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Excerpt from LOVE'S JOURNEY by Emily Murdoch

Elizabeth Morrison has inherited a small fortune, but a woman in 1840 doesn’t usually go it alone.


Elizabeth Morrison has inherited a small fortune, but a woman in 1840 doesn’t usually go it alone.

With her sister Katherine missing and both parents gone to be with the Lord, she has no choice but to find her own way. Her journey takes her through an abandoned orchard, and she falls in love with derelict Sweet Grove – and its previous owner, Jonathan Bryant.

No longer the owner of Sweet Grove but just a laborer, his bitterness hasn’t been sweetened by the fruit of his labour.

Can Elizabeth carve her own journey and make a home for herself while her sister is still missing? Can Jonathan be brave enough to put the past behind him and find purpose again?

Or will they both learn that life never goes in the direction you think, and love is always ready to take you on a different journey?

This is the first in the Sweet Grove Beginnings series that explores just how the town of Sweet Grove was planted.

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Enjoy a sneak peek from LOVE'S JOURNEY

by Emily Murdoch

The woman, whoever she was, didn’t seem to have any care for trespassing at all – she just walked straight up to the nearest tree and cut down an apple.

“Cannot you read?” Jonathan Bryant stormed towards the intruder, his voice loud so it would carry over the distance before he did. For some reason, his hands were shaking as he tried to button up his waistcoat over his linen shirt, and retain some element of respectability. “This is Sweet Grove, and snoopers are not welcome.”

“Snoopers?” The woman’s nose crinkled as she beheld him, and he was suddenly very aware that he was in his working clothes, and the shirt he was currently wearing was rather stained with oil and sweat. “I do not think I have been a snooper a single day of my life.”

Jonathan glared, pushing his long dark hair from his face. Jett barked softly and danced around his feet, but he did not look down at the young puppy. “Then there is a first for everything, because you are not welcome here, snooper.”

The woman stared at him for a moment, and her long dark curls that were pinned together seemed at any moment about to fall past her neck and down her back. She was slender, with a beautiful expression across her face, something that Jonathan couldn’t put his finger on. Joy? The sun gleamed in those blue eyes. Was it the sun? And then she laughed.

“Come now, we are not eight years old.” She thrust out the hand that didn’t contain the apple in it. “I am Elizabeth Morrison, and I am going to be buying this place – Sweet Grove, did you call it? What a beautiful name; I will not change a thing.”

Jonathan blinked. “You . . . you are going to buy it?”

The moment he had seen the woman wandering through what he considered his Top Field, he knew that she would be trouble – but he hadn’t bargained on this. Buy Sweet Grove? A prickling on the back of his neck told him that his gaze was unwanted. His eyes hadn’t left her, and the smile on her face had faltered. Clearly, she was not as confident as she was trying to appear.

“Yes.” She nodded, and perhaps as an excuse to look away from him, took a bite out of the apple and knelt to pat the young dog. “Oh my, this apple is delicious! Have you any idea what type it is?”

“Variety.” Jonathan shifted on his feet and swallowed. This conversation was getting completely out of control, and the heat of the day was starting to overpower him slightly. Worse, Jett was completely betraying him, rolling over immediately to allow her to tickle his tummy.

Miss Morrison stared at him, her free hand smoothing out her skirt that had got tangled. “Variety?”

He nodded and pushed a hand through his beard, his calloused hands rougher than the wiry tangle, then tugged at his long hair. He had never noticed it had reached past his shoulders before. “Each type of apple is called a variety, and… I do apologize, madam, did you say that you are buying Sweet Grove?”

Looking her up and down, he could hardly believe it himself. Of course, you could not always immediately tell when it came to ladies – he certainly did not have the head for fashions like his sister did – but this Miss Elizabeth Morrison did not seem dressed in the latest vogue. True, her gown did pinch in under the bust and flow outwards, but didn’t every dress? The sun burst from a cloud in the sky, and they were bathed in sunlight. For a moment, it was as though she had a halo around her dark curls that were pinned loosely back.

Jonathan shook himself. This was not the time to get carried away – he needed to find out what was going on. And besides, she was talking over Jett’s baby yelps. And to think he had brought him out here to train him.

“. . . if that is what this place is called.”

“You cannot buy it.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Jonathan regretted them. Why argue with a stranger in a field?

End of Excerpt

Copyright © by Emily Murdoch

LOVE'S JOURNEY was released August 6, 2018 from Sweet Promise Press.

Meet the Author

EMILY MURDOCH is a historian and writer. Throughout her career so far she has examined a codex and transcribed medieval sermons at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, designed part of an exhibition for the Yorkshire Museum, worked as a researcher for a BBC documentary presented by Ian Hislop, and worked at Polesden Lacey with the National Trust. She has a degree in History and English, and a Masters in Medieval Studies, both from the University of York. Emily has a medieval series and a Regency novella series published, and is currently working on several new projects.

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Love's Journey by Emily Murdoch

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Type: Novella

Heat Level: 1

Language Level: 1

Violence Level: 1

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