His Substitute Bride

His Substitute Bride
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A wife worth waiting for…Dashing – but cynical – Quint Seavers lives for danger. A past betrayal has made him wary about love, and he has no idea that independent, practical Annie Gustavson holds a secret long-time passion for him. Nor does he realise that the only reason Annie has travelled to San Francisco is to win his love – or walk away for ever.When disaster strikes the city, Annie’s courage and determination match his own – and suddenly Quint knows that she is exactly what’s been missing in his life all along…

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Praise for Elizabeth Lane


‘…brims over with tender touches…’

RT Book Reviews


‘Lane uses her turn-of-the-century backdrop and her knowledge of aviation to her advantage in a lively story featuring strong-willed characters. She reaches for an audience searching for fresh historical territory in her charming feminist novel.’

RT Book Reviews


‘…the warmth of an Americana romance and the grit of a tough Western…’

RT Book Reviews


‘…a pleasurable and well-executed tale…’

RT Book Reviews

“Why, little Annie, I didn’t know you cared.”

The mischief had crept back into Quint’s eyes. “Maybe I should give this some thought.”

“Stop making fun of me!”

It was all Annie could do to keep from slapping the smirk off his face.

“Yes, I do care, you big, arrogant, smart-mouthed oaf. You’ve been my knight in shining armour since I was old enough to tell boys from girls. You were my hero, and I won’t stand back and watch you throw your life away on this…this…”

Her throat went tight, choking off her words. Merciful heaven, what had she just said to him?

Quint gazed down at her, his eyes glinting amber with reflected flame. Annie’s heart lurched as he tilted her chin upward, bent towards her and captured her mouth with his own. His lips were velvet and honey, possessing her from the very first touch…

His Substitute Bride

Elizabeth Lane


Elizabeth Lane has lived and travelled in many parts of the world, including Europe, Latin America and the Far East, but her heart remains in the American West, where she was born and raised. Her idea of heaven is hiking a mountain trail on a clear autumn day. She also enjoys music, animals and dancing. You can learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website at www.elizabethlaneauthor.com

HIS SUBSTITUTE BRIDE features characters you will have met in THE BORROWED BRIDE

Previous novels by this author:

ANGELS IN THE SNOW (part of Stay for Christmas anthology)




and in Super Historical:


For Teresa and Ted and for San Francisco

Chapter One

San Francisco, April 13, 1906

By the time Quint found the woman, she was dying. She lay faceup on the checkered linoleum, a dollar-size crimson stain oozing through the fabric of her plain white shirtwaist. It appeared she’d been stabbed.

“Virginia!” Quint crouched beside her, clasping her hand. “Can you hear me? It’s Quint Seavers!”

The blood-frothed lips moved slightly, but no sound emerged. She was a slight creature, about thirty, he judged, her plain features made plainer by the thick spectacles that lay askew on her nose. Quint was meeting her in person for the first time. But he already knew Virginia Poole to be honest and brave. The man responsible for this was damned well going to pay.

“The letter, Virginia!” His fingers tightened around hers. “Where is it? Can you tell me?”

But she was already gone, slipping away without a sound.

Releasing her hand, Quint cast his eyes around the shabby one-room apartment. The place had been ransacked. Furniture had been toppled, clothes thrown helter-skelter. Kitchen cupboards had been emptied, their contents strewn on the floor. The Murphy bed, which took up one wall, had been lowered, the mattress, quilt and pillow ripped to pieces.

Feathers eddied in the gaslit room, blown by a chilly draft from the open window. Whoever was here hadn’t been gone long. They’d probably climbed over the sill when they’d heard Quint pounding on the door. Judging from the mess and the hasty departure, he’d bet good money they hadn’t found what they were looking for.

And neither would he.

Quint cursed in frustration. The handwritten letter, linking Supervisor Josiah Rutledge to a crooked scheme involving funds for the city’s water system, would provide enough evidence to bring Rutledge down. Even more important, it would alert the public that this critical work wasn’t being done.

Quint had written more than a dozen articles for the San Francisco Chronicle, stressing the urgent need to repair the city’s crumbling network of pipes, aqueducts and cisterns and build a line to pump water out of the bay. Just last week he’d interviewed Dennis Sullivan, the city’s longtime fire chief, who’d stated that, given the faulty water system, a major fire could destroy much of the city, with loss of life in the hundreds, if not the thousands.

“This town,” Sullivan had declared, “is on an earthquake belt. One of these fine mornings we’ll get a shake that will put this little water system out, and then we’ll have a fire. What will we do then?”

For a balanced perspective, he’d also interviewed Mayor Eugene Schmitz and Supervisor Rutledge. Both had insisted that repairs were being made in good order.

And pigs could fly, Quint had groused as he left City Hall. Schmitz was almost as crooked as Rutledge. The whole mess stank like rotten fish. But he couldn’t just start making accusations. He needed solid proof.

The key to that proof had come yesterday, in the form of a phone call to his desk at the

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