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A mail order bride sets out for a new life in California only to be tempted by a charming gambler. Can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?
After the death of her lover, Lily Penhallow reinvents herself as the widow Albright and travels to California as a mail order bride. On the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets ‘King’ Callaway, a professional gambler, just the kind of man she should avoid. Against her better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, charming gambler.
King believes that since life is a gamble, there’s no point in planning for the future. After meeting Lily, he suspects he has found his Queen of Hearts. But she’s engaged to his uncle, a man King respects. He should stay far away from her, but doesn’t.
Can King convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp? Will Lily choose respectability or love?
Lily and the Gambler is a Second Chance at Love western historical romance. If you like mail order brides, charming scoundrels and sensual romance, don’t wait. Grab your copy today.
Lily entered her private cabin, removed her hat, sat at the marble-topped dressing table, and studied her reflection in the mirror. She hoped this wasn’t a mistake. A proper widow would have refused Mr. Callaway’s suggestion outright, but Lily had rarely done anything proper in her life.
And, at this point, she was weary of her own company. On the long journey, she’d forced herself to remain aloof from the mostly male passengers. From the start, she’d seen the speculative glances cast her way and decided it best not to encourage any of them. Her image as a respectable widow was at stake. So she was left with only her maid, Molly, who had shared her Spartan cabin, for company. She would have dispensed with a maid to save a bit of money, but Uncle Arthur had insisted, even sending some money to help with her expenses.
Since Molly abandoned her for a fast-talking sailor, Lily had to be more cautious of her reputation than ever. She couldn’t let herself be taken in by a charming and handsome man. And Creighton Callaway qualified in both categories with his dark curly hair, hazel eyes and a ready smile. Though he dressed like a gentleman, in a black suit and frilled white shirt, she suspected he was a rogue at heart.
Outwardly, he appeared to be the complete opposite of Nigel. He was dark, the shadow of his beard giving him a manly aura, whereas Nigel had been fair and blue-eyed with a light beard. But like Nigel, Callaway had the devil dancing in his green-gold eyes. She should stay in her cabin, but she didn’t want to be alone, and a few minutes of flirting should cause no harm.
Leaving her hat behind, Lily slowly strolled from her small cabin on the texas deck on her way to meet Creighton Callaway. He was waiting for her at the bottom of the stairway to the main deck. He smiled and offered his arm.
Lily placed her hand in the crook of his arm, enjoying the feel of his strong muscles. As they began to stroll along the deck, she caught a whiff of bay rum, and felt a twinge of sadness. She had always identified that scent with Nigel. It had been a long time since she’d been this close to an attractive man, and she felt both giddy and guilty. After all, it had only been ten months since his death. Was it so wrong for her to enjoy some masculine company? He certainly would not have waited had she been the one to die.
What about the man I’m now supposed to marry? What would he think of my behavior? With that disconcerting thought, she slipped her hand from his arm.
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