NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Orphaned at seven, kicked out by his aunt and uncle at 16, Sergeant Emerson Myers gave up on family until General Augustus Reed chose him as his assistant, becoming as much a father-figure as a commanding officer. But when the General starts sending elite forces men home to marry his estranged daughters, Emerson’s torn between relief at not being given such an irrevocable mission and dismay the man never even considered him for the job.
Wyoming Smith has watched with a mixture of wonder and horror—and a little envy, if she’s honest — as her best friend Cass and all Cass’s sisters have married the warriors their father sent to them. Witnessing their happiness was hard enough when her life was on track, but now she’s lost her job and her apartment and she’s accepted Cass’s invitation to live at Two Willows, which means she has a front row seat to five loving marriages — while remaining all alone.
Emerson knows marriage isn’t for him and he’s ready to recommit to his career in the Army — but before he can, an explosion rips his life apart — and the General’s.
Wyoming knows everything will change now that the General is coming home to Two Willows. Will she have to leave?
Or has the General had a bigger plan all along?
In this series General Reed assigned to USSOCOM has sent each of his daughters a husband, as per the instructions in the letters left to him by his late wife Amelia. Not that they wanted or needed one. Military men all, they were ordered to wed a specific daughter. He’s back home now recovering from an injury to his hip, and he has his aide Emerson with him.
This book opens with an interrupted encounter between Wyoming and Emerson in the laundry room. It was Emerson’s plan to ask her out but they were interrupted.
Now Wyoming isn’t the General’s daughter, she’s his daughter Cass’s best friend. The intended groom is the General’s aide Emerson. By now the you know the General doesn’t take no for an answer, but Emerson really isn’t upset about this order at all. We begin at Thanksgiving where they are celebrating the wedding of Alice and Jack. If you’ve been reading this series you know that the next groom arrives during the reception. Before Emerson knocks on the door Wye has an interesting conversation with her brother that is sure to impact the impending courtship.
This is a favorite scene.
Wyoming squashed her dark thoughts. There was no time to feel sorry for herself. She had a wedding to help with. A job to find. A life to get on with.
So, she didn’t have a mother who communicated from beyond the grave like Cass’s mom seemed to, or a father who would send her a husband, like the General did—handsome, wonderful husbands—to each of his daughters. She had her independence. Her self-respect.
Wasn’t that more important?
Her phone buzzed. She wouldn’t have heard it if she hadn’t fished it out of her ridiculous hoopskirt and placed it on the counter a few minutes earlier. Her brother’s name flashed onto the screen. Wye wiped off her hands and took the call, plugging her other ear so she could hear above the noise as Cass directed the setup of the dinner buffet.
“Ward? What’s up?”
“You haven’t heard from Mindy, have you?”
“Mindy? No.” She moved across the room to the back door to try to get away from the noise, but it wasn’t much better.
“She’s missing. She said she was going to the grocery store this morning, but she never came back.”
“Where’s Elise?” Wye asked quickly. Ward and Mindy’s daughter was only ten months old.
“With me. Mindy wasn’t supposed to be gone long.”
His petulant tone made Wye sigh. She had no doubt if she wasn’t at a wedding, Ward would try to lure her over to help. Not that it would take much luring; she loved her niece. This wasn’t the first time Mindy had stayed away from home longer than expected, though. Wye tried not to judge, but Mindy wasn’t the most maternal woman around.
“Did you call Mindy’s friends?”
“Yep. No one’s seen her. I called the grocery store. Hell, I’m about to call the sheriff.”
Something twisted inside Wyoming, and she began to take the situation more seriously. “Do you think she got in an accident?”
“Wouldn’t someone have called? I don’t know what to do. She’s got the car—it’s a hike to the center of town with the baby, and it’s cold outside. Could you—?”
Normally she could and would have taken over from here, running to the grocery store to check for Mindy there, then driving to her friends’ houses, heading to the hospital, even, but she was needed here, and besides, it was barely half a mile from her brother’s house to the grocery store—and the sheriff’s department.
“No, I can’t,” she said firmly. “Call Cab Johnson and tell him everything. Call the hospital, too. If you need to get somewhere, take a taxi. Ring me back when you get news.”
“Ward, I’m at a wedding. You’re much closer to the grocery store than I am.”
“Fine.” He cut the call, leaving Wye to sigh again.
It was obvious her sister-in-law wasn’t happy with her lot as a small-town stay-at-home mom. Wyoming figured she’d driven right by the grocery store this morning and gone on to Billings to do some real shopping. She and Ward needed to work that out. It wasn’t up to her to fix her brother’s marriage.
Somehow Ward seemed to think it was, though, the same way he thought she should be available at a moment’s notice to watch his baby daughter. It was like they were back in seventh grade. After their mother had left their father—left all of them, actually—Wyoming had been the one to pick up the slack. Her father hadn’t sobered up for weeks, so she’d raided what little cash Randi had left in the cookie jar and walked to the grocery store every few days. She’d cooked meals that Ward had gobbled up and that her father had left mostly untouched. She’d done the dishes, the laundry…
And she hadn’t stopped until she’d moved out.
A loud pounding sounded on the Reeds’ front door and startled her out of her thoughts.
Someone was arriving late to the wedding.
Cass, carving one of the turkeys, groaned. “Who could that be?”
“I’ll go get it.”
Wyoming put down the phone and hurried to answer it. Her bulky skirt hindered her progress around the large kitchen table and chairs and made it hard to get past the other men and women who’d volunteered to help set out the meal, but she reached the front hall at last.
When she tugged open the wide wooden door, she laughed, some of her worry over her brother’s missing wife slipping away.
“Emerson? What on earth are you doing out here?”
The sergeant stood in the doorway, his rangy, muscled body catching her eye like it always did. She hated to admit she’d been too infatuated with Will to notice Emerson much when she’d first met him, but these days she couldn’t tear her gaze away—especially after those kisses he’d stolen. All day today she’d been aware of him whenever he got near and had held her breath, wondering if he’d kiss her again.
She admired the efficient way he completed each task. He wasn’t as young as she’d first thought. Probably in his mid to late twenties. There were lines around his mouth and at the corners of his eyes she hadn’t noticed. His gaze had depths not apparent to a casual acquaintance. He was a man who took his responsibilities seriously.
“Needed to see you, and I figured it was just as easy to go around the house as to try to push through the crowd. Besides, I wanted your attention. Looks like I got it.” Emerson leaned against the doorjamb and added, “The General sent me. Are you going to let me in?”
“Sent you—to do what?”
Emerson grinned. “To marry you—what else?”
Seton, Cora. Issued to the Bride One Sergeant for Christmas (Brides of Chance Creek Book 6) (pp. 19-21). One Acre Press. Kindle Edition.
Now things aren’t going to go smoothly with this although Emerson does help Wye when dealing with her brother. Wye has wants and needs she has always denied when it comes to her brother. Her brother Ward, just expects he to bend to whatever he needs regardless of what she is doing. Now that Ward’s wife has disappeared he expects Wye to step in and take care of everything for him. He’s in for a surprise.
This is a story of growth for Emerson and Wye and also an awaking of understanding for the General. As the last book in this series it pulls at my heart as I say good-bye to these characters. Although since they are in Chance Creek I hope to catch glimpses of them in other books taking place in town.
With love, laughter, some tears and that simmer to sizzle romance I love, thank you for this wild ride Cora!
5 Contented Purrs for Cora!
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USA Today and NYT Times bestselling author Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.
Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini.