The Preacher’s Paramour: A Roses of Ridgeway Novella
©2012, by Kianna Alexander
Historical Romance- African American
Heat Level: Sweet (love scenes take place off page, behind closed doors)
Setting/Time Period: Victorian America- California, US, 1881
Length: The Preacher’s Paramour is a novella, approximately 30,270 words in length
Books Like This: If you enjoy the multicultural historical romance novels of Beverly Jenkins, you will likely enjoy historical romance works by Kianna Alexander.
-Explore love, life, and the challenges of a bygone era.-
Ridgeway, California: A fictional, mixed race settlement founded by abolitionists in 1853, after the madness of the California gold rush died down. Located near present-day Oakland, California, the town is home to a little less than 500 citizens. In Ridgeway, everybody knows everybody else- which can be a good thing- or a bad thing.
The Roses of Ridgeway: The feisty, determined female citizens of the settlement. They are intelligent, loving, and know their own minds- but they are far from perfect. The Roses are: Lilly Warren, Prudence Emerson, and Valerie Ridgeway.
Please Note: The Roses of Ridgeway series books are SWEET in nature. There is no offensive content that would limit these books solely to mature adult readers. Expect some brief foul language, and light violence, and affectionate moments. However, sexual relations take place behind closed doors and are not portrayed on the page. Therefore, these books are appropriate for readers of all ages, from young, to mature, to young at heart.
A Woman Who Knows Her Own Mind
Prudence Emerson doesn’t have time for romantic entanglements. She’s taken a job at the mercantile, and is saving money to attend school at Oberlin. That is, until the Reverend Derrick Chase rides into town to start a new church. Her good friend Lilly Warren invites her to a service at Enduring Faith Moravian church, and the die is cast. She can’t deny her attraction to him, and the handsome mulatto preacher obviously returns the feelings. Should she change her plans to explore a relationship with him? Or will being the preacher’s paramour lead to nothing but pain?
A Man of The Cloth- With A Past
Reverend Derrick Chase, a Moravian pastor, is newly settled in Ridgeway, over 3,000 miles away from where he grew up in North Carolina. He came to California hoping to put distance between himself, and a dark past he has no desire to revisit. But the tall, beautiful Prudence Emerson gets his heart pounding every time she’s near. She’s an honorable woman, and he won’t soil her reputation. But another thing he won’t do is let her slip through his fingers. Can he love her without drawing her into the dangerous web of his secret past?
Roses of Ridgeway Series Chronology
This is book #2 in the Roses of Ridgeway historical romance series by Kianna Alexander. Below is the series chronology:
Book 1: Kissing the Captain- Lilly and Ricardo’s story
Book 2: The Preacher’s Paramour- Prudence and Derrick’s story
Book 3: Loving the Lawman- Valerie and Noah’s story (coming soon)
Derrick removed his bowler as the wide eyed Miss Emerson regarded him. As he’d seen earlier during service, she was a beauty. Tight black curls surrounded her ethereal, honey hued face and grazed the nape of her neck. From the brown eyes that gawked at him, to the small, rounded nose, and full, ripe-looking lips, everything about her pleased his eyes. Truly the Lord had made a masterpiece in her, but that wasn’t why he was here. He needed an aide at the church, and badly. Shifting his focus before she called attention to his staring, he bowed. “Good afternoon, Ms. Emerson.”
She blinked several times. “Likewise, Reverend. What can I do for you?”
He thought he sensed nervousness in her tone, and he supposed that was to be expected. After all, they’d only just met. “I was wondering if I might interest you in position at the church. Do you have a moment to spare?”
A female voice from inside the house called out, “Prudence, who’s that at the door?”
Turning her head, she answered, “It’s the reverend from Enduring Faith, Mama. We’re going to sit on the porch for a bit.” Stepping outside, she gestured toward the two oak benches on the wide, covered porch. “Have a seat, Reverend.”
He took a seat on one bench, and she sat on the one adjacent to him. “I don’t want to take up too much of your time. I’m in need of an aide who can help me handle tasks around the church.”
Her eyebrow went up, as if she were skeptical. “You only met me today. Why would you offer me the position so quickly?”
He wasn’t about to tell her it was because he needed an excuse to get back into her presence, to get to know her better. “Well, most of the women at Enduring Faith are married and have family duties to attend, so—” When he saw the look on her face, he hesitated to finish his statement.
“How did you know I’m unmarried? Do I look it?” Her eyes had taken on a hard quality.
“No, of course not. Sister Benigno told me. I meant no offense to you.” And he hadn’t. But he should have assumed she might not enjoy having her unattached status pointed out.
Prudence sighed. “Since Lilly’s already spilled the beans, there’s no use denying it.” She folded her delicate, slim hands into her lap. “What sort of duties would I need to perform?”
He felt a bit of relief that she no longer seemed offended. “Counting tithes and offerings, keeping up with the prayer requests from the parishioners, helping to keep the church and grounds clean. I’m a bit overwhelmed handling all the tasks alone.” A bit overwhelmed was an understatement. He’d greatly underestimated the work that would go into running a church on his own, but he saw no need to let her see the full gamut of his desperation.
She looked thoughtful, as if she was considering the duties he’d mentioned. “How much will you pay me?”
He liked her straightforward manner. “Seven dollars a month is all I can manage now. As new members join and offerings increase, I may be able to offer more.” He waited for her reaction.
She nodded. “All right. But I’ll have to work around my shifts at the mercantile. I begin clerking there tomorrow.”
Mrs. Benigno hadn’t told him about that position, so he asked, “Are you certain two jobs won’t be overtaxing for you?”
She smiled, and everything around him seemed to brighten. “Maybe, but I don’t care. I’ve been accepted to Oberlin, and I intend to pay my tuition. I don’t wish to burden my parents with the cost.” The wind blew a coil of her hair over her forehead, and she brushed it away. The dainty gesture made the breath catch in his throat. As his eyes followed the motion, he thought it best to end their conversation and get back to his buggy. With that in mind, he stood. “Thank you very much for taking on this task, Ms. Emerson.”
She stood as well. “We’re going to be working together, so you can call me Prudence.”
He nodded, replacing his bowler atop his head. With a wave, he strode to his buggy, and despite the burning urge, he did not look back.