November 27th, 2021
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
ALASKAN RESCUEALASKAN RESCUE
Fresh Pick
THE MAIDENS
THE MAIDENS

New Books This Week

Latest Articles

Holiday Giveaways


November's best reads...

Slideshow image


Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
A spy tracker & code breaker team team up to search for saboteurs, and her safety becomes his first priority.


slideshow image
Kari Stuart is roped into helping out at a dog show--but soon finds she’s bitten off more than she can chew when her best friend is framed for murder


slideshow image
Sela falls hard for Theo, only problem, he doesn't love her back


slideshow image
Society's most exclusive invitation


slideshow image
Is she bold enough to embrace a wild Scottish ride?


slideshow image
A spy and an assassin


slideshow image
Will the secrets of their pasts continue to rip them apart?


slideshow image
The magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family


Excerpt of A Chance at Love by Beverly Jenkins

Purchase


Avon
September 2002
Featuring: Loreli Winters; Jake Reed
384 pages
ISBN: 0060502290
Paperback
Add to Wish List

Romance Historical

Also by Beverly Jenkins:

To Catch a Raven, September 2022
Hardcover
Wild Rain, February 2021
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
On the Corner of Hope and Main, March 2020
Paperback / e-Book
Rebel, June 2019
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Second Time Sweeter, September 2018
Paperback / e-Book
Tempest, February 2018
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Chasing Down a Dream, July 2017
Paperback / e-Book
Breathless, February 2017
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Stepping to a New Day, July 2016
Paperback / e-Book
Forbidden, February 2016
Paperback / e-Book
For Your Love, May 2015
Paperback / e-Book
Destiny's Captive, November 2014
Paperback / e-Book
Heart Of Gold, May 2014
Paperback / e-Book
Destiny's Surrender, September 2013
Paperback / e-Book
Destiny's Embrace, February 2013
Paperback / e-Book
Merry Sexy Christmas, November 2012
Paperback / e-Book
A Wish and A Prayer, April 2012
Paperback / e-Book
Night Hawk, November 2011
Paperback
Bring On The Blessings, June 2011
Paperback / e-Book
Something Old, Something New, June 2011
Trade Size / e-Book
Midnight, November 2010
Mass Market Paperback
Once Upon a Holiday, October 2010
Paperback
Rhythms Of Love, May 2010
Paperback
A Second Helping, January 2010
Paperback / e-Book
Captured, October 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Bring On The Blessings, February 2009
Paperback
Belle, January 2009
Paperback
Jewel, May 2008
Paperback
Deadly Sexy, November 2007
Mass Market Paperback
Wild Sweet Love, May 2007
Mass Market Paperback
Cuffed by Candlelight, February 2007
Paperback
Topaz, February 2007
Trade Size
Sexy/Dangerous, November 2006
Paperback
Winds of the Storm, April 2006
Paperback
Black Lace, October 2005
Paperback
Something Like Love, April 2005
Paperback
The Edge of Dawn, October 2004
Paperback
The Edge of Midnight, January 2004
Paperback
Gettin' Merry, October 2002
Hardcover
A Chance at Love, September 2002
Paperback
Before the Dawn, October 2001
Paperback
Always and Forever, September 2000
Paperback

Excerpt of A Chance at Love by Beverly Jenkins

Chapter One

Hanks, Kansas
June 1884

As Loreli Winters stood listening to the farmer bending her ear, she wondered how much longer she would have to endure before she could politely excuse herself and slip away. The farmer's name was Henry Judson and he was a handsome brute: all brown eyes and muscles, but she, unlike the other women gathered in the grove behind the small church, had not come here to find a husband. Loreli had traveled to this small Black Kansas colony as a member of a wagon train transporting mailorder brides, but she'd signed on strictly for the adventure, not to be the wife of a Kansas homesteader. Her plans were to stay in town long enough to make sure everything worked out for the friends she'd made on the trip, then strike out West -- California maybe. In the meantime, she had this gathering to get through.

In preparation for this Friday afternoon event, Loreli had gotten all gussied up, put on her powders and paints, and hoped her flashy blue dress would keep the farmers away. Here, for the first time in a long time, the golden quadroon beauty she'd inherited from her mixed ancestry would not be an advantage. In the billiard dens and smoking cars where she plied her gambling trade, Loreli's looks had won her more hands than she could count, especially when the pigeon spent more time ogling her bosom than his cards. In the past, she'd never hesitated using her face or figure to its best advantage, but not tonight; tonight there'd be no flirting. Loreli's future lay elsewhere. She just hoped the farmers would understand.

Judson, still talking, had three little girls. Although Loreli found the daughters pleasant enough, she had no intentions of taking over the job of raising them. She sensed from their father's conversation that all he was looking for was a replacement for his recently deceased wife.

When Judson began expressing hopes that his new bride would be able to can vegetables as well as his late wife did, Loreli interrupted him with a winning smile. "Mr. Judson, I see someone over there I need to speak with. It's been nice meeting you and your girls."

He opened his mouth to protest, but Loreli had already walked away.

Loreli made her way through the gathering of sixty or so men and women and saw that everywhere she looked folks were mingling and smiling. The celebratory sounds of fiddling and happy voices drifted on the late afternoon air. The brides had picked out their prospective mates before making the trip by using the photographs and portraits provided by the men to the wagon train's organizer, Grace Atwood. The couples were meeting each other for the first time, and many were already lined up outside the small church waiting to be married.

Loreli threaded her way through the trestle tables set around the church grounds and nodded greetings in response to the familiar smiles beamed her way. The many trials and tribulations that had beset the women on the trek from Chicago seemed to have been forgotten. All the ladies had taken special pains to look their best; their hair was done, their dresses starched and pressed. The men were also decked out, in everything from fancy suspenders and fresh-pressed trousers to shiny new suits.

As Loreli shared congratulatory hugs and small-talk with the women, she asked after Belle, the young woman who shared her wagon, but Belle had already journeyed on with the man she would be marrying. That saddened Loreli because she'd dearly wanted to tell Belle good-bye. Loreli had taken the young woman under her wing during the journey from Chicago, and they'd become very close.

Loreli moved on to congratulate a few of her other friends and noted the interested eyes of some of the men standing nearby. She knew she was hard to miss in the low-cut blue satin dress that left the crowns of her shoulders bare, but because these men were here to marry women who'd become her friends, she didn't give any of the farmers more than a friendly nod in return. Loreli didn't want any misunderstandings.

In reality, though, she secretly wished to be one of the brides. She'd be thirty-five years of age come November, and on her own in life since the age of fourteen. She was tired. Tired of gambling dens, traveling, and having a life that discouraged roots, family, and peace of mind. Deep down inside, parts of herself yearned for the security of a farmhouse, a steady man, and a few kids, but her past life made fulfillment of that yearning impossible. What man wanted a wife whose occupation was gambling? None she'd ever met. Men wanted their women docile and of good character, and in society's eyes, she was neither. She decided she should just go back to her boardinghouse room, lest she be overwhelmed by her mood.

Loreli paused for a few moments to say farewell to Grace Atwood, the woman who'd organized the wagon train, then she headed back to claim the rented buggy she'd driven over in.

Beneath the tree by her buggy stood two little brownskinned girls. They looked to be seven or eight years of age. Both copper faces were framed by long black plaits that shot out from their heads at a cockeyed angle, as if the person who'd braided them hadn't much experience with the task of doing hair. There were red ribbons tied on the ends, however, and Loreli wondered if the little ones had done the braids themselves. She also noticed that unlike all the other little girls she'd seen at the gathering this evening, these two were not gussied up in starched pinafores and Sunday slippers; they were attired like boys in denim trousers, flannel shirts, and sturdy boots.

Excerpt from A Chance at Love by Beverly Jenkins
All rights reserved by publisher and author

© 2003-2021 off-the-edge.net  all rights reserved Privacy Policy