Saturday, February 1, 2014

Much Ado About Misfires by Jacquie Rogers

Much Ado About Misfires is a bonus to Jacquie’s popular Hearts of Owyhee series. The story is set in 1874 in a rollerskating rink.  Yes, skating was wildly popular then, even though their skates were crude by today’s standards—no stopping block, for one thing.

Reuben Wallace couldn’t ask his sweetheart to marry him when he had no means to support her.  Now, four years later, he’s built a horse ranch and he needs a wife.  He heard that the new rollerskating rink was all the rage, and the ladies congregated there.  With luck, he’ll find his Lucy.

Lucy Gwinn expects her beau to propose but he’s just another second-best man.  Her heart has always belonged to Reuben, the big hard-headed lug.  But her beau is content with circling around the rink—until Reuben knocks them all head over teakettle.  Can Reuben score a perfect ten on his first try?

           “Are you married?” Reuben asked Lucy.
“Good.  I came here to marry you and take you back to the ranch.  I just built a house with two bedrooms and we can easily build on.  There’s no furniture but I have enough money with me for you to buy all we need for now.”
“How did you know I was here?”
“I didn’t—heard tell your folks had moved to town so I reckoned we could get married.  Seems like a danged good idea to me.”
“You’re direct, but then you always have been.  What if I don’t want to marry you?”
“In that case, I guess you wouldn’t, but I’m hoping you will.  We get on good and always have, and there ain’t no prettier girl in the county.”
“If I’m the prettiest girl, then don’t you think I should marry the handsomest man?”
That stopped him short.  She had a point—why should she marry him?  “Is that a ‘no’?”
She pulled him to his feet, but he was none too steady.  “That’s a ‘we haven’t seen each other for four years so we should get reacquainted with each other.’  Let’s skate.”