Self-determined Jessica Brewster is wary of any emotional relationship, after being betrayed in a bet. When the beloved grandmother who raised her dies, she inherits a mysterious teacup which when rubbed transports her back to 1886 in Old Fort Laramie, switching places with her look-alike great-great-grandmother—wife to her ancestor’s magnetic first husband and mother to his charming nine-year-old daughter.
Can she pull off the charade and find a way back, or will conscience and her twenty-first century “slips” expose her identity? As true love—and a gypsy—derail her plans, her ancestor’s brother shows up with his own dark secret. Is her future in the past? Her decision could save her life...and her legacy.
He touched my face with both hands, feathering his fingers across my forehead, into the wells of my eyes, over my nose and cheekbones, like a blind man needing to know who stood before him. I tried not to stiffen at his touch, willing myself not to blink, not to release the fresh tears that had begun to pool. He collared my throat with his long fingers and ran a thumb over my lips. “I want my wife back. Come back to me, Mitawin,” he whispered.
The word on the teacup; the hallmark of my deceit. Our eyes locked, and I felt my throat closing and my knees begin to quiver. For a few seconds his grip tightened around my throat, and I clamped my eyes shut with a fleeting thought. Yes, take my breath...end this tormenting deception. When he suddenly released me, I could see the pain twisting his face. He turned away and rubbed his chin against his shoulder, bracing both arms on a porch railing.
“My shirt looks good on you, Jess,” he said hoarsely. “You always did have a thing for my shirts.”
I cleared my throat. “You can’t sleep out here,” I said after a long silence. “Come to bed.”
His shoulders flinched. “Is that an invitation?”
“I only mean...you can’t be comfortable sleeping in that chair.”
“Are you still wearing those black things?”
I didn’t answer. What has that got to do with anything? We both started by the sudden hoot of a nearby owl, and like the volume turned up on ear phones, I was suddenly aware of other night sounds: crickets, wind rustling through the sage, my heart bumping in my chest.