1908 / Wichita, Kansas
Celebrate Leap Year with a boy and a girl and a not-so-simple proposal…
Hotel chambermaid Félicie Richmond wants nothing more than to be the calligrapher for Wichita’s prestigious Carey Hotel. She invests in a new wardrobe to look the part, but days before her job is to begin, an electrical fire damages the dress shop. Félicie envisions one way out: the Leap Day tradition whereby a bachelor who refuses a marriage proposal must purchase the rejected lady a new dress. Finding a few stuck-in-their-ways bachelors guaranteed to refuse her proposal will be easy. Three dresses should do. Figuring out how to overcoming the humiliation of proposing marriage to multiple bachelors….
Easy-going fireman Carpenter Yeary has no need for a wife, not with all the little ol’ ladies in his church who provide his meals, do his laundry, and keep him busy replacing shingles and rescuing animals. When a strange woman proposes, Carp knows she’s after a free dress. In a moment of mischievousness, Carp accepts her proposal, but after their private conversation is overhead, “Carp’s getting married!” spreads like wildfire, and soon his precious church ladies have a wedding planned. For Carp and Félicie, the only way out is to convince the each other to call off the wedding…before love has time to bloom.
1908 / Wichita, Kansas
Sometimes you fall in love with the wrong person.
That’s what happened the moment Renna Laurent meets the fire department’s most rakish fireman at the Wichita High School Alumni Carnival. Like most girls experiencing love-at-first-sight, she does the logical thing and gives Joe McDermott his winning cake . . . and a smile in hopes he, too, will profess his love. Naturally he does doesn’t. As months pass, Renna seeks solace in one courtship after another. Surely there’s a man out there who can woo her away from dreaming about Joe and about how glorious their future will be if only he would love her.
Sometimes you fall in love with the right person all along.
For Wichita fireman Joe McDermott, Renna is a fire he can’t contain or capture. Her beauty renders him speechless. Just when her current courtship ends and Joe finds the right words, she’s off on another whirlwind romance. Whatever type of man she’s looking isn’t him. Or so he thinks . . . until one fateful Yuletide Masquerade Ball changes everything.