Inquiring minds want to know, so today we’ll pose a number of revealing questions to Morgan Bingham, hero of my western historical romance, A Man Like That.
So who IS Morgan Bingham? Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Ex-Confederate guerilla, ex-outlaw. I’m a man of few words, a hard man who’s lived a hard life. I’ve done things I’m not proud of, but I aim to put all that behind me and return to my roots in the
Ozark Mountains. If only that little red-haired wildcat will
let me …
Like it or not, a man is often the product of his past. What is one happy memory you have?
I don’t have many good memories of growing up. My family was dirt poor trying to scrape a living out of the rocky hillsides. And my Pa … well, I won’t go into that. Leastwise not with ladies present. Without a doubt, my strongest memory is the first time I saw Miss Jessamine Randall coming down the staircase at her best friend’s house. I felt like I’d been struck by lightning. She asked me to escort her to her buggy. As I said, I’m a man of few words, and on that occasion the few I have deserted me completely. Holding Jessy’s hand was like touching a live flame. If I saw her every day for the rest of my life, I’d still never forget that first time.
How about your romantic past?
There was no such thing as “romance” in my life. Before I left home for the army, life in the hills was lonely. The only time I saw anyone outside the family was when I drove to town for supplies every couple of months. The proper ladies seemed just as scared of me as I was of them, and Camdenton was too small to have the other kind. Of course, I did manage to spend an evening or two with a soiled dove over the years, but I don’t believe you could count that as “romance”.
What about now? We know there’s a special lady in your life, so tell us about her.
Jessy Randall is the daughter of the town judge in
. She’s beautiful and too spirited by
half. A real do-gooder. Always interfering. Always trying to save someone, even if
they can’t be saved. She ran the
Freedman’s Bureau school until a gang of cowards burned it down, and she was
too stubborn to admit defeat even as the flaming rafters crashed down around
her. I breathed in so much smoke pulling
her out of that fire I ended up spending nigh on to three weeks in bed over at
the doc’s. Big mistake. While I was laid up, Jessy got the notion to
marry me. Now I couldn’t let her do
that—not a fine lady like her and a no-good outlaw like me. As soon as I could draw a full breath, I lit
out there fast. Weston, Missouri
What do you like most about Jessy? And what do you like least?
That’s two sides of the same coin. I admire her determination, but her stubbornness makes my blood boil. She’s big-hearted, but sometimes her generosity looks an awful lot like meddling. I guess you could say she riles me up, for better or worse. She’s a force to be reckoned with, that’s for certain.
Thanks for stopping by. We know you’re a busy man. Is there anything you'd like to add before getting back to work?
I’d like to thank you for inviting me to visit today. I’ve never been too comfortable in the presence of ladies, but you all were most gracious. I tip my hat to you. If you’d like to understand why Jessy makes me so crazy, you can read a bit of our story below.
Here’s an excerpt from A Man Like That:
Jessy took a step forward and slid her arms beneath his jacket and around his waist. “Now aren’t you going to kiss me?”
He grabbed her wrists and threw her hands off him as if she harbored a dread disease.
“Are you sure you don’t want to kiss me?” she persisted. “Aren’t you glad to see me?” Her seductive tone was pure torture.
Morgan scowled and didn’t answer. He had no intention of answering the first question and wasn’t sure about the second. At the moment, it required every ounce of strength and resolve he had to keep from jerking her into his arms and taking everything she offered and more.
He stared down at Jessy’s face in the flickering firelight. Her sparkling eyes beckoned him. Her moist lips parted in invitation. But the same fresh innocence that had always stopped him held him back again.
He could take what he wanted; he knew it. There was no one around to stop him, and Jessy wouldn’t resist. She was crazy enough to think she loved him.It would be so easy to give in, so easy to forget the past and the future for a few sweet hours in her arms, to forget their differences and lose himself in the generosity of her love. But he couldn’t do it. To take her and leave her would be to steal something more precious than her virginity. He would be stealing the bright fire that formed the essence of her, the fire that had drawn him from the beginning. As much as he wanted her, he prayed for the strength to resist her.
If you'd like to read more of Morgan and Jessy's story, contact me through my website to be entered in a drawing for a free print copy of A Man Like That!