The Cartwright Heritage
Leah Jones has loved Trip Cartwright since childhood. In spite of their friendship, Leah knows a preacher's daughter isn't the kind of woman to interest a man of Trip's wealthy background. Trip, however, feels he owes Leah's family reparation and steps in with an offer of marriage when Leah is hit with a series of financial disasters. But Trip's business problems and troubled childhood threaten their marriage, and Leah must choose between winning Trip's love and protecting his life.
This was not exactly the theology Duncan Jones had espoused, but Trip could see he was making a point with Leah, perhaps because she wanted to believe him. He hastened to consolidate his advantage.
“All I'm saying is this,” he went on. “Isn't it possible God sent me to help you out? That He's the One who gave me the idea in the first place? God does use human instruments, you know.”
To his relief, Leah stirred and pushed back so she could look at him. Her brown eyes were red-rimmed, but wide with interest. And hope. Trip's breath quickened. He hadn't realized how helpless Leah had been feeling in spite of his efforts to lighten her burden.
“You're right, of course,” she said and smiled.
Trip's heart felt immeasurably lighter at seeing that smile. At last, he was reaching her.
“Only, I don't think marrying you is quite what God would say I ought to do,” she added.
“Why not?” he argued. “Don't you think it's reasonable to assume that the idea came from God?”
If he wasn't mistaken, hope lit her wide, brown eyes. Hope generously mixed with doubt and excitement. And amusement.
“I don't know, Trip,” she drawled. “Under the circumstances, it could have come from somewhere else entirely. Temptation usually comes disguised in very attractive packages, you know.”