first.
Ida Newton, matchmaker extraordinaire, stared at the letter in her hand. Winter was ending and it was always a struggle to keep her business going during this slow time. Years ago, after her husband died, she’d become a mail-order bride matchmaker. And she loved her job, except when the cash grew low. This year, she was barely surviving. The city of Charleston had slowly recovered from the war, but in the year of our Lord, 1875, people were still struggling. And men from the west were still looking for brides to keep them warm at night. “Sweet pickles and fresh juniper,” she exclaimed, staring at the words on the page, unable to believe her good fortune. “What?” her assistant asked. “They want me to find eight women to go to Treasure Falls, Montana, as mail-order brides.” A check slipped out of the folded letter and she gasped. The sum on that piece of paper was almost two years’ worth of living expenses. Sweet hallelujah! Today was her lucky day. “Oh my,” she said, sinking down into a chair. “They’re paying me upfront and it’s almost double what I would normally receive.” It seemed too good to be true. How had the man heard about her ability to put couples together? Her reputation as a mail-order bride locator was well known in the south, but the west? Her assistant picked up the check and gasped. “Ida, this is what you are needing. Business has been so slow. This will keep things going. You won’t have to sell your house. We can stay in business.” Quickly she scanned the letter and frowned. What woman in her right mind would accept such an offer? What woman on God’s green earth would think this was acceptable? And yet, oh, how she needed this money, but there was no way… With a sigh, she shook her head. “I can’t do it.” “Why not?” “There are certain conditions.” Suzanne leaned forward. “What conditions? Whatever they are, we will overcome them.” How could she send women out west to be basically a concubine for not one man, but two? She still believed in love and marriage and helping couples find one another, but not two men. “They share their women. There are two men for every woman.”