Cover image for Luke's runaway bride
Title:
Luke's runaway bride
Author:
Bridges, Kate, 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Toronto : Harlequin Books, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
296 pages ; 18 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780373292264
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Luke's Runaway Bride by Kate Bridges released on Aug 23, 2002 is available now for purchase.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Cheyenne, a late 19th-century frontier town, serves as the backdrop for Bridges's galloping romantic suspense. Shortly after leaving a party celebrating her engagement to Daniel Kincaid, one of Denver's finest citizens, Jenny Eriksen and her companion, Olivia Gibson, are kidnapped by a "hotheaded cowboy" who claims he needs them to accompany him for just 36 hours. Still in their ball gowns, Jenny and Olivia endure a grueling boxcar ride to Cheyenne, where Jenny gradually learns the truth about her abductor, Luke McLintock, and her fianc. Luke and Daniel grew up together, and now Luke is on a mission to force Daniel to acknowledge Adam, the son he fathered with a Mexican woman. Although the five-year-old is now an orphan, Daniel refuses to acknowledge his moral lapse and instead sends his henchman to eliminate Luke and re-abduct Jenny. Sternly closing her heart against her feelings for Luke, a perpetual loner, Jenny nevertheless embraces Adam. It's a natural step, albeit one filled with spirited conflicts, for Luke and Jenny to realize that they can provide a loving home for Adam. Bridges (The Doctor's Homecoming) is comfortable in her western setting, and her characters' humorous sparring make this boisterous mix of romance and skullduggery an engrossing read. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

Denver, September 1873 Tall, rugged and dangerous. Who was he? Jenny Eriksen spotted the stranger from across the deserted street. Her pulse strummed with awareness. Silhouetted in moonlight, the stranger walked his bay past the golden cottonwoods near the livery stable, then past the newly painted hitching posts of the corner café. A rough block of square shoulders and long legs, the man moved with muscled control. With a gun belt slung low around his hips, his Stetson tugged over his brow, he was the type of man in this wild mining town Jenny tried to avoid. Especially since the robbery in Daniel's office that afternoon. For a moment, Jenny stopped breathing. She had just stepped out of the crowded dance hall onto the boardwalk with her housekeeper. At first, she'd been relieved to escape the charity ball to run her delicate errand, but now Jenny wasn't so sure. In the cool night breeze, she studied the wavy black hair and somber, clean-shaven face of the stranger. Lord, he was handsome. But what set him apart from other men was his air of isolation, of danger. His long, deliberate stride and his easy, graceful movements commanded obedience. Definitely a man who'd never interest her. She preferred ... a milder man, who thought with his head and not his hands. A man like her wonderful Daniel, her fiancé. The wind danced across her bare shoulders and stirred her blue velvet sleeves. Familiar piano music floating through the air eased her tension, reminding her she was safe. She yanked her peacock-feather shawl tight against her gown. "Six months in Denver," she said, gulping perfume-scented air, "and I'm still not used to seeing strangers wearing guns." Beside her, Olivia's satin skirts rustled. Dressed in pleated burgundy, the pretty dark woman peered up at Jenny. "At least in Boston, the men conceal them." Stepping from the boardwalk onto the rutted path, Jenny watched the stranger disappear down an alley. She brushed him from her thoughts. Glancing up at the quarter moon, she relaxed and smiled. Tonight at the ball, Daniel had formally announced their engagement, and she wanted to waltz with excitement. In four short months, she'd be Mrs. Daniel Kincaid. She was such a lucky woman. Wasn't it Daniel himself who'd organized this fine charity event? Such a kind, loving man. Her father was right in his arrangement, after all. Two months wasn't a long time from first meeting to engagement, she admitted, but she shouldn't worry. She and Daniel had a solid base of companionship, and love and passion would grow from there. Marriage and children were what she'd always wanted. Olivia adjusted her fringed wrap. "Did you tell Daniel where we're headed?" "I tried, but he was talking to the banker and his wife, getting a big donation. I couldn't very well approach them with my bodice gaping open." With good humor, Jenny glanced down at the space where her button used to be, and pulled her shawl tighter. Her beaded bag dangled at her wrist. "But we should tell someone -" "If one more person sees my dress like this, I'll die of shame. Daniel's house is just around the corner. His butler couldn't leave the ball because he was serving drinks at the bar, but he told me where he keeps the sewing basket. He also gave me the key." "Well ... the fresh air's nice. My eyes are waterin' from the cigar smoke, and my nose ..." Olivia, more of a sister than a housekeeper, chattered on in her usual lively manner, in a voice that had soothed Jenny since they were children. Jenny yanked at the tight curls pinned on top of her head, wishing she'd arranged her hair in her usual beaver tail. She agreed with the elderly Windsor sisters next door - her hair was as straight and thin as a plank - but why had she allowed them to curl and powder it? Powder hadn't been used for decades! Well, because it was the first time in two weeks, since the loss of their beloved cat, that Jenny had seen the two sisters smile. She hadn't the heart to refuse their offer. Thank you kindly, but no. She had to practice saying those words more often. They turned the corner, passing massive stone-and-cedar houses. Petticoats swished around their ankles. Tomorrow, Jenny would rise early. Her crate of bridal fabrics had finally arrived from the East, and she was itching to cut her wedding corset. In Boston, her late grandmother had taught her how to sew the finest undergarments - "lingerie," the French called it - and it still gave Jenny such pleasure. Too bad she wasn't able to convince Daniel a lingerie store would be appropriate for a woman of her stature, even though it had been her dream since she was fourteen. When would he decide on the type of store he did consider appropriate? Her father and brothers hadn't needed anyone's permission to plan their dreams when they'd decided as a family to move West. Why did she? Even Denver bankers had refused her loan requests, because she was a woman on her own. She still knew that newspaper clipping by heart - "Store owners needed in Denver. Plenty of opportunities for men and women" - and she ached for the challenge. A train rumbled through the foothills, scattering her thoughts. As Olivia chattered on, Jenny glanced up through the trees. She spotted him again and lightning bolted through her. The same tall stranger. Wide shoulders and a massive frame, leaning on Daniel's porch. What did he want? He wasn't looking at them. Instead he pressed a bulky hand to his shoulder, and his suede jacket fell open. His white shirt was soaked with a spreading stain of blood. Her heart jumped madly. Instinctively, she stepped toward him. He needed help. But if she had a lick of sense, she'd turn around and run. As her footsteps slowed, his head came up. She heard a jingle of spurs. He gazed at her, level and bold, as if he had every right to be here. Her muscles quaked. Apparently, Olivia hadn't noticed him. "... And so I answered, `Oui, monsieur,' and he was sure surprised to hear me speaking French. Couldn't imagine, he said, my folks being runaway slaves. My, it's cool -" "Olivia," Jenny whispered, "look at the porch." Her friend came to a stop and grimaced in dismay. "Sweet stars above! Let's get out of here." She tugged at Jenny's sleeve, jiggling the feathers, but Jenny stayed put. If the man had wanted to attack them, he could have done it already. "He's injured. He needs help." "Are you out of your mind? He looks dangerous! And you don't always have to be the one -" "He must know Daniel. He must be a friend. Why else would he be on the porch?" "Maybe he's the robber!" Jenny swallowed, trying to control her fear, wishing Daniel had given her more details about the robbery instead of worrying he'd frighten her. "The sheriff's looking for the culprit, and the guilty man wouldn't be so foolish to stand right on Daniel's porch." (Continues...) Excerpted from Luke's Runaway Bride by Kate Bridges Copyright © 2002 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.