The Weldon and Crenshaw families are back and in rare form!
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Buck Crenshaw falls in love, but will he have the courage to marry when everyone is opposed to the match? Buck must choose between happiness and security while navigating the ever-shifting alliances of his siblings and co-workers. His sister Thankful’s jealousy and his brother Fred’s scheming make for a wedding full of secret maneuvering and betrayal, but will love conquer all?
A SNEAK PEEK (Buck surprises Lucy McCullough):
“I did a few foolish things this fall,” Buck said. “I see the way Thankful leads Willy by the nose, and I’ve been worried lately about the impulsive Crenshaw habit of control. I shouldn’t have picked the fabrics for your dress even though Mama insisted. I can’t stand living in that house much longer. Will you come for a walk with me?”
“It’s cold out and dark.”
“I’ll guide you, Luce. I want you to see something.”
“If you’ve been drinking this fall or anything …”
Buck laughed. “What?”
“Your mother said …”
His eyes clouded with resentment. “I do hope you don’t trust my mother.”
“I’m not sure who to trust right now.”
Buck’s hand sweated through his glove as he took Lucy’s hand. “I want to confess to you the thing I did that shows that I don’t have the faintest idea about girls. Fred has always warned me that I’m too fast about things or at least foolish …”
“Do you have a child somewhere?”
“No. Please just come with me.”
Lucy hesitated but Buck’s expression intrigued her. Besides, she must get all of this childish romance over with before going back to New London. By now William and Thankful had settled their differences and were dancing only two days into mourning Meg. Buck left a note with the young lady managing coats near the door for William before taking Lucy into the frosty air. Walking in the dark always troubled Lucy, who secretly dreaded when all days would be just this way. Tonight she held tightly to Buck’s warm arm bracing herself for terrible news. His breathing always sounded so forced in the chill air, but they said nothing for a long while as he led her along Hillside Avenue.
“Lucy. I was given a generous bonus this holiday.”
“That’s nice, but Buck, my toes are frozen, and I don’t like how dark this road is. Couldn’t you tell me your secret right here?”
“Just wait a minute, Luce. Here. Follow me close,” Buck said, guiding her off the road and up a lane.
They came against a short stone fence with an iron gate that creaked as Buck pushed it open against the snow. He led her beneath arches glistening in the moonlight to the door of a small cottage. Buck fumbled for keys with an expression of seriousness. He opened the door and lit a candle, pulling a wary Lucy within the dark house.
“Remember I told you about this place? My father’s old cottage—the one my mother hated and made him give up? It was reckless of me, but I imagined us here—just the two of us. I’ve been pressuring the old man for months. Finally he relented, but I see by your face you don’t like it.”
“I don’t understand …”
“I know how to buy and sell things. I don’t know what makes a girl like you happy.”
Lucy stood speechless in the little circle of light made by the candle.
“I told Mr. Fischer that we’d keep the wild roses along the fence because his wife had loved them. I hope you like roses. I also said we’d visit him and your grandmother at the old folks’ home on Sundays since he has no family to speak of—if you don’t mind. You should see the place in daylight—it’s homey, but possibly not as big and new as you might like. We can change it all if you want to.”
“Buck, I’m astonished. I hadn’t really considered anything past an engagement and walks in town and things like that.”
“I did do one thing more that might anger you. There was an outing with the cousins from the bank, and I drank too much and was sick afterwards. I’m ashamed of myself for that.”
“When was that?”
“The third Saturday of October.”
Lucy laughed that it stood out so clearly in Buck’s memory and was relieved that it had happened only once months ago. “The only disappointment I feel right now is that you imagine me such a harsh critic. I love dear old Englewood so much and this charming house but you especially.”
About The Tenafly Road Series:
“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”
“Rich and colorful page turners. Morris has a fine sense of time and place and brings her memorable characters to life. She also tells a captivating story. You won’t find it easy to put her books down, and her characters will stay with you when you do. We can only hope she keeps writing and gives us more episodes in this fascinating chronicle.”