Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Hand-Me-Down Husband by Vickie McDonough


Ellen aims to take her deceased sister’s baby back to St. Louis to raise as her own. But Tessa's father has other ideas.

Ellen Stewart despises Lance Garrett. If not for him dashing into Isabelle’s life and stealing her heart and filling her head with his dreams, her little sister would still be alive and safe at home. When Ellen receives Lance’s letter requesting help with one-year-old Tessa, she rushes to Silver Springs, intent on taking charge of her young niece. A rugged ranch in the wilds of Texas is no place for a motherless baby.

But when she realizes how distraught Lance is over the loss of his wife and the depth of his love for his daughter, she can’t take Tessa from him—but neither can she leave. Though everything within her wants to flee back to the comfortable big city, something makes her stay. Tessa needs her father, for one—and he needs her. Ellen knows what it’s like to lose all she’d dreamed of.

When local townsfolk make a stink about Ellen living at Lance’s ranch unchaperoned, will they be forced to marry? Ellen doesn’t want a hand-me-down husband who could never love her, but could this marriage be God’s will for them both?

Amazon Review:

I loved it, great plot, romance and great characters, loved it all. I loved how her Dad ended up changing for the better too!  Indie28

The Hand-Me-Down Husband is a heart-warming novella that sells for just $2.99. Free on KU. Amazon 

Sample from the book:

    Ellen gazed across the empty depot, feeling abandoned. Where was Lance? Surely her brother-in-law wouldn’t simply give her Tessa and then leave. She’d prepared herself for a fight—prayed God would give her the courage needed. Lance had sounded despondent in the three letters he’d sent, which said he couldn’t care for Tessa and the ranch. He needed her help. So she had come—for Tessa’s sake.
    Her niece started fidgeting. Ellen didn’t know what to do. She’d never taken care of a young child. She’d been only four when Issie was Tessa’s age. She bounced her knee, hoping to distract her from whatever was upsetting her.           “What’s the matter, sweetie?” 
    The girl gazed up at her with an odd expression. Did she remind Tessa of her mother? Lance had said Ellen resembled her sister, but Issie had medium brown hair that turned golden in the summer sunlight, while her own hair was a plain dark brown. Issie had a lively, bubbly personality, while hers was quieter. Ellen liked to think things through rather than jumping right into the fire and being sorry later that she’d gotten scorched.
    Brushing a wisp of Tessa’s silky hair out of her face, she leaned over and kissed her niece’s head, feeling a motherly sensation she’d never before experienced. “Don’t you worry, sweetheart. I’ll find a way to get you out of this puny town. You’ll love living in St. Louis.”
    A strangled sound drew Ellen’s gaze to her left, and her heart jolted. Lance stood three feet away with a fierce scowl on his face. “Tessa isn’t going anywhere except back to the ranch.”

Vickie McDonough is the CBA, EPCA and Amazon best-selling author of 54 Christian romance books and novellas.

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