I’ve always wanted to get into Christian romance fiction. Ever since my days reading Janette Oke as a teenager, I’ve “felt the attraction” of this genre, so to speak. That’s why I’ve started one of these novels in my spare time, and I wanted to give you a little sneak peek of it. Never seen before!
A Mail-order Amish Bride Most Begrudgingly Redeemed by Love Coming Softly
As the train pulled into the station, Genny Manderly Putnam Walderson Deutschmann pinned her hat on. The prairie grasses could be seen through the window, waving greeting—or was it a warning? It was impossible to tell. The grasses were nonverbal communicators.
She gave herself a little shake and stepped onto the platform of the station. This train station was nothing like the one she’d passed through in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh had scared her, so shockingly different from her Amish community. But this station was small and almost homey. There were just a few families here and there, greeting a loved one. She began to feel her pulse race. Was he here already? Her letter had been specific about the train arriving at 3:12.
Then she caught sight of him. She knew it was him right away; partially because of the sign he held that said “Mail Order Bride for Brett Matthew Hunter Bradley Owens?” and another sign he held under it that said “I hope there hasn’t been any kind of mix up or misunderstanding.”
After she was clear in her mind that it really was him, she ran her eyes down from the signs to the hands that held them.
Strong, masculine hands. Tan but not burnt—about medium well, she’d say. They looked like hands that had never not done a day’s work in his life. Except for the months that he’d been away at a big school in the city being groomed by his wealthy father to take over the ranch when he died. That last part was a guess—she knew nothing about him. She knew everything about him. She knew he was the man she wanted to spend her life with, but she was at the same time unsure.
She glanced from his hands up to his face. An aquiline nose dominated the face, but without being prominent. His mouth was full without being girly in any way. His hair was sort of an acid-wash mocha, with undertones of midnight and overtones of irony. His eyes were blue, like the Kansas sky, like blue jeans, like blue eyes in a color photograph. Which of course she’d never seen, in 1895. But then, looking at him was like seeing a lot of things she’d never seen before.
She gave herself a little shake. Stop that, Genny. She said. You don’t know anything about him.
From the mouth she allowed herself one glance down past his muscled arms to see what kind of pants and shoes he wore, and the bulge in the rear pocket gave her a thrill of consciousness. He was carrying a small pocket New Testament.
At this, she could contain herself no longer.
“Hello! Are you Mr. Brett Matthew Hunter Bradley Owens?” she said, walking directly up to the wagon on which he sat.
“Whatever gave you that idea?” he said sarcastically, tossing the sign away. “Don’t tell me you’re Genny Manderly Putnam Walderson Deutschmann.”
“Why are you wearing that particularly-styled bonnet? You don’t mean to say that you’re Amish?”
“Ja—yes, I used to be. I left my community and had nowhere to go, and that’s when I decided to answer the ad.”
“Well, that means we’ll have all sorts of misunderstandings as I get to know you and your complicated Amish past.”
“Ja, I suppose so.”
“Well, get up here,” he said angrily. She didn’t know what she’d done to offend him, but her cheeks suffused with a glow of humiliation. He handed her into the wagon.
“Thank you, Brett,” she said.
“Oh, folks around here call me Quill Roderick.”
“Why? Because of… it’s short for…”
“That’s short for Brett Matthew Hunter Bradley Owens,” he growled.
Her palms itched to slap him on the cheek and also to touch his hair, but she controlled herself.
Stop that, Genny, she said to herself. You don’t know anything about him.
As he urged the horses forward and they entered a long, straight road, she glanced over at his profile. He still seemed angry. She tried to make chit-chat.
“I suppose we’ll have to decide who sleeps on which side of the bed,” she said.
“I don’t see why that matters.”
“Why are you being so rude to me?” she asked finally in utter frustration. “Is this about the fact that you already had a wife and she died?”
The horses reared up at this. When Quill had finally calmed them, he turned to her, and his jaw twitched with indecipherable emotion.
“No,” he said. “It’s because of my two children I want you to raise.”
She could have shot him in the face.
Stop that, Genny, she said to herself. You don’t know anything about him…