Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Most Unsuitable Husband, by Caroline Clemmons #Kincaids, @carolinclemmons #historicalromance

The Most Unsuitable Husband
The Kincaids, Book 2

Love a historical family series that combines mystery and romance? May I suggest the Kincaid series by my friend Caroline Clemmons? The series deals with half-siblings of the Kincaid family, and I adored all these books.   Yesterday, I featured the first Kincaids book, The Most Unsuitable Wife.  Today is all about the second book, The Most Unsuitable Husband.  But first, if you don't know her already, I'll introduce you .

A word from Caroline

Caroline Clemmons
Do you have or want an E-reader, or are you a die hard paper fan? Whichever your answer, I hope you have books on your gift list to give and as hints to receive. Let me tell you about one of my books I hope you’ll read and enjoy.

Today, I want to tell you about the The Most Unsuitable Husband, book two or the Kincaids.

Reviews for The Most Unsuitable Husband include a 4 1/2 star Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine. This book was also a finalist in the National Readers Choice competition.

About Caroline

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with friends.  Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

The Most Unsuitable Husband is Book Two of the Kincaids, and is available from Amazon and Smashwords.

About The Most Unsuitable Husband

When I was thinking about the plot and naming characters, I wondered what to call this hero. He was a bit of a rascal, or thought he was, but he changes throughout the book. Talk about character arc! I was sitting in church one Sunday and the minister mentioned that Bartholomew and Nathaniel were the same person, but his name changed to show his life’s change when he became a Christian. Aha! Nathaniel Batholomew would be my hero’s name. But he uses a long string of aliases, one of which is Nate Barton, and that’s how he introduces himself to the heroine, Sarah Kincaid.

Sarah is the younger half-sister of Pearl, the heroine in The Most Unsuitable Wife. These are stand-alone books (authors always say that☺) but you will enjoy them more if you read them in order. Sarah is a shy young woman very conscious of appearances and has gone from Texas to St. Louis to her dying mother. Due to her unfortunate childhood, she always acts with propriety to overcome her origin. She needed a strong character arc too. What could possibly cause this proper young schoolteacher to interact with a man she suspects is up to no good? Nothing short of orphans who must be rescued from an evil man following them could effect the change. One snowy day in Memphis, Tennessee, Sarah finds three cold youngsters, one of whom is seriously ill. She enlists Nate to help her get the youngsters safely to her home. She also hires a lovely Irish woman, Fiona Galloway, to act as her companion for the rest of the trip.

Excerpt from 
The Most Unsuitable Husband
by Caroline Clemmons

That man in black—he'd introduced himself as Nathaniel Barton—had been at the cemetery. He was always around on the boat, too, and now he was here in their hotel in Memphis. He trailed behind her as if he hadn't a care in the world. Surely it was coincidence. Lots of people traveled from St. Louis to Memphis every day.

The porter stopped in front of a room and opened the door. He stood back for her to enter, but not before she saw Mr. Barton at the next door. He even glanced her way and smiled as he nodded in greeting.

My stars, he's staying in the very next room to mine.

What kind of hotel would allow a single man on the same floor as a single woman? She fought down panic as she dealt with the porter, then locked the door behind him and slid the bolt. Alone in her room, her imagination ran its course as she paced. Had she strayed into a den of iniquity?

No, that couldn't be. Mrs. Welborn assured her this was a family hotel suitable for a young woman. After all, the Welborns registered here, too. How did Mr. Barton come to be in the very room next to her? It wasn't proper. What would people think? What would they say?

She caught herself. The Welborns were the only people here she knew, and she hardly cared what they thought other than their reports back to the Vermillions and Aunt Lily. Even they could hardly blame her for the hotel's room assignments.

This Mr. Barton could not mean her harm. There'd been ample opportunity on the paddle wheeler had he intended to hurt her. They'd never had a conversation on a personal level. His comments had centered on the trip and the weather, not a hint of anything improper and always with others nearby. Perhaps his constant presence was a coincidence. Just the same, he made her nervous. She felt like a rabbit waiting for the wolf to pounce whenever Mr. Barton was near.

In the midst of her concern, she admitted his presence offered reassurance to her that she was protected from others. Surely he would rush to her aid if she needed assistance. Her instincts proved right regarding Mr. Welborn. Perhaps she should rely on intuition in this instance. She wished she were more decisive, not a victim of warring emotions.

She raised her skirt and checked the little double-shot derringer given her by her brother, Storm. Best to be prepared. The little gun still rested securely in its garter holster on her thigh. Storm had insisted she practice until she was a fair shot. Would she have the courage to use the weapon against a human? She doubted it, but its weight reassured her.

Sarah spied the door connecting her room with the one in which Mr. Barton resided. Rushing to check the lock, she stopped. She must not let him know she suspected him of following her. Very slowly she turned the knob of the connecting door. Locked. She released a heavy sigh.

Curiosity nudged her. Kneeling, she peered through the keyhole. The opening framed him as he pulled a fresh shirt from an open valise on the bed. Shucking his jacket and waistcoat, he took a pistol from his waistband and placed it on the bed beside the satchel. He unbuttoned his shirt.

She knew she should move away but couldn't. Oh, my stars!  He might dress like a riverboat dandy, but this gorgeous man was no weakling. Trouser fabric pulled taut against trim hip muscles when he turned and bent over the things on the bed.

Her mouth went dry as a Texas dust storm. She watched him turn back to face her. He removed his shirt and tossed it behind him on the bed. Then she saw the bandage across his shoulder and another at his waist. She wondered which side of the law he was on when he got those, but thought she knew. The wrong side, of course.

He picked up a fresh shirt and she caught the ripple of muscles across his chest as he slipped the shirt on. His movements were swift and powerful, not the sluggish ambling she had witnessed in public.

Occasionally in summer she had caught glimpses of her brother, her brother-in-law, and the hands at the ranch with their shirts off. Unlike their tanned torsos, Mr. Barton's pale skin made her fingers tingle to touch the brown chest hair that converged in a vee at his belt. She wondered how far below his waist the pelt descended. A pool of warmth gathered at the base of her stomach.

My stars, what disgraceful thoughts.

Where did they come from? They weren’t proper. No, not at all suitable. Being away from home must be having a poor effect on her.

Never before had such scandalous ideas entered her head about any man. She didn’t have these thoughts about Peter Dorfmeyer, and everyone expected her to marry Peter. Mr. Barton was the most attractive man she’d ever seen, but she must get her wayward thoughts under control.

Buttoning his shirt, Mr. Barton stepped from her view. When he returned and glared at the keyhole, she froze. Surely he couldn't know she watched him. She sank further to the floor and sat with her back against the door.

Sarah pressed her hands to heated cheeks, shocked at her own behavior. She was no better than a window peeper. What on earth had come over her?

A sudden thought assailed her. What if he planned to look through the keyhole as she had? Taking a hanky from her cuff, she draped it over the doorknob so it hung across the tiny opening. No, that wouldn’t do. It kept sliding off. She rose and opened her traveling bag and took out a shirtwaist. Hanging it on the knob, she stepped back. Perfect. It looked as if she used the handle for a hook.
♥ ♥ ♥
Thanks to Caroline for guesting on RTW!  Check back tomorrow when she'll tell us about the third book in The KincaidsThe Most Unsuitable Courtship.  (And yes! She's working on a fourth!)

The Kincaids


  1. HI Caroline and Jacquie
    See you just can't hide from me! I think this was my favourite book in the series but the other 2 are a very close second.

    1. I couldn't say--whatever book of hers I'm reading at the moment is my favorite. LOL

  2. Susan, we don't want to hide! Thank you both for your kind comments. ♥

  3. I have read all 3 books! They are all five stars in my book! Each story is different and each was delightful!

  4. Caoline,
    I always enjoy your interviews, and with each, I learn a bit more about you. You're such a kind and gracious person. Fabulous premise for The Most Unsuitable Husband, and I wish you ever success! Happy Thanksgiving!


Romancing The West welcomes you to show your appreciation of our guest blogger by leaving a comment. If there's a contest, don't forget to leave your contact information. Thanks!