LSBBT BOOK EXCERPT: The Mail Order Bride’s Secret by Linda Broday (Western Romance)

The Mail Order Bride’s Secret
Outlaw’s Mail Order Brides, #3
Linda Broday

Genre: Historical Western Romance 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Number of Pages: 352 pages


When the West was wild and man’s law favored the few, these extraordinary women could be found…in the heart of an outlaw.

When three young children show up on outlaw Tait Trinity’s doorstep, he knows he can’t help them―a wanted man has no business raising kids. And yet he can’t bring himself to turn them away. At a loss, he sends for the mail order bride he’d been writing to, hoping the demure dressmaker will be the answer to his prayers. Melanie Dunbar is nothing like the bride Tait was expecting. She’s rough and tumble…and hiding an ulterior motive. Dangerous men have taken her sister hostage, and if Melanie wants to see her alive, she’ll have to betray her new husband. There’s only one problem―the more time she spends with Tait, the more she comes to care for him. Yet as the noose begins to tighten, Melanie will have to make a terrible choice: save her sister…or the man she loves.

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“This is another page-turning period romance from Broday.” Publisher’s Weekly “Broday does a fabulous job of telling a story filled with humor, angst and some candid truths just so we don’t romanticize this period in our history.” Fresh Fiction

“This book was absolutely mesmerizing with nonstop action, full of laughter, tears and just a downright good Old fashioned Wild West story as only Linda Broday can do.” Glenda (Goodreads reviewer)

Melanie let out a strangled cry, her eyes wide. “Don’t shoot,” she squeaked, hands flying up.

Growling, Tait put the gun away. “What are you doing up here? I could’ve shot you.”

“I came out of Rebel’s house and saw you leaving town.” She swallowed hard. “I sort of followed, thinking we might take in the sunset. And maybe do what married folk do when they find themselves alone.” She touched his arm.

“I see. This isn’t a bad place to look at the sky. I sometimes come up here to think.”

“Was that what you intended—to think?” Her gaze strayed to the shovel.

“No, not this time.”

She wrinkled her forehead in thought. “Oh. Then I guess I’ll leave you to whatever it is you came to do.” Her voice caught on a strange hiccup.

For a moment he saw her insecurity and loneliness—the poor little girl with a father more interested in the next target to con than in his own flesh and blood. “It’s better if you don’t know, Melanie.”

Her head jerked a nod, and she turned. Tait reached out to stop her. “On second thought, what I was doing isn’t important. Stay. We can catch that sunset.”

Melanie brightened. “Are you sure?”

“Positive. That spot where we stood to say our vows is nice.” With a hand on her back, he led her to the flat ground where his life had changed. In fact, he found it hard to recall the years between Lucy and Melanie. Everything had blurred, and most nights had seen him fall into a whiskey bottle.

“You can sit on my coat.” He removed his frock coat.

“It’ll get dirty,” she protested. “My dress has seen better days.”

“I won’t have my wife sitting on the ground,” he said softly. “Which brings me to wonder about something. I would think a lady gambler would dress all fancy-like, in silks and satins. Yet you only have a couple of cotton dresses. Why is that?”

She lowered her eyes and picked at a loose thread. The silence grew loud until finally she spoke. “I hit a run of bad luck and fell on hard times. I traded my fancy clothes for things I needed more.”

He spread his coat, and she lowered herself down without further protest. “I fear I’ve neglected you.” He sat beside her and whispered in her ear. “When we go back to the hotel, you’ll find a little surprise.”

The satin dress he’d ordered from Mrs. Dunn’s dressmaking shop in Tascosa had arrived by stage that afternoon, and he couldn’t wait to see her wear it.

“You’re spoiling me.”

“Not near enough.” He put an arm around her, and she rested her head on his shoulder. It fit perfectly in the hollow below his collarbone, a place that seemed made specifically for her. “You deserve a lot more for putting up with me and the kids.”

“Oh hush! I love my life here.” Melanie stared at the sun sitting low on the horizon. They talked about their house and how they’d furnish it with all the latest styles. “I already know the wallpaper for the parlor. I once saw a stunning light-blue swirl design in a hotel in San Antonio.”

Tait inhaled the sage-scented air. “Draw the design and I’ll send for it. Which reminds me, I should also order the cookstove you want so that it gets here on time.” They talked a little more about the house, then Tait switched subjects. “I heard some news that Sam Houston’s son, Temple, was appointed district attorney in Mobeetie. That should clean out the riffraff over there, but it makes my situation more dangerous. From all accounts, Temple Houston is a tough man. The Panhandle is becoming too settled.” Tait let out a worried sigh. “I feel a noose tightening around my neck.”

Worry crossed her blue-green eyes, ancient eyes that seemed to hold secrets. “Then we have to find a way to get you a pardon like Clay and Jack. Tait, do you think if you offered to return the train loot, they’d forgive your crimes?”

Tait studied the stitching on his boots. “There’s no forgiving what I’ve done.”

“Please don’t think that way.”

“Markham wants me to pay dearly. He wants to take more than land and people from me. Nothing will satisfy him. We may have to uproot and move farther west.”

“If that will keep you safe, you should consider it.”

They lapsed into silence, watching the changeable sky start to darken. A summer storm built off to the west. Tait felt as though that storm was about to swallow him up. Melanie seemed just as unsettled.

“I want to stay up here and pretend that nothing bad can touch us. That we really can have whatever we want.” Her words came no louder than a whisper.

He tightened his hold and kissed the top of her head. “I never was much good at pretending.”

The swirling oranges and plums of the sunset took his breath away. He was glad she’d followed him and they could share the brilliant hues from up high like this.

But how many more sunsets would they have? Dread clenched in his chest as he watched the storm grow closer.

I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty historical western romance novels and short stories. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed, and at times if the breeze is just right, I can hear their voices whispering in the wind. Texas’ rich history is one reason I set all my stories here where cowboys are still caretakers of the land. I’m inspired every day by their immense dedication and love for the wide-open spaces. When I’m not writing, I collect old coins and I’ve also been accused (quite unfairly I might add) of making a nuisance of myself at museums, libraries, and historical places. I’m also a movie buff and love sitting in a dark theater, watching the magic unfold on the screen. As long as I’m confessing…chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul.



Three Winners

1st: $25 Amazon Gift Card
2nd: Autographed Set of All 3 Books in the Series
3rd: Autographed Copy of The Mail Order Bride’s Secret.
January 28-February 7, 2020
(US Addresses Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway Best of luck!

Many thanks again to Lone Star Book Tours and the author! It was a pleasure hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions!


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1 thought on “LSBBT BOOK EXCERPT: The Mail Order Bride’s Secret by Linda Broday (Western Romance)”

  1. Hi Jenn! It's great to be back and talking about the next installment of my Outlaw Mail Order Bride series. I'm thrilled to share The Mail Order Bride's secret. Tait and Melanie have a crazy story to tell. She comes with a secret that can destroy him. He's such a broken character and she is too in her own right. I hope readers will taken them into their hearts as I did. The 4th and final chapter in this series will release later in the year with Ridge Steele. He's the ex-preacher turned outlaw and all he needs is a chance to set things right. Thanks again for hosting me.


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