Calico Bride

After the death of her parents, it broke Brianna Campbell's heart to send her younger brother out west on the mercy train, but with no means of supporting him, she hoped that he'd find someone to take him in. When she is finally able, she sets out for Calico, California, to reclaim him, and make a home to start a new life together. With no time for love, she doesn't count on meeting a handsome rancher who makes her heart race.

Needing help for his ranch, Sean James takes in a couple of orphans from the mercy train under his temporary guardianship and provides room and board in exchange for good honest work. Still recovering from the death of his wife, he's shut himself off from the outside world, especially the marriage hungry young women of Calico. But the boys worm their way into his battered heart, and he finds he doesn't want to let either of them go when a sister comes to claim the younger of the two.

Brianna's fierce independence earns Sean's respect, and to his surprise, his interest in more than just a friendship. His attraction to the pretty blonde grows with each passing day, but can he convince to trust him and take a chance on love?


His feelings for Brianna had dangerously escalated during the time she’d come to live at the ranch. He felt edgy and restless and more than a little guilty. Guilty that he was dishonoring the vows he’d taken with Martha. But Martha was gone forever, and the vows they had spoken were all but a distant memory. Feeling guilty over his developing feelings was a ridiculous notion, but he couldn’t help it. Besides Martha wouldn’t want him to be alone and unhappy for the rest of his life.


He pushed the thought away, tossed the grass aside and sat up straight. “Is there anymore of that cake left?” He yanked the picnic basket toward him just as Brianna took hold of the handle. Their fingers collided and their eyes locked. Brianna’s cheeks bloomed pink, and she tried to pull away, but Sean held on tight. “Brianna, I want—”

Hey, Sean! We could use a little help over here!” Marcus’s piercing shout wafted on the warm breeze.

Brianna broke eye contact and jerked her fingers from Sean’s grasp. He gripped his hands into tight fists as he stood. He stared down at her for a moment, but she kept her eyes lowered. He resisted the urge to touch his hands to her shiny curls.

Come on, Sean! The kite’s tangled in that old tree.”

Brianna?” he started. Dammit. He had overstepped the invisible line they’d drawn between each other. “Are you all right?”

She nodded, keeping her attention on the crumbs she was gathering from the quilt. “Go on. The boys need your help.” And I don’t.

She hadn’t actually said the words, but Sean heard the message loud and clear. Since her parents had died, she’d had only herself to rely upon and no one else.

Would she ever be able to let down her defenses and accept support and encouragement? From him?

Brianna had been alone for a long time. But she wasn’t alone any longer.