Welcome to Excerpt Friday! Each Friday we’ll be featuring excerpts from recent releases by our very own Fillies. So grab a cup of coffee and read on. And if you find you’re hooked by what you read (and we know you will be!) just click on the book cover to purchase the entire book.
From Author Tanya Hanson – THE BRIDESMAID (in COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO VOL. 1)
The darkness lifted. Lydia’s eyes opened to see his face, his glorious face, bending near. Worry tightened his eyes, and Milly sniffed behind her, indignant.
Lydia soon realized why. She was lying on the horsehair settee, propped against Garner Reed’s broad chest. Milly’s betrothed. His arms tightened around her. He whispered, so soft so close she wondered if she’d really heard. I like your hair unbound.
Milly seethed. “You can get up now, Garner. She’s fine. Let her go. Let her be.”
Mrs. Brocklebank hedged in her frail tone. “Milly dear, it was expeditious, Garner catching Lyddie like he did. And getting her safely to the settee.”
Hands on hips, Milly glared at her mother. “She’s fine, Mama.”
“Wha-what happened?” Lydia’s voice shook. Her heart still hammered in the horror of discovering her dream man was her best friend’s intended. She fidgeted to sit up, and he let her. There was no place she’d rather be than lying in his arms in a dream, but this was real life.
Yet…I like your hair unbound. She trembled against him before breaking free.
Unbound like she wore it in the dreams.
“You fainted, dear. I sent Clara Belle for smelling salts, but she’s a slow thing.” Mrs. Brocklebank hobbled to the settee, then bent down to unbutton Lydia’s outer jacket and fan her face. “Let’s get you some air.”
“I tell you all, she’s fine. She’s exhausted from rigorous travel. Good heavens,” Milly laughed out loud. Very loud. “Riding trains and stagecoaches from Nebraska ruins anybody’s fortitude. I speak from experience. Besides, when Lyddie tried on her bridesmaid’s dress, I had to tighten her lacings.”
That snapped Lydia back to full attention, discussing unmentionables in front of…in front of him. She swallowed hard at the death of her dream. But…what if it happened again tonight? How could she face either Milly or Garner in the morning?
More than that, how could she have dreamed of a real, living man she’d never met?