Birdie's Nest by Linda LaRoque
Texas Ranger, Birdie Braxton boards the Brazos Belle to attend a costume party, gets tossed into the Brazos and when she's pulled from the river she's told the year is 1890. A fact she can’t accept … until she looks across the river to see Birdie’s Nest, her ancestral home, no longer exists.
Tad Lockhart is a content man—a prosperous rancher with a ladylove in Waco. He's not interested in marriage and family, yet … until he pulls an unconscious woman from the Brazos who insists she's a Texas Ranger from the year 2012.
As romance blooms between Tad and Birdie, she struggles to earn enough money to build Birdie’s Nest, and Tad strives to mold Birdie into a Victorian lady suitable to be his wife. Can Birdie give up dabbling in police work and other unladylike pursuits yet stay true to herself? When faced with an indiscretion from Tad's past, is Birdie's love strong enough to support her man and be the woman he needs?
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His mother, Olivia Lockhart, listened intently as Tad talked. She enjoyed a good story and his tale of saving Miss Braxton titillated her interest.
“You say she thinks it’s the year 2012?” She fanned her face with her napkin. His mother wasn’t overly large but her face was often red, and she complained about the heat. “The poor dear. Do you think she’s crazy, son?”
“No, ma’am. Her blue eyes are clear as a bell and she talks rationally. If I didn’t know it was impossible, I’d believe her.” He took another bite of roast beef and swallowed. “She had a gun holster strapped to her leg and a Texas Ranger’s star pinned to it.”
She paled and the fanning increased in intensity. “You looked under her skirts?”
“No, Mother. The nurse who undressed her found it and turned it over to the detective in charge of the case. He showed it to me.”
“Well, thank goodness. All we need is another scandal to tarnish our good name.” She shot him a heated look. “If you’d just settle down, you’d --”
“Mother, don’t start that again or I’ll take my meals in the bunk house.”
She sniffed. “Well, I’m just saying, you’re not getting any younger.”
He laughed. “I’d hardly call thirty-five old.”
Her mouth turned down at the corners and she sputtered. “Well, I’m not getting any younger, and I’d like to dandle a grandchild or two on my knee before I die.” She fanned her face again. “At the rate I’m going, it may not be that far off.”
Tad blew out a breath. “Mother, you are not that old. I’ve seen you run up and down these stairs like a woman half your age.”
She pursed her lips and glared.
“When I find a woman who can keep my interest for more than a day, then I’ll marry.”
“What about that woman you’re keeping time with in town. What if she turns up pregnant and expects you to marry her?”
Thank goodness his sister was visiting with friends tonight. He didn’t want her impressionable young ears to be privy to his private affairs, which his mother considered scandalous.
“She’ll be sadly disappointed because I’ll not marry someone I don’t love. Plus, I’m not sure she’d be faithful.” As far as pregnancy, Doc Floyd kept him in a supply of condoms. Odd how the Comstock Law allowed a man to have access to them to prevent disease, but wouldn’t let him use them to prevent his wife from getting pregnant. Didn’t make a lick of sense to him. If he fathered a baby out of wedlock, he’d see the child was well taken care of.
“It’s a sinful relationship. God is going to strike you dead one of these days.”
“Let’s drop the subject, Mother.”
“Mark my words, your clandestine affair will come back to haunt you.”
He didn’t know how secret the relationship was, but if it bit him on the butt, so be it. He was ready to call it quits anyway.
Available at Amazon.