Smoke River Bride

Excerpt from Smoke River Bride
by Lynna Banning
Harlequin Historicals, August 2013

"I-" Her throat clogged. "I do," Leak choked out.

Reverend Pollock cleared his throat. "I now pronounce you husband and wife." In finishing, he raised his voice to cover the whispers from the congregation behind them. "May God bless you both and keep you safe in the shelter of His love. You may kiss the bride," he added in a lower tone.

Leah waited in an agony of nerves for Thad to touch her. She blinked hard and then Thad's mouth settled gently over hers, his lips warm and firm. It lasted but an instant, but Leah's breath knotted beneath her breastbone.

It was over. Thad's hand held hers just tight enough to keep her feet anchored to the earth. If she skipped down the aisle, as she felt like doing, she would float away.

Together they started toward the church door, and only then did Leah become aware of the heavy, disapproving silence that greeted them. She kept her head up and tried to smile at the sea of stony faces. Not one person would meet her eyes . . . .