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A Dandy for Doris, Lilac City Romance Novella #2

A Dandy for Doris, Lilac City Romance Novella #2

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Love on the Horizon--a Tale of Rescue, Rivalry, and Romance

After a dashing rescue by widower Marshall Breckinridge, Doris Lancaster is captivated. But when he retreats afterward and his charming cousin enters the fray, Doris is caught between a suave suitor and a silent hero. Can Marshall open himself to love again, or will Doris be swept off her feet by the charismatic newcomer?

Main Tropes

  • Widower
  • Age Difference
  • Perceived Loved Triange

Synopsis

Doris Lancaster's life takes a thrilling turn when rancher Marshall Breckinridge rescues her from a kidnapping. As she teaches his daughters, she's smitten by the aloof hero, determined to penetrate his tough exterior. Marshall, however, is conflicted.

Drawn to the young schoolteacher, he fears his dominant nature may hurt her. The situation intensifies when his charismatic cousin arrives, vying for Doris's affections. The question lingers: can Marshall let go of his fears and embrace love, or will Doris be enchanted by the new suitor?

Intro Into Chapter One

Marshall Breckinridge looked over the newspaper at his younger sister and prayed for strength not to strangle her. Judith glanced around the room with disdain. If she kept it up, he just might do it and claim insanity. Back in New York he wouldn’t have gotten away with it. These Wyoming judges tended to be a little more sympathetic. Mostly.

He’d hoped, when she’d come to live with him, she’d serve as a hostess to give an air of refinement to his guest ranch. His clientele were usually wealthy men who wanted a taste of what it was like to be a cowboy. Judith’s sophistication could have been a way for them to relax when they returned after a hard day of work. Instead, she was haughty and demeaning to them. After a month here, Marshall was ready to send her back.

Today was the first day since her arrival they hadn’t had guests with them for breakfast. The three “dudes” who were staying with them had left early to help Marshall’s men mend fence before the day got too hot.

“Judith,” Marshall said, lowering his paper, “you’ve about outstayed your welcome.”

At first it seemed like she hadn’t heard him until she turned her head and met his gaze with her cool one.

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying it’s different here than it was in New York—”

“As if that weren’t obvious.” She gave another one of her irritating and disdainful sniffs.

“We work here, and if you’re going to live with me, you must work too.”

Judith blinked at him as though he’d spoken a foreign language. He shouldn’t have been surprised by such a response. Their father was of the old-fashioned philosophy that work was beneath them. Which was ridiculous since Marshall’s grandfather had made his fortune in steel. He’d only quit working when he’d sold his company during the great consolidation. The family had then moved from Pennsylvania to New York.

But Marshall remembered the old man’s work ethic and had grown up listening to his stories. It had given Marshall the idea to come out West to become a rancher. He’d wanted to work hard for what he had, and he was proud of what he’d accomplished.

“Breckinridges don’t work.” Judith’s words were firm and condescending. She reminded Marshall of their father.

“You could have fooled me.” Marshall put down the paper and lifted his hands to show the calluses on his palms.

His sister’s only response was a sniff.

That was it. He’d had enough. Marshall stood slowly to his full six feet. “I’m sending you back tomorrow. Pack your bags.” He turned to leave.

“No, you can’t,” Judith cried, the first real emotion he’d heard since her arrival. He turned around and found she’d risen to her feet. “Please don’t send me away. I can’t bear to go back there to all those—” She snapped her mouth closed.

What had happened to her back home? While here in Lilac City, Marshall had been sheltered from the full brunt of their father’s scandal. Judith had had to live through the whole thing. The disgrace had been so bad her fiancé had broken their engagement. Marshall felt sorry for her, and he didn’t know how to help. He could not, however, abide her terrible attitude and demeanor anymore.

“I’ll allow you to stay—for now—but with conditions.”

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