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Ava Lewis is a jewelry maker, the only woman jeweler where she works or that she knows in the business. Ava opens her door to find her brother who immediately falls unconscious to the floor. When she gets him awake and onto the sofa he tells her he’s dying, wounded by a poisoned blade. He demands that she take his pouch full of jewels and run. The only option she sees is to sign up as a mail-order bride under an assumed name, Jane Smith.
Seamus ‘Lucky’ Madigan is a saloon owner. He won three different saloons in poker games and now makes a good living from the businesses. He sees how happy his friend and former captain is with his mail-order bride and orders one for himself. He desires a bride who hasn’t known every man in town in an intimate way. Someone he could introduce to his mother, if he had one alive.
When the same man who killed her brother comes after Ava it will take all his skill with a knife and as a part of a sniper unit to protect his new bride.
THE SAPPHIRE BRIDE
Central City Brides Book 2
BY CYNTHIA WOOLF
Monday, October 4, 1869, New York City
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The sound of someone pounding on her front door reached Ava Lewis in the kitchen where she was shining a sapphire ring she’d just finished making. She wiped the abrasive cream from her hands onto a towel, rather than on the pristine white apron that covered her favorite lavender dress. By the time she reached the living room and padded across the carpet runner to the front door, her hands were free from the cream. She checked the clock on the fireplace mantle, only six-fifteen in the morning.
Who would be here this time of the morning?
Bang! Bang! Bang!
“I’m coming. Hold your horses.”
She opened the door wide.
“What do you want?”
The person standing in the hallway wore a light colored field jacket wrinkled from long wear and pants, with the knees nearly worn through, had definitely seen better days.
“Jeffrey! Is that you? Come in.”
Her twin brother, boasting long sable brown hair and a full beard, stumbled into her living room and fell unconscious to the floor. His carpet bag next to him in the hallway.
Ava shut the door and knelt by her brother. She checked his pulse and, thank the Lord, found one.
What is he doing here? He’s supposed to be in Peru on a dig.
She slapped his face.
Getting no response she ran to the kitchen, grabbed her smelling salts. She ran back to her brother who lay unmoving on the floor, and placed the smelly bottle under his nose.
He pushed away the foul stench and opened his eyes, blinking several times.
“Thanks, Sis. Sorry about passing out in your doorway. I need a place to stay. I won’t lie to you. I’ve got some bad people after me.”
“What do you mean bad people?”
She noticed he kept his left hand pressed to his right side.
“Are you hurt? Let me see. Can you stand? Let’s get you to the sofa. Take my hand and I’ll help you.”
He grasped her hand and stood.
“Where’s my bag?”
She helped him over to the sofa where he sat heavily.
“Probably still in the hallway. I’ll get it. I wasn’t too concerned with luggage when you passed out on my floor.”
She opened the door, saw the carpet-bag in the hall and brought it inside, setting it next to the green brocade sofa where he sat.
“Thanks, Sis. I’m hurt pretty badly. I wasn’t sure I’d make it here. People are trying to kill me because of what I carry.”
He pulled on her arm with his right hand. His grip like iron, then his strength gave out.
“You need to take the bag and run. Leave me here and go as far away as you can.”
“Why? What’s in the bag?”
“I’ll tell you later.”
“I don’t understand. I can’t just leave you.”
He grimaced as he held his side and she saw a trickle of blood run down his hand.
“You need to see a doctor. You’re bleeding.”
She ran to the kitchen and came back with several towels.
“Here, press these to your wounds.”
He closed his eyes and grimaced as she pulled his hand away from his side. The wound appeared deep, but, oddly, wasn’t bleeding heavily. She placed a folded towel over the injury, pressed and waited until he replaced his hand on the cloth.
“This injury is nothing. Don’t you understand? You. Have. To. Run. You must go and go far.”
Meet Author Cynthia Woolf...
Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.
Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and her great critique partners for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.
Links to Cynthia’s website, blog, books, etc.
Thanks, Cynthia, for sharing your book with us!
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