Journey to Turnabout
Letitia Burton: Autumn
Turnabout, situated in the northeastern corner of Texas, is quite a decent small town: well-ordered, well-maintained, well-planned. With but one problem: there are no men.
Well, yes, of course there are men. Husbands, and soon-to-be husbands, and used-to-be husbands, and those no women would ever choose to be husbands.
But few eligible men.
Letitia Burton, nineteen and as headstrong as the rest of her clan, has decided to do something about it. Mainly by secretly placing notices in various newspapers, advertising her charming self as a mail order bride. Within a few months, she strikes pay dirt. Through correspondence, Letty has accepted the proposal of one Reese Barclay, from Denver.
It isn't until he is actually on his way to town, however, that she confesses to her family what she has done. Ben Forrester, eldest sister Camellia's husband, is livid. Has she so quickly forgotten the terrible scrape Molly got herself into, not long ago, under similar circumstances? Does she need to be told how risky it is to accept someone at face value, sight unseen?
Disgruntled—and annoyed—she reminds him that Camellia, too, was a mail order bride who accepted him at face value. And that, apparently, their marriage has turned out all right. So far.
Reese safely arrives. His meager letters had provided little description of himself or his background, other than making sure his intended bride is aware of the battle scars with which he has been coping. Meeting, they begin a tentative relationship that deepens and grows in a very short time.
Then he pulls away, pleading a crisis of conscience: he needs to have steady work before they can marry; he needs to be settled; he needs to square away some details of which she is unaware.
Their ensuing quarrel drives them apart with, apparently, no recourse. It is not until Ben and Camellia return from opening their second store, in Manifest, that more questions arise than can be answered, and the Burton clan must work furiously to protect one of their own.
Because Reese Barclay is not who he claims to be. And prying open what he has concealed may yet tear the family apart.