The One Month Marriage. Judith Stacy

The One Month Marriage - Judith Stacy

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      “Lovemaking is something entirely different.”

      Jana looked up at him then. He lowered his head, but didn’t kiss her. Instead, he touched his cheek to hers, nuzzling her, brushing his lips against her.

      His mouth played along the curve of her jaw. “If you’ve forgotten the difference between the two,” Brandon murmured against her ear, “I’ll be happy to demonstrate.”

      His lips claimed her neck once more, sending a rush through her. Jana closed her eyes for a moment, then drew in a breath and pushed away.

      “No,” she said, wanting to sound forceful but failing miserably.

      Brandon didn’t protest, but she saw the wanting in his darkened eyes, his heavy breaths, his flushed cheeks. For an instant Jana wanted to throw herself into his arms once more, have him carry her into her bedroom as he used to do.

      But that would only complicate things…!

      Praise for Judith Stacy’s recent titles

      “Wild West Wager” in A Hero’s Kiss

      “A starchy heroine and disreputable hero strike a ‘Wild West Wager’ that sets tongues a-wagging in Stacy’s romantic, funny tale.”

      —Romantic Times

      The Nanny

      “One of the most entertaining and sweetly satisfying tales I’ve had the pleasure to encounter.”

      —The Romance Reader

      The Blushing Bride

      “…lovable characters that grab your heartstrings…a fun read all the way.”


      The Dreammaker

      “…a delightful story of the triumph of love.”


      The One Month Marriage

      Judith Stacy

      MILLS & BOON

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      Thanks to David, Judy and Stacy

       for always doing more than you have to.

      And thanks to Jolene,

      for being that once-in-a-lifetime friend.


      The author wishes to thank Martha Cooper

       for her assistance with this book.


      Chapter One

      Chapter Two

      Chapter Three

      Chapter Four

      Chapter Five

      Chapter Six

      Chapter Seven

      Chapter Eight

      Chapter Nine

      Chapter Ten

      Chapter Eleven

      Chapter Twelve

      Chapter Thirteen

      Chapter Fourteen

      Chapter Fifteen

      Chapter Sixteen

      Chapter Seventeen

      Chapter Eighteen

      Chapter Nineteen

      Chapter Twenty

      Chapter Twenty-One

      Chapter Twenty-Two

      Chapter Twenty-Three

      Chapter Twenty-Four

      Chapter Twenty-Five

      Chapter Twenty-Six

       Chapter One

      Los Angeles, 1897

       S o she was coming home.

      Brandon Sayer stared down at the telegram lying atop the papers and ledgers on his desk. Jana was coming home. His bride—if one could be called such after so long a time—was returning.

      Brandon rose from his chair and crossed to the window, his footsteps silent on the thick carpet. He gazed down at the corner of Broadway and Third, the most prestigious business address in the city of Los Angeles. The trolley, delivery wagons, private coaches and eight-team oil wagons choked the intersection. Pedestrians scurried across the street, rightly fearing for their lives. Brandon pressed his palm against the warm glass of the windowpane.

      Jana was coming home.

      After all this time.


      He turned from the window, saw Noah Carmichael standing just inside the doorway, and suspected that Noah had called his name several times. Beyond, the sound of clicking typewriter keys and muted voices drifted in through the open door as Brandon’s office staff went about their work.

      “Another brilliant idea cooking in that brain of yours?” Noah asked with the easy smile their years of friendship and many successful business ventures had brought.

      Brandon didn’t answer. He didn’t know what to say. An odd feeling for the man who, in the last five years, had built a business empire that rivaled the greatest industrialists on either coast.

      Noah’s eyebrows pulled together and he tossed aside the stack of papers he’d brought into the office with him.

      “What’s wrong?” he asked.

      Brandon just stared at him for a moment, then gestured lamely at his desk. Noah picked up the telegram, read it once, twice, then let it drop.

      “She’s coming back?” Noah shook his head. “My God, how long has it been?”

      “I’m not sure,” Brandon said. But he knew. He knew exactly.

      “What are you going to do?” Noah asked.

      Brandon shrugged. “Do? Why would I do anything?”

      “She’s been gone all this time without a word—not a single word—and suddenly she’s returning? You have to do something.”

      “She’s my wife.”


      Brandon turned toward the window again. He couldn’t argue with Noah. Everything he said was true.

      After three months of marriage, Jana had left. Simply packed her belongings and disappeared. No warning, no notice, no explanation. He heard from her only once in a telegram a few days after her abrupt departure. She’d gone home to her aunt in San Francisco. They were leaving for Europe to visit

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