Good morning, Olivia. Welcome to Character Café. Wow! You are far from your old life as a rich city gal. Are you hanging in there okay, out in the wilderness with the Shannon family?
Thank you for the welcome. I am doing just fine. I can’t say it hasn’t been difficult. My best friend and I were so certain that Riley Shannon would agree to me taking her place as his mail-order bride. It wasn’t as though he was looking for love or had even met Sylvia. Who would think that he would be so prejudiced against having a wife from a wealthy family.
That is a bit strange. Why would he care about your background as long as you could keep all of the agreements he had made with your friend. Why did she back out though?
She fell head over heels in love not long before she was to leave. And I was in a terrible situation – jilted and then lied about. I felt like I didn’t have one friend left in the whole town after Sylvia left. Even my aunt and uncle were a bit relieved when I told them I was leaving to become a mail-order bride. My reputation in tatters after the lies of my fiance was really hurting my uncle’s business.
I don’t want to hurt your feelings, Olivia, but could it be that Riley isn’t agreeing to marry you because you don’t have the skills to help out on the ranch – having been raised in the city?
Certainly that was part of the problem at first. And that first couple weeks, I’ll admit, my cooking was terrible. But I am stubborn and with the help of Riley’s sister-in-laws, I improved every day with all my chores. But there has to be something more. Every time he seems to be thawing toward me, he turns cold or grumpy – even almost mean.
Maybe you should think twice about being so determined to become his bride then. Surely a beautiful woman like you, and so talented as well with the piano and your painting, could find a man who would actually appreciate her.
Where would I go? Besides, I love life on the ranch. I love taking care of Riley’s little home. (By the way, we have a chaperone. I don’t want everyone thinking we are living in sin. I’ve already had my life ruined by slander in one town.) And there’s something special about Riley.
Is he handsome?
Oh yes. I don’t know what I ever saw in my former fiance. Looking back I guess I just wanted to be in love. What a mistake that was. Riley has faith. He is so strong. His arm muscles – oh my. And sometimes he can be so kind. And funny!
Well, I really hope things work out. That Riley will change his mind and agree to marry you.
Before we know it, it will be the end of the month trial period. And though Riley was convinced that I wouldn’t stick it out, he has to see I’ve proved him wrong. I’ve never once desired to be anywhere else.
Can you tell us about some of the close moments you’ve had with Riley?
The most precious times have come when we were out on walks or watching the sunset together. Often the beauty of nature reminds us of scripture. Would you believe we’ve memorized many of the same Bible verses?
I can’t wait to hear what happens at the end of the month. Are you worried?
I suppose I’ve been so determined to prove myself that I haven’t thought of alternatives to marrying Riley. I have been brought low before. When my parents died, when I walked in on my fiance in bed with a woman, when I found he had spread lies about me all over town before leaving town. But God has always brought me through. Like scripture says, He lifted me out of the depths and put me on a high place. And this ranch is a high place where I hope and pray I can stay.
I hope so too. What would you like from our menu before you have to travel back to the Shannon’s property?
Oh how funny. You have petit fours on your menu. Can you believe I made them for dessert not long after I got the hang of using the oven and following a recipe? I thought they would last the week. I mean most ladies only eat three or four during teas in the city.
Let me guess, he downed them all in one shot.
He did! And then when he realized my shock, and then that I wasn’t angry he’d eaten them all, he gave me a compliment. The first he ever gave me, I believe.
You will love our petit fours. I’ll give you the recipe so you can earn another compliment from Riley. Lemon Berry Petit Fours: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/lemon-berry-petit-fours/
What tea represents your life on the Shannon Ranch?
One thing I find funny about all of the brawny Shannon men is that they love their cake. Almost as much as their meat and potatoes. So I think I’ll try the Caramel Vanilla Cuppa Cake tea. https://www.amazon.com/Republic-Tea-Caramel-Vanilla-Gluten-Free/dp/B00HQ4YSBA/
Stay here at Character Cafe to see all the other stops Olivia is making during the Celebrate Lit tour Mail-Order Bride Substitute is on. There is also a GIVEAWAY!
Olivia comes from a rich family, but it hasn’t protected her from malicious rumors. A marriage of convenience as a mail-order bride to Riley Shannon is exactly what she needs for a fresh start. Especially when he makes it clear he wants no romance. Something she is in complete agreement with. She’ll go in place of her friend, Sylvia, who has changed her mind about the arrangement she made with Riley.
Riley has bitter memories of loving a rich woman who doesn’t care to embrace ranch life. He has no intention of repeating that lesson. When Olivia steps from the train, offering to be his substitute bride, his answer is a resounding ‘no thanks.’ But Olivia isn’t about to take no for an answer and makes her way to the ranch, determined to prove she is the answer to his prayers.
What will it take for these two to overcome the barriers to their love?
This novel is Linda Ford’s 100th book!
To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Vicky Sluiter, April 15
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 16 (Author Interview)
Christina’s Corner, April 16
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 17
Texas Book-aholic, April 18
Locks, Hooks and Books, April 19
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 20
Connie’s History Classroom, April 21
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 22
Cover Lover Book Review, April 23
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 24
Mornings at Character Cafe, April 24
For Him and My Family, April 25
Holly’s Book Corner, April 26
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 26
Pause for Tales, April 27
Labor Not in Vain, April 28
To Everything There Is A Season, April 28