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Cora, Bride of South Dakota is fortieth in the unprecedented 50-book American Mail-Order Brides series. Cora Ancelet’s father hates her. When a fire ravages the factory where she works, her father orders her to find another source of employment or marry his evil political ally, a man old enough to be her grandfather. After being handed a Grooms’ Gazette, Cora takes the desperate step of becoming a Mail Order Bride. John Franklin wants a woman to wake up to. A woman who will love him and his ranch, and ultimately give him the children he craves. Will placing an advertisement for a Mail Order Bride turn out to be the best decision he has ever made for both him and Cora or, is tragedy afoot?
Cora stepped onto the platform in Rapid City and glanced around. She searched for John amongst the milling crowd. Her hands shook nervously as she clutched her reticule. This is it. You’re about to meet the man who is to be your husband. “Miss Brown. Miss Rose Brown?” the station porter asked. “Yes,” she answered. “Your luggage is by the waiting room for you,” the man said. Before Cora could thank him and offer a coin, he scurried away. She returned to searching the thinning crowd for John’s face. Then, not ten feet away, she saw him for the first time. He seemed to be searching for her but how he was ever expecting to find her, she didn’t know. Cora had never sent him a picture, only a description. She took advantage of her knowledge to study her intended. His picture did not do him justice. This was the man who was to become her husband and wow, what a man! He was tall, really tall. His blonde hair showed signs of being bleached by long hours in the sun. His skin was golden brown, his lips full and definitely kissable. But, his eyes were what snared her attention. They were the brightest blue she had ever seen, bluer than the sky on a bright summer’s day. Her eyes continued their perusal. His coat was unbuttoned, his shirt pulled taut against his broad chest. A belt with a large buckle cinched the jeans at his narrow waist. His legs were long but judging by how tight his pants hugged his thighs, they were also muscular. She sighed loudly. The man was more handsome than she’d dreamed despite the scar on his face. She swallowed hard and tentatively stepped towards him. “Mr. Franklin, I’m Cora” Her voice was husky with nerves and she offered a shaky, gloved hand. “But, the porter called you, Miss Brown.” John was confused, he ignored Cora’s hand and his beautiful blue eyes narrowed. “I assume you have an explanation. I can’t abide liars.” The tone of his voice was more serious than angry but it still caused Cora to tremble and step back a pace. What if he didn’t understand and sent her back? “Mr. Franklin, I promise I can explain if you give me a chance. Is there somewhere we can go and talk?” John heard the pleading note in her voice and his annoyance settled. “Very well.” She was so beautiful it took his breath away. He couldn’t stay mad. He spun around and spoke to another man standing nearby. “Sam, can you get Miss Ancelet’s luggage to the wagon? I’ll take her to Lilly’s for tea so we can talk.” “Sure thing, John. Henry, Frank and me will grab a drink at the saloon while we’re waiting.” Sam ambled away with the two other men. John placed his arm on Cora’s elbow to escort her away. A jolt so powerful caused stars to dance in front of her eyes, she became breathless and stumbled. His arm whipped around her waist to steady her and he gazed into her eyes questioningly. Had he felt it too? “Sorry,” she murmured. “I felt a little light headed. I must have been affected by the long journey.” “No need to apologize.” His deep voice caressed her. “Maybe you need something to eat.” They left the station arm in arm.