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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Engagement Gamble


The Engagement Gamble

by Nancy Fraser




GENRE: Historical Romance






Marshal Zack McAlister has made it his mission to protect the good citizens of Greenville, MS. In particular, one very opinionated and independent lady doctor. The only hinderance to his professional obligations are the dozen or so single women vying for his attention.


Suzanne Martindale, M.D., has quickly become a fixture in Greenville since taking over for her semi-retired predecessor. And, like Marshal McAlister, she’s been inundated with unwanted suitors.


When Zack proposes a fake engagement, Suzanne is reluctant at first and claims in order for anyone to believe they’re actually courting and in love, there has to be chemistry between them.


Zack sets out to prove they can easily fool the people of Greenville into believing their ruse. Will his smooth Cajun charm and steamy-hot kisses do the trick? Or, are they destined to be victims of their own charade?


When outside forces threaten the entire McAlister clan, can Zack keep his family, and his faux fiancé, safe? And, will a life-threatening accident show them anything, even love, is possible if you have trust?


~ ~ ~


The McAlister family welcomes you back to Mississippi with a third adventure, and maybe a sneak peek at yet another devastating seductive McAlister man!




NOTE: The book is on sale for $0.99.






Greenville, Mississippi

June, 1868


“Evening, Marshal.”


“Good evening, Miss Winston.” Zack McAlister greeted the young school teacher with a nod and a tip of his Stetson before setting his hat squarely back on his head.


“I brought you some cookies,” she told him, “as a thank you for stopping those boys from tipping over our privy.”


“It was my pleasure.” Accepting the proffered plate of cookies, he added, “I’m sure my deputies and I will enjoy these immensely.”


About to open the door leading to his office and step inside, Zack was halted by Gloria Winston’s next words. “I absolutely love your accent. It’s so…so…New Orleans.”


“Why thank you, ma’am.” Zack took another step forward, anxious to extricate himself from the unwanted attention. “If you’ll excuse me, Miss Winston, I have reports to complete.”


“Please, Marshal, call me Gloria.”


He reached for the door handle and nodded. “Good day to you, Gloria.”


“Good day, Marshal.”


“Another batch of cookies?” Pete Bailey asked when Zack came through the door, a snicker slipping through the deputy’s handlebar mustache, the sound of his laughter followed quickly by a broad, tobacco-stained grin.


Zack turned toward Pete and shot him a glare. “I don’t hear any complaints from you or Tom when you’re enjoying your fill.”


“I just wish these young fillies would learn how to cook something substantial, like a stew or a loaf of bread. A man can’t live on cookies alone.”


Zack sat the plate down on the corner of the desk and took a seat on the other side. It had been the same for the past two months, ever since he’d come to Greenville from New Orleans to take over for the ailing sheriff. He couldn’t walk down the street without one of the town’s available young women throwing herself at his feet. It had been a novelty at first, but now it was just plain tiring. Zack could almost feel his jaw twitching from the hundreds of smiles he’d forced across his face in the name of civility.


“I wish they’d just give up,” Zack muttered. “Surely they can see I’m not interested.”


“You McAlister boys do tend to attract every available female for miles. It was that way for Matthew, then Jake. It’s your turn to wallow in the McAlister charm.”


“I don’t want to wallow in anything. I just want to do my job.”


“You know what you need, Zack. You need a wife,” Pete said. “Then, this parade of girlies would stop.”


“I’m not in the market for a wife. And if I were, there’s not one that interests me in all of Greenville.”


“What about that doctor lady? You two seem to get along just fine.”


“We get along because we’re both professionals, out to do a job. And, Suzanne Martindale is the last woman I’d want for a wife.”


“She seems fine to me. She sure is a looker.”


“She’s also opinionated, stubborn, tied to her career and, at her best, infuriating.”


“It sounds to me as if you’ve given the doc some serious thought.”

Zack shook his head, dispelling any notion of ‘thinking’ about Suzanne Martindale. “My idea of a good wife is someone who stays home, keeps a neat house, raises the children, and is waiting by the door when her husband gets home from a long, hard day at work.”


“That sounds about right, assuming all you want is to make babies and eat a home-cooked meal.”

A Word With The Author

1.Did you always want to be an author?


No, at least not a fiction author. I’d always pictured myself writing non-fiction, and did for a while. Until one day while at work at the university, a co-worker offered me a romance novel to read on break. I foolishly said, “Anyone can write one of those.” She dared me to try, and the rest is history.

2.Tell us about the publication of your first book.


It was right after the 1996 Romance Writers of America Conference in Dallas, TX. I’d attended a presentation by Kensington Books about their new line of contemporary romances, part of a venture with Walmart. My critique partner and I had both just finished a book each and decided to submit. They bought both our books within hours of one another. We still, to this day, argue over who got the first call.

3.Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?


Because I cross genres, I have a number of favorites. Overall, it has always been Elizabeth Lowell. I love her ability to teach you something with each book, while still driving you crazy with steamy romance and undeniable HEAs.

4.What's the best part of being an author? The worst?


The best: Having been blessed with the gift of creativity. I’ve always been a little crazy/silly, and writing romance gives me a great outlet for letting my imagination shine through. The worst: Having to edit. I hate edits.


5.What are you working on now?


I’m part of new series of books, each by a different author. The stories are all set on a fictitious island and will release 6 weeks apart. The stories range from sweet to ultra-steamy (yes, that’s me), and everything in between. My first story (the second book in the series) is titled An Island Affair. It features an emotionally damaged heroine, and a physically damaged hero. Two lonely, damaged people destined for a week-long affair with an agreement that they’ll walk away at the end.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.


Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.


Nancy has published over thirty-five books in full-length, novella, and short format. 

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.



Author Social Media:




Twitter:  @nfraserauthor 


Amazon Author Page: 





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Nancy Fraser will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Nancy Fraser said...

Thank you for hosting this stop on my tour. I will check back later for comments.

Bonnie Edwards said...

Great Excerpt! Thanks for sharing.

M.J. Schiller, Romance Author said...

Another excellent excerpt! I loved this:" her best, infuriating." Looking forward to reading the rest of it. And that series you're doing with other authors sounds interesting. I can't wait to hear more about that! Thanks for sharing, Elaine and Nancy!

Ed Hoornaert said...

LOL. I started with non-fiction too (computer programming how-to). When I wanted to get into something more creative, it was my wife who said "Write a romance. Anyone can write those."

susan1215 said...

Sounds great! I like the cover and the excerpt.

Kara O'Neal said...

I loved the excerpt! Can't wait to read it!

Sherry said...

Sounds like a great read.

Joan Reeves said...

Loved the excerpt and know this is going to be another fabulous book.

Marcia King-Gamble said...

Sending my FB Fake Date Peeps over here to read The Engagement Gamble and comment. Such a fun concept.

kathleen Lawless said...

Great blurband excerpt. Fake date fun.