Meet Romina, the young innocent bride-to-be and Raymond, an arrogant cowboy in search of a fine woman.
Young Romina Holmström is growing up in the heart of Boston in 1872. Her widower father, Luden, is struggling to make ends meet by arranging a marriage between a wealthy Nebraska farmer and an English woman whose family is low on fortune but rich in title. The English woman, Evangeline Allum, is straight off the boat from Liverpool and into Luden's home when her "sea sickness" turns out to be deadly. Afraid for his daughter and his own financial strife, Luden forces his beautiful Romina to take Evangeline's place as the farmer's future wife. But when Romina meets Raymond Humes she sees a pompous, over-privileged man who is used to getting his way. If she is to remove herself from a marriage to a man she cannot love, she is faced with exposing her father as a liar and possibly worse. Romina has to decide if she will pretend to be Evangeline for the rest of her life or if she will run from the arrogant Raymond, who seems to be hiding a secret of his own. Romina quickly finds out that marrying Raymond was the easy part; being his wife in life and in bed is where things get tricky. Being unable to perform her "duties" as a wife creates serious unrest in the Humes household. As signs of Raymond's secret begin to reveal themselves, Romina is thrown into a search for clues. When she starts to make an effort to be a better wife and homemaker, Raymond begins to see Romina in a new light. The two may be strangers living in the same house, but their defenses begin to drop, and their hearts begin to open. When the newlyweds go to a town meeting together, Jeb Pickering, a troublemaker, attacks the couple. Raymond's strength of body and character show Romina a glimpse into the unguarded heart of the man she married.
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Enjoyable short story!
- Cindy Nipper