Kathryn Albright grew up in southern California where she sets many of her sweet western romances. A Golden Heart finalist and recipient of the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, she writes historical romance that celebrates courage and hope against all odds with a dash of adventure.
Her enjoyment of historical romantic fiction began as a teenager when she was given the novel Ramona ~ set in southern California after the Mexican-American War. A few thousand books later, she still enjoys reading romance set in the past. (She also loves fairy tales and all things Disney.)
Kathryn's past includes careers as a nurse and an obstetrical sonographer where daily she witnessed many "happy ever afters" and miracles.
Kathryn's latest western historical romances for Harlequin are "sweet" although her earlier stories were not. Please check her website if you are wondering what brought on the change ~ Why Sweet?
Along with her writing, Kathryn also judges for the Romance Writers of America Rita contest for published writers and the Wisconsin Romance Writers FabFive contest for unpublished writers.
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Gloria Palmer has always done the proper thing expected of her as the daughter of a shipping tycoon. The approval of her family and friends mean everything. And yet, when the perfect suitor offers for her… she hesitates.
Colin McDougal has little use for those living on the fancy side of the trolley tracks. He is too busy managing the family pub and, in his spare time, writing down the lively tunes in his head. So, when Miss Palmer asks for his help to prepare for a music audition, he is flummoxed. What does he know of highbrow music?
But with each practice session, their feelings for each other grow. When it comes time for Gloria to make a choice between what is proper and what she desires, will she realize that if music can cross class lines, it might also be able to harmonize two hearts.
The older woman stood. “I am Mrs. Palmer and this is my daughter, Miss Palmer. Please have a seat.” She indicated a wicker chair nearby. “May I offer you refreshment, Mr. McDougal?”
“No.” He sat down. Then he amended, “No, thank you.”
“I’m sure you are wondering why we have asked you to come here.”
He glanced at the younger woman. She studied him intently, even as she held herself aloof and quiet, sitting there in her ice-blue dress. “Yes, ma’am.”
“We enjoyed your performance at the club on Christmas Eve.”
“Glad to hear it. I was helping out my friend.”
“Yes. It took us a while to track you down since he was away on holiday.”
So, the club had covered up for Tom. His friend was often on a ‘holiday.’ “Well, you found me. What’s this all about?”
“It’s a bit…unusual.” For the first time, Mrs. Palmer’s poised expression faltered. Whatever ‘it’ was, they were uncomfortable talking about it.
“Just out with it,” he said, hoping to encourage her. He’d say the same to his own mother, but here, he wasn’t sure what was considered appropriate. They were so stinking rich. There were probably invisible rules he knew nothing about.
A frown of disapproval darted across the older woman’s face, confirming his thoughts.
“All right then. My husband—”
“Mother. Allow me,” the younger Miss Palmer said quickly. “The way you played the piano at the club on Christmas Eve caught my father’s attention. I’m sure you remember that he spoke with you from the carriage.”
He remembered all right. But in his mind, she had been the one more interested in his playing. “Yeah,” he answered carefully.
“Father thought it might be beneficial for me to assess your technique at the piano—just for an hour—and possibly garner some tips to improve my playing.”
He raised his brow. “Technique? I’m not sure…”
“I want to understand your process at the keyboard,” she said quickly.
What was she talking about? His process? He just sat down and played. That’s all there was too it.
“I’ve had years of lessons. I should be able to spot your technique without difficulty and appropriate what will work for me.”
He snorted softly, finding the way she spoke amusing. “You mean like a beer master giving away his brewing secrets for nothing in return.” His cousin, Patrick, would have a time with that one. A brewers’ recipe was his signature of the craft.
Miss Palmer blinked, obviously shocked at his bluntness. “I suppose that is one way to look at it.” Then her pretty, green eyes narrowed. “I see that you find this humorous. Let me assure you…it is not.”
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