Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Reluctant Lovers

Reluctant Lovers

3.0 1
by Elizabeth Chadwick

See All Formats & Editions

A beautiful woman among the overwhelmingly male population of Breckenridge, Colorado, Kat Fitzgerald is swarmed with men and their marriage proposals. But the young widow's fiery, independent spirit makes her impossible to woo. Instead, she becomes a matchmaker for other couples until a man comes along with the charms to capture her heart. Will Kat's stubborn


A beautiful woman among the overwhelmingly male population of Breckenridge, Colorado, Kat Fitzgerald is swarmed with men and their marriage proposals. But the young widow's fiery, independent spirit makes her impossible to woo. Instead, she becomes a matchmaker for other couples until a man comes along with the charms to capture her heart. Will Kat's stubborn nature make her throw Connor away like all the other suitors, or will she find herself succumbing to his dominant will? 

Product Details

Open Road Media Romance
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
868 KB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"You'd make me the happiest man on the whole Denver, South Park, an' Pacific line, ma'am, if you'd agree to become Mrs. Patrick Feeney," said the railroad man, who had bounded after her when she left the dining room of the Pacific Hotel.

Not another one, thought Kathleen Fitzgerald, buttoning her heavy wool coat as she stepped out under the first-floor roof, whose ornate supports reached almost to the train tracks. "You'll catch your death of cold, Mr. Feeney," she advised, "coming out here in your shirt-sleeves." The wide, snow-covered valley of the South Park stretched away in every direction from Como, Colorado, where she had stopped to change trains.

"That's all right, ma'am. Cold don't bother me," Mr. Feeney assured her, although she could see the goose bumps rising on his arms where they emerged from the rolled-up sleeves of his flannel shirt.

"Not but what I don't appreciate your thinkin' of my health," he added, a flush highlighting a face whose rough, unfinished quality needed toning down, not accenting.

Poor Mr. Feeney, thought Kat. He was a homely man, if the truth be told.

"But if you'd agree to be my wife, hell I'd--oh, excuse me, ma'am." He flushed a deeper red, having already been reprimanded for using bad language. "Heck, I'll ride with you all the way to Breckenridge in my shirt-sleeves. To ask your brother's permission, you understand. Don't need a ticket, so it won't cost me no money. Bein' as I'm an employee of the railroad, I got a pass."

Kat sighed. Mr. Feeney was a nice enough fellow once you got past his ugliness and his dreadful checked suspenders, which clashed with his plaid shirt. Hehad a fine head of black hair, not that she held a brief for hair like that. From the back, he looked enough like Mickey Fitzgerald, her late husband, to send a shudder of remembrance up her spine. And she certainly didn't want to marry Mr. Feeney, which meant that another ladylike refusal was in order. "As touched as I am by your kind proposal--" she began, trying to put a little feeling into the standard rejection speech.

"Excuse me." The gentleman who had occupied the far end of their table in the dining room brushed by, looking amused.

"--I fear that I must decline," Kat continued. "With thanks, of course, for the honor you do me." This was the seventh proposal she'd refused while en route from Chicago, via Denver, to Breckenridge, where her brother Sean lived. For some reason, half the male population of Colorado seemed to have decided that 1887 would be a good year to get married, only to discover that there were not enough females to meet the demand. Virtual strangers, like Mr. Feeney, approached her at every opportunity with matrimonial intent. I must write Mother, she thought. Perhaps some of her boarders would like husbands. Kat herself knew better than to fall victim again to romantic impulse.

"I got a fine job with the railroad," said Patrick Feeney, following her down the platform that led to the depot next door. "Boss of the roundhouse. Fine stone roundhouse. Be glad to show it to you."

"That's very kind of you," Kat murmured, "but I have a train to catch."

"Make more than enough money to support a wife an' any young uns God might see fit to bless us with." He had circled and was now walking backward, impeding her progress.

Kat scowled. She did not consider it proper for a man, seeking a lady's hand in marriage, to mention procreation.

"It's 'cause I used bad language, ain't it?" he asked, looking hangdog. "But it's what folks call the D.S.P. & P., ma'am. I just thought you'd be interested. I sure didn't mean to offend you."

Mr. Feeney had explained, as he and five other men shared her table during the midday meal, that D.S.P. & P. Railroad stood for "damn slow pulling and pretty rough riding." The male diners were vastly amused by the joke; Kat wasn't. "Most ladies are offended by swearing, Mr. Feeney," said Kat, wishing that she had followed her mother's advice and worn a wool scarf instead of a pretty hat. The wind, whistling across the treeless valley, was turning her poor ears and nose to ice while Mr. Feeney slowed her path toward a seat in the warm railway car. Why couldn't the man just accept her refusal as politely as she'd given it and be on his way?

"I own my own horse, an' I got a dog can tree a bear. I'd make you a real good husband."

"I have been married," she responded, "and I did not like it!" Plain-speaking was the only way with some men.

Mr. Feeney stopped backing and gaped at her.

"And now if you will be so kind as to step aside, I will bid you good day."

Since he did not step aside, she had to circle him and, in doing so, bumped into the gentleman who had interrupted her initial response to Mr. Feeney's proposal.

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Chadwick is the pen name of Nancy Herndon. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and now lives in El Paso, Texas, with her husband. She earned her degrees in English and journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has graduated from the El Paso Citizens’ Police Academy. She has published several novels under the pen name Elizabeth Chadwick, such as Elusive Lovers, Wanton Angel, and Widow’s Fire. As Nancy Herndon, she has written the Elena Jarvis Series, beginning with Acid Bath and Widow’s Watch. As Nancy Fairbanks, she has written the Carolyn Blue culinary mystery beginning with Crime Brulee. She has avid interests in travel, food, history, and classical music.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Reluctant Lovers 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kat was a spunky young woman heading to help her sick brother. The train gets held up and we have the first glance at the uninhibitted way she goes after what she belives in. While refusing to give into the demands of the ruffian hilding a pistol at her, she is rescued by the leading man. I liked much of the story, but she must have had 100 proposals, that part just seemed to go on & on. I got it that she was pretty... that there was a shortage of women to marry. I loved that she took it personaly to help the ladies needing to find a new life and get out of Chicago.. this was an early book of Ms Chadwick, i would reccomend it. I love a good long story, it think it had over 600 pages on my nook. Worth the read.