Left at the Altar
by Margaret Brownley
Series: A Match Made in Texas, #1
Genre: Western Historical Romance
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Welcome to Two-Time Texas:
Where tempers burn hot
Love runs deep
And a single marriage can unite a feuding town
…or tear it apart for good
In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler…but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood’s marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace. But when she’s left at the altar by her no-good fiancé, Meg’s dreams of dragging her quarrelsome neighbors into a ceasefire are dashed.
No wedding bells? No one-time town.
Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there’s something about Meg’s sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in…even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart.
Who knew being Left at the Altar could be such sweet, clean, madcap fun?
Grant read the sign on Miss Lockwood’s lawyer’s door. Barnes had gone to San Antone, and the note gave no indication of when he would return.
That left Grant with only one option, and not a pleasant one at that. He hated having to break the news to Lockwood himself, but he didn’t want to leave the man’s daughter in jail. It was no place for a lady, not even one as unconventional as her.
Grant swung back into the saddle with a grimace and moments later reached the Lockwood Watch and Clockworks shop. He dismounted and wrapped the reins around the hitching post. “If I don’t come back in ten minutes, Chester, you better fetch the sheriff,” he said half-jokingly to his horse.
The wind was cold and the sky thick with dark clouds. The locals claimed Texas had no climate, but it did have weather— though supposedly it seldom snowed in Two- Time. The most Grant had been told to expect was an ice storm or two before winter’s end, but it sure did smell like snow now.
He blew on his cupped hands and rubbed them together before reaching for the brass doorknob. A clamor of bells announced his arrival.
Lockwood was adjusting one of the tall clocks. At the sound of the bells, he turned toward the door with screwdriver in hand. “Mr. Garrison.” His voice as cold as the expression on his face, Lockwood closed the clock’s glass door and walked behind the counter. “If you’re here about the trial, you’d best speak to my lawyer.”
Grant pulled off his hat. “That’s not why I’m here,” he said. “I came to tell you that your daughter has been arrested.” Had Grant expected Lockwood to show surprise or even dismay, he would have been sorely disappointed.
Instead, Lockwood only shrugged. “What has Amanda done this time?”
“Nothing that I know of. She’s not the one in jail.”
This time Lockwood did look surprised. “You’re not saying that Meg…”
“I’m afraid so.”
Lockwood rubbed his chin. “Hmm. What do you know? What’s she doing there?”
“I believe she assaulted someone.”
“Really?” Lockwood’s eyebrows practically disappeared into his hairline. “Who’d she assault? Tommy Farrell, I hope.”
“Sorry to disappoint you, but I believe it was the dogcatcher.” Lockwood pondered this for a moment. “Wonder what beef she has with him. Far as I know, he’s on Lockwood time.”
Grant ran a finger along his upper lip. Did everything in this town have to be about time? “Not anymore,” he said wryly. “He’s now on jail time.”
Lockwood blew out his breath. “How much is that mercenary sheriff gonna charge me this time?”
“I believe the customary bail is five dollars.”
“Harrumph.” Lockwood pulled five singles out of the cashbox and locked it. He reached for his hat, plucked his keys off a hook, and stormed around the counter, stopping only to turn the sign in the window to Closed.
Recalling that Lockwood had had a recent health scare, Grant followed him outside and waited for him to lock the door. The man certainly looked robust enough. Was it possible that Miss Lockwood had exaggerated her father’s condition?
“Do you have daughters, Mr. Garrison?” Lockwood asked.
“No, sir. I’m not married.”
Lockwood pocketed his keys. “Well, if you’re smart you’ll keep it that way and raise chickens instead.” With that, he turned and headed for the jailhouse.
MARGARET BROWNLEY penned her first novel at age eleven and has been writing ever since. She’s now a New York Times and CBA bestselling author and has written thirty-five novels and one nonfiction book. Margaret and her husband have three grown children and make their home in Southern California.