Marry Me

Marry Me

by Susan Kay Law

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The rugged loner Jake Sullivan has finally returned home -- to find a brazen, beautiful trespasser in his bed. Emily Bright intends to stay. But has Jake been saddled with an unwanted intruder... or blessed with a bride?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061747359
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/17/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 182,195
File size: 611 KB

About the Author

A former science geek, Susan Kay Law turned to romancewriting as a career because it was the perfect excuse to avoid housework and continue spending all her time doing what she really loved: reading and daydreaming. Also because she was really bad at sitting in a swamp at 5 A.M. in forty-degree weather and tracking bird behavior.

Winner of the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and a Waldenbooks Bestseller award, twice nominated for a RITA Award, she confesses that the biggest surprise of her career was when this small town Midwestern preacher's kid was named to New Woman magazine's list of "the steamiest writers of women's fiction." Her greatest joy, however, is spending her days thoroughly outnumbered by four of the best males on the planet -- her husband and three sons. She currently lives in Minnesota, and plans to be a ski bum in her next life.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Philadelphia, 1899

There's a sucker born every minute...

The odd thing about that was that no one who truly knew Emily Bright would ever have applied that phrase to her. For no one who spent as much time as she did with people on the extremes of human existence, in pain and grief and joy, could remain ignorant of some of mankind's essential flaws.

But she'd been born and remained a deeply optimistic person. And that cornerstone of her character, her insistence upon expecting the best in every person and situation, made her the perfect audience for the advertisement that a handsome young man thrust in her hand as she clipped down the street by the Broad Street train station. She'd sneaked off to visit Mrs. Sweeney, whom Dr. Goodale had decreed was recovering nicely from a bout with pleurisy, but Emily wished to examine her one more time just to make sure.

That, and the fact that she very much wanted the information on the flyer to be true.

Free land!

It can be yours! The vast central plains of this great nation abound with plentiful game and pure, sparkling waters, soil so rich that crops spring forth before one has barely scattered seeds upon the fertile ground! And it can be yours, your own home, on your own land, due to the foresight of our government, with no more investment than your own courage and labor...

She stood frozen, oblivious to the stream of jostling people that eddied around her.

Home, her own home.

She'd never had one, notone of her own since she was five. Oh, she'd lived places, she and her sisters, places she'd always understood she'd have to leave eventually. Even the beautiful house she'd lived in for the last fourteen years — no one had ever allowed her to labor under the delusion it was hers. And now Norine, her sister Kate's stepdaughter, had made no secret of the fact that she was impatient to move back into the house her father had willed her.

Where would Emily and Kate go now? She'd no idea. Kate cheerfully insisted Emily shouldn't worry, all would be fine. And then she'd popped off to dinner with Floyd Ruckman, the late Dr. Goodale's old, very rich, and utterly unappealing friend.

Emily was terribly afraid that Kate had every intention of sacrificing herself on the altar of not-so-holy matrimony for Emily's sake once again. Emily had been too young to stop Kate all those years ago when she'd married Dr. Goodale. But now that Emily was fully grown and quite capable of taking care of herself, she had no intention of allowing Kate to make the same mistake again. But allowing, or not allowing, Kate to do something was never as easily accomplished as decided.

Kate had already given years of her life for Emily's sake. Emily had no doubt she would continue to do so until Emily proved it completely unnecessary. She'd wracked her brain for weeks in an attempt to figure out how to do just that, but short of marrying Mr. Ruckman herself, she'd yet to come up with a plan.

Someone plowed into her back, and she stumbled forward, reflexively clutching the precious paper.

"You're holdin' things up, missy," a man in a natty suit and handsome black bowler growled at her.

Blinking, Emily surfaced from dazzling dreams of a snug little cabin surrounded by acres of burgeoning fields and pretty orchards. Hers, all hers. "Oh. I'm terribly sorry." Around her, harried people rushed to catch the next train, shouted to hail a cab, or hurried toward the shops and businesses on the street, the ebb and flow of a great city and busy lives.

"Time to get movin'."

"Yes." She grinned so brightly the impatient gentleman couldn't help but smile back. "It certainly is."

It took her three weeks to prepare. Luckily, those three weeks had been busy ones for Kate as well, swept up in the details of settling the doctor's immense estate and of mediating between Loren and Norine, her stepchildren, who hadn't been able to divide a breast of chicken at dinner without squabbling when they were younger. Things had not improved greatly over the years.

Emily often wondered if Kate was tempted to simply step aside. There was no advantage in her standing between them; the amount of his estate that Dr. Goodale left to his second wife was a tiny sliver of his wealth. But Kate was never one to leave a project undone, and her marriage to Goodale was as much a business agreement as anything else in her life.

And so Emily had little trouble convincing Kate to allow her to journey to Colorado to visit their other sister, Anthea, and her family. Though Kate didn't approve of Emily's traveling alone, they'd made the trip several times over the years. The train to Denver was both safe and reliable, and Gabriel, Anthea's husband, always met them at the station himself. Anthea could always use a little assistance, Emily reminded Kate; their oldest son, twelve-year-old Jimmy, seemed to have inherited every one of his father's hellion tendencies.

Kate simply could not leave Philadelphia until the estate was completely settled. She must not consider it, Emily insisted. And Kate could concentrate on the numerous details more fully without Emily's presence distracting her.

Not to mention that, though she would appear in public with her petticoats hanging out before admitting it, Kate was not nearly as fond of the rustic charm and wide-open spaces of Gabriel's ranch as Emily and Anthea were. Anthea had been married for years before Kate was fully convinced that, yes, Anthea really wanted to live in such uncivilized conditions.

And so, three weeks and several twinges of conscience for...

Marry Me. Copyright © by Susan Kay Law. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Marry Me 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1899 Philadelphia, her beloved sister and brother-in-law might not think she lives up to her surname, but Emily Bright wants independence so she heads to Montana to homestead and claim her own land. Not long after Emily selects her lot, Jake Sullivan returns home only to find a pretty eastern filly living on his acres.

Jake demands Emily give up her claim and leave. Emily refuses saying he abandoned the property so it now belongs to her. As they argue, fuss, and fight, she learns her sister is coming for a visit. Emily begs Jake to pretend to be her husband while Kate is here. Unable to say no, he agrees, but soon both wants to change their fake status into a real marriage as love blossoms between them.

The second book in the Miss Bright trilogy, MARRY ME is an entertaining western romance starring two stubborn, difficult, and ornery charcaters that readers will cherish. Emily and Jake make the tale succeed, as they are warm realistic protagonists. As Susan Kay Law did with MARRYING MISS BRIGHT, she makes the final decade of the nineteenth century in America seem so alive in her vivid story line her audience will believe in time travel.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. About 250 pages, didn't want to put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The epilogue was boring and not meeded. Could have skipped the discriptive sex scenes - i did!
kronan1 More than 1 year ago
I Liked It................................................................................................................................... Though truth to tell the-- my wife died I'll never love again theme-- has been done to death. Emily is a plucky little thing . Jake's a mess --but you know he'll come around. Done well. Just a little tired.
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