Welcome to Paradise (The Kincaids #1) by Rosalind James
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 12, 2013
They’re going to party like it’s 1885.
Mira Walker is hoping that competing on a “living history” reality show will give her what’s missing from her real life. Maybe she’ll get closer to her boyfriend, who hasn’t been all that nice to her lately. Get fired up about her job again. Who knows, she might even win a million dollars.
Gabe Kincaid and his brother Alec are after that million too, though. Mira and Scott are no threat at all, not when everybody involved is going to want to kill Scott after the first day. And there’s no bond stronger than a twin’s. What could possibly go wrong?
“It’s dark,” Chelsea complained the next morning, shivering theatrically beside Mira.
“And cold. Can’t we have the heat on?”
Alma, their guide to women’s work, 1885 style, looked at her in amused disgust.
“It’s almost July. You don’t turn the heat on in July. Put on a sweater if you’re cold. Or at least something with sleeves. Those pretty arms are going to get mighty scratched up by the end of the day, otherwise. And five is when you start, if you’re going to have breakfast on the table when the men come in from their chores at seven.”
“I want to look nice, though,” Chelsea said, giving a tweak to the tight white tank top that barely concealed her generous cleavage. “If we’re going to be on camera.” She cast a glance at Stu, filming from the corner, angled her assets a bit more his way, tossed the blonde hair she’d left loose this morning in contrast to Alma’s instructions.
“Why can’t they make their own breakfast, anyway? How hard is it?” “Because that’s not the way it works,” Alma said. “Not for what you’re doing, it sure isn’t. Men do their part, you do yours, it all gets done. Not as easy as you think, either. Just be glad you’re not pregnant, with a couple of kids hanging on your skirts.”
“Now.” She looked around, hands on her bony hips. “Nine women in a kitchen’s about six too many. Anyone here know how to collect eggs?”
“I do,” Lupe said quietly. “We had chickens growing up,” she explained to the others, a bit flustered at being the focus of attention, especially with Stu turning the camera on her.
“Good,” Alma said. She nodded toward a basket hanging on the wall. “Take a couple of the others with you and show ’em how it’s done.”
“How what’s done?” Arlene asked with a frown. “Don’t you just go in there and pick the eggs up?”
“You have to reach under the chicken,” Lupe explained. “Come on with me, and I’ll show you.”
“I’m coming too,” Zara decided. “I’ve suddenly realized that my life’s been sorely lacking in time spent reaching under chickens.”
“Good,” Alma said with satisfaction as the women left. “Not so many of us falling all over each other now. We can get something done. You,” she nodded at Rachel and Maria-Elena.
“I’ll show you how to get the stove going. And we’ll need some more wood for it.” She handed Chelsea a big piece of canvas with leather handles on either end.
“Here. Woodbox is about empty. You can fill it. That’ll get you warm.”
“Where? How?” Alma looked at her in exasperation. “From the woodpile,” she said slowly, as if she were speaking to a slightly dim child.
“Fill up the carrier, bring it in here, dump it in the woodbox, go back out and get some more. Think you can handle that?”
“Yes,” Chelsea said haughtily. “I just needed to know. What about gloves?”
“Gloves?” Alma asked blankly. “What kind of gloves?”
“For my hands. My nails.”
Genuine amusement lightened Alma’s expression. “Did you get mixed up, get on the wrong bus? This is the country, not the Miss America pageant. Your nails are the least of your worries.”
“And you two,” she said to Mira and Melody, dismissing Chelsea with one more shake of her gray head, “you can take these buckets and go get more water out of the well. Fill up both these big kettles on the stove, then bring in another bucket each. That’ll do, for a start.”
Rosalind James is the Kindle-bestselling author of four books in the "Escape to New Zealand" series. "Welcome to Paradise" is her first U.S.-based book. Rosalind is a former marketing executive who has lived all over the United States and in a number of other countries. Most recently, she spent several years in Australia and New Zealand, where she fell in love with the people, the landscape, and the culture of both countries.