The Engagement Gamble
by Nancy Fraser
GENRE: Historical Romance
Marshal Zack McAlister has made it his mission to protect the good citizens of Greenville, MS. In particular, one very opinionated and independent lady doctor. The only hinderance to his professional obligations are the dozen or so single women vying for his attention.
Suzanne Martindale, M.D., has quickly become a fixture in Greenville since taking over for her semi-retired predecessor. And, like Marshal McAlister, she’s been inundated with unwanted suitors.
When Zack proposes a fake engagement, Suzanne is reluctant at first and claims in order for anyone to believe they’re actually courting and in love, there has to be chemistry between them.
Zack sets out to prove they can easily fool the people of Greenville into believing their ruse. Will his smooth Cajun charm and steamy-hot kisses do the trick? Or, are they destined to be victims of their own charade?
When outside forces threaten the entire McAlister clan, can Zack keep his family, and his faux fiancé, safe? And, will a life-threatening accident show them anything, even love, is possible if you have trust?
~ ~ ~
The McAlister family welcomes you back to Mississippi with a third adventure, and maybe a sneak peek at yet another devastating seductive McAlister man!
NOTE: The book is on sale for $0.99.
“It’s been quiet around town lately. Not much for a decorated marshal to defend.”
“You trying to get rid of me, Doc?”
“Now why would I do that? If you were to leave, who else would I have to argue with?”
“We don’t argue,” he said, his gaze meeting hers in challenge. “We discuss…heatedly.”
“It only gets ‘heated’ when I’m winning.”
He shook his head and leaned back against the side of the desk. “If you say so, Cher.”
“As to your offer of an escort, I can see myself home, Marshal. There’s no need to wait.”
“I’d feel better if you let me escort you.”
She sighed deeply, and Zack waited for her to launch into another of her ‘independent woman’ speeches. Or, at the very least, remind him that he was being over-protective.
“I’ll only be a minute or two, if you insist on waiting.”
She could have said she needed another hour and Zack would have gladly stayed. Despite what he’d said to Pete Bailey earlier that evening, Suzanne Martindale was a breath of fresh air among the over-zealous horde of ladies hounding his every move.
She was beautiful, well-educated, independent, and beautiful. Zack shook his head, trying to shake the repeating thought free. Obviously, no matter what her many assets, her beauty was the one thing tying him up in knots. Or, maybe, it was the fact she didn’t use it to her advantage, as some of the other ladies did. Instead, Suzanne relied on her brains and taunting sense of humor to get her where she wanted to go.
“All set,” she said, drawing Zack from his mental inventory of what made Suzanne Martindale the most desirable woman he’d ever met. And, at the same time, not at all what he was looking for in a wife.
Once she’d locked the door to the clinic, Zack offered his arm. Nodding toward the hospital next door, he asked, “Do you need to stop?”
“No, the night nurse is there, and our only patients are the new mother and babe. They’re in good hands.”
They strolled along in comfortable silence until they’d reached the walkway leading to the small stone cottage where Suzanne lived. She stopped just short of the gate.
“Shall I walk you to the door?”
“This is fine, thank you, Marshal.”
“Marshal? I thought we’d agreed on Zack?’
She met his gaze, rolling her eyes for exaggerated emphasis, he supposed. When she shook her head, a small lock of blonde curls fell free of its pins. Zack’s hand itched to take the silky strands in his fingers and tuck them back where they belonged.
“You suggested Zack and Suzanne. I don’t remember agreeing. I’d much prefer Dr. Martindale, or just ‘doc’.”
Her continued attempts at formality amused him and he asked, “Tell me something, Cher, do you ever let your hair down and just relax?” Before she could answer, he added, “Have any of your friends ever been tempted to call you Suzie?”
She paused briefly before saying, “Only those who wished to be soundly kicked in the shins.”
Topic: What type of research did you do for this series?
History was always a favorite subject for me in school. I even took a few credits as electives in college, even though they weren’t necessary for my degrees.
Having family from the south, I was always interested in the rebuilding after the Civil War. I wanted to focus on some of the towns along the Mississippi that were involved in battles, and how I could create a powerful, but compassionate, family who would work hard to rebuild and expand their respective homes.
I did a lot of research on three towns in particular: Vicksburg, Greenville, and Natchez. I found a wonderful old map of the Mississippi River that showed the straight line connecting all three by the water route. That took me to researching gambling boats, paddle wheelers to be exact.
I read about customs, language/slang, I watched any documentary I could find, and then in 2015, I took my oldest granddaughter with me on a riverboat cruise. If I hadn’t already been hooked, that did it.
I’m currently working on the 4th book in the series and exploring the world of saloons and brothels, and the laws regarding inheritance during that time period. I’m planning on having at least three more books worth of McAlister fun!
I’m just going to say it. This is the best book in the series so far. I just knew that Suzanne and Zack were going to be “the” couple for me. I love reading about women that have a job that I can relate to and Suzanne is a doctor. What was interesting about that is that she is in the South, she’s a Yankee but the town loves her. Plus, Ms. Fraser has done her homework with Suzanne. Even when the ex shows up and gifts her medical supplies, I just thought to myself, that is so cool.
Zack isn’t as much of a handful as Matt and Jake. Zack isn’t looking for a relationship; it just sneaks upon him. He respects Suzanne for her work and dedication. He lets her do her job but it being the South and the 1800’s, does do his part to keep her safe. *sigh* Just walking her home was sexy. On the flip side, Suzanne has an equal amount of respect for him and his job. Does she worry? Sure but we worry every day about law enforcement officers. Their relationship is built on honesty, respect, and friendship. I loved watching them fall in love with one another. It snuck up on them and fought tooth and nail to keep it. *sigh*
I also like seeing the other couples again and rally with Suzanne and Zack. Ooo and Zack’s brother makes an appearance, too. He is a rascal with a capital “R”. The suspense element in the book is timely and spot on. Ms. Fraser doesn’t weigh the romance down with too much of it but it is plausible and necessary for Zack and Suzanne to grow as a couple. She also lets them communicate with each other. These characters were introduced in the second book so they knew each other before so reading about them is a treasure. Do you have to read the other books? No but why wouldn’t you?
I’m not going to lie but this book is in my top reads of the year so far. It has everything I’m looking for. Dashing hero, a heroine that I could be friends with and a supporting cast that I actually care about. Oh and the history that Ms. Fraser is so good at when it comes to this series. If you are looking for something different than an English Historical, this is for you. You won’t be sorry.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.
Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
Nancy has published over thirty-five books in full-length, novella, and short format.
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
Author Social Media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor @nfraserauthor
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Fraser/e/B004AOL61Y/
Newletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/bxkKvD
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-engagement-gamble-nancy-fraser/1138702574
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XLMq7
Custom Link: https://books2read.com/engage-g
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Nancy Fraser will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.