One ranch. Three sons. Only one will inherit...and on one condition.
Tired of waiting for his sons to settle down, Arizona-territory rancher Angus McKettrick announces a competition: the first son to marry and produce a grandchild will inherit Triple M ranch. Now, three distinctly different, equally determined cowboys are searching high and low for brides.
If Emmeline Harding knows one thing, it's that she can't hold her liquor. And though she's not sure how she came to wake up next to a stack of gold coins in a brothel, she fears the worst. Fleeing town as a mail-order bride, she wonders: how will she ever confess her past to her handsome new husband?
Freedom-loving Rafe McKettrick is a man of strong beliefs and stronger passions and he'll do anything to win the Triple M -- even marry a stranger. To his surprise, Emmeline's charms beguile him even as the secrets he senses she's hiding ignite jealousy and suspicion. But when a visitor from the past enters the high country, the newlyweds have no choice but to give up on a marriage in name only and seek a union that satisfies them body and soul.
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1 . Wonderful Read!
Posted February 19, 2010 by Tracey , JonesboroughAnother great book in the McKettrick series! When reading this author I can see a movie playing in my head with her stories....Rafe and Emmeline are absolutely entrancing! A must read!
November 25, 2002
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Excerpt from High Country Bride by Linda Lael Miller
Rafe McKettrick peered at the small, tasteful advertisement in the back of the Cattleman's Journal, dog-eared the page, and then slammed the magazine against the edge of the desk in his father's study. It was a desperate measure, sending away for a bride, the way a person might send away for a book, or a custom-made belt buckle, but then, Rafe was a desperate man.
He had no doubt whatsoever that his father had meant precisely what he'd said that day at dinner; Angus was not the sort to make idle threats. Rafe neither knew nor wanted any other life than the one he had, right there on the Triple M, and he'd be damned if he'd spend the rest of his days dancing to whatever tune Kade or Jeb chose to play. Which meant he needed a wife, pronto, and if he got her in the family way on the way home from the church, so much the better.
Pushing back the big leather-upholstered chair, he jerked open a desk drawer and took out a sheet of the fancy vellum stationery his pa used for business correspondence. With great ceremony, he selected a pen, opened a bottle of India ink, and ordered his thoughts. Some moments had passed when he began to write.
To Whom It May Concern,
Please send one wife. Healthy, with good teeth. Able to read and write. And cook. Must want children. Soon.
Triple M Ranch,
near Indian Rock,
Rafe read the note over a couple of times, decided it could not be improved upon in any significant way, folded the page, and jammed it into an envelope, along with a draft drawn on the bank in town. Nothing to do but slap on a stamp and get the letter onto a stagecoach headed east.
He frowned as he copied out the address. The few times he'd had occasion to send a letter, he'd simply entrusted it to whoever happened to be heading into town next, but this was different. For one thing, it said "Happy Home Matrimonial Service" right there on the front of the envelope, for everybody to see, and that alone was fodder enough for a merciless ribbing from every other man on the ranch. For another, he didn't want either of his brothers to beat him to the punch by swiping his letter, copying his idea, or both.
No, sir, Rafe reflected, leaning back in the chair, tucking the missive into his vest pocket, he'd post it himself, personally. Ride all the way down to Indian Rock and meet the outgoing stagecoach.
He sighed, closed his eyes, and kicked his feet up onto the desk.
He reckoned it wouldn't be so bad, having a wife. He'd have a woman right there handy, on a cold night, and that was no mean blessing in a place as isolated and lonesome as the Triple M. He'd get her to expecting before the ink dried in the family Bible, and that would be that. The ranch would be his, when the time came, and Kade and Jeb would either have to do his bidding or saddle up and ride.