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Oklahoma Sweetheart
Carolyn Davidson

Oklahoma Sweetheart
Carolyn Davidson

To honour and protect… The fact that Loris Peterson was carrying another man’s child should have been enough to make Connor Webster despise her. But instead he’d made her his wife!Some said that she had betrayed him. But Connor’s fierce passion for Loris moved him to rescue her from an uncaring family – and protect her from a mysterious enemy…‘Davidson delivers a story fraught with sexual tension. ’ – Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“Will you let me carry you intothe house, Loris?”

As if he awaited her pleasure, he bent low, his forehead touching her shoulder. She heard his sigh, the catch in his breath, and knew a moment of tenderness so great it almost overwhelmed her.

“I can walk up the stairs,” she told him softly. “I need you, Connor. I need to know you care about me. I want you in my life.” Her pause was long as she enclosed his face in her palms. “Is that clear enough for you?”

“Yes, ma’am. It surely is.” He hadn’t forgotten how to grin, that sassy twist of his lips that told her he was pleased with her. With a quick movement he snatched her from her feet and carried her into the house.

“I can walk,” she protested.

“But I want to carry you! Just kiss me and behave, sweetheart.”

Reading, writing and research—Carolyn Davidson’s life in three simple words. At least that area of her life having to do with her career as a historical romance author. The rest of her time is divided among husband, family and travel—her husband, of course, holding top priority in her busy schedule. Then there is their church, and the church choir in which they participate. Their sons and daughters, along with assorted spouses, are spread across the eastern half of America, together with numerous grandchildren. Carolyn welcomes mail at her post office box, PO Box 2757, Goose Creek, SC 29445, USA.

Recent novels by the same author:

A MARRIAGE BY CHANCE

THE TEXAN

TEMPTING A TEXAN

STORMWALKER’S WOMAN

(short story in One Starry Christmas) TEXAS GOLD THE MARRIAGE AGREEMENT ABANDONED (short story in Wed Under Western Skies) TEXAS LAWMAN

and in Mills & Boon® Super Historical Romance™:

REDEMPTION

HAVEN

THE OUTLAW’S BRIDE

OKLAHOMA

SWEETHEART

Carolyn Davidson

www.millsandboon.co.uk (http://www.millsandboon.co.uk)

Chapter One

January, 1893

Kent Corners, Oklahoma

Connor Webster viewed the female standing in front of him. The woman who’d represented his future. He felt the urge to turn his back and walk away, across the porch and into his parents’ home. Not that the woman he’d planned on marrying was unfit for the estate of matrimony. Loris simply was far from a suitable bride, so far as he was concerned. Considering that the baby she carried had been planted in her womb by his own brother, her pregnancy made her totally unsuitable.

Not that Connor couldn’t have accepted another man’s child. It was the betrayal by the pair of them that made him angry. And right now angry was too mild a word to describe the surge of hot-blooded rage that poured through him.

“I’m sorry,” Loris said, her eyes awash with tears. And no doubt she was. But it was unclear whether her sorrow was due to the pain she’d caused him or because she’d fallen pregnant. Either way, he realized his love for her was a thing of the past. Even the tears that filled her soft brown eyes failed to bring him to his knees.

Loris was not prone to crying. He’d seen her conquer her share of adversity and even admit defeat when fate was against her, but never had he seen her shed a tear.

“You’re having a baby. Am I right?” he asked, his voice terse and clipped. “And that baby belongs to my brother. Am I right on that point, too?”

She nodded, twice in fact, and then turned aside, as if she would begin the long walk back to town from his home.

“I know I’ve hurt you, Connor, and—”

“You don’t know the half of it, Loris….” He could barely speak, the betrayal cut Connor so deep. He wondered if he truly could walk away from Loris with no regrets.

“What will I do?” she asked in a soft whisper, turning back to face him again.

For the first time since he’d discovered the truth, he felt a faint glimmer of sympathy for her.

“Maybe James will marry you,” Connor said glibly.

“You know better,” Loris said quietly. “He was out for a good time, and I fell for his promises. I was fool enough to think…” She shrugged, as if realizing that her excuse was lame, and she’d just condemned herself. “He’s your brother, Connor. At first I thought he was only flirting and it was exciting.”

“You thought he’d marry you? But you were already betrothed to me, Loris. Why would James fall into that trap? He’s smart. Apparently, smarter than I.”

“That’s not it,” she said. “I thought he really loved me. That’s where I was dead wrong. I should have known better. Your brother has courted every eligible girl in town—and some that were not so eligible. More than I can count, and I doubt he can keep track either.” She laughed, and Connor thought the sound was singularly without mirth.

“So what do you expect of me?” he asked, knowing already what her answer would be. She was stuck between a rock and a hard place, and Connor Webster was her only hope of salvation.

“I would like you to honor your promise, and marry me,” she said. The words were flat, without expression.

“I’m not a fool, Loris,” he told her. “I’d planned a future with you, and that included babies and a farm and years of marriage. You’ve ruined all of that. I’m afraid you’re on your own.”

Loris’s tears flowed down her cheeks, and onto the front of her dress. Connor felt an unwilling tug of pity as he looked at her. “I’ll help you get out of town, if you like,” he said. “Do you have any relatives who might take you in?”

“No.” She shook her head. “And once my folks find out, I’ll be on the front porch with my valise and nowhere to go.”

“There’s not much I can do for you, Loris,” he said bluntly.

“I thought you loved me,” she told him, her gaze falling to the snowy ground at her feet. She shivered, as though the sight of the newly fallen snow had reminded her of the chill of the dreary January day.

“I did,” he admitted. “We’ve already gone over that. But I trusted you with my heart, and you went behind my back—with my brother.”

Loris turned away, her foot sliding on the slick ground. He reached to grasp her elbow and held her upright, but she withdrew from his touch.

“What will you do?” he asked.
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