After spending three years studying her uncle’s extensive law library, Caroline Ford had a better knowledge of the law than most men receiving certificates to practice law. However, she had one thing working against her. She was a woman.
Justin VanHeusen needed a bride or he ran the risk of losing the property he’d worked so hard for.
If Caroline helps Justin keep his dream, will he help her with her dream?
Can she live with the terms of their marriage of convenience?
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’ve always been interested in women’s contribution to history. It’s often overlooked or downplayed in history books.
There was a period of time after the US Civil War that had more women than men on the East Coast and more men than women on the frontier. With this series of stories, I wanted to share the courage and bravery of the women who packed up and went west to start new lives by marrying men they had never met.
In this story, Lawyer Bride, I wanted to show the determination of career pioneers who believed women could be anything they wanted. Women like Caroline, the heroine of this story, paved the way so one hundred years later women could be lawyers, engineers, doctors and astronauts.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
For Caroline Ford, I wanted someone who had access to an extensive law library and a reason to open that first book and read it. But she also had to be willing to pack everything up to take a chance on her dream.
For Justin VanHeusen, I wanted someone who was self-made and would understand the need to follow a dream.
Walking back into the house after his morning ride, Justin wondered if Caroline was up yet. He’d slipped out of the house early this morning after a long sleepless night.
Justin looked around. The noise came from inside the house.
He swung the door open, hand at the gun on his hip.
Caroline stood up suddenly on the stairs with a small trunk angled over the two stair treads above her. The unstable weight of the trunk nudged her. Caroline windmilled her arms as she lost her balance.
Justin was up the stairs and caught her before she fell. The trunk didn’t fare as well. It slid down the remaining stairs and crashed into the wall barely missing the lamp table.
“What were you doing? You could have hurt yourself.”
Justin’s arms were still around her waist from catching her. Caroline was having a little trouble thinking. “I was… I wanted… to sort through my books and the light is better down here.”
Justin let her go and stalked to the trunk on its side with its content slipped out on the floor. He picked up one of the leather bound journals. “You nearly killed yourself for a diary?”
Caroline’s chin went up as she glided down the rest of the stairs and plucked the ledger out of his hand. “It is not a diary.” Her hand swept in a motion to include all the volumes. “These are all my notes from studying the law. I need to figure out which ones to put in my law office in town and which to keep here.” She knelt down and began putting the books back into the now upright trunk.
“Law office?” Justin looked from her to the books and back again. “How can you have a law office if you make hats?”
She looked up at him. “Why would I make hats?”
“You asked for an office in town. That’s what women do, they make hats.” He sat on the bottom tread of the stairs. This made no sense.
I grew up reading historical and contemporary romance novels. As well as stories that had to do with women’s history. Whenever we visited an historical site, which we did a lot when I was growing up, I would search the museum’s bookshelves for biographies of women who lived there.
Many, many years ago I visited the mill town of Lowell Massachusetts, the lives these women lived stuck in my mind. I can remember wanting to reach back in history and somehow help these women. With my series ‘Sweet Historical Mail Order Brides of Lowell’, I created a slice of history where some of these women did get out of the mill life by becoming mail order brides and falling in love on the frontier.
When I decided to write fiction, historical romances were the perfect stories for me to tell. They gave me a place to use all that historical trivia I’d gathered over the years.
As a reader, I never liked whimpy heroines. Just because she lived one hundred years ago doesn’t mean she can’t be strong and courageous. In fact, she often had to be more courageous to overcome the biases of the day.
So I’ve tried to write stories that I would love to read and I hope that you love reading them too.
Have you read this book or others by this author? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!